09 March 2008

Readers Bikes: Martin's Peugot in Melbourne

About 3 years ago I decided I needed a bike, after having lived 4 years in Melbourne bikelessly. One fine day when passing my local bike shop I went in, thinking 'exactly! - a bike. Time to finally start looking for that bike I've been thinking I should get...' Didn't really see anything I liked very much. All too techy or else v. cheap, clumsy sorts of 'city bikes' that just seemed wrong.

After dinner that night we took an evening stroll. Here we have biannual 'hard waste collections', which means the local council comes round with huge trucks and carts away all sorts of large household items people no longer want, plus garden refuse etc etc. When my wife realised it was hard waste day tomorrow, she wanted to go home again, well aware of my penchant for objets trouvés. Moi, insistent as ever, begged and pleaded that we should continue, and promised not to bring any of the 'great stuff' out there home.

Within just a few minutes I found it. Not more than a couple hundred metres from our house. Leaning against a pile of boxes. The bike I had started looking for that very day! Even my wife couldn't say no to this charming piece of French craftsmanship.

Never mind that it's a girl's bike. Never mind it's magenta. It had a spacious basket, straight wheels and at least one fender. It rolls fast fast fast and I normally coast past other bikers riding on fatter tyres.

All I've done is replaced the rear tyre, had it checked over by the local bicycle repairman and it now gets me to the local shops in minutes. The brakes scream, which can scare a few pedestrians but I smile and nod a friendly 'hello' as I slowly coast by.

The one thing it doesn't have is a name. But I am considering something French. Catherine, Charlotte, Juliette, or maybe even Eva. After the actresses Deneuve, Rampling, Binoche and Green. Such an important question will take a bit more thinking though...

What I know for sure is, I love my magenta girl's Peugeot!

Regards, and ride on, Martin de Melbourne