It turns out that one can, sort of, forget how to ride a bike. With the RideLondon 100 less than a month away, I thought I better get Suzie out and make sure she works. I planned to go for a ride at the weekend, but as with most fun plans, that went by the wayside as I became fixated on re-varnishing the floor. I did give her a cleanup though, and she is still a fine looking machine.
She hasn’t been let out for over two years and even then I only very rarely rode her to work, when I planned to extend my commute for a training ride – she isn’t really suit to the urban jungle. It was like trying to drive an F1 car to work – everything was different, twitchy and scary.
Firstly, I must be a bit fatter and more inflexible than I was as the drops felt very low indeed. The brakes were weird, plus there is a back one. The pedals are harder to clip in and, inevitably embarrassingly, out of. The steering is insanely direct (weird how it can feel so different). I can stop pedalling – which just felt bizarre, but does mean you can lean into corners a lot more. I also often lost power for a moment at the top of the pedal stroke occasionally – hard to explain, but to do with the free spinning nature of Suzie and the coaster. The bike weighs nothing, the wheels especially. And there are gears – what are they about? It took me nearly ten miles to remember that you can change two gears at once by pushing the lever further.
So now I sit here with back ache from only 45mins of riding which doesn’t bode well. On the other hand, she is like shit off a shovel, a proper bad ass of a bike. And until she kills me, I love her.