Friday, December 23, 2011


Christmas is fast approaching and I have given my wife her present a couple of days early. For the seventh time, I have given Emily a bike as a gift.

The first was around five years ago for Emily's birthday. I got my hands on a cheap hybrid that Emily rode to work each day and the bike did about a thousand times its value in work. By the time it moved on, it was well and truly 'used'.

For the next bike I purchased a old school retro ladies bike for $26 from eBay. It was covered in rust and unridable, but after a coat of paint, some new wheels and various other parts, 'Old Red' was born for Emily's christmas present. It is only good for going down to the shops but turns a lot of heads on the way.

The next bike was a poorly thought out road bike that was the wrong size and eventually bastardised for parts. Its life was short-lived and not enjoyed. It simply reinforced Emily's distain for road bikes and put a speed bump in my plans to get her to ride one.

Next was another retro custom build for Emily's birthday. I took an old track frame and build some colour matching wheels to produce 'The Folger'. Emily still loves cruising the bike paths on her single speed and little did she know that it was all part of my plan to get her used to those skinny, high pressure tyres.

The next bike was a dual-suspension mountain bike. Emily hit the trails with a surprising lack of fear, riding over and into pretty much everything. I wasn't allowed to clean her moutain bike as Emily didn't want to look like a rookie on a new bike whenever we went out. It had to have just the right amount of mud stuck to it so she could get some respect.

The 6th bike was another birthday present in the form of a commuter. It was back to the road bike sized wheels and lack of suspension to prepare Emily for a proper road bike. It has since been named 'Nessi' and is her regular transport to work, complete with mud guards and pannier racks.

So this leads to bike number 7 and the final step in my plan. It took a lot longer than anticipated but Emily is finally on a road bike that fits her. She was most concerned with the colour but is thankfully happy with it. After a short ride this morning to experience the typical Friday morning roadie ride to the coffee shop, she has named it 'The Ballerina' because it is so light and dainty to ride.

Unknown to Emily, the next step in my plan is waiting downstairs in the garage in the form of clipless pedals and shoes. She claims that they make her feel claustrophobic and she doesn't want to wear them. We'll see....

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