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N +1

Everyone should know the formula for the correct number of bikes to own - N + 1 - where N = the number of bikes you currently own. It's not possible to have too many bikes - even though your significant other (the otter) might not agree.

Well, I feel a bit dirty. I mean, sure, I've just bought a +1, which has to be good - but - and this is the shameful bit - I've gone and bought a road bike. A schmoadie. It's the first roadie I've had since my dreaded old Raleigh, the road bike that got me into mtbing because I hated riding it so much.

mmmm... red...

So, what happened? I want to get fitter, and be a less fat hippy, so I'm planning on commuting to work on a fairly regular basis. It's a 40 km trip each way, but I'll only ride about 10 km of the return trip, hopping on the train for the long climb home. I've done it on a mtb a few times, and it's a good workout, but I think a roadie will be considerably faster, and is really the right tool for the job. I didn't need an expensive bike, but I wanted something modern and reasonably specced.

Once I decided the specs I wanted, I went to a few bike shops to see how much new would be. Brand new was well over budget. I could get a year old model for a good price, but it would still be a few hundred more than my budget. Closer to my budget, I couldn't get the specs I wanted. If I wanted new, I had to lower my expectations, or buy something much older.

A little discouraged, I went off to haunt ebay, where a few weeks of watching all cheaper roadies demonstrated that my budget was pretty close to what bikes like I wanted were selling for. I waited and kept an eagle eye out for something suitable. I saw some bikes that looked great - well specced, fairly new, and well priced, some went cheaply, some I thought went for a bit too much. There was also some real junk, but most of that was dirt cheap.

ocr3 front

I found some possibles, asked questions of sellers, then dipped my toes into ebay's murky waters, but was pipped in the dying seconds, or the price went past what I was prepared to pay, but no matter, I could keep watching. Then I saw it. It was red. A few questions built my interest. The start price was right, and my my ebay history told me it would go for close to budget.

With seconds to go, my maximum bid still well above the current bid, I leapt into the fray. Even though the bids suddenly jumped, there I was, top bidder! Refresh, refresh!! Five seconds! Still top bidder. Squeezing eyes shut, I pressed refresh again. REFRESH!!!

It was mine. On budget.

I'd just bought a 2006 Giant OCR3, which is considered entry level, but the 06 version is actually better specced than the 08 version, with carbon forks and 24 speed Shimano Sora gears, and, in this case, a $50 Cateye speedo. It's red, so we know it has to be fast. It's truly almost new, still with the original tyres, almost unmarked, and looking like it's never even been ridden in the rain. After I got it home, the speedo read 688 km. The only "negatives" are the front derailleur cable is fraying, as is the front brake cable. I'll need pedals, as it only had platforms, but I've bunged on some battered old mtb pedals for the moment.

I haven't ridden it far yet, and I'm still adjusting fit, but so far so good. It doesn't seem any faster downhills than mtbs, but seems much faster on the flats. Uphills, its light weight (relative to mtbs) helps, but I'm still glad I made sure I bought a bike with a triple chain ring for easier hill climbing. I think my knees will appreciate the greater range of gears as well. Acceleration is amazing, but I've got a long way to go before Robbie McEwen need feel threatened.


It's time to let this new adventure begin.



I understand I'm supposed to shave my legs and wear white socks if I'm going to be a roadie.

If I really enjoy road riding, I might have to think about a BS&C!!

it's red


hIpPy productions
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