As you can see from the previous two posts, I’ve just spent the morning in Oxford. Hand on heart, I have a love-hate relationship with Oxford; I hate the traffic that is everywhere and the fact the fact that the city elders have yet to see sense and pedestrianise the city centre in its entirety, but on a warm, sunny day like today, outside of the major tourist season and away from the mania of the heart of the city, it is a beautiful, relaxing place to visit. And it is very bike friendly as I noted below, but not so bike-shoe friendly. I visited the three bike ships on the Cowley Road but to no avail when it came to the shoes. I did try on a pair of Shimano silvery things and they fitted OK but they did look more appropriate for a dodgy 1970s disco that a stylish continental bike tour. But at least I now know that Shimano size 42 will fit me.
Now, this is the bit that I don’t know how it happened; a chap called James Ilbury who (by Googling his name) is none other than the head honcho of bikes at Decathlon UK, has commented on my post below about going to Oxford this morning. In that post I kick off by mentioning that I haven’t heard anything back from Decathlon about the shoe I had been looking at. James has commented as follows;
I am getting the shoes brought over from our Lakeside store to Surrey Quays for you tonight.
They can then be picked up or bought online.
Give me a shout… if you have any questions.
Wow! My opinion of Decathlon, which was already pretty high, has now gone through the roof. I’m very impressed that the man in charge of their bike section nationally has his ear to the ground and is willing to respond to the idle mutterings of a blogger from Reading. Respect to him. This contact almost out-trumps the message I got from Mark Beaumont this morning; I had sent him a message via Twitter saying how much I have enjoyed the series about cycling along the spine of the Americas and he has replied by saying Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Keep up the great work on your blog. See you in Camberley in May. This blogging business clearly opens doors.
I’ll clearly take James up on his offer and will be purchasing the shoes from Decathlon online which will finally (I hope) bring the little saga of trying to purchase some non-black mountain bike style cycling shoes to a happy conclusion.
My morning trip to Oxford was not completely in vain; I did manage to pick up a book all about Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. This has nothing to do with cycling but I have a week and three days to become an expert on his life and his art…. (don’t ask why). It also gives me an excuse to post a pretty picture with this post by the man himself of some cyclists. Serendipity, although black cycling shoes seem to have been all the rage back in 1896….