Lexie is strong, Lexie is beautiful, Lexie is always ready to hit the road with me and have an adventure. Oh, and Lexie is my bike.
This is Lexie and she’s my homegirl. She’s a glass-green Trek Lexa and I fell utterly in love with her one sunny day when she was hanging out in Bristol’s harbourside. Okay, the object of my initial desire wasn’t my Lexie, who was put together for me in a shop, but I knew she was The One. I had a cursory look at some other bikes but none of them gave me the feelings. A few weeks and one signature on a Cycle To Work scheme later and she was mine.
I’ve never owned such an expensive bike, in fact, I’ve never owned such an expensive anything. But my other cycling soulmate, Mary, and I had agreed to get ourselves in shape with a distant attempt at LEJOG in mind, and since I had nothing to ride but an absolutely knackered Giant bike which I use and abuse on the daily commute, I was going to have to upgrade to something which could go the distance.
My first feeling when Lexie came home was of terror. I felt like I was dating someone insanely out of my league, as if I’d learnt to ride on a Shetland pony and then brought a racehorse home on a whim. I was so paranoid of losing or damaging Lexie that for a few weeks she lived in my room, mildly reproaching me for using her as nothing more than an incredibly expensive ornament.
It was time to actually notch up some miles on my sea-green steed. On our first excursion, a gentle circuit of Bristol, I felt The Fear. Braking was weird, pedals were complicated, changing gears was a minefield made harder by the fact that I can’t always be relied upon to know left from right under pressure. I chugged along at a snails pace behind Mary, wincing as cars passed, wobbling to a stop at junctions and wondering if I was ever going to get road cycling.
Since then, though, I’ve had a cycling revelation. Lexie and I have learnt to trust each other, slowly working up from a pootle along the Bristol-Bath bike path to a massive 80k romp over the Gospel Pass in the Brecon Beacons last weekend. I can climb hills now (with careful deep breathing) and fly down descents without wanting to shut my eyes and pray. The next step is learning to use cleats and heading off for a multi-day ride. I think I’m part of the lycra-loving crowd after all, and I think Lexie’s decided I might be able to keep up with her.