Ok, if we’re being completely honest here, this isn’t my first bike per se. I’ve owned bikes since I was a small child, right up until I moved to Cambridge, when having a bike was a sheer necessity. Nonetheless, this is my first proper bike. It’s the first one I’ve parted with more than £50 for. And more importantly, it’s going to be my first triathlon bike.
(Sidenote: How on earth did I turn into the kind of person who does triathlons?!)
I’d been umming and ahing about buying a bike for ages. I knew I needed one if I ever wanted to do a triathlon, but to be honest they cost a lot of dollar and cycling in London is an altogether petrifying experience. But finally, I got myself round to it.
My best bet really was to go with a refurbished second-hand bike, as then I could pick up a bargain whilst still knowing it was good quality. So I headed to a place called Nip Nip Cycles, which was relatively close to me and had good reviews on Google.
I cannot speak highly enough of the experience I had at Nip Nip Cycles. I didn’t know this until I arrived, but they used to just be a bike refurb place before they started working with St. Mungo’s, a charity for the homeless and those with difficult backgrounds. They run an apprenticeship programme, in which individuals can learn skills to help them find purpose and eventually get a job. The guys were friendly and knowledgeable, and steered me towards a bike that would suit me. They changed the tyres for free, adjusted the seat, handlebars and brake cables, and gave me front and rear lights. One of the apprentices had even done a triathlon in the past year, so was able to make sure I got the bike best suited for that purpose, as well as city cycling.
In the end I payed £180 for a completely refurbished bike, including all the extras they threw in. What made me even happier than the price was knowing that all that money would go directly back to the project, so Nip Nip could continue doing their good work. (Also, they fully acknowledged the innuendo of Nip Nip, and even sold Tshirts that said ‘Are you staring at my nip nips?!’ Needless to say I wanted one, but having just dropped £180 on a bike, I decided against it.)
My bike and I have had a few adventures already, and I’m looking forward to many more!
Does anyone else cycle in a big city? Top tips for survival please! And let me know what you think I should name her 😉
Lots of love