I ventured down town on my new bike a couple of times last week, but this Monday I had time on my hands and thought I’d venture further.
The plan was a gentle 10 mile jaunt to the Co-Op, not the Co-Op about half a mile away, but the one in the village of Wye. Wye as the crow flies is only about two miles, but by road, it’s about five miles down and around the Lanes eastwards of Ashford.
I have to say that after one mile I was finding it hard; a pain in the groin I hadn’t felt before and a more worrying pain in the side of the knee cap. The funny thing is they went after about 20 minutes.
It was a very hot afternoon and being not far from the river brought out a nice selection of flies all making a beeline for the mouth, not the river mouth – mine!
But like the good Boy Scout I once was, I was prepared with cotton scarf around my neck and wide angle sunglasses. Both together this gave the impression of an old git trying to look trendy. Did I care about that – NO!
Suddenly I am thrown into the world of Aluminium Frame, 700 wheels and 27 gears. On the flat I was fairly cruising at 16 – 17 mph!
After some advice from a proper ‘old style’ type Bicycle Shop, I steered away from the custom Touring Bike. Not only are they priced beyond my reach, but it appeared that like the word ‘organic’ puts an extra few pence on a bunch of carrots, ‘touring’ seems to do the same with two wheels!
It’s a Trek FS-7, £300 and with the same specs as some double that price. Fair enough, it may not be exactly the same thing, but it’s not I’m using it like some do, well I guess John O’Groats to Lands End is a fairly big ask, but the Dealer seemed to think this would do all I want it to do and that was good enough for me.
I’m still unsure if it were all a dream or not, because when I did get back, I cut the grass, did the weeding and even after that felt OK – I must be ill!!
What I will say is that it’s been a long time since I used the Bike for something other than going to the shops or going to work and I enjoyed it.
The old flow of air through the hair (sorry, accross my head is better) and the freedom to stop and start whenever you want was fun.
Sure there are car drivers who think that leaving a two inch gap between bike and hedge is fun and by overtaking you on an anti clockwise blind bend is the done thing – but as they said to me on the railway when I joined, ‘just have eyes in the back of your head and cover your ****!!’
Watch out on the main Website for the launch of the Down the Lane John O’Groats to Lands End Solo Bike Ride 2010