Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brooks love and joy...

Yay, we picked up Petunia's Brooks saddle yesterday! It seems only a handful of high end bike shops in Sydney stock Brooks gear, and I had ordered mine fromWoolys Wheels in Paddington. This is a super shop - three stories of bikes and bike stuff. Most of the gear is aimed at the lycra crowd but there was a tantalising locked cabinet of Brooks goodies. The guys fitted the saddle for me so we headed down a couple of blocks into Centennial Park after that (we took both our bikes with us to the shop).

Centennial Park is a mecca for cyclists in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The main riding track is around 4km, mainly flat, so it's usual to see people on speedy road bikes whizz past you in a flash of lycra and skinny tyres. I prefer a more leisurely pace - we tend to average about 16-17km/h when we ride. I had to laugh at the speed signs which stated that neither cars nor cyclists must exceed 30 km/h in the park. Because I didn't take any photos - too busy keeping both hands on the bars and overtaking small children - you can find out more about Centennial Park and see some lovely pics here.

Petunia looks fab with her new, and very comfortable, Brooks B66S in antique brown. I did some tinkering when we got home and moved the saddle forward on the post a bit as I was finding myself sitting on the fork rather than the flat - as with Penelope. It's seriously comfortable to ride on.

So Petunia's transformation is nearly complete. Next come the Schwalbe tyres (next week). Finally I have to figure out a way to mount the rather lovely old-fashioned bullet light I bought AND keep a front basket. The basket I have is easily removable - it clicks onto that clunky big black thing you can see in the centre of the handlebar. However, when it's on the bike there's no room to mount a light underneath. So ideally I need to find a) a shallower, removable basket or b) a basket which CAN be removed when I want it to, which sits low enough for me to mount a light above it (and hopefully stays firm when I'm riding rather than bounce about). I've had no joy with baskets that meet this criteria to date. Most bike shops here, even the posh ones, sell basic baskets. Looks like I'll have to order in from overseas to achieve perfection or at least some way of having a basket and a light! Any suggestions? Answers on a postcard please... or simply leave a comment.
And finally, below is Petunia as she was when I bought her last year. That saddle (vinyl) was a shocker so the gel saddle she's had in the meantime has been an improvement. The handlebars were narrow and scary to ride with and lasted 48 hours before being changed. I think with her current saddle and handlebars she looks a much more inviting ride :-).


  1. Cool! Are you able to cycle fast even with the upright position? The brown leather sure looks nice with the silver frame!

  2. Hi Filigree, I go as fast as my leg muscles allow me :-)). I do find myself crouching over the bars a bit when I'm trying to outdo my husband on his bike (or catch up with him, come to that!). But yes, I find I can get some serious speed up even sitting upright. The handlebars aren't as swept back as the Pashley's, and won't go any higher, so I'm not as upright on this bike as on the Pashley; it's a little like the hybrid bike riding position.