Monday, February 05, 2007

Back in the saddle

Unfortunately my attempts at bike repair following my little accident came to nowt, so last week I bought a new bike. A bike is a major component of my eco-living as it slashes my transport footprint, but it also provides my main form of exercise, some of my favourite holidays and, frankly, I'm rarely happier than when I'm cruising along a country lane in the sunshine.

I use a bike for commuting, 5 day touring holidays and day long leisure rides, so I left all the £1000+ mountain bikes and road bikes to the lycra clad obsessives and stuck to an all-rounder - the hybrid. My shopping list was:

- 700c wheels with smooth-ish tyres for fast road pedalling, but a bit of grip in the mud
- no suspension - I prefer a firm ride for the type of cycling I do
- lugs for a decent rack (the type that fix to the seat post can only take 10kg - no good for touring)
- flat handle bars
- a decent range of gears (you'll appreciate a granny gear if you're hauling full panniers up a 1:4 hill)
- something that looks good

If I had any sense, I'd add mudguards to that list, but I'm afraid I like a rugged looking bike. Unfortunately bike ranges now tend to divide into practical and dull, or, macho but without rack lugs etc. Eventually I settled on a Cannondale Adventure 3 which I think looks good, suits my riding position and, importantly, took a decent rack. Yesterday I took it into the hills to the west of Gateshead and thrashed it over some bridleways and backroads. I came back happy, muddy and knackered.

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Kaz said...

i've heard that due to foodmiles, cycling is not as green an option as we like to think, what's your opinion on this?

i mean is there any point in cycling to Sainsbury's (using 100 calories?) to buy one pack of green beans from Kenya?


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