The burning question now is what to ride?
When I was in my teens and early twenties my mountain bike was my best friend. I'd ride everywhere. It went on numerous trips to Wales & the Peak District with me. Basically back then, 100+miles a month was nothing... it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! Unfortunatly, since then, much has changed and my fitness level has dramatically changed to that of a 65+ old and the bout of Pneumonia last year left my already unfit/asthmatic lungs in a sad old state!
Another big change is our location. Sadly, there’s not much in the way of Mountain terrain around Cornwall. Don’t get me wrong there’s tonnes of off-road trails, but it’s very much lacking compared to what I was used to, such as N.Wales and Delamere Forest.
Hmm? My misspent youth and the exhilaration that comes with mountain-bikin' remains embedded in my heart - I most definitely can’t ever see myself without my MTB. They're great, and have so many benefits… you get more burn on the legs, you have to be able to use your gears correctly and do more technical riding. And what about the excitement? Nothing beats that adrenaline rush of being so scared that you can’t even open your mouth to scream!
Which makes me wonder do I really need to have a Mountain-Bike? Would I be better with something else? Something lighter perhaps? Since my re-discovery of bicycle riding I have predominantly ridden my trusty hybrid, as I have found ridin' on the road, the best option to regain my fitness and stamina. The simplicity of riding smooth roads has drawn me in though and now I keep ponderin' if I still need a bicycle with suspension and big knobbly tyres?
But as I said, I am currently predominantly riding on the road as I really do see it’s benefits for overall cardio and fitness. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I think I have actually caught the road riding bug. I love that all I need to do is get on the bike from home and ride. I really enjoy the speed that road ridin' offers; even as a novice rider I can see the advantage over mountain bikes on the road.
The only downside to road-riding that I see, is that sadly, it tends to get boring. Pfft… and how could I forget the other major drawback; the other roadusers - those blinkin’ loonatic car drivers!!
That said, and despite all the near-miss-accidents due to careless car-drivers, I am really enjoyin’ road ridin', but I keep asking myself would I be better off with something lighter? I love my hybrid with all its utilities (mudguards, dynamo lights, rack and - that all important - kickstand) but, oh, how the thought of something lighter and nippier keeps nagging away at my thoughts. Hmm? Again, I surely can’t get rid of my hybrid… it is far to useful with all its bit n’ bobs! Epecially for carrying stuff!
However, with Velocakes current cyclo-cross phase I now see that a cross-bike offers the best of both worlds. As quick and as efficient as road bikes, but with slightly bigger tires for those exhilarating short-cuts through granite and gravel trails that are so abundant around here.
So, I think a cyclocross bike would be my answer and as Mikey has a bike for almost every occasion… why shouldn’t I?
Maybe if I stick with this riding lark, Father Christmas will put a shiney Cross bike in my stocking!!
(Anyway, on that note I best go dig out my gel shorts its time for a whizz round the block before it gets dark.)