Good news from Rob recently who has announced he’s been cleared to return to riding after much problems with his knee (more information on the DoMTB forum). Like me, he’s bemoaning his weight gain and lack of fitness which I’m sure he’ll recover pretty quickly.
I too have started thinking about returning to fitness although I’m not ready to start yet. Earlier in the week I mentioned I plan to fit some slicks to my On-one and start getting some miles in on road as a start but it’s got me thinking about fitness more widely.
What I’d like to aim for is to try and make sure that every journey I take under five miles is by bike or by foot in an effort to both cut down on pointless fuel costs and get fitter than I’ve been for a long time. It seems to me the best way to do that is to make a ‘lifestyle change’ as the experts would describe it.
So here’s my plan. Dig out my old 1998 Marin Muirwoods from the box in the garage and build it up into a road specific tool (I knew there was a reason I couldn’t bring myself to sell it). Now, I know what you’re thinking, Matt seems to have spent far too long off his bike and thinking about these things, but hear me out.
Despite the craziness of it, look at the facts. I’d still need to drive to work which is 14 miles away and trips to Guildford and Kingston at the weekends would still involve the car. But that aside, I don’t need a car, friends and family are a maximum five miles away in Ashtead (but mostly in Fetcham/Bookham/Leatherhead) and if I have a road suited bike it should get used more frequently anyway.
I’m planning a carbon fork and handlebars, slick tyres and probably V-brakes if only for the nostalgia. For drivetrain I’m quite tempted to fit just a single chainring with a nine speed road block out back but I’ve no idea whether this is a) possible and b) what gear range to go for. Then to turn the bike into a properly practical proposition I’ll add a rack with a single pannier to transport whatever I need (spares, lock, waterproof, small bits of shopping etc.). It should end up being a pretty light bike overall.
Now that should be enough to get the fantasy bike builders speculating. Any ideas on what components I should be looking at or should I get my head seen to instead?