The Adventure Dispatch – by Specialized

 

Spring is here (honest it is) and Summer is on the way (it really is you know!) so its time to start thinking about those camping and bothy trips again – this year I WILL do it.

These Adventure Dispatch shorts from Specialized are just the ticket to get you inspired to get out and explore. No MTB action I’m afraid but some Cyclocross and FatBikes.

The first one by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder with the fat bikes is the best film visually I think but perhaps the most unattainable for the majority of us.

Sarah Swallow’s adventure is the most likely experience for us here in the UK – yes it rains throughout her film!  But again its wonderfully shot.

 

You can find out more about the bikes and some of the cyclists featured at the following URL –https://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/adventure

And finally the best of the bunch maybe? Because there’s a real possibility of doing something similar to Ty Hathaway. I love the cyclocross shredding and the bothy visit. This film just sets you up for the weekend nicely I think.

Accidentally on the Ridgeway

Near Avebury Wiltshire, Ridgeway

I had no intentions of going on this ride. In fact I set out to go for a bit of a spin on the road on my Genesis CDF. Yes, I was planning on avoiding the mud and opted for a cleaner ride and maybe just 10 miles or so before settling down for an afternoon of rugby.

After struggling up a local road climb (Clyffe Pypard), a stupid voice in my head told me I needed more climbing and shouldn’t stop there so I made my way over to Hackpen Hill and up on to the Ridgeway. Continue reading “Accidentally on the Ridgeway”

If its not on Strava…

Genesis CDF Cyclocross Bike
Did this ride really happen?

…did the ride really happen?

I realised this last week that I am a Strava Addict. Yes I admit it.

I didn’t really doubt it and let me get this straight, its not that I am addicted t o chasing down other peoples times and climbs. I am much more realistic than that. I ride for pleasure and fun, and ONLY OCCASIONALLY do I feel the need to try and beat someones time.

Last week my Garmin bike GPS failed to connect to my computer meaning that I lost a ride to the oblivion of the internal memory.  Now let me explain, this was only a small pedal out at lunch time not even 10 miles, but I enjoyed it and I rode down a section of hill on my cyclocross bike that I normally do on my MTB. I was desperate to see how the times compared as I felt like I was moving! This was the first reason I was disappointed, secondly I wanted to show that the CX bike doesn’t stop me riding off road and doesn’t make me a roadie.

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Its not a road ride

Thirdly, I do like to keep an eye on my exercise and while I know full well I went out and I took a photo (above) to commemorate the occasion, my Strava account doesn’t know!  I can’t add manual entries – everyone knows they don’t count!

After much searching on the internet (Googling as we have become accustomed to calling it) I found that i was not alone in my pain. While this doesn’t appear to be a known fault as such, its seems to just happen to these devices to some people. It could be a mechanical issue with the USB port – I don’t know.

What next, a new one? Certainly buying gadgets is great, but the Garmin actually works otherwise.  I know I can use a card reader and take the activities off the device microSD card. Excellent! Problem solved. I can ride again.

So two days later I rode and rode and rode (and took more photos) and got up to a fantastic high speed on a little road descent. Can’t wait to see how I compare with others and my previous times!

ARGH!  I didn’t have the device set up to record to the microSD card! Another ride lost to oblivion – that actually didn’t happen and the only record is another photo.

I have now fixed the issue and rides will be recorded to the microSD card from now onwards. And I have saved myself buying a new Garmin!

More new bike bits it is then…

Remembering why…

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This morning’s plan was to get a few miles in as a sort of training ride. I hate the thought of training as I ride my bike for enjoyment, and while training makes me a better/fitter rider and therefore more likely to enjoy tougher or longer rides – I still don’t like the thought of training. So I didn’t go out with a plan other than that of the distance I wanted to cover – 50km – the enjoyment was going to come from making it up as I went along.

Keeping an eye on the clock, the distance and of course the map on my Garmin meant I could make it up as I went along and keep an element of fun; rather than a Chris Froome TDF style head down pedal and not take anything in.

My ride ended up taking me through some of the local villages of Lacock, Biddistone and Corsham, before heading back along the old railway path from Chippenham. This is my token bit of off road to make the CDF feel a little more at home!

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Lacock is famous for its abbey and for being used in a number of movies including the Harry Potter series. There are some nice old buildings, all protected by the National Trust and a cool little ford. The cobbles were very slippery and I had to pedal carefully on the skinny wheels.

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Who doesn’t like a nice pub and bike photo?

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Villages are full of little treasures when you stop to explore rather the just whizz by. I remembered this morning one of the reasons I enjoy cycling wether it by by mountain bike or now even by the odd stretch of road.

I like to explore and I like to take photos, I if hadn’t been required back home for family duties I also had Castle Coombe in my sights today. I could have easily managed to fit this in to my ride but I was required back home.

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I couldn’t have covered the distance this morning on a mountain bike as easily and still have energy and reserves left over. I think I am going to be working up to a 100km and maybe even a 100 mile ride soon and exploring more of the smaller villages and possibly hidden pubs in the area…

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Looking for a Way Out

West Kennet Long Barrow
West Kennet Long Barrow

Hot on the heels of yesterdays amazing video from Chris Akrigg, comes a TimFromWales production. Hold on to your hats cos this is going to amaze! Well not really – it was just a little pedal out to the West Kennet Long Barrow for a cup of tea.

I am really enjoying the Genesis CDF and am wondering why I didn’t get a cyclocross bike sooner.  I am able to ride to most of the places I can locally on my mountain bike, but quicker and the added advantage of the skinny wheels (never thought I’d hear myself saying that) is that I can hit the road to link up trails at a much faster pace.  Its the future!

This week I bought an Alpkit dry bag so I could carry my tea brewing kit – also from Alpkit (Mytimug & Kraku stove). While these are small items, they don’t quite fit in my saddle bag, so I stuffed the Alpkit Airlok with stove, mug, milk etc, extra layer and GoPro attachments and went for a little spin this morning.

The 5L Airlok Extra fits neatly between the drop bars, and is also handy to throw over your shoulder like a messenger bag. The bag is better when stuffed full rather than letting the contents sag and rattle – but this is simply some advice on my part rather than any sort of criticism.

I now have a burning desire to bikepack and I think the Genesis CDF will do the job just fine!

Anyway you have waited long enough and I have stalled until Youtube has processed my video. Here it is and watch out for my very own Allez Allez Allez moment from some actual French people too!