My good old faithful bicycle has been stolen. My Dawes ‘Super Galaxy’. I’d had it from new, from 1992, so nineteen years. Eighteen years ago we did the John O’Groats to Land’s End ride together – 1038 miles in 14 days. Through jaunts to France, around Skye, day trips and daily commutes, it never let me down and has been with me through a few of life’s thicks and thins.
I’d modified the handlebars after I was involved in a driving accident in 2002, to make it easier to reach the brake levers. I’d taken the racing handlebars, turned them upside down and cut off the drops. It looked pretty cool, like a “pursuit” bike, but more importantly it made the brakes accessible and the grip more stable so I could get cycling again.
The poor old thing had grown tatty over the years and was well due a respray – something I’d contemplated often but would have needed another bike while it was off the road, space and tools to do it, and time. I had plenty of excuses.
It disappeared from Radley station on 28th August 2011. Just vanished – not a sign of it, or its lock. As if it’d never been there. A colleague says they probably knew what it was and targetted it specially because, once tidied up, it would have fetched a fair sum: these particular bikes are sought after. I like to think that’s what happened. I like to think my old friend’s life will go on and he’ll be appreciated somewhere.
Many fond memories…