I can recall my first road bike: a Trek 1000 in red and white, with Shimano Sora (click, wait, wait, wait, clunk). The idea is to move forward, ride lighter bikes, better groupsets, more gears and faster wheels. So far I’ve fitted the trend as aluminium turned to carbon, Sora turned into Dura Ace (thank goodness) and instead of changing my training tyres for racing ones on my clinchers every weekend, I now slip on carbon race wheels fitted with firmly glued tubbies.
After leaving my trusty Giant steed in France, I came home to nothing. I was a cyclist without a bike. After a bit of searching around I managed to find an ex of mine that was still in the area. She had been given lovingly to a family member to get a few more Argus’s under her belt. Helping out a rider in need, I was generously re-united with my old Scott CR1 SL: Lizzy. Lizzy was my first true love. She had taken me from junior bunch filler to aspiring professional. We had spent many hours together under the hot sun, in the pouring rain and survived many adrenalin fuelled races. She had propelled me through countless kilometres but eventually I had moved on and followed my heart to something lighter, faster and sleeker.
Being reunited with Lizzy was weird; it was like taking a step backwards. Her handles were bigger. Her shifts were slower. Her cables were practically in my face and she just wasn’t as fast as I was used to. A few rides later, however, the initial awkwardness seemed to dissipate and it was like being reunited with an old friend. Things felt right, we fitted together and the power flowed easily. Training with Lizzy also made it obvious how much I had changed. I now rode with lower handlebars; I was stretched out, aero and stronger than ever. I had grown up.
Being back on my old bike made me realise it really isn’t about what you ride. It’s all about getting out there on what you have, making the most of it and having fun. My eyes are still drawn to the new cableless 11 speed electric groupo’s and lighter frames but Lizzy will always be my first love. As long as she has wheels and I have good legs nothing will stop us fighting the wind, sprinting for signs and carving the corners. True love lasts a lifetime.