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Can you identify with this? Changing discipline (again)

Chris NewbyFraser

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Firtsly I must point out that I love and this lavk of needing fixed stability affected all aspects of my life. I followed the normal path of a bike loving kid. From my first tricycle in 1978 to a scooter to 'sports' bicycles on rural gravel and tar roads,to real roadbikes for racing. My first change was in 1984 when I buggered off to the US, bought a full on Specialized touring bike and pedalled around there and Europe for a year. I saw the new fangled mountain bike thing in Boulder Colorado but scoffed; I was a roadie, of course, even if my steed looked like an over-loaded pack mule.


But the itch to do something different needed scratching and one fine 1994 day at a bike shop in Edenvale, I saw a Wheeler hardtail and just fell in love with the bike. Bought it, joined what was then the fledgling, laughed at, sport in SA and had lots of fun. Saw that a bike shop was bringing in full suspension tandems and against advice (I was told that mtb tandems are too hard to ride) bought one, a Ventana. An absolute joy, so easy to ride, even with a missus who had no intention of being overly adventurous. So after several wonderful bikes, with the mtb industry ruling, the itch started(I was still married to the same cycling widow so it must been a cycling itch) and I looked longingly at those sleek roadbikes, bought a used beauty and enjoyed it for a while. But Joburgs suicidal traffic kept me in a state of fear and cycling became an emotional challenge, not a joy. Exit the roadbike, hello again to mtb.


The itch had NOT been snuffed out. Scratch,scratch, scratch till I bled....resulting in my mtb and roadbike being sold and a stupidly expensive gravel bike coming into the house. I again joined a fledgling discipline and again got laughed at by mtb'rs and roadies (who's laughing now?). The bike supposedly had a good gravel suspension compliance in the headset.(a load of *** as the 20mm blew thru so fast it would hammer the frame). 3 months and the bike was gone, replaced by a stunning hardtail mtb with suspension seat. In the peak of full-suspension fever I went against the market and reverted back to a super rigid Giant carbon hardtail. A complete blast, so much more fun than the porky Camber I rode at that time.


Retired to the Kzn lower south coast. Only two little mtb parks to ride and very limited gravel road suitability for old single riders to venture along. Boredom! Scratch, scratch, scratch......mtb gone, hello road bike. Yup, I have left mtb and gone to that 'die'ing in South Africa' discipline, the road. First ride Yowzer!! Who rides gears like this. Where's the granny gear.


But what a pleasure. So little effort needed to go places. It feels good. But those gears!.

Gonna need a Lotto win so I can get an e-bike. Scratch, scratch, scratch......

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