I’ve just bought myself a Felt road bike!
Years ago when I was a lot younger I used to get around by riding a bike. I owned a few manky road bikes and one day I was given a hand-me-down Dawes Galaxy touring bike. This was a great bike; very comfortable on long trips.
In more recent years I’ve only really ridden off road. I used my mountain bike for a 90 mile sportive in 2013 and a road ride with Stroud Valleys Cycling Club earlier this year. I enjoyed both of those and fancied buying myself a road bike to make these trips easier and also for general training.
I found someone selling a suitable bike on the MBSwindon Facebook page. Before I had a chance to look at it I called into Veleton on a local off road ride where Pete convinced me that there were better bikes for more money. I decided to have a think about it. Once again new bike pontification had set in.
I was on a ski holiday in France when I looked at Twitter and saw the Red Kite Shropshire Devil event mentioned. I thought “I’m going to do that” and a plan was formed. I would call into Swindon on the Saturday, buy the bike and then do the 85 mile ride on Sunday.
That’s pretty much what happened. I took the bike for a short ride around the local roads (no helmet or hi viz or anything. Shocking!). I thought it was a bit too small for me but after adjusting the set up it seemed fine. I had some lingering doubts but thought “sod it! Get on with it!”. So I bought it. It cost me £390, approximately half the new price.
I called round Hargroves Cycles in Swindon where Mark did a bike fitting. He confirmed that it was the right size for me, levelled the saddle and handlebars and then raised both of them to give a better fit. Whilst I was there I bought myself a frame bag, small saddle bag, bottle cage, bottle, pump, spare tubes and a multi-tool. I felt like the stereotypical over enthusiastic newbie as I handed over the debit card in the shop.
I decided to use the flat pedals that were on the bike for my first trips and then convert to SPD shoes at a later date.
Back at home I fitted the new bits. I ran into my first problem. When mountain biking I carry spares, a tool kit, a first aid kit, bottles of water, cakes, muesli bars, spare clothes, maps, a camera and a survival bag. There was no way I could fit all of that into the space available. So I jettisoned most of it but was still not happy about the lack of room for my anorak and first aid kit. I decided to buy myself a larger bag in the future.
My first ride was the 85 mile Shropshire Devil sportive. Write up coming next!
I don’t intend to stop mountain biking. I’m going to use this for additional riding and new experiences.