Fred Whitton Training Ride


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Now the Fred Whitton Challenge is CRAZY ….

110 miles with over 3200m of climbing …. The Fred Whitton Challenge is a gruelling 112 mile sportive challenge ride for charity around the Lake District, run in memory of Fred Whitton. From 2014 it starts & finishes in Grasmere, and the route includes the climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes. MORE HERE

So someone from the meetup group is doing the ride and wanted to do a ride where she could practise some hills ….. so Sunday morning is cold and sunny and COLD …. did I mention cold.

We head off and temp on the Garmin already says -3.4C ouch – my face is feeling battered from the cold. The plan is to do the tak-ma-doon and Crow road loop

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but as we get to the Tak we encounter the climb and a lot of Black Ice on the road. Downhill could be deadly … so we climb to the top grab a breather then decide to descend to the golf course where the black ice patches thin out … and ascend again. At the top of the tak we could look down for miles at the clearing mist and freezing fog.

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then on for a slow descent to the north side a river ford where one person took a tumble on ice at the edge, stood up and fell over again …

Down the long bumpy carron valley road to the Crow – again a puncture halted proceedings ….

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i got to admire the road (still bumpy)

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and also find the puncture that Andy couldn’t and look at my nice clean tights … IMG_8872.JPG

Bike filthy man filthy ….

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then the weather is so cold that the Edge 510 dies closer to home …. legs tired ….good spring ride.

 

Ti Ti ti ti ti ti Ti TIIIII tanium


REBLOG from road.cc and a subject close to my heart …. no mention of my Lynskey lovelies and their great lifetime warranty. DeKerf or Moots but you can’t get everything ….

Steel is a really nice material for making a bicycle frame, but for many cyclists, titanium is an even nicer choice. Once a very rare and exotic material and a luxury choice for those rich enough to afford it – titanium is notoriously difficult to work with – the cost of a titanium frame has dropped significantly in recent years, to the point where it could almost be deemed, if not affordable, at least a viable alternative to top-end steel and carbon fibre frames.

Titanium is desirable because it’s lighter than steel and stronger than steel and aluminium, and its high fatigue strength means a titanium frame should last forever. It’s those traits that have ensured it has continued to be a popular choice with cyclists wanting a fine riding frame that will last the length of time. Plus of course there is the fabled ride quality, which is reminiscent of a steel frame with plenty of spring and high comfort, but it can be used to build a stiff race bike depending on tubing diameters and profiles.

Enigma Evade - seat tube

Most titanium frames are made from 3AL-2.5V tubing (where titanium is alloyed with 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium) and 6Al-4V, a harder grade of titanium, is seen on much more expensive framesets. Because it’s hard and expensive to make 6Al-4V into seamless tubes, it’s often used for machined parts like dropouts and head tubes.

The unique colour of titanium ensures it stands out against most other road bikes. Various finishes are available, the tubes can be brushed or bead-blasted and can even be painted if you prefer, but many people buying titanium do so partly for its unique and timeless appearance.  A titanium frame will still look good in 10 years time.

Titanium has been used to make bicycle frames for about 30 years. In the early days, there was only a handful of brands specialising in titanium, and US brands like Seven, Serotta, Litespeed and Merlin built an enviable reputation for their expertise with the material. Titanium frames are now commonly manufactured in the Far East which has led to prices coming down quite a lot, into the realms of affordability for many.

Here are ten titanium road bikes we’ve reviewed in recent years.

On-One Pickenflick £699.99 

On One Pickenflick

Last year’s road.cc Cyclocross and Adventure Bike of the Year winner, the On-One Pickenflick, is one of the most affordable 3Al / 2.5V  titanium frames we’ve ever come across. A frame costs a frankly astonishing £699. The Pickenflick is a cyclocross bike at heart, but On-One sells it as a bike for adventure riding and sportive use. It has the versatility that a lot of UK cyclists look for, with geometry designed for comfort and features including disc brakes, space for wide tyres and eyelets for mudguards and racks.

J.Laverack J.ACK £1,500 – frameset

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One of the newest bicycle brands to launch this year is the J.Laverack, with the debut J.ACK, a titanium frame with disc brakes and internal cable routing. The J.ACK has been designed to conquer any road or off-road surface, with space for wide tyres (up to 33mm) and plenty of clearance around them for mudguards. All cables are neatly routed inside the frame to keep the lines clean.

Reilly T325 £1,599 – frameset

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The new brand of Mark Reilly, formerly of Enigma Bicycle Works, the T325 is the most affordable in the range. His 30 years of frame building experience shows in the frame, which is lovingly designed with neat details such as an externally reinforced head tube, oversized main tubes, space for 28mm tyres and internal routing for a Di2 groupset. At a claimed 1,275g, the frame is a worthy alternative to a carbon fibre race bike.

Kinesis GF_Ti Disc £1,799 -frameset

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The Kinesis Gran Fondo is now available with disc brakes, a popular upgrade to a popular bike. We gave the original a glowing review back in 2013, and with disc brakes proving popular on endurance bikes, the update has been a success. With wider tyres getting ever more popular, the new bike will accommodate 32mm tyres without mudguards, or 30mm with mudguards. The cold drawn seamless titanium tubeset has internal cable routing and it’s modular for mechanical and electronic groupsets.

Van Nicholas Chinook £2,458

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Van Nicholas is a Dutch company that specialises in titanium, and the Chinook is a thoroughly traditional titanium race bike. While modern titanium road bikes are all about oversized tube diameters and fat head tubes, the Chinook is all skinny tubes and slender stays. But it still offers a buttery smooth ride with delicate handling and really wins you over. A very refined ride.

Mosaic RT-1 £2,550

Mosaic RT-1 Riding

US titanium frame builder Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles hail from Boulder in Colorado, founded by Aaron Barcheck who used to work for Dean Titanium Bicycles. That expertise shows in the RT-1, a finale built titanium frame with custom butted size-specific 3Al/2.5V titanium tubes with a full bespoke option available. The ride performance is, as you’d hope, excellent, with a pleasingly taut characteristic that likes to go fast, all of the time.

Sabbath September Disc £2,799

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The Sabbath September Disc  is an audax bike that’s right at home on the daily commute, club ride or sportive, with disc brakes and the titanium frame joined up front by a carbon fibre fork. The September Disc was one of the first breed of new versatile titanium road bikes designed with disc brakes, and the 3Al/2.5V takes up to 35mm tyres with mudguards. If you want one bike to do just about everything, with the exception of racing, the Sabbath is a fine choice.

Pretorius Outeniqua Disc frameset £2,299 frame, fork and Chris King headset

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Disc brakes have been popping up on titanium road bikes with increasing frequency, and London-based Pretorius builds the Outeniqua Disc frameset from predominantly oversized tubing to provide the stiffness for what is to all intents and purposes a race bike, with the stopping power of disc brakes. The geometry keeps the handling fast and nimble, yet the bike can be equipped with mudguards, though tyre width is restricted to 23mm with them fitted. Without mudguards, the frame takes 25mm tyres.

Baldwin Titanium £2,950

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East Yorkshire-based Baldwin Titanium arrived in 2012 with the aim to provide custom built titanium frames for those cyclists that just don’t want an off-the-shelf bike. Baldwin will measure you up and produce a frame to meet your exact riding requirements, whether that’s racing, touring or cyclocross, or anything in between. You pay handsomely for such custom service though, with a custom frame coming in at £2,950, and a double butted version costing £3,150, but there are few titanium frame builders based in the UK if that’s the route you want to go down.

Enigma Evade Ti £5,000

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The latest bike from Enigma is the beautiful Evade, which combines oversized main tubes with a 44mm head tube to offer a high level of stiffness. That ensures it offers a rewarding ride for those cyclists that like to press hard on the pedals. It’s rare to see a painted titanium frame but Enigma has done a wonderful job here, marrying the decals to the finishing components and wheels.

 

 

Steel yourself – metal back in fashion for road bikes


I myself am a ti fan but modern steel especially stainless steel (stronger pound for pound than titanium and also has no rust issue) is coming back onto the road scene. People realising that Carbon – especially cheap carbon bikes are a flawed concept and a waste of money.

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While aluminium enjoyed a brief period as the material of choice for professional road racing bicycles, the same can’t be said for steel; it was the dominant frame material during much of the 20th century for bicycles of all descriptions.

In the world of professional cycle racing, each of Eddy Merckx’s 525 victories was aboard a steel bike, but the last time steel won the Tour de France was in 1994. That was Miguel Indurain, who won his fourth of five Tour titles on a Pinarello bike (but it was reportedly actually built by Dario Pegoretti).

– Is there still a place for steel road bikes in the age of carbon fibre?

You might well think the advance of carbon fibre would have rendered steel obsolete, but that has never happened. Steel is (and always will be) a really good material for building bicycles frames, because it’s light, stiff and durable – your local blacksmith will be able to repair a broken steel frame… just try getting a broken carbon frame easily repaired.

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Some cyclists refuse to ride anything but a steel bike, so enchanting is its ride quality. It’s not as widely available as it used to be though, but that is changing as it has become more fashionable in the past few years, with the new wave of bespoke framebuilders choosing to work with steel.

If you want a custom bike, steel is the most versatile and affordable option. Bespoke carbon fibre will cost you a fortune and good luck trying to get a bespoke aluminium frame, leaving steel to become the main choice in the growing bespoke framebuilding sector. Aluminium has now become so cheap to manufacture that you can now get it on bikes costing from as little as £165. 

Steel tube manufacturers, such as Columbus and Reynolds, thankfully haven’t given up on steel, and in fact the opposite has happened, they’ve been investing in new tubesets. The latest steel tubesets, which include the latest stainless offerings, are now lighter and stiffer than anything Eddy Merckx used to race, and a viable alternative to carbon and aluminium.

– Custom built frames: The choice, from steel to carbon

Here then are 15 of the best steel road bikes.

Cinelli XCr Stainless Steel (link is external)£3,128.99 (frameset)

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When it comes to iconic bicycle brands, there are few quite as iconic as Cinelli. This is the Italian company’s XCr Stainless Steel frameset, which it describes as the “jewel in its range”. We can see why. Handmade in Italy, the TIG-welded triple butted XCr wonderfulness with laser etched graphics has a claimed frame weight of just 1,420g.

Condor Fratello Disc(link is external) £699 (frameset)

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London’s Condor Cycles is both a bike shop and bike brand, and its Fratello touring bike is its most popular model, showing that there is a lot of demand for a sensible steel frame. The frame has been carefully refined over the years, and the latest update is a move to Columbus Spirit tubing with some custom shaping taking inspiration from Condor’s racier Super Acciaio. And it’s available with disc brakes now as well, making it the ideal winter training, Audax or commuting bike.

Review: Condor Fratello Disc

Donhou DSS1 Signature Steel(link is external) road bike £4,385

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Tom Donhou is one of the new wave of young framebuilders specialising in steel and his bikes have been well received, with a particular focus on disc brakes that led to the development of the DSS1 Signature Steel. It’s an off-the-shelf bike with a frame made from Reynolds 853 and an Enve carbon fibre fork and tapered head tube.

Review: Donhou DSS1 Signature Steel 

Enigma Elite HSS £1,499(link is external) (frameset)

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The modern steel tubesets are a long way from the skinny steel tubes of yesteryear, and the Enigma Elite HSS is a fine example of how good a contemporary steel bike can be. It uses the latest Columbus Spirit HSS triple butted tubeset with a beefy 44mm diameter head tube and combined with a carbon fibre fork, it displays the sort of ride that would make you question all other frame materials.

Review: Enigma Elite HSS 

Genesis Bikes Volare(link is external) 10 £999

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Even though Brit brand Genesis Bikes now does carbon fibre, it has partly founded its reputation on fine steel bikes. It’s also responsible for raising awareness of race-ready steel bikes, with its Madison-Genesis team racing the Volare at top level races over the past couple of years. By working with Reynolds, Genesis developed new tubesets to meet the required stiffness and weight of a race frame.

It now produces a range of Volare road bikes and it has ensured that a race-ready steel bike can once again be affordable, with the entry-level 10 costing £999. It uses a Taiwanese made double butted steel tubeset with a 44mm head tube, carbon fork and Shimano Tiagra groupset.

Review: (link is external)Volare(link is external) 40

Holdsworth Professional Italia(link is external) £999.99 (frameset)

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Britain used to boast many local independent framebuilders, and Holdsworth used to be one of the most famous names in British cycling and framebuilding. The shop closed down in 2013, after 86 years, but the brand has been resurrected by Planet X and it now offers a range of heritage frames. The Professional Italia is the top-end model and features Columbus SL main tubes and polished XCr stainless steel dropouts.

Independent Fabrication Club Racer(link is external) £1,750 (frameset)

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It’s not just British frame builders that are bringing steel back into fashion, there has been a similar increase in popularity over in the US too. Long-running brand IF Bikes, started in 1995 out of the ashes of mountain bike company Fat City Cycles, offers a range of steel road bikes including this Club Racer, a traditional road bike with all the fitments for light touring, making it an ideal winter bike, commuter or Audax choice. It’s available with disc brakes as well.

Kona Roadhouse(link is external) £1,699

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The Roadhouse is Canadian company Kona’s classic steel road bike, with a Reynolds 853 tubeset and thru-axles front and rear – making it one of the only steel road bikes with thru-axles we’ve ever come across. A tapered head tube and carbon fibre fork beefs up front-end stiffness and it’s bang up to date with flat mount disc tabs and, of course, it has mudguard mounts.

Buy it here(link is external)

Mason Resolution(link is external) £1,459 (frameset)

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New Brit brand Mason debuted with two frames, and chose Columbus Spirit and Life tubes for its Resolution. There’s nothing much traditional about this bike, with internal cable routing, disc brakes and space for 28mm tyres and mudguards.

Review: Mason Resolution

Mercian Cycles Professional 853 Pro Team(link is external) £1,020

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Started in 1946, Mercian Cycles is another long-running UK steel framebuilding business that is thriving today, using traditional framebuilding methods and building each frame to order and made-to-measure. Choosing a frame involves using the company’s online frame builder tool, which lets you chose a model, tubeset, geometry and other details you want on your future bike. The Professional (pictured) has been selling since the 1960s, when it used to be a flagship racing bike. It can be built from a choice of Reynolds tubesets including 631, 725 and 853.

Ritchey Ascent £975(link is external) (frame only)

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Legendary bike brand Ritchey Cycles has introduced the new Ascent for 2016. A little bit of history. The Ascent used to be a mountain bike back in the 1980s, but the name has been reintroduced as a do-everything steel touring bike, with space for big tyres and eyelets for all racks and mudguards, perfectly suited to the latest gravel bikes trend. It’s a versatile bike, including the option of taking a 650b wheel with 2.1in tyre (a bit like Cannondale’s Slate).

Ritte Cycles Snob(link is external) £1,999

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We were impressed with the carbon fibre Ace from US bicycle brand Ritte Cycles, and the company also produces frames in metal, including the Snob. It’s constructed from stainless steel tubing with oversized profile tubes and a tapered head tube, and compact geometry. You can choose between a regular rim brake or disc brake version.

Rourke Framesets (link is external)– Reynolds 631 frameset from £995

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Rourke Framesets offer a wide choice of steel bikes with a selection of tubesets available to meet different budgets. The custom frame business is headed up by Brian Rourke who has 25-years of road racing experience, and uses this expertise to provide a full bike fit service, to ensure your new bike fits perfectly. Rourke offers framesets in a choice of flavours, from road race to Audax, and complete bikes built to your exact specification.

Shand Cycles Stoater (link is external)£1,395 (frameset)

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Shand Cycles is a Scottish frame manufacturer and produces a number of different models, but the Stoater is its do-everything frame designed to be as versatile as you need it to be. Like the modern crop of cyclocross/gravel bikes, the Stoater has space for wide tyres and the frame is bristling with mudguard and rack mounts.

Review: Shand Stoater

Stoemper Taylor(link is external) £1,899 (frameset)

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Portland-based Stoemper takes a lot of inspiration from Belgium for its Stoemper Taylor, a frame made from TIG welded True Temper S3 tubing and a classic road bike geometry. The tubes are oversized but not by the same measure as some more modern steel bikes, with a non-tapered head tube providing a classic appearance.

Dream Bike: Electric Mexican Blanket


REBLOG RADAVIST

RM_tyler_TLD_Custom-3Tyler’s Electric Mexican Blanket Sunday Driver Chromag Road Bike
Photos by Ross Measures, Words by Tyler Morland

The idea was simple: Create a “Sunday Driver” of sorts. I took inspiration from a bike I was currently riding and blended it with that taste I have for old Ritcheys. My dad has this old Ritchey Timberline comp and I always loved the Fillet brazing look and feel. So Ian Ritz at Chromag Bikes and I started the conversation and we talked about every detail. We used raw material that Chromag had in stock and used something that they have refined for a couple of years, like the drop outs and generally put it through the process that all Chromag frames go through. The head tube was machined in shop and follows the taper of the fork. A real pain in the ass to make. Then, we chose curved seat stays to give it that plush steel ride.

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He had no idea it would be this long of a process and neither did I. We roped in Chris Dekerf for the internal routing and brazing. North Shore Billet for the machined parts and sent the completed frame in for a crazy paint job at Troy Lee Designs. I visit TLD once a year for various reasons and those guys are just a bunch of beauties. I’ve been part of the family over at TLD FOREVER and this was a great conversation with a legendary painter… Why not electric Mexican blanket? 

The build kit was a no-brainer. That just goes with the territory – All SRAM everything. I still can’t decide if I go ZIPP 303 or 202.

The 5 ferry route – what is all the fuss


Friday morning, I look at the forecast and it looks good for the weekend. I decide to do the 5 ferry challenge and take the touring bike with panniers and spare just in case the scottish fine weather also includes hail, snow, sleet and pouring rain as it is want to do.

Friday evening and a few too many whiskies whilst listening to my new valve amps …. so Saturday 7am blurry eyed I wake and zip into town to get tickets and the 8:30am train from Glasgow to Ardrossan. There is comic con in town so lots of weird and wonderful kids (and kidults) in costume are everywhere.5 ferries bike ride-2 5 ferries bike ride-3

long weekend and on this Saturday morning everyone with a bicycle is getting squeezed onto the Ardrossan ferry for the sailing to the island of Arran. I have done trips to Arran many times and have never seen anything like it. There is carbon and ti bike porn everywhere, skinny tyres and portly riders in a long snake pushing onto the vessel.

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Breakfast on the ferry is a custom so despite only cycling 5km so far – I have to partake.

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Up the east coast – its 19 miles to Loch Ranza but its slow going as I stop about 5 times to take pics – letting the portly 3 musketeers overtake me 3 times and then i catch up again.

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The road throws in one fairly stiff climb before the descent into Lochranza. Quick photo and i just make ferry number two.

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We climb and then drop down to work our way up the coast road to Tarbert. It has a busy harbour fringed by tourist shops, cafes and bars we miss this ferry by 3 minutes and see the ferry pulling out so I head back with 2 other roadies to a cafe for soup …

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The ferry takes us across Loch Fyne to Portavadie and another climb. There are stiff little grunting climbs, but the views are wonderful.

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Over on ferry number four to the small island of Bute for quite an easy section of riding. This is a good thing as my legs are shot. In Rothesay I admire the loos as I have been here a few times on the yacht … but I don’t need to pay to spend the proverbial penny this time …

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Boat then train home – a very quick steak then out to the pub with a pal and a perfect excuse for 4 pints

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Dream Bike: Foundry (another lovely ti bride with tan lines)


from Radavist

These days, I feel like road bikes aren’t getting the love they deserve. Everything’s either “all-road” or cyclocross spefic, with disc brakes and massive tire clearances but there’s something to be said about a solid, race-inspired road bike with clearance for a 28mm tire.

That’s where Foundry’s new Chilkoot titanium road bike comes into play. Built using Foundry’s proprietary 3Al/2.5V titanium double-butted tubing the Chilkoot is both a road racing machine and a bike that will last for years on end.

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Because a lot of people prefer Di2 compatibility on their bikes, Foundry added hidden ports to the frame and a clean, removable cable stop to the downtube. A 1 1/4” tapered ENVE road fork adds a bit of front-end stiffness for quick accelerations and the english threaded BB will ensure a creak-free ride.

Personally, I’m impressed with the Chilkoot. Road bikes are fun and this one in particular looks like a lot of thought went into addressing a much-needed market. $4,695.00 for the complete as shown with Ultegra 6800 or as a frame for $2495.

See more photos below and more at Foundry.

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FM4428

road.cc – what cyclists hate


Here are 18 things that we (thats road.cc) reckon every cyclist hates. Do you agree?

my comments in red

1. for me Cars skimming you going past – or twats leaning out to scream shout or scare.

1 Clicking down a gear, only to find out you’re already in the lowest gear
That’s bad. Really bad. Really?

2 Thinking you’re at the top of the hill, then discovering you aren’t
What, there’s more? How much more? Oh no! Not great but not hate stuff

3 The bonk
Blowing up, the hunger knock, hitting the wall… When you’re out of energy, it feels like the end of the world. the shivers the food fantasy – not nice

4 Creaks and squeaks

Is it the headset? The bottom bracket? The saddle rails? Your knees?

You can sometimes go around the whole bike systematically eliminating each individual component as the source of a mysterious noise until there are none left. And it still bloody creaks. Yes

5 Red traffic lights
They’re especially bad if they’re at the bottom of a hill. All that momentum gone in a flash. Grrr!

6 Cold fingers
Still, it’s not as bad as the feeling of cold fingers coming back to life. That’s pure evil.

7 Punctures
It goes without saying, really.

8 You attack as hard as you can, check over your shoulder to see how much of a gap you have… and they’re still on your wheel
Bollocks.

9 Forgetting you’re clipped in until it’s too late
Don’t even try to make out it didn’t hurt. You’re fooling no one.

10 Your light goes out
You knew you should have recharged it, didn’t you?

11 It starts to rain the moment you put your kit on
You had nice weather all morning too. Also, while we’re at it: needing to use the toilet as soon as you put your bibs on. rain nah toilet yes

12 Putting on wet kit for your commute home
It rained on the way into work this morning and the seatpad is still soggy. Urgh!

13 Unacknowledged waves
You wave or nod at a cyclist coming the other way and they don’t do it back. Rude!

14 Tyre sidewall going
The first you feel is a strange knocking coming from either the fork or the chainstays. If you’re really unlucky, within a few seconds you’ll hear a sound like a gunshot. That’s the inner tube exploding. Now you’re in trouble. I had this quite true

15 Getting dropped
Ooh, that hurts!

16 Running out of drink

This usually happens when you’re in the back of beyond, rarely when there’s a service station just around the corner.

17 The turbo

A lot of us do it, but only as a means to an end. You put up with the short-term pain for the long-term fitness gains. But you know there are some lunatics who actually enjoy it? Dont mind

18 Getting caught in the rain

This usually happens just after you’ve cleaned your bike, when you’re wearing a white jersey, or on the day you forgot your waterproof.. Man up