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Yesterday I opted out of the Team MK Wednesday ride and  for the reasons explained herein took myself out on a solo ride.

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It was a nice sunny morning and the wind had dropped to about 7 or 8 mph.  I wanted to go for a ride because I wanted to check out a fix I had done for a noisy bottom bracket and I didn’t want it breaking down if I was out with others and holding them up.  The other thing was that just the day before I had taken delivery of a nice new set of  ‘Fulcrum Racing 3’ wheels and wanted to try them out too.  They are the most expensive wheels I have ever bought.   I bought them after much research into the qualities of various wheels.  I don’t understand how some wheels can be faster around corners, more responsive etc.. but apparently they can and the way the spokes are ‘laced’ makes a difference.  These were by no means the most expensive model  but neither were they the cheapest.  Fortuitously just the week before I had picked up a magazine wich contained an article doing a comparison of 13 sets of wheels and these achieved 9 out of 10 rating along with only 2 other models and these were much cheaper.  I think for my standard of riding they will do just fine.

I headed off on one of my favourite rides to Grafham Water, via a circuitous out and back route.  The only problem is that I always seem to have a headwind on the way back.  The wind was probably sufficiently strong that on a normal day I would have decided against it but after the 20mph winds we have been having it seemed quite calm.

Everything seemed to go just fine, the bottom bracket was silent.   So much so that with the benefit of the the tail wind I could a really nice sound from the freewheel on the Fulcrums.  Not a coarse freewheel ratchet noise like on Campagnolo hubs.  You always know when someone is coming up behind you on a downhill on a bike with Campag hubs.  Not the near silence of Shimano hubs either.  It was just a sophisticated whirring noise, enough to be heard but not grating.

I made the Cafe at Grafham in good time with the benefit of the tailwind and enjoyed a nice large coffee out in the sunshine overlooking the reservoir.  Coming home wasnt too bad I seemed to gain quite a bit of shelter from the south west wind from some friendly hedges a lot of the time.  This would have been a good photo opportunity but I discovered when I attempted to take a photo that I had left my phone at home.. Duh!!

The ride itself was probably more beneficial to me fitness wise than riding with the club because I was riding pretty much continously and not stopping or slowing down from time to time for riders to catch up and also I probably went further at 55 miles than I would have with the club, usually around 45 miles.  Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy the camaraderie of the club rides and the banter that goes on but for the aforesaid reasons this suited me better on the day.

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