Good cycle service

Sadly, SA is not noted for its customer service. Or rather, it is, but not in a good way. That’s why when I have some good customer service, I like to tell people about it.

So said some witty, intelligent, handsome individual some time ago. And not much has changed in the intervening period, so let me tell you about what happened this morning.

I’m not really into cycling.

Actually, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m not really into cyclists.

Or cycling.

But look, the kids have got bikes and it’s a good way to get them out and about into the fresh air and all that important healthy stuff. Especially down in Agulhas where they’re less likely to be run over.

My daughter’s bike was a recent Gumtree purchase. No point in spending a ridiculous amount of money on something she will not be using seriously or every day, and will likely grow out of in a couple of years.

When we went and checked it out, all that was wrong with it was the front derailleur wasn’t working. I didn’t think it would take too much to sort out, the guy knocked a couple of hundred Rands ($1.15, 86p) off for the inconvenience, we shook hands and the deal was done.

But all the usual mendy things that I tried, didn’t work. And so, with my trepidation, I cycled – on the pink and lilac kids’ bike – down to the local bike shop.

This place.

I think they could see that I wasn’t a serious cyclist by the way I arrived on a pink and lilac kids’ bike.  But they were very professional and wheeled me out the back into a very organised, very clean repair shop set up in a garage and Brian sorted me in no time at all. Seized cable, apparently. Which I could have got to in the end, but I would have spent so much time, effort and petrol in finding out what the problem was, how to fix it and getting the bits I needed to do the job, that… well… let’s just say that the R130 ($0.84, 47p) bill was worth every last cent. And I’m still R70 up.

Bingo.

And I felt so proud wheeling my – now completely functioning – pink and lilac kids’ bike all the way back home. All I was missing was the little glittery tassels on the ends of the handlebars.

Anyway. The long and short of it is that I heartily recommend Cycle Teknix in Kenilworth (021 761 0099) for their amazing, prompt and friendly service.

Fine work, fellows.

Another flying thing blog post

(After we doubled (or trebled?) up in this one.)

Drug-taking. It’s all the rage in France at the moment. A number of fairly famous drug-takers are cycling around the country in their annual tour, and weirdly, people still want to watch them doing it.

People can be odd.

Best way to watch EPO-fuelled bike riding? Helicopter.

Helicopter times 3, in fact. With drunk pilots.

OK, so clearly, those pilots aren’t drunk. That was a slur against them and their profession in exactly the same way that saying the cyclists are cheating wasn’t. Those circling manoeuvres, avoiding each other and any surrounding buildings and countryside are the perfect way to film the race.

Other not drunk people who have made pretty patterns in the sky more locally include a BA Captain and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Slow puncture

My bike seems to have a slow puncture. (If you’re wondering about me and cycling, you need to read here.) I say that because a few days ago, my back tyre wasn’t flat, and now it is. This isn’t a huge issue, because, for the moment, I can ride on it and then I can pump it up before I ride on it next time. This will, however, get rather irritating and I can see that I will have to repair the puncture. For this, I will require a puncture repair kit. And therein lies the problem. Because that means going to a bike shop and buying one.

But I’m not an expert on cycling and the people in the shop are. Not a good situation, because here’s what will happen (but with cycling terminology, obviously):

Even The Molton Brown Boys – who, admittedly, are more into cycling than I am – regularly dazzle me at dinner with their chat on what CO2 bombs and patching compounds they are buying these days (apparently, these are things that help repair punctures while “on the go”). I don’t need such fancy, schmancy stuff though. I just want something firm under my bottom, simple as. 

Careful now.

So, yes, I’ll go through the rigmarole of asking for a puncture repair kit. And I’ll get laughed at because I’ll choose the wrong polymer or the incorrect hardening agent. Bleugh.

In the meantime, I’ll be taking the boy out for another long ride this afternoon.

Punctures permitting.

Norwegian cyclist video to inspire Chappies stunts?

We’ve had a pop at cyclists and their errant behaviour before here on 6000 miles…, but we’ve yet to see much that  could equal this for sheer bravery stupidity. Here’s Norwegian nutter Eskil Ronningsbakken – Scandinavian cycling’s answer to Jonny Knoxville – riding his bike down Trollsigen.

Backwards.

Did you see that car passing him at 1:08? He was never a metre away. Arrest that driver!

Because our local cyclists are ever so edgy and like to do dangerous things, like riding in the dark with no lights and whizzing through red robots, I reckon it’s only a matter of time before we see this sort of thing happening on Chapman’s Peak Drive, possibly with less success than Eskil.

I foresee a lucrative scrap metal business opening up on the east side of Hout Bay.

Music is Lindsay Stirling’s Elements. Nice.

Milestone

Saturday 17th March 2012.

The day my boy learned to ride a bike. He’s been close for a while, today he got it and I am a very proud dad.

Here he is having cycled all the way from the far corner of Wynberg Boys’ School field.