Saturday, 24 March 2012

Busy Friday....

Gary has an old car - it's one of his toys. A Lotus Elan 2+2 I think it is - custard yellow with headlamps that pop out of the bonnet and a growly engine. It's over 40 years old and although it is exempt from tax it still needs an MOT - So it was that we travelled in convoy down the M42 to Bromsgrove to a drop the car off at a Lotus specialist. Gary is a biggish chap - well over 6 feet and it looked like a challenge for him to squeeze into the car - I imagined seeing his toes pushing out through the front of the bonnet like someone lying in a bed that's too small. But we got there okay and then I brought him back and we arranged a ride for later in the day.

The day had started with a murky covering of fog - but by 1.00pm the sun was bright and the sky a brilliant blue. We met at our usual place - and rode our usual route through to Market Bosworth, on to Sutton Cheney, Upton, Shenton, Far Coton, Congerstone then back. Gary was on his 'new' bike while I am still riding my older bike - and we were moving at a fast pace for the first half of the ride - 32mph was my fastest and up to the Upton bench and a well earned breather, we didn't let up at all. After that we slowed to a more sedate pace and my Cateye Bike Computer stopped working - I'll try changing the batteries over the weekend see if that makes any difference. Now that the weather and light is improving we are able to ramp up the training - I have covered 420 miles this month so far - I'm aiming for 600 by the end of March. We are both aware that we need to get serious with some hill training - Mont Ventoux is only about 10 weeks away!!

Gary has purchased new wheels for his best bike - he hasn't fitted them yet but I've seen them - and very fine they are - made by Mavic, one of the most famous wheelbuilders, they are a combination of alloy and carbon fibre - they feel light. We wait with hungry anticipation of a full report from Gary once he has them installed. Will he notice a difference? - Will he go faster? Wheels are probably the most significant upgrade that can be made to a bike. Most reports and reviews will recommend this as the first course of action to improve your set up - the cost can be scary though - top wheelsets can easily be thousands of pounds.

Here's a picture of Gary's bike shed - easily the best I've seen with a tiled floor and neatly painted walls. His wife Val bought him the sign for outside it......

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