Sunday, 16 May 2010
The maiden voyage. After a week's holiday, I've been itching to get back and take my new Dolan Ares bike out for a spin. Saturday morning was nominated for the inaugral ride, a quick loop out of Altrincham, up to Wilmslow and back again. It's a quick 20 miler. I haven't got any bike computers or anything on it yet, so Saturdays ride was just about getting to know the bike, feeling the handling, familiarising myself with the SRAM gear change.
Summarising the difference between this bike and my current bike. This one is an out and out racer. More aggressive geometry (just look at the forks, straight down). I'll compare the ride to the first time I drove a Porsche 911. The suspension quite hard, the gear change was sweet, the acceleration was awesome, it cornered like it was on rails. I felt the new bike gave me all that in bike terms. It felt phenomenally quick (down to the weight and wheels I guess), the steering is direct and sharp, the brakes are about three times more powerful than my current bike and just riding it - I'm sure - made me just feel quicker. It's a speed machine.
I'm really glad I went for the red hubs on the Ksyrium SL wheels, they really do set the bike off nicely and complement the SRAM Red groupset nicely. I hear that Sir Chris Hoy is about to take delivery of a Dolan Ares too, so I'll be in good company!
I didn't use the bike for the club ride today, opting to take my Specialized with me, primarily as the weather forecast predicted "heavy rain." As usual, they were wrong, no rain today, just some wind. We set off from Stretton with a good pace, pushing between 17mph and 20mph, a group of around ten of us, including a couple of new faces, which was good to see.
I felt good on the ride today, jumping out the saddle and sprinting up the inclines when they appeared. The route was pretty flat, so no major dramas today. The wind picked up towards the end of the ride, as usual, sapping the energy on the back ten miles. Johnathon and Mark had a little go at a sprint towards the end, which made for good viewing, bit of harmless fun.
I've invested in a Garmin 705 this week, so I'm going to be shifting my Garmin 205 and my Polar CS200 bike computer, which have both served me well. Looking round the handlebars on the club ride today, I spotted at least six Garmin on handlebars, so they've done pretty well out of the cycling market, that's for sure!
Ride summary. Distance 42.4 miles, time 2hrs 40 mins, Avg. Speed 15.9mph, Avg. Cadence 83, calories burned (estimate) 2204.