Another day, another sportive. This time in Kildare. Again with the long commute down at 46.84km before the 100km run around.
This was another event that was really well run. IVCA really need to take note on the food front although I can think of some difficulties in having a BBQ run for 6-8 hours for finishing riders on the W200. Marshalling wasn’t as good as the Tour of Meath but then they did have a bit of overkill. Most junctions on this has marshals but a few left us stopping wondering with one when I had to trust my gps for direction. Some people though left, GPS though right, some others agreed, we all went right. Road markings were probably there but the cars in traffic covered them.
Overall the pace was very high. Coming in at 3h13m for a 100km route is mighty impressive for me. Nothing close to this in previous times. I did spend lots of time in groups and didn’t pull at the front having learnt the huge painful lesson in the Tour of Meath. The pace car for the first 30km or so was a little slow but necessary to keep things together as much as they did. The only negative thing was that the event didn’t start on time and the gap in the food stop was too long. The food stop gap being so long was the worst espec since getting started we missed the split in the groups, although I think things split the second it hit the road with the front group really hammering it. My heart rate was near max for the next 10+km while I tried to bridge up through some of the groups.
A big shout of to the idiot owner of the black BMW who tried to overtake the group at the start near Clane I think. He kept overtaking on a solid white line and then pulling back into the group forcing cyclists in and slowing down. Very surprised there wasn’t a crash. How anyone could possibly think of overtaking a group of cyclists that spanned 9 minutes of passing time apparently is beyond me. There is no way he could have see a clean gap to go to so was just basically being stupid.
“The Wall” really wasn’t a wall at all. Its short and over in a minute or two if I remember rightly. Powered up what felt like half of it but didn’t look up (as I normally don’t) and decided to drop down some gears instead of risking wearing myself out. Made up a most of the time on the downhill afterwards.
Total distance: 101.26km
Total time: 3:35:42
Ride time: 3:13:27
Calories Burnt: 4771
Avg Speed: 31.4km/h
Total distance: 194.32km
Ride time: 7:12:45
Calories Burnt: 8795
Avg Speed: 26.9km/h
Firstly I will say that this is my first road bike. My last bike was a GT aggressor which is a hard-tail mountain bike. It has road mtb tyres so not too bad to ride long distances although hell on a hill. So all that means I’ll probably be talking about different things than your average roadie person.
Anyway the bike came from wiggle and arrived in a huge box (ToDo: picture). I will give it to wiggle, they are great. I did order some shoes which took a while to get processed but some of that was my fault in ordering something out of stock. That topped with the sterling rate when I ordered meant I got the bike for less than half of what it costs locally. The bike also came with a Giant bottle and bottle cage however the cage is nearly useless in holding a bottle in place. It also came with reflectors for the wheels as well as front and back ones. Wiggle kindly safed me the hassle and just left them in the box. (Disclaimer: I don’t recommend riding without reflectors.) Surprisingly the bike came with toe clip pedals as well. Definitely a nice touch although I’ll be fitting my shimano clipless pedals shortly.
First thing I noticed is the gearing is nice and tight. Moving between gears doesn’t give the usual jump that I was used to on the top gears on my old mountain bike. Next would be the speed. I’m sure everyone already knew road bikes were quicker but I was quite surprised at the difference. Even the commute into work had higher speeds with the full pannier rack on the back of the bike. The weekend training run should show just how much of a difference.
The bike itself is quite responsive. A little more than I’d like but I’m sure I’ll adapt. Even with the pannier rack the bike isn’t as stable as my old hard tail. I guess stable is the wrong word. It can be a bit wobbly but nothing that you wouldn’t expect too much.
The few months of riding have resulted in a number of problems with the back wheel. I will say that most if not all is down to me being over 100Kg when I started cycling and also the pannier bags on the back. Oh and in no small part, the huge pot holes that developed on my commute home. Hitting a half a foot deep one one evening popped a nipple of a spoke. Since then, there was no end of problems with loose spokes (I did reconnect and retrue the wheel after). It all culminated in another spoke spanning while out last weekend.
I ended up dropping the wheel in to Duffy Cyclines in Omni Park Santy. Honestly I wasn’t super keen about going here as I’ve had a bad experience last year with them but they are a Giant reseller shop. The guy had the wheel for a few hours, replaced the spoke, and then retrued it and I have to say I’m quite happy. There is a small radial alignment problem but only noticeable if you watch the wheel spin quickly and closely, nothing while cycling.
Well I’m quite happy with the bike. Having done nearly 1000km in the two and half months I’ve had it, it has definitely helped things along. For anyone needing a bike to take for weekend spins and also get them comformtably to work, I’d highly recommend this or well now one of the new range since this is all sold out. The new bikes are prettier too.