Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bike Designation - Not as simple as you'd think..

Whilst any cyclist worth his weight in Reynolds tubing will fully understand the enduring principle of N+1, it’s what follows adherence to this rule which I want to discuss..

Last year I was fortunate enough to take delivery of my dream bike, a full custom Rourke in oh so glorious 953 Stainless Steel. This was always going to be Bike #1 and it’s difficult to see this ever changing if I’m honest. ‘Brian’ enjoys all the benefits that come with a #1 designation, and his place in the pecking order is as solid as the TIG welding holding his tubes in place.

But what about the rest of the bikes in the stable? Which is #2, #3, and so on? Does it matter? I think it probably does, but how should we designate? Value is far too crude; versatility perhaps; looks maybe? It’s no easy task.

Bike #5 takes care of itself. My off road option is a bike which I still love as much as the day I collected from Dave Mellor Cycles back in 2007. You can keep your 29ers, as well as the next big thing, the ‘650b’. I’ll stick with my trusty Orange 5, surely one of the greatest do it all, go anywhere bikes that have ever been produced.

It’s #2 and #3 that are causing me most problems, and it come down to a straight fight between two bikes which although seemingly so different, have much in common. In the end it’s the Specialized Langster which wins the #2 spot, with #3 going to my trusty On-One Pompino. This one really could have gone either way, it was that close.

What about #4? Well the tandem can take this spot. It’s quite apt as well as it’s the only bike in the line up which all 4 members of the family have ridden.

So, with that tricky little conundrum sorted, I can now get to work setting up the new Alfine back wheel that I’ve recently taken delivery of for London2Paris2013!
Vive la Velo


Saturday, 2 February 2013

WrekinSportCC Reliability Ride Report

Who are we trying to kid?

A cycling friend of mine recently said that if a Sportive is a ride where ‘non racers pretend to race’, then a Reliability Ride is ride where ‘racers pretend not to’. Having just experienced my first Reliability Ride I now know exactly what he meant.
I really didn’t know what to expect as I arrived at the sign on, and the first thing that struck me was how many bikes were outside the venue.  Inside there was a mix of familiar faces from WrekinSport along with riders from many of Shropshire’s other cycling clubs. It was certainly a good turnout.
Whilst signing on I was asked to choose which of the three groups I’d like to join. The options was the ‘slow’ 4.5hrs group, the ‘middle’ 4hr group, or the ‘fast’ 3.5hrs group. With the route measuring a shade under 60 miles, I opted for the middle group. The 4 hour target time equated to an average speed of just under 15mph, if anything a little conservative.
From the start the pace was quick, and the guys at the front were really pushing on. I was on my Langster and on the flat sections it was all I could do to keep up. It was clear that my 52/18 was just not a big enough gear to keep up with the faster guys in the group. As I rounded the island just south of Hodnet I checked my Garmin; we’d covered the first 14 miles at a shade under 20mph! It was no wonder that my legs were feeling it a bit!
As we approached Market Drayton, we were caught by the ‘fast’ group. If these racers were pretending not to race all I can say is that they were not doing a very good job of it. They absolutely flew past the small group I was in, a very impressive sight.
As the miles past I got hooked up with a fair sized group and we were soon speeding through Wem and turning back towards Wellington. I was back on familiar roads now, and it was time for one last effort. It was looking like I’d finish well inside of the 4 hour target originally set.
The last climb back up into Wellington from Admaston was despatched and as I pulled up back the the Leisure Centre I stopped my computer. As I glanced down I was genuinely surprised to see the clock stopped at just over 3hours and 17minutes. Not too shabby at all, and a fair bit quicker than I’d anticipated.
Ride details here -

So, another box ticked as far as cycling experiences go, and I’d have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m hoping to give another one a go before the season ends.
Vive la Velo!