“Gladys squeaked with delight as we rattled through the rain. Even though she was considerably older than me, she loved a good run on a damp day as much as I did. She had been manufactured at the bicycle branch of the British Small Arts factory in Birmingham before I was born, and had originally belonged to my mother, Harriet, who had named her l’Hirondell, “the swallow.”
I had rechristened her Gladys because of her happy nature.
Gladys did not usually like to get her skirts wet, but on a day such as this, with her tires singing on the wet tarmac and the wind showing at our backs, it was not time for prissiness.
Spreading my arms wide so that the flaps of my yellow macintosh became sails, I let myself be swept along on a river of wind.
“Yaroo!” I shouted to a couple of dampish cows, who looked up at me vacantly as I sped past them in the rain.”
~ Alan Bradley, Speaking From Among the Bones