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My new bicycle

posted 17 Jul 2010, 12:28 by Andrew Conway   [ updated 17 Jul 2010, 14:37 ]
I have purchased a bike - a Specialized Cross-trail Elite. This is in fact my third bike and the first one I've got since my childhood. Whereas my last bike had no gears (well, technically it had one) this bike has a bewildering 27 gears.

My last bike was purchased from a shop called Dales Cycles in 1980 or thereabouts. My new bike was purchased from the same shop (albeit in new premises). You'd think this impressive span of 30 years would make me some kind of special, super-loyal customer, although admittedly not one that's done a lot for their business. But you'd be wrong, because Dales Cycles have had a bicycle emporium in Glasgow since 1912 and I'm sure they've got some customers who could easily double my 30 year span.

View Cycling around Glasgow in a larger map
I took my bike out on a few shortish rides whilst I got to know it and fettled and tweaked it into perfect shape. My main additions were adding a mount for a sturdy lock, fitting a small pouch to carry my keys, wallet and phone, mounting a bike computer (£8 from Asda) and finely adjusting the brakes to eliminate a slight binding.

The red route was around Garscube and Dawsholm and took in a variety of surfaces from a rough path through the woods to a (short) stretch along a dual carriageway. The blue route was a bit longer and followed the river Kelvin to the recently restored fountain in Kelvingrove park.

My first substantial outing - the green route - took me from my home, along the River Kelvin for a bit and then up onto the Forth and Clyde canal aqueduct. From there I stayed on the canal towpath until I arrived at Clydebank, where I turned around and returned by almost the same route. There are no photos I'm afraid because I only stopped to cross gates or avoid dog-owners who were suffering from dog-control issues. The most amusing example of that was an Alsatian pup who leapt into the canal and set about a family of coots much to its owner's displeasure. (Is a young coot called a cootling?)

Until recently, cycling held little interest for me because I wanted to pay more attention to my surroundings in a way that only walking lets you do. But now that I've explored much of the immediate area on foot, and as I've realised that there are plenty of good cycling routes to be had nearby, the appeal of faster travel has grown and I want to ride my bicycle... I want to ride my bike...