Sunday 24 February 2013

Event: LBC Richmond Park Social

Today was WICKED cold, my Garmin registered 0C but with the wind it was definitely colder, but we Brompton Riders are BAD ASSES. Met up at Costa Coffee right next to Richmond Station. Met up with everyone and a little chat with a few and then off to Richmond. While we was there Mick B was there but still suffering from a flu/cold bug so couldn't ride but still good of him to come down and send us on our way.

Off we went with our Master Navigator David P with his best buddy the Garmin Edge 800 that his just got himself. Our short stop was the great looking Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge over the River Thames
While on this ride Andy L offered me his M6L with reduced chainring set to have a go at the Hills in Richmond Park. I have been playing with the idea of getting reduced gearing for The Legend ever since the LBC Ride: London to Cambridge. I made a lot of mistakes but one that I couldn't do anything about was Bumble B's gears. With only 3 gears it can be pretty hard to get up some of the big hills and getting more gears could help me in this. So as soon as we entered Richmond Park there was a hill which I tested out Andy L's 6 gears & reduced chainring. I have to say I felt a HUGE difference and felt I could go up the hills much easier.

Cute little Brompton Bicycle Badge/Pin
That convinced me to definitely looking onto getting a conversion kit for The Legend to get him 6 gears which would mean, new rear wheel, gear cables, gear lever, de-railor and probably some other bits. I've heard there is a conversion kit but seems to be hard to nail down.

What would be perfect for me is if I could get the new 2013 rear wheel as they are a better design. I've fired off an afew emails explained the situation and see what happens. *fingers crossed*

After the first hill Andy L pretty wisely wanted to swap back over but he was honoured to have ridden The Legend, as he should be :P I don't let many people ride him if ever most of the time.

With this route in Richmond Park we went though a few of the dirt tracks which me and my partner in crime Mr. OrangeBrompton normally stick to the roads. I have to say that riding on the dirt tracks took me back to my childhood days of riding my Super Tuff Burner by Rayleigh  (Black & Gold BMX) tearing though the forest land and I damn well LOVED IT!. Much more fun than the roads and alot less cars to deal with. But then we had to use our ninja skills in avoiding the many runners, mountain bikers, dog walkers, families etc.

After this there was a major incline in which I'm afraid I had to get off and walk up as my first gear was just too hard for me to pedal up. If I was in doubt before about upgrading Bumble B's gears this just about made up my mind to find out what I need to do. I'm not sure if I will do it myself (with assistants) or let someone more professional do it.

Anyway back to the ride. After doing I think about a circuit a few of the others called it a day. Me, David P & OrangeBrompton made our way towards Richmond Station but made a little detour to Nightingale Road. I'm not going to kid you we was at the top so we went down and its a pretty shot but STEEP hill. I've heard this hill mentioned a few times but some of the LBC nutters about going up it. Yes dear reader we got down to the bottom but Mr. OrangeBrompton suggested we go up it to see if we could. Well it was a no brainer for me NOT to do it, I have trouble enough with the hills in Richmond Park let alone this infamous "little hill"
David P was still recovering from a bug so it was left to Mr.OrangeBrompton do have at it

OrangeBrompton returning with a smile
 Looking at the big smile on Mr. OrangeBrompton's face I think he enjoyed going up this hill. I think in time I shall do the same. Probably after I've upgraded The Legend's gears to 6 speed.

Me and The Legend waiting at the bottom. We shall return
I have to say I felt much better and much stronger in Richmond Park today. I tried to keep my cadence up as much as I could which is what I'm trying to do most of the time as I can feel a huge difference in my cycling in general. I got a few more areas to work on but I'm feeling a difference and its in the right direction >:D

Below is the data collected by my Garmin Edge 800.

Oh and if you look closely its like a heart

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