I bought a really gorgeous bike last Summer. Me and the other half decided it would be the perfect way to spend weekends. Get one of those seats for Number One son and pootle off round parks. Brilliant.
Bought it on Friday, discovered I was pregnant on Saturday. Boom. Summer cycle career over before it started.
Now the other half has become a demon cyclist, to and from work, racking up hundreds of miles a month. My bike, on the other hand, lies sadly under a tarpaulin in the garden until such times as I have a moment to myself. In about eighteen years.
The Tour de France has clearly inspired a lot of people as I have noticed more than one rookie cyclist weaving their way around London town.
But Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish-style mountain bikes aren’t cutting the mustard for city-folk. The trend seems to be for all things retro when it comes to bikes.
A brand new company called The Baltic Bicycle Company is one of those heralding the arrival of the classic cycle.
Founders Phil Kennedy and friends (including – I have to admit – my brother Gareth Davies) says:
“We started The Baltic Bicycle Company because we wanted to bring classic, vintage designs to the UK and in particular brands that had history and a story behind them.
“We partnered with Latvian manfucturer, Erenpreiss as we shared similar values to them and because the quality hand built bikes they make look amazing.
“The market is increasingly flooded with identikit bikes and we wanted to add something different for zipping about town in style.
“It’s been one of those rare occasions when loose talk between friends has translated into a real business and we are excited by the interest shown to date.”
Another small, independent bike company called Tokyo Bikes, founded in 2002 – says it is much more about the ‘slow than fast’ which makes them perfect for city rides. They have limited edition ranges, including neon oranges and polka dots. Not that I’m about the aesthetic of course.
And Beg, a range of classically styled vintage Dutch bicycles, come in a host of mouth-watering sorbet shades. These retro beauties are handmade in Northern Europe and are just the ticket if you are a basket and bell kind of a cyclist.
As for me, if I had my choice, it’d be this Dolce & Gabbana 24k gold-gilded leopard print design. Retro in construction, bling in styling. Just unfortunately limited edition and around £2000. Oh well.