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Aushiker

Hall of Famer
May 25, 2015
124
Fremantle, Western Australia
Andrew
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Rentals awaiting the hills - La Bastide-Puylaurent - - Chemin de Stevenson-2018-D5-20 by Andrew Priest, on Flickr

A nice set of Giant XCT mountain bikes available for hire or for use on group tours in the nearby hills. We came across a few groups of mountain bike riders at various times whilst completing the walk.

Day 5 of 12 - Le Cheylard l’Evèque to La Bastide-Puylaurent: Walking the Chemin de Stevenson (GR 70 Robert Louis Stevenson Trail) in the south of France.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I gave in and ordered my first Lycra gear ever, a cycling jersey. I did order it oversize. I was a sucker for the graphics, a small emblem of a guy on a bike, with lettering that says "Retired but not tired".
Jerseys are actually really, really nice to ride in. Nothing flaps around, rubs, or traps sweat for more than a few seconds. I was NOT a lyrca / spandex guy, and I still commute in office attire, but if I'm going to exert myself, these days I tend to at least go for a jersey, if not a full kit.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
124
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Yesterday I decided to celebrate October 1 and my first official day as an annuitant by leaving very early and driving a couple of hours to WV's North Bend Rail Trail, a 72 mile long recreational trail that passes through small towns, farmland, and forests. Unfortunately, the day would rapidly feel more like July 1 than 1 OCT, with temps reaching the mid-90s F (about 35C). I drank my 40 oz hydro flask rapidly, stopped and refilled at one of the small towns I traversed, and guzzled the thing down again on the way back.

I rode from the town of Cairo in Ritchie County, to the town of Central Station in Doddridge County and back, a round trip of 50.4 miles. There were a couple of long, long climbs on the way back, and in the wilting heat, I was done by about mile 35. I was able to stop in a little eatery in Pennsboro and eat a small salad and drink some ice water, but my final 15 miles seemed like they lasted forever. The trail near the towns was mostly open and unshaded, and it was a great deal of relief when I rolled back into the forested areas. The worst part of the whole thing was the burning pain in my neck and shoulders from those long climbs. I'm going to look into adjusting my stem angle and see if that helps.

I'll certainly go back to that trail, because the countryside really is beautiful, but I doubt I'll ride that kind of day trip again.

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It is fitting that my turn-around point was at mm 50. This handy spot gave me a chance to rest and munch on an apple before heading back. Only 25 miles to the car!

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KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
Yesterday I decided to celebrate October 1 and my first official day as an annuitant by leaving very early and driving a couple of hours to WV's North Bend Rail Trail, a 72 mile long recreational trail that passes through small towns, farmland, and forests. Unfortunately, the day would rapidly feel more like July 1 than 1 OCT, with temps reaching the mid-90s F (about 35C). I drank my 40 oz hydro flask rapidly, stopped and refilled at one of the small towns I traversed, and guzzled the thing down again on the way back.

I rode from the town of Cairo in Ritchie County, to the town of Central Station in Doddridge County and back, a round trip of 50.4 miles. There were a couple of long, long climbs on the way back, and in the wilting heat, I was done by about mile 35. I was able to stop in a little eatery in Pennsboro and eat a small salad and drink some ice water, but my final 15 miles seemed like they lasted forever. The trail near the towns was mostly open and unshaded, and it was a great deal of relief when I rolled back into the forested areas. The worst part of the whole thing was the burning pain in my neck and shoulders from those long climbs. I'm going to look into adjusting my stem angle and see if that helps.

I'll certainly go back to that trail, because the countryside really is beautiful, but I doubt I'll ride that kind of day trip again.

View attachment 206462

It is fitting that my turn-around point was at mm 50. This handy spot gave me a chance to rest and munch on an apple before heading back. Only 25 miles to the car!

View attachment 206463
Ahhh Tony I just saw this! Excellent work, I’m really jealous. How close is that to what I rode 4 or 5 years ago, the Pittsburgh-DC rail trail? And, if we’re voting, a 50 mile day in 90 degrees is not a joke, man. That’s kinda nasty. I’ll bet you loved the dark, damp tunnel.

Ok, so the back and neck issues… Can you give me a sense of how far forward you’re leaning to rest your hands on the bars? Ideally (for bike rides like this, as opposed to going 3 blocks to the store for milk) you should have SOME weight on your hands, not 100% on the saddle. That slight lean forward lets you put a lot more power into the pedal strokes. If you think it’s a little too much forward lean right now, then we start looking at your stem (length and angle) and your bars.

I see you’re using your stem length for a small bag, so maybe I’d mess with changing out the bars before the stem. And hey, bars are cheap! That bike -looks- like- a Trek FX series? Those are a 31.8mm clamp on the handlebar (as opposed to 25.4mm). Your stock bars have what looks like about 10 degrees of sweep, which is ok, but there’s plenty more sweep out there if you want to go that route. (For reference, my daily Fisher has 40 degree bars on it). Verify that clamp diameter, of course, but assuming it’s correct, here are some cool options:


Soma Fab’s “Clarence” and “Osprey” bars come in 31.8. Handlebars | SOMA Fabrications

Velo Orange makes one called the Granola in 31.8mm, (side note: their Postino is the one I use on the Fisher, but wrong clamp diameter for you) : Handlebars - Velo Orange

And the bars that changed a lot of peoples’ minds about sweep angles in the past 5 years, the Jones H bars… they’re a little more spendy, but there are 3 different center sections, tons of options: Store - H-Bars - Jones Bikes

Good luck, my friend. Let’s get you comfortable so you keep riding!
 

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