Um Bongo, um bongo, they drive 'em round the...erm...nope...this isn't going to work.

Cycling around Bath has brought me in close contact with a rare species...

Whenever I've driven a new car - well new to me anyway - I've always, without fail, started to notice more of whatever it is I'm driving on the roads...

For instance, my wife used to work for a, whisper it quietly, car mag and that meant we had the long term loan of a Chevrolet Lacetti SW - nope, me neither until I drove one. They're pretty rare on British roads, but as soon as I got behind the wheel they'd jump out at me at every junction. Same for the metallic lime green Peugeot 207. I didn't think anybody would drive a metallic lime green Peugeot 207 but yet again, I drive one and everyone's driving one.

So, what the hell has this got to do with bikes? Well, nothing to do with bikes per se more with what I've spotted while riding my bike down here in the World Heritage site that is Bath. (In fact, the complete opposite happens with bikes. Hop on a Cannondale Hooligan and you've no chance of riding head-on into another rider on the same bike. The same with the Focus Cayo Pro, so far I've had not a single  'Oh no, he's on the same bike as me hooow embarrassing' moment.

No, the vehicle I keep running into is the implausibly named Mazda Bongo Friendee. So? Well, these practical, if crazily named mini-vans were never officially imported into Britain yet Bath is crawling with them. And they're all green N-regs. And no, it isn't the same van every time - as a cyclist I'm very good at remembering number plates. And the point of this blog? If there was one it might be 'Isn't it interesting what you see when you're on your bike?" (Actually, no is the answer in this case.) That said, a Bongo Friendee looks like the perfect vehicle to transport bikes in. In fact, it looks an ideal carriage for, say a Kona Honky Tonk!

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Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
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