On Sunday 12th June 2016 I was one of the 100 cyclists that rode the first Tour de Manc (TdM). The half Manc was 104 km and I completed it with a solo effort from the back. There are many reasons I quickly ended up at the back of the field on my own. I want you to learn from my mistakes…
Mistake #1 – Bike Choice
I had just finished restoring a road bike. Her name is Vicky and I’ll introduce you to her in a later post. On Sunday 8th May 2016, which was only the second time riding Vicky, while approaching the finish of my training ride a driver called Barry overlook me, cut me up and knocked me off my bike. According to Strava my speed was ~ 32 km / h and as Barry turned left and rapidly slowed down I couldn’t avoid the collision which left me some distance from my mangled bike and very shook up.
Tour de Manc 2016
When the TdM arrived I still didn’t feel confident on Vicky. I had done an 88 km ride with Allez Prestwich Cycling Club on my commuter bike (Carrera Vengeance). I cowardly opted for this 650b hard tail mountain bike the my first audax. The confidence inspiring hydraulic disc brakes and comfortable upright position due to the flat handle bars made me sure I was making the correct choice.
The clear mistake for a 100 km bike ride with over 3800 feet of climbing is using a heavy bike with a suspension fork. Although it was a new fork it didn’t have a lock out. My suspension is comfortable but is less efficient and therefore tiring. I believe I was the only person that rode the TdM that day not on a road bike.
What wasn’t a mistake was having Schwalbe Marathon tyres. I saw a TdM rider with a flat tyre shortly after passing Salford Shopping Precinct, which is only 6 km into the audax.