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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.