If you read my blog from last week you'll know that a BMX-less childhood still haunts me. Luckily, the past few days have seen me in therapy. Well sort of - I've been commuting on the Cannondale Hooligan 1. And getting to and from work has never been as much fun...
With it's 20" Sun Singletrack wheels shod with chunky Schwalbe Crazy Bob rubber and single speed set up it is, in all honesty, a quirky looking BMX. Not really the kind of thing a road cycling magazine editor should be riding. I mean, there's a Scott Addict LTD in my size waiting in the garage.
But I really like the Hooli. Okay, it isn't an especially pretty bike - a kinda cross between a folder and an old Killer V Canny MTB. But it's definitely got a quirky cool to it, and should I want to impress a teenage bloke with an assymetric haircut and trousers that hang below his arse, then I reckon this would be the bike to do that on.
I don't, obviously, want to do what I just said in the last paragraph. And to be honest, while they might like the bike, they won't be that impressed with the riding. I've quickly realised why my dad said no to me becoming a BMX boy and having a lot of fun. He no doubt realised that I'd just make a tit of myself. 'Ride like you stole it' is Cannondale's strapline. Well, I do feel a little bit suspicious as I pootle around on it. Maybe I should just get a hoodie. And Cannondale also says the Hooligan is designed for 'easy wheelies'. Not with me on the saddle it ain't. As for bunnyhops, wall-riding or whatever else it is you should be able to on a bike like this, I wish. At 35, bespectacled and grey I look as natural on the Hooligan as a vicar on a kite-board. (Apologies to any kite-boarding clergy. Come to think of it - if you are one, or know one, get in touch. I'd be interested.)
I don't care about my lack of skill, though, because I smile every time I swing my leg over the Hooligan. And people smile at me when they see me on it. Okay, maybe they laugh. For my ultra-short commute it does the trick - and if I need the car for any reason I can dump it in the boot with both the wheels still attached. Most of all, though, I like the Hooligan because it reminds why I ride a bike. It's because it's so much bleedin' fun!
We'll be taking a closer look at the Hooligan and other great commuting bikes in future issues of Cycling Plus, so make you sure you don't miss out and visit My Favourite Magazines for great subscription deals!