My relationship with cycling started years ago. First bike came back in the very young days. It was a green and blue coloured beauty with just three gears. Yet for me, a kid, it was perfect – not too much, not too many. My dad would take me and my brother to the seaside for a ride every weekend.
My second bike relationship came when I was eighteen. While most of my friends where getting lessons for the driver’s license I jumped on a bike and used it as a car. It took me from home to school early in the morning. From school to the sports training. From sports to the dancing class. From dancing back to my house. Also, it would help me come back after a late night… Sadly, this silver tall beauty got stolen. I guess it was my fault, as I left it unlocked from time to time next to my house.
The third took two years to come. True love follows, so it found me here in Glasgow as well. In second year of our studies me and my flatmate decided to get bikes. It seemed more practical and rational than walking or using public transport. In general, public transport in Glasgow is a little bit of a nuisance or should I just say pain in the ass. To be fair, cycling in Glasgow or probably anywhere in Scotland due to a hilly land is nothing but pain in the ass – at least it gives me a nice one.
My third love was dark blue, vintage city bike. I had it for a year and over those 12 months I was cycling more than walking.
When the summer came I had to leave Glasgow for South of England, where I found a seasonal job in a rural area next to the coast. I could not leave my bike, so I took it with me. A backpack, hand bag, two suitcases and a bike. You should have seen the face of a cab driver taking me from London Victoria train station to London Luton where I had to jump on a train heading for Weymouth.
“Running away from home are you?” – he asked me with his posh London accent, not knowing himself wheather he is joking or not.
I am still thankful this man for taking me with full hands of stuff to his cab. I have no idea how otherwise I would have got from one side of London to the other in those 20 minutes that I had.
Dorset Castle, Wareham, the South coast cliff paths, Kimmeridge rocky bay and Purbeck hills became my places of wonder for that summer. My blue bike was a gateaway from the place I was working in.
Fourth bike was inevitable, as I moved to Rotterdam. In few weeks time it got stolen, but it is too common of an accident in the Netherlands to bother.
The fifth came for free! It was a very old and grey male fixed city bike. It took me to the university every other day and brought me from the best all-night-long techno nights in my life.
The sixth was a mountain bike. I had it for one summer in a resort town I worked and lived for that time. It took me to the seaside for a long swim as the sun was going down.
Then, to the radio station before it gets up in the sky again. I rushed every morning to record the weather forecast for the each day. In the afternoon – to the town center for a quick sandwich, follwed by a short read of Jung listening to reggae in the background.
Today I am on my seventh! It is the most girly of all. A thin pink “all terrain”. Besides the fact that its pedal falls from time to time, it has already become part of my life here in Glasgow. We push through that painful hill in the morning to university together as well as carry bags of food from Aldi back to the house in the evening. My new pal loves a good company. The more bikes it sees on the street the more welcome it feels.
Cycling keeps a good balance from not being able to do much to doing too much in one day. Also, you can feel respect and empathy flowing from fellow city cyclers, have a quick chat about the weather while you wait together for the green light to flash.
We leave the rode rage for those in a hurry, for those in traffic jams, for those sitting on a comfy seat getting to gym for a spinning class.
And yeah, bikes are just damn sexy.