It is about the bike…
6 May 2010 § Leave a comment
I bought my first road bike in 1997. I’ve had several since, but the one that really got me serious about cycling was the Trek 5200: Lance’s bike. Mine was an ’03 model, the last of the US Postal Service team replicas, and I loved it. I still do, though it’s scarred and scuffed after six seasons and 25,000 miles. I did all my big rides on it: London to Brighton, London to Canterbury, London to Paris, a 400km overnighter, seven-hour centuries, 10-mile time-trials: my whole cycling history is woven into its myriad carbon fibres. Without it, I would never have seen, heard or felt the sights, sounds and sensations that inspired many of my poems. I owe it a great debt.
It’s not my number-one bike any more, though. All the miles I rode on it, and the other bikes I owned during the same period, came at a cost. Regular cycling has given me the heart and lungs of a man 10 years younger, but it’s also left me with the knees of a sexagenarian. I have osteoarthritis confirmed in my left knee and probable in my right: apparently, it’s rare in people under 45. Not the kind of distinction I’d hoped for.
I wasn’t ready to hang up my wheels, though. So my friendly local bike shop set me up with the latest generation of Trek carbon bikes. Lower-geared, a more upright riding position, a little less extreme. What we’d call a sportive machine, rather than an out-and-out race bike. So all the new stuff I put up here will be brought to you by the Trek Madone 4.7 – the bike that’s helping me move on, without settling for less. Cheers, Pete.