Selfridge’s, Cos, Space NK, The Hambledon in Winchester – just a few of my favourite shops. But I reckon the emporium I’m going to be frequenting more than any other this summer is Beeline Bicycles in Oxford’s Cowley Road.
After years of being obsessed with BMX bikes and mountain bikes, my teenage son has now taken up road biking. And as always, he never does anything by halves.
But before he got pedalling we had to track down his dad’s 20-year-old road bike – a mission that involved driving halfway across a massive disused airbase in the middle of rural Oxfordshire. Our aim? To hunt down the storage container where the bike's been languishing for years. With rows of derelict buildings, pot-holed runways and security guards, the base looked like something out of an Anthony Horowitz novel. We were pretty sure that if we took a wrong turn, we’d never be seen again.
It took us a few attempts to find it, but finally the removal boss wheeled a retro-looking pink and yellow road bike into his office. My son looked appalled at the girly colours but perked up no end when he realised the bike was rideable.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Beeline to get him kitted out with pedals, cleats, shoes, bike helmet (as opposed to the tin lid he uses for dirt jumping), water bottles and a ton of Lycra. As he inspected the new kit, the dynamic leader of the local cycling club arrived and nodded approvingly at the bike. “That’s the kind of bike I started out on,” he said. “We go out cycling every Saturday morning. Why don’t you join us?”
My son nodded with alacrity, making a mental note of the time and place. “And your mum can come along too,” he added. My son’s face was a picture. It was plain what he was thinking. Biking and mums do not go together.