Just pottered out for a couple of hours on the old winter road bike this Sunday morning. As I think I may have mentioned it’s a bike I keep thinking has done its day, but despite that the convenience of a winter bike that I can totally neglect and not worry about on muddy or wet roads means it has somehow kept its place.
But no more.
Having stopped twice to check the wheel and the spokes because of an odd feeling in the rear wheel I hit my first patch of cobbles and the bike just seemed to go soggy underneath me.
Now the cause was clear.
No fixing that one by the roadside, or anywhere else for that matter. However I have to reflect that the frame really had earned its keep. I bought it as something lying around the Peugeot UK warehouse for just £75 back in about 1999/2000 as a sort of winter and audax bike for mudguards. I think the chainset and seat pin were probably already almost welded in place then because I never did manage to move them, ever. In the last five or six years it really has been a victim of total neglect, especially useful whenever it was rainy or salty and I didn’t want to corrode other bikes.
However it has also completed some great rides including two 400km randonnees in that time because it was always quite comfortable and not too heavy. I have to reflect that its last great ride was the Tour of Flanders Ride I did on New Year’s Day, maybe the hammer of those special cobbles was the final straw. However I am sure I can say “it was a fitting end”.
As I started my walk back to the arranged pick-up point with my emergency backup (thank you darling) I have to say it was a lovely day. The Belgian wildlife at least is completely sure spring is here, the birds were singing their hearts out and the countryside glowed in the sunlight. Au revoir my two wheeled friend.
New winter steed needed for next year, I hope we have a mild dry year until then!