Weight and headwinds are the cyclist’s two greatest enemies. It’s hard to do anything about the latter but the weight weenies will go to any lengths to try to overcome the former.
Whenever I was tempted to spend on upgrading components to make my bike lighter, I was horribly conscious that it made little sense to lighten the bike while I brought along the equivalent of a couple of rucksacks inside my epidermis. Since the beginning of February, I’ve shed thirty three pounds (two stone five pounds, or fifteen kilos in new money). Now I can look at upgrading the bike with a clear conscience. To celebrate, I replaced my old Look Deltas, which I’ve had since clip-in pedals first appeared, with some modern Look Keo Classics that weigh half as much. The benefit of these isn’t just felt in the dead weight of the bike, but also as a reduction in rotating mass.
Before I went out on a training ride with them yesterday, I wasted ten minutes checking on whether it was worth replacing the Bianchi’s stock saddle, a Selle San Marco Ponza, with a spare Ritchey Streem that I had on the shelf. The digital scales told me that they both were 215gm, so back on went the Ponza.
Losing so much weight has made me feel like a different person. When I go for a run I no longer have to walk up hills. Out on the bike I can actually accelerate noticeably rather than imperceptibly. At CKD, when someone unleashes a heavy kick on me, I fly back towards the wall, no longer the immovable object.
Yesterday’s ride made me realise that I’m now going to have to carry more fuel with me, for no longer can I metabolise the stores that my body had stashed away in layers. No more bidons of plain water for me. After thirty miles, I was running on empty. Next week is the re-run of the postponed Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, for which I’ve signed up for the sixty mile middle distance. Forewarned is forearmed, so I’ll take a few bars and gels to supplement what’s available at Wiggle’s excellent feed stations.
Feather image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net