Oooooooooooohhhhhhhh – new bike!

New bikeEverything glistens. The handlebar tape is pristine, the tyres not even dusty.

Anticipation is everything. By virtue of this new steed I will gain wings, the wind is always behind me and the hills will become mere pimples. Put me up against the strongest of riders and I will bounce along beside them barely drawing breath. The bike will solve everything.

And where to go on a first date?  The local? Familiar roads, a chance to build a relationship without complications and distractions. Or somewhere exotic? Off on an expedition to really put it to the test.

But now frustration.  Rainy days and wet roads for several days. We cannot possibly go out until conditions are perfect, it would ruin the moment.

At last the day arrives. Seeking perfection we stop numerous times. Saddle up, saddle down. Tilt bars, saddle up, saddle down. At last this is it. Time to ride.

An hour and a half later I am content. Sadly I am still a fifty year old cyclist who needs to lose at least a couple of kgs and I am quite grateful that I haven’t fitted a computer yet because it might shatter my illusions of style, grace and speed. But I can remember that I was once that other cyclist, and I am inspired to become him again.

As you may have guessed I don’t often get a new bike – the last one was in 1999. The kind folks at CTC gave me this beauty as a leaving present, apparently to avid me further shaming the organisation by going on to a new job on my dodgy old work bike. Actually I do have nice bikes, but I wouldn’t share them with my working life of all-weather commuting, bikes left standing on the street, bounced on and off trains and generally abused.

So sorry folks – I love the bike, but I will fail your test. I like it so much I couldn’t possibly take it to work and the crusty work bike will make its debut in Brussels in the very near future.

However you have prompted me to start a new page on the blog. Bikes will give me a place to put occasional entries about equipment I have used – good and bad.