Due to a bad Sunday night habit of sitting on the couch, tablet in hand and online bike retailers saved as bookmarks, I now have a road bike. The January sale prices were so good that on the spur of the moment I decided to take the plunge and join the ranks of the skinny tyred amongst us.
It wasn’t a very well considered decision; I have four bikes already in various locations across Edinburgh so the n+1 equation has some logistical challenges. Still, in my head the mantra “start the year as you mean to go on” kept repeating itself over and over like the world’s worst and most expensive ear worm.
So two weeks later I am yet another bike heavier (but only marginally, mind you – I feel like the bike and I will just blow over in the wind). And beautiful it is, too, in a kind of sporty, carbon-fibery sort of way. But at the moment, I can’t actually cycle the bloody thing.
The jump has been quite considerable. Goodbye flat bar, hello drops. The brakes are completely different to use and maintain. The gear shifters are a mystery and there’s some weird front derailleur stuff going on with a trim function thing that mystifies me. I’ve lost the step-thru easy leg swing. My granny ring has gone as the bike sports a compact chainset. It is completely impractical for anything except riding fast and long. I haven’t even attempted clipless pedals – that feels so far down the line as to be unthinkable right now.
But I can tell that it’s going to be good. Better than good. Once I get over the fear, make friends with it and get used to the new position I think it’s going to be pretty exciting.
I’ve called the bike Kitt, after the car with an attitude in Knight Rider. I am channelling my inner Hoff, so watch this space and hopefully soon I will be at one with the new bike and we’ll be besties!