Time to become a (fair weather) cyclist..
So following on from this post months ago, i've decided i'm going to take up cycling to work. I suppose there has never been a better time to do it.. i'm dreadfully out of shape (but motivated enough to do something about it), the traffic is probably as bad as it has ever been (and will only get worse once they start digging up Kenilworth High Street), i've spent enough money on repairing my car and making it 'my own' that I don't enjoy leaving it in the work car parks - and of course, summer is just around the corner.
I did some very cursory research on the net, and found my way onto Mike Vaughan cycles's website. I've seen / heard of Specialized bikes, and found a nice discreet looking black Allez Double. A quick email exchange and working week later I found myself at their shop temporarily exchanging my car keys for a bike they'd actually pulled out of stock and built up for me just to test. This was the first time i'd ever actually ridden a road bike but immediately felt quite at home. Did their suggested 1.3 mile round trip, and arrived back on the verge of passing out such is my appalling level of fitness, but I found the bike wonderful to ride - now I know why all of my friends have suggested getting road bikes rather than slogging it out on a comparatively cheap and heavy mountain bike.
It was incredibly easy going on flat roads (as you'd hope for something light with slick tyres), and even when it came to a relatively steep hill I didn't find myself in a hurry to hop off and walk up it instead - I just kept on going. I think with a few weeks of training prior to actually starting out cycling to work, i'll be able to breeze it.
So i've put in the request for my voucher, and am going to go for it. If, at the end of it all i've barely touched the bike, I know that its a good enough brand (and the savings from the scheme are such) that i'll make my money back if I sell it as soon as it is repaid.