PR rides with some TDF lads…

So it turns out that randomly sticking your head into cycling shops has its advantages.

Earlier this week I headed into Watts cycling store while on my mission for the perfect garmin mount for my setup (trying to mount a 510, varia light and virb on the handlebars) I got talking to one of the guys there. Turns out he’s the winner of Koreas own tour, the tour de korea – and he’d heard about me! 🙂 

So one failed garmin mission later and I’ve been invited to a PR ride with the Velitas brothers of ettix quick step and BMC fame. They are here to promote their new brand of cycling clothing – maybe I’ll post a review of that later…

Isadore website

Unfortunately it was wings Thursday at our pub and I’d committed to the Downhill lads so all dressed up in my spandex I met them for wings – thankfully I wasn’t the worst dressed. Jammer arrived in a chicken suit.

After dodging fines and spicy wings that I knew would bite me on the climbs I dropped a ninja bomb and headed across to the store. 

We assembled at the named time a few days later in the store – all shaved legs and korean nerves – and me. A hairy mountain biker looking ever so slightly out of place – a sheep in wolves clothing.

Roll on to Q&A which as usual here involved a Korean translator. To those of you who haven’t experienced a live interview with a translator – it’s like watching a film where the audio is about 1 minute behind the visual. Laughs are delayed and there is the obligatory listening even though you have no idea what is being said.. So my 2 favorite questions were:

“have you ever peed while riding?” 
All the time! there’s a technique to doing in on the saddle.” (I pity the mechanic who has to service that bike)

And “Does cycling hurt?”

Yes?” Said like a question.

After a suitable pause we rolled out. I’ve ridden this route countless times but I’ve never done it as a group. 30 or so riders meant that by staying at the front and with 2 riders on my left I felt as safe as houses on the road – and that’s a first.

The first hill is a gentle 6-8 minute climb up to namsan tower. The brothers managed to keep up with me. At the top we were down to 20 riders or so and it was time for more photos…

(Martin left and Peter right)

We re grouped and the albeit smaller group rolled on down the hill.

I was lucky enough to get some good time with both riders and learnt the following:

  • Pro riders are skinnier than they look on tv (to confirm the camera adds 10 pounds.)
  • They climb like monsters and make it look effortless. I’ll try post a video of me chasing BMC brother up a little kicker of a hill – suffice to say he wasn’t even trying.
  • They just look better on the bike.
  • Roubaix is a horrible horrible race that no smart rider ever enters willingly
  • Both brothers have ridden for a SA team and have ridden more of my home country than I have…

I’ll post pictures as they come in but big shout out to Daniel and Watts cycling for the invite and looking forward to trying the isadore gear and watching out for Martin and Peter in the peleton. 

Hopefully I’ll win the TDF tickets at next weeks letape korea fondo so I can see them at next years ride!

    The Terry Pratchett light

    Things that try to look like things often do look more like things than things. Terry Pratchett – the wyrd sisters

    Before science became cool or even acceptable, and you could get hung for postulating that the world was in fact round. Back when times were simple  and witches floated (or sank, I can never remember witch) this light would have been magic. Funny this is – I had the same reaction this morning when I went out for my ride.

    I turned my edge 510 on, an the light turned on. I started riding and true to form the light switches between low and high beams like driving a car – but automajically. Meh this is what it said on the tin (well it didn’t, only after emailing garmin to confirm that my now antiquated 510 supported the varia light) 

    BUT! (Queue drumroll)

    On my ride back – it was now sunny when I turned on my edge, the light turned on too, but it engages daylight mode, a slow flashing designed to irate drivers. How the varia knew it was daylight it beyond me and I welcome anyone to demystify this machine for me, but until then I’ll go with magic.

    I’ll post pictures later – tomorrow I have a night ride with Ettix quickstep so that’s a perfect time to get some pics.

    Damn coffee!

    So the latest slew of garmin gadgets arrived today. Care of FedEx and a very friendly yet impossible to understand Korean immigration clerk… I’ve no idea if I’ve paid the correct duties but that’s water under the proverbial. THEY’RE HERE! I just had enough time to run home and unbox them – why pray tell do you ask am I stringing this post together when I could be geeking out in Gmetrix’s and quarter time mounts? 

    Valid question – because I have a job 🙁 right now I’m killing time before a company function wondering if my gadgets miss me as much as I miss them…

    Till later my preciouses – till later

    Houston we are live…

    And so I’m live.

    I guess the best way to kick this off is with WHY. I think it is because I find myself spending more and more time reading and “breathing” cycling – and this was the next logical step – as cliched as that sounds. I guess the plan is to update this on a regular basis and hope that I can start whoring myself out to race organizers to ride their races and weave funny and witty stories about my experience there.

    I’ll also give anecdotal and biased feedback about the gear and toys I buy – I’m no DC Rainmaker – but I’ll give it a good old college try.

    Ok, gently catch the monkey – watch this space for more info. My Garmin VIRB ultra and Varia light arrive tomorrow, or so FEDEX tells me so hopefully I can kick this blog off with a bang (hell I’d even settle for a good fizz)

    Now to find out how to get more than my family reading this… suggestions welcome (he says to the empty room)

    How does one end these things? Peace out (nope). See ya (nope).

    Will deploy the old favourite: Best Regards