For the first time ever I’ve come to Carratt’s Cafe, on the seafront in Shoreham harbour. Despite previously praising this place, coming here today has been a serious mistake. The noisy obstreporous families inhabiting it this lunchtime resemble a convention of the mentally ill. Charles seems strangely unfazed by it, even though he hasn’t had breakfast yet. In fact, I just had to talk him into getting something to eat. I think you need to eat well when cycling. It’s a wall to wall screaming fest in here. Were children always this disturbing? They are running into walls, screaming and crying, whilst their stupid parents pour red bull down their ignorant throats. I’m never coming here on a sunday again.
Charles took his bicycle into the shop on London Road in Brighton Formerly Known as Action Bikes. I do wish shops and pubs would not change their names with such gay abandon. They neglect their social duty to be landmarks far too frequently. They’re a good bicycle shop and I often recommend them; their prices are reasonable, the stafff don’t bullshit you and there’s lots of space to move around inside the shop.
Unfortunately, Brighton is not well served by bicycle shops. There are plenty of them but none of them are very cheap. The best one used to be Baker Street Bikes. It has moved location but kept its name, which I suppose I should applaud, although it is no longer in Baker Street. Having left Baker Street and gone to the London Road a few years ago, Baker Street Bikes is no longer that cheap. They do give excellent advice though and Richard can build a wheel like no other man who ever rode on two wheels. (Richard, I’d be pleased to take you up on an offer of a game of chess in the Mitre.)
The shop fixed up Charles’ bike with new tubes, tyres and brakes. Charles rode his bike home. Everything was fine. The bike sat unmolested in Charles’ flat for a few days before he rode it again. We were due to meet up for a ride last week. Regular readers will recall that I taught Charles to cycle, earlier this year, in Preston Park. Now I’m tutoring him through the various skills needed to negotiate traffic, pedestrian and vehicular. Unfortunately, a short distance from his flat, his rear tyre went completely flat. He took the bike home and set about fixing it unassisted. He took the rear wheel off, removed the tyre and tube, pumped air into the tube and pushed it through a basin of water twice but could see no air bubbles emerging. Therefore, there was no puncture!
How could this be? Could it be a dodgy valve on the tube? Could it be a miracle? Today we will find out. I’ll be meeting Charles at The Loving Hut on The Level at 11am this morning, should anyone wish to join us? Do miracles affect bicycles? Has Charles managed to buy the legendary miracle tyre? If so, what would be its resale value. Most of these questions will be answered today.