It ain’t quite Ventoux…

…but it’s a start. 

After a very stressful week I rewarded myself with half an hour swapping out Major Tom’s brake cables for new ones. The old outer cables were a bit knackered but I managed to get some brand new black ribbed cables just like the originals. I do love a bit of a tinker, at least that’s one thing I’ll always have in common with Eddy Merckx! After that I did a couple of laps of Kingston Hill, only a couple of miles each but it does include two short but pretty steep climbs:

Major Tom’s now a lot more comfortable with the new saddle on. Not comfortable in absolute terms, but comfortable enough for now. I’ve only gone 25 miles on it so far, so once I’ve ridden it a bit further I’ll have a better idea of necessary adjustments and I’m not going to change anything just yet. The handlebars (specifically the long stem) are giving me the most trouble, I just feel like I’m reaching far to far forward. Good thing I put the extra brake levers on as I’m very rarely riding on the drops. A problem when climbing is I haven’t yet got the confidence to stand up to pedal. I haven’t yet figured out whether it’s a poor fit or inexperience/low confidence that’s the problem, I just seem to loose a bit of control which has me instantly sitting back down again.

Anyway, it does climb well! Not light by modern standards but when you’re used to a hefty three-speed the extra gearing and relatively light weight make an enormous difference. I can remember climbing these hills repeatedly when I was a (significantly lighter) child, so it was nice to have that little step back in time. I did feel rather spent after such a short ride, as I’m not used to climbing (one tried to avoid it on a three-speed!) so I’m going to keep doing these little circuits until I’ve built up a bit more strength and stamina. For a bit of variety there a couple of other climbs I can try on the same hill:

I just can’t get over the sheer difference between my two bikes. I rode Crichton into town earlier and the riding position felt so strange after a couple of days on Major Tom. I’d expected to get a kick out of riding Major Tom, but I hadn’t expected it to make me totally re-evaluate what I think about Chrichton. It’s like… luxury cycling!


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