c y c l i s m o

[ 18:40 wednesday 25 july – palissy street, shoreditch, london ]

exactly three weeks ago i travelled down to oxford with landon and bought a new cannondale hybrid bike to replace the gary fisher which was nicked from the stairs here. lightweight aluminium frame, beautiful gearing and brake mechanisms. lovely thing.

for three weeks i’ve felt free again, zipping from one side of the city to the other, ducking in and out of the usually-static traffic.

at four o’clock this afternoon i had a doctor’s appointment. i chained the bike to a lamp-post with the massive articulated lock i bought. perhaps thirty seconds before i emerged from the building at twenty-five past four, three asian youths built up a stack of crates, unbolted a sign from the lamp-post and lifted my bicyle clean over the top. at least four witnesses stood and watched them doing this, making no intervention whatever.

i ran through the warren of council estates in the direction in which they’d made off, hoping to catch them. later on dave boswell took me cruising round on his motorbike.

but they are gone, as is my bike. i hardly had time to become attached to it.

i cannot help thinking of my year in the isles of scilly, a year during which i never once had cause to touch a lock or a key. it’s time to leave.

: cH

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