Hello old friend. It’s been a while. What? Yes, it’s that time of year again. I know, I know. Brrr.
Her? The mistress? That was a mere summer fling, showing off in front of others, a lightweight frolic beneath the sun.
Nothing compares to you, ever dependable winter bike, bike number 1 once and forever. You’re the one who gets me through the hard times, little reward for your endeavours but hour upon hour of steady rolling through frozen landscapes, more mud than road.
Once little miss summer until usurped but look at you, still looking so glam, much better looking than her, the one with the matt finish, no flair there is there? You so well kept, ageing ever gracefully. They don’t make them like you nowadays.
Sure there’s a few nicks and wrinkles here, there and there, reminders of adventures past, that time you took me from London to Spain, or our first trip to big mountains. Some before we met, before I rescued you from a dusty garage, re-homed courtesy of the bicycle rescue centre, eBay.
What do you mean I could keep myself in better shape for you? I’m not too portly. Well maybe a little. The summer mistress break-up has taken its toll, recovery a heavy dose of biscuits and beers.
No, no, no, of course you’re not my rebound, I’m back for you and all those qualities little miss summer can’t provide. Comfort, sturdiness, carefree no matter the weather. Hard as nails, a bit of damp ground will not stop your thirst for adventure.
First winter bike ride
Our first outing is exciting, odd for but the briefest of moments as we get to know one another again. Familiarity may breed contempt, re-acquaintance devotion.
Of course you’re comfortable but it’s more than that, we know each others grooves, our lumps and bumps. We fit. Old school standard gearing matches the rhythm of my legs, comfortable yet racey. The geometry of days gone by understands that comfort and quick doesn’t require two different frames.
The roads are dry yet I do not regret choosing you. Sure, others may still be hanging out with their summer floozies, embarrassed by our presence, yet we stick with them and you make me a better person in the process.
The feeling of speed is blunted only for a few blocks, everything’s relative, sure 15 mph is the new 20 mph but now I can enjoy the journey in greater detail. No more clinging to the wheels of others, we forge our own paths, every ride a memory burned deep into this cyclist’s soul.
Sure every mile can’t be heaven. I remember to take things easier with you in the bends, braking earlier. The little quirk of yours when you refuse to move the front derailleur in cold weather. Yet it matters not if I’m stuck in the small ring for this is exactly where I belong, this is no malfunction, this is wisdom, gentle advice and guidance.
For we do not judge. You do not frown when I stop at the cafe, nor when I eat pies sat atop your saddle. You, the focal of attention, drawing strangers to us, they beguiled by your old school beauty.
Sunrise and sunset in the same ride. This is the winter bike romance. A relationship forged in hard times, the bond unbreakable. Until Spring anyway…