I was out cycling one day with my other half Carol, who has recently purchased a road bike to help negotiate the long road of lockdown.
As we were barrelling along she turned and asked me a question which really got me thinking. What she asked was “Does your mood change depending on the bike you are riding”?
I am a firm believer in N+1 and have at my disposal a Ridley carbon road bike, a Specialized 29er MTB, a steel Tour de Fer and with Carol a tandem.
During lockdown I have been on all of my bikes, not equally but certainly often enough to realise that there is a very obvious answer to Carols perplexing question and that is yes.
My Ridley was bought eight years ago for the Tristar 111 triathlon in Lyon and has been used in triathlons and duathlons. Lately I have not been doing much multi sport events and am in the process of converting it to a bikepacking ultra distance machine. However when I get on it I still feel the need for speed and mountainous terrain. I did the Marmotte on it as well. I always have a massive grin as I rise out the saddle climbing up local slopes dancing on the pedals.
On the Specialized I regress about 50 years and just get into local woods, highland trails or munro rides and get as wet n mucky as I can. The years melt away and childhood comes to the fore. Dare I say it I often ride without a helmet on the MTB just to heighten the feeling of freedom I get when I am riding it.
The Tour de Fer is my workhorse. I can either be on a cycle on my own or perhaps leading a tour. The upright position lends itself to a slow meander taking in everything that is laid before me be it the canals of France or the Glens of Scotland. A quiet reflective mood often comes down and I like to try and imagine what has gone before me in the landscapes I am passing through.
Tandem. Definitely smiley bike face time. Tandems are just great. Whether I am with Carol or piloting for the VI riders of Talking Tandems a good time is assured. An extra sense of responsibility and spatial awareness is required as you quite literally have the stokers life in your hands!!.