Friday, 24 April 2015
4 Seasons in one bike
This time last year the only thing that was spinning was my head, the thought and planning invested in a major house renovation doesn't leave much room for anything else. In the passing months, my bikes have gathered more dust than miles and my house gathered more dust than expected. Thankfully, the majority of works have been completed, but I still find myself searching for opportunities to enjoy the bike.
Running has been the main focus for exercise and I planned for this pursuit to assist with the cyclocross season. Last season has come and gone and I don't recall even watching a race, except eurosport coverage of the worlds! For me, the almost immediate access to running is a difficult draw to avoid. I would say that any cycle adds at least 30-60mins of faff/prep time. Look out gels, decide upon what kit (inc. bike - potentially fix/service chosen bike), clean bidon, camelbak....come home, and dependent on ride conditions, clean and lube bike.
Time off a bike does provide an opportunity to analyse what you have in the quiver, and if truth be told, I have too many options and this is part of the problem. Consolidation is now the name of the game, but it is not any easy undertaking and it still costs time and money. The 'go to' bike for the past year or so has been a Boardman CX Team. The bike has surprised me on a number of occasions, it's basically a great, inexpensive (relevant) all rounder.
The bombardment of road less traveled, gravel racing, off road touring etc etc headlines making the rounds are certainly keeping the bespoke and mainstream manufacturers busy. I can understand why - is there such a thing as a do it all bike? That question is probably best answered by thinking about what your requirements are. For me, it's currently very simple, just get out on any bike and ride the bloody thing! The Boardman is now the basis for an experiment - can I ride this bike for road, cross and a spot of touring? There is however a concession, there will be two sets of wheels. Tom Marchment of Hunt Wheels has been extremely helpful in tempting money out of my pocket and a lovely pair of MASON x HUNT 4 Season Disc Wheels have recently arrived. If the 4 seasons work out as good as my all time favourite name sake road tyre from Conti I will be very pleased, in fact, I'll be delighted.