Test Ride

Back in the early planning stages I saw myself doing countless test trips on ‘the beast’ to fine tune the set up etc, but due a fairly hectic summer it’s ended up just being the one…

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Last weekend myself and an old uni pal headed down to the New Forest, land of the free roaming ponies, for a ‘fully loaded’ test run. On what was surely the hottest weekend of the year so far, a sweaty 70 miles each way proved to be a fair old test. Bike and gear all performed flawlessly, the rider not so. Fueled by ale from the previous nights pub excursion, the return leg was certainly the less pleasant of the two, with dehydration taking its toll from the outset. First key lesson from the test run: ale is not a substitute for water.

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Dehydration aside the trip served as a pretty blunt reminder of how much harder riding a fully loaded expedition bike is to a carbon race machine.  Even the slightest of uphill gradients quickly turn into an epic struggle of man vs gravity. It’s been a fair while since I last did any touring, and never with this kind of weight, so this was a well needed reality check. Nevertheless it was a good laugh and we made it back home in one piece ready for a roast dinner (thank you Bethan) and Tour de France highlights, boom.

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