Areas with royal connections have had their part to play in this. On Thursday last week, I went for my bike fitting in Windsor. The friendly and generous souls down at Swim, Bike, Run were offering free fittings last week, so I thought I'd take advantage and find out what geometry, size, etc., I should be looking for.
I now have two pieces of paper that tell me exactly what length of top tube, seat tube, down tube and head tube are best suited to my measurements. Armed with these, I should in theory be able to track down the perfect bike for me. Turns out none of the bikes I've been looking at are exact, but the CAAD9 isn't a million miles away, so that's still top of the list. The Boardman Pro Carbon is emerging on the horizon as a potential candidate as well.
As for actually buying one, that's still a long way off. Flat isn't sold, so I wait and covet instead. Mind you, having taken the old faithful off on its first outing of the year round Richmond Park on Saturday, I'm not sure I need any of your fancy new-fangled bikes. I did four laps of the park in just under and hour and a half, which is an average of around 18 miles an hour. And that on a comparatively old bone-shaker at that.
Many was the time I passed people on far more advanced and expensive bikes, but I'll reserve judgement as it's entirely possible they'd already done a fair few laps before I got there, while I stayed relatively fresh.
Having said that I did take a huge slice of pleasure passing sleek carbon racing machines ridden by Assos-clad fashionistas on my old wreck.
Rather annoyingly, that was the first and last outing for the trusty steed. My planned Sunday morning foray was stymied by dismal weather. And with the forecast set poor, it looks like it's back to the turbo.