A South African Perspective

The Epic is drawing nearer and Cris and I are looking to put some decent bike time into the legs. We have been debating the best way for me to tackle the UK winter as my ‘stumpy’ was taken a beating. We looked at some options and after much deliberation decided to build up a single speed. Hence the spunky looking red speed demon on the main page. Thanks to the boyz at sideways cycles the frame and forks were organized and my man Cris put in some good time and spares getting her together. So how does she ride, dam she is smooth and rolling resistance is really good. I was also surprised by the weight, I know there are fewer working parts etc but she really finished up good.

Hit the road for the ride home on Thursday night and dam I felt like my old SA days fitted with my spandex doing spinning classes. It takes a bit of getting used to but after a while settled into a good cadence and hit the traffic home. Taken on Manchester traffic on a single takes on a new meaning. Best part was my first curb hop. Now please to those thinking of going rigid, take my word for it and take head, try a few easy rides first before taken on the traffic. There I was doing my usual beat the oncoming traffic to the opposite side of the road to hop a curb when the first action of pushing down nearly took my teeth out then putting all my energy into pulling up which resulted in me nearly ripping my arms out of their sockets not to mention my feet coming out the cleats. Now picture it, me trying to show I’m the man taken on the traffic with my new stead while smiling at some hotties that happen to be on the street corner with the bike on some funny angle, my legs practically around my ears and the fence on the opposite side careering towards me. Trust me, highly over rated. Anyway somehow managed to survive that one, dignity in tow and headed home. Once I hit the dirt it was all good, Alty came up quick with few scars to show.

Come Sunday I decided to give the new single a good spin on the dirt roads. I chose to go down the Trans Penine trail out towards Lymm and onwards. Dropped in at ‘Bike Shak’ and got me a pair of mud flaps. Now yes I know the manic primal instinct of the mountain Biker with a motto of ‘Dirtier the better’ means this goes against the grain, but riding to work and looking like The swamp thing made me see the errors of my ways. To be honest I used my Beanie more for concealment rather than warmth. I did not have the tools to fit it there and then so packed them into the bag and hit the trail. Night before was an absolute cloud burst so the trail was as muddy and wet as Iv ever seen it. After 50m on the trail me; my newly cleaned and sparkling bike; my father in-laws carry bag were one with the mud & yes Horse riders use the trail so there be some nasty stuff in da mud combination. So I thought what the heck, let’s at least put the mud flap under the front wheel to test as it uses a bungee cord. Boy was I surprised just how well it worked. I rode the rest of the ride with not one more speck of mud on my glasses & I’m talking serious muddy conditions. My ass looked like shit but the mud flap worked.

Thanks to Cris im styling with my new single commuting to work and back. She is a really good ride. I now no longer can take on the Oxford buses and roadies with ease, but with the single it is now a challenge. Thx Guys..

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