Finally, after what seems like months of waiting (it's only been weeks, but still), I got the call that my bike was ready. Well, actually, I called them but let's not get distracted by rants about the incompetent staff at Evans Cycles. If you'd like to hear more about that, then go here.
Like a child on Christmas morning, I hot footed it down to Spitalfields and collected my bike and all the paraphernalia I'd ordered to go with it - boring (but essential) things like lights and a lock, and the more interested stuff - like the wicker basket to go on the front so I can pretend it's a Pashley. The child seat for H (which cost almost as much as the bike) was also attached. It looks fantastic (see above picture for proof). But the question was: could I ride it?
Unfortunately, the answer is: no. There are various reasons for this:
1. Apparently, you have to be quite fit to actually ride a bike for more than two minutes. As I live more than two minutes away from my office, this is going to be a problem.
2. There is other traffic to contend with on the road. Not just the obvious things that might kill you - like bendy buses and lorries - but cars and other cyclists. Hell, even pedestrians are causing a problem.
3. Allegedly, London is full of cycle routes, dedicated only to the needs of cyclists. However, the location of such routes is a secret and therefore if you are not 'in the know' then you have to brave the roads (see 2 for reasons why this is bad).
One of my colleagues has told me that all London boroughs offer free cycle lessons for people that either live or work in London. My lesson is booked for this weekend. If I make it to the end of the week alive, I'm sure that it will be very beneficial. In the meantime, I'll persevere - after all, you can't just give up. That would be like admitting defeat!