I’ve taken advantage of the Ride To Work Scheme and picked up a new winter bike. It’s a Trek XO1 cyclo-cross bike, although I’m fitting mudguards and some road tyres so I can use it for the commute to work up and down the valley. I had a first ride out on it yesterday and after some tinkering with the position, it felt pretty fine, and not significantly heavier or more sluggish than my three year old Madone 5.2. The plan is that it will make me ride more to work over the winter months. I suspect no small amount of self-discipline in getting out of bed on the dark mornings will also be an essential part of that plan, but we shall see.
Now I’m aware that my predilection for Trek bikes might mark me out as some Lance Armstrong fan. I’d just like to state that’s not the case, and I ride Trek’s in spite of, and not because of their connections to Armstrong, Discovery / Astana and Bruyneel. Personally I think the comeback story is the worst thing that could happen to cycling, and I’m with Paul Kimmage, who responded to the news with the line about how you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. I know I wrote about some cycling book recommendations in the latest issue of ‘Don’t Forget To Dance’ but in case I don’t get around to doing a sequel, you should also add to that list Kimmage’s ‘Rough Ride’ and ‘Bad Blood’ by Jeremy Whittle. Whittle’s tale of the Armstrong approach to media coverage in particular is compelling, and well worth reading.