The cycling gods via Genesis Bikes have answered my prayers. This week I took delivery of my new and frankly beautiful Genesis Equilibrium 10.
The Equilibrum 10 was Genesis' top-of-the-range road bike in 2010. This great all-rounder proves steel still has plenty to offer and it offers some great specs for its modest price tag. In 2011 the bike was upgraded to Reynolds 725 tubing and it boasts 100psi tyres.
Needless to say, as soon as I ripped away the packaging to reveal its lightweight, black steel frame with fetching white handlebars, I felt a burst of affection. Murmuring and jealous glances from the rest of the office proved my brand new bike would turn heads.
Much as I could stare lovingly at my bike all day without exposing it to nature's cruel elements, I knew I had to take it outside. We're ideally placed at TW Towers to train on the race route itself. With Hyde Park less than a mile away, I've got no excuse not to be ripping up the Royal Park's paths in my lunch hour.
But first I needed to master the bike. I had help getting it fitted by Triathlete's World's resident bike enthusiast Art Director Marco Crisari. On a rainy lunch hour last week I shakily circled the office block under Marco's watch - much to the bemusement of the Soho media types.
My previous cycling experience has been on clunky, budget mountain bikes, so the handling of this lightweight beauty is a dream. It's clearly a comfortable companion to really rack up the training miles with. I can't help but wonder how long it will take me to get used to padded cycling shorts or how my hard work on the The Third Space's trusty Wattbike will translate to my racing machine. Then, there's my fear of cycling on London's busy roads...
I've managed to solve the latter problem by recruiting, or rather bribing, a few training partners. Mention the opportunity to briefly test drive my Equilibrium during a training session to sporty friends and suddenly diaries have cleared. What can I say - she's quite the looker.
But I must confess, with less than a month until the race, I'm starting to get nervous. Having a bike and all the right kit (thanks Genesis!) suddenly makes this racing business very real.
I suspect I'm not alone in needing 'the fear'. Every new challenge brings out new goosebumps and anxiety. Will I complete it? Will I be the last cyclist to finish? Much as I would like to be a super calm competitor, nerves play a big part in fuelling my training motivation and the adrenaline to race hard on the day. Saying that, I'd be grateful for any tips on controlling last-minute jitters as we line up on August 6.
For now, I'm determined to push aside my nerves and just focus on training hard and smart. And as the proud owner of a beautiful bike, I fully intend to do it justice.