Monday, 18 October 2010
Hi all, it's been a while, no?
I've recently come back from long overdue holidays and then worked hard to buy myself a new bicycle. Well to be honest I bought it for my wife, because I've already got one. But I am riding it. It's a carbon fiber, drop handlebar fixie... just kidding. I decided to buy me and my wife a nice Pashley Princess Sovereign. Thinking ahead about the winter I wanted something that would allow me to brave the elements, plus I longed to finally ride something sitting upright.
So I went to Cycle-Surgery in Spitafields and got little to no attention from them even when I splashed out £600 on the bike. I guess they are used to people paying that for a pair of SPD shoes. When I saw the bike I was just amazed at how royal and classic it looked like, simply beautiful. Pitch black, golden lines on the fender, very discreet Pashley sticker on the side. Chromed bits and a huge wicker basket in the front. I jumped on it straight away.
The first few meters have been a bit wobbly because of the riding position, but then I got used to it. The second thing I had to get used to was the weight - it rides much more pleasantly than a road bike - although it's harder to accelerate on it, once you do you just glide. Once you get a hang of the internal gears, and remember to stop pedaling while shifting it's just like floating in the air. The upright position gives you an opportunity to look around, not mentioning it's super comfortable. The brooks saddle was quite nice and very kind to my bottom. None of this break-in period stuff.
The bicycle has quite a few things that would be accessories on a racing bike - full metal mudguards, hub dynamo and front light (the rear light is unfortunately battery powered), schwalbe marathon tyres for puncture-less life, frame mounted ring lock and kickstand for when you have to leave it outside the off-license for a minute or two, proper bell, pump, pannier rack (never use it - the wicker basket provides ample space) and fully encased chain. All of this makes this bike nice and practical to ride. I don't have to change my clothes at all, I have where to put my bag or shopping, don't have to worry about the lights as they are always on the bike, nor do I need to worry about batteries (at least for the front light). I can shift gears while stationary and don't need to worry about cleaning the drivetrain.
Now if you are a speed-lycra-boyracer-type it's not a bike for you. You won't be able to shave of seconds from your commute. People will overtake you and occasionally you will have to push the bike uphill (never happened to me though, yet). However if you use your bike in real life, this is the type of bicycle for you.