Once upon a time

... about a week ago, Mr PP was ruing the fact that he no longer had a bike. Since his successful hip replacement a couple of years ago, before which he'd not ridden for years, he suddenly fancied giving it a go. "What I really need," he said, "is some old bike just to try out and see how I get on before I go spending money on a new one."

The very next day, on the way home from our walk, what should be leaning against the recycling bottle bank but an old bike, with a label attached, saying FREE! So he wheeled it home. It really was in a poor state: very rusty, one flat tyre, clunky gears, dodgy brake pads, bringing to mind the old tongue-twister, "That blokes back brake-block's broke!"

After a few days Mr PP rendered it ridable. Leaving it overnight with a good coating of WD40 enabled the lowering of the seat. Online shopping provided a new inner-tube for the punctured tyre. Turning the brake blocks round made them work. And more WD40 allowed at least some of the gear changes to work. On his maiden run, the loose chain only came off twice (!) and since then it's stayed in place as Mr PP's begun to get a feel for when to time clunking down a wobbly gear.

So, either The Great Pal moved in a mysterious way, or it was karma for a couple of good deeds Mr PP's done lately. Obviously, it's not just coincidence! Meanwhile, will he decide to buy a new bike? Road or mountain bike? How many gears? Electric bike? Watch this space - but, rest assured, it won't involve lycra!

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