|Marco Pantani's bike|
All the big players were in attendance with beautifully designed show stands to display their latest wares and tempt us to part with even more money. And there's the thing. Gary and I concurred that it would be easy enough to get through £50,000 - with top of the range bikes at around £10,000 each its easy to imagine how even a small selection could knock a hole in a lottery win.
|Latest helmet - all the rage next year?|
Then there's all the bits and pieces. Buying a bike is the easy bit, but you're going to need lots more. Shoes, a helmet - there's another £200-£300 for pro quality. Not to mention lycra - the best leggings, bib shorts, arm warmers, leg warmers - plus a spare set - allow a further £1000. Base layers, replica jerseys, gloves, socks, tool kit, bottle cage, bottle, pedals, cleats, on board computer, lights, a pump, a decent saddle - the list goes on - allow a conservative £1000 - but maybe £2500. But that's not it - oh no... You're going to need something suitable to store your pride and joy - a rack system perhaps? or maybe a custom made bike storage pod? - and just to be on the safe side you'll probably want insurance too. And while you're at it why not equip your garage with a bespoke maintenance facility - high tech and looking as smart as a Smallbone kitchen - and costing just as much. Oh well, another £10,000 then? But then you're done, right? Wrong. By the time you've shelled out and got everything just so, there'll be something else, a new bike, an upgraded model, better gears, faster wheels - it goes on.
The great thing about cycling though is that although we can visit exhibitions and watch the Sky team on TV and dream about owning a Pinarello Dogma or whatever - all you really need is a reasonable roadworthy bike and some basic entry level equipment and you can enjoy the pleasures of the open road just as much as if you spent £100,000. For most of us that is enough and no matter how much we spend we're never going to be able to ride like Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome.