the rain has been coming in vertically on a cold wind for a couple of weeks. Here in Aberdeenshire that means 50 degree temperatures and a damp journey home at three times the speed you left at The main road near my house is flat enough for a fixed gear but busy enough to make the farm roads and tracks on the hillside look very attractive. I like to hammer a road bike over those muddy cobbles during the Flanders\Roubaix part of the pro racing season. This reminds me that, at 46, my best races have been run but the route I use describes a five mile circle around my house, so walking home with a bent rim or double flat tyre is no real hardship! In winter, the disposable mountain bike shows it's value and refuses to behave like a mere product. If I had to give up the custom frame, the tourer and the hack, this is the all purpose workhorse I would retain.
In the workshop, a 1987 Raleigh race frame is getting some attention. It has superficial rust spots which must be removed before next weekend when I plan to present it to my friend of 33 years, who will be visiting from our English Midland hometown. He commutes on a mountain bike and has never ridden a lightweight road bike. I want to make this a happy event and have sourced some good used components but wheels will need to be built or bought. I am fairly easy on equipment and haven't needed to build a wheel in years. Don't even true 'em much. Wonder if I can remember how to do it?
The Giro d'Italia moves into it's second week. The tv pictures are gorgeous but I doubt if I'll get a dozen rides in this summer dressed as sparsely as Casagrande and his buddies. Scotland should be the training ground for all outdoor clothing manufacturers. My threadbare woolly tights and endless pairs of shrinking gloves are eternally bent and curved to the shapes they are asked to assume; off the bike I am a scarecrow in a shop, a traffic light vagabond. Comfy, though.
The national cycle route passes close by on it's way to the Moray coast and on to Inverness. If I see you fighting the northerly blast, I'll call you over for a cup of tea and a towel Maybe your chain will need oiling or bags repacking? I can help with that.
The name's Eric, by the way. I shall use the nom de guerre of Flaneur on the boards 'cos I hung around and read other peoples' posts for ages before deciding to write myself. When the urge takes me, I range quite far afield with my bike- Mount Tamalpais last spring, the Alps the summer before.....maybe I'll meet up with you down the road?