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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.