I 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.
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.