Decisions, decisions. The choice of steed for a ride of this length can be a delicate matter. Not, however, in this case. I do have more than 1 bike to choose from (3 in fact, but one is a mountain bike and has no chance of being the chosen one) but one holds a special place in my heart. I’ll try to stop there before this goes a bit 50 shades of grey.
It’s not the bike I’ve owned the longest, nor is it the most expensive but it has quickly become my favourite, just don’t tell the others. It is a steel frame (Mangalloy HLE, to be precise) Peugeot PRO-Team bought for me by my dad for fifty quid from a house clearance shop, of all places, so we could do the inaugural L’Eroica Britannia.
A fair bit of TLC (and a new saddle) later and it was ready for L’Eroica, which is a vintage sportive run for the first time in the UK this Year. All bikes that enter must for fill certain criteria, including age, materials used and cable routing amongst many.
The plan for this bike had been to use it for L’Eroica and then go from there. As the miles began to pile up, I began to realise how much this bike suited me and it’s life plan went from winter hack/commuter bike to my go to bike for all my riding pleasures, so much so that my other road bike now resides in the attic.
The down tube shifters have now gone, replaced by 9 speed Shimano Ultegra STIs, and as a concession to this ride I’ll be fitting my lightest wheels (a pair of Mavic Kysrium Equipes) in the hope it will help with those late night hills.
*Edit* There are some issues with this choice, the main one is that it only has one bottle cage, limiting the amount of fluids I can carry. It is also running 52/38 chainrings, which are fine in the most part, but I may be thankful for some lighter gears after 200+ miles. I still want to use the Peugeot, but I’m becoming less adamant it’s the best choice. The other option, a Specialized Secteur elite, is lighter, has a lower gear ratio, can take two bottle cages and it has mudguards fitted. But I really want to ride the Peugeot. Suddenly not so sure which to ride.