I picked up my new bike, and a new lock on Saturday. The bike has a black aluminium frame, 21 speed 'flick' change Shimano gears (I don't like the 'grip shift' system), V-brakes and rather nice looking black spoked 28 inch wheels. I've popped my favourite saddle on it, too. It's a sort of cross between 'city' and 'touring' bike. It has flat handlebars and no suspension. I like it a lot.
On Saturday afternoon I strapped my heart rate monitor on and did an hours training in our local park. My legs are a bit stiff as a result and I feel a little saddle sore after my absence from cycling of a few months. On Sunday I went off for an early morning ride to see how long it would take to get to where I work. On the way back I tried to be clever and explore another route back to 'casa mia' and I got lost! At the same time the handlebar worked its way loose and this made the ride home interesting.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
The bike will also double as work transport around town, hence the expensive, heavy chain and lock I got for it. I got a black frame in the hope that the bike would look a bit understated and thus not attract the attentions of those who pinch the things, but I'm a little sorry to say that it looks a bit too good, meaning that I shall worry about parking it up for long periods.
I shall pop out this evening to do another training session in an attempt to reduce my ever increasing girth.
Some friends of mine, Hugh and Nicola, re-introduced me to the joys of cycling, mountain biking actually, some twelve years back and I love it. During my youth my parents got me a three-speed bike, which, I have to say, was a real pain in the hilly area in which we then lived, and struggling up hills somewhat put me off the whole cycling thing. Getting a good quality bike changed all that and at one point I was even able to whizz up hills. Yes, I used to be quite fit. 25 to 35 miles seemed like nothing. When I was first in Italy I would do 60 miles in well under a day on the flat expanse which is the Milanese plain.