320km: this is how I roll

by Dave Atkinson   June 23, 2011  

320km setup

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!

 

33 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

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.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
24th June 2011 - 8:57

3 Likes

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.

Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
24th June 2011 - 9:17

3 Likes

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

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
24th June 2011 - 9:18

3 Likes

anyway if his brain gets any more worked out it will explode

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
24th June 2011 - 9:19

3 Likes

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.

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [581 posts]
24th June 2011 - 9:22

3 Likes

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

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

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9371 posts]
24th June 2011 - 10:46

3 Likes

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.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
24th June 2011 - 12:19

3 Likes

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 Smile

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.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
24th June 2011 - 12:35

3 Likes

Simon_MacMichael wrote:
There's a Maison Blanc in Burford for some very nice coffee and cakes Big Grin

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

sounds good. see you there Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
24th June 2011 - 12:36

1 Like

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 Smile

Trev Allen's picture

posted by Trev Allen [169 posts]
24th June 2011 - 20:17

3 Likes

Great adventure! Will you be running the tracker as used on the FWC?

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
25th June 2011 - 16:37

4 Likes

Tracker sounds like a good plan. Dave?

Trev Allen's picture

posted by Trev Allen [169 posts]
25th June 2011 - 17:52

2 Likes

yeah i'll set it up Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
25th June 2011 - 22:28

3 Likes

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.

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

Tour Le Tour's picture

posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
27th June 2011 - 14:42

2 Likes

Tour Le Tour wrote:
The velcroed pads worry me.

i've swapped them out now for ritchey clip ons

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
27th June 2011 - 15:05

4 Likes

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...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
27th June 2011 - 17:20

3 Likes

Seat looks in the clouds

posted by Stanwaysteve [11 posts]
28th June 2011 - 23:20

3 Likes

Stanwaysteve wrote:
Seat looks in the clouds

that's how i roll. always have.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
28th June 2011 - 23:35

2 Likes

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.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
29th June 2011 - 7:28

2 Likes

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

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

Tour Le Tour's picture

posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
29th June 2011 - 15:04

1 Like

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? Big Grin

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.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
29th June 2011 - 15:27

2 Likes

dave_atkinson wrote:
And sweets.

Off to a flying start with your Tangfastics anyway! Laughing

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
29th June 2011 - 15:31

2 Likes

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.

Trev Allen's picture

posted by Trev Allen [169 posts]
29th June 2011 - 16:39

2 Likes

Good luck Gents, looks like an awesome challenge. hope it goes well for you.

Skardy's picture

posted by Skardy [97 posts]
29th June 2011 - 21:50

2 Likes

mission control: managed to get my phone (for tracking) and edge (for routefinding) mounted up. plus there's a backup battery in there too...

IMG_7581.jpg
Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
30th June 2011 - 14:55

2 Likes

note the professional use of zipties and gaffer tape Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
30th June 2011 - 14:55

3 Likes

Hard to believe there's a bike under there somewhere! Good luck tomorrow fellas Applause

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
30th June 2011 - 15:24

3 Likes

they'll probably fall off after a few miles and we'll just read the signs instead Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
30th June 2011 - 15:35

4 Likes

Glad to see someone else tilts their saddle forward. So much more comfortable, and something to push against as well!

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [295 posts]
2nd August 2011 - 16:16

2 Likes

I'm on the edge of my seat - how did it go?

posted by mrpt5 [63 posts]
10th April 2012 - 19:02

2 Likes