When the Factor 001 bicycle was delivered to my house for a weekend loan, snow was lying thick on the ground in the Scottish hills where I live.
Thank you, Lord! It guaranteed that I couldn’t possibly ride this ultra-high- performance bike with its razor-edge Fizik Antares saddle for the rest of the day.
Alas, a rapid thaw on Sunday left me no alternative but to take the gleaming, pearlescent white thing out on the road.
Never have I been more intimidated by a machine. In the past, I have driven cars worth millions and ridden 200+ mph motorbikes without a frisson of apprehension, but the Factor 001 made my legs tremble.
It wasn’t just the thought that I might crash and crack its twin-vane carbon composite frame that had me worried, nor the prospect that it might get pinched overnight from our garage (I insisted on parking the bike in our living-room while we slept).