Well, you know how it is, springtime, it brings out a sort of tidying splurge. So there I was rummaging around amongst the plant pots and sawn off bits of wood and other general rubbish when there it was, my old mountain bike. It was in a sorry state all covered in cobwebs and robbed of many of its component parts over the years but now it was looking at me pleadingly like a dog asking if we’re going out yet.
I dragged it out and sat it on the lawn and surveyed it critically. It was missing a chain, rear mech, seat post and saddle. It was rather rusty but only in parts and superficially so. It took me right back looking at it. I bought it way back around 1985. It’s a Madison Ridgeback 531 and was one of the first mountain bikes to appear in the UK just before mountain biking took off here. All Reynolds 531 tubing including the handle bars and cost me a fortune at the time. Prior to that I’d been riding off road on an old Sun racer but when I got this it was revolutionary to me in what it could do with it.
So I set to work hunting around the shed for bike bits and managed to find everything I needed except for the seat post to bring it back to life. This proved a bit problematic as the diameter of the tube is an obsolete size, the norm being 27.2mm. With the bike shops help though I found it needed a 27.4mm which I now have and finally got the old girl up and running again yesterday.
With some trepidation I went out for a test ride taking it up from Blackford to the top gate on Kinpauch, a distance of 2.5 mile uphill with no problems at all. A final check of everything, especially the brakes and I plummeted back down to the village, a huge adrenaline rush hanging on to the bucking bronco beneath me.
Now I’ve got some great routes in mind to supplement my running and get my crazy dog even fitter than she already is. Can’t wait!