Since the loss of Tracey Trek I’ve been commuting on my Cannondale MTB which is comfortable, but not as quick as that hybrid was. The Specialized Nimbus tyres I fitted prior to my 2009 C2C ride don’t offer too much resistance but I do like Schwalbe tyres as they have never let me or my inner-tubes down, and after a puncture at the end of last year I was toying with the idea of spending £45 on a pair to ensure I didn’t go pop again. A cheaper alternative however is to buy a 2nd hand bike that already has good tyres. The 5 year old Saracen Hybrid on offer at a very reasonable price from my colleague and C2C partner also had the benefit of full mudguards as I have been significantly more soiled whilst riding the MTB with its shorter ‘crud catchers’.
It’s a sad state of affairs when mudguards and the quality of tyres are top of your list of needs, much like when we bought our last car and it was boot capacity that was the primary concern. When playing Top Trumps as a nipper I remember quoting 0-60s, bhp, mphs and cc’s but insurance group, emissions and boot capacity were strangely lacking from the competative criteria. Ho hum!
So today I ran to work in the hope that the 2nd hand bike I was to test ride would be worth the money, and roadworthy to boot, as it hadn’t been ridden since early spring last year due to the vendor having a couple of other options to ride.
My test ride took me to Barclays Bank on the Quays and I was overjoyed to find that despite softish tyres and fairly ineffective brakes the Saracen ran smoothly was worth the money and most importantly would spare me the 10k jog home.
Mind you the mostly downhill run in was delightful as it was mild, still and dry. Music distracted me and after a few teething problems with my Last FM account it produced a fabulous assortment of my favourites to pass the time and raise both my spirits and cadence.
It kicked off with Ain’t no Sunshine by Bill Withers for 10 seconds before flicking to Michael Jackson’s Beat it. Then just moments before the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo my headphones went quiet again before throwing up Herp Albert’s Spanish Flea. Different, but still good stuff I’d argue. Then Last FM decided you can have too much of a good thing and after another wobble gave me a Donny Hathaway song which I hadn’t heard before but enjoyed (this is the beauty of Last FM or Spotify). For the rest of the run to work I got favourite upon favourite. I only spent a couple of hours picking out some tunes for my library a few months ago and the library has since evolved and been augmented by tracks I have played on my smart phone which the account has recognised and added to my library of favourites. Selection from their free library is limited as anything popular and current will only allow you a 30 second sample but as you can see it is excellent for classic soul. It’s free to use and on the laptop there is a 20 second video advert on startup, there are wobbles with the app on my smartphone but maybe the key is to set it running for 10 minutes before you start moving about with it and actually want music to listen to.
This morning’s tunes:
I believe in my soul – Donny Hathaway
Dindi – Astrud Gilberto
Red Lights – Delphic
Tramp – Otis Redding
After Hours – Ronny Jordan
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Pusherman – Curtis Mayfield
Aint no mountain high enough – Marvin Gaye
Voodoo Ray – A guy called gerald
Lazy – X-press2 feat David Byrne