Spreading the bike bug

Just over a year ago we had no bikes and two cars in our household. Then I got a new car and bought my first road bike on the same day … and the BikeVCar blog was born.

5 months ago I quit my awful job, handed back my company car and found a local job that I could cycle to. At this point it was Bike 1 – 1 Car.

Yesterday, Ms BikeVCar collected her new road bike from the local bike shop “one nil down … two-one up!!”

I’m currently also very close to buying a second bike which will represent even further two-wheeled domination.

Ms BikeVCar’s new bike is a thing of beauty and certainly a lot nicer than my bike – justifiable grounds for my upgrade, methinks

Today was the first outing by Ms BikeVCar on her new machine. We chose a 35 km loop from Stow on the Wold which mostly avoided main roads. It didn’t mostly avoid hills, but seeing as ‘wold’ roughly translates as ‘hilly area’ it’s always going to be difficult to avoid hills around Stow on the Wold, in the Cotswolds.

A relaxing, mostly traffic-free loop of the Cotswolds

Today’s route elevation – about as flat as it comes around Stow on the Wold

When it comes to cycling, Ms BikeVCar already possesses an amazing, cycling-specific skill – cake baking. And over the last year I have developed an amazing capacity for cake-eating which is purely out of respect to true cycling values.

Only a cyclist could consume this amount of Ms BikeVCar’s homemade chocolate brownie in one day and not feel the slightest pang of guilt

Those who know anything about recreational cycling will know that cakes represent one of the Five Holy Pillars of Cycling. The other four being:

  • dressing head-to-toe in Lycra so revealing that it would make any non-cyclist feel naked
  • understanding the importance of sartorial elegance on the bike (even if you think nothing of wearing black shoes and a brown belt in normal everyday life, you would never allow the colours of your bike frame, bar tape, jersey and helmet not carefully match and complement each other)
  • the evidently infinite amount of gear and equipment that one must strive to acquire
  • accepting a completely new cost-value ratio that any rational person not indoctrinated in the world of cycling would not comprehend – “you could buy a good car for the cost of your bike” is a typical comment

Ms BikeVCar displaying fine sartorial elegance. Stylish bike, retro jersey and the whole outfit containing just 3 colours – white, black and pink. She means business!

The ride today was an enjoyable spin in some rare sunshine. After several weeks of heavy rain it was a pleasure to have some favourable weather. The speed of the journey was possibly slightly slower than Mr BikeVCar is normally used to, but other than the one occasion when Ms BikeVCar made him lose his cool by stopping to squeal at baby lambs he managed to behave in a gentlemanly and patient manner.

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

We stopped in the quaint village of Moreton-in-Marsh for cups of tea and a slice of cake before the long climb home to Stow on the hill.

Cake and tea stop … more cake? Yes, of course more cake

We were out for three hours which provided some excellent bum-conditioning for Ms BikeVCar. Now that she has her own bike correctly set up for her, the next phase of cycling development will be overcoming the discomfort of spending hours perched on a thin wedge of plastic. Who knows what will follow after that – Bike V Car part 2 ?

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6 thoughts on “Spreading the bike bug

  1. Ian says:

    If you’ll allow me a multi-part comment…

    The road where you took your wife’s photo looks excellent – quiet, good visibility, flat. I hope you both had fun. Her bike looks the part too. From the snap, the hoods look high up on the bars but if the shop went to the trouble of fitting her, which they all should but often don’t, I’m sure they’re positioned correctly. Maybe it’s just the Campag (?) shape that I’m not used to.

    Re your own new bike, isn’t it great that it makes such a big difference: I’m excited for it. If it were me I’d be inclined to ask them to swap the superior wheels and groupset onto the red frame, which looks fantastic. The white one is good too and will match your wife’s Orbea (you can decide whether that’s good or bad).

    Your note on the G800’s problem with not actually being waterproof is very relevant to me right now. Mine is in the shop after recently losing all ability to find signal – it gives me only grey (not green) bars at the Locating… stage. I bet that’s what it is: I had been out in the rain. Thanks for this, Ian/HillFarmHouse

    • bikevcar says:

      You’re right about my wife’s bars but she has back problems and is new to road cycling so we’re going with comfort over aerodynamics until she gets more used to the position.

      I paid the deposit for the Merkx today and will pick it up Friday. V Excited! Expect a full post soon ….

  2. PaleInk says:

    Neat idea for a blog. We need more people to tip the balance in favour of bikes rather than cars. We have two of each in our household and just can’t seem to ditch one of the cars because of the need to get to work safely and drop off and collect the kids. But we’re always trying to ride more and I ride to work most days.

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