Updated: Sep 10, 2019
I went for a short ride yesterday afternoon in the sun with fellow Lanterne Mark. It was great to catch up and ride my bike without luggage and without a destination or goal for the day. Just spinning the legs, back on my home roads in Warwickshire. But I am also feeling post-trip blues already, having to get my head back into work and all the everyday chores of life. There may also be a bit of post-World Cup exit blues thrown in. Of course, life is much simpler when all you have to think about is pedalling your bike. Despite the pain and hard times on the trip, I am already missing it.
Some Numbers from the Ride
Total time in the saddle: about 94 hours
Total kilometres covered: 1,588
Total metres climbed: 12,037 (about 1.4 times Everest)
Average speed: 18kph
Number of traffic related incidents in mainland Europe: 2 (in 13 days)
Number of traffic related incidents in England: about 20 (in just 8 hours)
Number of mechanical issues: 1 (on the last day)
Number of punctures: 0
Calories burnt: 35,000
Weight Loss: 4.5kg
The Kit - Never Let Me Down
The Bianchi Infinito was flawless. It took everything thrown at it and never gave me a single issue. I will never be good enough to push this bike to its full capabilities. I was so glad I changed the rear cassette to a 32 tooth. I needed it over and over again.
A special separate mention for the Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres, which coped with every surface I road on flawlessly. I cannot quite believe I didn't have a single puncture. They are not particularly expensive either.
The Rapha Brevet kit was fantastic. I wore one kit for the entire journey, washing it each night in a machine, shower or sink, wherever available. It was comfortable through heat and rain. I think the insulated gilet is my new favourite piece of kit. The only exception was the Brevet gloves which could do with more padding in the heels of the palm. The Rapha/Apidura bags were brilliant. They genuinely carried all I needed for 15 days. They are easy to fit and easy to ride with on the bike.
The moments that stand out most
Best View: riding up St Goddard Pass
Second Best: descending the St Goddard pass
Worst View: Belgium.
Most Beautiful City: Lucerne
Roads I would ride again: anywhere in Switzerland and down the Rhine in Germany
Roads you couldn't pay me to ride again: Belgium. Literally the whole country. There is not one good section of road I would go back to.
Longest Single Day Ride: 159km Marche-en-Famenne to Brussels
Longest Climb: St Goddard Pass & the build up (approximately 50km between 5%-14% for 3 hours)
Sections of Cobbles covered: over 50 (according to Strava)
Most continuous swearing by me: 4 days - through all of Belgium
Bottles/Cans of Coke drunk: approximately 40 in 15 days
Depeche Mode references in blog posts: 22
Best/Worst Comment I received on the entire trip
"I like your blog best on the days you've really been suffering. You are much funnier when you are in pain" - Rachel Berney
I am not entirely sure what to do with that.