Posted: July 11, 2011 in 2011, General

First of all a big ‘Well Done!’ to Moe and Anita who came third in the MSG 10 hour pairs this weekend. It must have been the thrill of posing for those photos I took for this blog!

I have been teetering on the verge of selling my Boardman Team Carbon for some months now. The excuses were well rehearsed and had been repeated so many times that I almost believed them myself. The frame is too small, I don’t enjoy the ride, I don’t do enough on it, the frame is too small and in case you had missed it, the frame isn’t big enough! The truth I suppose is that I haven’t spent enough time on it and, as pointed out by Dan yesterday, I haven’t been riding it hard/fast enough. So what is this all about then? Well I generally get out on the road and cruise around, pretending I’m going to be doing big miles so can’t push too hard. In the event the ‘big’ ride rarely comes in at more than 65 miles, usually nearer 40 and, here’s the point, I’m not pushing the bike.

The Boardman has a race oriented geometry and while it can cruise around, it really isn’t best suited to gentler riding. As I discovered yesterday, get it into the big ring, find the right gear (not necessarily the biggest – as I used to think) and you can easily attain some respectable speeds. On several occasions yesterday, I had an ‘easy’ gear selected and ticked up to 21 or 22mph (according to the Garmin) into a headwind, without much effort. When I needed to pick up the pace the response was there and the bike shot forward – though usually not fast enough to compete with Dan and in short, the rotten thing came alive.

Now the post ride euphoria has passed I can reflect on what I have learned. Mainly, while a bike can do many things, usually there is an area in which it really excels and unless you take the trouble to find out what this is, you will end up being unhappy and will soon persuade yourself to move on to the next thing, the next frame, the next magic bullet.

As it is, it looks as though the Boardman will retain its place in my shed and I have been inspired to get it out, and get out on it, more often and do what it is designed for…riding fast. Dan has threatened me with a hilly course some time soon, that may throw a completely different complexion on it as I’ll spend the whole ride seeing him disappear up the first hill, the next hill and the next as I spin to the top breathing out of my erm… porthole!


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