Life in the fast lane

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August has completely flown by! I had 2 more race weekends right after Ride London. My husband, his brother and fiancĂ©, and I travelled to Ireland where I ran the rock n roll Dublin half. We had a week long road trip and got back to London to I could join fellow UK Fitness Bloggers for Spitfire Scramble, a 24 hour relay race.  Those races tired me out and I came back to work to launch a huge project that I have been working on for nearly 3 years.  It has been a crazy, but rewarding, month.

Check out the shiney wheels!
I want to go back though and tell you about the kit I was given to test during Ride London.  First off, Merlin Cycles were kind enough to send me the Forza Stratos RC23 Road wheelset. At a price point of £149.99, they are a good example of how you can replace certain components on your entry-level bike to make your riding more efficient and enjoyable. My new best friends at Bike Trax kindly squeezed in my wheel swap days before Ride London.  I took my bike to Victoria Park to try them out and I how amazed at how easy it was.  I didn't know if it was the adrenaline or excitement that I might actually be able to go fast enough to ride all 100 miles this year, or just the fact that I had rounder wheels.

The wheels themselves have Shimano hubs and Mach1 spokes. Noah the Wheel Smith was surprised at that quality components were put under a different name as the brands stand for themselves in terms of reputation.

On the day of Ride London, I felt like I was faster than my previous training rides.  You can see my training log, along with Ride London files (segment 1, segment 2, segment 3) over on Strava.  I didn't have much of a chance to draft anyone but feel I did well enough on my own.  After all, I did get all 100 miles in.  :)

Of course I had to get a manicure to match
I can't wait to get out on the bike again once Berlin Marathon is over.  James and I are headed to Cape Town in February and plan on touring on bikes for a few days while we are there.  It will be a good time to break out my Altura cycling kit again. Zyro and Altura sent me some fab pink kit for Ride London, including the Women Peloton Progel Bib Short.  I have never had such padded cycling shorts (all mine are for triathlons and indoor cycling) and what a difference it makes! Holy cow. Plus, I never had to adjust the shorts from riding up on my legs.  They always stayed in place.  I am not a huge fan of bib shorts because going to the loo requires disrobing in a small gross port-a-loo.  But what can you do when nature calls?

I was between sizes on the jersey so I ordered one size up which meant it ended up being too big for me (as compared to a traditional slim fit jersey). It was still able to hold all the food I needed and my wallet without anything falling out of the back pockets.  The zipper was easy to adjust as I rode, which helped me regulate my body temperature.  I was also sent new gloves and a base layer but I received the items too late to try out properly before the big ride.  I tried the shorts, socks, and jersey in a spin class, and also on the test ride for my wheels but felt I was still breaking the 'nothing new on race day' rule.  When I changed out of my bibs at the end of the day (after a tube ride to Olympic Park where we collected our bikes and rode home) I noticed the webbing of the suspenders (braces for you Brits) had left a light impression but the marks were gone the next day.

My husband said the pink made it easy to spot me in a crowd, and it totally goes with my branding. This kit still has plenty of life left and I cannot wait to get back on the road and in the saddle.

Did you try any new kit this year that contributed to your success at Ride London? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thanks again to Merln Cycles for providing the wheels and Zyco and Altura for the pink kit.  As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

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