Farewell to the Falcon

Hooray for consumerism! What do you do when you have any problem at all? You buy stuff. Everyone would like to be fitter, and even if you think you will go walking you buy new shoes, probably a new jacket, perhaps Nordic Walking poles. How many of those beautiful bicycles in Halfords will do a hundred miles before they lie cobwebbed in the back of a shed, tyres deflating?

I got my Falcon in 1986 for £40 from a fellow law student who had not used it. I used it for holidays, and after my finals I took the train to Inverness then cycled to John O’Groats, Durness, Ullapool and back to Inverness, my mind happily blank after the hard work. I sunburned my forehead and the backs of my hands, painfully. I walked along the beach at Durness at 11pm in bright twilight, with new friends and a joyous dog. When I smashed my car up the bicycle became my main form of transport. I did not adjust the front brake properly, so that it rubbed through the tyre wall. My rear brake was worn down. The chain was losing runners and the gears worn out.

Why bother chaining it up? asked John. Thieves would be doing you a favour. I told him it had a chrome-molybdenum steel frame, state of the art before modern carbon.

The cycle shop man told me it had non-standard wheel sizes, 8mm larger, and a non-standard gear cassette- made in the 80s in Japan, you can get one on Ebay from the US for $90 plus $20 shipping. It could not be repaired economically.

Friday morning I lay in bed, hopeless. If I go to that interview I will not get a job. If I go on that date I will not find love. My ways of being in the World do me no good, and I cannot trust myself to look after myself well enough to survive. I have the choice of just not going- no hope- or going, for illusory hope and disappointment. There is no point walking down the street to the butcher. I had to email out the minutes of AM, and added, my bicycle is a write-off. Has anyone a bicycle in reasonable order they do not need? I have had five offers, and one Friend has delivered her bicycle to me. It is beautiful. There has been such an improvement in gears since the 80s.

Another Friend sent me this Quentin Blake picture, saying “This is the best I can do”.

BICYCLE - QUENTIN BLAKE

And another was driving past a community project which reconditions and sells bicycles for around £50. She had not seen it before, and thought of me, texting a photograph. A mild synchronicity.

Umbrella Fair Cycle Recycle

22 thoughts on “Farewell to the Falcon

  1. Good luck with bicycle transport Clare – re going or or not: I dunno I would tend to go and be disappointed than not go and not know which would emerge out of it – disappointment or pleasantness

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    • Yes. And, that is part of depression: not having the motivation to keep going. I was very down on Friday, and am mostly out of it now, though I am moderately depressed and generally find things a bit of an effort.

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      • The best thing in fighting depression (besides the meds one needs as per dr) is to also make oneself do things, tell oneself like “no, am not going to bed in middle of day etc I’m going to do this and that etc…” depression is so sneaky that for no apparent reason one can turn into a lump of “doing nothing” – easier said than done that’s one one must tell oneself to do things 🙂 Good luck

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  2. I just bought a new bicycle myself. I can’t wait for the weather to get a little better so that I can begin riding to work and back (13 miles, round trip). Hopefully, in another week or two…

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  3. Thank you for this post which, once again, expresses sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly. We get depressed with exhaustion and with a sense that all our strenuous efforts have – shock horror! – all been for nothing. But this is a lovely post, which expresses at its heart real hope and joy. For who can not enjoy cycling in the Spring? I would love that.

    Bless you 🙂 xxx

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    • Near me, the country park has a cycle hire place, open at weekends in the Summer side of the equinoxes, and throughout the school holidays. Possibly you could find somewhere like that. I understand people frightened of cycling on roads- I would not want to cycle in the city- but there are alternatives to home exercise bikes.

      I was despairing and now I am not. That is a good thing. ❤

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  4. I bought a bicycle when I moved to Denmark, because when in Denmark do as the Danish: Cyckle! So I went for a beautiful new bike, classic, offwhite with black trimmings, and a basket. Gotta have a basket to put my fresh veggies from the market in. Quite romatic, yes?

    I think I will go ot in the shed and dig my bike out from under tons of empty cardboard boxes and junk, dust the cobwebs off, pump up the tires, and go for a ride.

    Or not.

    ;-p

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    • Hallo, Olive Ole. Velkommen. Takk for din kommentar. I went to Google Translate for that, and note how similar our languages can be. Though it is literal: I have to choose, and do not know if you would say God dag rather than Hallo. Onywye.

      Looking at those bicycles in the photo, I see none has a platform at the back for panniers, which concerned me: I want to do my shopping cycling, without the need for a ruck sack. I have not seen a basket on a bike for ages.

      If you go for a ride, enjoy it. Round here, the roads are quiet and the car drivers courteous, and there are some gentle rolling dips and rises to give pedalling variety.

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  5. I’m glad you were able to get a bicycle to replace the one that broke down on you. A great way to fight depression is to make friends and do a lot of interacting – like here on the blogs. That will help you come out of your depression.

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  6. Hope keeps you going, so don’t loose it. As you see, good stuff happens to you, if you’re open to it. I am crossing my fingers for you to love your next bicycle and have amazing adventures with it.

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