It’s all too easy to buy stuff for cycling these days. Online or at big chains, it’s too easy to pop in and
spend your money on affordable pieces of kit for your cycle. The little man gets squeezed out, which is a shame because a bike shop can be the heart of a community where you can find other people to share the passion of cycling. It’s a solitary sport and it’s a challenge for participants to find like-minded individuals.
Today I headed into my local bike shop to pick up a new track pump. The Hub in Sandgate (nr. Folkestone) has a good selection of both Road and MTBs, as well as clothing and some parts. Also it happens to be attached to a coffee shop, which is particularly significant to me, and to no coffee left behind (a review will have to be left for another day). On the way to pay I spy a Kyptonite New York D-Lock. This thing weighs 60kg and requires a lightsaber to get through: not something to carry around on a time trial, but great for locking up opposite the local young offenders institute.
Out of habit, I checked the price. In a shop in Worcester I saw this lock for 90 pounds, and it frequently goes for 70 online. The cheapest you could find it is about 60, without shipping. This particular specimen was marked down from 79.99 to a splendiferous 49.99. I snapped it up in a second. Curious as to why it was so cheap, the owner remarked that ‘not being in London, means that locals have no call for the NYL’.
Anyway, the point is that I, like eveybody else, decry the corporationalism of Halfords and the like, but still go there all the same when I want a new tyre. But really it’s just laziness: if I actually got off my bum and went to visit some local shops, I might not pick up a new tyre, but I could get something wonderful that I didn’t expect to find. That’s all the more charming, and I might find a new community whilst I’m at it.
The Kyptonite New York Lock will need reviewing; this will take place at a later date when I’ve used it.
Until then, you could do worse than check out the London Cyclist’s review of the lock.