Sunday, 11 April 2010

What a weekend!

Sunny and warm weather awaited all those that dared this weekend. Sunday morning at 7.30am was still a little cloudy and slightly nippy especially in my shorts and ss shirt. The plan was to ride as much as possible until 10.30am where I would meet Rochdale Tri club at Rochdale baths after their swim. I would normally join them for a swim but just cannot be bothered and am concentrating all my efforts on cycling.

I was using Scott for the first time with the new KCNC brake callipers, dura ace wheels and patched up latex tubes. I took out alot of crap from my saddle bag that weighed around 1kg too including tool kit, 2 inner tubes, spare lights and batteries and rain proof thingy. Didn't need my big thick gloves or over shoes either.

Head/cross head all the way to Rochdale baths more or less so I took it fairly easy just incase the faster lads were turning up. Still averaged just under 17mph for 40 miles with quite a bit of climbing, namely Edenfield Rd and Bacup/Tod rd.

Not all that impressed with the brakes, firstly the cable affixes to a plastic 'drum' with a flimsey tiny allen key, single pivot - kiddies bikes setup which seemed to take a lot of fiddling to get right. I was working blind as I didn't have a clue what adjustments could be made or how to fit and Im still not sure if the callipers are supposed to pivot where it fixes to the bike unlike the normal dual pivot shimano thingies which are fixed. They seemed to work without rubbing but move the wheel laterally a few millimetres under braking. Braking power and features were similar to my carbon wheel set up. The ultra smooth braking rim of the dura ace wont help either. They weigh next to nothing though! 200g a pair. I had a few concerns regarding the dura ace wheels when I first got them but testing them out on a ride has changed my perception. They don't 'feel' as aero as the fulcrum zeros but are just as stiff even with super thin spokes and rim, roll a lot better than expecting but when climbing I am a different animal. Ok not quite, as Im quite a capable climber already but as a little guage, when on a steady climb I stand up a few strokes to keep the speed up and sometimes go up a gear or not at all but vitually every time I did this today I had to go up 2 gears even in a head wind. I do this route a lot so know what gear I am usually in and when. I love these wheels.

Back to cycling and when I got to the baths the Tri club had finished their swim and readying their bikes. Lee and his mate, Mike were last to set off so Martin and I waited whilst the others set off. Martin is supposed to be a good bike rider so I was hoping to see what pace he would set but had to turn back after 3 miles as he forgot something at the baths, never saw him the rest of the day. On the way met Kieron who is probably the fastest short distance triathlete we have and sure he's won some events. Kieron and I over took the gang and went on ahead, gauging each others efforts. Soon after on the way to Walsden we latched onto 2 guys, a 16 year who rides in the revolution events at the velodrome and Im guessing his dad, who had a wheel guru top on....ring any bells? It did to me anyway so I knew they would be fast. We drafted them for a mile or so until they waved us through and we upped the pace slightly, even Kieron said to slow down a little and heard from behind we had increased pace. We kept it up until some lights at Tod and the youngster took a sizeable lead. I kept up with his dad but we weren't gaining so sprinted to close the gap and caught most of the time on a short steep climb. The other 2 drafted me and when I caught up, quicker than expected, I drafted until I got my breath back. The kid had slowed down quite a bit now so I took over and we were all in single file. I led for what seemed ages, must have been going well until Kieron took over just before the little climb to Hebden. I got about a minutes breather then the other two went past us and slowed the pace right down. I said to my tri club mate about 2 mins after we joined these that I wonder if they'll try to drop us on the climbs, he said nah, but I had a feeling them were up to something and they were! Suddenly on the steep climb they hammered it up and I reacted but was 2 bike lengths behind. I soon caught them back up and the lights were kind. On the descent to Hebden they both looked round and I was still on their tail, must have been a road race tactic. Kieron missed the cut and pootled up. They stopped at a cafe in Hebden and I thanked them. I waited for Lee and Mike as they were carrying on. The other tri lot were also stopping in Hebden.

Mike hadn't been getting the miles in so we went at his pace until Luddendenfoot, 5 miles ish then it was just Lee and I and went at his pace. When I hit the front and think Im not going too fast he drops back, not too sure if its on purpose but he does go faster up the hills so I ended up riding side by side until the next big climb at Ripponden - Rochdale Rd. I said I couldn't be bothered going hard but Lee said what's the point then, and I think he likes to watch me climb. I stood up a lot of the way, much more than last time I went up here. I waited on the flatter bit before the road climbed again for 2 miles to the top of Blackstone Edge. I used my technique of standing for 6-10 pedal strokes and then holding it as long as poss until repeating. I was hurting at the top and waited again. Had a tail wind for the half of the way home and I still had the legs to press on hard.

Average Speed 17.5mph
Distance 82miles
Ascent 6000ft+


  1. How the hell do you maintain those averages over such a long distance.

    I officially hate you!

  2. Positioning....Aero as possible using a 130mm stem and seat as far back, handlebars low. At higher and higher speeds the more and more percentage of your wattage is counteracting the air resistance. Got the initial idea watching Lost sheep ride, although not a new idea it was to me at the time many months ago, taken lots of experimentation. Its only been the past 2-3 months that Ive had the flexibility to do this without back or neck pain for long distances. I can change to any position on the bike and feel no ill effects.
    Also helps to be a 10 stone whippet with legs the size of Hoys (slight exaggeration but not far off:))
    Hard work and time which I seem to be getting less of month by month.

  3. Piss off you 10 stone whippet