I thought “right” (but apparantly said left) and so…

… we crashed. For the first time (in I’m guessing thousands of kilometers together) we crashed by the doing of one of us. My doing…

What happened?

I have -at least- two weaknesses… discalculia and a left/right-ism. I think both belong to the same ‘ism in my brain, to scramble certain things. This leads me to cautiously navigate aloud, knowing that I usually say the wrong thing, while visualising the other. This instance I said “left” with an unusual conviction. Annemieke was riding on the right side of me and she didn’t have a single reason to doubt my direction. Yet.

The thing was… my mind was visualizing going right, and with a complete disregard of my spoken directions, I started to turn right. And next froze for being thoroughly confused by Annemieke’s turning left (She’s not known for confusing left and right). I was so taking aback that I forgot to counteract and she henceforth collided into my rear, slamming her new brand new bike on the asphalt. And as the sound of bike hitting asphalt echoed in my brain I realised what I had done… oh dear.

Both our Specialized Diverges where but a few weeks old and barely used, this was the maiden voyage. And it started memorable with a big gash on the rear-fork of Annemieke’s new gravelbike. Auch.

uh but wait… gravelbike?

A few weeks ago Annemieke announced we’d be getting gravelbikes. Being a good mate (and one that usually doesn’t let her crash) I dropped everything to start my research. I’ve been aware of the whole gravel thing, but hadn’t seriously considered buying a bike for it.

The short list

Though Annemieke’s choice was readily made (Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon), I needed more time. I’m the more ‘methodical’ type and more influenced by others. On her advice I put the Diverge E5 Comp on my list, followed by the Giant Revolt (thanks LtD) and my wife enforced her contribution: the Cannondale Topstone. My own addition: the Polish Rondo Ruut.

After a few calls to my local bikeshops I found out that gravelbikes are hot and selling like ‘zoete broodjes’ (better brush up on your Dutch for that one). The Revolt was nearly impossible to attain within a few weeks (if at all), it was removed from the list. The Rondo Ruut was not readily available with a 2×11 setup (1×11 only, though the lbs was more than willing to accomodate me). I removed it from the list. The Specialized was an easy one. I have Specialized bikes. I like my lbs Stappenbelt.com and would love to buy a new one from them and they were very accomodating to letting me test one of their personal bikes.

A Futureshock thing

To be honest… I meant to test it to prove to myself this “Futureshock thing” wasn’t my thing in a roady-type of bike. Poor little old me…

It didn’t take more than 5 minutes on a puthole road to make me realise there was a point to this “Futureshock thing” and a very good one too. I spend another 2 hours thinking I was imagining things before arriving back at the store… ordering my own Diverge on the spot. Including the hiddeously looking, but marvelously functioning seatpost.

our 2 Specialized Diverges

Gravelrides.cc in Amerongen

So there we where yesterday. Freshly kitted out with our (until then) unscaven bikes ready to tackle our first gravel-ride. We picked one from gravelrides.cc that started from De Proloog in Amerongen. Choosen the best day of the year to do so, and had the best time in the world. In the coming winter we will try to keep up riding as much as we can (while managing work/family/dogs/etc) and hopefully find ourselves fit and ready for spring… ready to take some bikepacking steps. Can’t wait.

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