I’ve recently taken delivery of a bike from my Dad. He was given it for his 40th Birthday, and he’s 57 now. It hasn’t had a lot of use in the last few years, and I needed a bike to get around town on, so it started its life with me:

I took it to the Bristol Bike Workshop for a service which was a thoroughly pleasing experience. They weren’t in the least bit sniffy about this relic of a bike, they were very friendly and helpful, and it only cost me £23 for a full service!

When I went to pick it up we had a little chat about the bike which I referred to as a “museum piece”, I was respectfully and tactfully informed that “…the bikes that end up in museums tend to be the higher spec ones…”. Ahh well. We chatted a bit more about the bike and he said that the brakes on a modern bike would be much better than those on my machine, and mentioned about how manufacturers have stopped putting the extra levers on brakes to operate them from the top part of a dropped handlebar. Good, good… I took my service report which detailed what they’d done and noticed that at the bottom the servicer had written and underlined the legend: “As good as it’s going to get”!

I took my steed out of the door onto Colston Street, hopped on and set off down the hill at a fair old clip. I was back! The wind in my hair, the cold air blurring my vision and forcing tears out of the corners of my eyes. I felt free! I came to the junction at the bottom of the street where I could see the lights beginning to change, with thoughts of wily NYC bicycle couriers in my head, I thought “I can make this!” and dashed across the first lane of traffic. At this very moment the cars in the second lane started moving, forcing me to take emergency evasive action. I jammed on my breaks and absolutely nothing happened! I was using the top levers and they had no effect on my speed whatsoever! I hopped off the peddles and skittered to a halt in a very un-dignified manor with a look of terror in my eyes and came to rest in front of a van. The driver looked at me with a mixture of pity and disdain whilst I shuffled my machine back out of his way.

The Pursuit had just earned its new name:

The Deathtrap.