Friday, 25 October 2013

A possible new bike: the grandad special

So, the Ride to Work scheme is on again at work and the whole company is moving to a new location soon. The commute by public transport is a nightmare for me, but I reckon the cycle would be well under an hour.

Reg, my trusty Sirrus is ready to be put out to pasture. His odometer is showing a hideously high number that's gone above 8,000km (5,000 miles) and a friend's husband who worked as a bike mechanic visibly blanched at the state of him when he checked him over for me.

He will be kept as a second and I have a huge soft spot for him. He and I have done wonderful things together.

The problem with Ride to Work is that, suddenly, all those tasty looking numbers you passed by are available. But what to choose?

My grandad is a proper cyclist. He is now well into his eighties and only gave up two wheels in the past couple of years when he physically wasn't able to cycle any more. Bicycles have bridged the generation gap and it's what we talk about most of the time when we're together. He and 'uncle' Steve toured together often and it was the cycle to work in a rhubarb field where grandad and my grandma first courted.

On my 30th birthday he apologised when he 'only' gave me his bicycle tools. There was no 'only' about it, I was hugely touched and they're something I treasure.

Grandad's bike of choice was his Dawes tourer. He's always loved the brand and it was a bike he loved to ride. It was natural, therefore, that when I decided a tourer would be my next bike, I looked to Dawes.

Unfortunately, the classic Galaxy models are HIDEOUS. They're an insipid and ugly green. They're also very heavy and just not elegant at all. I generally fit men's frames better than women's, but I don't want anything so obviously and chunkily masculine.

But then I saw him, a flash of a vintage-style paint job, carbon forks, leather-look grips and seat. I have a serious bike crush, he's a Dawes Clubman and I'm desperate to try one to see if he's The One.

Of course if he is, the next problem is the name...

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