Sunday, 31 May 2015

A bike built for distance

My recent day out riding the Mosstrooper Audax gave me further opportunity to play with my Shand Stoater.

With a potential ride time of around 14 hours and my usual desire to be as self sufficient as possible I added a few bags to trial working toward what I think will be a lightweight multi day set up.

The Shand was always built with distance in mind so even in its most basic of guises without luggage it is still very comfortable and importantly feels very efficient.  The Ultegra CX gearing and hydraulic brakes go some way to contributing to the overall feel of the bike with the Genetic bars and Brooks saddle affording comfortable contact points.

In long day mode I added a small Alpkit frame bag which held my True Mountain waterproof and spare socks and gloves.  Then for food a top tube bag and stem mounted bag were added for ease of accessing food on the fly.

The Mack Workshop tool roll mounted under my Brooks Cambium C15 held the tools and spares required for a long day.

Unsure how long the day may take I added my Supernova front and rear dynamo lights to ensure I wouldn't be caught out by darkness.

The Garmin out front on the bars ensured that I was always on course and the switch to Halo Twin Rail Tyres in 29c width made my progress feel always quick.

At the end of the day on reflection I had rarely used the frame bag and top tube bag and to some degree they had been middle obstructive in an efficient pedalling stroke so the next course of action is to trial load at opposing ends of the bike with a bar bag and larger saddle bag with a view that for multi days then some micro panniers can be added to the front of the bike for sleeping and cooking gear.

The Mosstrooper ... a 300km audax sampling the borders of England and Scotland

After Rovaniemi 150 so early in the year I hadn't planned out what the rest of the year may hold for my cycling so in an effort to get some longer miles on some new roads I went to the Audax UK website for inspiration.

Luckily in a Paris-Brest-Paris year there are plenty longer rides to choose from and even luckier Northern Audax were running a series of PBP qualifying distances.

The Mosstrooper is a 300km ride starting and finishing in Ponteland only 15km from my home so seemed an ideal day out to meet new people and at least 100km of the ride would be on roads unfamiliar to me.

Shand packed up the night before an early start saw me riding out to the sign on.

mosstrooper from Paul errington on Vimeo.

The riding was excellent ... the riders I met both friendly and as always interesting people.  An Audax is an excellent opportunity for socialising and exploring and I aim to continue to expand my Audax experience.