The Steed

So my bike finally arrived from Ribble.

After it being delivered to the wrong address, having to re-arrange delivery myself, dealing with the worst customer service in the history of ever and having the build and delivery date pushed back from 14 days all the way to an eventual to 46, Keira is finally with me.

Yes Kiera !

What ?

She’s skinny, she’s white and she’s beautiful. Just like Miss Knightley.

And I’ll stop there with the comparisons before I start talking about the ride etc…………

 

I would like to spend the whole of this post whinging about Ribble and detailing their every failing but that would make for poor reading, so I am instead going to talk about the bike itself and my first trips out.

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As previously mentioned I opted for a full carbon frame and fork set with carbon wrapped finishing gear from ITM.

And she is light, Very light.

If I say that adding the pedals, packed seat bag, water bottle and lights considerably added to the overall weight of the bike then you get an idea of just how light she is.

And because she’s carbon she feels ultra smooth on the road. I had fun racing her around the base last night for a good 40 minutes picking cornering lines and getting used to the handling and she was a dream.

Next up is the wheel set up. I opted for Fulcrum racing 7 wheels and Continental Ultra GartorSkin tires.

I chose the wheels because although they are just as fast as other options in their price bracket they are renowned for being durable as well as light. Add the ultra durable GartorSkins and I believe I have the perfect setup for winter riding.

I went with a full Shimano 105 10 speed compact groupset with 170mm Hollowtech cranks.

And I am very happy, the shifting is refined, braking is good even in the wet and whilst the 105 is a good step-up from the Sora or Tiagra groupsets, I feel it is a lot more durable than the Ultegra and will stand up to the rigors of day to day riding a lot better.

Then there is the saddle…..

A CSN Superleggera K10.

I only rode her 15 miles today, out  and back to Lee on Solent but it feels like it already knows me intimately.

Hopefully I’ll get used to it with time. My precious posterior took quite a battering going over a few bumps on my journey today.

That said, I wasn’t wearing cycle shorts so hopefully that will remedy the problem somewhat. Otherwise I’m going to be walking like John Wayne from now on !

I’ll bare with it for the time being and see how it goes.

Lastly, there is the pedals. They are System EX Em15’s and I feel they’re more suited to a mountain bike. I have no problem with them, They’re duel function so I can have cleats on one side for road shoes, and they hang with the normal pedal side up making life easier for when I have running shoes on but I just think I should have gone with some clip in SPD’s.

They’ll do for the time being but I’ll definitely be upgrading soon.

The last thing to say is that I didn’t opt to have mud guards fitted. Which may have been a bad idea.

I came back looking like a swamp thing last night, and whilst I’m really not at all bothered about getting covered in dirt, I had to spend a good half hour cleaning the mud off my precious new bike once I got home….D’oh

 

 

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The power of blog.

This morning was a Sunday in every way.

I had a lovely lie in, and had nothing planned other than a session at the gym that I’d definitely be ready for by 10 am

Well, 10 am came and went, and so did my motivation.

I felt sleepy, unmotivated, and if anything, the extra time in bed had made me feel lethargic. Not energized as I  thought it would.

So I made my excuses to myself.

I had done an 8km run at 10 o clock the night before, and maybe that had left me too tired this morning.

And well, it is Sunday after all.

And maybe my body is just better suited to working out at night.

That must be it.

So I sat down to write a blog entry and promised myself that I’d work out tonight.

I had a quick read of some of my last entries, and felt………………stupid.

The whole point of this “training for a triathlon” is so I can get away from my lazy attitude.

And here I was sacking it off just because I didn’t quite feel like it.

Well, 10 minutes later I was in my sports rig and out that door and off to the gym.

The blog had served it’s purpose and helped to motivate me, and that’s the whole point of writing this I guess.

It gives me nowhere to hide from myself.

So off to the gym I go.

I was intending to do another 8km run and see if I could beat my time from yesterday but I ended up walking past the squash courts on the way to fill my water bottle up at the fountain.

Now, I’ve played squash in the past and so I walked past the courts, staring in at the players with some interest.

Until I came to the last court, which was filled with bikes. Spinning bikes. And 5 Lycra clad ladies.

Well, desperate not to look like I was checking out said women, I looked up  a little too quickly and caught the eye of one of the ladies.

She smiled at me in a friendly manner (Oh God, she must think I was perving!) and very sweetly said

“Hi, would you like to join us”

I was about to make my excuses and get the hell out of dodge when another Lycra clad lady of advancing years came up behind me and said “Yeah go on, get in there” as she ushered me in.

Trapped.

Oh well, how hard can it be I thought, the woman who had arrived after me must have been at least 55 and possibly older.

I’ll be alright………….

5 minutes later and I was blowing out of my hoop. I was drenched from head to foot and looked like I’d sprung a leak.

I looked around and everyone else looked as fresh as they had when they arrived.

And then the evil instructor made us turn the resistance up.

Wow, This is a lot harder than it looks.

I kept checking that the women either side of me were putting full turns on their dials to increase resistance in line with the lady instructing, and to my dismay they were.

My pride wouldn’t let me do any less than they were doing so I matched them for the full half hour.

It was by far the best workout I have had so far, and at times I felt like my lungs would explode.

At the end of the session they all leapt off their bikes, toweled them down, said their goodbyes and off they went.

I stayed a few minutes longer as I had to, you know, sort my headphones out and collect my jumper and I.D from the other side of the squash court where I’d left them

And in no way to catch my breath and wait for my legs to stop wobbling………….

Those women were fit, and although we all looked knackered come the end of the ride I’m sure I looked the worst by far.

Still, onwards and upwards. Perhaps I’ll do spinning again, it can only help.