Across the widest bit of Britain by bike.
Tim Jasper, Rohan Brand Director and his good friend Kev are grabbing a week away on their bikes
We’d really like to do the End-to-End but time is not on our side.
But given the opportunity we do want to see as much of our lovely country as is possible (for us) in a week.
So we thought: how about the widest bit of the country?
Opinion varies on what this is but the most common answer seems to be from West Wales to the most easterly point in Suffolk.
This ride will take us from St. Davids in Pembrokeshire to Lowestoft in Suffolk.
From sea to shining sea…
We’ll see some of the prettiest bits of Wales and England.
We’re not treating it as an endurance ride (we’d have done it in 2 days if so and it would have killed us).
We’re not doing it as a challenge, or to prove anything in particular.
It’s a holiday.
The plan is to do about 65-70 miles a day (modest, I know, but we want to see a bit of the country).
We’ll be staying in a mix of Guest Houses, pubs, B&B’s and hotels, depending on what was available. Almost all of them have been super-helpful about locking the bikes away for storage so we won’t be taking locks (one of the ironies of having lighter bikes is you need heavier locks to keep them safe).
We will update the ride daily follow our progress. Let’s see how we get on.
Tim: Rohan Brand Director – Really looking forward to getting back on the bike for more than a day. Long bike rides are even better than the weekend ride or the daily commute. Not a tribal cyclist: love equally my fast tourer, mountain bike, single speed and tandem. Never been into racing (not fast enough) but used to be happy Audax-ing. Touring is the best ever, whether it’s been a fast weekend away in the Cotswolds or exploratory touring across the Atlas and into the Sahara. Love it all.
Kev: IBM IT Architect – I haven’t done that much bike riding over the last few years so just getting into it again. I love all bikes, and have a garage full of them. These include a race bike, couple of folding bikes, tandem, and a few recumbent bikes. I have done a number of supported tours in various countries including Morocco, Cuba, and Iceland. This is my first real, self-supported, bike tour (I don’t know whether Tim knew that!). All in all this is a bit of fun and a bit of a challenge.
What we’re riding:
Van Nicholas Yukon titanium frame with carbon fibre forks
Bontrager Select wheels
20 spokes front
24 spokes rear
Bontrager bars and stem
Van Nick titanium seatpost
Brooks Swallow saddle (this cost more than my first bike! Worth every penny…)
Mainly 105 groupset with triple chainset
Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres
A Boardman Team Carbon bike, all fairly standard, though in an effort to make it up the hills I have put a wider range SRAM cassette which should give me effectively one more gear (no triple chainset though). No mudguards – how likely is it to rain in the summer? I am sure the carbon bottle cages will make all the difference to the weight of the bike and my performance on the tour.
What I am wearing:
My original plan was to wear prototypes of our amazing new Bike range (planned to launch 2012). Hasn’t quite worked out in all cases so I’ve had to fall back occasionally to some of my previously favourite bike clothing…
Helmet: Giro Atmos.
Glasses: Oakley glasses with clear and dark lenses
Mitts: Santini 365 gel mitts
Waterproof Shell: Rohan prototype, fingers crossed, or failing that my Altura shell which is “quite good”.
Windshell: Rohan prototype “Bikeshadow”.
Jersey: Endura merino 150 weight zipneck. We have a Rohan sample ready but it doesn’t yet contain silver and as I’m wearing the same jersey for a week I reckon that would be a bit unfair on the British public
Shorts: Rohan Convertible Trailblazers – converted to shorts. Brilliant, light softshell, super breathable, pocketed and stretchy
Undershorts: Rohan prototype I hope or failing that Endura CoolMax ones.
Socks: Icebreaker merino cycle specific
Shoes: Mavic Alpine, trainer style SPD that can be worn off the bike in the evenings
What I am carrying:
Carradice Nelson 18 litre saddle bag. Made by Betty. Couldn’t get a Nelson Longflap for love nor money
Carradice Quick Release saddle bag support
Clothing for evenings:
Rohan Equator Shirt Long Sleeve 170gms
Rohan Ultra Silver T 60gms
Rohan Ultra Silver Trunks 40gms
Rohan Everywear merino socks
Rohan Ultimate Cargos 400gms
Rohan Inner Flame Jacket 430gms or Kombi Top 350gms– haven’t decided yet.
Spare bike shorts liner
Rohan Buff cut into two shorter tubes.
Personal care and comms:
Rohan Small Washbox with toiletries, first aid, Sudocrem, indigestion remedies (pub food…) and painkillers
Sennheiser folding headphones
Might not take a camera as the iPhone one is pretty good.
Maps in sections, in plastic bag.
Rohan Light Cells 10, 5
Travel wallet stuffed full of readies.
House key, in case I make it back home.
Tools and spares:
Spare tubes X2Topeak Alien multitool.
VAR tyre lever (those Schwalbes are pretty tight on the rim).
Spare tyre? Maybe, but I have one round my waist anyway.
Brooks saddle cover.
On the bike:
Camelbak waterbottles X2.
Blackburn mini pump.
Cateye bike computer.
Shoes: Mavic Alpine, trainer style SPD that can be worn off the bike in the evenings.
After seeing Tim’s list my first thoughts were to put down that I was going to be using an old T shirt I had free at a seminar but…
What I’m carrying:
TopPeak beam pannier, adapted slightly
Ortlieb pannier bags (they are truly waterproof and I have a feeling that may be important)
Clothing for Bike
Specialized cycling helmet Enduro ¾ length shorts with 2 linersEnduro
Coolmax socks Giordana cycling top
Polaris Gilet (not sure yet about this)
Garmin Heart rate monitor (to see if I am still alive)
For the evenings
Rohan Dalloi trousers
Rohan Silver T Shirt Short sleeved shirt
Rohan long sleeved On Route Shirt Custom made lightweight pullover top (made especially for me by someone special)
Personal care and comms
suntan cream (ever optimistic – maybe it should be goose fat!)
iPhone with headset
Mains USB charger with leads for Garmin and iPhone
Tools and spares
X2Topeak Alien multitool
On the bike
Front and Rear LED light (front light doubles as torch)
Blackburn mini pump
Garmin Edge 705 bike computer with routes programmed in
Shoes: Specialised Body Geometry MTB shoes
Read our Side to Side blog follow our progress. Let’s see how we get on.