Tag Archives: Mountain bike

Getting outside

I finally managed to get outside on the bike on Sunday.  I took the Mountain Bike out for a spin on an old railway line in Aberdeen.  Nice, safe route without too many (any) hills, that didn’t require any real bike handling skills.

It was another beautiful morning, the final death throes of summer.  A great day to get out and get some air into your lungs.  Unfortunately it was a bit too nice (or more accurately, I took too long getting ready and was a bit late), as there were lots of people on the railway line.  A lovely scenic place to park your car, take a walk, grab an ice-cream or a play on the swings and slides, before heading back.  As a result, it was busy.

Hazard… between or around?

I was keen not to end up in a ditch, or to collide with anyone’s favourite child or youngest Chihuahua.  I therefore had to stay very alert, particularly given how difficult it is to see whether a dog / child is on a lead from a distance… plenty of scope for unfortunate incidents!

I was not alone.  There were plenty of other people on bikes (cyclists, I guess you’d call them) making use of the track, as well as runners, zimmer frame operators, wheelchair passengers, etc.  Pretty much any moveable obstruction you can imagine.  There was potential for carnage… ironically, every kind of accident other than the proverbial “train crash”.

Who is controlling who? A cyclist’s nightmare!

The casual strollers didn’t seem particularly happy with the cyclists… at least, some of them didn’t seem very happy with me:  “Bloody cyclists!”, I could hear them muttering not so quietly as I whizzed past… but I was off!  Gone.  Somewhere else to be…  until I passed them again on my return that is, when we greeted each other with pleasant smiles and a fleeting nod!

What fun!

Someone’s going to get hurt!

The ride itself was fine.  I did just under 20km and rode for just over 50 minutes.  A casual Sunday morning cycle.  I was tempted just to keep going, enjoying the freedom, but I know I need to take it easy.  “Don’t do more than you could on your worst day” (Cardiac Rehab Motto).  A bit depressing really as I’ve always thought the best days were the most important.  Still, I don’t want to set myself back, so moderation rules.  Yeah!

A Lifetime First

1989… a classic!

1989 was a year that changed the world… the end of the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Hillsborough disaster, “The Simpsons” started, the Madchester music scene… I finished school, went on my first lads holiday and started at University, while my family emigrated to Wales… temporarily, as it turns out.

I think 1989 also marks the year in which I last owned a bicycle.  I can remember borrowing other people’s bikes at University, but I have no recollection of transporting my own back and forth each term.  I definitely haven’t owned one since, so I conclude that 1989 was the year!

I was always a little bit jealous… until now!

As children. all my bikes were second hand, sourced from the ads in local paper, the Maidenhead Advertiser… eagerly awaited each Friday evening.

On one occasion, I remember my brother getting a new bike… a Raleigh Grifter XL.  Why the situation warranted a brand new bike, I can’t remember, but I do remember it being a big deal!

I have never owned a brand new bike… until now!

The cycling has been going well.  I still haven’t moved out of the garage, but my sessions are getting longer, and I’m getting stronger.  I realised yesterday, that I’m now working as hard during my rest periods as I did at the peak of my early bike sessions.

Up to now, I’ve been using a borrowed bike which is slightly too small for me.  To exacerbate the problem, and having tried “everything” (including WD-40, heat treatment, and a large hammer), I’ve been unable to raise the seat.  As a result, I’m restricted when I ride.  Given I’m getting ready to venture outside on a bike, we decided it was time to invest in a bike I can call my own.

I decided to go for something a little more conventional than this!

I say a bike, but it turns out buying a bike isn’t quite as simple as that!  It turns out that there are too many choices;  Where will you ride it? How long will you ride it for? How often?  Do you want a Road Bike, a Mountain Bike or a Hybrid?  What brand?  How big?  Too confusing!

In the end, I made my decision…

I decided to buy two bikes.  One for the road.  One for the dirt.


All I need to do now is wait until Saturday for them to be built!

It’ll be like Christmas!

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