My new bike


Before any of you worry about my relationship with Irma, she is great and now sits comfortably in my Zwift training pain cave. We ride for hours together in a virtual world of mountains, deserts and city streets. This feels like the perfect place for my trusty steed now, after our long journey together across America to Boston. I don’t think riding endless flat rides, up and down the Florida coastline is fair reward for her now.

With Irma comfortable as now my trusted training companion, it was time to find a new bike to ride on the roads. A bike to start the journey towards new challenges, new adventures and hopefully new achievements. Covid and supply issues in the fall of last year, made the process of finding such a partner far more difficult than I had imagined.

I decided to go and get fitted before I looked at bikes, hoping to reduce the chance of spending a lot of money on a bike that could become uncomfortable or just plain not for me. I managed to get a bike fit in Claremont and a new set of measurements and a few recommendations on some brands, models and sizes to consider.

Having visited a couple of bike shops, only be told, “yes we can get you that bike but it won’t be here for 6 months”, I realized this wasn’t going to be a simple purchase. I started to search the internet hoping to maybe find some in stock bicycles online. After some time, I found what looked like a good bike for the next stage of my cycling adventures from Giant bicycles. Having looked at all of the specifications, I thought it all looked good to order. Only now the problem became, there were only three available in the USA buying through Giant, one in Kentucky, another in California and the last at a store in Miami. After a few calls, an email and a trip down to Miami, I ended up with a beautiful blue “Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1” sitting alongside Irma in my garage.



Naming my new steed.


My first thoughts for a name were, “it’s made by Giant bikes”, “it’s a Giant!”, what giants are there? The only giant I could think of and loved was Hagrid from the Harry Potter books. So, let’s call it Hagrid!!! Sort of made me laugh and I did love the Harry Potter books and films. Images of me riding around accompanied by Hagrid in my head, had me smiling and starting to create a character for this advanced road bicycle.

Then I also remembered how cool I thought it was, that two of my nephews had bought guitars with money left by my mother and named them Black Betty and Lizzy.

People knew my mother as many different names, for some she was Elizabeth, for others Betty, Libby, Liz. “Betty Blue” suddenly jumped into my head. Obviously, my bike was Blue and my Mum had been called Betty a lot. It is also the name of a French film I remember back when I was sharing a house with film students, while at University in London. As the music from that film and memories of my mother came rushing back into my head, Betty Blue started also to form a personality of her own.

Over the next few weeks, I went back and forth between Hagrid and Betty Blue. Finally, I decided that Betty Blue and my mothers influence will be far better and needed later, for my ultimate challenges, therefore probably on a different bike further on in my new journey and adventures in cycling.

Deirdre made me laugh, when I told her all of this, saying that maybe I couldn’t use the name due to trademark/copyright etc. Fair point, but I can’t imagine The Harry Potter franchise or J.K. Rowling minding me naming my bike after one of their characters to ride and raise money for a great cause. I am sure I won’t get a “cease and desist “notification for my new trusty steed’s name. If I do, then “Betty Blue” will be just as good, if not a better name to give my new sidekick on the roads.

So, Hagrid it is for the “Blue Giant Defy”.