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It was a typical misty Autumn morning with sunshine forecast later after the mist cleared.  Perfect day for a bike ride.  I had two purposes for the ride. One was to check out the new Sti levers and the gear settings prior to Sundays Brickhills Challenge and the second reason was to check out my new position on the bike before Sunday.  I had lowered the saddle a little bit, I had felt I was stretching for the pedals a bit.  I had ridden some of the climbs a few weeks ago, including Church Lane, Bow Brickhill which is a 20% climb and almost a mile in length.  I wanted to see how the new position affected my performance, if at all as a gauge to the settings.

 

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I took it steady first of all, to warm up slowly.  I wasnt going to ride hard, just enjoy the ride and take in a couple of the climbs to start with.  I managed the climb pretty well,  no more difficult than last time anyway and if anything maybe a little easier. The new position seemed to suit me pretty well actually.  I had less neck ache and no pins and needles in my left hand.  Due mainly I think to the fact that my arms were slightly bent at the elbow, therefore cushioning vibrations from the road.

The rest of the ride was very pleasurable, I took a long loop round with still a few more climbs but quiet country lanes and little traffic and sunshine !!  I stopped in the middle of Ampthill for a drink and a snack.  There is a nice seat in the middle of town on an open area that is in the sunshine when it shines, I have used it a few times before.   It had got pretty warm by this time, so much so that I removed my arm warmers and gloves for the rest of the ride.  The total ride length was 93km (58 miles), a little bit more the distance of Sundays ride but with half the climbing today.

 

Ampthill

Ampthill

 

Everything on the bike seemed to work just fine. The only thing I had to do when I got back home was to alter the bar tape a bit as on one bend there wasnt enough overlap and tape parted, allowing some handlebar to show through.  I also lowered the saddle a little bit more so maybe a little ride tomorrow just to check that out.  Apart from that I think I am all set for Sunday and even the weather forecast is looking good for the day.  I dont want to be too late home as the Paris – Tours cycle race is Live on TV in the afternoon, the last big classic of the year, so thats an incentive to get a move on.. !

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