August: Slipping again

Not the best of months, but then I did miss two weeks due to being on a bike-free holiday in Portugal.

Bike Rides Miles
Lemond Buenos Aires 3 84.25
Ribble Audax 13 51.75

Kona Unit 1 21
Specialized Langster 1 15
Cove Stiffee 1 13
Trek XO 1 12.75
Kona Kaboom 1 3.5
Totals 21 201.25

I seem to have managed to ride every working bike this month, that’s something of a rarity.

Wheely good

I went out for a quick spin on the Lemond tonight complete with replacement wheels and tyres. After extensive unscientific testing, I was about 7% faster on the flat, mostly I suspect down to running 22mm/23mm race tyres instead of my usual sturdy 25mm ones. The wheels themselves felt stiffer than the Campag Centaur/Open Pro ones I usually run, but that might be "new part syndrome". There might be more completely unscientific testing at the weekend if the weather holds out and I don’t drink too much.

Congratulations to Matt for managing to ride over 1000 miles in August. I think he should do a century tomorrow to celebrate.

Back on the road

Thanks to the lovely Smiff hand delivering a rather nice set of wheels to me this morning, the Lemond should be back on the road this evening.

Update: It’s all back in one piece, but early consumption of alcohol precludes proper testing.

Having dropped the broken wheel off at the LBS and picked up a couple of parts, I was also able to make myself useful and delivered Al his new bike.

Cheeky Cross Rides

I wasn’t really in the mood for a proper ride today, so I went for a short exploratory trip on the cross bike. I rode up as far as Combe Down, then headed down a footpath into the woods in the vague direction of Tucking Mill, mainly to see if the path was still closed or not, and it isn’t. A quick loop through Monkton Combe and then back along the canal brought me home. The best bit was that I rode along Shepherds Walk and didn’t crash into a tree and rip my top. Bonus.

It’s a shame I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow.

Snap!

I snapped yet another spoke in the rear wheel on the Lemond today. This time it was about 15 miles into a 35 mile ride, necessitating several stops to keep it straight enough to stop the tyre rubbing on the chainstay. I’ve stripped the wheel down and it’s going back to the shop to be completely rebuilt when George gets back from his holiday. In the meantime I’m trying to decide whether to buy some cheap Campag compatible wheels to use as spares, or whether to buy some nice expensive ones and keep the current set as spares. My wallet however is being sensible and saying that I should ride a different bike for a while. Ian suggested I go for 36 spoke wheels instead of the current 32s, but that might be because they’ve got a set of 36 spoke Campagnolo Centaur/Mavic Open Pro hanging up on the wall for sale.

Apart from the wheel shenanigans, it was a good ride. Nice and cool, with the weather clearing nicely towards the end. The cake was different though, the chocolate was slightly darker than usual. The spoke key on a Topeak Hummer blows goats though, it’s fecking useless. Time to equip my saddle back with a proper Park spoke key.

Summer is seemingly over

As summer is seemingly over, I went out and bought myself some light full-fingered gloves for the new cooler weather. I also did a complicated deal with Ian which should mean I’ll also be getting a set of black Oakley Half Jacket XLJs with Black Iridium and Persimmon lenses to replaced my aging and somewhat battered Smiths.

A Chew Valley ride is scheduled for tomorrow morning. It’ll be only my second proper ride in three weeks, and Ians first, so I suspect it’ll be slow and painful. Weather permitting I’llI fit another ride in sometime on Monday.

Gears are weird

I rode the Stiffee tonight for the first time in ages, it’s been a bit neglected of late because I’ve been favouring the simplicity of the rigid singlespeed Kona Unit. It felt quite odd being back on the Stiffee, I kept forgetting to change gear, and forgot to disable the lockout on the forks until I’d ridden most of the first off-road section. It was a pretty good ride in the end, I didn’t crash and rip my top for a change, and the trails were nice and firm despite all the recent rain. I picked up a shiny new Deda UltraCarbon stem for the road bike on the way back through town, it looks pretty nice now it’s been fitted so I probably ought to ride that bike tomorrow to test things out.

I also passed 1500 miles for the year on tonights ride, I’ll need to do a few more rides before the end of the month to keep on track.

Bikes? What are they?

It’s now nearly a fortnight since I even touched a bicycle, probably the longest period of non-riding for several years. I should have gone out this weekend, but Friday and Saturday were either wet or I was busy, and today was overcast and very windy for most of the day, then only cleared up enough to ride once I got to my parents for dinner.

Hopefully I’ll ride to work tomorrow, and I might even go for a quick spin on a road bike in the evening to see if my legs still work at all. I’m sure the last two weeks of inactivity and over-indulgence will have taken a severe toll on my already minimal level of fitness.