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Operation Get Road Bike Back on The Road

Operation Get Road Bike Back on The Road

Fiona Russell, Planet X rider and outdoors writer, is getting back on slick tyres after a winter spent in the mud of the 'cross scene. As well as competing in the World Triathlon Age Group Championship, she runs FionaOutdoors, writing on bikes and outdoor related pursuits.

The past few days have been kind of warm enough and kind of dry enough to think about taking the Planet X “Pink Panther” Pro Carbon road bike for a spin. For most of the winter I have been pottering about on my Planet X XLS Cyclo Cross bike. But suddenly I am aware of a fast-approaching triathlon training camp in the Canaries and that means I’ll need to be a bit more road bike fit.

So, I did that thing that almost every cyclist probably does at the start of the cycling season (whenever their off-bike season ends and the on-bike season begins): I severely under-estimated the time it would take to go from sitting on the sofa to out on the bike.

For some reason I always under-estimate this timescale.

The process of going from sofa to out on my bike

1. Make firm decision to go for a bike ride
2. Drink tea and eat chocolate digestives (or similar)
3. Hunt for favourite cycle shorts and winter bibbed tights
4. Become frustrated after looking in all obvious places for shorts and tights
5. Suddenly remember the last outing and look under “clothes chair” in bedroom and find shorts and tights
6. Sniff dubiously – and decide they are okay and pull them on
7. Repeat points 3 to 4 for various other cycling items, including jersey, gloves, cycle shoes and over shoes
8. Discover items scattered mysteriously around the house and car boot
9. Find helmet exactly where I left it and smile smugly to self
10. Look for windproof jacket – and give up after 15 minutes
11. Curse partner, child, cat and dog for “losing” these items, but all the time knowing it’s my own sloppiness
12. Get bike from shed/garage/wall hanger in back bedroom
13. Give it a quick glance, congratulating self on excellent clean up after last bike ride three months ago
14. Check tyres. Seem surprisingly well inflated
15. Go through steps 3 to 4 in bid to find water bottle
16. Finally find it in car boot
17. Spend several minutes scratching head and wondering why are all my bike products in my car boot
18. Discover half used energy bar in back of over-jersey
19. Decide a three-month old half eaten energy bar is better than none
20. Have another cup of tea and digestive biscuit (hunting out cycle kit is tiring!)
21. Look outside at threatening rain clouds and dimming light (realise that it’s taken 90 minutes to go from step 1 to 20)
22. Quickly spray lube on to chain and front mech
23. Jump on bike and head out on the road
24. Suddenly feel the hardness of the road beneath my tyres
25. Turn back
26. Repeat steps 3 to 4 for track pump
27. Finally find pump at back of understairs cupboard beneath box of Christmas decorations (at least it wasn’t in the car boot!)
28. Pump up tyres (they were only at 60PSI)
29. Ignore blacking rain clouds and low light
30. Race off on one-hour cycle route

Finally cycling after three months off road bike

31. Enjoy first 10 minutes
32. Realise that the next 50 minutes will be plagued by sore neck, sore butt and tired calf and thigh muscles
33. Get rain soaking 20 minutes later
34. Remember that winter gloves are not waterproof
35. Settle into the cycling rhythm but wonder why I am going so slowly
36. Turn into headwind and cycle even slower
37. Finally turn again and relish the tailwind pushes me back home
38. See stranded cyclist on pavement and stop to offer assistance
39. Secretly thankful that he doesn’t want any help (because I know that my spares and tyre levers etc are most likely in the car boot and not in my strangely empty saddle bag)
40. Push on and make it home before nightfall
41. Staggered that bike ride took 10 mins longer than three months ago
42. Remember to wash bike
43. Feel virtuous
44. Shower and swear I will sort all bike kit into bike kit cupboard
45. Don’t bother; have tea and biscuits; fall asleep

Please tell me I am not the only one who is so disorganised with cycling kit.

27 January 2014

Planet X Road Bikes


  • Paul A
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    ha ha ha! no, you are not alone!very reminiscent of my "planned" outings back on the road..

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