The Hawk - The land of the Belgians and Luxembourgeois - CycleBlaze

The Hawk

How to begin to describe my bike, the "Hawk Woodland"?

Well, "shoddy but weirdly suitable" might be most accurate.

The Hawk "Woodland" was a bike from a very large local bike shop in Oxford (one might say the largest). I got it from there because at the time I knew even less than I do now about bike maintenance, and it was cheap.
They sell a lot of off-brand bikes there, often with rather comical names: my Woodland was pretty poorly suited for the woods - it was in fact a fairly standard commuters hybrid. They also sold something called a Dresden, which we could only conclude had been named that because it had been rebuilt from scratch.

In common with most of the bikes they sold - well, every one I ever came across - it worked fine for about 3 months, and then developed a series of mechanical problems in a clearly predictable sequence:

  1. The bottom bracket would go. Every time.
  2. Shifting would become very unreliable.
  3. Spokes would break. They certainly weren't made of stainless steel - I think they were made of some kind of uncooked spaghetti.

But I had a new bike, and started to really enjoy cycling about Oxfordshire again. I took it in to get the bottom bracket replaced, tweaked the shifting and brakes myself. With the spoke breakage, I'm jumping ahead...

But despite these flaws, it actually made a weirdly suitable touring bike. It had a solid (neigh indestructible) steel frame and a rack, which meant you could load it up with no problem at all. 35C tyres were fine on road and off, and it was pretty upright in position and comfortable to ride. It was heavy, but it wasn't like I was a road racer.

Would it make it to Luxembourg? Would I make it to Luxembourg? We had a sweepstake in the lab, and I was not odds-on favourite to make it.

The Hawk in all its glory. I've chosen this picture as the beautiful setting distracts from the bike.
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