So what do I want to get done this year? Well, in short I want to ride more than last year. Actually that’s not entirely true. I have decided to do things very differently this year. I won’t know if I am riding more or less than last year because I have taken the monumental decision to not record each and every ride. It is monumental for the simple reason that I have been very anal over the past five years to document all my rides. I have captured the duration of each ride as well as the distance, and in many cases I also recorded the average heart rate and calories burned.
It was becoming a little too much. I had to ask myself “Am I going for a ride now because I want to, or because my log says I should?”
It’s time to get back to enjoying the riding for what it is supposed to be – FUN! And fun I will have with the choice of three bikes to suit both mood and weather conditions. And we start with my latest acquisition, my first fixie.
Yes the 2011 Kona Paddy Wagon, the new toy I bought in November of last year and due to the early arrival of the snow I only got to ride it a few times. It is currently in my office in the basement, a constant reminder that the snow is the only thing between me and bombing down the road with the wind in my hair and bugs in my teeth! Many a day I find myself staring at the sleekness of the bike and asking myself, again, why I selected Montreal as home, knowing full well that the winters would leave me confined to spinning indoors?
Well the simple answer to that is I was not passionate about riding when I moved here, so it simply was not a consideration. It would not have prevented me from calling Montreal home, though, as this is truly one of the great cities of the world and I am privileged to live here.
The fixie was purchased largely with commuting in mind. I made the 50 km round trip journey to the campus two to three times a week from late March through to the very beginning of November. The idea behind the fixie is that it would provide an edgier, more exciting ride into work than sitting atop my old Giant OCR2. The three rides I snuck in before the snow arrived have certainly served to solidify that Andy and Paul were absolutely correct in encouraging me to take on this new challenge. I can’t wait to start riding the old Paddywagon regularly.
I won’t be forgetting about my ultimate road riding vehicle though, the VR2. God I love this bike! 2011 marks season number four on the Gianella and I am as excited to ride it now as I was when I first bought it. It is quite simply a divine piece of machinery and like all divine works, it never seems to age. As with the Kona, the winter hibernation is spent in the warmth of the basement as it would be cruel to leave either of these works of art out in the shed during the brutal cold.
Bike No. 3 is the trusty Giant OCR2 that safely saw me across the US in the 2005 Race Across America. In fact the tyres that I have on the bike right now are the same that I put on for that event. I got my monies worth obviously, because after five years they are still holding air and there are no cracks or tears. I think that perhaps rolling on them in the winter on the wind trainer helps as they warm up and soften a little thus perhaps making them more liable to filling in any chinks in the armour. I really don’t know what I am talking about – I wonder if one of my cycling friends can confirm this hypothesis for me? At least let me know if it is complete bunk!
Anyway, the Giant is a rock of a bike and it is now set up in the basement on the trainer as it is the only one of the three bikes that I am prepared to place into the vice-like grips at the rear. I have been told countless time that there is nothing to worry about and that all of the bikes would be fine in there, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.
Looking out of the window as I write this I am encouraged slightly by the small glimpses of grass that are appearing on the lawn. I am not kidding myself that it will surely snow again before the season begins in earnest, but who knows, may be I’ll get in one of those unexpected winter rides on a dry road!