Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Bicycle Diaries Autumn '11

A quickie, but I am incredibly happy with my new bicycle. When I returned from Polska a few weeks ago, I replaced old faithful, my last bike that had lasted an incredible 14 months. Incredible as firstly, I do not look after these things (shocking if you consider the mileage I make on these things) and secondly as it lasted through the harsh winter of 2010/11 where all the salt and grit from the roads corroded the hell out of the cycle.

(Big shoes to fill, but what the hell, it is red!)

I have been cycling this baby for the past few weeks, to work, to the bank and to see friends (all right, I will be honest, friend, sing. - I have only had one social event since Poland, how sad) and I have really enjoyed riding it. Especially as it rides like new, while the last one was getting a real pain to ride in the final two months. The gear mechanism had almost failed, the chain kept slipping and the crank was so worn out, I was cycling wonky style. All to save a few pennies.

And I do save quite a bit of cash, as there are no petrol costs! Which is the main reason for having the cycle. In my view, the fitness aspect is welcome but is very secondary in my mind. The reason for cycling is to save cash, and often, time.

Now, one problem with the bike, was that it had a twist style shift gear mechanism. I do not like this, as if you grip the handlebars tight, it changes the gear. And they were wearing out because I grip the bike like a madman. So I took it back to the shop and asked for levers to be fitted on, which they duly did.

All in all, including the new gears, I have spent £200 on he cycle. Now if it lasts for ten months, I will easily recoup the petrol costs that I would have spent in that time (in fact six months would do the job if I was doing that mileage on the motorbike, two months if doing it by car). But the health value and the reliability cannot be measured. Plus it is fun! Autumn is now here, and I am kitted up for winter's cycle riding fun!

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