Musings and so on

New saddle has been broken in (yes, yes, the Cambium isn’t supposed to need it. Well, either it or my sitbones needed so time and miles to sort themselves out – but they seem to have done so).

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Saddles and so on

A short ride today, trying out a new saddle: enough has hurt over the last week or so that I clearly need some sort of alternative point of contact on the bike for long rides. The Brooks Cambium I’ve been using has been fine for 100+ miles; it was a bit uncomfortable towards the end of the 200k ride a few weeks back, but that could have been the shorts. Somewhere around 300k into LWL, though, it was pretty clear that Things Were Not Fine.

Experiment now is with a Brooks Cambium Carved (C17 version); partly on the “well, it almost worked, see if a tweak changes anything” principle. On the face of 17 miles today (when still sore …) it may well do the job. The principal test will be next weekend, with back to back imperial centuries (more or less; the second day isn’t quite so far).

I’ve also reworked my audax schedule a bit; I don’t think I need to do another 400k – having checked/rechecked the LEL route against my time start and so on, I don’t need to do more than 200 miles a day (on the basis of sleeping at controls). Training to do a harder ride has some basis in sense but I think I would be better served with doing 300k rides instead, as that’s closer to what I will be riding, and to try to do a couple of back to back (I have a 600k – which is effectively that) already booked.

There aren’t any 300k rides within reasonable distance near here, at least not in the time frame I need, so I’m planning to do a permanent from Cambridge out to  Norfolk etc (yes, flat – but the all-ways-round headwind usually makes up for it).

Bonus: that’ll qualify me for the Super Randonneur audax award (200, 300, 400 and 600k rides in one audax season).

After 400k …

… after 400k comes a week in Majorca, in which I do rather less cycling than anticipated (one 110k ride, and a couple of short spins) plus some swimming. The post-ride soreness continued with something of a vengeance, although the 110k ride wasn’t too bad. 

I suspect that a week of recovery to let the training effect kick in isn’t too nuts, anyway. 

400k test … done

One milestone down: a 400k ride, to test kit and legs and strategies. It’s further than I plan to ride on LEL on any given day (although that is still being worked out as well). 

The ride was the London-Wales-London audax (used to called Severn Across) from Chalfont St Peter to Chepstow and back again (in a loop, not an out and back), with around 14k ft of climbing in the 407k of riding. 

Points noted on the ride: 

  • I don’t get sleepy if I keep on going (same thing happened with Dunwich Dynamo). I kept control stops short for just this reason. 
  • I need some more hill training
  • Go to the bathroom whenever possible (hunting for a suitable hedge isn’t much fun)
  • The Exposure Strada light doesn’t recharge whilst operating – may need to consider a dynamo for peace of mind
  • The Wahoo Bolt behaved perfectly (and recharged happily on the fly)
  • Saddle position needs to be adjusted (have started to work on this) as there has been some discomfort post ride (writing this three days later) …
  • Saddle pack functioned well (didn’t need anything out of it, though). It doesn’t get in the way, although I think was creaking a little in the last 100k – I need to check the straps etc
  • Handlebar pack also appeared to work out but I noticed afterwards that the add-on pack is wearing a small hole where – I think – it hits the tyre when the bike bounces in rough road. It doesn’t foul on the tyre in normal running, so I think it must be that. This isn’t helpful (it’s not worn through yet, just worn thin, but it will eventually wear through). I plan to get some gel padding to put under the bar tape, so will remove the blips at that time and see about using the Ortleib bag instead (it currently fouls on the blips). I don’t need the capacity of the full pack, just the accessory sized part. 
  • May need to build up palm calluses again: left hand ended up with a substantial blister, possibly from a glove tag.