In a bid to get fitter, loose some middle age spread and reduce the dreaded blood pressure, I bought a bike. A road bike. A gorgeous road bike. A Genesis Equilibrium.
Even though the hilly nature of our Devon abode meant that the first few rides resulted in extreme exhaustion followed by crushing nausea, over time it has re-kindled my love of cycling. As a younger and thinner lad I was a keen mountain biker. Various bikes were purchased culminating in my last great purchase: a 1999 Marin East Peak. This was one of the first short travel full suspension cross country mountain bikes. This bike was lovely. A perfect fit and an absolute joy to ride. Whether that be an hours blast in the woods or an all day expedition.
Ridden fairly regularly until 2010, it was converted into a commuter bike to travel across London to rehearsals. I say "converted". What I mean is that I stuck some slick tyres on it.
For the last 6 years however, basically since we moved down to Devon, this bike has languished in either a leaky barn or leaky shed, looking more and more forlorn as the days have passed.
But that is about to change. Just like the Bionic Man opening credits - We have to power to re-build it.
I am planning a complete strip down and start again. Leaving the gorgeous frame but replacing pretty well everything else. The proviso being that the replacement bits are lighter, better and more durable.
Mountain bikes have moved on significantly in the 17 years since I parted with cash for my Marin. The 26" wheels have all but been replaced with 27.5" and even 29" wheels, disc brakes replacing my ageing 'V' brakes. Some of these innovations I can incorporate, others not. But I am thoroughly looking forward to the challenge. My man cave is getting equipped and EBay is being scoured as we speak.
There have been many times that I have seen a bridlepath or track from the road when out on my slender tyred road thoroughbred. I am hoping that in a couple of months I will be able to take my retro Marin bike on further muddy and rocky adventures. This should be reason enough for the Marin to be smashing the trails.