Maybe the reason why the lovely people of Belfast don't cycle is not that they don't want to, but because they don't know which bicycle-type they are! So to encourage cycling - I proudly present my expertly researched and utterly complete guide What Bicycle are You?
#1 THE HIPSTER
You: You know about everything before it's cool and like Bon Jovi ironically. You live in urban spaces and hang out in coffee-shops - drinking eco-friendly fair-trade coffee from that little independent roasting company - sitting on chunky wooden benches under the glimmer of giant light bulbs writing your blog. You use nothing for the purpose it was intended for (oh but serving drinks in jam jars is SO last year - it's all about the "Hip" flasks now). You recycle, buy your groceries at the local organic grocer that your mate runs and ideally play "synth". Your flannels look like you've bought them at a thrift shop but secretly you get your clothes from Top Shop and Urban Outfitters. Your skinnys are so tight your Iphone doesn't fit in the pockets.
Your Ride: You dash through the city streets on your fixie, a stripped-down version of a bike; no gears, slim and super hard tires and no brakes (I still don't get that) whilst your beard flaps wildly in the wind. The wheels of your bike sport some funky neon colour - making you look like something out of Tron. Your bike comes with one additional accessory: a lovely wicker basket for the front - to transport your organic toothpaste, craft beers and retro 90's walkman.
There is one alternative ride for you: A Victorian Penny Farthing, but let's face it both are equally uncomfortable! (have a little look here).
#2 THE RACER
You: You've got all the gear: fingerless gloves, clip in shoes, Oakley's with your nickname engraved on the lenses. You wear your helmet to reduce your drag profile more than safety. Despite working in an office a fifteen minute ride away you insist on changing into your full-on spandex that are as tight as a second skin. Everything about you and your ride is stream-lined. Your legs are more cleanly shaven than your girlfriend's. Your thighs are so big - you have to have your trousers specially made (or at least you say you do).
Your Ride: Your machine is the latest in technology. Made from some new material that hasn't even been invented yet - it is as light as air. The handle bars have those weird horns that allow you to lean over low - your bum poking up into the air. The tires are razor-thin, the pedals have clips to strap in - everything about your bike is made for speed.
And so, German techno blasting in your ears, you race past rows of stopped cars at deadly speed. You don't admit this to anyone, but it makes you feel immortal, super-human almost - until you hit the smallest pot hole - BOOM - and your mum/girlfriend has to pick you up (again) because you have a puncture.
#3 THE COMFY CRUISER
You: You don't really know anything about bikes. You couldn't change a tire or even pump it for the life of you. After all, you ride it because you look cute on it, and also because you're broke. You wear lovely dresses and are perfectly styled and although they make cycling hard - you insist on wearing those heels. You would never wear a helmet - that would totally ruin your hair! You like shoving your bicycle from one vintage shop to the next, on a sunny day, as you don't cycle when its rainy. And you love cats. You watch cat videos online because you love them so much. You dream about having a cat. You freaking LOVE cats.
Your Ride: You chose the dutch-style city bike because its comfortable and oh so pretty! You've painted it a lovely pastel colour and your basket overflows with cup-cakes and crochet smartphone covers you just bought at the local craft and artisan food market. And so you cycle around town at a leisurely pace (probably on the way to a picnic) while in your mind you hum a Taylor Swift soundtrack. Your bike has lights, a stand and a comfy saddle. The vintage handle-bars allow you to sit up nice and straight.
#4 THE ADVENTURER
You: You're the Bear Grylls of men. Come rain or shine you spend every free minute outside engaged in such outdoorsy pursuits as fishing, hiking or wrestling bears. You've never actually seen a bear but you figure you could fight one - with your bare hands. You're a beer-drinking, deer-hunting, wood-carving heap of manliness and you smell appropriately. You always (always!) wear a baseball cap or a hat of some sort and your beard is a rough 3-day stubble (revealing how long you've actually been 'in the wild'). You wear trousers with lots of pockets that can be turned into shorts - zip! Everything you own is muddy - Everything! You've done and eaten a few things that no normal human being would be proud of. You love dogs, you admire Robinson Crusoe and Into the Wild is your favourite film. You also carved that chair you're sitting in...from a larger chair.
Your Ride: For you there is no other choice but to ride a mountain bike. It may be awkward and really slow in a city but leaving it outside work, covered in mud, gives you the perfect excuse to launch into one of your lengthy weekend-wildlife-adventure stories. Your bike has as much suspension as an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The profile on your wide tires is extra deep - for better grip. You purposely took off the mud guard, as already mentioned, you love mud! Your bike comes with lots of extra fixtures and hooks to fit your water bottle, fishing rod, climbing ropes, surf board, snow shoes, cross-country skis, bounty knives, and flashlight.
I hope you found this useful and know now which bike-type you are! Or maybe you're like me; just someone with a bicycle (although I do LOVE cats). To finish I thought I'd show you my little beauty. My lovely bicycle has accompanied me to three different countries so far and although it's getting a little old and rusty it still works perfectly. I love it with all my heart. Soon enough it will have to travel across the sea again as we move country once more. As we're currently trying to figure out quite a lot of things - a place to live, jobs & careers, life etc. - the posts on FairEnough may get a little less frequent, but I'll try to keep them up as much as I can.