Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My new toy

Early last year, Spot and I were helping a friend as she looked for a bicycle. Though we're by no means experts, we know enough and it was a good day out, as someone else spent money!!!

For a while prior to that, Spot and I had been intrigued by recumbent bikes, partly driven by a friend of ours being quite a devotee. Near the 'normal' bicycle shop (or safety as bikes are known as, because they were safe in comparison with the standard bicycle, which was a penny farthing) we were visiting with our friend is Laird Back Bikes. While we were in the area, Spot and I decided to pay them a visit. Dave, one of the partners in the business is a great guy, knows his stuff and, as novices, Spot and I did not feel patronised or out of our depth.

So, being the sort of in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound people we are, Spot and I decided to book a tour with Laid Back Bikes on a couple of demo trikes they have. I was on the Hasse Kettwiesel on the way out and the ICE Sprint RS on the way back (it was vice versa for Spot). Though it was the first time for a while since I'd ridden any sort of cycle the tour was great fun. The trikes handled well, there were no worries about loosing balance/momentum on steep hills and, due to my backside being so close to the ground, it felt I was flying (so glad there wasn't a speedo fitted, as I would have been disappointed I suspect!).

At the time, though I really enjoyed it, I didn't go rushing to buy one (a decent small second-hand car can be purchased for the same amount!). Life got busy and more complicated. Summer passed up north and final year of uni began, along with all its challenges. All in all, I had sort of forgotten about it.

But Spot was still keeping an eye out for second hand trikes for sale. As with so many things, there were a few for sale on and off very down south, with buyer uplift only. Then, about 3 weeks ago a lovely looking HP Velotechnik Scorpion FX came up on ebay - in Glasgow! Actually, at Kinetics, which Spot and I had visited in the past. It just seemed ideal. Located somewhere I could collect, with the features I wanted (14 speed hub gears, dynamo lighting, integral luggage rack, ability to fold). And, 4 years ago I sold my motorbike and never got round to spending that money or replacing the machine, so the money was there, having been kept in case I suddenly decided to invest in a new set of wheels.

And here it is, my new toy:

Taken just after my first hurl on it. Great fun. And, despite the lower position I feel much more comfortable and safe on it, even on a main road (yes, I have tried). From speaking to other bent riders (as we're called) everyone thinks cars don't know what to do, especially with a trike. Consequently, they give much more room than on an upright bike.

In time, I'm hoping this will form part of my ministerial transport solution. Airside Kirk, where I'll be serving my probation, is only 5 miles away, so totally doable on this. It's also easier to store than another car and cheaper to run, no MOT, road tax or petrol (though it may need an occasional banana or bar of chocolate as a fuel source). Yes, I'll be weird, but I'm training to be a minister in the Church of Scotland, so I'm there already.

Now, where to take it today???

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