Starting on Friday December 16th, I am attempting to cycle 107 kilometres a day, every day, until Saturday April 1st. 107 days in total.
That's 11,449km - or the equivalent of cycling from London to Geneva, Switzerland, every week for 15 weeks in a row.
Each of the 107 children that attend the school face their own monumental daily struggle. Every element of their day requires complex planning. Not only by the teachers - who create tailored programmes to fit each of the kids' needs - but also by their families just to get them to and from the school each day.
These kids are the inspiration for the challenges I take on. I know I'm bound to face a few struggles throughout the 107 days. But, then again, we all struggle.
At least 107 kilometres must be ridden each day. Roll-over is not allowed. All distance must be covered on the road or a Wahoo smart trainer due to their accuracy. Rollers are not allowed. Official distance will be recorded via Wahoo's ELEMNT, then uploaded to Strava.
I'm not a pro, I don't have a support crew, I do have a job. I want to attempt to see what it's like to live every day where every second needs meticulous planning. And if the smallest detail is omitted, the following day will be even harder. There's no chance to rest.
If you want to keep up with how I'm getting on, I'll be checking in daily and sharing my journey on Instagram (@chrishallrides) and Strava (https://www.strava.com/athletes/3159702).
BELGIAN NATIONAL CX CHAMPIONSHIPS
The following are excerpts from my new cycling journal I got for Christmas. I will be taking it with me on trips abroad and other such adventures. Expect shorthand, wishful thinking, and logical fallacies…
Friday 6th Jan
The four of hearts. Apparently, that’s my card. Sitting on the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, Aston, Danny & myself resorted to the most rudimental of card games called ‘guess the next card’. It’s amazing, if we ever meet I’ll teach you how it works. After just 3 cards were flipped and (incorrectly) guessed, I totally nailed it. It’s impossible I just got lucky, so cue suspicions from my peers over cheating. Thanks a lot, Lance...
Our newest OpenDev member, Roman Siromakha, has recently just documented his effort during last year's Festive500 challenge. Riding 500km over a week is no easy feat, but completing it over three days during a New York winter is verging on the side of crazy!
"To be honest, I have never finished the Festive 500 - every time I hit the 350-400km mark I just give up. It's exhausting! This year I decided I would finally achieve my goal, but it wasn't easy. I had a Christmas trip planned to Boston until the 26th and a CX race to shoot on the 31st, leaving me with very limited time in between to do some big rides that could count."
To continue reading on and see some fantastic photography CLICK HERE...
We are very pleased to announce our latest addition to the Hunt OpenDev Team for 2017 – Roman Siromakha.
Roman is a photographer, cyclist and adventurer based in Brooklyn, New York. With a passion for all things cycling and capturing his experiences in both words and pictures, he is quite the renaissance man. Belting around New York City on his road machine and exploring the path less travelled on his ‘cross steed we are delighted to be helping out Roman on his adventures near and far whilst rolling on Hunt wheels.
His unique eye for detail and voguesque style is truly encapsulating. Watch this space for more updates and photos from our newest OpenDev Member.
Welcome aboard Roman!
We are proud to welcome Dan as our newest member to the team. He is currently doing his placement year at the University of Brighton where he studies Product Design Technology. With the skills is learning and developing through his degree, he hopes to put them to good use helping us develop and design some fantastic new wheelsets and some other smaller projects along the way.
Dan twisting through some sweet Swinley Forest single track.
Dan has been a mountain biker all his life with varied levels of success, ranging from winning the open class at the Swinley Forest Enduro in 2016 to crashing big which ended up with a few fancy pieces of titanium, staples, surgery and a lot of sweat and tears. We have even managed to drag him along to some 'cross races to learn what pedalling is all about! But what he enjoys most is getting out in the woods with his friends. He is very lucky to live just a few miles down the road from the Surrey Hills.
Dan is heavily involved as president of the Brighton University Cycle Team and has helped run and organise events since he started there. With his team he will be going off to compete in the BUCS series in a variety of events from Track to Downhill Mountain Biking. Good luck Dan!
Dan the cx man!
Always a cheerful chap and ready take on the chase!
With the advent of tubeless tyre technology taking the road, cyclocross and gravel scenes by storm, Hunt has always striven to improve how tyres are anchored to the rim. Depending on the particular wheelset, a Hunt wheel sports either a Hook-less or Hooked rim profile to take care of securing the tyre to the rim. You can read exactly what Hookless rims are here. However, we have also chosen to take the tyre/rim interface one step further with H-lock.
H-Lock is our tubeless-ready rim bed profile with up-kicks to the shoulders of the tubeless steps helping to create a great rim-well seal for first installation and easy sealing of tubeless tyres. The H-Lock profile also secures the beads in place more firmly once seated. This is especially important when running lower pressures or for off road riding.
As shown in red in the diagram above taken from the Hunt 30Carbon Aero Disc, the tyre bead is held in the small concave area, preventing the tyre from moving back into the centre of the rim during hard cornering or braking. This significantly aids in the ability to take advantage of lower tyre pressures under a tubeless setup, whereby the H-Lock bed profile also reduces the chance of burping air – essentially 'locking' the tyre between the raised bead locks on either side of the channel running through the centre of the rim.
What might be considered a small detail, attention paid to rim bed profile aims to produce the easiest possible tyre/rim fitting, set-up and riding experience.
Enjoy your riding!
For the first time in my life I found my self in the unusual position of actually making it past the summer months and still having some annual leave left. The flop that was the Transcontinental Race was still smoldering in my mind and given that the reason that I had a weeks holiday left to take was the fact that I bailed on TCR after 1 day, it only seemed right that a long bike ride was due in order to rectify the situation.
Southern Europe has always fascinated me, its just different enough to northern Europe to feel that you are a long way from home whilst still being easily accessible by many budget airlines. The other bonus is that finding some sunshine at the start of the winter months is a much greater possibility. So with that in mind I found myself on the 6am flight from London to Split in Croatia.
My plan was simple... cycle to Athens in Greece. I had never visited Greece before so it seemed a good excuse to tick off another country whilst visiting a few of the old favorites, Montenegro and Albania. My plan was to bivvi most nights, however, I failed to take into account that despite the warm daytime temperatures it was still indeed winter and they dropped well into single figures at night.
I decided to try and find some smaller roads on this trip to really explore some off the beaten track areas which made for some incredible riding. Check out the video below to see exactly what happened...
I had this week all planned out – Wednesday was going to be a leg-breaking, lung-busting 215km ride from home out across the Strines to Holmfirth, then up the ‘Moss, over the Glossop and Macclesfield, up the Cat and Fiddle and home via Buxton. Then a cold intervened and I decided something a little more low-key and less chest-infection-inducing was more in order.
I decided that I’d tick off another ride on my list instead – the Monsal Trail tunnels. Having ridden on the trail as a youngster, and knowing that the tunnels had been opened up in 2012 after some grant funding to make them safe, I had fancied getting up there and riding the entire length of the trail for some time. As it is flat all the way, I thought it would be less likely to transfer the lurgy to my chest and have me running to the GP for the dreaded antibiotics.
I had already put on my tougher wheels (Hunt 4-Season disc) and tyres (Schwalbe S-One 30mm tubeless) in anticipation of needing more comfort on a longer ride, but these were ideal for tackling the gravel of the trail. The sun was doing its best as I set off, up over the tops via Wessington, then down Rowsley Bar and along the A6 to Bakewell. A shortcut through the Agricultural Centre brought me to Coombs Road and the bottom end of the trail.
Too many leaves and too much pressure in my tyres (70psi) meant a little push up the steepest bit to the trail, but I reckon I’d have been ok if I’d let them down to 50 and stayed seated. Took a leisurely ride on the outward leg, stopping for a few photos of the 6 tunnels along the way, then stopped for lunch at the Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire at the far end of the trail. Let the tyres down to 50psi and made it up the steep and equally leafy incline back up to the trail no problem.
On the way back down the trail (it is overall downhill on the way back, and the wind was kinder) I didn’t stop for photos but was still having to slow down and announce my presence to the myriad families along the way (the disadvantage of half-term). Still managed to keep up a good pace and was soon back at the other end of the trail in Bakewell. The return journey always seems shorter than the outward, even as a grown-up!
Instead of re-tracing my route home, I decided to push the boat out a bit more and try and follow Coombs Road over to Rowsley. Lots of people have been really adventurous with their Mason bikes, and having done a good dose of cobbles, I had been wanting to try some off-road. Turn left under the viaduct coming off the trail and follow the road. Had walked it a number of years back on the White Peak challenge walk, but had never cycled it before. It was pretty lumpy and stony but the low pressure and larger volume of the tyres soaked it all up. Still working on perfecting my gate-closing technique by the time I reached the top, I was really rather enjoying myself.
The descent into Rowsley was a little choppier and muddier than the climb out of Bakewell, but again the Definition took it all in its stride (this is one seriously capable, versatile bike), with the only hairy bit being a patch of mud which turned out to be about six inches deeper than it looked right towards the bottom of the lane before it went to the tarmac road. No punctures or bent wheels, great grip and a massive smile on my face.
Dom Mason calls this Adventure Sport, as he thinks ‘gravel’ is rather a dull term. I’d second this – gravel is more like something you’d put on your driveway than a good description of a blast through the stunning Peak District on a beautiful early Autumn afternoon with the wind on your back, the sun breaking through the clouds and the leaves turning awesome colours and floating down from the trees.
Would I have tried this if I’d not bought the Mason Cycles Definition? Probably not. Do I regret for one second buying a bike from Dom who had only just set up on his own, and the Hunt wheels; again, a new, small British company? Absolutely not. These purchasing decisions have opened up a whole new world of opportunity and cycling community more than buying a bike from a faceless, larger bike manufacturer would ever have done.
I feel very privileged to both ride to work and back every day and also thrash my bike around my beautiful Derbyshire and beyond as part of the Hunt Bike Wheels Open Development team and the Mason Cycles family. Do I know what my next bike will be? Probably, yes. A ‘Flare Orange’ Mason Bokeh which will take me even further off the beaten track than my Definition can, and onto more AdventureSport.
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Jonathan Calow for such a great write up of his version of adventure. And of course, if you want to find out more about Jonathan's adventures please head over to his personal blog.
When you travel, are you one to studiously soak up the region’s culture, try new things and attempt to speak the local language? Have you found yourself ducking over to the Starbucks to get your coffee or frantically point at the menu when the waiter doesn't understand? Perhaps you're a mixture of the two? We have to admit to usually being the latter. Regardless, as a bicycle rider you are fluent in the cyclist language.
The cycling world is very much a global community. No matter where you may find yourself, whether it be in your own backyard or abroad, you have probably already found that riding two wheels is a universal language that easily unites all cyclists. Most likely if you are reading this, you are fluent and able to translate across into any corner of the globe and still understand the various cycling dialects. Going to a place that largely speaks ‘cross, gravel or crits? If you get chance to mix it with new cycling cultures we'd love to share it, please send us your images and films of the 'cycling language' in action during your adventures - after-all the pedalling largely does the talking and the outcome can often be a local cycling guide, amazing rides in places you'd never find on your own and even more cycling mates with which to talk bikes over a fresh espresso or cold beer.
Whether you’re relocating from one side of the world, touring through the Pyrenees, spinning through Adelaide Hills or riding along the all too familiar cycle route to work, you are speaking our common lingo. The cycling language will help you out wherever you find yourself. It really only has to consist of turning wheels, a friendly smile and usually complimenting each other on cool bike bits!
The Instagram post above is from our Hunt Brand Manager Josh Ibbett in Croatia who is currently using his holidays to bike pack through South East Europe. Josh will openly admit to pointing frantically at baked goods and confusing poor locals many times a day! Please do tag us on social media @huntbikewheels with images and films of your own cycling community and language lessons.
HUNT | TheRiderFirm | Australia and New Zealand Bloke
The fastest combination of tyre pressure and tyre widths is a long running debate. Traditionally narrow tyres inflated to high pressures have been seen as the fastest option for racers, however extensive testing and development by wheel companies and Pro teams over the past ten years has shown that in actual fact wider tyres and rims is a faster and more comfortable combination.
Wider tyres and rim profiles are now widley accepted by both manufactureres and consumers as the better option, however how wide and how low can you actually go with tyres and tyre pressures? Can 85psi actually be considered a low pressure for modern ultra wide wheel sets or can pressures be run even lower?
Does a faster feeling tyre pressure actually equate to an increase in speed out on the road?
The CyclingTips podcast answers some of these questions with the help of some of the cycling industries leading experts. Some are the answers are surprising however its worth a listen to find out how the simplest of tyre pressure alterations can improve your ride...