12 Jun 2014

12th June 2014

Thursday 12th 60-70F, 16-21C, cloudy but bright, almost still. It soon turned sunny. No walk as I had an appointment. 7 miles so far. I may be allowed out again after lunch. 17 more miles later. I finally found a stock of the special offers! It must have been blowing a steady 20mph (mostly) crosswind.

The image is of the Heln├Žs viaduct from the far end. 
My new desktop background.
The 48-38-28, 160mm, Stronglight triple chainset arrived from Spa Cycles along with two lengths of square axle, bottom brackets. [110mm and 107mm] I chose the plastic threaded Stronglight options this time rather than reuse the previous Shimano, with alloy threaded shells. I shall fit the new chainset and Shimano pedals to the Trykit when it returns. The present bottom bracket is quite stiff. I removed the scruffy Stronglight BB boxes for the picture because they had been badly "chewed" by the chainwheel teeth due to a lack of any padding in transit. Though, fortunately, the left side crank was well wrapped for protection.

I still haven't decided whether to risk fitting the Continental 4000S which were dealer replacements for the substandard ones. Continental chose to pretend the rubber was fine despite splitting into large holes when tiny flints became embedded. The unused tyres have been hanging up in the dark shed. Just waiting patiently for any sign of weakness from me.

I have been getting on very well with the Schwalbe Durano in 700x25C. They seem almost immune to punctures in the dry. One puncture undoes any benefits from lighter but more fragile tyres. I prefer the Durano to the Plus based on using one set of each for thousands of miles. The Durano Plus have only been on the Higgins. The Durano only on the Trykit. Grip has never much of an issue for me on a trike with 2WD. It matters far more [on a bike] if you can actually fall as a result of the lack of it.

I can still remember the remarkable improvement in grip with Milremo Sportivo tubulars over Dunlop HPs in my youth. I loved cornering and would always ride flat out around the corners in town and lay the bike right over. With my inside knee sticking out like a racing motorcyclist. Handy practice for tricycling later on. The only time I ever fell was on the Bath cobbles in the wet. That was on HPs. The city centre bus stops were packed and I felt a complete fool as I picked myself up. Suddenly cold, wet and in pain from my bruised hip.

Friday 13th 60F, 16C, breezy and sunny. Then the sky blackened for a heavy shower. The forecast is more cloud today with the risk of showers. Plans for a walk and then a ride were put off by gardening and other projects. Another rest day getting more exercise than a visit to the gym. My Trykit arrived back from the UK after a month away for repairs. I started rebuilding it only to have to give up due to a sudden downpour and then having to clean up for dinner.

Barrow on a barrow.

Saturday 14th 60-65F, 16C, sunny and still. Started early, rebuilding my Trykit trike in bright sunshine. It went well, apart from the Ultegra, triple, front gear changer. The changer seems completely incapable of dealing with 28-38-48. If set at the correct height the inner cage plate jammed against the middle ring teeth when I tried to shift onto the large chainwheel. It may be that the Stronglight chainwheels are too far apart for the Ultegra to cope with. Not much I can do about that. I can hardly turn the spider thinner in my lathe. It would take quite a big machine to swing a cycle crank.

Rode the Trykit to shop in Assens. 22 miles. Going out again after lunch. What a pleasure it is to have the Trykit back after a month of riding the Higgins. The Trykit just feels so light and nimble. Even when loaded. It rolls well and feels very safe, stable and precise over all surfaces. It has a sense of urgency which makes one want to go as fast as possible all the time. The steering is very light yet it goes in a straight line with hands off the 'bars. Just moving it about on the lawn and in the shed it feels effortless compared with the Higgins. The latter feels like an old cast iron mangle to push about. Lifting the back wheels to steer backwards is a real effort. The Trykit lifts like a feather (even with a large saddle bag, tool kit and U-lock) and steers easily when backing out of the shed.

The Higgins could probably do with new forks to improve the steering geometry. It is hardly worth it now because the laid back angles stretch me out too much. The top tube is too long and this throws all my weight onto my hands regardless of handlebar height. Plus 7 more miles. Warm sunshine from a cloudless sky but  now blowing a gale.

Sunday 15th 63F, 17C, sunny from a cloudless sky and completely still. With light winds forecast from the north (and west later) it ought to be a good day for a ride.

I have just spent some time on the front changer. For some reason it does seem better now. Though the Ultegra is obviously designed for a much more laid back frame. The cage is at completely the wrong angle on my 76 degree seat tube. I think I may have moved a spacer on the handlebar stem but I'll leave it for the moment to see how I get on. Handlebar height only rears its ugly head after a longer ride. When I start to notice my wrists or hands are beginning to ache. The black twill tape is looking very untidy now. I have pushed the saddle as far back as it will go. Which is never very far with a B17 but the Diims tracker just adds to the problem.

I left after coffee heading north into the wind to Bogense. Picked up a tail of club riders on "electric hill." It took them ages to finally catch me and then I kept up such a good pace they didn't want to go past. Silly old sod! Though I got a cheery Go' tur! as they turned off at the top. While I went straight on.

From Bogense at 21 miles I turned east towards Otterup. Having shopped there I headed south through Lumby to skirt Odense via the western suburbs. Where I caught the tail enders of a road race. From there I aimed for Vissenbjerg along the noisy main road with lots of road works due to District Heating pipe replacement. Loads of cyclists out and about all day. Plenty of walkers too.

I left it far too late at 40 miles and a sudden feeling of weakness before resting on a bench to eat my cheese roll and banana. Then had to stop again and stuff three digestives down at 60 miles to keep up my strength and stave off growing tiredness. I drank 3/4 litre of water and a small box of apple juice during my five and a half hour ride. Probably not nearly enough but I just don't enjoy drinking water. Given the relatively low cost of apple juice I could easily have found room for another box or two.

Perhaps I should have a strict timetable? Or a fixed routine to ensure I eat and drink at certain distances? I hate stopping for anything once I am under way. If I wasn't as daft as a brush I'd stop competing with every cyclists I see on my side of the road. If only I would accept the painfully obvious truth that I am a fully paid up, old fart. Riding on a machine weighing twice their common or carbon mounts. What, on earth, am I trying to prove? Even to myself?   

My knees are hurting now despite keeping the revs high all the way. Perhaps the saddle isn't the same height as before? I'll have to check it more carefully. 65 miles or 104.65km. Equalling my longest ride this year. If I didn't always go flat out over the first half and ate and drank properly throughout a ride, I could probably keep going for much longer. Or travel faster over the same distance. Nearly half way through the year and my overall mileage is well down on previous years. I can't even blame the weather!

To put my ride into perspective, today was also the Tour of Fyn. [http://www.fyenrundt.dk/] A couple of thousand keen cyclists rode four potential distances. Including 65km, 110km, 180km and three times my distance today. The full coastal route is 333 km [206 miles!] and was managed by at least three hundred riders by 20.00pm. The 3.00 am start should have been warning enough for most!

Allowing for the time I spent shopping I would have been 564th on the 110km ride. So not a complete disaster. I would probably have been far better fed too! I don't think they allow trikes though. Racing bikes only. There may be a serious message there. Though I wonder whether I can still ride a bike after [only] triking for so long. Whoops! Now I am turning pink from overexposure to the sun! It was lucky I used suntan cream before I left and was already tea stained on the exposed bits.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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