Boy on a bike

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 2nd July 2012

Selfridge’s, Cos, Space NK, The Hambledon in Winchester – just a few of my favourite shops. But I reckon the emporium I’m going to be frequenting more than any other this summer is Beeline Bicycles in Oxford’s Cowley Road.

After years of being obsessed with BMX bikes and mountain bikes, my teenage son has now taken up road biking. And as always, he never does anything by halves.

But before he got pedalling we had to track down his dad’s 20-year-old road bike – a mission that involved driving halfway across a massive disused airbase in the middle of rural Oxfordshire. Our aim? To hunt down the storage container where the bike’s been languishing for years. With rows of derelict buildings, pot-holed runways and security guards, the base looked like something out of an Anthony Horowitz novel. We were pretty sure that if we took a wrong turn, we’d never be seen again.

It took us a few attempts to find it, but finally the removal boss wheeled a retro-looking pink and yellow road bike into his office. My son looked appalled at the girly colours but perked up no end when he realised the bike was rideable.

Next on the agenda was a trip to Beeline to get him kitted out with pedals, cleats, shoes, bike helmet (as opposed to the tin lid he uses for dirt jumping), water bottles and a ton of Lycra. As he inspected the new kit, the dynamic leader of the local cycling club arrived and nodded approvingly at the bike. “That’s the kind of bike I started out on,” he said. “We go out cycling every Saturday morning. Why don’t you join us?”

My son nodded with alacrity, making a mental note of the time and place. “And your mum can come along too,” he added. My son’s face was a picture. It was plain what he was thinking. Biking and mums do not go together.

7 comments so far

  • We bought our daughter a bicycle for her 19th birthday, and she continues to walk or cab everywhere. I must try to find it a decent home. I’m sure someone could make very good use of it.

  • An exciting new sport – and just in time for the TdF. You’ll need a turbo trainer next, so he can cycle along with the tv 🙂

  • Brilliant post. I reckon you’ll be getting a bike soon, Emma – it’s a pretty contagious sport. You’re in for a whole new world of heart rate monitors and power meters and carbon fibre and time trials and…

  • Thanks so much, Julia. If my son’s example is anything it’s very contagious INDEED! I must say, I’m quite tempted though, but maybe without the heart rate monitors and carbon fibre.

  • Sorry about delayed reply. A Turbo Trainer is a device which attaches to the rear wheel and makes a road bike into an exercise bike. They are really good as the rider gets to ride own bike.

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