Over the last couple of weeks while my site has been down I have got a lot of new equipment and been busy setting it up. The weekend was a good test for it. Saturday started out with testing just the new bike – the 250km tour version of Amstel Gold Race seemed like a good idea, having wheeled the bike out of the shop two days earlier and done 13km on it!
Actually I was quite happy with how the bike felt. I did have to stop a few times to change the fit, it started out killing my hamstrings but after a bit of tweaking it got much better. The new saddle felt pretty ordinary to start with, but by the next day it had softened a bit, and it and my posterior seemed to have to some sort of compromise that worked OK. I am still considering swapping it before heading to Italy, but will decide over the next few hundred km.
Sunday was a day of following the actual race around. For those not familiar with Amstel Gold Race, it basically goes round and round in slightly offset circles through some great country with a fair few hills. This means that you can watch a lot of it by just leaping on your bike and riding around. I met one girl who said she had seen it 11 times by the end of the day – quite a bit better than my effort of six times, but either is pretty good. To see it those six times I basically just went over any road or track I found to get to the next part of the course. It is a cyclocross bike, and I made sure it knew it. I still had the bike set up from the day before, which meant no rack, but also meant slick tyres. It worked OK though, and it was great fun.
Monday was something different again, as the rack and panniers went back on the bike and I took it to Luxembourg. The plan had been to follow roads, but I was also testing my new navigation system, and it turned out that Garmin has a different understanding of the term “follow roads” to mine. So it was a bit of a rugged trip, but some great country and great fun, with the best news being that the bike worked great and felt good! A few more tweaks needed on navigation, but it will get there!