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.