Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Pennine Cycle


 In 1990 my mother and father gave me birthday money to put towards a custom made road racing bike. I was living in West Yorkshire at the time and decided to use a Bradford based company called Pennine Cycles. I went into their workshop a couple of times for them to measure me and to choose components and a colour scheme. I was so excited the day I went to collect the bike. It was an absolute vision.

I had always had bikes as a child and teenager. I remember my first one – a metallic blue tricycle with a sizable boot at the back. It had an extending handle that my parents could hold onto as I rode along. My first two wheeler was a two- tone blue Raleigh and I remember my father teaching me to ride it – using the age old trick of promising not to let go and then of course letting go. What a metaphor. Yes, we can usually do more than we originally believe is possible.

 I never really rode the Pennine cycle that much and when I moved back to Wales I stored it in my cousin’s garage in. One night I dreamed that she had given it away and I woke up so angry that I determined to collect it when I next went down South. Unfortunately, the garage roof had sprung a leak and the bike looked a total wreck. I felt frustrated with myself and saddened. I was very close to taking it to the scrap yard.

 Meanwhile, I was in New York at the time of the NYC triathlon and after watching the event I decided that I would like to give the triathlon a go. Then on returning home I met an acquaintance who was a keen cyclist and he introduced me to a cycling group. This led to the resurrection of the Pennine cycle. I had it re-sprayed and fitted with some new components. I had forgotten how exhilarating it felt like to ride.

I didn’t manage to get an entry for the NYC triathlon and since then they have changed the date of the event to earlier in July  and I am there each year for the end of July (probably for the best as a mile in the Hudson River never really appealed to me) but I really enjoy riding with the cycling group and I have, to date, completed four sprint triathlons in North Wales.

Harlech Triathlon 

1 comment:

  1. A good bike is always worth renovating - well nearly always. My touring bike is thirty years old, the frame was hand built by my neighbour who was also one of the UK's best bike builders at the time. I love it.