Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bike Woes

The countdown AP on my  laptop tells me I have 54 days before I leave NZ and head to Banff, the start point for the Tour Divide bike race.
I've undertaken a number of events as part of my preparation and many more just for fun. I have 3 x 1100k brevets completed, a smaller seriously hilly Overnighter being le petite brevet held on Christchurch's banks peninsula and a number of k's training in all conditions.
All of these things with barely a flat tyre to contend with... Until now....

Last weekend during the Naseby 12hr festival of mud - well this year was muddy anyway - I managed to puncture and then destroy my chain and bottom derailleur pulley on my Epic. That was bad but the conditions were such that I was not alone in having problems. Switching bikes and going to my rohloff/belt drive combo saved the day and would still be rolling on a week later if required. Missed the full suspension of my epic however but that is to be expected...

This weeekend I went for a little group ride over the range to Bannockburn. A few nice climbs make for a seriously good workout. The coffee at the turnaround was great and especially welcome as the temperature was in the single digits all day with quite a stiff breeze to contend with on the way home.

All is good after a coffee

Rolling up from Bannockburn - Warmer out of the wind

It's very rocky where I live and this can make for some fast bone jarring descents. This ride is on a steep and rocky road all the way so imagine my surprise when I misjudged a small leap over an equally small culvert draining water off the road and flattened my rear rim in the process! I must admit - it did hit hard! This lead to a slower ride home where I had to stop at one point and apply pressure to the offending area as it was binding on the frame. Jumping up and down on it laid over a rock wasn't pretty but it got me home!

Big wheels keep on rolling - just...

With two bikes currently out of action awaiting parts I can't help but consider how fortunate I will be if I complete the Tour Divide without similar mishap. I think I am on the right track with my choice of low maintenance and quality components. The drive-train and rigid forks being chosen with durability in mind... Ollie Whalley completed the Divide in 2012 with the exact same setup so it is proven - at least in the right hands...
Still, trying to keep the weight down I have been running Stans Crests as Ollie did.. They are a light choice and hopefully they will not prove to be my achilles heel. Time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rob
    good to see your all most there.
    i wouldn't bee too bothered about breaking gear, youve got a tried and tested combination, and the main one is if you have an issue is being able to do a quick fix to pedal your way to the next bit of civilisation or bike shop.
    Crests are more than strong enough for tdr, I think tyre choice / problems is one of the biggest issues people will face on the divide and having the parts to mend these.