Belts, not chains, a year on.

It’s been another year, and about ~3280 miles. Last September I switched from my old Specialized bike to a delightful Gazelle Ultimate S8.

I’d consulted the guys at Future Cycles Leicester about a bike:

  • with a quality belt drive, so in needn’t deal with chain wear and maintenance.
  • with quality hub gears for the same reason as above.
  • that would take the rigours of a 16miles a day UK cycleway(lol) commute

Over many years I have discovered that an urban commute, with a chain/gear mechanism, picks up so much muck and dirt that regular clean, degrease, lube etc is essential! This is not great if you don’t enjoy regular bikey cleaning, tinkering, adjusting and all that stuff – also this can be expensive if you don’t keep an eye on your machine or don’t get quality gear. This is not the case with a quality hub and belt setup. You can read about my Gazelle from Future Cycles Leicester, here: Gazelle Ultimate S8.

Over the last year, I have had no issues with my S8. The belt has done its thing and the gears have been a dream. The bike has had two full washes, the belt just needed a rinse with water. The gears have needed no attention.

OK, it takes ~40 minutes not 4 and my whole mantra is to slow down not speed up but hey!

This will be my eighth winter riding a bike to and from work. A colleague said to me recently “I felt for you in the bad weather, but I guess there must be something you enjoy about it?”, and it struck me that it’s been a long time since I thought I must be mad, why don’t you take the car?. Yes, years back, I did think like that! The transition from automobile user to a more pedestrian way of travel is not easy. I guess my habits & rituals have changed my mindsets.

A lot of our reactions and attitudes to life can be down to our perspective and the way we frame things. Yes, it’s easily said. Life throws curved balls and can be horrific. The human condition is a very shadowy thing. But, we can try to culture a language and narratives that focus on the breath, the light, and the essential things that matter.

So if I became President it would be belts, not chains, and low maintenance movement for all. It would be fresh air and free exercise for all. It would be regularly pujas, pauses, thank-yous and sorrys. Yes, there would still be the shadowy human condition, but we might be more in touch with a human spirit that can, with a little help from friends, seemingly move mountainous shadows.


By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…

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