Yesterday was our MTB demo day which meant that I was spoilt for choice with all the demo bikes. I suppose the top of the list of most desirable would be the Niner Air 9 Carbon single speed with carbon fork (18lbs all up) and the Tomac Supermatic 120 carbon (23lbs), probably the most bling spec’ced bike we’ve ever had. Choices!
I also had an Argon 18 Gallium with SRM power metre to try. I feel that I am a bit of a whimp when it comes to all out power so, whilst it was in for some work, I was offered a chance to ride it to check out my wattage, or lack of it.
However, last night I was too tired and it was too late when I finally left the shop so I didn’t set up the Argon but grabbed my trusty Wilier Cento Uno, my new and super bling Northwave Extreme Tech booties and an Northwave Evolution bib short (more on those later). Forgetting that I would have all those tasty mountain bikes to try I had arranged a road ride for today and all five of the gang would be out.
Unlike mountain biking, apart from the social aspect, road riding in a group is often much quicker…. And it was. You can afford to hurt as there will always be an opportunity to tuck in a take a breath. Despite the heavy frost at 8am we had a great ride and I was able to put some effort in on some of the Strava climbs. Gels really do work too and the SIS Smart gel that I squirted down in Houghton kicked in as we stormed through Lyminster and I was able to crank it up knowing that there were only a few miles to go. I led the group down to he sea front for them to contest the Marine Garden’s sprint, I did all I could to lead them out but it seems that everyone was too tired to break any records. Hills, wind, sun, sprints and some great group riding meant we had a superb ride. Thankfully Eric was down so I would not be thinking that our ride was either tough or long. You see he’d ridden from Haywards Heath and then rode back home. There is always some one tougher…..
The Northwave Extreme Tech shoes are very good as you’d expect with so many of the World’s best riders using them. They look a bit Renaldo with the shiny one piece upper but it is really soft and is already moulding to my foot. I got cold feet but that is a good thing. They don’t look well vented but they are, that is what I wanted, cool feet in the summer. I can always use my Fahrenheit boots when it’s too cold. The sole is incredibly stiff and yet even in the most ragged sprint they were comfortably snug.
We all know that men will spend a lot of time thinking about and fiddling with their crotch but it is surprising how few will invest in protecting it. Some guys have been cycling regularly for years with only a worn out Hummvee liner to protect what for most, is there most important physical asset. If I’m going to be riding flat out for 60 miles I reckon its worth spending a few bob on a really comfortable nicely tailored pair of shorts. I’ve needed a new pair for a while and I was waiting for these Northwave shorts to arrive.
They call it Biomap which means they are perfectly shaped for when you are in a riding position on a bike. The pad is a double layer and perforated to allow air to pass through. The ultimate test was to ride them and after a hard 90k I was still able to jump on the bike to nip down to Tescos and I didn’t even feel as if I’d been out for a ride. Thumbs up!
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