By Brendan Moyle 06/08/2015 2


I’m cycling again. Let me clarify. I never stopped. But I did slow down a lot over winter. Things have changed. I’ve gone from using a mountain-bike, to using a road-bike.

Somethings are immediately obvious.

A mountain bike is a gentle creature, its wide tires, shock absorbers and good seat, provide a more comfortable ride. Its gears go down really low, making hill work less arduous.  The tires will grip wet and slippery roads on the hills around Auckland easily.

A road bike has only one advantage. It’s faster. Your butt will hurt, the seat will bump, the hills will make your curse, and every road surface defect will be felt. Your tires will struggle to grip roads when you hit wet corners.

It is no wonder I prefer the road bike. Against all the mountain-bike an offer, the road bike just has that one thing that matters. You can go fast. Scary fast.

You can barrel along these roads, cars around you, and suddenly realise you’ve now got milliseconds to make any evasive moves to avoid death.  Despite what you think about the physics, it is possible for a truck and you to fit in the same lane at a choke-point. The trick is to stay in a perfect straight line, while giant wheels spin beside you. If you wobble- if either of you swerve just a little bit closer- then, well, you die.

See, in a mountain bike, you have much more time to anticipate, to make adjustments, to evade. You’re going so much faster on the road bike. Your reaction time is slashed now. This makes the ride far more interesting. Who wants to sit in a car when with cycling you get to make so many more important decisions?

 

 


2 Responses to “Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.”

  • I have recently changed from a mountain bike to a road bike, yes they definitely go a lot faster ! You are right about the scary fast thing. Bike Barn on Quay street looked after me and got me on the road, with a rocketship !
    Bike Barn Quay st
    Cycling is so much easier and high vis clothing helps a little and you’re right about the physics. Cars go pretty darn fast when you consider the mass involved.
    Definately has a feel good factor about it, might be the adrenaline.

  • I honestly prefer it to driving. It feels good to be moving; and to be outside even if its cold, or wet, or windy. I’m pretty scrupulous about high vis clothing too, but I fear with so few cyclists on the roads I use, motorists aren’t attuned to look for us.