I'd managed to borrow a Trek Emonda SL from work so it was with some trepidation that i met Ian and Russ, as i'd never ridden the bike before and didn't know if the saddle would suit my backside. the planned 50 miles would return a verdict on the comfort one way or the other. Also ever since I did that 100k ride last year I'd been suffering with hamstring pain in my right leg, it comes and goes but is more prevalent after a long ride or lots of consecutive short rides. As part of adjusting the demo bike to fit me i got my colleague to give me a basic bike fit. Nothing too scientific just a measure of leg angle. it seems i have been over extending my legs with the saddle set too high. an adjustment of a few cms felt very strange on a test ride but I'm willing to try it out and i guess we'll see on this ride.
The weather played ball, there was over night rain but it had stopped by the time we met up, the roads though were still damp with puddles, i was glad of my Cubeguard ass saver especially on the very Strada Bianca like wet Stratford greenway where the bike took on a distinct beige look from the gritty loose surface. there were a few occasions where we had to take to a little bit of off road, mainly due to pedestrians on shared use paths but it was good fun. some of the lanes we used were very mucky too and fast downhills take on a new level of commitment as you round a corner to see the road strewn with an inch of mud.
we happened (ok i'd planned it) to pass a decent pub near the end of the ride and celebrated with a beer and a ham roll, we had done 52 miles at this point and it seemed like a reward was in order.
And that saddle? well i didn't notice it to be honest which is the ultimate compliment you can give a bike seat and the bike? well i didn't want to stop ridng it, it was light, but not so light it was skittish, it was comfy over some very rough roads and very responsive to any quickening of pace and very neutral to ride for a race orientated frame. I don't want to give it back. in the end i kept on pedalling until my free time was up and did 70 miles, the longest ride so far this year