I started cycling to work last Summer. The bicycle, 1,400 miles later having endured potholes, rain, hail, wind, sun, the rider occupying the wrong gears up hill and down, is dying. Ok, it's not in the final stages of malnutrition, forsitbite and bombardment a la the German 6th Army a couple of weeks before the Siege of Stalingrad ended, but it certainly will not endure another Winter I fear. Both inner tubes being used as well as the spare are now patched The reflectors have fallen off the pedals The screws on the back-rack are rusted to the frame The back-wheel rim is indented enough for a a discernible "bump" The back-tyre is fraying slightly along a two-inch strip just where the rim got indented (the tyre was new 5 months ago) There is a 1/4 inch cut in the tyre from going over glass The lowest gear does not work as it rubs against the spokes protector thingie The right handle end-stop is missing There is a slight rusting in bits and pieces It is now dirty and still full of Winter detritus. BUT LIKE A MISTRESS UNABLE TO LEAVE A DRUNKEN, SPENDTHRIFT, USELESS LOVER IT IS LOYAL!!! It still gets me to my offices in an hour and 10 mins or so. But I will soon leave it for a bright red, shiney, fixed. Which, of course, will stay in the shed as I decide it's too nice, precious and new for my commute and will stick with the old. Which, no doubt, will continue working fine for many years.