However, shortly after arriving in my new Scandinavian residence, I came up with a good idea for a subject. But I thought I should spend a little more time familiarising myself with it before I began to write, so here it goes:
I have moved to a city famous for its pastries, beautiful people and grizzly serial killer dramas, but one of the things it is also known for is it's bikes.
People cycle here. People cycle to school, to the shops, to bars, to the supermarket day or night, summer or winter, rain or sun. More people bike or walk to work than drive.
When I first arrived here, I was not aware of it's biking heritage and was unceremoniously introduced to this fact through a 25 minute cycle through the city to the immigration office. I had never cycled on a road before, used hand signals while cycling or had been on a bike in 10 years. It was horrifying.
By the end of it though, I had found my confidence, and resolved to get a bike as soon as I returned for good two months later.
After an emotional farewell to my family and all I knew, I touched down and started settling into my new life and work. I did not get paid until the end of the month and prudently resolved to only buy a bicycle until I had received my first pay check. I was an adult. I could wait.
I needed a bike. I couldn't stand having to walk everywhere. It was hell. Trundling along on my peggy legs while herds of majestic wheeled gazelles raced past me every 30 seconds was hell.
I needed to get one now.
I went to a bicycle shop that had been recommended to me, however due to the catastrophic influx of other such students, they were completely out of bikes. It would be a week before they had any more. I could not wait that long.
I went to a place just round the corner. They spoke very little English and I spoke absosutley no Danish, so communication was tricky. I did however, catch the basics.
Normal people would say 'no'.
I decided to take a leap of faith however, now was definatley a time for being brave. I cycled away on a black Yosemite brand bike, which I named 'Sam'.
Sam was a vicious bitch.
The minute I got him, he started to fail. He is a three gear bike and the gears seemed to be tiered accordingly.
1) Normal flat city biking
2) MOUNTAIN XXXTREME!!!
3) Would cause Bradley Wiggins to shit out his lower intestines if he ever attempted to move it more than 5m.
After two days, he got stuck on mountain xxxtreme. I'm now no longer sure if he is off mountain xxxtreme , or if I have just developed massively powerful thighs to compensate.
While all of this was going on, I was beginning to understand that life in the bike lane was not quite as peachy as I'd envisioned. The people here are beautiful, and fashionable, and have been cycling their whole lives. My expectations rapidly shifted from this:
It took six weeks before I had the cardiovascular capabilities to out-cycle 10 year olds and heavily pregnant women.
Shortly after this, something started to go awry with Sam's brakes. At this point, I nievely thought we could be friends, I thought that Sam would be a piece of machinery that only I could tame and therefore develop a special bond with. I had recently left a house which featured a kettle with 'particular' needs and we had got along just fine. Nobody who came to our house could make tea, but the residents and I had tamed the kettle like a wild stallion. Or lame donkey. Either way it needed special help.
Not so with Sam. I was cycling home one day.......
The brakes weren't ineffective. They were non-existent. I was travelling in rush hour without any way of stopping.
As a side note/ afterschool special, I would say the one thing to take away from this whole experience is that if there is something wrong with your brakes, get them checked immediately If you don't, this will happen to you.
I guess at this point, I can't have been going more that 15 mph, however when you have no control over you speed, not way off stopping and you're in heavy traffic, it feels like this:
I managed a semi-controlled crash into some park bikes and shakily walked the rest of the way home.
After this, I decided to re-name Sam. Sam didn't suit him any more Bikes who brakes fail for no good reason are not called Sam. I had to think of a NEW name, something suitable, something that said 'no matter how much you try to love me, I am still going fuck you sideways.'
The answer hit me like a thunderbolt.