On Saturday Mike and I went bike shopping, since my old bike is getting a bit too long in the tooth, and *is* too small for me. First stop was University Cycles, but Colin is on holiday and not back until tomorrow, so we headed round the corner to Townsends. My previous new bike (which was nicked last October) came frome there, and was a Ridgeback Comet. I was going to go for something a bit more tourery but ended up with another commuter-bike. This time it's the next one up in the range, the Ridgeback Velocity:
Ridgeback's webpage is pretty rubbish (and rather full of flash), but it seems Townsends have already made a few changes from the standard spec and put fairly slick 700x28C tyres on it. I asked them to fit kick-stand, bottle cage, mudguards and rear pannier rack, and to swap out the quick release wheel fixings, got a discount for being a member of the university, and arranged to pick it up on Tuesday morning. Which is today! So today I have shiny new bike joy, even if it's not exactly the bike I had in mind beforehand. And I even brought my stuff in my pannier bag so got to cycle off straight away with the bike carrying the luggage, instead of me. I've missed that.
In the meantime I took the old bike out for what was probably it's last long ride on Sunday. Mike and I headed out of town on the NCN 51 which goes (a long way round) to Newmarket, but detoured to Anglesey Abbey for lunch and a walk. When we reached Burwell we turned left onto the NCN 11 which was new territory for us. This takes you on to Ely via Wicken Fen, which is pretty nice for the most part, though my skinny tyres struggled with some of the bridlepaths - not suited to gravel, especially not on a downhill slope. We stopped in Ely in the park looking up to the Cathedral and just chilled out for a bit eating chocolate and looking at maps, then headed off again, putting together two previous bits of route in the other direction and coming home via Witchford, Wilburton, Cottenham, Landbeach and Waterbeach where we rejoined a different part of NCN 11 and came back along the river. A 50 mile round trip in total and a very pleasant one at that. gmap route.
I'll be keeping her as a spare anyway, as well as for nostalgia reasons. 20 years old in November she's done me well.