Tag Archives: Canyon

Ibiza

This is the first time for me. Clubland, Ibiza. Despite DJing when younger I’d never been here. I wasn’t that much of a hardcore clubber I suppose. The murky drug side of it all put me off too. I have never really been one for all that stuff.

Now, at the age of 32, and with TPO’s 30th in a matter of days, we decided to come for a bit of a mixed holiday. The Balearics for me is something I associate with cycling training camps. Majorca has some of the best roads and a climate that is favourable makes it precisely the type of place cyclists like to spend a week or two at the start of the season. A bit of searching on the Weight Weenies forum, and I was told that there was enough riding on Ibiza to fill a week too. In that time you could pretty much cover the whole island. I packed the bike into the (new) bike box, and we headed to the sun for 5days beech, cycling (me), running (TPO) and relaxing in the sun. This was followed by two nights in Ibiza town doing the party thing. Fortunately, I am not at work again until Monday 2nd, so I will have some time to recover.

Well lets just put it this way – the roads are awesome. Too twisty to be fast in a car, so locals seem to stay below 80km/h most of the time. I have ridden along country lanes, with the sun shimmering on irrigation tanks, a perfect mirror of the brilliant blue cloudless sky. I have seen farmers rebuilding a dry stone wall. I have seen the coastline, beaches, boats. I have seen hairpin bends, and the type of twisty yet smooth road descents where you go as fast as you dare, the tyres and your faith in your brakes being the only limiting factor – the mountains in the north really did give me what I was looking for, as the pass climbs from sea level to 270m in a very short distance. It was a case of selecting the granny gear and grinding. All of your effort going into climbing in autopilot mode, while the sweat of the 35degree heat glares down on you. I drank litres of fluid. Perhaps 4 – 5 litres a day. I got up at 7:00 to avoid the heat. I once more fell in love with my bike again.

It is true to say that traveling with a bike is a pain. You need to hire a car or get a larger taxi – you need to pack it properly and cross your fingers that nothing will happen. You need to be prepared for it to be destroyed. I ride a lot of bikes though, and honestly, there is nothing like riding your own one on the sort of roads you kid yourself you ride. The sort of roads which are the image in your head. The type of roads where Armstrong and Ullrich would have duelled. Yes, it isn’t the Alps or the Pyrenees and they certainly are on my list, but please don’t dismiss Ibiza if you have a week to spare. Particularly if your own pretty one is with you. The parties in the evening, riding in the morning and sleep all day is a sweet way to pass the time.

Just a word of warning. Do not burn the candles at both ends too much. It could be messy.

My rides were as follows:
45.3km 422m climbed
62.2km 802m climbed
81.4km 971m climbed
28.0km 245m climbed
85.2km 1072m climbed

So 302km with 3512m climbed. Not too bad, given this is a holiday and I went clubbing all night between the first and second ride!

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Aside

It was a busy day on Sunday. In the morning I got up early (at least, early for a Sunday) and hopped on the bike to ride to a pub car park to meet with other people at 9:30am. Since … Continue reading

Fantastic

There are few things better in life than stretching your legs, taking in nature and getting exercise and fresh air after a hard day in the office.

Last week I had great news. “Worksrider, we have bought a test bike for everyone to use. Size 56, will that work for you?”

Up until now, people pretty much used their own bikes, swapping out components, and testing them, then swapping back. This isn’t as great as it sounds. Bikes aren’t generally designed to constantly have parts swapped on them. It causes wear and tear that the component manufacturer didn’t take into account when designing the product in the first place. Think, for example, about your seat post, and for specifically about the saddle clamp. How many times do you fit the saddle to the bike in its lifetime? Once, twice, maybe four times perhaps? Well, if you are testing saddles, you will do that perhaps in a day. Things then break (I have broken a perfectly good saddle clamp playing this game), and who then pays for that? So the test bike is good news – especially when your road bike is perhaps say in England when the office is in Germany!

And the bike itself isn’t too shabby either. Smaller than my carbon Canyon which is a 58, this alloy version felt a little different on account of the different size. It is, of course, a little heavier, but my impression of it was that the frame in alloy (Ultimate AL) isn’t a significant downgrade, unless being an absolute weight weenie is your thing (and I must admit, at times, I have been known to be one). And even then, the weight disadvantage isn’t massive – I am sure you can hit the 6.8 very easily, as out of the box it is 7.2 according to the website. Taking into account the replacement cost, if I were racing and paying for it myself, I know which I would purchase. Particularly that I think the complete bike costs as much as my frame and forks. Jesus…..

It was my first time riding SRAM too – and I found the double tap system (I know, been around now for YEARS) to be fairly intuitive. This was SRAM Force, so the second tier group, and everything functioned nicely. The brakes however, lacked the feel (and to my mind power) of my Super Record ones, but I am probably being unfair, because that isn’t comparing apples with apples, and the pads / rims are new. I think I was the first person to ride the bike properly, so everything needs to bed in.

There were other parts I was testing on the bike, but I can’t talk about those! They passed though, if it helps!

Back to the ride though… My god, I have missed it around here. There are good long climbs, steady, twisting things, with good road surfaces. It is wonderful.

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I ride too

My first ride in about a week, and in the meantime I’d been away on holiday. I need to lose the couple of kilos I managed to pile on in just four days in Marrakech – too many tagines!

Anyway, the sun was out and although it was a little cool, it was ideal for a ride from Manchester (where I now live) into the Peak District. I have a plan with this – riding through the city is horrid, so I will do it on the way out, but return by train, keeping my legs for the enjoyable part in nice scenery. – And what scenery too. 65km later I am on the train heading home. I fly to Germany tonight so refuelling, packing and spending some time with the Pretty One is on the cards before I sample Germanwings to Cologne.

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