Thought Leadership


By Colin Walls

A while ago, I decided to get a bike. I had not ridden one since my teens and, now I am in my “middle years” [52 if you must ask!], I thought it was time to have another go. So I acquired a chunky black mountain bike quite cheaply and started riding it around the neighbourhood – going a bit further each time. It makes me puff, but that is good!

This bike had problems – the gears had a tendency to slip when I put them under load – bit of a challenge when I found a hill. I had it looked at by a specialist, who pronounced it uneconomic to repair. A friend then sold me another bike for a little money and that one is going strong. But the story of the black one is not over …

My girlfriend, Libby, and I live some distance apart. She decided to keep a spare bike at my house, so we took the black one to hers. We have done a lot of cycling around here, but not much in her area. So the other weekend we got the bikes out to see what we could do.

Just riding mine up the street reminded me why it had to go – a little bit of traction and – “clunk” – it slipped, which was uncomfortable. So we decided to take it to the dump. I took the [good] saddle off and then had a bright idea: I decided to postpone the visit to the dump until it was convenient, but in the meantime I would leave the bike parked, unlocked outside Libby’s house. It took about 3 days …

I do feel slightly guilty as I cannot imagine the kind of person who stole my bike will dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner when they discover it is useless. It also occurred to me that I am acquainted with a very senior police officer – maybe I should report my loss to him. 🙂

A couple of days ago I went for a short [5 miles or so] cycle ride with my 21 year old daughter. Her Facebook status reads: “Josie Walls has decided her dad is unreasonably fit for someone old …” This made me smile, as someone who has avoided unnecessary physical exercise all my life. Perhaps life does begin at 50.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at