The Life-Sized City Blog: Readers' Bikes: Karl's Trixie the Fixie

Trixie The Fixie, originally uploaded by KarlOnSea.

This just in from Karl.Here’s the story of how I ended up with Trixie the Fixie:When I arrived back at Loughborough University just before the startof 1989 autumn term, I had no ride, as my father’s bike which I’dbeen using had been stolen over the summer break. A trawl through the local paper found a suitable sounding steed for sale in Leicester(about 15 minutes down the train track), so I headed off there tomeet the vendor at the railway station. I was so not disappointed - aRaleigh Record Sprint in black with gold trim; such a fast,responsive, cool-looking bike, and a bargain at only £70.But six weeks later, I was ARRESTED after someone else saw the bike in for repair at a local shop, and claimed that it was their bike,which had been stolen only two weeks ago.I was booked in at Loughborough police station, and put in a cell tostew for a while. Then I had a formal police interview - a soundproofroom, with basically 60 minutes of interrogation technique from BMovies. Lots of variants of “Let’s go over this once again”, and"Come on sonny, admit you did it". The trouble was that I didn’t havea receipt for this second hand bike I’d bought from a bloke I’d metat Leicester railway station. And THEY couldn’t find any adverts inthe papers from that week matching what I’d described.After the interview, I was left alone in the room with the arrestingofficer, who had a ‘couple of forms to fill in’. Stuff like, “Howlong have you lived here?”, “What course are you on?” and “So do youtake drugs?”. At this last question, the adrenaline and my sense ofhumour got the better of me, and I responded, “What here, with allthese policemen around? Nah, put ’em away and we’ll have them later”, which I think is probably when he ticked the box on his form next to the words, “Search warrant required?“I was put back in the cells to consider my statements, while two ofLoughborough’s Finest headed off to our house to search it. I’llspare you the detail of this, other than to say that my housemateswere certain that the search WAS for drugs. However, during this,they went through my room’s waste paper bin, where they found thetorn-out page from a six week-old local paper, including the advertfor my bike. So I got released, but it took another four weeks to getmy bike back, as it had to be verified by the original owner. Evennow, I have a bizarre image in my mind of a ‘Usual Suspects’ line upof bikes.Anyway, that was a long time ago. Since then, the bike’s beenresprayed twice, changing it from black to white, to sky blue. Andthen last year, I finally got a new road bike, and so had no more usefor this old and trusted friend . . . . except that frame was such agood ride, and I just couldn’t be parted from her. So I converted herfrom a 12-speed ’80s classic into my hack bike around town - a fixedwheel single speed machine, and so Trixie the Fixie was born.Riding fixed is a bit of a fashion statement these days, and I don’tdeny that it was my prime motivation for doing the conversion. Butonce I’d got used to riding her, I found it went far deeper than amere fashion statement. Every time I ride this bike, it’s like beingfive years old again, and just doing it for the damned fun of it. I’mreduced to a grinning idiot, sweaty and physically exhausted . . .even before I start pedaling. In many ways it’s just like being in

love. :-)

Put here by Colville-Andersen at 11:45

tags: “readers bikes”, uk

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