I managed to get out this morning for a short ride on my cyclocross bike - it’s been a while since I’ve ridden it as I’m using my Dawes touring bike for commuting and I haven’t had the chance to get out at the weekend for a while due to cadet activities.
So whilst the weather was good this morning, I managed to get out and about before the rain that was forecast for the afternoon. Whilst I didn’t manage to avoid the rain completely, it was a mainly dry ride and I’m glad I managed to get out.
As I said, took Atlas out for a spin. I’ve recently purchased a few items for it that are covered in a separate blog post and I was looking to try them out.
I also decided that I wanted to get out and about on some unpaved routes as well to put the cyclo-cross part of the bike to the test. Whilst it did mean some road riding as well, I was able to get back on some trails that I haven’t ridden for a good while - not since I had my mountain bike and lived closer to them.
The ride was cut slighty short by the fact that I got a puncture - oddly, not whilst I was doing the off road section of the ride but later, during the road section when I was starting to head back home anyhow! It meant that I had to cut my ride slightly short as I then ended up taking the faster route back home to avoid any further issues.
Changing the tube at the side of the ride, I found a slither of glass inside the tube that had caused the puncture - I can’t be certain whether this was what had caused the earlier puncture but I hadn’t fully removed the cause or not. However, the wet roads actually helped me find the cause - the bubbling water on the tyre as the air escaped betrayed the punctures position!
Repairing the puncture, I headed home. Of all the cyclists that went past, only one slowed and asked if I was OK. In general, I’ve had better help in the past. I mean, if there’s a group of cyclists, I wouldn’t stop to offer a hand unless they looked like they really needed it, but I’m surprised that more people didn’t ask if a single cyclist was OK. It turns out that it wasn’t that much of an issue sorting the puncture so I wasn’t to bad.
However, I’ll keep an eye on the tyres. That’s two in less than four months - that’s two more than I’ve had in the past 12 months on my previous bikes! It may mean I have to look into some thicker, more puncture proof tyres!
In terms of how everything performed…
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m no longer a huge fan of being clipped in. That might be different if I was just doing road riding or was off road on a proper mountain bike, but I wasn’t to keen on it on this one. Not being able to put my foot down if I wanted to in a hurry wasn’t good. Also, it requires some more playing to get my foot position right I think without it aching. I think flats would be the best replacement.
The bar bag isn’t in a good location, especially when hill climbing. I’d wanted it there for somewhere I could store my keys/wallet/phone but I think I’ll be replacing it. It might be better on a longer frame bike or one where I won’t be standing on the pedals to climb hills much. I’ve recently purchased a rack bag for my Dawes, so I’m looking at removing the saddlebag and placing it on this one instead.
I’m going to have to have to get used to riding off road again! And hills!
Overall, it was a good ride and I enjoyed it (even with the puncture). I’ve got a few things to change before I’m 100% happy with the ride (such as changing the pedals and changing the luggage options). Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out on the bike a bit more as the weather begins (slowly) to start improving.