I missed yesterdays Team MK ride because of an incorrect weather forecast, rain was forecast all day. It was raining soon after I woke but by 9am it had stopped, but by then it was too late to get to the club ride. So this morning was the time to make amends. I decided on a route of a similar mileage and profile to that of the club ride.. The added benefit was that I was doing it solo, nobody to shelter behind. I have to say that the forecast for today wasn’t much better than yesterdays. But i was quite a bit colder with a north wind, more difficult clothing choices.
I headed out into the wilds of Bedfordshire under cloudy skies and the cold north wind. The wind was in my favour initially but I seem to find that wind assisted or not I ride at a speed as fast as the conditions allow. I try to pace myself as much as possible to last the planned distance so that I usually end up with a few miles to go and drained of energy, which is how it usually is for me.
A couple of times it came over really dark and I was expecting rain at any minute but I somehow dodged that. Strangely I did feel some spots of rain at one stage but I was under clear skies at the time. As I got within a few miles of home I noticed the roads were really wet and i had apparently missed quite a downpour.
It is probably the last week of riding the Specialized as first choice bike as, according to my rules, the Felt will emerge anytime after next Saturday night, after the clocks change. I spent yesterday fitting the new Continental Grand Prix 20mm tyres to it and its looking ‘mean’, pictures to follow later in another article. I also fitted new jockey wheels to the Ultegra rear derailleur as the old ones had a bit of side play in them and might affect gear changing. I checked the chain for wear and thats OK, plenty of wear to go yet. likewise the rear cassette. The cassette I am using on the Specialized is 10 speed, 13 – 28teeth. The one on the Felt wheels is 12 -25 teeth so although the gear changes are going to be close ratio I won’t have such low gears on the hills. Its the same as I used last year for my UK riding so unless I am much less fit than last year it should be fine. I did swap it for the 13 – 28 tooth cassette for my French trip and Mont Ventoux ride last year but as we have nothing like that here in the UK it will be fine I am sure. I will have to make it so anyway! The rest of the bike is fine, mechanically wise and all nicely cleaned, poised and ready to go.