Today I was planning to go on an epic adventure on the bike I’d borrowed from Victor & Liberty‘s Lucy. She’d told me it was like riding a magic carpet, and would go anywhere, so I thought I’d repeat Tuesday’s ride, but better, and faster, and maybe further, and definitely including a speedy plummet down the bridleway to the Blue Pig.
However, it didn’t quite work out like that. I didn’t think Lucy was that much smaller than me, so thought the bike would be OK, even though it was a small frame. Unfortunately, the seat post wouldn’t move an inch, regardless of what I sprayed on it to try and release it. I set off anyway, and quickly discovered that it was going to take quads of steel to ride this bike any distance. A shorter route then – to the top of the Blue Pig trail and down it.
By the time I reached Heptonstall I was cursing. The pimped hybrid had been easier to get up the hill, and the bike felt more shag pile than magic carpet. Squashed and bent forward over the handlebars, it was only the sensation of my stomach folding over onto my waistband that stopped me getting off to push (if it hurts, it must be good for you, right?). Then the Blue Pig trail…now I know it makes a difference riding your own bike, when you have a better idea of what it is capable of (or of what you care capable of on it), but I managed to ride more of the trail on the pimped hybrid than I did on the magic carpet. A frantic scrabble and I just managed to stop myself going over the handlebars, however in the process I did bash myself in places Ruth would rather not mention in bike shops. I just couldn’t get my weight where I needed it to be to balance. I gingerly bounced and shuffled down to the bottom, repeatedly whacking my shins on the pedals as I reached for the ground time and time again.
I huffily pedalled back to Blazing Saddles, made use of their free bike wash (hose, cleaning stuff and brushes all there, for FREE). And then I booked a test ride on an Orange Clockwork for next week. I wonder if it will do the Blue Pig trail?
So, not a lot of fun going up or down today. I think the lesson is, size does matter. Being on the wrong sized bike can entirely spoil your fun. So next time you look at your child on their bike in August and think ‘they’ve grown out of that, we’d best get them a new one for Christmas’, don’t. Make sure their bike is fun to ride – get them one that fits, now.