It looks like I’m going to have to buy a new bike. I’m pretty much hooked on cycling now, and the current borrowed road bike is several sizes too big for me. Unfortunately, I’ve acquired a taste for nicer bikes than my workhorse MTB that I use for my daily commute. When I bought Emma (a mishmash of My Mountain Bike, or MMTB for short) I wasn’t sure I’d end up taking to the cycling thing. I also figured I’d be more into offroad mountain biking and touring than dicing with death amongst the city traffic. I’ve now tasted what it’s like to be out for a few hours with just the hiss of tires on road for company, and I’ve discovered that I like it.
Cycling with the pack is good fun, and the social side of things seems to be pretty good. I’m pretty new at all this, so I haven’t really experienced what it’s like to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. I’m not so sure I want to be, either, since I quite enjoy the endurance aspect of just me and my bike versus myself. It’s hard to be thinking of much else when you’re struggling your way up a hill, heart pounding, lungs heaving and sweat soaking your skin.
On the way home tonight I was asked by a friend of mine how long I’d had Emma for and how many kilometres I’d done. This is the same friend, Jim, who was instrumental in getting me involved in cycling in the first place. I returned the favour by getting him into motorbikes, incidentally. A quick check of the cycle computer told me that I’d done over 3800 kms since November 2004, give or take a few. This doesn’t include any of the riding I’ve done on the borrowed road bike as that has a different computer on it. All told, I’ve done over 4000 kms in about 14 months. That’s more than both my car and motorcycle combined, which isn’t really that impressive since I commute to and from work by cycle and ride for fun on weekends. Given that I doubt I would have done 4000 kms in the 5 or so years I’ve had the motorbike, I figure splashing out a few quid for something I’ll actually use isn’t so bad. I’m also going to sell the motorbike.
The time has come to take the plunge into road cycling and get a halfway decent road bike. I think I’ve found what I want, a 2006 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Alu/Carbon. Now I just have to find a shop that sells one and take a few for test rides to finalise my decision. Everything I’ve looked at so far isn’t quite right, though one came close. It was a Via Nirone 7, but with Campagnolo Veloce shifters. I prefer the Shimano style and the Ultegra 10s that come with the Bianchi should be pretty good. All up, it looks like a pretty decent package for the price. None of the components seem really awful and the main ones seem pretty nice indeed. I don’t think I want to shell out for the more expensive frames until I get a lot better.
Maybe when I can keep up with the average speed pack I’ll think about upgrading.