Today the Giant hardtail went to the bicycle hospital for a checkup and I got my old Raleigh back. I had a day off, the sun shone and so out I went for a run. Me and my old friend go back a long way: 25 years is a conservative option. I used to run this bike up and down the farmy lanes to work and didn’t give it the TLC it deserved- until this month when it (she?) had a makeover. Her (!) frame is kingfisher blue and somehow the paint job has survived, preserved under a crust of unmentionable bovine road dressing. The classic yellow walled tyres have been replaced with Schwalbe Road Cruisers (cool!) and many worn bearings have been replaced with glittering spheres. (in my fevered imagination.) Some lovely new Raleigh classic mudguards and a sturdy rack complete the picture .. See below. The bit I’m not quite sure about is actually the focus of this post, namely the brown leather saddle. I got this Brooks B17 online from a German website: sound odd? Somehow they sell the same British saddle significantly more cheaply than their British competitors. I thought long and hard before taking the plunge with a Brooks. Marmite might be a reasonable analogy if one listens to the doubters vs. the disciples online. Anyway I bought it and put it on the Raleigh on the turbo trainer over the icy weeks in early January: and was instantly converted! I have a Selle Italia blade on my road bike and various spongy rubber things on other bikes : except the Giant. This has a Giant narrow contoured saddle which is comfortable enough. But I need to make the right choice for the Lon Las run. It’s hilly and rough surfaces are going to be the rule as so much is on forest tracks and other Sustrans fare. If today’s 40 miles are anything to go by I’d fit the Brooks. It was lovely and I doubt, tempting fate, I’ll get a kickback tomorrow. But that was on pretty much smooth Tarmac throughout. Nothing for it but in true scientific fashion I’ll need to do a better experiment. Tomorrow the Brooks is going onto the Giant and next ride needs a good dollop of forest tracks to give it and my backside a better simulation of what they can expect up in Wales. Watch this space.