…shit. I bought you in 2001 when I decided that I would cycle everywhere instead of driving. My previous bike was a Raleigh Mustang bought with my paper-round money, by comparison you (what were you? A Raleigh Montana?) were light as a feather, all 25kg of you. I learned quite quickly that cycling you to a meeting with clients was like choosing to push a tractor to make a good impression with a surly farmer.
Your front suspension was fun, for at least a month, until I took you full tilt down the side of a hill in Porlock (Somerset), after which every subsequent ride felt like pushing a stone lawnmower through half-set blancmange.
In the years we were together you had two cranksets, two seats, about a thousand brake pads, three rear derailleurs, at least a couple of chains. Your frame was built to last, but everything else was made of cheese.
One derailleur karked it as a result of me doing a bunny hop to try and impress the wife. The fact that a bike destined to be used off road didn’t have a gear system capable of coping with my pathetic attempt at a 2cm bunny hop gave me grave doubts about the abilities of your designers.
At first I was impressed with your disc brakes, until I realised they didn’t make much of an effort to stop the momentum my considerable bulk could accumulate down modest gradients.
Covering you in stickers as a theft deterrent was somewhat optimistic, the fact you weighed more than a baby ox (coupled with the drivechain’s inability to effectively transfer power from legs to wheels) meant that should I have actually seen someone nicking you I would have the luxury of laughing at the thief’s stupidity before deciding whether to reclaim my property – which could be done by calmly walking to catch them up.
So this is the end, my shed is full and I’ve since discovered that road bikes allow me to go up hills without my lungs turning inside out through my nostrils I love you even less. You’re going to join several thousand other bikes in a shipping container bound for Africa, where some poor soul will stare with confusion at your many stickers, probably wondering why an English numpty would want photos of the toilets at a place called CBGBs on their bike.
Bye bye, I’m not sure I’m going to miss you.
Last Updated on February 18, 2023
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