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Monday, 20 December 2010

Chris's Z3

Sorry for the lack of customer builds recently
I assure you its not because we are quiet, its actually the opposite. Lots of happy chaps picking up their new presents for bring good boys this year....
Here is Chris's Z3 XL with custom panels
He used his own existing parts on the build - pretty bling !

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Not one of ours, but I have taken this from the guys at Above Category
Amazing shop, amazing bikes

But even for them this is special
New Z5 is custom colours
Di2, LWs, and a Cannondale SRM


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Assos is here !

It's taken 4 long yrs but we are finally Assos dealers. Perfect timing given this cold snap we are experiencing - today's ride was not pretty !

We are very pleased to offer free postage for all items over £150
For London customers it gets even better: we are working with a cycle courier company that will deliver to your office or home that same day as long as you order before 2pm
No more delivery vans, or hoping the item gets posted on time, or left someone safe if you are out or is not lost in the post (not uncommon at this time of year)
Instead a cyclist will drop your parcel round to you, their fellow cyclist
Good for the environment, good for us all !

Clearwater Triathlon World Champs Race report

From the legendary Bret Hedges, Bespoke's resident globe trotter

Short Version – What an amazing experience, amazing athletes, totally inspiring week in Clearwater, race result – bit disappointed….

Well what an experience – the 70.3 world champs, no small deal.

I arrived the Wednesday afternoon before the event to get into the groove and lap up the atmosphere. Throughout the days leading up to the race everywhere I went there were world class athletes running, biking and going through their final preparation. It was certainly inspiring being among them, having the locals ask you if you are an ironman J makes you feel like a minor celebrity in town, it really was a great feeling.

Race day, Saturday – Weather forecast great, light wind and a high of 82F about midday, hot but great. I felt strangely calm come race morning, got myself to T1 and met up with Amy and Rob which was great,(and probably ruined Amy’s prep with my blabbermouth – thanks Andy) I expected to be more nervous, but wasn’t feeling that way at all, strange…

Swim 0:34 pah, I will go sub 0:30 one day - The 35-39 age group is split into 2 waves, and is a beach start which I prefer as it totally avoids the whole washing machine effect of the first section that a deep water start inevitably has. I had ambitions to stay with the lead group, or at least keep them in sight, as we all know, the swim is not my strength. It was soon clear I was not going to be able to do this, mainly as I have never successfully drafted in a swim L and the lead group were fast.

The swim is a long sided rectangle, 900m out, 100 across, 900 back. At about 700m out the water got pretty choppy which made sighting difficult, but made for a fun swim. I didn’t really get into my stride until the turnaround (Rob told me later this may be due to cardio engine not running, should have warmed up like Amy did, oh to have a live in coach J) and actually started moving through the pack on the way back to the beach, I was pretty happy about this, as this is not normal for me, couldn’t see where I was going on the way in mind you, a dawn start, then a turn into the rising sun makes goggle selection difficult to say the least.

My feet hit the sand at 32 minutes which is a good swim for me, but there was 100m or so to the beach and timing mat, which took forever to run in waist deep water, hence the 0:34 split.

T1 uneventful except for the wetsuit pullers “help”ing get the suit off, you sit on the floor, they pull it off, simple and effective.

Bike – 2:16, 6 minutes slower than I would have liked – I managed to get out of T2 ok and started over the causeway bridge out of town, (the same one we would run later on) my heart rate was high, I didn’t seem to be able to get it under control, it is usually high initially then I find a rhythm and it calms back down in to race pace. Hmm, not today though, it stayed high, too high and being someone who hates being passed on the bike I couldn’t help pushing along despite myself, this was a concern.

I soon saw Amy, sooner than expected, but I didn’t know she had had a problem at this point. Not long after I saw a pack of riders that I had heard about. Clearwater is famous for them, some people are drafting illegally, but also large numbers of people of similar ability are all racing at the same time, and no one wants to drop back when passed but I knew I would not take a draft of any kind.

Just after I had caught the pack I felt something bumping my leg. My saddle pack that holds spare tub, pit stop, bike tool etc. had come loose! Damn it, just as I was settling into a rhythm I have an issue. I slowed up and tried to feel for the straps and put it back. I managed to get it to hold, but had lost some time. It stayed in place for another mile, then it came loose again, I tried to fix it on the move, that is the rule in tri after all, do everything on the move, right ? Conscious that I am losing ground again I had to make a decision, ride 50 miles with it loose or pull over and fix it, I decided on the latter, losing contact with the pack that contained 15 or so from my age group.

Very aware that I had lost a good bit of time and a decent number of people from my age group whilst fixing the saddle bag I set about trying to make up some time. Pushing on again, 2 miles later the HR monitor starts beeping at me, I look down but something isn’t right, the HR monitor is showing 189 HR (That is above anything seen in any RAMP test, my max is 185) then it went up again to 193. I didn’t feel too bad, but the numbers were crazy I was worried so I slowed up AGAIN. It starts dawning on me that today may not be my day, I can’t believe this. After a brief mental image flash of me expiring beside the road side, I got myself together and eased up, HR started to fall, but not by much, not by enough. I pedalled easy for another couple of minutes, decided to sit up a bit, ease back again and try adjusting the chest strap, the HR starts to fall, 161. Hurrah, that is something I can live with. Damn Garmins.

The third push of the bike already and I’m not even at the first feed, but there is still some distance ahead to make back some of the lost time. Suddenly the feed arrives, I drink what I can and throw away my still half full single bottle. I call for “energy” and a boy scout offered the ironman branded drink, I went to take it, slowed down, arm out, no drink in hand but a loud thwack, and the bottle goes spinning into the air covering a number of boy scouts, damn, oops. The result of 20+ mph and him not letting go early enough. This is a tricky day out. I took another bottle but as I took it the top flew off, argh. I drank half of it, wow it was sweet, that won’t be good, stowed the open bottle in the down tube holder and rode on. I knew now the day was not a great one; I was behind and under hydrated…

In bike terms, the rest of the course is uneventful, I was told Clearwater is about the swim and the run, I agree, the bike is flat and honestly, not an interesting course, it’s very fast, but not interesting, although I love the sound of my Zipps once up to full speed J After everything it was not surprising that coming in to feed 3 at 48 miles I felt dehydrated, I wondered if asking a marshalling police man for water counted as outside assistance. I took in what I could at this point with the run in mind I’m It’s always a relief to finish the bike without a mechanical, puncture or accident. The rest of the race is just me, my Newton’s and the road. I have come to enjoy the run.

T2 - uneventful.

Run – I had done the calculations on the splits and speed required for a 1:22 run. I thought I may be capable on a good day. Rob cheered me on during the approach to the bridge for the first time which was cool. Once over the bridge I was checking the Garmin for my splits or pace. I could see the numbers on the display, but for some reason they didn’t make very much sense, the numbers were perfectly clear, just couldn’t calculate if what I was seeing was good or not. Then I realised the heat and my poor hydration on the bike were having an effect. I wasn’t confused as such, just couldn’t remember if I was on track for the run split I wanted. I decided to run on HR and feel, and try and find the max I thought I could maintain.

By the second half of the run, the sun was blazing and the heat off the road was way warmer than 82F that was forecast. I tried to focus on hydration and kept trying to calculate where I should try and up the pace into the finish. I tried at the ¾ mark but couldn’t tolerate anything much faster, so dropped back. I was still trying to figure when to accelerate but then I was at the bridge for the last time, so accelerated from there and did a faster last mile and a half, and posted a 1:27, I was disappointed but considering the heat and the race I had had up until that point, I guess it was reasonable. Waited at the finish for Amy (secretly glad she hadn’t caught me on the run J) she really was amazing…

Was elated to have finished, it was an amazing race, in a beautiful area, the standard of athletes was inspiring and everyone looked like they deserved their place..

I learnt so much as a result of this experience, there was too much unnecessary drama in my race, and I learnt a huge amount about how I react to the heat that I can take to Lanza. I would love to have another go at this in Vegas next year.

I was 43rd out of 222 in my age group, if I had raced the race I wanted and felt capable of, I would have been fighting around top 20, but who knows eh. I was pleased with the position progress however 127/89/43, result said 45th previously, but seems to have been adjusted to 43, I’ll take it

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Nick's new Z5

Sorry for the lack of posts - there is a reason for this I promise !
Back with a bang though - here is Nic's new Parlee Z5 in the 2011 colour scheme (with 'Bespoke blue' highlights)
Looks a cracker with Di2, team saddle and carbone wheels.....

Friday, 8 October 2010

Please come and say hello....

We are on stand D15 at the London Cycle Show (Earls Court and is on until Sunday) and look forward to having a good chat with you all !

Friday, 1 October 2010

World premier....Parlee Z5 in Bespoke Colours

Here it is, and will be on our stand (D15) at the cycle show next week
Please come along and say hello

Its the Z5 in the new colours and this version will be a UK exclusive as I have added small cyan blue highlights to the frame to match our team kit
Its looks sensational in the flesh - I am like a kid at christmas !


This is the 1st prototype of IF's new Ti Factory Lightweight
Though there is nothing dainty about this bike
The tubes are massive, and its very modern with BB30, a carbon seat tube and an integrated Seatpost
They call it the 'hot-rod' of bikes - everything is designed to transmit your power to the drivetrain

I am hoping we start getting the first customer bikes before the end of the year.....

Cross racing

I have been speaking to Kent Eriksen, and he has got me all fired up about doing some cross racing this year
Sounds a wonderful way of getting some fun racing in amongst all the base mile boredom

Then he sends me a pic of some Colorado races - I can see why it looks fun
I doubt Kent in January will look quite so pretty.....

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Cycling Weekly reviews the Z5

Happy days !

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Jeremy's TT

This one is a cracker!
Jeremy lives in Hong Kong and already has a Parlee Z4. This summer he emailed me to say he was looking at getting a TT bike, and when he was next in London could he come in for a fitting....
As Jeremy has never had a TT bike before (he used to do his Triathlons on a road bike) we did a number of fits to get him used to the new position. Luckily he was over on business in London on 3 occasions, so we did 3 separate fittings to dial in the position

It all got very tight at the end - he ordered the bike 3 weeks ago and was only in London for 1 day, so we had 3 weeks to order the frame, the parts (and there is some serious exotica here) have it arrive and built up

Jeremy arrived in London yesterday at 9 am and we did one last fitting (palying around with extension lengths and shapes etc) before Jean had to cable the bike up and then I had to put t in a bike bo before Jeremy's flight that evening
So it was slightly stressful, as we knew we had a defined period to get it ready or jeremy was going on the place without his new bike....

As you can see it all came out alright in the end, and we are thrilled with the result:

This is a XL TT bike with the 'ghost' decals
Jeremy eventually went for 3T LTD aerobars with Ski-extensions, Shimano Di2 and the new sublime Zipp 404 carbon clinchers

Jeremy's first race on it is this weekend and I have begged him for some race photos from Hong Kong

The 'ghost' decals look wonderfully subtle on this bike and contrast perfectly with the rich dark clearcoat

Di2 - once you try it on a TT bike you will never go back !

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Andrew's Z5

Yawn - another lovely build !
Andrew picked up his bike today - he was really pleased and said it looked MUCH better than he ever thought it would (apologies for the iPhone photos)
He actually gave me a row - saying the website does not do the Z5 justice !

This is a ML Tall with DA 7900, Zipp 404 clinchers, 3T contact points and the uber cool Prologo TR saddle
We evern got some Ultremo tyres put on to complete the monochrome look !

Rob's Z5

A simple cracker!

Robs new Parlee Z5 ML with the Tall HT and a custom finish
I really like the monochrome, less is more, look. A cracking build - Super Record, de-badged Mavic Carbon Tubs, Easton Carbon bars + post (though we change the post to something abit more subtle) and the world famous Bespoke Team saddle

Ultan's Z5

This is for Ultan - who does lots of work with Rpaha and was ding the cent Col Challenge recce
He needed an uber light climbing bike so came to us and this is what we arrived with

Ultan is a graphic designer and designed the 'look' of the bike himself
Its a mixture of ghost decals with a custom Rapha logo
The rest of the build is modern classic - DA 7900 and wheels and Deda shall bars

Jeff's IF SSR single speed

Is this the most indulgent Single Speed we have done in a while
Quite possibly !

Jeff's IF custom Stainless steel Single speed built with Record cranks, Phil Wood hubs (fixed and SS options), Easton EC90SL bar, Ritchey Stem, Record brake levers and calipers, CK headset, Selle Italia Carbonio saddle and an Edge fork

Nice !

An new era

And sure to upset some people!
I am ery pleased to say we are now Trek dealers and will focusing mainly on the Project one and the Speed Concept TT/Tri bikes
I think this TT bike is truly cutting edge and the best of the modern 'super bikes'
But because its not built, or measured, in the conventional sense getting the correct fit on it is crucial
Which is where I hope we come in !

We have already taken orders for some absolutely cracking builds - SRMs, DI2, Zipp discs etc etc
This will be fun !

Jeff's Z1 custom

This bike was a LONG time coming - the paint alone took ages
But it was worth the wait

Its a Z1 custom with full DA and wheels

Can you tell Jeff is a massive Grateful Dead fan?
Jeff was pleased as well which is the main thing
" I was stunned. the bike truly looks amazing. sometimes the wait is worth it!!!"

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Challenge Copenhagen Race Report

At the start of the year I entered to do my 3rd Ironman distance event - this time in Copenhagen
I had an aim of doing very well in it and improving on last years Roth time of 9.24

I was kidding myself !

10 weeks before the event and I had not swam in a year and my TT bike was lying disassembled on the floor
Runs had been good - but mainly were 30-45 mins with the dog in the woods, not exactly structured !

This summer has been a total write off for events - I have done nothing at all
Work has been super busy (thank you all) and then little Matthew (our first child) was born in May

6 weeks later my dad, who I was very close to, died suddenly after a short illness and that knocked me for six

At his funeral I gave a 15 minute eulogy - I am not a great public speaker but I found it therapeutic
I 'wrote' the eulogy on the preceding days - I would go out on my bike for 2-3 hrs and just think of things
I love how cycling (and running) is such a release for us

I am in my 30s, and dad was only 63 and was a tremendous support to me - the whole family would travel to support me in my previous 2 IM events and we would make a holiday out of it afterwards
I was determined, more than ever, to do Challenge Copenhagen this year, and in a decent time as a tribute to him

I came back from the funeral mentally exhausted and then jumped straight back into work and training

The lesson for the future will be to 'enjoy' an event - I think I put too much pressure on myself
So much so that when I finished I felt 'relieved' rather than 'pleased'

This was the first IM I did without the family there, but I did go with a good friend (the famous Brett Hedge) who was competing at this distance for the first time
His enthusiasm was infectious

The bike was going to be my strength, the run is what it is and the swim would be 'interesting'
I had only re-started swimming 10 weeks before the event, and then even that had been badly affected by everything that happened in the last 5 weeks

It got to the stage where I put my wetsuit on for the first time in a year only 6 days before the event. Madness. Never again !

Copenhagen is great - I love how everyone cycles everywhere !
The Saturday was a disaster weather wise as we had the worst storm Copenhagen has seen in years (we later found out Challenge were considering canceling the event as the roads would be flooded (more of this to come))
The Saturday would also have been my dad's birthday - so it was a strange day. My sister had gone to be with mum and I felt like I should have been there as well....

Race day itself:

The swim was fine - I did 66 minutes which is not great, but better than I could have asked for given my tardiness in the pool

The bike was 'interesting'. I did 4.48 on the bike in Roth last year and think I am in better shape this year (1 more year of TT'ing vs being on a road bike). I was also really happy with my bike position - it felt dialed: fast and comfortable

I was determined to break 5 hrs on the bike - the course was billed as fast and flat

This was harder than I thought - the course was fairly technical to start with (leaving the city on wet roads with white paint on road and lots of man-hole covers) and then we had a great section up the coast where you could really motor
But at the top of the course we went inland and this was on very small winding roads and there was standing water, and lots of flint/stones everywhere
I was constantly putting my fingers on my tubs to see if I could remove any debris

I have never seen so many punctures on a ride before, let alone an IM
I was in a constant state of expectation of the inevitable

Coming up to 40 miles and we were on a fast, smooth section again and I thought I was home free
Disaster strikes and I get a puncture.....

I start to panic - 'this cant be happening to me, this is for my dad' etc
I put a pit stop in and go again for 10 minutes but its obvious that its not holding so I pull over and swap the tub out

This is where I will learn for the next time - It took an age to even get the tub off
My spare tub is a Veloflex 22mm Servizo Corsa - picked because its small and supple and so packs well behind the saddle
But if a normal tub punctures what will this do?

I was now very worried that this would have to last 70 miles over a course I would have been reluctant to go out on a winter bike on !

I was feeling pretty low starting the second lap as I knew how bad the roads were up north - all I could think was that I was cycling further and further away from "help" and when I got my next puncture it would be DNF and I would be miles from T2

I tried to nurse the bike as much as possible and miraculously (maybe someone was looking out for me !) I had no further mis-haps

Actual time on bike was 5.07, SRM shows 4.58 which seemed about right

AP was 225, NP was 245
Ave HR was 138 - Brett (an excellent cyclist) was surprised how low this was and I did think it would have been more like 145 - maybe I did not push it enough as was scared of mis-haps?
TSS was 270 - supports fact I did not got hard enough?

I am not a great runner, but was really looking forward to this one
Especially so that I was off my bike and made it to T2 !

I needed a 3.40 run to break 10 hrs - it was do-able as I did 3.37 in Switzerland and 3.27 in Roth last yr

I was wanting to really hurt myself on the run, and get all the anger/frustration of the summer out of me

I started the run feeling great - seriously like I had not even ridden. If anything I felt better than for a stand-alone run as I was warmed up !

I started off fairly fast - I always do - and was doing pace for a c 3.10
HR was around 145-150

Despite my best efforts I started to slow, and was trying to think of my dad as inspiration to keep digging
Whereas at the start I was only over taking people, now I was over taking slow runners but quicker guys were passing me

Copenhagen is a 3 loop affair and only my last lap I knew I had c 70 mins of effort/pain to go and this journey would be over

I finished with a 3.19 run - my best marathon time yet, but it definitely felt the most difficult

Last year I did 9.24 in perfect conditions in Roth
This yr I did 9.39 on a wet Copenhagen

A step back in time, but I think it was a better performance

But whereas Roth felt a huge deal that I had gone quick and broken 10 hrs, here I felt simply relief that it had been accomplished
There was much less joy
Instead of having a beer with my ecstatic family like lat yr, this time I hobble over to get some food and sat down in a quite place and took it all in

Brett also had bike woes, but ended up with a 9.40 - including an immense 3.13 run
An amazing time on his first IM race

Its crazy how two room mates can end up 90 secs apart after all that distance !

Its been quite the journey - and I am very glad I have had this event to focus my energies on
Now that its over I dont know what I will do for the rest of the year

I have already decided I am going to work harder this winter than I ever have and go back to Roth in 2011 and leave it all on the course
I know I can break a certain time there - but dont want to say what time that is yet in case I jinx it !

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

New Team Saddles in White

These have just arrived and I am super excited, as they are the exceptionally rare Prologo Scratch TR
The Scratch TR is a proper Team Replica saddle, speced to the pros requirements and then offered to us lesser mortals !
The TR is based on the Original Scratch (like the black version we have in Team colours) but with the base of the TR is stiffer and the rails are set up slightly different.
These are the saddles all the pros use (as you can see from the assorted photos below)
I have to thank Prologo once again for thinking we were worthy of all the efforts that were made to get our own version of these wonderful saddles


The Schlecks

Bradley Wiggins

Ben Swift

Monday, 9 August 2010

Michael's TT bike

This is the bike that will take Michael to glory at the Cologne Ironman distance event this September !

Its a ML Parlee TT bike with the higher HT option, full Dura Ace 7900 but with the Zipp R2C carbon shifters, the new 3T brezza Aerobars and some cracking Zipp 606 Tubs

Michale came in for his final fitting this morning and was really pleased, as we are with the outcome

Friday, 23 July 2010

Lisa's XS Parlee Z5

This is a bike we have been waiting a long time for
It is the brand new XS size that Parlee are now offering on the Z5
At last Lisa will have a frame that is the right size and not have to compromise on cockpit choice and all that entails

We are waiting on the last bits of 3T kit (with the red stripe) to match the look !
But its almost there, with Record build and Eurus wheels
The frame on its own was the lightest we have ever seen and comfortably under 800 gms
All in all a climbing dream !

Justin's Kent Eriksen

Justin already has a lovely Parlee Z4 but had a titanium itch he had to scratch
The brief was simple, design a light bike that would climb well, descend beautifully and provide the all day ride comfort that Titanium is renowned for. Easy !
Kent used a whole variety of ubing for the frame - the chainstays are his newest offerings - massive 1" stays for great "snap" but he also used a lighter tubing tubing in the top tube to give a bit more compliancy and reduce weight
The joys of custom !

Finishing kit is Edge carbon fork, Easton bars, Super Record, Fulcrum Zeros

I love the finish Kent offers - its called "Ti on Ti" and is a mixture of blasted and polished Titanium. It looks wonderfully classy !

Gerard's Z4

This is a ML Z4 in the matte finish option
Gerard was thrilled with how subtle and 'stealth' it looks
The gruppo is a mixture of Chorus and Record and we have gone for the classic Eurus wheels

Brett's TT bike

Brett won his Age Group at UK 70.3 on this bike. Now he has just picked up his Zipp 808s it is even faster. We are both doing the Copenhagen Ironman distance event on Aug 15th, and I am scared how much time he will put into me !

Ashley's Z1

A busy day with 4 cracking builds !
First up is this Z1 for Ashley who flew in from Hong Kong this morning to pick up the bike
Its a 56 Z1 with the wax finish
Finishing kit is not bad either, 3T LTD cockpit, Super Record and Lightweight Ventouxs
Ashley is off for 2 weeks riding in Spain and on his return we will make the final tweaks and adjustments to this wonderful bike

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Simon's Kent Eriksen (LOTS of paint !)

Simon is from SA, and is one of my most loyal customers. For his new Kent Eriksen MTB (this is a 29'er HT to joing his 26'er) he wanted to go all out on paint, so we entrusted the masters at Spectrum Powderworks. The thing looks mind blowing !

A full link to this amazing frame is here

Eddie's Z5

Here is Eddie's stunning Parlee Z5 with custom paint (Pearl white with Z4 blue panels)

Jean, who gets to build shiny bikes all day, was so excited to get cracking on this one !

The build kit is fitting of the frame - DA 7900, reynolds carbon clinchers, Time I-Click pedals and Deda Zero 100 contact points (in white obviously) !

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

My ride with the pointy hats

Last wednesday I did my first 10M TT
It was with the Bexley club

I really did it so I could see what sort of shape I was in (and so I could set my power zones for future intervals), so I took my TT bike and training wheels with a powertap on the back

Normally I am the kid with all the gear, but when I arrived I looked like the total beginner I am
There were 90mm front wheels, discs, skin suits, aero helmets - the lot

The course is 10.3 miles and the first 4 miles to the round about are up a hill and then you have a 6 mile flat/descent where I was told you can spin out at 45 mph
I realized my 50/34 12/27 may be ill suited to this !

Including the cycle to the start and a quick recce of the route I did 25 miles, so was feeling nice and warmed up when I got called up. It was a gorgeous summer's evening. What more could you ask for

They count you down from 30 seconds to go, and someone holds your bike for you so that you can clip in with both pedals for maximum attack
I was just praying I did not fall off my bike at the start line !

The classic mistake in a TT is to go off too hard and I was determined not to do so, but I also knew the first 2 miles had lots of 4-5% drags
I looked down and I was doing 450 watts up the first hill. CALM DOWN

Literally within 2 minutes I saw my minute man and soon passed him - feeling on top of the world
I then realized he was 65 and on a road bike so felt slightly humbled

After the first couple of minutes excitement I calmed down and really got into a zone - settling on 350 watts for the first 4 miles
I felt I was flying and just before the turn around I passed my 2 minute man
I began to have visions of handshakes at the finish line as I broke the course record on my first attempt !

Alas I am a better climber than a descender, and ended up coasting quite a bit on the descent as 1) I ran out of gears and 2) I dont like going on aerobars down a hill at 40 mphs when a lorry is trying to pass you on the outside !

I heard that you push yourself so hard you want to throw up at the line
Alas for me my HR was 12 beats lower at the finish than at the turnaround, so I need to dig far deeper in the future !
Second half of the TT was only 285 watts so I need to push much more (53/11??)

I ended up doing a 23.35 for mid table obscurity well down on the winner who posted a 21.50

But I truly loved it and feel I can easily shave a minute off the time simply by knowing the course and choosing better gearing (and yes I will bring the full carbon armada of deep wheels and my disc !)

I cycled home at 8.15 with the evening sun still in my eyes
Often as 'sportives riders' or 'triathletes' we limit ourselves to our chosen events
But cycling is so broad, and so inclusive there is masses to try
TTs, track riding, winter cross racing, Hogg Hill crits

Its also nice to pin a number on your back and actually 'race' and feel that sense of excitement at a start line

More please !

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Parlee Video Tour

Courtesy of a shop in Chicago, Get a Grip, please see the Parlee video Tour
Many of you who have Parlee's will know of me talking about "speaking to Tom'
Here is the legend in the flesh !

Monday, 21 June 2010

We have a winner !

Huge congratulations to my man Brett who won his Age Group (35-39 - which is uber competitive) at the UK 70.3 Triathlon today and is now going to the World Championships in Clearwater, Florida. I know how much effort he puts into his cycling (and now running and swimming) so I am thrilled for him

Monday, 14 June 2010

Rapha's Gentlemens Time Trial

On Sunday, Team Bespoke did the Rapha Gentleman's Time Trial (London to Brighton and back). You are meant to have a team of 6... but we ended up with a team of three (myself, Brett and Jean). Including the ride to the start (and plenty of getting lost when we were on route) that was a 165 miles today - 8.30hrs of vastly differing emotions. But great fun now its all over !!

It started as it would end - we were set off at 10.10
At 10.13 Brett and Jean were still waiting and I was stuck in the queue for the toilet !!

Brett has sent a link to the route we took

You will see what a bunch of numpties we were 1) crossing M23 twice (!) to do a big dog leg and then the total shambles coming into Horsham. But the first hour coming home from Brighton was epic fun, and the last 25 miles when we were smashing home with a tail wind will also stay with me for a long time

All time low was being lost outside Horsham and ending up taking an extra hour to find the checkpoint. When you have no food or water and you have already done 115 miles, the toys start to get thrown out of the pram, Jean was looking for the nearest train station and I was all set to join him. But then I thought what about the blog !

Just after Gatwick we stopped at a Petrol station and I bought the team a truly disgusting bag of stale donuts. But it was food from heaven. And with blood sugars restored the teams moral soared

The finish at the Rapha cafe was also great. I was desperate for some real food and maybe even a recovery drink. Instead as we were cheered in the door by the other teams (and yes that means we did not win!) I was given two glasses of champagne.
Not quite what Joe Friel recommends - but my legs did not hurt as much afterwards!!!

I came home at 9pm with sunburnt arms and aching legs but mainly with a massive smile on my face. Doing things like this makes you feel alive, and grateful to have a passion for such a wonderful sport like cycling

Big thanks to my team mates Brett and Jean for the ride, and an even bigger one to all at Rapha for organizing such a wonderful event. I really hope for an invite to the next one !

Saturday, 29 May 2010

David's Z3

This is David's Large Z3 with BB30, which came in a 6.2 kgs - perfect for the Alpine adventures he has planned.

The build was DA 7900 complimented by a touch of exotica - the Zipp Vuma Quad crank

The frame is also full weave - as opposed to the more commonly seen woven lugs/uni lugs

Wheels are again Reynolds MV32s with my favourite Vittoria Evo CX tubs

A bike this 'dialed' - is it any surprise who built it?