New bike…oh my!

I have a new love in my life, and she’s called Devon.  She is sleek and beautiful and smooth and supportive…how did i ever live without her!  Yes, I’ve finally had time to get off the turbo and onto the open road with my new Whyte bike, and I’ve fallen fast and hard!

My first impression however was confused…I couldn’t work out how the gears worked.  I’m used to a triple ring, with gears that you can see clearly, so you know exactly where you are and how much room you have to manoeuvre in terms of getting up that hill.  The Devon has a double ring, with no gear indicators, which means that if you lose track of which ring you’re in, you can’t see without looking at the chainset whilst riding, which I’m not confident to do just yet.  However, I soon discovered that not knowing where you are in your gears is quite liberating and leads to much more instinctive riding – you change gear because your legs demand it, not just because you happen to be about to go up a hill.  I found this very interesting, and I’ve probably been underestimating myself by instantly going into my granny ring as soon as a slope appears.

The other thing that is absolutley brilliant are the disc brakes. I never had the bottle to let the bike run fast down a hill, because my brakes were so useless it would take me half a mile to slow down enough to be able to stop. My brakes responding instantly with just a touch has given me loads more confidence to let it fly while going downhill – I haven’t downloaded my Garmin from the last ride yet, but I bet I have some serious Strava PBs on the downhills of my last ride.

All in all, the new bike feels like it’s working WITH me, rather than just being shoved along by me.  I always believed that it was the person rather than the machine which counts and of course that’s true, but really… I see clearly now how a carefully designed bike can make a massive difference to the quality of the ride, which in turn leads to an increased desire to get out more.  Win win win!

It also helps that the weather is vastly improved… I had a couple of beautiful rides this week – fields full of lambs, oyster catchers, daffodils and even a wee breath of warmth on my back.  Just lovely to be out.  However, the furthest I’ve gone has been 20 miles which left me a bit shattered afterwards… once the kids are back at school after easter, the training has to step up a gear.  I’ve a long way to go, but I’ve now got my wee Devon to make it loads easier! And LOADS more fun!

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This post was written by hillsideoutside