March 2013 Cycle Update


Not a huge amount of miles this month but I have had a good amount of fun rides so it has felt like another good biking month. I wasn’t in work quite a lot this month so commuter miles were down. Sadly I would have normally been using those days off for proper riding but I have been in and out of hospital a lot for various reasons. This has also impacted upon the amount of night riding I could do as well.

The trip to the Isle of Man was a particular highlight and reminded me how much I’m missing out on good places to ride that I can get to from my front door. It also highlighted that I really do need to learn to drive so I can start getting out the area more. The snow ride up at the Lickys was also great fun. Hard work and to be fair not loads of riding but the novelty factor was entertaining. My dad also came for a visit and after fettling his bike for a bit we got out for a nice ride down to The Yew Tree cafe. My dad and I often have different views on the world and rarely see eye to eye on the issues of the day but one thing we can agree on is that riding bikes is a good day out. I would really like to get more riding done with him over the coming year as he isn’t getting any younger and I don’t want to look back in a few years time with regrets over what we haven’t done.

It’s been a year since I made the Kinver and Back video and although I have been busy doing other video stuff since then, it felt good to be making bike films again. I made one from the Isle of Man trip and another one of the Spring Snow ride.

I signed up to a couple of events during March. The first is in June which is the Torq Rough Ride. I was signed up to do this last year but broke my arm a month before and had to pull out. Then there is the Manx End to End in September.

I have also worked on my ride position in relation to my pedaling technique. I have found myself to be massively quad dominate when it comes to where I get my power from when climbing. I think this had developed from shifting my weight forwards on the saddle to keep the front wheel on the ground. By trying to sit back on the saddle more when climbing and using my arms and wrists to keep the front end down I’m finding that my hamstrings are contributing much more to the party. When I finish a ride my legs feel more evenly tired which over all I feel is making my recovery times quicker.

It was the turn of the Five to get a new drive train this month as it was totally shot. I have never suffered with chain suck or poor shifting on that bike but in the last month I have probably had to put the chain back on the sprockets twice a ride when shifting on the chain rings. The setup I had previously was 24-32 on the front with a 11-34 cassette. I wanted to change up the ratios a bit so went for 26-36 on the front and a 11-36 on the back. This means that one half of the cassette gives me a higher range but the lower half stays roughly the same. On Sunday I broke the Gravity Dropper which was a bit of a surprise. It;s been bomb proof and probably the most reliable moving part. Unfortunately though the whole control assembly became un-bonded from the post, pulling away in my hand. Fortunately I was able to seat it back in position and there was enough friction to keep it on, meaning that I could finish the ride with the seat still in the up position. It seems this is quite common and after emailing Gravity Dropper they are willing to fix it under warranty and do a full service for a mere $18. This is amazing considering it’s well out of the warranty period and I bought it second hand. I have cable tied it for now which seems fairly secure, while I decide what I’m going to do.

March Stats

  • Distance: 273 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 16 989 ft
  • Time: 24:10:31

2013 Stats

  • Distance: 603 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 31 778 ft
  • Time: 50:13:05

So, what do you think ?

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