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Saturday, November 10, 2012

GSR1000 PART 2

Spencer Klaassen from the US rode the whole of GSR1200 on this fixed gear bike.  By the end, the frame was cracked near the bottom bracket and repaired using cable ties and an aluminium can.  Honorary Australian! 

Well its been more that a week since the end of the Audax GSR1000 and I'd like to put down my thoughts on the ride.  Before I forget, this is a link to the video I took after the ride.

Training: No amount of training will guarantee that you finish a big ride.  There will always be a chance of a bike frame breaking, sickness, accidents or extreme weather.  Doing the prescribed training will increase your chances of success, not secure you a finish.

Riding Technique and stuff I carried: All this was pretty good, but for me, stopping with everybody else after 75k probably didn't help things.  I can fairly well plod on all day.

Recumbents or not:  It doesn't matter what type of bike you ride, do the k's and you will be as prepared as you can be for a ride.

Navigation: I need to trust myself on this and print out or buy maps for each longish ride, and bring said maps with me.  The ride instructions were good, I had a secure and visible place to put them and a speedo and distance meter which  worked.  Just need to go through the directions on the cue sheet beforehand, mark them on the map and go from there.

Lights: Generator driven lights are the ultimate for this type of cycling, but slightly over the top for general commuting.  Nevertheless, generators etc. would make sustained night riding easy.  Probably something which feeds a USB charger device would be best, this would mean I could charge my phone as well.  Will keep my eye out for something.

Hills: From what I can work out, recumbent trikes and upright  bikes are better at climbing hills than recumbent bikes.  This means a long sustained hill of hundreds of metres of rise, not a city molehill.  There are no balance issues on a trike, and an upright rider can swing the body around to balance at very low speeds.  For a recumbent bike to climb at low speeds, it helps if the torso is fairly vertical and the shoulders free to move.  The other alternative is very good fitness and ability to climb the longest hill of a ride at about 10kph in almost any weather.

Carrying stuff: The bike performed well in carrying my gear but I didn't have a good setup for carrying important things like phone, wallet, snacks etc. close at hand.  Other recumbentists had bum bags which seemed to work well.  Need to try something like that myself.

And Thanks: to my advisers on this ride, Pete Heal, Peter Matthews, Simon Watt, principal ride companion Henry De Man and all the volunteers for the ride.  The organisation was very good and we always felt well supported.

Back in 4 years for GSR1200 2016?  You Betcha! 

PS, you can't go anywhere these days, I have been mentioned in despatches, see here


Steve Nurse

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