Second-hand cycle was a top buy
CHEAP, unstylish — but reliable and performs in all weathers. But that's enough about me.
My second-hand bike cost me 10 bottles of beer — from a pal, in case the boys in blue are getting suspicious — and has been one of my best purchases ever.
Yesterday morning, for example, it was a toss-up between the trusty steed and my new-ish car, bought at considerable expense last month due to regular weekend trips down the M4.
It was raining and I was due in at work at 7.30am. The bike won.
I am fortunate living in Sketty, where I can cycle through Singleton Park, across Mumbles Road and onto the prom.
Then it's a five-minute cruise pass the Civic Centre and LC into the Adelaide Street HQ.
Getting lungfuls of fresh air and scanning the bay and valleys beyond is a great start to anyone's day.
It's one the ways I hit back at well-paid friends who live in London and wonder what Swansea is all about.
There have been times this glorious summer when I have ignored the right turn up Singleton Park on the way home and kept pedalling to Mumbles or Langland Bay for an icecream.
There are days when I need a car for work or when the weather is horrendous.
Those days usually involve playing the car equivalent of musical chairs to keep within the two-hour parking limits around our office and avoid the attention of the city's industrious parking enforcement officers.
They also involve lots of stop-start driving and what seems like a never-ending diversion up Wind Street as the boulevard works continue.
No, the bike wins for me.
There is also the option of cycling down Walter Road and across onto The Kingsway, where cyclists can use the bendy bus lanes.
I was so inspired by Britain's cycling success in last year's London Olympics that I wrote to former gold medallist Lord Coe urging more cycle routes, like the wonderful Blackpill to Llanelli one.
My idea was to encourage successful companies, for example Admiral or Tata in this neck of the woods, to help fund new cycle routes in return for the route being named after them.
Lord Coe is a busy man and hasn't replied — but any takers out there?