It’s possible to achieve great results if you lavish a small amount of time and attention in the right areas.
Perhaps you’ve been neglecting your duties and have taken things for granted? Maybe you’ve forgotten what it was that you fell in love with? Frankly, has the spark gone?
A few short weeks ago all of this applied to me, until I had a moment of clarity and decided life was too short to live with regret. I could either moan about the lacklustre relationship between us, or I could damn well get a grip and do something about it!
I did the right thing: I wheeled my winter bike out from its dark corner in the shed and set about making things right.
The truth is that the frame on my Pinarello Angliru has always been a bit too big for me, so I did what I should have done years ago and replaced the handlebar stem with a shorter one. I can now ride it without inducing backache, which is nice.
As the fastening bolts on the old stem had (to my shame) gathered a spot of rust over the years this replacement also had the benefit of adding a bit of shine to the front end. It’s the bit you can see when you ride, and does wonders for the mid-ride psychology.
And who doesn’t want a bit of shine on their front end?
The brake levers and gear shifting had long been ready for an overhaul, so I replaced a few parts with fresh Campagnolo spares. The idea that my winter bike might change gears smoothly and slow down when you pull the brake levers was a novel one, but this is now what it does. Admittedly it takes a bit of the excitement out of riding downhill but still, it’s probably for the best.
And the general scruffiness?
The fact is, if you ride a bike which is scruffy and unloved you end up feeling a bit scruffy and unloved. This is particularly true in the autumn when you wrap the good bike in cotton wool for another year and wheel out the workhorse. For motivational reasons this is exactly the time you need to look good on your bike.
Some pristine red bar tape, a bright red drinks cage, and the kind of wash, polish and buff that it’s not seen since that first flush of love back in the early days soon sorted things out. Of course it’s still a bit sluggish out on the road, but only in comparison to the good bike. I won’t be setting and Strava KOM’s on it, but that’s fine by me.
Now, when I see it propped outside the café with its simple angles and its shiny red accessories the old spark has been rekindled. Sometimes a quick once over is all that’s needed to get the fires burning again.
Call me superficial, but that’ll do for me.