This weekend, for the first time in a few years, I am going to ride around Lake Taupo. Covid and cancer got in the way of a 22 year run broken only once, when a sort of dance mishap resulted in a toenail being peeled off. Couldn't get a shoe on, sidelined that year.
For most of those laps I have ridden my Benson road bike, built by my friend David Benson in his Onehunga temple of bicycling. It has undergone a few changes over the years, but a surprising amount of the parts are still there from its original assembly in 1998.
The frame of course, repainted a few times. Still a marvel in terms of comfort and handling. And it looks awesome.
Besides consumables, most of the running gear has been hanging on this bike since new, with the exception of the rims and the rear derailleur. Something broke in the original and we replaced it with one from a similar period.
Advancing years and a neck that is not as flexible as it was before it was irradiated have forced a change to a more upright position - shallower bars and a different stem work well. Not as pretty as the steel Salsa stem that used to grace the front end of the bike, but I can ride in the drops and still see more or less where I am going.
I haven't ridden anywhere near Saturday's distance in a long time, so I am grateful the frame allows big tyres to be fitted - running 60psi the thing feels like a featherbed, even on the gnarly rough chip seal we make our roads out of down this way.
There are two spare tubes, tyre levers and a pump in that coffee bean bag under the saddle - I am hoping that carrying plenty of spares will stave off needing to use any.
The weather for the weekend looks atrocious.