This week my new bikes arrived and they are beautiful.

Firstly I solved the time trail indoor bike by buying a pre-loved Specialized Shiv frame from ebay without wheels but for £1000 I think I got a good deal.

The sparkling new bike I bought from Certini Bicycles in Bristol and they were brilliant. Although actually finding the bike was a ball ache. My choice of training road bike was limited to two Specialized models, the preferred Amira. I’d lived with an Amira it really is a great bike and it’s made me loyal enough to the brand that I wanted another, sadly 56cm Amira’s in the colour and finishing kit I wanted was kind of like looking for diamonds in donkey droppings.

Making the decision to buy a Tarmac felt a bit like finding the best of your second choices. The first thing is that I’d lost the option of the Amira team colours which I was rather fond of and while at times I might look like shit on a bike I will never be seen on a shit looking bike. In the end the matte black and orange 9r framed Tarmac with Di2 won the vote, Certini swapped the crank for me which is great although they used that blue stuff to attach the left crank arm which I can’t get off to fit my Stages. It came with Fulcrum 5 wheels the front wheel of which is now on the Shiv and a new pair of Mavic CL40 wheels on the Tarmac really do make it look fresh, although I’m a bit peeved that the Mavic logo sticker on the rim doesn’t line up with the valve so everything is slightly off centre.
Specialized spoiled me last year, my Amira came tricked out with measured saddle, S-works finishing kit and bars that didn’t feel a mile wide; it was also fitted to me in a more aggressive way than the Tarmac. I’d like a saddle and new bars, I can imagine swapping the seat post being a nightmare because of the Di2, I love the noise Di2 makes when you shift gear.

Equipment wise I’m set for training, Murph over at Specialized has offered to fit the Shiv to an exact geometry and not just me eye-balling it.

My back still hasn’t changed, and my surgery was cancelled while I was in the anaesthetic room next to the theatre and I’m due to return to the hospital on the 25 of January. My pain is mainly right hip , obviously lower back and lower right leg. I’m being propped up with a new range of painkillers. I was expecting to be in recovery by now and back to light riding, my accreditation should have been finished but these things happen and I’m not going to stress over things that I can’t control and there are other areas that are getting my attention.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for my intention to do the British Old Lady Hour Record I’d have most probably not bothered riding, it would be quite easy to not bother I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of dropping the 5 kilos I’ve gained since riding my arse groove, I could have spent the thousands on my kitchen extension or a lovely warm holiday, instead I’m trawling the sales for winter riding kit for early 2017. I’m really not lucking forward to the first month of dying on every bike ride, I guess I’ll see what I have to work with after surgery but right now I’m so physically and painfully limited that I can’t remember the last time I rode outside.



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