Regular readers may have picked up on the fact that I recently acquired a new bike.
When I say acquired, I mean bought, of course. ‘Acquired’ sounds like a euphemism for stole, found, or borrowed and didn’t give back, when in fact it’s actually a euphemism for being British. We British can get a bit uncomfortable about money and the conspicuous spending of it, and so at the risk of displaying our spending power we use words like acquired.
I’m delighted with my new bike; it looks great, rides well, and has that tight compliance that a really good new bike has. The most surprising news of all is that it seems to have found a permanent home in the marital bedroom (in my mind I’m whispering this, because I’m starting to get the feeling that my wife has stopped noticing this quite remarkable fact and I don’t want to draw attention to it).
Not only have I got a beautiful new bike, but it’s house trained.
In the beginning, and on the basis of a reasonably plausible story about the obvious lack of space for the new bike in the shed, the frightening number of bikes which get stolen from sheds in these parts, and ‘it doesn’t really seem right to spend so much money on a new bike and then keep it outside in a shed’ of all places, the bike found what I assumed was a temporary home in the bedroom.
I have to say I was a little surprised at how easy this was, but I guessed the wife was just humouring me and my new toy, and that a few days later I would be instructed to ‘get a grip, the bike lives in the shed!’
But no. As I wake each morning, there it is, leaning against the radiator looking all sleek and shiny and new, and happy in its home. Of course I happen to think that it’s a lovely thing to look at and why wouldn’t everyone keep their best bike in the house? It’s a little cumbersome perhaps, but surely more of an ornament than a vase, a little porcelain dog, or a bunch of flowers?
Could it be that my wife agrees?
The problem is I’m afraid to discuss the elephant (the beautiful, elegant, carbon fibre elephant) in the room, in case it jolts her to her senses and causes the bike to be banished to its rightful home (which even I, in my most lucid moments, admit is the shed).
I do have a back-up plan though, just in case.
Our house is currently on the market and awaiting a buyer, essentially because it is too small for us now. We have our eye on a new place with a garden, integral garage, and enough extra rooms to make us wonder what on earth we’ll use them for, and when the move happens, of course, an entire area (considerably larger than a shed) will become a shrine to all things bike.
In my mind’s eye I picture my bikes hanging from racks in a neat row, the indoor trainer set up and ready to roll, tools and spare parts stored neat and organised, perhaps pictures on the wall of Coppi, Merckx and Wiggins, to create the right mood.
‘When we move’, I explain, ‘there’ll be plenty of space for all this…it just needs to stay in the bedroom until then.’
Of course this little scenario works on the basis that the house will be sold within a month or two. If we’re still here in a year, I have a feeling the bike might be out in the shed.