Billy no mates

Sunday was my daughter’s 21st so I wanted to be back early. I had been copied on all the plans to ride the sportive but didn’t have the time to do it. Despite all the early season enthusiasm the group was reduced to just two by Saturday night and they weren’t going to bother with the sportive. That was perfect for me, I’d join them. We would meet at 8am in Ditchling.

As I was about to leave home I got a text to say that one was not going to make it. I called the next rider to confirm that I’d be there. I’d woken in the night worried that I underestimated how long it would take to get to Ditching so I ended up getting up even earlier. I left at 6:50 and had to ride at a fair pace to make sure that I got there in time but I had been stood up. Another text and I was on my own.

You may think me unlucky but no, on the contrary, the ride would have been social and steady. I wanted to ride quickly to get the most out of my limited time. The journey back was great. The B2116 is a nice road, no hills but constantly undulating. It’s a challenge not to let the speed drop too much on each of the ups but I needed to stop to text Will a good luck message. I was having trouble slowing down as I was doing well on all the climbs and didn’t want to lose any momentum but the traffic lights at Albourne did the job. I wished him luck just in time to catch him before his final race preparation. I’m pleased to say that he won.

I got back in time, peeled off my winter layers (it was really cold) and spent the rest of the day in shorts enjoying the first hot and sunny Spring day of the year. The birthday party went well too.

Kask helmets.

I have a small head despite many calling me a “big headed”. I am between a medium and a small in most Bell and Giro helmets and have never really had a good fit. I was tempted to try Kask. The pedigree is good, one: chosen by Team Sky (they only buy the best) and two: Italian. The Italians have probably contributed more to cycling (products, designs, bikes, riders, history, controversy…..) than any other nation.

All the helmets use a unique articulated fitting system that can be moved up or down to fit into the nape of your neck. The chin strap is leatherette and there are more pads than most top end helmets. Mine even features gel pads to ensure that the helmet stays in place without too much tightening.

Prices are good too and compare with all the other brands despite the more complex design. They start at £79.99 for the K50, £129 for the K10 and £165 for the Vertigo. There are mountain bike versions too, the same helmet but with a removable peak. Kask helmets.

Here’s the ride, short and sweet. I did the Bostal both ways and found it easy on the way back but, if you look at the time, its not surprising as I rode it so slowly.


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