The right bike for the job

Fuji handlebarsI went on a ride today, along what I was told was a nicely paved cycle path. I took my track bike, with its skinny tires and cut-down handlebars.

After a few miles of glassy-smooth Tarmac it crumbled into nothing but forest paths, shingle and bumps.

The guys on knobbly-tired mountain bikes had been slower on the smooth stuff, and I struggled on the rough. Still, nothing broke, and I had a great time.

It got me thinking, though; the right bike for the job is all well and good, but you can’t get bogged down by it. My Fuji was designed for the velodrome, but it ploughed through miles and miles of forest today.

If you don’t have a road bike, you can still race away your Sunday. If you don’t have a mountain bike, you don’t have to skirt around every pebble and twig. Not having exactly the right gear is no excuse.

It reminds me of an Eddy Merckx quote on how to speed-up: “Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades”.

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