After 3 years of hard riding and scrapes and falls galore, I have just retired my trusty old bicycle. It was a swell bike, and I loved it to pieces, quite literally, but its death pangs began when it got stolen from outside the shops about 7 months ago (see my post “Zen and the art of Bicycle Recovery” for the story of how I got my bike back from the thieves). Since that incident, the gears on my bike had not been quite the same – sometimes engaging, sometimes not.
And so, for the past few months, as the gears got progressively worse, I actually thought it was ME who was getting out of shape and finding it hard to keep up with The Kid on his bike. There he was, the little tearaway, zipping ahead on his mountain bike while his poor elderly (hehe) Mum tried valiantly to keep up. It was the gears – it was either too low or too high, there was no compromise. Cycling started to become a pain in the arse, literally…
Around Christmas time last year, hubby convinced me to put a new bicycle on lay-by. This meant I was to pay the bike shop a few bob each week until I’d finished paying for it all. We could ill-afford to do that, with more going out than coming in…but I’m glad I agreed to it, because this treadmill of an old bike was getting on my nerves, especially my sciatic nerve.
So, last week, I decided to go for broke. And paid the rest of the layby using my battered old credit card, thereby securing its freedom from the backroom of the bike shop. I also bought a pannier rack and basket for the back of my new bike, as well as new lights for both front and back.
And…I’m glad to report that my hunch had been right. It wasn’t my old bones that were struggling to push my old bike faster. It was indeed the clapped-out gears that were letting me down. Because you should see me on my shiny new bike. No, actually you can’t see me, because I’m just a blur flashing past your field of vision, that’s how fast this new bike is. Sigh! I’m in love.