It’s time to say goodbye to an old faithful. My first road bike (well, not counting the old 10-speed Invader I got when I was 10). Purchased from eBay in 2012 when I was about to embark on training for LEJOG. I still remember the day it arrived: snow was supposed to start at 2pm, and the bike was supposed to arrive at 3. Both were bang on.
Since then, it’s been my companion for well over 12,000 miles, from training for LEJOG, to the ride itself. From a start to training with Strava, to the summer I was unemployed and cycled instead. And then the year after that, where I worked in the centre of Birmingham, didn’t cycle to work, and is the only year where I haven’t cycled further than any previous year.
And then, 2015 was when I got a newer version of the same bike. Lighter, better specced, and a joy to ride. Which meant that I rode a lot more, and largely consigned the oldie to winter work. Occasional commutes into Birmingham became daily commutes to Wythall when I changed jobs again, and it also served as the go-to bike for family rides. The last two years have seen me do over 2,500 miles on it per year, and all that mileage, in generally poor conditions, was starting to take its toll. Pretty much everything except the brakes and levers had been replaced (and the brakes were in desperate need of it). So I put it up on eBay, and it’s now on a Turbo Trainer in someone’s garage, where it’ll live out the rest of its days, no doubt.
I like to think I treated it reasonably well, but as it was a ‘cheap bike to try out this cycling lark’ purchase, I don’t think it ever bonded with me.
And so, to replace it as a winter / commute / touring bicycle, I’ve picked up a second hand 2016 Genesis. Steel frame, 105 groupset, disc brakes. Absolutely perfect. She’s lighter than the old Giant, more responsive when you put a bit of effort in, and so much smoother and more comfortable. Her name is Wilma, apparently. At least, that’s what she said. I’m sure we’ll be getting to know each other very well over the next few years. In fact, there’s a ride up to Inverness and back from Blackpool that she has her eye on in July next year. I’ll have to talk to the Other Woman in my life about that one…