In The Red: 'I've found that the desire to look like Agyness Deyn does not a cyclist make'

Well. Last week's column clearly struck a chord – the emails positively flooded in (OK, "flooded" may be an exaggeration, although there was a definite bump in in-box). It seems that many of you have had the exact same problem with John Lewis, being forced to endure faulty fridges, warm freezers and exploding washing-machines sitting unrepaired for months on end.

Anyway, my threat of bad press did the trick; a brand-new fridge arrived, as promised, on Saturday morning. Well, almost as promised: in fact, the doorbell rang two hours earlier than agreed, much to the annoyance of my sleepy flatmate. Still, I was thrilled: a fridge!

It's amazing how luxurious things can seem after being deprived of them for a few months. I've already noticed a difference in my grocery bills: no more daily milk purchases! No more shop-bought lunches! No more luke-warm wine! It's as if I've been propelled back into the 21st century after a spell in the Dark Ages.

Which leaves me to return to that long-ago-raised issue of transport. I had, if you remember, promised to take up cycling instead of forking out £120 on my monthly Oyster card. Unfortunately, I think perhaps – just possibly – I may have been a little premature in declaring myself a cyclist. Contrary to earlier reasoning, the desire to look like Agyness Deyn does not a cyclist make. It's not that I haven't made progress, it's just that I haven't made much. In fact, I have encountered a surprising number of obstacles on my mission for thrifty transport.

It all started OK. I bought a second-hand bicycle from a stall in an east London market. (Yes, I realise it may have been stolen property; after a good, ohhhh... three minutes spent weighing up the moral implications against the bargain price of £70, I decided that, well, I didn't really care that much. It's not like I'm sure it was stolen, is it?) So, with perhaps a fraction too little deliberation, I handed over the cash and took my new toy home, wheeling it next to me as I walked.

But that's where the good news ends. My boyfriend took one look at the thing before declaring it a death trap and a rip-off. The front brake wasn't working, he said – although apparently this is a much better scenario than if the back one wasn't. He also pointed out that it was a boy's bike. I had no idea that a girl's bike was different, though once mentioned I suppose it did look a bit odd.

Still, not to be deterred, I took it out for a spin. Brake problems or no, it seemed fine to me. Before I knew it I was riding up to the local park, zooming around in circles like a 14-year-old hoodie. And then, disaster: my second brake began to fail and I was propelled down a hill like a tobogganist on a ski slope. Then I lost control of the steering, and my seat shot downwards with a bump. I felt like I'd crashed, except that I hadn't stopped moving. Eventually I reached some grass and came to a halt, before slowly toppling over in a heap.

It wasn't that bad – just rather embarrassing. The local teenagers found it hilarious, catcalling and shouting, practically falling off their park bench with merriment. Nevertheless, it was enough to put me off cycling – at least for a little while. And I suspect that my bike's days are numbered. I haven't been able to force the seat back to its original height, and have yet to get round to having the brakes fixed. I suppose it serves me right for buying on impulse.

I've seen another, brand new, model in a shop near my flat. Gallingly, it's almost as cheap as the first one – but after that waste of money, I'm struggling to bring myself to splash out again.

So far, then, my cycling ambitions have had limited success. Money saved: £0. Money spent: £70. Hmm. Must do better.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Toure could leave Manchester City in the summer, claims his agent
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Client Services Associate (MS Office, Analysis, Graduate)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client Services Associate (Microsoft Office, Ana...

    Graduate Data Operations Analyst (Graduate, Analysis, SQL)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Graduate Data Operations Analyst (Graduate, Anal...

    Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013, SQL)

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Dynamics...

    Front-end Web Developer/Designer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3)

    £4000 - £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-end...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz