“Today is the day to pick up my new Bike”
So today was the day to pick up my new Condor Heritage and the plan is to ride it home to Portsmouth.
I caught the train at sparrows fart and walked from Waterloo to Condor, the bike was sat there ready for me in all its glory all we had to do now was to stick a saddle on, pedals and my Apidura bags and i was off.
This was of course after i was tempted to buy a new multi tool, Multi tool case, tyre levers, bottle cage and 2 metal Flandrian riders.
“I nearly dropped a bollock, the bike was so heavy”
I had to lift the bike out of the shop and down the stairs to the pavement outside, i was expecting the bike to be heavy but this was taking the mick its so heavy that it creates its own gravitational force, this bike will survive a nuclear attack but will i survive riding home? This is a big depart from my Cervelo S5 which has only just been put away for the winter!
My plan was to test out the Dynamo charging the phone and use “Ride with GPS” turn by turn routes, so bike loaded, cycling kit on off i went, 1 mile later i realised i was going the wrong way so not off to a good start. My iphone kept going to sleep and RWGPS was not at all helpful in pointing me in the correct direction…….. eventually i found the “Cycle Super highway” and i was on my way. Getting used to RWGPS getting better all the time.
The plan was to ride through Richmond Park and back through Surrey to home, almost immediately it started to shower but i was coping with this quite well as the weight of the Condor (now nicknamed Arti) was making me work so hard.
As i rode down the Cycle Superhighway i picked up a Rapha Clad rider in full race rig on a very nice Cervelo who was fascinated by Arti, we had a nice chat and he was encouraging me to “do” some of the posers as we went through Richmond Park ….. well it would be rude not to.
The weather had stayed kind to me with just the odd shower, but as i moved my way to the Surrey hills i could see clearly what was in store for me and it did not look dry!
By the time i hit the climb up to Newlands Corner View point it was raining sideways, its at this point that i realised that RWGPS had let me select an off road route, after a quick flick through the Iphone i managed to suss out a route to get me back on course, this involved me hurtling down a hill (dual carriageway) on the Artic at break neck speeds in the pouring rain….. not what i planned however i was strangely enjoying this and i was thanking my lucky stars i had disc brakes.
“i was strangely enjoying this”
Making my way to Haslemere (where i had earmarked a stop for food) my route took a left turn into a minor country road, this road went up vertical and for a long time, it the closest i had come to getting off the bike and walking for a very long time, note to self Surrey is V Hilly.
“Lesson 1, I should of ordered a triple”
After eating Haslemere Costa and having a coffee i pressed on homewards now in a battle with the light also.
Several concerned friends were texting offering lifts and cups of coffee but i must make it back otherwise i could be setting a new trend for packing.
I was now on V familiar roads, just as i made it onto Ditcham Park climb in the Southdowns when my Iphone ran out of juice DOH and my strava route ended.
I continued my journey home in what was definitely unsafe light conditions as my front light went out as well.
An enjoyable ride with unexpected difficulties riding a semi laden touring bike is quite different prospect from anything i had done before.
What worked well
1) Full Mudguards my bike was still immaculate
2) Very stable even at high speeds
3) Disc Brakes were fantastic on this fully laden Bike
4) Iphone fantastic resource for re routing much better than a garmin
5) The charger worked at really low speeds very impressive, the iphone less impressive as it was very fussy
1) Just because RWGPS lets you route down a road does not mean its rideable on a touring bike, time spent on routing is paid back in full
2) Get great lights and make sure they are charged
3) Time spent on the route pays back in spades
4) On this bike dont be in a hurry ride “Tranquilo”
5) Learn how to use RWGPS
6) The iphone does not take kindly to on and off charging the perceived wisdom is to charge a power bank with the Dynamo
“On this bike dont be in a hurry ride Tranquilo”