In January, we have asked our friends, fans, followers and customers to send us photos, stories of their first cycling memories. Over a hundred submissions have arrived and we enjoyed all them – but because we’re not selfish, we wanted to share the best ones with you. So in the next couple of weeks and months, expect every now and again a great photo and a great story from a guest contributor.
I grew up in a small village and was cursed with being a month or 2 behind the trends. The nearest town had some nice lightweight racers and a cabinet full of campagnolo – dream stuff. So in 1982 I got a racer, a Vicount, cool as.
Then ET came out. I was gutted when my mates started getting BMX’s. But being a kid the wrong bike wasn’t going to stop me taking part in the fun.
I bent the frame on the racer the following year outdoing the bmx’s in the furthest jump competition, you can build up a lot of speed with 5 gears.
Forced to save up for my next bike and in the 80′s there wasn’t much choice in “Kays” and “Grattan” – the paper internet of the day.
I settled on a flat bar tourer, mainly to get me out of Dodge.
I started college and moved to Edinburgh the following year. After leaving my bike outside the flat one night, a kind hearted soul decided my bike seat needed lubrication, it stank. New saddle needed, so I made my first trip to a big city bike shop and my cycling life changed forever.
They had brands I had never heard of, Saracen, Gary Fischer, Specialized. They had smaller wheels, fatter tyres and were built like shire horses. I fell in love.
As a student how could I afford a bike costing almost 4 times as much as my current one. I made an appointment with my bank manager. He sat me down…
ME: “I need an overdraft to buy a bike”
BM: “Why do you need a bike?”
ME: “It will save me the bus journeys to college”
BM: “Ok that sounds good, how much do you need?”
ME: “£300″ ”
BM: “How much is the bike?”
BM: “How will you raise the rest of the money?”
ME: “I’m selling my old bike to my landlord”
After a sideways glance I got an overdraft.
I headed straight up to the shop and bought a Specialized Rockhopper Comp in blue and white complete with Blackburn rack. Back then big hair was the only helmet brand available.