Today I would like to take a moment to celebrate and reflect upon a special relationship in my life.
It's been exciting but also stable, there have been ups and downs in the physical and emotional senses, and at times I have been tempted by the attentions of others. But right here, right now, I want to say loud and proud: "I love my Ribble".
My Ribble Winter Training Frame wasn't even new when it came to me and had suffered from being a wallflower as the previous owner has rapidly moved on to a younger, sleeker model. But in 2007 it became mine just in time for the Blenheim Triathlon.
We've done all sorts together. We've been slow together, we've been fast together, and we've had others question our love for each other.
"Good speed on that bike, mate," yelled an overweight and clearly overpaid muppet on a £3,000 TT bike as I scorched by him at Blenheim two years ago.
The thing is, I have never wanted to replace my Ribble; not really. I know that as a triathlete I have never reached my potential That is not down to the fact I have an 11-year-old aluminium bike, it is down to the fact that I have never trained properly for an event.
This bike has never let me down, although I can't say that I have reciprocated that reliability and loyalty. Why would I waste money and resources when I can't commit my time to improving myself?
I've heard Ribble be a bit dismissed as a brand by fellow triathletes; a bargain brand only suitable for beginners, not serious triathletes.
I can tell you that such has been the positive experience I have had that I would not hesitate to buy another, however tempting the high-end brands may be to the fashion-conscious triathlete.