I am a bibliophile. I tend to plough through dusty archives trying to locate classics, realising that older books tends to contain more valuable information. If not that, they tend to be expensive if auctioned. I sometimes bury myself in bargain basements, ravaging boxes looking for a deal. I’m a fan of flea markets. I always like bargains, and often find myself in random charity shops and car boot sales trying to find a rare item. My affair with bikes began some two years ago when I was in Portobello, one Friday, when I was shown a handsome bike. At the time I had no concept of bike valuation, but seeing these thin tyres and sharp handle bars, left me impressed, only, I did not have enough money. This being so, I dwelt on the bike for the longest time wondering if the £130 price tag was worthwhile. The bike came with a helmet, a timer, and shoes; it had to be good, and besides, it was second hand, having originally been bought for some £280 on eBay. So it was, I was directed towards looking into bikes, and so one day, I returned to the shop ready to purchase it. It was going well; they took the bike down and the shoes seemed made for my feet, only, we were missing one shoe. The seller called his comrade to locate the other shoe when the news broke that the bike had already been sold. (Perhaps if I had left with one shoe, I might still have had the bike but I didn’t.)
Seconds later I went outside and brought a throwback. Defeated, after shameful loss, it was a means of restoring pride. I had spent £40 on something that was never worth £50, and something which probably wouldn’t even sell. From that day, my obsession with bikes was teased, and I investigated more, going on to learn more about “spin” which I instructing at the time. (It was because I coached spin in a gym that I was even interested in the bike to begin with.) One day, things changed when my brother, who was into bikes, sold me a bike for £100 (£30 off the selling price he wanted elsewhere.) It was an “Orange” bike with disc brakes, which would have cost around £250 second hand. It was attractive, and got me good looks. It spelt class, but I did not know its worth which is why when I locked it with a £5 cable, I was expecting trouble, which eventually came, when the cable was cut. Again, I was hurt, and again, I wanted to compensate. It so happened, I had some money to purchase a folding bike (circa, £500), however, having bought a knock off for £60 (which cost £230 brand new, online), I had lots of cash to spare. I wanted to make it better by buying a Cannondale Badboy. (This £500 pound bike was another reason I got into bikes as it was advertised by a youth worker who was proud to boast of its greatness.)
In the end, as much as it hurt, I let the bike go… in part. I did two things. I brought a bike off my brother (£90), and online, desperately compensating, I bought a Cannondale. (It had thin tyres reminiscent of the original one, but no disc brakes.) I did not know much about Cannondale but sensed this light bike (a reminder of the bad boy) was quality, meaning, expensive. I bought the bike off gumtree, and was delighted to meet a buyer that was a brother. My only disappointment was that the back tyre was punctured, which he had not advertised. I bought it anyway, and got him to knock £5 off the price. I paid either £125 or £135, but remember having to deny that I was not entirely happy. I therefore had three bikes: a ridgeback, a Cannondale and a bmw. I had spent the kitty. This situation had remained until a few days ago when I finally decided I needed to get rid of a bike in an effort to make use of property and possession. Furthermore, some time after my bike was stolen, I paid for a road bike, a Mongoose, for a brilliant price, which meant, I had in total, five bikes. With the Cannondale and the Ridgeback, I had invested £45 on tyres, which brought the total spend, on the three, to £315. This put the Cannondale at a deficit when I advertised it for £140 thinking I’d be lucky to get a quick sale using some smart advertising. The problem is, there was no problem. I had instant interest, to the point I raised to the price to £170…and then to £195.
Some months ago, my brother used the bike, without permission, and punctured the tyre, however, I’ve decided I’m going to patch this up and finally raise the price to £200. That’s a profit of £50, for a bike nearly a decade old, and at a time when ESA is suspended. Right now, I find myself reluctant to let the bike go, realising that it is in demand, and possesses a rare value, only, as much as I might fetch £230, I can’t keep it, despite letting go being so difficult. It gives me value; it lets me know that I’m valued; that I’m looked at. Imagine that.