So, I’ve not been entirely honest with you.
Last time, I told you about acquiring a new bike – Phoebe the Cotic BFe – and I felt the need to justify it by explaining that I part-exchanged Regina for her.
That’s true. What I haven’t mentioned yet, is that Phoebe is the second bike I’ve bought since we last spoke. Sorry.
And there’s no way of justifying this one. It was an all-out purchase. Because I wanted it.
This is Edie, the Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20. She’s really, really sexy.
With a 725 steel frame and carbon fork, she’s surprisingly light and zippy, and the perfect bike for a long road ride or sportive. Despite her turkey-warbling rear brake (I need to sort that out), she’s an absolute joy to ride, and today I took her for a spin around Chew Valley, with my dream team, Lucy and Ania. You may remember them from my spontaneous 200k.
We decided not to be so bold this time, and did a comfortable 56(ish) kilometre route down to Chew Valley Lake, and back up to Bristol via the Whitchurch Way cycle path.
It transpired throughout the day that all three of us had considered cancelling, as we were all feeling a bit run down and tempted to have a Sunday lie-in. I’m so glad we didn’t though, as it was a really lovely ride through some beautiful countryside.
This time of year the weather doesn’t really make for picturesque photos (though we did see a rainbow), but here’s a little glimpse anyway:
In terms of the route, the first two-thirds was the same as the route I took back when I first tried clipping in and riding solo. We took the Bristol-Bath to Saltford, and followed the Avon Cycleway (route 410) through Compton Dando, Stanton Drew, Pensford and finally Chew Valley.
One of the highlights of this part was encountering some running Santas.
Turns out today was the Saltford Santa Dash, so that provided some comic relief. Lots of people dressed as Santa, many with dogs in tow. I wish I’d gotten a photo of the pug dressed as an elf. Probably the highlight of the entire day.
When we reached Chew Valley Lake, we rewarded ourselves with coffee, chips, and ducks. Lots of ducks.
From there, it became unfamiliar to me. In the past I’ve continued south, into the Mendips, but this time we turned back towards Bristol and joined the Whitchurch Way (route 3). It’s a really lovely traffic-free cycle path, which takes you all the way into Bristol city from the south.
I have to admit, I did find some parts of today pretty challenging. Edie has an 11-spd 11-28 cassette, as opposed to the 9-spd 11-32 cassette I’m used to riding on a daily basis, so climbing hills becomes a little harder. It’s good though, because it forces me to get out of the saddle and really put my legs to work, and that can only spell out good things for my quads and glutes.