I have been many things on a bike in my time. I started off as a learner, a grommit, a boy let to discover the passion. Even though the first bike I remember having, a Raleigh Tommahawk which was a hand me down from my cousin, it didn't ignite my passion for bikes. It really was my gold Falcon BMX, yes bling tastic even back then. This was the bike which fuelled and changed me as a person. It's one of my strongest memories as a child, getting the bike on Christmas day, and the adventures that I had on that bike have stayed with me longer than many other things which Aunties and Uncles remind me of when I see them.
I've been obsessed with MTB's and still enjoy digging mine out to ride with the kids. With the recent(ish) move to the South Coast and with the Downs being so close I can feel a 140mm travel bike being on the purchase list at some point. I rode my first road bike in the 80's suicide levers and all, but I left it there for many years. Lots of things got in the way, as life does.
Road bikes, well I'm slightly obsessed and have had more than a few and less than a factory. I love them for everything that they allow me to do, and the freedom they bring. If you'd have asked me a couple of years ago I would have said "Yes, I am a Roadie", now I'd firmly say "I'm a Bike Rider". We can become so compartmentalised, and need to put ourselves into a box. If it's got two wheels I'm happy, and I'd even try three wheels at somepoint.
The thing is I love the weekend ride, but ironically, and no doubt like many, I spend much of my riding time commuting. When I lived in London, this could be a chore, a battle ground constantly fighting for space, trying to be aware of everthing around you. The combination of cat like ninja skills and an acute sixth sense made for many an interesting ride. I am sure that those skills will be lessened by the lack of a constant battle ground, but it's a trade off I'm happy to make. I still feel spoilt when I take the long way home, it's so different from the urban sprawl of London. The first 5 miles of my new commute are all urban sprawl (when coming from the work direction), and once this is over I have 11 miles of lanes to enjoy. The elevation gain is minor, but some of the views are stunning. The last three miles are on a local TT course which means its a fast little roller coaster. Recently I've found a road which allows the lanes to continue for another few more miles before I join the last 3/4 of a mile of the roller coaster.
When I can't commute I miss it. The ride gives me the time in the morning to be a better person when I arrive in the office and more importantly the ride home allows me to switch off ready to become a father, a husband and most importantly me again. I love being a Bike Rider.