In praise of a satisfying clunk

I have a new favourite bit of my day. Let’s say I’ve taken a Boris bike from my house in leafy Kennington to The Writer in The Borough. (By the way, every political bone in my body is telling me to call it a Ken bike or a Livingston cycle, but alliteration seems to win the day, annoyingly.)

I love the sound it makes when you get off and give the front wheel a good, solid push into the docking station. There’s a satisfyingly mechanical clunk as the docking station clutches it tight. It’s not the refined business-class catch of a BMW door; there’s something plasticky and basic, worthy and trustworthy, about it. 

And it’s not just the sound. Once it’s made its robot growl, the light goes green, and you just wander off. No locking, no touching out with your Oyster. You get to swagger away nonchalantly like a mid-80s detective leaving a soft-top in a crime-ridden part of LA without closing the roof, or even thinking about putting the alarm on. I throw my scarf over my shoulder, and dream of wearing white slip-ons and no socks.

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