This has been quite the week for cycling for me. I went out on my bike for the first time in over a year. Broke my bike. Took it in to get fixed and ended up buying a new one.
Last week, I went out on my bike for the first time in over a year. The last time I went out I wrongly believed that my back had healed from a herniated disc. A few days later I herniated it again. This time, however, I was quite sure that it had healed and promised myself that I’d take things easily.
I bought my bike from a now long-gone bike and outdoor shop on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. It was the autumn of 1995, just after starting my MTh at the University of Edinburgh and my ordination training with the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Chruch (TISEC). I put my last pay check from my job with Shaftesbury Homeless Services towards a shiny new Giant Boulder Alu Lite.
Twenty-four years on and this poor old thing was struggling. (And the bike!)
I pumped up the tyres, oiled the chain and set out on my usual short loop; the one that I do to check my fitness level. Three kilometres in, however, my rear wheel was flat.
As you can see from the photo, I got it upside down, got the wheel off and replaced the inner tube. (I’ve learned that lesson before and now always carry a spare plus a small toolkit.)
The repair didn’t go well. I couldn’t get the tyre inflated. And then I couldn’t get the brake cable reattached. (Note to self: you also need a pair of pliers in your toolkit.) But I managed enough to cycle home, mostly in a standing position trying to keep my weight off the under-inflated rear tyre and relying on my front brake.
The following day, I bought a new bike.
I had taken my Giant in for a full service when I mentioned to the mechanic that I might be interested in a buying a new bike. In my experience, it is rare that bike stores have XL bikes in stock but Spokes of St Andrews did. It was just what I was looking for:
- Hybrid bike
- Grey … because colour is important
- Rear pannier rack
I pick up my new Trek Dual Sport 3 Equipped tomorrow. Here’s to another 24 years of cycling…