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Me and that Trevor Allen, he of road.cc and Ergon 24 MTB fame, are off on an attempt to cycle back to Colchester from Bath this week – Friday 1st of July to be precise. It's 320km and should be a lorra lorra fun. Either that or a horrific, scarring experience.

Either way, it's the furthest I've ever ridden by a clear 100km. So it's a bit of a trip into the unknown. Here's what I'm riding, and why. Any comments for improving the setup are very welcome...

Bike: Genesis Equilibrium. It's such a comfy bike that there really wasn't any thought of riding anything else. Plus, it's pretty quick. Mine's got a Kinesis 12k fork on which is pretty forgiving.

Groupset: SRAM Apex. More 'cause it's on the bike than anything else, but it's the best lower budget groupset I've tried so far.

Wheels: Shimano RS80-C50. Fair to say we haven't picked the hilliest route so I'm hoping for some extra zip along the many flat bits to compensate for the extra weight over the standard RS80s I normally run. Plus, they need testing. Plus, they look the nuts.

Tyres: Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX. Superfly Vittorias with 320TPI cotton casing should be quick and comfy. They need testing, too.

Bars: Easton EA70 with Oval extensions. I reckon I need a tuck position and the Ovals are handy because they fit to a special stem cap, meaning it's easy to fit and remove them. The pads I've just velcroed to the top of the bars rather than using the holders which made the extensions a bit short, the position seems just about right.

Saddle: Charge Spoon Ti. Best saddle ever.

Navigation: Garmin Edge 800 + backup battery + Google Maps on the phone as a backup.

Anyone that wants to join us for a bit on the way is more than welcome. This is the plan... 24kph riding average (dropping to 22 later on), three stops.

Bath              05:00
Malmesbury        06:30
Fairford          08:00
Burford a         09:00 30m break
Burford d         09:30
Bicester          11:00
Buckingham        12:00
Ampthill a        13:30 1h break
Ampthill d        14:30
Baldock           15:30
Steeple Bumpstead 18:00
Sudbury a         19:00 30m break
Sudbury d         19:30
East Bergholt     21:00 

Wish us luck!

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

33 comments

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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in the end i swapped the oval stem for some ritchey clip-ons, and kept the oval extensions, the position on the extensions wasn't quite right. but it's right now...

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1961BikiE [254 posts] 5 years ago
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Dave - eh? Does not compute, you swapped the Oval stem for Ritchey clip ons?

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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I know. but the Oval stem just didn't work for me, the extensions were at the wrong angle and because the mounts are part of the stem you can't twist them round. So it had to go. I'm still running the Oval extensions though. just with Ricthey pads.

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handlebarcam [795 posts] 5 years ago
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I can't argue with the bike selection, but would recommend ditching the sat nav, and giving your brain a workout along with your legs.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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handlebarcam wrote:

I can't argue with the bike selection, but would recommend ditching the sat nav, and giving your brain a workout along with your legs.

 4

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Tony Farrelly [2871 posts] 5 years ago
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Normally I'd be with you there handlebarcam, I don't use a Satnav and quite like the feeling of being slightly lost on unfamilair roads - adds to the adventure, but if I was trying to push 320km in one go (ahem… I'm going to be unavoidably detained that day) I'd probably want to keep other potential sources of stress to a minimum, which includes that sense of being slightly lost a very long way from home - a wrong turn on that ride that long could see you ending up in Bury St Edmunds or Bishop's Stortford - both a very long way from Colchester

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Tony Farrelly [2871 posts] 5 years ago
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anyway if his brain gets any more worked out it will explode

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 5 years ago
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And if it rains for any extended period (it being british summer-time and all) you're going to regret not going for anything in the way of mudguards.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 5 years ago
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There's a Maison Blanc in Burford for some very nice coffee and cakes  4

Hell, I might even drag myself out of bed early and come down and meet you...

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handlebarcam [795 posts] 5 years ago
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People did do long distance rides before the invention of the sat nav, you know. And if the Romans could find their way from Aquae Sulis to Camulodunum, two thousand years before Garmin launched the first Edge, surely you can. True, they had fewer roads to choose from back then - none in the first instance. But they did have to fend off tribes of barbarians like the Iceni, while you only have to worry about Essex White Van Men.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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handlebarcam wrote:

People did do long distance rides before the invention of the sat nav, you know. And if the Romans could find their way from Aquae Sulis to Camulodunum, two thousand years before Garmin launched the first Edge, surely you can.

Well I could walk it wearing leather sandals that lace up to my knees. Or i could ride it fixed with wool shorts and a spare tub in a figure-of-8 over my shoulders. But I've decided to do it in 2011, when the Garmin Edge 800 is available, so thanks all the same  1

I've done a few long rides with the 800 and I find it genuinely useful. I don't ask it to tell me where to go, just to display the route. Otherwise it tends to beep a lot.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

There's a Maison Blanc in Burford for some very nice coffee and cakes  4

Hell, I might even drag myself out of bed early and come down and meet you...

sounds good. see you there  1

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Trev Allen [132 posts] 5 years ago
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More the merrier. Think I might have arranged at least one rider to block the wind for the first stint from Bath.

re garmin, I aint going without one  1

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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Great adventure! Will you be running the tracker as used on the FWC?

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Trev Allen [132 posts] 5 years ago
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Tracker sounds like a good plan. Dave?

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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yeah i'll set it up  1

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Tour Le Tour [87 posts] 5 years ago
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The velcroed pads worry me. Without seeing how you sit on the bike, I would say this is a control point, and you want to be sure it will not give or move too much when you hit the huge pothole while the semi-trailer passes you.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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Tour Le Tour wrote:

The velcroed pads worry me.

i've swapped them out now for ritchey clip ons

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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UPDATE: we're doing it on Friday 1 July now, not Sat 2. For various reasons. But the plan remains the same, just a day earlier...

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Stanwaysteve [11 posts] 5 years ago
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Seat looks in the clouds

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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Stanwaysteve wrote:

Seat looks in the clouds

that's how i roll. always have.

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm glad to see you're doing this on the Friday now. At least I won't have to choose between following you and Trev on the tracker or watching Stage One. Serious question re nutrition: will you start fueling on Thursday, and what do you plan for the ride by way of nutrition? Get the fueling right and the ride will still be tough, get it wrong and things could go very awry. I'm genuinely interested in how riders approach such all day rides.

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Tour Le Tour [87 posts] 5 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:
Tour Le Tour wrote:

The velcroed pads worry me.

i've swapped them out now for ritchey clip ons

Ah, you said that right at the start, I just failed to read it. Sorry, my bad... Have fun

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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simonmb wrote:

I'm glad to see you're doing this on the Friday now. At least I won't have to choose between following you and Trev on the tracker or watching Stage One. Serious question re nutrition: will you start fueling on Thursday, and what do you plan for the ride by way of nutrition? Get the fueling right and the ride will still be tough, get it wrong and things could go very awry. I'm genuinely interested in how riders approach such all day rides.

I don't think watching us struggle along on the tracker really compares to a tour stage, does it?  4

so, it's pasta o'clock on thursday night i reckon, late tea before the early start. on the ride i've got limited stowage space (a big seatpack and my jersey pockets), i'll be taking a malt loaf and as many gels and bars as i can fit in the available space. plus coffee and cakes en route, and something starchy for lunch in ampthill. And sweets.

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

And sweets.

Off to a flying start with your Tangfastics anyway!  21

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Trev Allen [132 posts] 5 years ago
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re nutrition I aim for lots and often. You can't soak up much more than 1gram of carb per kg of body weight, but hitting this consistently from hour one is often difficult. Unfortunately this is going to mean bars (homemade that is) from about 5:30 in the morning. Yum.

Looking at the weather taking on salt will be important too. On my long MTB races I am quit partial to salt and vinegar snack-a-jacks but logistically these wont work on this ride. Will be sure to take on some salt at our stops though and perhaps might sachet up so electrolyte drink for the saddle bag.

night before I will not be going too crazy, just large portions of my usual healthy meals and perhaps I wont be sticking to my no carbs after six rule (not that I do much anyway...) Fuelling up is good but getting to bed without 2hours of digestion before sleep is also important. Basically everything in moderation right.

I am no expert on this mind but just go on feel and experience from lots of rides in the 8hour and over region.

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Skardy [89 posts] 5 years ago
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Good luck Gents, looks like an awesome challenge. hope it goes well for you.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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mission control: managed to get my phone (for tracking) and edge (for routefinding) mounted up. plus there's a backup battery in there too...

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 5 years ago
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note the professional use of zipties and gaffer tape  1

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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Hard to believe there's a bike under there somewhere! Good luck tomorrow fellas  41

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