Ding dong the banger has gone!

Anyone who follows me on facebook and twitter will be familiar with my “bike issues” over the last 2 years. I bought the old banger 3 years ago, and it’s fair to say it has done me pretty well, all things considered. It has accompanied me to races in Switzerland, Germany, Hawaii, Spain, Ireland; has got me fit on training camps in Majorca and Lanzarote; has endured countless lengthy sweat-fest turbo sessions; has been crashed several times; and has had pretty much every single mechanical possible.

It’s rare I’ve raced without a trip to find a mechanic in the couple of days before – I’ve even come to see a pre-race mechanical as a good omen! But even the old banger can only keep going for so long ….

So I’ve been on the hunt for a bike sponsor for a while. And I’m REALLY excited to be able to announce that I’ve just signed up with Chain Reaction Cycles and will be racing and training on Vitus Bikes and Pro-Lite wheels in 2012! I went to visit their HQ in Belfast a couple of weeks ago and was very much looked after by Simon Cordner (PR Manager), Nigel Elder and Ian McIntyre (who have been amazing and incredibly patient in helping me set the bike up) and Andrew Hassard (the tri nutter– he’s doing a deca IM in a few months – who I think sealed the deal for me.)

I’m in the middle of getting a bike fit done with Tim Williams and can’t wait to spend some serious time bonding with the new bikes over the next few weeks! So this weekend really is the final outing for the banger.

The Chain Reaction Cycles base is absolutely enormous and it was a real eye opener being shown around – though the packing warehouse did bring back memories of my time working in a cake factory in university holidays! As important as the huge stash of kit though, is the fact that I’ll be working with a great team. I’ve always hoped for sponsors who are interested in me as a person rather than a simple PR machine and the CRC guys are either very good actors or genuinely are interested – I’m pretty certain it’s the latter! So all in all I couldn’t be happier and am very much looking forward to getting to know them properly over the next year!

The only downside now is that I’ll have to find another avenue to vent my frustrations in the run up to big races – maybe I’ll miss having a bike that sings to me as I ride it?!

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