Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Don't tell ..

It's been a guilty pleasure, the work commute on the mountain bike.  I mean, yes it seems ludicrous jostling through the city traffic on big knobbly tyres, with a hefty looking frame, some serious suspension and immensely huge handlebars.  It feels out of place, this thing which belongs with mud and rock and hillsides transferred to tarmac, kerb stones, drainage and hard metal lines not randomly dispersed trees or earthy banks.  It's slow too, I mean really, truly, grindingly slow.  The resistance of the tyres I guess makes it so.  Every roll of the wheels is driven by pedal strokes.  There's no let up, no rest, no free wheeling.  The bike appears to be charged with no momentum of its own.  No glorious swooping or air rushing past or the feeling of gliding, it's just one relentless push.

But you feel you've earned every solitary inch of every mile.  That journey has been well and truly fought for, made by you and the bike, not given to you.  The resistance training potential appears huge, and every acceleration is a moment of personal triumph, of glee, the feeling that yes, there is some push there hiding in these rather average legs.  The bike might be wider and not get through gaps between car and kerb without some serious potential of scratching paintwork, but in its favour it can get out of those situations by bouncing up kerbs.  It also tackles with some degree of fierceness potholes which the flimsy delicate road bike simply recoils in horror from, like a dainty ballet dancer horrified that she might get her pointy pink feet at all dirty.  The mountain bike just grins and wallops onwards, fearless and a little bit careless.  The road bike appears neurotic against the burliness of the MTB.

So yes, I feel guilty because the mountain bike although slow and hard work is enjoyable for a chance commute to work, it has none of the precision needs of the road bike, and I have to say not the same maintenance needs, the road bike currently being nursed through a shifter breakdown at the local bike shop.

And this ambivalent feeling of guilt and disloyalty to the bike has been brought to you by 10cc ...

"Don't tell your friends about the two of us".  Because shhh, it's a secret.

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