As a reward for achieving the bikeVcar challenge last year, I thought I’d treat my commuter bike to a respray and rebuild. Leo is a Peugeot City 080 hybrid, or touring bike, previously owned by my maternal grandfather and a lifesaver during eight skint years of studenthood.
I’ve journeyed with him near-daily for another six years on top of that too; he’s endured, uncomplaining, having me go over his handlebars on a fast downhill after someone tampered with my brakes in Leeds City Centre; the potholes of Manchester City Centre, the quotidian stink of the waste disposal site opposite the hospital in Govan, and the mud and farm effluent of my current commute in rural Dumfriesshire; and a near-daily paint-chipping by a careless housemate flinging her bike on top of him in our shared garage in Newcastle (naming no names…)
He’s had no end of economical replacement parts and patch-ups in order to keep him on the road but I wasn’t really doing my faithful steed proud so, with the help of DRIP! Graphics and Billy Bilsland cycles of Glasgow, he now turns more heads than Will Smith in his white vest in that 2011 pop sensation, you know the one…
Like the suburban housewife that just got a new SUV, I haven’t dared take him on his inaugural ride since I got him back until the weather was perfect… and that day came around on the 7th of December, when we took a delightful jaunt down part-gravel, part-country lanes between Minigaff and Glenluce, skirting the Galloway Forest Park.
“Will all bike rides be as lovely as this?” Leo asked as I tenderly released his front wheel and laid him in the back of the car after our cycle. I didn’t have the heart to tell him no!
7 December, 2020