Last week I said my goodbyes to a dear friend. I’d known Bobby for five years and we’d been on many an adventure together. He was my first touring bike.
Due to his being “big boned”, my friends nicknamed (a little cruelly I thought) “The Best of Burden”, eventually shortened to just “The Beast” and “B.O.B.”.
I got him in the sale for £180 from Decathlon. He was not an expensive, stylish or high quality bike. But, as a solid touring bike, he did his job perfectly.
Here are a few fond memories:
- Hitting 68km/hr coming down Pen-Y-Pas on our first outing.
- Shipping him by container to Arctic Norway so I could cycle home from an expedition rather than take the plane (the photo above is the day I arrived home).
- Boxing him up at Stockholm airport, flying to Stansted and re-assembling him in arrivals before pedaling back home to Surrey.
- Pedaling the length of Wales over a long Easter weekend and rolling down a seemingly never-ending downhill into Betws-y-Coed in complete darkness.
- Hurtling round dirt tracks in a Helly Hansen adventure race and having a competitor shout: “Where’s your basket, mate?” (I told you he wasn’t a stylish bike).
- Cycling between the UK’s three highest peaks.
- Demonstrating to a friend how to pop the front wheel up while riding only to knock both myself, and her, skidding across the road.
- Hundreds of hours of commuting in and around London (inspiring some of my favourite articles, stories and blog posts).
- All the training rides for my London to Isle of Wight Triathlon.
- Riding to and through France and back, camping out under a tarp and the open skies.
Au revoir Bobby!