Me and my bike: Patricia Logullo

Me and my bike: Patricia Logullo

By Patricia Logullo

I came to Oxford as a University employee in 2018 and fell in love with the city. I am from the biggest, most polluted Brazilian city, São Paulo. There, I needed to go everywhere by car — I was lucky enough to afford one — but I always wanted to walk and cycle more. However, safety is a huge problem in São Paulo: you can be robbed (at gunpoint), and the traffic is crazy. There is no infrastructure for cycling — there are some cycle lanes, but those are not segregated and only link the richest neighbourhoods, so workers still have to come from peripheral areas to work in the centre by bus. Commuting takes 2 to 4 hours every day for everyone in a car or bus. The car is just more comfortable.

In Oxford, I was lucky enough to rent a room from someone who is herself a keen cyclist. She had two abandoned bikes in her shed — one old Raleigh and one mountain bike — and suggested I used them to go to work. The last time I had cycled regularly was when I was a teenager, but I decided to give it a try. My landlady, now my friend, guided me on how to cycle in Oxford, I had the mountain bike repaired and started cycling to work every day. I felt strong and free like never before. 

When my husband came to Oxford, we moved to another flat and I was allowed to take the beautiful old Raleigh with me too (for space in the shed it seems)! I am forever grateful to this friend for having re-introduced me to cycling.

I cycled a lot with the purple mountain bike, but I wanted something with room for groceries, so in 2019 I bought an urban female bike with a big pannier for groceries and my son bought another bike for himself. However, both new bikes were stolen, although double locked, from outside our house. It was the beginning of the pandemic, and bike prices had skyrocketed. So we decided to recycle the old bikes. I had both kindly serviced by a volunteer, who was helping to get more people on bikes during the pandemic (especially health workers).

The old Raleigh, though, was difficult to put back into shape. Its Sturmey Archer hub gear was not working at all and it was not totally safe: the gears were still failing to change and disengaging completely sometimes. 

Two Cyclox Dr Bike mechanics — Leo and Richard — tackling the Sturmey Archer hub gear on Patricia’s old Raleigh.

Recently I visited a Cyclox Dr Bike stall in Broad Street and was able at last to talk to the volunteer mechanics and understand how the Sturmey Archer hub works and how I could adjust it myself. This time to talk and learn about your bike just doesn’t happen when you go to a bike shop.  

My son has been using the mountain bike since then, cycling to work daily. We are proud of having ‘recycled’ these bikes, I would not like them to go to waste. Now the Raleigh is back in shape, but as it is a bit too big for me, I have just bought a new bike (again! Yes, I know…). But we are still keeping the beloved Raleigh as a spare and for visitors or friends for a ride together. 

I am not the most experienced or fittest cyclist: in fact, at 48 years old, I am just starting again — especially after working from home since March 2020. I don’t wear lycra, I don’t race and I prefer ordinary step-through bikes for shopping and going to work, not fancy speed bikes. But I would say that a very good reason to go back to office work in these pandemic times would be the chance to cycle every day again. 


One Response

  1. […] a good bike, bought on the principle that you should buy once and buy well, so she bought a sturdy Raleigh. It has had a lot of spare parts over the years, but it is still the bike she used to ride to […]

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