OK, so you’ve probably noticed that I have a bit of a problem; namely the ridiculous contraption that I have for a bike. I have serious difficulty imagining myself winning any races on that beauty. That bike was once a really good and surprisingly fast bike, about eight years ago when it was new and belonged to my wife. Now it’s just kind of sad. This is the bike I currently use to get to and from work, and every day that I survive the return journey is a testament to my survival instinct and need for an adrenalin rush. You see, the only good thing about this bike is the seat; which is amazingly comfortable. Whenever I pedal in any way that suggests that I would like to move forward, the chain makes a lovely noise and jumps off the cogs. Front or back, it makes no difference! It amounts to the same thing; my foot slipping off the pedal and my toes slamming into the tarmac. It’s a good thing I wear steel toe capped boots for work! Oh and the breaks are simply to die for, I just hope that I don’t.
I didn’t always have these bike problems, as I once had a fairly good Claud Butler Stone River (2005 model I think), pictured below. I did a bit of mountain biking at the time, nothing serious or competitive mind you, and it suited my needs perfectly. I had the bike for about five years, and I also used it to get to and from work and never had a problem with it, and that includes flat tyres. That’s right, not a single flat tyre in all that time! I loved that bike. It rode well and was almost impossible to break. By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m using the past tense here, and unfortunately that’s because all good things must come to an end. As I said before, I had the bike for about five years, until it finally got stolen from the cycle lock up down stairs, where it was locked to a bike pole in a locked room. I was gutted, to say the least. It was like losing a life-long friend. OK maybe not, but you get the picture. This was about the fourth time someone had attempted to nick that bike, and they finally succeeded. They had attempted to cut the lock on it in various places around Cambridge, both at night and in broad daylight. I replaced the lock after each attempt, with the same brand lock – and with a certain amount of smugness I must add. But in the end the end they had it anyway.
Since I was now without a bike and not too keen on the prospect of walking to work, I bought a new bike. I contemplated getting a road bike so I could give this whole traithlon thing a go, but was plagued by indecision. After visiting what seemed like every website out there that had anything to say about entry level triathlon bikes, I gave up and decided to go with a, wait for it, Claud Butler Stone River 2010. Look, at least I got a different model. I don’t think this was such a bad choice as I trusted the brand, loved the 2005 model, and was still in a state of mourning. So I ordered the new bike online and when it arrived, I lovingly attached the wheels and pedals and went for a burn. The 2010 model rode just as nicely as the 2005 one, and the new disc breaks were great. This bike rocked! You see, the past tense is starting to slip back in there again? Well that’s because less than two months later, it was stolen. That’s right, nicked in less than two months! This time from outside the swimming pool in the centre of town, where it was locked to a cycle pole with a £60 lock under a CCTV camera. I bet you are wondering if they were caught. Well, no. They managed to defeat the mighty CCTV camera by pulling their hoods up. Amazing, what genius!
Unfortunately I didn’t take a photograph of my Claud Butler Stone River 2010. I have written to Falcon Cycles to request permission to use their image, but until I hear back you can have a look at the bike here.
This sad little tale does, however, end on a slightly more positive note. About a month or two later my mother told me that she had seen a notice in the local paper, of which I would have sworn she was the only reader, that the police had caught some bike thief and all the bikes he had nicked (185 of them) were on display at the police station. So I went along and there was my bike! No, not the new 2010 model, but the old one. I thought this was brilliant! The only problem was that the bloke who had nicked it had tried to service it or something and messed the gears up. So it is now on my balcony waiting to be serviced. And serviced it shall be, but that’s another post…coming soon. So there you have it, I will be doing my first triathlon on an old and battered, but much loved and trusted mountain bike.
Have you ever had a bike stolen? If so did you get it back or was it gone for good?