Au revoir Allez

IMG_0152-1I said goodbye to my trusty and faithful old Specialized Allez yesterday. A nice bloke called James bought it on ebay on Sunday and collected it late Monday morning. It’s off to become the winter bike for his brother Roger based in Exeter. The Allez has been a great companion for me and it’s featured in photos in many posts on this blog so I wanted to mark it’s passing as it were.

I was feeling quite relaxed about it going as now that I have a great good weather road bike I didn’t feel the Allez was quite as right for winter as a bike with full guards, so somehow it didn’t quite fit in my bike collection any more. I’d also hardly used in this year. Strava tells me that of the 3,000 kms I’ve ridden this year only 699 was on the Allez.
Unidentified Burgess Hill SportiveHowever, once it left and I started flicking through my photo collection to look for some older photos of it – I started to feel a bit sadder that it’s gone as it was probably the most important to me bike I’ve ever had. It was my first proper road bike and it struggled with me through my early attempts at cycling fitness (and some of the later too).


It was first ridden in Surrey in 2005 before my son was born – so it had been in my family longer than my kids. It used to amuse my friend Ben that I’d keep stopping on gently rising climbs as I was sure there was a “problem” with my bottom bracket which was why I was going so slowly (I now know it’s just because I was rubbish). I’ll also never forget the first proper ride I did on it after we moved to Kent and another friend Alick came over from Surrey. About half way round the loop I was really struggling and going through Marden’s Hill on the way into Crowbrough in Sussex, I actually had to get off my bike and lie down on the side of the road to recover, much to Alick’s amusement (and rightly so). In between those two events it had remained unused in my loft for a good two years as we found our feet with family life. I even considered selling it then but am so glad I didn’t. A change to a compact crankset and a 12-27 cassette and I started to try to get fit. The recession seriously affected my career and so I suddenly had more time to ride on my hands and I decided as I hit the big four zero, that if I could get into some good habits I could be riding until my eighties all going well. From a paltry 400 challenging km in 2008, I managed 3,750 in 2009 and over 4,000 in 2010 all on the Allez. Most of it was solo riding through Kent, East and West Sussex and occasional ventures into Surrey.

IMG_6335We spent a lot of quality time together and I always had total faith in it. During 2009 and the first have of 2010 we had a regular route of 55km that was a loop from Tunbridge Wells, Groombridge, Eridge, Rotherfield, Wadhurst, then through Cousley Wood, Bells Yew Green and back into Hawkenbury. We did that particularl loop over 20 times in 2009 alone. The bike always performed extremely well with the Shimano 105 9 speed drive train always smooth and a pleasure to use (unless I had adjusted it!) and still works beautifully today. It’s still a great bike, my riding may have moved on but I’ll miss her and wanted to say thanks for all the fun we had on the road together. Earlier this evening, I received a text from James (the buyer) to say Roger was really pleased with it. If he has half as much fun out of it as did – he’ll have a great time indeed. A Specialized Allez is almost a perfect beginners bike and my 2005 Allez Elite was a wonderful companion.


Au revoir mon amiIMG_0921