Bike Madness

May 1, 2012

Another recent development in my life has been the purchase of my over-the-top racer bike. She is a beauty! (Giant Avail Composite 2 in case you are interested in checking the techie details).

Yes, I know you are all saying “oh, oh, now she’s jumping on the triathlon bandwagon”. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I do have thoughts of having a bash at triathlon in future, but whether or not it happens depends on whether I ever master the swimming.  So for the time being I have no specific triathlon goals, although I am signed up for a “mini-triathlon” in a few weeks. The bike thing is more than that though.

I don’t know how it is where you live, but in recent years in Denmark there’s been booming trend of middle-aged, middle-class men squeezing their corpulent figures into brightly coloured lycra, spending a fortune on top-of-the range racer bikes and God knows what other gear, to then speed up and down the country roads imagining they are starring in Tour de France. I’m not a man, and while I’m personally not fond of the labels being used in relation to myself, most people would probably describe me as middle-aged and middle-class. So while I have for many years cycled quite a bit as a supplement to my running, I have trundled off on my completely ordinary street bike, just in case anyone should confuse me as being a member of Tour de France wannabee club.

However events of recent years have changed the way I look at a lot of things including this. Life is for living and if I fancy zooming around on a fancy bike and I can afford a fancy bike, then why not! And if I want to imagine I’m racing in Tour de France then who cares? (I confess it, I do imagine exactly that!) Luckily no-one in their right mind would describe me as corpulent and I still refrain from dressing in brightly-coloured lycra (my running kit doubles up quite nicely with the addition of a pair of ancient padded shorts). Apart from the hideous cycling shoes that is! Though I did insist on black ones despite the fact that I was told that white was the in-colour. I’ve always had a total aversion to white patent shoes!

But wow, I am totally in love with my new bike! Any other time in my life that I’ve had a new bike I’ve felt really wobbly on it for quite a while. This time I felt like the bike and I melted together from the very first minute.  Where before long bike rides felt like hard work, now they are just total fun!

Does it sound like I’m obsessed? It gets worse. I went on a bike maintenance course (women only!) and I am now able to change the tube should I be unlucky enough to get a puncture (though I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to get the back wheel on again should that be necessary, I need to practice). AND I learned how to wash my bike and oil the chain. Not only did I learn it, but my poor hubbie nearly collapsed when I actually did wash my bike after having it out on a damp morning. Honestly, he’s never even seen me pumping a bike tyre before!

Wait, it gets even worse than that. I also signed up for a few sessions to learn some proper technique for riding a racer properly – and just so you can appreciate how keen I am – these sessions take place at 7.30 am on Sunday mornings!

Yes, I know, this is pretty close to madness!

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