Simple Things

Well I thought I’d break this update down into 3 themes, maybe keeping to that format in future and maybe not; after all, I’m new to this and haven’t really a clue what I’m doing….nobody’s said they don’t like it yet so….here goes.

Bike.

My wonderful workhorse and “go to” bike, Trigger’s Broom has continued to deliver great service, another 215 miles since I last posted with trouble-free riding and all I’ve done is weekly chain/cassette clean & lube and one complete bike wash. I don’t think there’s been much road salt down round here judging by how clean the components have been but I can’t stress enough the value of keeping on top of cleaning & maintenance; before I did the full rebuild I discovered the reason for ensuring that servicing gets done (I now do almost everything myself, saves a lot of money). Here’s the fork:

Ignored Trek 1.1 Fork

I rode it like that for another few months until my carbon beauty was built and delivered then I decided to remove the fork for replacement………

Once the fork was out I couldn’t resist walloping out what remained of the bearings and seals, for which I needed a massive lump hammer, a special drift and some outside help. I got a bit carried away, as you can see:

The shed's not usually this tidy

So I was now at the point of no return, really, and hunted around for someone to rejuvenate the frame, it was the only component that I intended on keeping. Now I could’ve gone the full hog and had a really spiffy job done, with filigree whatnot and all kinds of feathering, flecking and logos or whatever to bling my eyeballs out but two things precluded that. 1, my imagination couldn’t be contained enough to finalise a design and 2, there is too much Cardi in my blood. Now, please allow me a little digression.  “Cardi” is short for Cardiganshire and in Welsh lore those of us who hail from the West of our wondrous country are renowned for, well, having deeper pockets than our arms allow our hands to reach the bottom of, get it?

No?

We are as tight as a gnat’s arse, does that help?

So, rather than spend £150.00 plus on what would no doubt have been a beautiful result from any of the companies who specialise in bicycle frame painting I got in touch with Castle Coatings in Caerphilly who allowed me to select a colour from a PAC chart (I think that’s what it’s called) which they ordered in before sandblasting and powder coating the frame. £50.00

Yes, £50.00 and for a plain colour it looks pretty good.

The colour, by the way, matches Trigger’s suit that he wears for his award ceremony in “Only Fools & Horses”, thereby making the bike’s title match its look.

I had thought about adding some logos, specifically Trek on the down-tube and Campagnolo on the chain-stays but haven’t got round to it yet, a pal has offered to plot and print those for me but I’ll probably wait for its next stripdown in a month or so for that. Also, I considered some helitape around where the cables rub the frame and to protect the chain-stays but instead found some nice blue lo-tack tape in a meeting room at work which matches the colour very nicely, see if you can spot it in the pics in my last blog.

So, that was the frame done, more on the strip/rebuild in future ramblings.

Training.

Well, I’ve binned the planned ride from Geneva to Netherlands in late May, the spill I took in late summer and reconstructive surgery really has put me behind physically and I really think it’ll be June/July before a 5 day bike ride can be contemplated. But, “every cloud………” as they say; Everest seems like a piece of cake according to Del so I’m considering that while in the interim I’ll be riding the Wye Valley Warrior in early May which is my favourite Sportive and Velothon Wales in late May, both will require sensible training and that’s what my riding is focusing on currently. I’ll be getting out to Switzerland in coming months again, it’s a dream in the hills out there. I’m trying to do a good variety of rides by which I mean distance, elevation, solo, small groups and club rides. I think variety is important both for your physical development and for your mental state; I love a big group ride on a Sunday but only if it’s the right route so this year if it doesn’t look like something I’ll enjoy I’ll do something different on a Sunday; but I also love a ride on my own, I find it really frees my head up and ideal at the end of a work day to transition into family life. I work from home, so a good spin or thrash on the road really does make a difference.

My power meter has settled down and is puking out a load of very interesting numbers, none of them very high but when you look like like a boiled egg on pipecleaners you can’t have it all. As a disciple of Joe Friel I’m really looking forward to utilising power stats in my training, previously I’ve found heart rate a very useful measure but it has its limitations. I’m a data junkie and a stats lover so I really enjoy losing myself in analysis, if I focus and plan correctly my pace, strength and endurance will improve nicely and I’ll let you know either way from time to time. A fellow club member has kindly agreed to carry out a Functional Threshold Power test on me in the next couple of weeks so I’ll know where I’m at, you can take a look at my power data on my Strava rides, I’m your archetypal 49 year old mamil so expect mediocrity!

I’ve been coaching a fellow club member in recent weeks which has been fun, a combo of increasing distance, road skills and hill reps have helped to build her stamina and road skills while also providing good rehab for me. I really enjoy helping others with their cycling and I focus on just simple things to put the rider in the right place to develop their skills and, more importantly, enjoyment of the sport. Again, I’ll give you further thoughts through the blog.

Kit.

So, I mentioned my power meter above, I’ll probably do a full review of that in a month or so and you’ll be getting info on Trigger’s Broom or Rosalie, my carbon bike, in every update so here are just some brief noises about what I carry on a ride. Below’s what I carried on last year’s Wye Valley Warrior sportive:

Creme & wipes are pre&post ride essentials

As you can see, I’m covered for the weather, nutrition and mechanicals. One of the bottles is for the car journey to the event as I like to pre-hydrate and I ritually have a McDonald’s Double Sausage & Egg McMuffin, hash brown and coffee en route to any sportive. Body’s a temple and all that.

Of course, I also take the nutrition on offer at the feed stations unless it’s High 5 drink which I cannot abide.

Here’s what I packed for today’s solo 20 miler, exactly what I carry on a Sunday club run also:

Boy Scout? No, ex soldier

Often the gels and bars don’t get consumed, it depends on how I’m feeling, and here’s a pre club run brekky:

Real coffee is part of my pre-ride ritual

You probably think all the kit’s overkill but I don’t use a saddlebag and I Iike to try and cover as many possible eventualities. It does annoy me when someone riding with you doesn’t have what they need.

In case you’re interested the above is:

Rainjacket.

Zipvit gel, yum, my fave at 60g carbs 90 mins from home.

SIS gel, emergency or give away to flagging clubmate.

Muesli bar, cheap, tasty, little nibble every 20 mins.

Minipump

1st aid kit with stuff for cuts, blisters, bandage, bites, antiseptic wipes, tape, scissors, foil blanket, elastic band (old school for ankles to stop the flares on my jeans catching in the chain).

StickyPod containing mobile, fiver & change, inner tube, patches, rubber for tyre boot, spare chainlinks (1×11-speed, 1×10-speed), multitool, gas, gas valve thingy, pencil, Faux-Pro batteries, tyre levers x2, McDonald’s/Café Nero etc. coffee loyalty), next of kin details of club members, zipties x2.

I’ll weigh it all sometime, I bet it’s a kilo!!

Thought until next time, eat & drink while you ride, you’ll perform better.

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Comments
  • Karl
    Reply

    Fab Gerhin Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog, so much made me smile. Rgs. Karl

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