Photo By Richard HarrisIn Vietnam, girls do girlie things like cooking, playing with dolls and sit around. Boys do boy things, ride bikes, run and play games. As I child, I never got the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike. When we came to Britain, I was five years old and my mother didn’t think that we should play with kids from the estate. She worked her fingers to the bone to buy me a piano, not a bike – that was far too dangerous.
I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I reached the ripe age of 30. Amongst other wonderful things, my boyfriend, Adam, at the time bought me a bike. One with a basket and small wheels so that I could learn.
It was the best present, ever! Since then, I go everywhere with my bike, weather permitting.
If I am lucky to be an old lady, I will always look back on sunny Spring mornings, when I go all the way to Carnaby to my boutique, listening to Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert and on Sundays, riding back from Columbia Road Flower Market with a bike full of rosemary, lavender and indigo cornflowers with the breeze combing through my hair and the sun rays peering through the window of me.
I love my little bicycle. But it has suffered somewhat over the three years of its adoption and I have had to replace many things, like the pedals, the gears, the seat due to tear and wear and thieves.
There is such a European feel about Lock 7, being next to the canal and having high ceilings with a contemporary top to bottom glass front facing the sun. You can sit here, wait for your bike to be repaired (or not) and have a lovely cup of tea, a bagel or a simple breakfast and read your paper, tap on your Mac, dance with your kid. Nice.
I have tried going to the bigger bike shops but just found the people there rude, unfriendly and just plain arrogant. Bike people are like geeky computer nerds – they are just weird – especially if you have a little girl’s bike!
129 Pritchards Road
Londoon E2 9AP
020 7739 3042