Back In The Saddle

After nearly two weeks out the saddle I headed out for a wee leg spinner this morning.

Having just arrived back home on Sat from 4 hardcore days on the bevvy in Belfast I wasn’t holding out too much for today’s pedal!

The roll call for today was myself and Scott. I text Scott this morning to finalise the meet up time of 9:45am at our usual location, Langlands Industrial Estate. I kitted up and with plenty time to spare, 10 mins till our arranged meet up time, I headed to the shed to get my bike and was met with a flat tyre! Looks like I’d fallen victim to the same fate that Cadel Evans and the other 27 riders yesterday at the Tour de France who suffered punctures after part of the route was sabotaged with tacks!

I made a quick text to Scott to say I’d be a little late as I was changing my inner tube. One man’s misfortune is another man’s gain and all that as for the first time in history Scott was at the meet up point before me!

Today was the first outing for my new tyres, Continental GatorHardShell. These bad boys are supposed to be very puncture resistant, only time will tell. They are a heaver tyre than my previous favourites, Schwalbe Ultremo ZX. The Ultremo’s were great tyres, low rolling resistance and very fast, but they cut up very badly and after 4 punctures on my last 3 rides I finally bit the bullet and moved across to the Continental GatorHardShell ones. It was a tough decision to make as the GatorHardShell’s don’t come in red!!!

Continental GatorHardShell
Continental GatorHardShell

I must say that I was pretty impressed with the tyres after today’s wee jaunt. After getting over the initial uncertainty and new feel they bedded in well and I felt confident in them, especially going over loose, flint like stones. After a thorough inspection this evening there are no cuts to be reported, more than I can say for the first outing with my Schwalbe Ultremo ZX’s! Had to compromise a little with the weight of the tyres but looks worth it for the puncture protection!

We ended up doing 25 miles with an average speed of 14.1mph and average cadence of 85rpm. Headed out to Eaglesham and around the back roads so no real challenging hills to test the rolling resistance out on the new tyres.