Umm... is that me? Maybe. Let me tell you a story. Are we sitting comfortably, boys and girls? Then I'll begin...
One of the reasons I'm back on my bike after all this time is that a friend of mine - let's call him 'Chris' - has made a similar return. Chris and I used to cycle together way back when, and when he called to say he was in a bike shop and could I check on the internet for reviews of the bikes he was looking at, I just knew I was going to get roped in to the energetic, out of breath part of cycling.
And, sure enough, a couple of days later I had to dust off my venerable, retired GT Tequesta and accompany Chris on a ride. It was tiring (I hadn't just given up exercising for a decade, my decadent lifestyle involved no exercise at all) but really, really fun. I was hooked. And more on the GT later.
This is where the evidence of a mid-life crisis might be said to exist... with Chris on new wheels I just had to upgrade. Enter, Focus Bikes' 2010 Black Forest Expert. Isn't she lovely?
Yes, this was quite a lot of money for me. It's a grand's worth of hardtail - that's a mountain bike with suspension at the front wheel, but not the back, fact fans - and although I got it in Wiggle's sale, it was still a lot... spending more than I perhaps needed to, on something that is perhaps a bit too flashy... mid life crisis?
No. And here's my justification. This bike is too good for me. It requires a level of skill, commitment and confidence I just don't have. Yet. It's an aspirational purchase - I aspire to be good enough to deserve to ride this bike.
And, by George, it is light!