I rattle really loudly when I trundle over the anachronistic (but oddly modern as I think they think they’re a bit of a defense mechanism) cobbles at the top and bottom of the most lovely Kensington Palace Gardens.
I rattle down Brick Lane and along Hackney Road. I rattle, clunk, tinnily click and tick, tick, tick along.
That’s what happens when you own a 1930s New Hudson bike, with original Sturmey Archer gears and a little pouch on the back. She’s a dull black colour (which I am under strict instructions not to tamper with – it’s a rust thing, you see) and she has shiny handle bars and a huge happy head lamp.
The rattling was a tad embarassing at first, like a pair of squeaking 8th grade school shoes, but I’m feeling pretty good about the old girl’s foibles now. At least London knows when I’m coming.
Honestly – the policemen at the cobbles stop their time-passing and look up when I round the corner and take on the stones – if they’re not on their way to the miniscule security cottage to make tea or coming back with empty/full mugs thereof, that is.
Oh I love my bike! She’s a thing of pre-wartime stark beauty, not smart or flashy, just very, very functional. And rattly.