Monday 23 December 2013

According to some, 'It's all about the bike'

Well, it must be said that I am a bike tart! Although I'm er....... maturing (!) in years, I can't resist a good bike. They just make me smile.

The earliest of my dim memories has me on a self-made BMX in our local town recreation ground looning around with my friends doing jumps and tricks (I have the scars to prove it). I'd blag and buy parts to build up or improve my ride into something worth. I can't for the life of me think why I ever get rid of a bike - especially my early BMX!!

After years without a bike, I fell into the Mountain Bike thing when my family started Camping Holidays. It was only intended to be a bit of a Family rider.

I started to use it more when I first got into the Keep Fit thing. Living near East Midlands Airport at the time, I used to ride around the Airport perimeter trail of an evening with a friend. Fun cycling under planes while they were landing.

Moving back down South, I stayed with the MTB for a while and went over the local woods, then on to the local Forestry Commission trail (Bedgebury) where I still go now. Single-track looning is the best. Usually go there nice and early in the day to miss the crowds. All weather. Not fussed. I'll post some Video soon.

Bedgebury Insomnia MTB Race from 2013 - 12 hours, at night :)

The 'before' shot 

It was being friends with the mud that sort of encouraged the entry into my first encounter with the Tri Club - the annual Kingswood Duathlon (2.5Km run, 13Km ride, 2.5Km run). The first time was my first public 'event'. I hadn't a clue about how I'd do (read 'if I'd finish'). To my surprise, I came off the first run in something like 14th. This quickly faded during the bike and second run, but even so, HAPPY!!

Joining the Tri Club after this meant the move in to the Road.

As I wasn't sure if I'd last any significant time with the Tri Club, I bought a road bike for 40 quid off Ebay. Figured I'd not waste too much if it went wrong. Needless to say, this lasted about a year before I plunged into CARBON bikes :D

As I used to love building bikes up, I opted to build a Road Bike instead of heading down to the local dealer. I also decided to take the risk of importing a Carbon Frame and wheels. It was a risk, but I think it paid off (and I almost stuck to the budget!)

I think I've probably done over 3000 miles on this bike so far, and it's still going strong......
However, it's a general Road bike. For those real keen, there is the out and out Time-Trial bike that is much more focussed on allowing speed to be built-up and maintained.
The riding position is a lot more aggressive, with the aim to reduce the overall cross-sectional area of bike / rider (mainly rider!!). This is achieved by shifting the riders weight forward over the crank / pedals and lowering the handlebar contact points, thus lowering your shoulders.
With this new position comes a compromise in comfort over long distances, so it is an acquired skill, so plenty of practice needed!
This is where Priorclave have kindly stepped in to support me by supplying a TT bike. How cool!
I’ve gone about this in the same manner as my Road Bike, by buying out of China with an un-branded frame, forks and wheels, and then sourced the remaining components on the Web to keep costs down.
Made In China .... you have to throw things together the second you receive them just to see what it looks like - its a Boy thing!

Nearly there - in the Priorclave Yellow and White ... Nice!

Completed bike pics to follow in the next Blog :)



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