A Brightonian’s Bicycle Diaries

You can’t call yourself a true Brightonian, I reckon, unless you’re often seen coasting around on a rusty, secondhand bicycle with some sort of basket, ideally wicker, attached.

Cathy disagrees. Once she all but went into shock at the mere suggestion of owning a bike in Brighton – the same Cathy, that is, who admits to going for a jog one morning in the pitch black to shake off sore legs caused by “too much sleep” (too much sleep?! 6.30am?! A jog?!). “A bike?!” Cathy said. “Are you mad? But think of the hills in Brighton!”

Indeed there are hills, gigantuous ones, really more like mountains. And I have on occasions when I’ve felt my thighs and lungs begin to burn about two feet into the incline, cursed the day hills and bikes were born. But there are also loads of cycle paths throughout the flat parts, including a magnificent route all the way along the seafront from east of Brighton Harbour to west of Hove. What’s more satisfying than, at the weekend, being propelled gently by the sea breeze along the seafront to a café selling chippie chips, beer and even ice cream?

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