Non-cycling winters and my next bike

Last October we cycled in France (not much) and then in Dorset (a couple of short rides). Since then, Sandra has not touched her bike and I can't remember my last ride – probably some time in December, or maybe I went out once early in January. There were weeks of torrential rain, then ice, thick snow, more ice, rain again, then gale force winds and sub-zero temperatures. I have seen people out cycling this winter but I've just not been motivated to brave it myself. Fortunately I live by the moors so I've walked quite a bit, and done a few things I wouldn't normally 'have time for' if I was on my bike.

I was thinking I might be more motivated if I had a new bike, and I do fancy a new mountain bike. As it happens I have just claimed my old age pension from the Department for Work and Pensions. That's one of life's milestones and worth some kind of celebration. A new bike would be perfect. If I had a top quality mountain bike I could be out on the hills in all sorts of weather. So what's the best material for a really good MTB frame: steel, alloy, or carbon?

Then I remembered my old bike project and the fact that my hybrid has two sets of wheels: one for the road and one for the hills. There is actually nothing wrong with that bike, and I built one of those sets myself this time last year. Plus the garage is already full of bikes and there are three in the house. So I've decided the biggest problem is not 'not enough bikes' – it's the garage. The garage is full.

What better way to celebrate being 65 than building a shed? The lawn mowers, strimmers, gardening tools, bags of hen food, camping chairs and boxes of rubbish my eldest son will come to collect one day can all be put in the shed then the garage can be used for its proper purpose: the bikes. If the weather is bad I can go in the garage (heated) and tinker, or carry on with the old bike project. The fact is, I do not need a new bike. My next bike will be one that I already own.

The more I think about this, the more I like it. The garage would be mine, by the road, and the shed would be Sandra's, near to where she grows her vegetables. And the house would be bike-free – that's a big plus as she sees things. There's nothing left to decide. It's just a matter of doing it before next winter.

13 comments on “Non-cycling winters and my next bike”

  1. Jim wrote:

    Patrick
    I live close to you and suffer the same climate. I have managed one club run this year! I have been out a few times myself but only short rides when there is a break in the weather. The winters seem to be getting worse for cycling and the summers little better.
    I've been spending much more time in the gym and walking/running. Being early, retired/redundent/unwanted, the gym has become my saviour for exercise and a bit of daytime social life.
    It has now got to the stage for me that I am considering selling most of my bikes and getting by with one light Clubmans bike and one Tourer. Aren't we spoiled? Did I just say "getting by"?
    Tomorrows looking possible though.

  2. Patrick wrote:

    You were right Jim. Wednesday 6th February 2013 was a lovely day. I went cycling!

  3. Chris wrote:

    One of our lot goes out on his fixed wheel bike during the winter, but I didn't see him today. I always fancied a fix wheel bike. More recently a hub-geared drop bar bike with disc brakes. Low maintenance and sharper braking in the winter wet. But neither will happen. Unless I win the lottery Mrs Bailey says.

    Earlier today I put away my winter bike – it was still dripping wet and I would have liked time to clean and dry it off. I am thinking about bringing down the heater from its storage place in the loft and using it in the garage. I should probably first dipose of the petrol can in there, especially as I have gone over to an electric hedge trimmer. My garage needs a declutter. I meant to do it in the summer, but didn't get round to it.

    I've been quite fortunate with the timings of the better weather and cycling days so far this year. Today's ride (exactly 100km) was my fifth of the year and all but one have been around the sixty miles mark. Got a big soggy today, though. Huggate – it always rains when I go there.

  4. mike greer wrote:

    hi
    I live in Westbourne, so Dorset, ride a fixed wheel bike for everything including touring. I am at present on tour in the North, the weather has/is rubbish but dont let it put you off from riding your bike, especially at our age! Use it or lose it as they say!

  5. Patrick wrote:

    I am at present on tour in the North

    Brave! (at our age LOL) It does put me off. However, Spring beckons.

  6. Chris wrote:

    The daffs are poking out oop north. But the snow hadn't quite gone yesterday:

    Beverley Road South Cave

    Spring beckons indeed...

  7. Kern wrote:

    Sloppy indeed. The sun this week finally has some strength. It won't be too long now before we can get out, even if just for a little bit.

    Good project, Patrick – you get a shed, a garage and a bike. Good things come in threes!

  8. Patrick wrote:

    The shed is on the drawing board (and as I was once an architect I think it might turn out as a bit more than just a shed LOL).

    Good photo Chris. I've been cycling too – a spell of fine weather at last. Not a cloud in the sky today, and warm.

  9. Garry wrote:

    Well...
    Spent February in Spain where the weather was terrific. Maxing about 15 every day with sun nearly all of the day except for three days when there was some rain. Since we came home the weather there has been very wet. I'm recognised as being lucky with weather!
    I've cycled a lot this year. Cork is more temperate than the English midlands. Was out yesterday on a slightly misty day. Coldish but tolerable. About 6C.

  10. Kern wrote:

    About 6C

    Prefix with a minus sign,throw in a lot of wet snow that turns into slush and you've got the weather over here. Titanium Man is tiresome. Grumble ...

  11. Hilary wrote:

    I've just spent February in Morocco. The weather was glorious but I was really looking forward to getting out on my bike again when I got back. So what happens? First day back I go down with food poisoning! :( :(
    I'm starting to feel a bit better now but I couldn't even get out of bed yesterday. Maybe tomorrow.....

  12. Patrick wrote:

    Nice holiday I hope Hilary, and get well soon! February in north west England was an improvement on the previous three months. The last few weeks I have actually been cycling.

  13. Hilary wrote:

    Thanks Patrick. I'm now fully recovered and managed to get 2 rides in over the weekend. I was looking forward to going out again today but it has snowed continuously all day accompanied by gale force winds! :(

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