I can’t remember the actual reason why this all started; I guess I just figured that I could tackle some steeper hills with confidence if I had some lower-ratio gears. So I considered the possibility of fitting a smaller granny ring to my Campag Veloce triple (52Tx42Tx30T) on my Giant TCR 3. I called my LBS …
Cloud and mist earlier in the day had given way to a sunny evening for the Summer Solstice. I went out for this leisurely ride:
It was the first time I had ridden around Brenchley. There is an amazing view from Crook Road where there’s a nice lookout point with benches and a 3D model of the view to help identify things in the distance.
Shortly after that I was enjoying an exhilarating descent down Pixot Hill and had reached 40 mph when I glanced down at my Garmin and noticed that I needed to turn left at a lane that I was already right on top of. There was no way I was going to be able to slow down quick enough to make the turn so I overshot and slammed on the brakes, or at least to the extent to which you can do that on a road bike; which is to hardly any extent at all actually!
Using data from my Garmin I was later able to work out how long it took me to stop – 90 metres. The stopping distance for a car from 40 mph is 36 metres! Actually I could have stopped faster; I didn’t really brake hard until after I had passed the turning and even then it wasn’t exactly an emergency stop. But it still would have been significantly worse than a car.
The best part of this evening was when I came to climb Barn Hill. I was really in the mood for it and went up most of it in third gear and blitzed my previous best time by 33 seconds.
All in all it was un bon solstice d’été.
The weather forecast said it would be dry in most places. Well, it started raining near Marden and didn’t let up until about 5 miles from Hastings. It was only fine rain really – enough to get me a bit damp, but the roads didn’t get wet enough to cause splashing. What I was mainly concerned with is the fact that it made my legs cold and I didn’t want to ask too much of cold muscles, especially my knees.
Despite the rain, and the slight headwind, and the fact that I was carrying a 2.1kg backpack (yes, I did weigh it! I have to measure things) filled with a change of clothes, I beat my previous Hastings run by almost 15 minutes! I am well-pleased with that time. The route was slightly different from the last Hastings run in that I included Stonestile Lane which was challenging enough to be put on my list of tough climbs.
Once in Hastings I got changed at my brother’s house and walked briskly from West Hill down to the sea front. I had a lovely meal with my mum, dad, bro and his gf. Then we went for a walk on the beach. Then walked all the way back again. Then I had to ride home again! I was really sluggish on the ride home after all that exercise. I only had one JB and one energy gel for the ride home (I hadn’t had any food on the ride there), so I had to ration them. JB after 10 miles and energy gel about 8 miles from home. The weather by now was absolutely beautiful – sunny and calm. Some of the evening views from that route are stunning.
The low evening sun really showed off the landscape and in the wooded sections I was constantly aware of the beautiful aroma of dappled sunlight. Eventually I made it home and managed to drag myself up Barn Hill.
When I got home my son gave me a Father’s Day card that he had made (without Photoshop!)
While writing this post I got cramp in my leg. That’s the first time that’s ever happened; it shows how much I pushed it today.
|Date climbed||16th June 2013|
|Elevation gain||336 feet|
About a mile north of Hastings. The first part of this hill is steep enough that I had to be out of the saddle. There was no possibility of sitting down. It’s quite a slog and reminded me of Cob Lane. That means it’s good enough to be on this list. Luckily that bit doesn’t last long and once you get it over with it eases slightly – still no chance of getting out of first gear but at least you can get your breath back and maybe sit down. It continues climbing like that for about another half a mile. Then it kicks up slightly again at the end and you find yourself out of the saddle again.
Just been out on this route and got 3 Personal Bests on Strava, including Yalding Hill.
And now I’m aching.
Nothing much else happened this week, cycling-wise, except on Monday as I was passing a bike shop in Ashford I saw this thing of beauty through the window
I literally did a double-take and had to turn around and go back and stare through the window drooling! This was like the dream machine of my youth. I used to have a Holdsworth frame – I even sprayed it orange, but didn’t have the logos on. Used to commute on it in the late 70’s.
Purists would say (and I agree) that the wheels/tyres on this re-issue look too lairy. The A-head stem looks a little unrealistic too I guess but I could live with that, and the carbon forks.
I want one! Now! Of course I’d have to get some retro kit to match!
I saw a glowing review of this bike and it must have been just at the right time for me to be thinking about getting a new bike, even though there was nothing particularly wrong with my existing bike. It’s a bit like when you suddenly decide to get a different car. Once your mind is on that track you can’t shift it. You always end up getting a new car, and in my case it was inevitable that I would get some sort of new bike, and this one fit the bill. List price was £1499, but I had seen them going for £1299, and in one case £1199. Being late in the year this was 2012’s outgoing model, hence the generous discounts. I called my
to see if they would offer a comparable price.
“Oh no, we sold out of those back in August. We can’t get any more of those. There are none left anywhere in the UK”
I panicked, thinking they were in short supply and immediately ordered one from Pedal-On. It was delivered in a couple of days. Needless to say, my LBS had got it wrong again! These were still for sale months later.
I was really looking forward to trying it but it rained every day for 2 weeks! I eventually got to try it out but the weather never really improved and I ended up riding it through a wet winter. I even bought mudguards because I was so fed-up with hosing it down after each ride! I find the bike very comfortable to ride, even over the atrocious road surfaces I encountered on the back country lanes. I love the SRAM Apex DoubleTap gear shifters. It took no time getting used to them. The ability to shift up or down while down in the drops is so convenient. The first upgrade I made was to fit Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels I bought second-hand from a bloke selling them on eBay. Recently I fitted a , after briefly trying a
This shows the bike with the Mavic Ksyrium Elites, Selle Italia saddle and with the stem flipped to give a more aggressive rider position.
Tour of Isle of Sheppey took me unexpectedly through the Elmley National Nature Reserve