Archive for July, 2013

Audax 2013 – July – Lumpy South Down Raid

This was the most problematic 100k I’ve done this year.

I tried some “in ear” running headphones, but they were a big disappointment. While they entirely blocked out traffic noise, they seemed to let in wind noise so I still couldn’t hear radio and was oblivious to cars behind me (or round the next corner). I ditched them after 15 minutes feeling they were abit dangerous. Back to normal cheap ones as I can still hear plenty of the traffic and get enough of the radio.

The route was lumpy on the macro and the micro scale. While I didn’t mind the hills, the fact that the road surfaces were generally in a terrible state made any descending a misery as I usually had to have the brake jammed on and got a bruised hand from banging through potholes. It didn’t help that many of these descents were twisty and so shadowed by trees that I really could have done with my light! I seem to have ignored my own “don’t use country lanes apart from for a break” mantra. It also didn’t help that about 1km of my route on the South Downs was unpaved. You can see a bunch of 2.5mph walking in the middle of the speed graph.

I had forgotten to fully charge up my GPS (or backup battery) for the ride, so about 60km in it started to tell me that the battery was low. This was bad a) because I might not get the ride validated and b) because I’d be lost somewhere in Hampshire! Fortunately it hung on until I got to some bits that were easy to navigate and I could switch it off for a while between controls. This does mean that the stats don’t reflect the ridiculous amount of climbing that went on.

On the plus side, I did get to see the sea and the Isle of White:

The sea from downs

and, having not eaten any lunch beforehand, I got to eat a smoky sausage on top of Butser hill

Cycling Sausage

In conclusion, I won’t be doing that route again, or using those headphones, but I will be taking a backup battery & sausage!



Raptobike attack

I have recently re-entered the Recumbent bike underworld and purchased a second hand Raptobike Lowracer for a very reasonable price. I still like looking at the minimalist rear mudguard.


I’ve finally taken the beast out for a ride around the test loop and first impressions are very good. I managed a moving average of 18.5 mph, which compares very well with my record for this route of 19.1. I think the route favours climbing and my recumbent muscles are definitely not in as I’ve only been round the block a few times and one slow ride. My rear light also fell off at the very fastest point. I stopped the timer while I went back to look for the bits (found them all eventually!), but it would have cost some speed.

Speed up the hills is noticeably better than on the Windcheetah trike and probably only loses out to the upright because I can’t stand on the pedals. Almost there with stability, but wobbled once indicating left (right is no problem for some reason).