Bicycle Diaries (Feb ’10) – 10 years

In October 1999, I was a fresh faced teen. Just coming back from a trip around the world, I had tasted egg curry on the back of an Indonesian ferry, chilled in the Samoan sunshine and massaged a wonderful lady on a train through America. It was the time when a new £20 note had appeared and it was a time when people were talking to themselves on the streets of London. It was also a time when I bought this padlock.

This padlock (and the chain it was attached to) was my attempt to deter thieves from stealing my bicycle. And it worked. Ten years later, I have gone through at least half a dozen bikes, but none of them has ever been stolen. And that is in part to having such a mean looking chain and a chunky padlock to lock up my bicycle. I have left my bike all over London and not once has anyone bothered to struggle with the lock.

But as yet, all good things must come to an end. Ten years of dirt, grit, salt and water have taken its toll on the locking mechanism and even with all the lube in the world, it was becoming increasingly difficult to open the padlock. I did not want to be caught out with a jammed lock, and so I went to the DIY store yesterday to replace this faithful old servant of mine.

Few things last this long. Certainly the bicycle that was originally secured by this lock is long gone in the skip. It will be interesting to see how long my new padlock lasts. More importantly, it will be interesting to see where I am in another decade…


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