I lost an old friend last week. She was trustworthy, gentle and beautiful to boot and I coldly sold her off. Yes I’m talking about one of my bikes, one of my favourite bikes actually.

You are probably wondering if that bike was my favourite, then why would I sell it off? Well the only way I can describe my rationale was we were coming to the end of our relationship, more interesting newer models were starting to catch my eye, I wanted her to go to a good home somewhere she would be appreciated and looked after not sat in the garage gathering dust, so with heavy heart I had decided it was time to let her go.

But I didn’t expect the immediate aftermath to be so emotional, hey it’s only a bike huh? But I was sad.

I have sold bikes before but none have raised such bizarre feelings of what can only be described as a sense of loss. I had been thinking of selling her for over a year, but sticking a price on her and seeing her get snapped up so quickly only made me sad and wonder whether I had undervalued her.

She was a real work horse, she had carried shopping, dogs, furniture, even someone on the back when a lift was required. In her younger days people would turn and look to see her coming down the street. Her chrome was fading, some of her components would soon need replacing and generally she wasn’t as sprightly as she had been in her heyday, but that’s not why I was selling her.

She had actually been replaced by something much older, vintage in fact. I must say the replacement hadn’t been premeditated, it was by chance I came across her ancestor and if there had been room for the both of them at home I would have kept them both in a blink of an eye, but there wasn’t, living with another bike enthusiast means you have to limit the collection to what you really need or can’t do without, and I have too many bikes.

With the beginning of a new academic year now is the time to sell off your unwanted bikes. Oxford is overrun with new students hungry for a bargain bike.

I was really happy to see my old friend cycling off into the distance with one such student. He had inspected my old bike with an expert eye and adopted her because he had appreciated her quality and style. She is one of those bikes that are very low maintenance, fully enclosed chain guard, full mudguards, big comfy waterproof saddle, she was happy to be discarded in town after a trip to the pub, patiently awaiting collection the morning after.

She never did me the injustice of picking up something nasty and suffering a puncture and she never under any circumstances left me with a greasy oil mark on my clothes or a soggy bum.

Come to think of it she was pretty much perfect, that only leaves me to wonder why I ever contemplated selling her off.