Adventures of biking from London to Lagos in 20 days.
Last minute advice
I’ve been on a bit of a bike-buying spree this week, and have now spent over £300 on a bike. Here’s what I learnt along the way.
Bike shops have cut and paste lists of the best models from all over the country. I’m not interested. I don’t own a bike, I don’t plan to do so. I didn’t buy this one because I thought it had a great seat or handlebar tape, but because it was on the list.
Seat sizes are very important. I’ve had the seat too loose, too tight, too far away from the saddle, too long, too short. Some of them were the wrong colour, and some of them weren’t quite comfortable. The only thing that could possibly be wrong with a bicycle (besides me) is the bike shop’s management.
I bought a new bike shop in a good area with bike parking and cycle lanes. I tried to be fair to all the bikes – including cheap models. I made sure that everything was as good as it could get, and that any faults would be fixed free of charge. And then I checked to see whether any bike should have been bought when the shop was smaller. I found that nearly 20% of bikes had been “repaired” (repaired is a word that I didn’t know, but the store’s manager explained to me it meant they had made the bike lighter, or had taken all the parts off so they could put the whole thing back together). You see, the store had been going downhill – the manager had been fired, and the boss hadn’t been replaced, so there was no-one to check the bikes. I’m always more sympathetic to people who have had a hard time and are looking to get their bike fixed if there’