The cycle commuting is going well. I ride three days a week, 20km each way on the Landrace and have only been rained on twice in three months. That Landrace is a great bike for London, tig welded from Reynolds 853 Pro tubing. Light and compliant and planted on the road, no bucking or juddering over the shit surfaces. I’ve been running the same pair of Schwalbe Pro One 28mm tyres for over a year and have yet to puncture (that will happen tomorrow) they are worn and cut and I can highly recommend them, plus they are a lot easier to get off than those Conti 5000’s – you’ll need a pair of mole grips in your backpack to get them off some rims.
I’m fit, fit for my age, just turned 56 recently, I’ve got all the gear. A handmade steel frame, Shimano Di2 gears, Rotor powermeter, Rotor Q-rings, deep section carbon wheels – it’s a hell of a commuter bike. Fancy aero Cyclefit kit, a HEXR custom helmet, Alba Optics glasses with photochromatic lenses for all light conditions, Shimano RC9 shoes with Habgood orthotics in, that’s £380.00 per trotter not including the cleats.
Alongside the three commutes I add a longer off-road ride at the weekend and do core sessions and weights on a Tuesday and Thursday when I work from home. Fit for my age.
I feel pretty special as I weave through the traffic; I’ve been commuting in London since the late eighties, before cycle lanes were invented.
I’m the daddy.
"Get out of my way everybody, I’ve got a shop in Covent Garden you know and have touched the bare feet of Fabian Cancellara though you’ve probably never heard of him ‘cos you don’t know anything about cycling like I do."
I roll past the gimps on their crappy bikes through Deptford. I’m such a snob, "oh look at his position, yuck, short socks, ha!"
"Look at him his knees are sticking out, what a joke, hide your arse crack mate!"
"Look at that youth, look how low his saddle is. Look at him, his right knee is almost hitting the top tube, he needs to get those crappy trainers off and get some proper pedals and shoes like me, no cycling kit on and his cheap helmet is all the way back on his head. Has he no self-respect? What a gimp."
I whizz past him, working my way through the traffic, zip-zapping my electric gears, slamming on those disc brakes, knee out through the corners, "I used to race crits you know, I even won one once".
I started the climb up through Greenwich Park.
"Look at me you cycling numpties. 330 watts in the saddle aren’t I special?"
Focused on my posture, core engaged, searching for my withering glutes.
Halfway up he rolled past me, his hairy undefined legs turning at about 30 rpm on the way to his piano lesson. I think he may even have been whistling.