Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recovering Nicely

Since last I posted I've covered about 420kms and find the foot is responding well. As is the rest of me. A couple of friends are training for Fitz's Classic, and while I won't be joining them on the day it has been good to tag along on their training rides, or parts of them. On Monday, we rode up Mt Kembla, which was a first for me. It's quite steep in sections and has a long slog along Henry Graham Dr to connect with Mt Keira.

It was a glorious morning and we saw the sunrise, plenty of wildlife and at one point went through cloudbase. After the ride I pottered around and finally got the Frank Paino ready for the road, (Well I cleaned it, tuned the drivetrain and packed some bearings and replaced the rear tyre) and took it out for a shakedown cruise yesterday. I say cruise, but it's such a fast bike! I've not owned a proper racing bike before and after riding one yesterday I can only wonder why.

During the shakedown I stopped at a set of lights with a guy on a tricked our carbon Giant with Di2 and deep rim wheels. He gave me a look and then double takes, "Wow, a Paino, great bikes. Used to hang out at the shop..." Seems a common story. 


Fast, responsive, stiff, yet supple. The thing accelerates like a rocket and I had no problems cruising along the flat at 33kph with little effort. We rode up to Sandon Point and back, stopping occasionally to adjust saddle height or derailleur and I had a maniac grin from the utter pleasure of it.

 I'm yet to replace the bar tape, and I need to find some affordable Campy lever hoods. NOS ones are pretty expensive - around $90, however, Compass Bike have generic hoods for $23 - so they may serve well. will also need  new brake pads as the existing Campy pads are pretty hard and lack grip on the rims. Otherwise, some new cables and housing, and a new cluster and chain are on the list, the existing is worn and was skipping a bit. Will look at some Look pedals as budget allows. Once it's sorted, I'd be interested to try some shorter brevets on it, while the 53, 44 chainring is huge, it climbs really well

In other bike news, I've finally found and purchased a lever brake Roadster. The subject bike is a Hercules Balmoral, complete with oil filled chain case, 3 speed hub and dynamo lights. I will collect it tomorrow but the auction photo made it look like this;

Obviously it will need a bit of work, though it is straight and complete, saddle excepted. I plan to use this bike as my town bike to get from my office to meetings in the other building, about 1km up the road. In the past I have been using the stealth road bike, but it was too large and I was getting tired of chain lube on my suits. Clearly I'll also be lining up for Tweed Rides.

So to today. I threw a long leg and headed further from home than I have been since the operation - not too far - just to Jamberoo, over Mt Terry and back along swamp road to Shellharbour thence to Wollongong. I nice, long, steady, ride of 103km, averaging a shade under 25kph. It felt good and was a lovely day for cycling. Plenty of people out too.

I'm planning to do another 100 on Sunday as part of the Audax Robbo Weekend. The route is from Robertson on the edge of the escapment to Fitzroy Falls, Berrima and back through Bowral and Kangaloon to Robbo. Should be fun.

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