Yep, '09 is upon us already. I hope this intangible change on the calender puts the crap weather and sickness behind us. I so need to get out on the bike more! I did manage a 55km ride on Tuesday with the Ashton club (of which I am now a member...at last!) I rode from home to Kilkenny up on the Cotswolds and met up for a 21mile ride that turned into an epic slog with 5 puncture stops and numerouse faffing stops in the cold weather. I was pretty well dressed for the cold except the SBC Deflect "windproof" gloves are not and I had neglected to buy any liner gloves so I resorted to sticking my hands in my armpits during the many stops to keep them warm. I now have a pair of liner gloves that should make them suitable for -5deg use.
With the light fading I headed back down the hill to home and a hot shower. On arriving home I found a package from Charlie the Bike Monger containing a 20t Surly cog, Salsa seat clamp and beefy KMC Z610 chain (the 3/32" version of the Z710 most people know and love) Later that night we descended mob-handed on to a curry house in Evesham for some food served buy the bussiest waiter ever (he was the only guy there!) all washed down with beer and scrumpy.
The bike worked well with the CX tyres in the mud and was a lot faster on the road there and back. I did try out the cork tape / mouse mat / cotton tape bar wrap and found it too small a diameter for my long fingers and that I got a painful ulnar nerve...not great. The 42c treads at 60PSI won't have helped but still worrying. So this morning I trimmed the tape below the brake lever and re-fitted the Oury grips which I know work well for 8hrs+ on rigid forks and skinny tyres :)
The CC Thudbuster ST was great, it took the edge off the rought trail and enabled me to stay seated over frozen hoof-churned trails with out getting the saddle inserted anywhere! Definately worth the £ and weight, not sure about the ribbing I got for it though! It does look odd but the amazing performance makes up for it. 10/10 for that one then. Only other change in the seating is the swap of the WTB SST saddle onto the Solitude. I had forgotten how great they were until I used one on the BlackBuck build. The Brooks will stay packed away until the weather improves or I forget to change it!
The first day of the new year was spent fettling the bike and starting the STW January Beard Contest. I have no chance of winning but wonder what sort of face mat I will grow in four weeks...not much is my prediction but we'll see. I fitted the 20t Surly track cog, KMC Z610 chain and Salsa clamp to the bike and finished it off with Michelin AT tyres and a few CtBM stickers (except the "Chicks dig singlespeeders" ones the wife objected to!) I now have 36:18 and 34:20 available with no brake faffing and 36:20 / 34:18 if I want to adjust the brake pads a little. All I need to finish it is a Phil Wood Lock Ring from Will at Hubjub as I have lost my Miche one and Phil use an odd size (compared to Dura Ace / everyone else)
1st January 2009 - No beard
Becca has signed up for the Hell of the North Cotswolds this year with plans of doing the 100km route so we will have to dig out the old routes and try some 50 and 75km trips prior to early April so she does not die halfway round! Good training for me as well as the "Tuesday Film and Turbo" sessions. Which reminds me I need to sign up to Lovefilm to get one for next week.
Best do that now.