Silver linings. I’m a big believer in them. Sometimes, as I often see in my day job, bad things happen to good people. You can’t control them, often it’ll be the case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The thing you can control however is your reaction to the situation.
Word and Images - Katie Quinn
My ‘bad thing’ was crashing at the TDU. An unfortunate situation really, I was taken out by another cyclist through what I maintain was no fault of my own. Luckily no one had any serious injuries such as broken bones, I have witnesses and insurance. Unluckily my 2 month old new SwiftCarbon died a swift (excuse the pun) death. I did what all social media addicts would deem appropriate, and put an urgent plea out on the Gram. I would have ridden literally anything – tricycle, unicycle, even a bike with gumwalls - after all, we were only at day 3 in a 7 day trip, and I was now bikeless in the middle of the biggest bike festival Australia has on offer.
My saviours came in the form of Shimano Australia. With no fuss they lent me a stealthy speed machine which usually sits on top of the Shimano car following the Tour Down Under race as a neutral spare. Of particular excitement was the fact that this steed was fitted out with the new Shimano Dura Ace R9100 mechanical group set that had only been released onto the market a few days before. Test ride time? Don’t mind if I do!
Now I’m not that great with the technical side of this whole bike business – I’ll leave that up to James and Mike. I’m far better at getting on and pedaling, but as far as this group set goes the difference even to me was immediately obvious. As I had it explained to me, each component has been improved using the newest digital technology to offer top-tier performance across numerous configurations. The new Dura Ace R9100 system adds strength and rigidity, improved ergonomics, lighter mechanical shifting, superior performance, and improved precision, all whilst reducing weight. Shimano have done it again!
The whole Dura Ace R9100 system is set up to minimise energy loss between the amount of effort a rider puts in and the performance they can deliver. As far as the ride went, it was smooth, felt relatively effortless despite the Adelaide hills and comfortable all round. Shifting felt easy with just the right amount of resistance, and despite my battered and bruised body I felt speedy and my friends noticed it too.
#newbikeday is coming, and this incident has given me plenty of material, and cycling related puns, that I plan on sharing with you dear readers (if I can get them past James). All those jokes about no long-term injuries, just cycleogical damage. I could not be more thankful for the support afforded me and the genuine concern of my fellow riders. In the meantime I have my eye on that Dura Ace R9100 groupset. Now that I’ve experience something like that it will be hard to go back to anything else.