Monday, August 5, 2019

It has my NAME on it!


It feels like a lifetime ago, but once upon a time, I brought home a bike. A brand new bike that I had coveted. Back in October 2013 I picked up my much loved Grazia- a very stialised single speed bike from an East End archway where they were made. I’d been cycling to work for about 9 months, a lot of my riding at that time was bombing about East London between home, work, and errands, so single speed suited me really well. In my limited experience, I had no idea that Road Bikes were a thing. Remember this absolute babe of a bike?

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I rode my beloved single speed EVERYWHERE- at one point I was averaging around 500km per month on my bike including long stretches out London-Cambridge and London-Southend. I honestly didn’t really know any different to that single speed life.

Fast forward a year, the lure of a road bike got me! I don’t regret my road bike for a second, the world of gears suddenly made those big rides a whole lot more enjoyable- for anyone who has not experienced it, riding uphill single speed behind someone who inexplicably stops or slows down too much is a disaster! But I ALWAYS regretted selling my beloved Grazia because at the time, having 2 bikes in a household of 4 adults, all with their own bikes, was deemed impractical. One in, one out. Off my little city bike went to it’s new home and away the design went. I don’t even know if the company who make it exist anymore, but I do know the bike itself was discontinued in favour of a sit up and beg style frame, and so I’ve been hunting eBay and Gumtree for one ever since.

Yes, yes that does mean I’ve been looking for this bike for FIVE years. My excitement in finding one was only slightly curtailed by the blue. And the yellow. To say I’m not a fan of yellow would be an understatement. And I’m not mad keen on that shade of blue either. Not deterred enough, I became 3 bike Chloe with a view to making the blue bike of not quite my dreams a project once we’d managed to move house and generally sort our lives out. Respray, maybe teach myself a bit of basic bike mechanics to strip it down and rebuild. Sounds good, right?

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Armourtex: whre bike dreams are made!

I turned 30 in Vietnam, and when I woke up in my favourite place on the planet (complete with enormous bed, air conditioning and all the fruit I could ever eat for breakfast), Tom handed me a very heavy little package to open. A Railcard book and the result of my colour choice…

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Tell me this is not a thing of beauty. I chose green (obviously) and I’m a bit in love with the sparkle in the finish. And when they said I could have decals of pretty much anything I wanted, it seemed like there really was only one thing to do…

I put my name on it.

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Getting back on a single speed has been a joy too. I’d forgotten what a delight it is not to have to faff with gears at lights and just how light this one is, and how pretty. Did I mention how in love with my green bike with my name on it I am?

In a world of sport where achievement is a big deal and where shiny shiny gears or components are often equated with knowledge, power or sporting prowess, this little slice of green is exactly what we all need to remember to feel: JOY. It’s easy to forget the joy when the focus is always on performance, but you don’t always have to be the fastest, go the furthest or be doing the biggest or the best. Sometimes, you just need a sparkly green bike with your name on it and to feel a breeze on your neck as you fly down a hill on your bike whilst the sunset is giving you the prettiest canvas of a sky.  

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1 comment

daisychain said...

Oh wow, what a complete beaut!

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