A return to cycling was going to be the opening for this brief rambling, but in truth I never left. I’ve always cycled in one form or another since I was a child, the mandatory teenage BMX obsession, this grew into mountain biking and cross country racing and I’ve always had a road bike of some sort lurking in the shed ready to be wheeled out for weekend jollies.
I suppose the real beginnings here are more to do with my love of cycling and the decision to start cycling to work, a concept not used in my mind since I had a paper round at fourteen years of age! But, following a period of illness and almost zero cycling it really was time to get back into shape, I may have put on a pound or two extra, and there in that single thought was the ‘plan’ I’d cycle to work!
We live sixteen miles from where I work and I’m very lucky that the route I’d be using to commute is sixteen miles of Herefordshire’s nicest B roads with only a brief section taking in a stretch of busy A road. I’ve ridden it many times for pleasure over the years and my thinking was that it shouldn’t really add too much time to my day, its a very mixed route of fast winding corners with nasty sharp little climbs dotted here and there along the way, the worst of which is a half-mile long leg killer right before I arrive at work, it’s a good job there are showers and changing facilities!
With this idea now developed firmly in my mind, I took a long look at my lovely Specialized road bike and thought, nope, no way, it’s not going to happen!
Using my pride and joy as a commuter was not an option, it wasn’t practical, I’d at least need mudguards and something a little more durable to do this job, luckily my wife agreed….ahhh the perfect time to apply the N+1 formula I announced ( N= the number of bikes already owned, for those who don’t know).
I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and anyway the savings I’d make by not driving and parking would soon compensate for another bike! My wife just raised her eyebrows at this point.
So I took myself off to one of the local bike shops to intending to buy a ‘hybrid’ bike with fatter tyres and mudguards that wouldn’t object too much to being used in all weathers, leaving my wife at home to seek out my life insurance policy!
To be continued….