For part one, click here.
The day after I spent my lunchbreak on a lawn in front of Buckingham Palace. Filled with misplaced optimism I then entered the shop to pick up my bike. After dealing with the young lady, whom I liked at first but eventually sapped all faith I had in mankind, I was confronted with a bike mechanic. He came out of a back door with a concerned impression, as if he was pondering a complex math problem, or had just recieved some bad news. He was holding a cycle wheel, which turned out to be mine. He looked at me, took a deep breath, and told me it was broken. “One of the spokes is broken and since it’s so old I don’t have the tools to fix it”. He explained that I need a new wheel, a new chain, and all kinds of new things. I sensed I’d be faced with an uncomfortable choice, and when he added all the parts I need to add to my already expensive tires he easily crossed 150 punds mark. “Then there are other things that might break soon, it’s quite used,” he continued, as if it wasn’t enough to push a rusty knife into my heart. “Can’t you just weld it or something?” I asked, as if it was a genious suggestion from a very capable bike fixer. “No, that’s not possible” he said, pointing out the intricate nature of the spokes and the lack of room. My only response was a nod, and some mumbling yes yes yes.
My energy evaporated and I suddenly remembered how I once fainted at a Loney Dear concert in Amsterdam. A decision had to be made: did I want to put that kind of money into an old bike that might break soon, or was this the end of the line for us? My head was a mess as I rushed out of the store for a meeting, telling the man holding my broken wheel that I had to think about it. The whole thing feeling strangely depressing.
I didn’t want to give up on my proud London soldier. But deep down I knew, even when I stood in the shop thinking about my fainting experience while looking pleadingly at the mechanic. The bike and I had a few good months, went on some epic London journeys, some of them including alcoholic beverages, others rain and thunder. But as I rushed to the meeting, standing in the office elevator surrounded by strangers in suits, I felt sad knowing that the end of an era came too fast for us both. I always thought we’d experience more, but that day, on a beautiful sunny London day, it ended. And so the quest for a new bike commenced, with all the time, energy and financial waste it brings. The hippie attitude I had that morning long since gone, exchanged for Destroyer’s European Oils (see above):
Desperate times call for desperate measures
I wanted you
I wanted these treasures, too…