There was something faintly ridiculous about going into a bike shop with a little blue scooter meant for a 3 year-old. But the steering mechanism had gone wrong and I couldn't for the life of me get the main bolt off to have a good look at it. So I found myself rather sheepishly entering an establishment just off Broadway Market to ask if they would mind having a look at it.
I am fairly convinced that if I had gone to Evans, or Cycle Surgery, or any of the big ones, I would have been laughed out of court (though I'm willing to be swayed if anyone has contrary evidence). But I went to a rather unusual place called Lock 7. They took me seriously. I had coffee and a pain-au-chocolat (it's a rather odd mixture of being a bike shop and a cafe). The friendly mechanic duely took it apart, consulted me, tried a few things, fiddled, unscrewed, tightened. He spent a good 20 minutes on it. In the end he could get no further than me, but that's not the point. He gave it a go. And they charged me a tiny £1 for their time! You can imagine that I left a nice tip. And the coffee was generous and excellent.
While I was there, I overheard a couple of people chatting. I gathered that the most heinous crime in cycling is this: a family of four, all on seperate bikes, rode through red "at that junction on Chancery Lane - you know, that REALLY dangerous one". I can't say I know that junction, but I'll now look out for it. Apparently it's ... the worst in London.