Archive for October, 2013

Audax 2013 – October (again) – Avebury

Planning a gentle weekend ride with an old cycling friend escalated into a 200k audax to Avebury a standing stone counterpart to Stonehenge.

Cue pictures of bikes with standing stones:

Bike & stone WP_000860

We made good time and had a nice lunch at the Red Lion pub. There were some terrifying crosswinds to contend with on descents and a really strong headwind just at the halfway point before we had lunch. Fortunately Dave took the brunt of the work at this point as I was flagging. The A4 from Avebury to Marlborough was brilliant with a tailwind, I must plan it into more routes because it’s nice and wide so no traffic trouble. This is in contrast to a completely ballsed up pass by an SUV on a blind bend. I could see the traffic coming the other way so had time to brake before they swerved into the space I had been occupying very narrowly missing Dave’s back wheel. They then failed to engage gears when trying to pull away. We kept within a 100 yards for a few minutes showing the futility.

After turning off the A4, we got hit by a short but very intense shower which was like having a hose on us. By the time I stopped and got my coat out of my bag I was soaked!

Disappointingly, suffered with saddle sores despite the radical plan of taking a spare pair of shorts and going through a cycle of padded Lycra, baggy with pad then baggy without pad. So back to the drawing board on that one as none seemed particularly preferable. My right hand also suffered a little with numbness and soreness between thumb and forefinger. I noticed however that the hood is in a slightly different position from the left hand so that could well be the cause. I also suffered psychologically because of an incredibly rattly bike. I checked over the rack bolts on the road and nothing seemed loose, but I reckon I was scaring livestock on some country lanes.

Passed out in the evening and had a long lie in, so these things are clearly still not a breeze. Much easier than my first 200 though.

Audax 2013 – October – Silchester plus

Decided to try to complete my October Audax early while the weather was still nice.

I visited Slichester again, though using more back roads:

The speed was good, though I didn’t feel I stopped that long for lunch, but it eat up 20 minutes! Depressingly, looking back at my February ride over a similar route, I’ve gained 0.1mph after 8-9 months of commuting 100 miles a week! Oh well, at least it saves petrol. I pushed quite hard and my legs are now shattered, so it’s not for lack of effort.

This was also the first long ride for the Brooks (well, at least when not set way too low)

WP_000551 WP_000550


I think it might have been marginally more comfortable than the regular saddle in terms of friction, but was very hard. Not a disaster, but it’ll need more tweaking and I’ll experiment with the old saddle as well.

WP_000552The old saddle was a Selle Italia Prolink.