The bike of Laurence Gibbons

Name: Laurence Gibbons (United Kingdom, Architecture – Erasmus Exchange)
Price: Insurance paid for it
Brand: Orange
The bright orange color of Laurence Gibbons’ bike makes it stand out, but that’s not the only unique thing about it.

It’s a bike that is specially designed for a sport called Cyclo-cross.

Although Cyclo-cross bikes do resemble road racing bikes, they have a slightly different frame and wider tires. Gibbons describes the sport as “a mad variation of cycling.” It actually involves racing on a course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and then remount. “Riding basically road bikes off-road is a recipe for accidents,” says Gibbons. “I have had a couple of falls, fortunately on to soft mud, and near misses with oncoming trees, but that’s all part of the fun.”

Before moving to the Netherlands last August, Gibbons cycled to the university in Bath, England every day. He did road cycling and triathlons, but his first ever road bike was stolen in the UK. Luckily, insurance covered the cost of the replacement bike. At that time Gibbons wanted to get into Cyclo-cross. “Seeing as I was going to the Netherlands, where Cyclo-cross is huge,” he said,” it seemed like an ideal time to get one.”

Gibbons mainly uses the bike for racing and training, but unfortunately not as much as he would like. “The cycling club WTOS has been very helpful in introducing me to competitive biking in the Netherlands,” he said, “but studying has gotten in the way too many times.”

Reminiscing about his stolen bike, Gibbons said, “It wasn’t a particularly good bike but it had huge sentimental value. I hope this one will be as good a companion.” And the brightly hued bike is just one of an ever growing collection for Gibbons. “Always remember the formula: the maximum number of bikes you can own is N+1, where N is the current number of bikes you own,” quipped Gibbons.  

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