What’s this all about then?

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.

The 2011 Kona 'Paddywagon'

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.

Gianella VR2

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!

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4 Comments

Filed under Cycling

4 responses to “What’s this all about then?

  1. Lovely stuff. The new blog looks great and I can finally comment on it as well! Only three bikes? Don’t forget you’ll also be needing a touring bike, a mountain bike, a dignified cycling around town bike (Pashley Roadster Sovereign?), probably a time trial bike, too. I’m sure there are more – isn’t eight the correct number of bikes to have?

    It must be painful having the Paddywagon sitting there but not being able to ride it. At least you’ve got it in the office with you. I have to go into the bike room and pat them on the handlebars from time to time to let them know I haven’t forgotten them.

    Have a great year. I’m looking forward to reading more blog posts – especially once the roads are clear.

    • Hey Bruce – thanks for the comments on the new look etc. I am also looking forward to reading more about your adventures this year – bring it on mate!

      As for the right number of bikes, you are closer to it with eight than I am with three that’s for sure. I would love a time trial bike, for the look and the speed, but the roads around here are not worthy and honestly I am not sure how often I would use one. But wait, that’s not the point is it? The point is that I would have one! Stupid me!

      Well its back to work tomorrow to stare at the Paddywagon and dream about getting out. You still have snow too?

      • Alas, I’m only one bike closer to the eight-bike dream than you are. I have my equivalents of your three plus the touring bike. And it seems the next new bike in the family is going to be Kazuko’s.

        The thing about not having a TT bike is that you can enter TTs and you already have a ready-made excuse as well as an incentive to beat that fat dentist with the disc rear wheel.

        Snow? Not as much as last year but can still see plenty of it out the window of the indoor trainer room.

  2. Yeah we have a dentist like that! Plenty of the “I’ve got more money than riding skills” set out here let me tell you. Oh, the worst guy though is this bloke who I swear must ride every single morning of his life (I have no issue with that) on this old steel frame bike (again props there) no helmet and the traditional cloth peaked cap from the 70s. “Why do you not like him?”, you ask? He has to be the most antisocial a**hole any of us have ever seen. We gave up waving hello to him years ago. I have no doubt he looks down on us with our carbon frames etc……this year I’m gonna burn past him on the fixie and look totally calm whilst doing it. Bastard!

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