The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Age Doesn’t Make You Smarter, It Makes You Over Cautious …
November 18, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Following on from Friday’s post, I have another ‘moment of reflection’ I want to write about.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, I hear you cry.

Well bad luck, it’s my blog and I can upset you if I want to.

The good news is that on Friday I go away again.

For 2 weeks.

Yes, you guessed it … I am on holiday.

If it’s any consolation, this is ‘proper’ holiday, not a Government mandated one.

Did that help?

No I didn’t think so.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that if you put up with this sentimental post … and a couple more this week … you’re then free from me for 2 weeks.

Seriously, I’ve been away so much this year that you’ve probably only had to endure 30 posts for all of 2013, so stop with your whining and let me get on with it.

So I have a bike.

A lovely, shiny, super nice bike.

One with pedals, not a motor.

I have always loved bikes.

Maybe it’s because I come from Nottingham – the home of Raleigh, where the Chopper and Grifter originated or maybe it’s because it was the first ‘vehicle’ that gave me my first taste of freedom – but I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

I say that, but after I learnt to drive, I never used a bike again, turning my back on my lovely BMX Tuff Burner in favour of a 950cc, D-reg, Ford Fiesta.

[Actually, I’ve just realised that the wheels on the Tuff Burner might explain why I ordered a special wheel for the bike I’ve just bought. It hasn’t come yet, but now, when I get it, I’ll always think of the BMX I feel guilty about tossing away in favour of a crap Ford Fiesta, with less than a 1 litre engine and only one wing mirror. Weird]

Yes, it’s THAT long ago.

Anyway, I recently this one made for me by the guys at WTF and I love it.

To prove how much I love it, I ride it every day – even though the roads of Shanghai are a total war zone.

Seriously, it’s insane … and ironically, I genuinely believe part of the reason for that is because of the good ol’ push bike.

You see cars are a relatively new phenomenon in China and so people’s frame of reference for ‘vehicle navigation’ is based bicycles, which means people think nothing of pushing their way to the front of queues or squeezing through narrow gaps if they sense they can keep moving forward.

Of course there’s other reasons, but I swear to god that’s part of it.

Anyway, I digress …

So I have this bike and I ride it every day.

When I get to work, it’s always a bit of a nightmare, because I have to get it in the lift, go up to the 4th floor then somehow activate the security key to open the door, while holding a coffee and not letting my bike fall … because it doesn’t have a stand and it somehow doesn’t like leaning against a wall easily.

For months, I’ve been using a method that involves shoulder barging or wheel pushing the door until literally a week ago, I went …

“Why don’t I just leave my bike on the floor, open the door, then pick it up again?”

So I did, and unsurprisingly, it works.

Now this would obviously be obvious to you, but to me, it was a revelation.

The irony being, as a kid, I thought nothing of riding my bike as fast as I could then jumping off to let it free wheel ahead of me, before collapsing in a dramatic heap.

I wasn’t doing it to damage it, I loved that bike, it was just part of what we did as kids.

Along side pulling wheelies.

Bunny hops.

And jumping over a bunch of people who stupidly were lying down next to a few bricks and a piece of wood that was acting as a ‘jump off point’.


OK, so this bike costs more than my Grifter or Tuff Burner put together, but the fact my brain had deleted the option of ‘leave my bike on the floor for a second’ really intrigued me.

Is it because I now appreciate the value of money?

Is it because I love that bike so much, I never want it to get dirty?

Is it because I’m just a sad, thick, bastard?

Well, let’s be honest, it’s probably the last option … but I also think it is about just having a more care-free attitude as a kid.

I know there’s nothing new in that statement, but when you actually remember the fundamental difference between how you once were and how you are now, it’s quite a shock to the system.

Most of the time we forget how we once acted or we craft our memories to not feel so silly. And of course, there’s many things we do now that are a million miles better than we used to be … but that freedom you once had was – with the benefit of hindsight – quite infectious and yet so few of us realise that until it’s either too late or we’re hit with a moment of adult ridiculousness.

Or that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.


Update: The wheel came. It bloody came. YES!!! What that means is my modern day BMX Tuff Burner is now complete. I know you couldn’t give a shit, but I love it – and given it is decidedly ‘old technology’, that is doubly amazing!

22 Comments so far
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have you really just written a fucking post about putting your bike on the floor for 3 fucking seconds because you are carrying an overpriced decaf, half and half, no froth, extra fucking hot latte or some other fucked up, anything but coffee, coffee?

a new fucking low campbell, a new fucking low.

Comment by andy@cynic

I imagine it might be something to do with having trouble bending down to pick it up, but I could be wrong as I didn’t really understand any of this post.

Comment by John

Tomorrow’s post. How I realised using a pencil sharpener could extend the life of my pencil.

Comment by DH

And he’ll show a photo of it and it will have a really blingy rubber on the top.

Comment by DH

Yes I have.

To be honest, I didn’t realise it was this bad until I read it again. It’s bloody tragic isn’t it. Bugger.

Comment by Rob

The obvious and healthy solution would be to not drink coffee.

Comment by John

dr fucking dodds.

Comment by andy@cynic

He’s in advertising, he should be arriving at the office drinking vodka.

Comment by John

Will a Chai latte do?

Comment by Rob

and i bet you think youre riding a porsche or something. well youre not, its an overpriced and overfuckingblinged midlife crisis kids bike.

Comment by andy@cynic

The only thing to be thankful for is it’s not a skateboard. But for laughs, that would be invincible. Wouldn’t make the post any less mad though.

Comment by DH

Even I have limits Dave and a skateboard would definitely be that.

Comment by Rob

Cool looking bike Rob, very you. I agree growing old can make you milder rather than wilder, (Keith Richards etc ignored) but I never would have ever thought leaving a bike momentarily on its side would be the sort of thing you regard as “carefree”. Especially when just last week you wrote a post attacking a particular headhunter who you then emailed a link to the post. I’m very confused.

Comment by Pete

Not as confused as Rob appears to be. That’s the sort of confused that gets the men in white coats coming out to pay him a visit.

Comment by DH

That sounds more like altzhiemers then just growing old. The bike does look sexy but there are no gadgets on it as far as I can see. This can only mean one thing, Rob has officially lost his marbles.

Comment by Bazza

Actually it has a few Baz … from USB lights to a wifi tracker [don’t ask]

But best of all – for you, that is – it has a waterproof/shockproof charging iPhone holder on it, so I will always be close to your handiwork and follow it’s map instructions into a river or something, because you guys didn’t work it through well enough. Pah!

Comment by Rob

fucking tragic.

Comment by andy@cynic

I can sleep tonight.

Comment by Bazza

I’m sure it will.

Comment by Rob

I think everyone else has done plenty enough slagging so I only have good things and positivity to share right now.

I fricking love your bike and would steal it at a moments notice.

And this is probably why you are happier riding your metal horse with wheels on a daily basis:

Comment by Oz

I’ve just seen the instagram photo of your latest purchase. How many bikes could you get for that? I’m guessing 20. You know there is a global financial crisis bubbling along. I guess when you’re part of the 1% it doesn’t bother you.

It’s very nice by the way. Who is giving you all this taste and sophistication? As you’re still in birkenstocks and queen tees, I know it can’t be you.

Comment by Bazza

There’s nothing worse than 2 rich pricks crying poor. I don’t want to know what Rob’s bought because I don’t want to be feel shit for thinking I was a member of the jet set by ordering a venti size this morning.

Comment by DH

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