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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Autumnal Equinox

Last week was momentous.
It saw me break 5,000 miles for the year and have my 10,000 visitor to my blogsite.
It also saw the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox, where hours of darkness now become greater than hours of light. Its sad to think that the days of wearing shorts and a cycle jersey will soon be deferred to at the least next April, unless of course its in a gym.
This is usually the time that my bike gets put away apart from the occasional guest appearance at the 'odd' good weekend.
This double entendre is very apt in that winter weekends of good weather are both rare and peculiar.
Late September, early October is also the time I start eating really bad things..................You know the ones that taste fantastic, but weigh twice as much inside you, as they did in the packet.
This year has been a great year for my cycling.
After a slow start, I had a rude awakening with the MS150 immediately followed by the Natchez Trace.
By July I was really getting some form and when I took part in Hotter than Hell and Manchester 100, I was as fit as I have been for years.
On reflection its frustrating that I could not have been as fit in Spring as I am now, if that had been the case I could have taken part in far more events, but more importantly enjoyed them.

The old saying 'Make hay when the sun shines' certainly rings true here.

There are a number of reasons for not embracing the more trying seasons on a bike.

Some are real - Ice, snow and winter gales.

Some are excuses- Its too cold, dark and miserable, my feet get frostbite, by bike will get ruined, its not enjoyable !!!!!!

When I discussed these matters with 'La Patron' (My benevolent brother Paddy)
He accepted the real reasons, but had answers for the others.
Too cold- Wear more clothes
Too dark - use lights
Too miserable - State of mind bros 'suck it up'
My feet get frostbite - get better shoes/socks
Bike gets ruined - get a winter bike.

As his 'super domestique' on American rides he does have a vested interest in my fitness.
The fitter I get, the greater incentive he has to do likewise, and if he is not quite up to scratch he has the wheel of a willing mule to suck on all day long.

So when I pleaded poverty as a further excuse he very kindly offered to fund some two wheeled 'retail therapy'.
As the days have now suddenly got shorter It seems that I have also shortened my brothers savings account.

Over this weekend my summer speed machine was put away for the winter and I went shopping

I am now the proud owner of the following :-

Ridgeback Horizon Tourer
The Ridgeback Horizon is a multi-purpose mile-muncher. The only frame in the range not using steel, this frame is made with double-butted aluminium tubes and is coupled with a carbon fibre fork to give a light and responsive road machine. The transmission is provided by Shimano Sora, a recent arrival at the 9 speed party, using a triple chainset to give a massive range of gears. High spec 25mm Continental Ultra Race tyres sit neatly beneath the full length chromoplastic mudguards. Seat stay and drop-out lugs mean that any rack can be easily fitted.

With its mudguards and rack mounts the Horizon is an ideal sportive or Audax ride. (The Audax organisation used to rigidly enforce a rule that all entrants were obliged to have mudguards fitted - although now at the event organiser's discretion) These features also make it naturally a fast, light tourer or commuter, easily carrying a pair of panniers and a bar bag. The Horizon's third and no less important role is as a winter or training bike for roadies. Ridgeback is one of the few brands that offers a road bike that you can realistically use through the British winter. If you're a keen or competitive road rider this bike is an essential addition to your stock, allowing you to continue year round preparation without sullying your best thoroughbred.

Seal Skinz socks
To keep my plates (Plates of Meat - Feet) as warm as Toast

Some new Sidi Shoes - Mega
Which provide extra width so you can avoid frostbite by moving your toes !!!!!
With that out of the way I only have the Ice, snow and winter gales to contend with.
Bring it on !!!!!!!!!


  1. Yea, bring it on... but not too soon!

    Congrats on your mileage - that is an awesome feat! Your new bike also looks like a great machine for tooling about through in climate weather.

  2. what's Paddy's plan to correct the lack of enjoyment?


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