…I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like….”
Do you remember that Queen song? I hear it in my head every time I take my bike for a ride.
Meet Betty. She is a Dutch girl, very fashionable and chic. She is a “lady” town bicycle with big wheels, basket and a nice comfy seat. I absolutely love her! I never thought that such a simple thing as a bicycle could give one so much freedom and joy! I don’t drive you see, so until I got my beautiful Dutch bicycle I was stuck with public transport, which is great in central London of course but becomes a bit tricky further from the centre, especially in the south of the city. To do a bit of shopping, pop into a post office or run other errands in your area, a bike is just what one needs.
But whether or not to get a bike was a conundrum…
The first problem was safety. As everyone in London knows, riding a bike here is extremely dangerous. The second was practicality versus fashion.
The safety part I resolved by simply keeping off busy roads and not venturing into central London, riding my bike only in the area near my home and work. I’m lucky I work not far from home. I also make sure I’m very visible on my bike, both day and night.
The second part was trickier. If you have ever been in south London then you will know that there are plenty of steep hills here, and a one speed, heavy town bike isn’t the best choice unless one is really fit or a professional cyclist – which I’m not. But on the other hand riding a sports bike with many gears means always wearing sports clothing and a backpack for shopping, not to mention that you are always flashing your backside at all the drivers because your butt is usually higher than your head – and of course forget about wearing a skirt or pumps … and sport bicycles tend be quite ugly.
So what to do? Ask a Dutch women! I did, and that’s how Betty became my best friend. Made by Dutchie Chic, she is totally designed for the needs of a town woman: a beautiful, modern “lady” bicycle with a stylish retro frame. It’s relatively light, with 3 gears, an ecological dynamo for lights, all the shopping friendly contraptions and raised handlebars so I can ride it in a straight position- no more butt flashing! I totally fell in love when she arrived two months ago and since then we have become almost inseparable.
My goodness, how much time and money have I saved since I got my bike! Not to mention my substantial figure improvement, especially in the thighs and bum area, which is becoming nicely toned. It’s one of the best buys I have ever made.
WINE OF THE WEEK
As you can see in the photos I took Betty wine shopping last week to Dulwich Vinters. It looks like they are becoming my favourite wine boutique – they really do have an amazing stock.
Château Leret Malbec Reserve 2011 (£11.50)
Such a great Southern French red made 85% Malbec. Big, ripe and juicy fruits explosion, with a whopping dose of red cherries on the palate, reinforced by pronounced but matured tannins and a lovely spice blend, but the finish is clean and fresh thanks to high acidity. It’s a perfect wine for Autumn, with its big and bold flavours- think venison or rabbit as a food match. I would advise you to decant it or open a couple of hours before drinking to soften it down.