One of the undoubted perks of being a cycling writer is the opportunity to test stuff that isn’t yours. Gadgets. Clothing. Wheelsets. Even, entire bikes; often rather expensive ones, at that.
Being a test pilot is a blast, don’t get me wrong, and I do feel more than a bit privileged to have such an opportunity. But I must confess it does carry with it quite a bit of stress. It’s bad enough to crash your own $8,000+ bike or dent your beloved $2,500+ deep rim wheels. But imagine doing it to someone else’s?
Touch carbon, it hasn’t happened to me as yet. I’m proud to say I’ve been able to safely return every item I’ve been entrusted with after a couple of weeks of on-road use and scrutiny. The closest call I had was slamming into an apparent sink hole in the dark last month, en route to my regular weekday morning ride at Sydney Olympic Park. I pretty much destroyed a tyre, but that was it. No other damage. Phew.
As a betting man, however, I fully appreciate the more I ride with/on other people’s gear, the shorter the odds become that something will eventually go awry. I’m just hoping it’s a $3 energy gel or Co2 canister, and not a $15,000+ carbon work of art. I bet you do too, hey Gary? 😉