Snow Is Silk, Steel Is Real


Those are three words that shouldn’t exist in the same line, but that’s how I felt in the snow. Yes, during winter while navigating the white slush through the Clowne Greenway on my way to pick up some pheasants.

Darn. The snow had been predicted a few days ago, but I still went out.

The imaginary KOM challenge is never ending here in the Shires. In sorts, the trip was comp’ for the dropped chain horror that I went through last year during my previous snow dance with Vicki.

This time everything was fluid and smooth.

The chain behaved and the wheels turned. Honestly, I forgot I was cycling cos’ it all felt like I was sitting on a sofa – while coasting through a blizzard. I didn’t even feel the cold. Sliding without a care to the wind – while the lanes looked liked something out of a Disney fairytale.

Steel frames truly are amazing, and the material is now a firm favourite for my gradual return to geared rollin’.


Steel frames are true for easy flow, but the right steel is just bliss. Vicki was born with Reynolds 531 Designer Select that’s light but firm, not to springy – comfortable but fast. She’s a few years old, aged with a few rust spots here and there – but lady sure can dance.

This is all a testament to the original fine craftmanship of Vernon Barker. No other frame feels like a Barker. Vicky is golden, and that’s saying something cos’ I’ve danced with my fair share of gorgeous babes.

Aluminium is light but can be quite painful for my lolo on anything longer than 9 miles. Harsh, which is why I have now folded away and boxed in Black Phantom for now. Or at least until the weather is warmer – maybe until Phantom is sold.

Vicki is an amazing bike, cos’ Vernon Barker make elegant frames.

I’m now firm on steel.
The love is real.
I can feel it.

Love the way steel lines look and feel to the touch, and I love that natural organic smell of real metal. Love can be hard to explain sometimes. Spasmic. Love is something that you sense, hold, touch and feel. Love mesmerises, and Vicki holds my eye.

Snow or not, that’s what I could feel during that wintry storm. A cold February, but with the comfortable assurance of solid metal gliding through the lanes as if cushioned on a layer of silk.

Steel is amazing, and hereon-now snow is a companion for my steel Vernon in the winter. Spring, summer, autumn – hey, call on Vicki everyday.

So much so that she’s now become a travelling friend. 

Vernon Barker.
531 Designer Select,

Cos’ a snow dance, is a smooth dance.

Clowne Greenway (Derbyshire), en-route towards Chesterfield canal.


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