Day one bank holiday cycling in Wales

Late and short ride as I had to drive from Berkshire to Elan Valley in Powys, Wales today.

Nothing unexpected, roads busy with bank holiday traffic but at least I wasn’t flying with British Airways…

My comfy long distance Fairlight wasn’t finished on time for this trip. Local bike shop converting her to a Di2 with brand new wheels on DT Swiss RR511 db rims and hope hub back – dynamo hub front.

Without steel bike I had to take my bone shaker Ribble R872 instead. It’s great bike to ride – fast, stiff and responsive, but it can be a bit too much on a long ride. Don’t get me wrong, by longer I mean longer than most people ride anyway. I did 300km audax on my R872 this year and was fine.

It was raining nonstop entire ride, but that meant that all sane people where in some warm and dry pub. I had completely empty roads for myself.

Not bad for a bank holiday weekend?

Shaking from cold while trying to find tartare sauce at the corner shop as my fish and chips are being prepared across the street.

Back to the campsite, fish still hot. Rain stopped. Dinner time!

Only 50km today but with some really good hill efforts.

End of January

Not too bad so far

First couple of weeks of training going quite close to the plan. I have a very rough plan of the route with more detailed plan for the first part from Geraardsbergen to Lichtenstein Castle. I contacted a few friends who are originaly from the countries that I’m going to cross, just to have someone to advice on cultural bits during planing if needed. Everyone seem to be as excited as I am and happy to help.

Still can’t decide if I’m going to get a new bike for the race. I’m very happy with my supposedly very racy and stiff* Ribble R872, even on the audax rides. There is one problem though. I’m not a very tall guy(small bike frame) and the frame of R872 is very compact(even smaller bike frame!). Which leaves me with an option of either frame bag or bottles. Not both. And I’d rather have both as I used to have on my old Genesis Vapour. With small Apidura road frame pack I only managed to squeeze a little running bottle on the down tube and standard 500 bottle on the seat tube. And even then I had to stop every time when water in the down tube bottle was running out as it’s quite hard to get to the one on the seat tube

 

Here is the proof. It's Warwick Castle in the backround
Here is the proof. It’s Warwick Castle in the backround

Browsing bikepacking pictures on Instagram (you can follow me there too https://www.instagram.com/geekcycling) I found another bikepacking brand restrap.co.uk and they seem to have some smaller size bags that might actually fit small frame, but none in stock. Sent them an email let’s wait and see…

*When I say stiff… Last summer I decided to put the same 25mm Continental GP 4000S II Continental GP on my Kinesis CX Race and do some road riding to get used to the frame before CX season. It felt like it’s made of a very lightweight rock, not Scandium Alloy. Amazing racing frameset, but better with 33mm tyres at low pressure and in the mud.

A very exciting day

Imagine it’s only a second day of 2017 and you get this in your inbox. I was expecting an email from Mike arround this time, but I wasn’t very optimistic about being invited.

Transcontinental race No5 2017

Now suddenly all my plans this year are around TCR No 5

At least from the next week. Off to Spain at the end of the week and it’s Fiesta De Los Reyes time. Which means lots of very nice food. I bet you any money I’ll come back to the UK being (even)heavier than I left.

Very excited and a little bit anxious… Not about food, about Transcontinental Race 2017