Thursday, 18 July 2013

Freebie Oakleys

As part of the goodie bag from the IG Markets Nocturne, I got a set of the excellent Rich Mitch designed Oakley cards.

I love Oakley sunglasses and have had a pair of E-wires for sometime, complete with prescription lenses.  Sadly the prescription is a little out of date, so I was thrilled when my employer offered a benefit scheme to include getting a new pair of prescription sunglasses...for free.
I decided to go against the pro-peloton fashion and chose a pair of Frogskins...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Team support

I rode out to Whitwell today with the intention to race with some other members of my club, however I faffed about getting my bike ready, changing the cleats on my shoes and arrived at the sign on too late to get a place.

Instead of racing I cheered on my club mates and took a few photographs.

It was a very hot day to ride 58 miles at 23.6mph.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Cycling characters

With my Brompton folded and stowed away on the train, I generally pass the time by reading but it is kind of fun just to observe other people. In particular I like to see how other bicycle-carrying commuters manage on the train.

I occasionally see one chap who brings his road race bike onto the train and he removes the front wheel, angles his handlebar with the bike standing upright on the rear wheel and then he bungies it to the rail in the door area.

He was on my train yesterday and I watched as he disembarked and noticed that he had at least four GoPro cameras mounted on his bike and one atop his helmet.  This confirmed my suspicion that he is the Traffic Droid posting as SonofthewindsInc on YouTube.

I love the way he gives red cards during his commute :-)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Climb every mountain!

When I bought all of the components for my son's bike a couple of years ago, the intention was for him to race on it, so the gear ratios were chosen to be appropriate for Youth racing without the need to block off any sprockets. 

We chose the Shimano 105 group-set for the build and the GS medium-caged rear derailleur to cater for a big sprocket for some steeper, longer climbs like Mont St.Victoire in Provence and the Pyrenean Cols we ticked off last year.
However, my choice of chainset wasn't too clever. I went for a 165mm crank length which was fine but I worked out that a 38 tooth chainring was ideal for Youth gear restrictions and purchased a Stronglight 130BCD set up.  This was perfect for racing but, even with a 32 sprocket, not great for any climbs over 8% for a 10 or 11 year old and I couldn't go smaller with 130BCD.
This year my son and I are planning to tick off some Tour climbs in the Alsace region of France.  We decided to swap his front chainset to a compact and I coincidentally found a new SRAM APEX with 165mm cranks offered for sale at a reduced price. Buy it now.

The black coloured APEX goes well with the 105 groupset.
My son finds it much easier to spin up the climbs now and, whilst his racing is on hold, he can flick it up to the 50 tooth chainring and push a bigger gear.  Our average speed around one of the local training rides has increased by 1mph to 14mph, so the change is good and we are looking forward to conquering the Grand Ballon.