In The Red: 'I'm sorely tempted get back on a bicycle after a poor start'
Saturday 18 April 2009
As some of you may recall, bicycles are not my strong point. Just under a year ago I bought one with the misguided ambition that I too might cycle where Agyness Deyn has cycled, and join London's hordes of smug, environmentally-friendly fashionable pedallers that zip around the Capital at virtually no expense.
It was, I thought, the perfect antidote to my credit-crunched (ie cancelled) gym membership not to mention my whopping daily transport bill. Little did I know that two weeks later I'd be spinning out of control in my local park on a "bargain" bike from a street vendor. Not only was it a man's model not ideal, but possible to turn a blind eye to it was also missing a brake wire, and had a defective seat.
It wasn't my finest investment and, needless to say, I didn't get back on. Instead, I just asked for the fitness equivalent for Christmas and put my cycling dreams to bed. Or so I thought. Then, the other day, I found myself in a cycling shop with a friend. They had a sale on, with prices down to a third of their normal ones. In fact, a lot of the bikes were barely more than my ill-advised street bargain. I didn't get one there and then, of course. But ever since I've found it difficult to get the idea out of my head. Instead of sheep jumping over fences as I drop off at night, it's bicycles with me on, accessorised by a wicker basket and bunch of flowers.
This is probably down to two things: the seasonal change (long evenings, sunny mornings and suddenly the dingy D6 from East London looks a lot less enticing); and the fact that my commute is about to get a whole lot longer. With The Independent moving its headquarters from the glass towers of Canary Wharf to the bustling confines of Kensington High Street, it's dawned on me that I'm destined to spend a good few hours of my life underground.
Unless I can find an alternative travel arrangement that doesn't cost any more (in fact, given my three-zone commute will end up costing a good 7 a day, preferably one that costs less), I'm going to have to get up a whole lot earlier, and kiss goodbye to my hopes of a suntan.
And so, here I am again, weighing up the pros and cons of cycling not to mention wondering whether or not I can really justify paying 100 or so having already written off one bike already? Considering how much I'd save in commuting, I suppose I could.
But how to guarantee that once I've bought the bike I would use it enough? That, I suppose, is the million dollar (or hundred quid) question. Answers, please, on a postcard.
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village