Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The wind beneath my wheels ....

Today's forecast, which is usually loose at best was for a calm morning, offset by severe rain and thunder storms in the afternoon, which would in light of the heat and humidity be a good thing. 

James and I embarked down to Steve's mid morning where we concluded a sharp hilly ride the order of the day, throwing in Haytor at the half way point or so. The issue is that the aforementioned forecast did not predict what I consider to be brutal winds in and around Dartmoor, which in turn felt on top of us, despite every turn, as ever, the usual omni wind. That said, we still monstered the ride and put some good efforts into the bikes. James and Steve climbed Haytor as lively as ever. Sadly, I was 2 minutes slower than my last effort, which annoys me, but in the grand scheme of being a recreational bike rider is not really worth worrying about.  The crazy thing is that by looking at my data, I was less than 1 mile an hour slower going up, which turns into 2 minutes logged. This does of course bring the Tour De France into context and the every second counts ethos the big guns bring to the party. Wind may have played a part as the hedges were swirling about en-route to the top.

The beauty of today as that as ever, what goes up must come down and it was a lot of fun hammering the bike down some super fast steep to gradual descents. Turns out I maxed the bike out at 40mph (pic below) on the flat caning it into the top end of Newton Abbot near Stover, coming back inbound on a graduated flat. Nice.  

Have said it several times, but the Pinarello F8 has two modes. On and off. It is a 'good' climbing bike but as a 'race' bike, frankly, it eggs the rider on, constantly asking the rider for more. I have never ridden a bike like it.  Seriously it is insane. People call it a weapon, though a weapon of choice. Gun to a knife fight and all that. I am aware of the reckless hyperbole abound the internet on bike reviews and subjective or objective opinions, but to me, this thing is simply incredible. Incredible in the sense that it begs for more, more more, faster, faster, faster, attack, attack, attack.  It turns rides into wanton effort which I suppose is both good and bad. I suppose you are out there in the least giving it your best. To me as ever when the road lights up and begs the rider for effort, in that sense, I have yet to ride a bike like it. It makes sense how at last years Tour De France Team SKY effectively became a descending attack team (remember Froome sat on the top tube) as well as a 'climb in a pack team' as this bike descending at pro speed must give them so much confidence. Read these words as you will, but do understand that at 45, I have ridden a decent bunch of 'superbikes' and this thing trumps them all. In all honesty, I would like the box fresh build weight of a Giant TCR unpainted but in cycling terms well it is hard to convey what an F8 can do til you ride one for prolonged periods.  Caveat emptor however; It is super unerringly stiff thus super efficient. Stiffness can be offset by 5 less psi in the front tyre.

It was again a cracking ride with the Tuesday boys and though we were greeted by a down pour getting back into Newton, we concluded the blast with coffee and food at Steve's. A top bobbin day. 45 Strava based PB's over 32 miles of which 30 odd were gold. Not a bad return.

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