Cambridge Pubs – Old Bicycle Shop

I pop in because I think I see a Cloudwater pump clip as I’m passing, but disappointingly it turns out to be “Cloudy cider”. My eyesight’s not what it used to be. Anyway, there are plenty of beers so I take halves of Pig & Porter Chocolate Orange Porter and Red Spider Rye, later returning for a Wild Weather Hubcap Halo, to a seat at the front facing the street, a good spot for people watching, although I’m under the spell of a short story I want to get back to.

Three girls in the corner next to me are speaking Spanish, not my strong point – I can order a beer and “uno mas” but I can’t eavesdrop on a conversation. Other groups of people come and go behind me, their voices indistinct and blending into the piped music playing low in the background, perfect conditions for settling down into the comfy chair with a good book, which I do.

Old Bicycle Shop

I’m mostly lost amongst the pages, but at one point I discern Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag playing in the background, and I picture James Brown strutting and twisting and jerking across a stage, sweating and shrieking the words out from his gut, and fifty years later in this moment for me it’s diminished to background music gently soundtracking a few pages from a book. I tap my feet out of guilt.

I’ve been to the Old Bicycle Shop before and enjoyed a good long lunch, probably one of the best choices for vegetarian food in Cambridge, and I’ve come at other times for a drink only to find the small bar area bustling and all the seats taken, and left immediately. On this occasion the atmosphere is different again, a choice of empty seats a pleasant burble of conversation and music conducive to relaxing with a good read. Which I still haven’t finished – I’m easily distracted.

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