I have been cycling for nearly 9 months now, commuting to work every day and also cycling for pleasure at the weekends. The bike that I have been using for all this time is a little teenager’s Raleigh mountain bike that I got off Gumtree for a song. It has done the job, but I have really felt recently that I should be finding the commute easier by now and not be so easily overtaken by others! I have suspected that it could be a consequence of my bike not being very good and things like having terribly rusted bearings, bald tires and so forth have encouraged that opinion.
But today I went to Evans Cycles in Nottingham and picked up my bike, using the gift vouchers I had won. As the bike was on sale, I could also afford a rack and some top notch waterproof panniers… My bike is a Dawes Duchess Limited Edition and I love it! I could have got it in brown, which probably would have looked slightly better but I refuse to pay an additional £15 for a different colour, it just seems so wasteful! And here it is…
In the words of Pink Floyd, it’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things that make it look good! All the things I’ve never had before – a kickstand, mudguards for the prevention of muddy arse! It’s a revelation! Admittedly so far I have only cycled it 4 miles home but I am completely in love! With the 17″ frame, it is significantly bigger than my last bike, and of course this vintage style means that you ride with back straight and arms wide, which just makes me grin the whole time! It is massive though, at the moment it feels a bit like pedalling a tank (not selling a tank, riding a tank) and this is so much longer and wider than I’m used to that it very much feels like the closest I’ll come to taking up a car’s worth of space!
It’s 7 speed – plenty for my needs, and the difference to my old bike is unbelievable. The big hill on the way home was barely noticeable to me, not the usual sweat-fest. I really couldn’t believe that I was sat so comfortably and still overtaking other cyclists! Plus I now have two huge panniers, for moving around work stuff, shopping and in the summer it will be great for going on longer trips and camping! I am so unbelievably excited about the whole thing – can you tell?
|Yes, I got home and brought it in the house.|
Yes, The Boy still can’t take very good pictures.
Sadly, one of the tires has the little cap missing 🙁 I am going to email Evans and see if they can send me a new one – fingers crossed!