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THE SOUTHAMPTON HUNDREDS

79

When I get back someone has kicked the crap out of my bike. I carry it home on the tube. The bloke at the bike shop looks at my poor battered green Peugeot: ‘What a shame: it’s a lovely bike. It’s not really rideable. Can you afford a new derailleur? No? I can take it off and shorten the chain but you’ll only have one gear. OK?’ Later I spot a label on it that says ‘This bike is unroadworthy.’ I ride it just as it is, in top gear, even up Richmond Hill, until it is stolen sometime in 1980.