Saturday, 4 July 2015

Great week of cycling culminates in another C&D Cycles club ride

Summer has decided to turn up in Northamptonshire in spectacular style. We've had mid twenties most of the week and on Wednesday the mercury peaked at 37C, that's hot wherever you are in the world. Only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun but at other times it has been perfect cycling weather none more so than my early morning rides.

It's not all about me though. On Tuesday evening I popped down the hill to see the kids cyclocross racing organised by KCC on Rothwell rec. It was great to see the young riders enjoying themselves and kudos to KCC for putting it together.
More details here -

Other club members have been putting it in this week too. The C&DCCC presence at the KCC time trials continues to grow. By all accounts our riders have received a warm welcome and are enjoying these competitive rides. None more so than out very own club founder and C&D Cycles shop manager Andy. Biggest kudos of the week goes to Andy and Sam Pendred for their epic continental tour. I'm lookign forward to more about this from Andy and a guest blog has been promised!

To the main event of the week. Due to good weather the usual Saturday club ride was lengthened to nearly 40 miles. A very large number of riders gathered at the shop and two groups were formed, the quick group and what Andy referred to as the 'beginners,' group. I'm sure that Tony Talbot and I who are DOUBLE CENTURIONS are not beginners (that's not our combined age before a cheeky wag has a pop.) It's an unfair name for the group of people who prefer not to smash themselves to pieces in a testosterone fueled speed fest. That being said it was with much bemusement that Big Steve led the banter bunch, one because he is incapable of going that slow and two because he didn't actually know the route! Jonesy and I shared the tail gunning duties, mostly because Jonesy had to tell Steve where he was going!

Predictably it wasn't long into the ride before we were asking Steve to slow down. In response to this and in a flurry of industrial language he opted to do the rest of the ride in his granny ring. Unfamiliar gear, familiar result as per usual we were left in his wake!

Out on the road we had some people dropping off the back and Simon (who joined me in Rothwell and rode home with me too which was nice,) and I did our best to keep dragging them back in. The truth though was soon to hit. Andrew Clark, a fellow Saints fan, had issues with his leg. It finally went all together in Thrapston and he described it as if his knee cap was trying to come out of the back of his leg. Eventually we had to break our club code of conduct and leave him behind with Ken, however his mate Neil rode home to get his car and we now know they were picked up. Here's Andrew's message:

"Hi Richard, yes Neil picked me up at 12.15pm. Showered and relaxing at home watching the TDF. Thanks for asking about us. I have never had leg cramps like that before. Muscles just locked up on that hill. Couldn't bend them for a while. Muscles still sore now." - OUCH!

Action on the road

Bridge over the A14 at Brington

No idea

Big Steve shows the way


One day I will own this bike

Steve gets new bars with Di2 changers - watch out TTers!

He's suitably impressed

Andy looks as if he may have enjoyed that!

Rich is rather fond of Steve's Boardman!

This was a great route. I had a weird ride. My energy really fluctuated and I have arrived home exhausted. I fell asleep watching F1 qualifying!!! I'm not sure what this is about. It might be the hot weather or the extra work I did at the back. Or it may be because I'm trying the 5:2 diet again. Something to keep an eye on I think. I'm also sore again. Despite a liberal application of vaseline my shorts have opened up the chaffing I got on D2D again. Ouch!!! In better news I've gone through two pairs of gloves in the last two weeks as they keep splitting on the seam at the base of my thumbs. Despite some banter about 'operator error,' the shop have replaced both pairs without quibble. Once again great service from C&D Cycles.

I also looked dreamily at the Giant Propel I'd really like to buy. It's just a dream as we don't have the funds right now but I really like that bike. Luckily for me C&D customers seem Boardman crazy right now so it's not selling fast! At that point Andy told us he doesn't like the wheels on it. We had a superb technical lesson about spoke lacing and why those wheels are slightly lighter than others but will flex more due to their spoke pattern. We also discussed noisy freewheels as opposed to the silent type. Now those clicky freewheels do apparently create friction and therefore roll less than the quiet ones but, and this is the big news they engage much more sharply than your quiet hubs meaning power is applied more directly when the cyclist pedals. Quite a lesson, so many thanks Andy.

Here's a bit more wheel advice from Bike radar:

Right, I'm now typing this whilst watching the start of the Tour de France. This year Le Tour starts in Utrecht with a 13.8km time trial. I'm guessing anyone reading this blog will love the tour. I'm hoping for an Alex Dowsett first stage victory and then after that the drama will just unfold. Froome has another shot at the yellow jersey and the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish should add to his stage wins and hopefully a really good shot at the green jersey with Marcel Kittel not participating this year.

Happy pedaling.

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