Its my birthday in a few weeks, and this year I have received my present from Rob early. I GOT A BIKE PEOPLE!!!
Yup, a brand new shiny bike! I am such a lucky girl with a great* other half who is far too generous.
To be honest the bike is not a huge surprise. It has been a long time coming. Rob wanted to buy me one for Xmas, but I would not let him as we had no room in the out buildings to store it. (OMG out buildings sounds so much posher than shed! The reality is that they are three small structures built out of asbestos that used to house the crapper and store coal back in the day!) I reasoned that I would not use it until spring and I did not want him to spend a lot on me.
When I say a long time coming, I mean years! Rob is a keen cyclist. Riding pretty much daily for exercise and fun, owning both road and mountain bikes, entering races, doing the London to Brighton and all the rest. To be honest I often wonder what the neighbours must think with the amount of lycra that I peg out on my line!
Needless to say Rob has been trying to convince me that I should join him riding for a long, long time. Pretty much for the duration of our relationship in fact.
Finally last summer, as documented on here, I relented and agreed to hire a bike and give cycling a go. The truth is that for the last few years on our annual family holidays, Rob, my BIL, Dad, sister and the nephews have been enjoying leisurely bike rides together and I had been waving them off secretly wishing that I was with them.
So we tested the water by hiring a bike for me at Bewl Water (boom! Did you see what I did there?!!) Even though I pedalled for much further than I thought I was going to and everything that I thought I would hate happened – like the steep hills, sore arse, perspiring, tiredness, thirst and sunburn etc. For some twisted, f***ed up reason, for as much as I hated it, I enjoyed it. At the end of the day it was all about doing an activity with my loved ones and making memories together. After all thats what its all about. No pain no gain, eh!
Not documented on here was that time I hired a better brand of mountain bike at Bedgebury Park where I did an epic skid, impressing Rob and a passing cyclist, all because a fly flew on my mouth and I panicked! Pleugh!
Next came the battle between Rob and I of what bike to buy. As much as I would love to own a cute Bobbins or Pashley bike with a wicker basket to put all my farmers market vegetables and baguettes in (dream on Hels), practicality wins. Like my dull dress sense, my bike choice is all about substance over style, about comfort and ease of use and not following any particular trend. And like most of my wardrobe, the colour of my new bike is not a cute pastel colour, but a nice slimming grey-black. Safe and boring FTW!
Because I know nothing about bikes I let Rob
bore guide me on my choice and we ended up buying a mid range mountain bike with disc brakes. We chose a mountain bike because the type of riding I will be doing is off road (flat) family trails in parks and woodland. I am far too chicken to ride the on road with cars and lorrys etc.
As a natural tight arse, I wanted a basic, bottom of the range mountain bike. I reasoned that I would only be using it in at weekends and in the summertime on holidays, so it was not worth spending a lot. However Rob being a total bike nerd (and a Cube brand devote) argued that it is worth paying more for a lighter frame, bigger wheels, better gears, better suspension and better brakes.
Me being me, thought whatever, brakes are brakes. But having rode hire bikes with both the standard and disc brakes, I agreed that you can tell the difference. And so, here I am now, the proud owner of the cheapest women’s mountain bike in my frame size** with disc brakes that we could find. Compromise baby, thats what its all about in our household! Plus the nice man at Halfords gave us an extra £40 off!
Rob is picking up and paying for my bike today and my new helmet has already been delivered. We are off to Bedgebury on Sunday to do the smaller family trail. Hurrah!!
*Most of the time. Except when he is winding me up.
**I needed a 15″- 16″. Teenager size and hard to find in semi-decent bikes apparently.