Meet Woger, the latest step on my journey to bike nirvana. Lately I’ve managed to convince almost no-one that the days of random bike purchases were long behind me. A strict one-in one-out policy was being ruthlessly augmented with a “cost per use” equation. Once I’d run out of wall hangers, I’d run out of excuses to buy anything new and shiny.
It’s important to understand these hard and fast rules were in fact no more than guidelines. And a lack of wall space can be simply solved by either leaning this one against a handy bench, or chucking Carol’s bike into the shed.
There is some method to what may seem absolute madness – especially to those whom I confidently explained that any instance of Lucifer’s preferred personal transportation device would burn up on entry into my cycling atmosphere – to why I now have two road bikes.
It’s about cash. Sort of. Mostly. In parts. If viewed from an oblique angle. By an alien. Every trip to our offices in England’s second city offers me not only a zero MPH view of the M5 most days, but also the fiscal opportunity to blow the thick end of FORTY QUID on petrol and parking. You could run a Space Shuttle on that, although I except it’s harder to find a space for it in the multi-story.
Riding 12 miles to Ledbury station costs nothing but a bit of commitment, planning and refusal to accept that dark and cold automatically equal cars with heaters. From about now until the world revolves slowly round to BST, wibbling to work via the train will pay for Woger and some. And the time I spend slumped in the carriage of London Midland’s finest trundlers can be spent reading, writing, looking out of the window, or dribbly asleep.
Try that on the Motorway and see what happens*. And yes I could make that journey on my lovely Carbon boardman that’s seen 850ks of commuting and not much else this year. It’s not like I’m even a proper roadie**, it entirely fails to deliver the visceral pleasure of mountain biking, the pleasure is more about retaining fitness not actually what’s going on during the process.
So why buy another bike to do something that’s meant to be about saving money. Logic so twisted it requires a couple of extra dimensions. And yet, my justification based entirely on the shitty state of the roads here, the cost of replacing expensive components the Boardman is hung with, and a guilt-free laziness of a bike that has “shed chuck” written all over it. Only way that bike is being cleaned before spring is if it gets rained on.
That was my rationale before I rode it. Didn’t expect to enjoy it at all, it’s cheap and that’s reflected everywhere with heavy stuff adorning an unsophisticated alloy frame. Surprisingly it’s pretty good fun once winched up to speed. Lardy wheels make that a bit of a chore and the gearing is a bit aspirational when presented with the local geography, but get a wriggle on and there’s a racy little number trying very hard to get out.
It has the persona of a fat lass, downstream of a few Bicardi Breezers and looking for a good time. While the Boardman is all efficiency, lightness and power, Wibbly Wog is labrador-esque in its’ need to please. Will I feel the same way at the end of winter?
Not sure, but there may be a road bike up for sale. Possibly two.
* Disclaimer. If you die horribly in a mass of twisted and burning wreckage, don’t come looking to me for sympathy.
** To fat, head not permanently stuck up one’s own fundament, occasionally noted for a sense of humour, has man-hairy legs, that kind of thing singles me out.