There’s nought cold about this beautiful bike, despite it’s icy blue exterior and steel interior. This wee frame has come into my life with a whole lot of love behind it. I’ve got big plans for this Ritchey P-650b for 2018, and I have a feeling we’re going to have a lot of fun together.
Already this bike represents so much more than just something that arrives in a box fully built. It has given me the chance to learn how to build a bike, and to truly understand how stuff works. The best part is that those who are in my nearest and dearest category have helped me to build it, because if I’m honest, I didn’t really know where to begin.
Helped along by Tom (Grit.cx) and Adeline (Mercredi Bikes) components and finishing kit were selected and checked. The final look of the bike was in my mind from the beginning, so this was a pretty important part. Mark, who has ridden MTB for longer than he cares to tell me, had all the tools to enable us to do the first fix, and stood in his chilly porch on a November day we carefully and steadily fiddled and faffed with the main stuff (with multiple coffee breaks thanks to Sue).
The bike then went to Pete, Dan and Joel at Rat Race Cycles (the best small and friendly bike shop in South East London) for a chat, tweak and tidy up.
The bike then comes home and JC follows up with a few more tweaks and helping me to fit the last few bits, while Jammy and Seb are on hand via WhatsApp to offer some remote advice.
I now look at this bike and think, yeah, I’ve got more of a clue. I can look at this bike and tell you whats what. I know what a ferrel is and the difference between brake and gear housing, and you know what? I’m pretty damn stoked about this. Still got a lot to learn, mind.
So what’s left to do now is to go and get acquainted with one another before venturing into some bigger adventures for 2018. The damp forests of Afan should do the trick. We’ll keep you posted.
A donation has been made to Prostate Cancer UK, charity of Mark’s choice.
Photos by James Corlett.