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!
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 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!