And the group grows… Today there were six of us. The more the merrier, the safer and, more importantly, the faster. It seems a long time since I was riding as Billy-no-mates. After a slow start we soon wound it up and were set for a fast ride when four decided to head back for various reasons including family, church and to nurse a hangover. That just left me and Eric, ex Olympic competitor. The tempo was already set high and with only two of us there was no where for me to hide. I was going to have my work cut out. I have worked hard over the last three months and I can now ride on the pain limit. It’s not nice or fun but immensely satisfying to both maintain a high speed at the front and to keep legs and lungs going through the pain barrier. I’m all set for the first race of the season. Roll on Goodwood!
What about the gear?
The bike is my Wilier Cento Uno and it needs a full service. I have a bike shop but haven’t done any work on the bike since the prep for my Pyrenean trip last summer. I need new cables and a big boy’s cassette. This bike is stiff and perfect for racing but not so stiff that you can’t take it on a sportive. My tyres are Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, weigh 190g, roll fast and I have not had a puncture since fitting them last April!
Northwave Evolution bib shorts
The Northwave Evolution bib shorts have now done about 350k of hard riding and I am really impressed. The pad is amazing really comfortable and doesn’t feel as if it is there. The cut is superb and fits like a glove. Best of all they make me feel “Pro”. The pad is perforated with hundreds of tiny holes but as each ride has still been rather chill I can only assume that they’ll be even better once the sweat really begins to run. The Bio-map cut is so good that I’ll be having a Northwave Evolution jersey just as soon as it’s warm enough. Bio-map is Northwave’s way of tailoring the garment to fit snug when actually in a riding position.
Northwave Extreme Tech shoes
Northwave Extreme Tech shoes have done over 500k and are really very comfortable. The one piece upper is so soft that they were perfect from new but having been used a few times a week for several weeks they have got even more comfortable. I like my shoes and pedals to be really tight and with the Boa style lacing and soft upper I can crank up the shoes with no discomfort at all. The venting on the sole is incredible. I don’t like hot feet, however, with the weather that we have had recently the sole of my foot has, until today, been a bit cold. Roll on the summer.
What can I say, these are better than anything else that you can buy. They look tiny but offer the widest pedal feel. They are double sided so you never look down to clip in. In fact they are so good that unless a rider’s sponsorship deal forces a Pro to use Shimano/Look/Time they’ll buy themselves some Speedplay Zeros.