I managed to get out this morning for a short ride on my cyclocross bike - it's been a while since I've ridden it as I'm using my Dawes touring bike for commuting and I haven't had the chance to get out at the weekend for a while due to cadet activities.
So whilst the weather was good this morning, I managed to get out and about before the rain that was forecast for the afternoon. Whilst I didn't manage to avoid the rain completely, it was a mainly dry ride and I'm glad I managed to get out.
As I said, took Atlas out for a spin. I've recently purchased a few items for it that are covered in a separate blog post and I was looking to try them out.
I also decided that I wanted to get out and about on some unpaved routes as well to put the cyclo-cross part of the bike to the test. Whilst it did mean some road riding as well, I was able to get back on some trails that I haven't ridden for a good while - not since I had my mountain bike and lived closer to them.
The ride was cut slightly short by the fact that I got a puncture - oddly, not whilst I was doing the off road section of the ride but later, during the road section when I was starting to head back home anyhow! It meant that I had to cut my ride slightly short as I then ended up taking the faster route back home to avoid any further issues.
Changing the tube at the side of the ride, I found a slither of glass inside the tube that had caused the puncture - I can't be certain whether this was what had caused the earlier puncture but I hadn't fully removed the cause or not. However, the wet roads actually helped me find the cause - the bubbling water on the tyre as the air escaped betrayed the punctures position!
Repairing the puncture, I headed home. Of all the cyclists that went past, only one slowed and asked if I was OK. In general, I've had better help in the past. I mean, if there's a group of cyclists, I wouldn't stop to offer a hand unless they looked like they really needed it, but I'm surprised that more people didn't ask if a single cyclist was OK. It turns out that it wasn't that much of an issue sorting the puncture so I wasn't to bad.
However, I'll keep an eye on the tyres. That's two in less than four months - that's two more than I've had in the past 12 months on my previous bikes! It may mean I have to look into some thicker, more puncture proof tyres!
In terms of how everything performed...
- I've come to the conclusion that I'm no longer a huge fan of being clipped in. That might be different if I was just doing road riding or was off road on a proper mountain bike, but I wasn't to keen on it on this one. Not being able to put my foot down if I wanted to in a hurry wasn't good. Also, it requires some more playing to get my foot position right I think without it aching. I think flats would be the best replacement.
- The bar bag isn't in a good location, especially when hill climbing. I'd wanted it there for somewhere I could store my keys/wallet/phone but I think I'll be replacing it. It might be better on a longer frame bike or one where I won't be standing on the pedals to climb hills much. I've recently purchased a rack bag for my Dawes, so I'm looking at removing the saddlebag and placing it on this one instead.
- I'm going to have to have to get used to riding off road again! And hills!
Overall, it was a good ride and I enjoyed it (even with the puncture). I've got a few things to change before I'm 100% happy with the ride (such as changing the pedals and changing the luggage options). Hopefully, I'll be able to get out on the bike a bit more as the weather begins (slowly) to start improving.