Posted by: audaxing | July 4, 2011

Weekend Try Outs

Paris-Brest-Paris is now getting nearer and nearer. I’ve qualified, entered, booked Eurostar tickets, sorted out accommodation.

I lost a bit of fitness after my final qualifiers so I need to get that back before going to France.

My bike and equipment is pretty much sorted out. The idea was always to do the qualifiers with the same bicycle and the same gear as the big event.
But there have been a few late additions

So my sunday afternoon 100km ride this weekend was sort of “training” and a tryout for a few bits of new gear.

Firstly, as I’ve previously discussed I am using different, new tyres for PBP. I aim to ride them for 100 miles, check them for wear and then mothball them until the real event.

Next item, I have recently got a bar bag. This is a 7 litre Ortlieb “Ultimate 5 classic”. The fitting for the bars is somewhat odd involving pvc coated wire. But once all the screws are tightened it seems ok. For my test ride I put my tool roll, a gilet and some food in it. I wanted to see if it was ok to get food out as I rode. I was also interested to see if the handling of the bike was altered by the bag. The result of the test ride was that it’s easy to get food out of it while riding. The steering of the bike seemed unaffected by the weight on the bars. The fore aft balance was maybe a little better, difficult to say.
Ortlieb Barbag

Finally, I am trying out some Sorbothane “Full Strike” shock absorbing insoles. These fit in the shoes and supposedly soak up road noise. My recent Achilles problems weren’t helped by a lot of buzz from rough surfaces reaching the ankle. The insoles aren’t very thick or impressive looking. To be honest with my “glass half empty” view, these insoles looked thick enough to add extra unwanted thermal insulation but with not sufficient substance to dampen vibrations. However, I was wrong and they work fine. They are a little hot but there is definitely less buzz.

Sorbothane Insole

As far as the “training” goes, I did the 100km loop in under 4 hours despite a brisk headwind. I see this as about average. I had no odd knee or ankle twinges so I feel happy to step up the distance next weekend.

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