My New Bike

Just before Christmas I had my bike stolen. You might remember me waxing lyrical about the wonderful chain wear gauge. Inevitably I had just finished fitting the new cassette, chain and middle chain ring. Of course this means the bike got a thorough clean, and a chance to make good all the little niggles. So it was absolutely perfect, my Trek 5000. And then it was stolen.

So I get to have a brand new shiny bike! Because we buy all our Chain Gang bikes from Trek, I took advantage of their ‘Staff Purchase Scheme’ and traded up to a Madone 5.1.

As Janice might say in the sitcom ‘Friends‘: “Oh. My. God”. I was looking to replace my Trek 5000, which was pretty special. Unfortunately as Pete says, it had “Steal me” written all over it. The guy I spoke to at Trek told me to trust him, take his advice, get the brand new 5.1, even though it was more expensive.

I don’t think it’s any lighter than my old bike – it may even be slightly heavier. But it goes so bloody fast! I don’t know why – I’m not expert enough to understand these bike reviews when they talk about frame stiffness, and the advantages of aluminium, steel or carbon. But is just feels so fabulous to ride.

This week, since Sunday, I’ve had 2 punctures. They’re not exactly the world’s heaviest-duty tyres, but I remember a comment I read by one of the columnists in Cycling Weekly, writing about using puncture-resistant tyres when riding in London. His view was ‘why would you buy a bike designed to go fast, train to ride it fast, and then deliberately fit tyres to slow it down?’ I’m with him.

Tonight was very windy, and pretty cold, but I was able to listen to The News Quiz on my radio while sat in the pitch black and the screaming wind, fixing my puncture. And when it was finished, there it was again. Beautiful. Well, not actually that beautiful, but bloody fantastic, and fast! Have a look.

Trek Madone 5.1 Bike

5 thoughts on “My New Bike

  1. John Dutson

    Hello Bernard
    Like the new Bike. Hope you are not going to put that old Pannier Bag on the back with a Track Pump sticking out.

  2. Bernard Dugdale Post author

    John, I’m delighted you like my new bike. Unfortunately Trek have fallen victim to a serious design flaw. There’s nowhere to put a track pump! Can you believe they’d overlook something like that?

    I’ve become very self-conscious about taking a track-pump with me in my panniers, and that’s thanks to you, Stuart, George and Mike. So sometimes I don’t take one with me. Consequently some Chain Gang cyclists have their punctures fixed with an ordinary hand pump, which of course isn’t as good. And that’s your fault!

    For anyone else reading this comment, John will never tell you, so I will. He once cycled for England in a demonstration event in the Commonwealth Games. He dismisses this, because it was merely a demonstration event. But with the possible exception of Albert Ayton, that makes Mr John Dutson the best cyclist I have ever met, and it’s been a great privilege to cycle with him, and with George, and with Stuart and with Mike.

    All the best,


  3. Pingback: Cycling On Dartmoor, Devon, The Dartmoor Challenge and The Chain Gang Cycling Tours | The Chain Gang Cycling Tours

  4. John Dutson

    Hello Bernard
    Thanks for the News Letter, it’s good to keep up to date with your Adventure’s. Sorry to hear about the New Bike but hope you were able to complete The Dartmoor Challenge.
    If you order Chain Gang Jerseys I would like to buy one.
    Best Wishes to You and Albert

  5. Bernard Dugdale Post author

    Hi John. We managed the Dartmoor Classic, thanks. It was bloody difficult. Given your cycling palmares, our time is too embarrassing to share with you, but we were thrilled to finish it.

    My bike got run over on Friday by a lorry, can you believe it? I wasn’t on it, luckily, and the truck owners’ insurance company have admitted liability. So it’s a bit of a work in progress now, I’m afraid, until Evans can work their magic on it. We had to fit new bars and stem (both much heavier!) and the head stem feels a little wobbly. Great excuses eh? I reckon they must have cost me at least 4 hours!

    By coincidence, I bought a cycling jersey as a momento and asked the organisers who they sourced them from. And the guy from Provision Clothing was stood right next to him. You might know of his Dad (I’m assuming it’s his Dad) Steve Joughin, Professional Road Champion in ’84 and ’86 – that must put him almost in your league. So we will be able to get some jerseys, and of course 4 of them will be on their way down to the mighty Eastbourne Rovers.



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