I’ve really got back into this cycling lark, so much so that I’ve HAD to go out and get a new bike. I’ve also done a few other things since my last blog so let’s get those out of the way first.
On Wednesday, I lined up for the, becoming regular, wobble. Aimed at beginner, recovering or just an easy ride, the Wednesday Wobble lasts about an hour. This week, we were riding around Richmond on an almost flat course.
After an initial lead-in, we did five laps. Before the end of each lap, there is a sprint and we were told that we could go hell for leather but were asked to soft pedal afterward and regroup.
My results were …
- 20.81 and
I gave it a good go so much so that the other half in the room below had to wind up the TV volume.
The sprints got the heart rate up but not as high as I can get walking. After the official ride I did another (easy) mile as a cool down before a shower and a dunk in the hot tub.
Walk to the pub
Thursday, my cycling rest day, I took the bus into work with the intention of walking home afterwards. However, at the last minute, I called Sue and we agreed that I could walk to The Griffin and she would meet me there later.
The shortest route follows the B4128 and B4114 which goes by various names along it’s length – Garrison Lane, Bordesley Green, Bordesley Green East, Meadway, East Meadway, Cooks Lane, Birmingham Road and Blythe Road.
I made a little diversion near Stetchford which left me struggling to get the the boozer on time so had Sue pick me up a mile before the end of the planned walk although I still managed 10.74 miles in a tad under two and a half hours.
Although adequate for commuting, my hybrid bike lacks a bit of speed on tarmac. After looking around, I decided that I needed what is variously called either a gravel or adventure bike.
Like the hybrid, a gravel bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike but edging more towards the road. A gravel bike will have dropped bars and usually disc brakes with a longer wheelbase.
Eventually, I decided on another Halfords bike, this time badged Boardman.
The main features are …
- Frame: Lightweight Alloy with smooth welds for easy handling and clean lines
- Forks: Full Carbon tapered forks offer low weight and precise steering control
- Gears: Shimano Sora 18-speed gearing with an 11-34T cassette offer an excellent range to tackle all terrains
- Brakes: Tektro disc brakes for controlled and powerful stopping
- Wheels: Boardman wheels and 38mm Schwalbe tubeless-ready tyres for balanced performance and comfort on and off road
The only branch that had any stock was in Nuneaton and the earliest that I could pick it up was Saturday morning so using Sue’s larger car, we drove out to Halfords in Nuneaton at the weekend.
In the shop I was informed that the bike was their ex-demo model and as such it had picked up a little injury namely a couple of small chips on the top tube. A minor detail but they did give me sixty quids worth of servicing as compensation.
Back home, I had a few bits and pieces (previously purchased) to add or swap over.
First off, I removed the stock pedals and fitted a pair of Shimano SPD clipless ones.
A Topeak rack went on the back to enable me to use my existing bag for the commute.
I also added a holder for my Garmin GPS.
I didn’t get a chance to try it out as we had an afternoon trip to Stratford followed by another trip to the Griffin (this time with friends). It would be Monday’s trip into work before I could try it out proper.