Updated: Jul 30, 2019
I finally got around to riding the Infinito fully loaded on a short sail around the Warwickshire countryside in the sun. Although I am looking forward to the sights and sounds of the ride next week, I doubt I will ever get bored of riding my home roads.
However, fully loaded I climbed local hills like an asthmatic pensioner.
Here are some home truths I learned this morning;
(a) Everything is going to be a lot slower. Like, a lot slower. I already knew that, but this confirmed that I will have a much slower average speed, accelerate slower and take longer to brake also. The only place the bike isn't slower is going downhill, that's because,
(b) the extra weight makes a huge difference. Fully loaded the bags have at least 10kg of stuff in them. Add in another kilogram for full water bottles and it's easy to see how flat and uphill speeds will fall. That’s despite the fact I have packed the bare minimum. That extra weight leads to
(c) the handling of the bike being quite different. I may have to get better at weight distribution between the bags, but the bike is definitely less stable around corners and even on the straight depending on the surface and
(d) the wind, which seemed to have a much greater effect. Probably because of the increased surface area.
All of which leads me to (e) I wish I had done more training on the bike fully loaded. I may have already completed over 4,500km in training this year, but riding with the bags full means I will have to push a lot harder to get up the hills. I may be walking up the Alps.
Combining all of the above means that the up hills will be as hard as expected, the downhills even scarier. Add in wind and gravel and there are bound to be some hair raising moments.
There was some good news though; I can (just about) get up hills fully loaded without inducing a heart attack. The Rapha kit is fantastic. The bike is amazing and I feel as ready as I am going to be.