Monday, July 21, 2014

The Pendleton Initial Ladies Road Bike from Halfords

We have a new addition to our family who is stylish, sleek and sporty. I’m very excited as she is my first brand new bike since the mint green mountain bike I bought when I was 18 and that I still have, looking sad and neglected in the barn.

I give you the Pendleton Initial ladies road bike from Halfords, funnily enough, the same store I bought my mountain bike from twenty-five years ago.

french village diaries Pendleton Initial road bike Halfords
Pendleton Initial Ladies Road Bike
Cycling has always been important in our French life and even when Ed was only four he was happily riding five km routes with us on the farm tracks, having learned to ride without stabilizers shortly after we moved here. In 2011 we became a family of road bike cyclists, a totally new experience for me. We all started off with second hand bikes and I fell in love with Bluebelle, my 1980’s Mercier bike. Together she and I covered about 2000km a year cycling the back roads of rural France and having fun. We’ve seen fields of all colours, storks, deer, monuments, churches, abbeys, chateaux, forgotten villages, rivers, the Atlantic and more. We even took part in a local event with real cyclists, see here. The decision to upgrade was not an easy one, especially as, until I found the Pendleton nothing had stirred my heart like my old Bluebelle, but for the sake of comfort the time is right to move on. I really hope I have found my forever replacement. I won’t be getting rid of Bluebelle but I think she has earned a quiet retirement.

I have ridden my first couple of hundred kilometres on my new bike and so far, so good. The handlebars are much more comfortable and changing gear is more straightforward, slicker and smoother. Her small frame is just right for my small frame. Ade reckons I have increased my average cruising speed by a couple of kilometres an hour, but I will never be speedy like the real Victoria Pendleton. For me cycling is more about the journey than personal bests.

french village diaries Pendleton Initial road bike Halfords
With my new Pendleton Initial
This post is not sponsored by Halfords, but I spoke to them about their new Pendleton range and Victoria’s input in its design, and they gave me the following information:

"The Pendleton Initial road bike is the first road bike to be added to the Pendleton Collection. The specification, geometry, and design have all been chosen to perfectly suit the female cyclist. The smaller frame sizes were chosen so that the model caters for younger riders too, but the bike has been aimed at any female cyclist who is looking to get into road cycling, or to further their love for the sport.

Victoria played an integral part in the design process; right from the very first meeting her experience as a female cyclist has influenced every decision. As a result, everyone involved is extremely pleased with the final product, and we all hope that the new model inspires more women to start, and to continue, cycling."

I have to admit that although the white saddle it came with is beautiful, I have decided to keep the saddle I bought earlier in the year, see here. I have also taken the big step to progress to cycling shoes that attach to the pedals; something Bluebelle was too old to be compatible with. So far, I have managed not to fall off, but I’m sure that won’t last forever.

I will certainly be putting her through her paces this summer, including lots of cycling in Poitou-Charentes and short breaks in Normandy and the Pyrenees, where I hope her compact gear will help me glide effortlessly up the hills of the Basque Country. She is my little bit of British heritage who, like me, is very much at home cruising in France.

french village diaries Pendleton Initial road bike Halfords
Pendleton Initial Road Bike in France

One of my reads this summer has been Victoria’s autobiography, Between the Lines. I was instantly hit by the drive, determination and emotion flowing through the book that left me gripped and page turning. I also learned a lot about the world of track cycling and what it takes to be a champion and my head was awash with emotions and adrenalin after reading this book.

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