Blur frontman Damon Albarn has emerged as an unlikely hero of West London’s bike thieves with the news that the musician has had no fewer than 30 bicycles stolen during the past few years. However, it’s less to do with a run of wretched bad luck and more a result of the musician’s rather singular approach to bicycle security – he doesn’t bother with a lock and instead simply buys a new bike when the inevitable happens.
As a multimillionaire, it’s an indulgence that Albarn can clearly afford, though his devil-may-care attitude suggests that he has less of an emotional attachment to his bike than most other cyclists, who on average spend just 23 months enjoying their pride and joy before it’s nicked, according to a study we reported on last week. Albarn is getting rather less use out of his bikes than that.
A friend of the singer and producer told The Sun: “Damon’s wild for having his bikes nicked. He always buys old-school style racers that cost about £600 a pop. He’s spent around £18,000 since 2007 getting his stolen bikes replaced. It’s all because he can’t be bothered to use a lock.”
Each time a bike is stolen, Albarn heads down to Halfpipe Bikes on Golborne Road to buy a replacement.
The friend added: “Staff asked him to use a lock but he said, ‘I can’t be arsed’. They even offered a lock installed with satellite tracking technology but he refused it.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.