At the end of March last year I needed a new chain and cassette, so one morning I took my bicycle to Bools at the opposite end of Fishponds Road to us. It was a week or two into first lockdown, when all our (social) media, conversations and heads were filled with agitation at the uncertain and worrying outlook, when stepping outside was such a contrast to everything. After leaving my wheels at the shop, I walked back the length of the Fishponds Road, with the fresh air and mild weather foreshadowing the unseasonable, unforgettable month ahead, enjoying the birdsong and the morning sunshine on the buildings.
This week, my gammy rear STI shifter (this phrase definitely refers to a bicycle component and is not a 1990s Fry & Laurie sketch) finally gave up for good, so this morning it took it to Bools for a replacement (and they once again exceeded all reasonably expectations by somehow finding in their boxes of wonders an old STI compatible with my ancient set up). Walking the length of Fishponds Road during the afternoon rush to collect it was, I think, the first time since the before times that I could really taste the air. The first time I felt faintly breathless from only the most moderate of exercise, a feeling that had grown so normal over years of working in an office beside the Angel junction on Pentonville Road.
The sunshine on the buildings was still nice though. It can be a pretty nice place when it’s not a sea of traffic and car parks. Which is why it might be worth joining the Fishponds Road Revival group to make it so.
Photos from this blog available in full on my Bristol photography site.