Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I'm back on a bike!

I honestly can't remember how long it had been since I had last ridden a bike. Possibly around age 14 or so, when cycling suddenly seemed uncool and I was more interested in staying in my room and listening to 80s rock (Queen was the soundtrack to my teenage years.)

My other half reignited my love of cycling when he decided to buy a bike to get him to and from work. It was purely for practical reasons as he had written off his car following an unfortunate accident (he was ok, his car was the only vehicle involved). Because AJ works 13 miles away he initially bought a little fold up bike and started getting the bus to Buxton and cycling the rest of the way. The fold up bike soon became a complete nuisance however - things soon started wobbling, wearing out and generally becoming a pain in the bum. Pun intended. There weren't really any suitable spares out there for the bike (a cheapo eBay thing) so a new plan had to be formulated.
A few of AJ's colleagues cycle to work so he started looking into bikes that would allow him to do the entire journey in comfort. For a few Summers now I have been wishing we had bikes to go cycling. Wherever we go on holiday we always find a route that would have been great to cycle. I then decided that I would take the plunge too and hope that I would enjoy cycling as much as I used to.

After geeking up and fighting my budget against my whims I picked a beautiful Trek hybrid and AJ went for a Giant hybrid. I absolutely love vintage / vintage-style bikes and one day I would like to own a Pashley Poppy however I wanted to be practical for now, I just know I will want to ride through bumpy forest paths so a modern hybrid was the obvious choice for now :)
I went straight to Royals in Wilmslow to gawk at all the pretty bikes. My trek was in stock but unfortunately a display model hadn't been built yet. A similar Trek was located in-store however and I was let loose on it in the car park. Wooo! I pluttered about then I left, trying to decide what to do. I'm incredibly hesitant when it comes to spending a lot of money on myself. After faffing about at the local Tesco for half an hour I made my mind up. I called the shop and asked them if it was possible for them to build my bike before closing time. I knew it would be cutting it close but they happily agreed. The thing with Trek bikes is that you can't order them to be shipped to you, you must collect it yourself. Another 30 mins later I was back in the shop admiring my new Trek 7200 WSD, running around trying on helmets and oogling all the exciting accessories while the poor guy who had rushed to build my bike was very quickly fitting on the mud guards I had just purchased. He did so well and was very polite even though I was like a kid in a sweet shop. The staff at Royals were so knowledgeable and patient - thanks guys!

AJ ordered his Giant the same evening but I couldn't wait to get out and about so he took me on a test cycle with his little fold up bike (bless him) on a 4 mile route. I was a bit wobbly at first and terrified at travelling down the main road back to our house. Strange, I'm a driver myself but when you're the one doing the cycling it suddenly feels like cars are out to get you.
The bike itself is a joy to ride, incredibly smooth, especially with the front suspension and seat suspension locked on. I've ridden a little through bumpy parks and there's no issue at all. The gears were a bit troublesome to begin with but a little tweak to a loose wire remedied that. The range is superb, meaning I can ride up quite an incline without getting off and walking. The only issue I have had so far is with the brakes. They just don't seem very responsive in wet weather. I'm sure there will be a way to sort that though!
I was so unused to riding a bike that I reverted back to my old ways of riding (either slouching over the handle bars, or standing up to pedal). No more riding on the pavement any more either!! *sigh* My bum did end up quite sore and my arms ached more than my legs after my first few rides. I'm sure I'll get used to that though :)

Result: A very happy me! I've rediscovered a childhood joy in cycling and I'm so pleased with my Trek. Now I just need some useful (and pretty!) accessories! I'm a practical girl and I deliberately plumped for a white bike because to me it is a blank canvas. I am a designer after all... Let the accessorizing begin!


  1. Good on you for getting back on two wheels!
    Lady V x

    1. Thank you, poor thing is currently awaiting a new inner tube, flat tyre on a 12 mile bike is not a good memory! I'm quite a fan of your blog, I love the quirky chic styles you put together.