If bike rides were rated in how far or how much you smiled during your ride then last night’s early evening 13 miles would be right up there .
It was a nice mild November evening so I decided to do my normal 13 mile loop and using my recently built Lee Cooper “ Bromwich ” single speed bike as until then it had only done a couple of 1.5 mile rides .
I chose a route that had a few minor lumps in as I was still not sure if the gear ratio I am running was too high, too low or just right . The first four and half miles were on fairly flat terrain and I found a steady cadence, when checked I was averaging 14.7 mph on my Garmin which I was more than happy with as that is very similar to what I normally average on a multi geared bike over the same route .
The more pleasing thing was that the bike was riding well and felt nice just getting caught by the occasional gust of side wind it still left me with a confident feeling that the bike was obeying my various inputs .
The only things that I will be changing in the near future is to replace the Campagnola rat trap pedals for a pair Shimano clip in units and to undo the bar tape and re wrap so as to do away with the pvc tape that has been used at the end nearest to the stem just to make it look tidier in my mind .
Comfort wise all feels good, the shorter stem and bar combo I swapped over after the first test ride feels a lot better. I am positioned with a view through the front axle compared to either looking behind or ahead of the front axle which happens when using a shorter or longer stem .
One of the best moments of the ride was as I reached the top of the hill in the centre of Earls Barton a pedestrian commented that he wondered what was coming along the road towards him with all those lights on , there is nothing like making sure you are seen when riding in the darker hours .
On the return side of the loop I decided to try and increase the cadence to see if my legs could cope, I noticed the Garmin was registering between 18.5 and 20 mph and my legs felt like they were keeping up which is a good sign. I only kept this up for about a mile as I soon found myself being able to freewheel and average 20+ mph on the way past “The Ridge Area” of Great Doddington which continued all the way down to the Royal Oak Public house .
It was just after that when I heard a new strange mechanical noise and started to try and look around the bike as I pedaled along and it was with great relief when I noticed a youth dragging a scooter along the footpath on the other side of the road which was making the noise I was looking for .
The final mile of the ride was just as enjoyable as the previous 12 were, it’s a bike I look forward to riding a lot more and hopefully it will still provide me with a smile per mile .