Sunday, July 02, 2006

Some like it hot(??)

Most of us don't like riding when the temperature is close to, or below, freezing, and/or it is raining. On the other hand, a hot day can make riding very hard work too. Today (Sunday 2 July 2006) 3 of us used folders/separables to take part in the 100Km Brevet Populaire from Catherine de Barnes, organised by the Solihull CTC. Irene Batchelor rode her Moulton fx8, Trevor Batchelor was on his Birdy Red, and I rode my Airnimal Chameleon. My choice of the Airnimal was left to the last minute - the high temperatures in the weather forecast on the day persuaded me to use it rather than the Trice QNT. We all found the temperature a real problem - as did other riders I heard talking at the end. Apart from the excessive temperature (not very strong sunshine, but no wind, hot and humid, which is more tiring) we didn't have any problems - there was a panic with the Chameleon when I loaded into the car, as I noticed the rear tyre (Kenda Koncept) had developed something between a bulge and a very serious distortion, and it had to be replaced (under 2000Km, the front tyre, same make, failed in exactly the same way a few weeks earlier); I hope than the replacement Panaracer tyre will do better. On the ride we made a brief stop to cure a rattling rear mudguard on the fx8 - simply a case of bolts working loose in transit. Fortunately I had done the ride last year, otherwise the right turn onto a cycle path at around 3/4 distance might again have been missed, not just by us, but some people on a tandem who happened to be with us at the time - otherwise the route sheet and general organisation was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed the ride. All the bikes were folded/separated to get to the event - the Chameleon went (just, passenger seat still in place, but rear compartment separator folded down) into a Smart on its first, very simple, fold, and both the Birdy and Moulton fx8 went into a Renault Clie quite comfortably (rear seats folded). None of us are serious long distance cyclists or cycling club members (in which we differ from a large proportion of the entrants for these events), but we got back inside the minimum time without any great difficulty on our folders/separables. Our thanks go to the organisers for a most enjoyable event.