Google+ Followers

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stourport-on-Trent

Most of my riding has been the daily commute in to Aston University. Most of these rides have been on the trusty Avanti Montari and the occasional journey on the Trice QNT trike. One such journey was so that the students building an echo car could examine the steering geometry. They almost stripped it down to see how it had been designed.

On the 3 December, the Worcester-St Johns cycling club had booked the Stourport Sports Centre circuit for the afternoon. Having been invited to join them, I decided that it would be a good endurance test ride for the trike. I had hoped some brackets to shorten the cranks might have arrived but postage from the US at this time of year seems slow.

The ride out was supposed to be into a head wind but the primarily downhill ride seemed to make it quite an easy journey. Heading through Kidderminster, I pulled in at Smiths Cycles. They are agents for the ICE trikes and Andrew is quite helpful. If I was buying a new trike then Andrew is the person that I would purchase it from.

At the circuit, I completed about five laps. The wind was more noticeable on the circuit and it was the first time that the wind seemed to have any impact on the riding of the trike. I also learnt to control the trike on two wheels as I tried to hard through one of the hairpin corners that dipped into the apex.

The ride home was more of an uphill grind than I had expected. I also tried to explore what was marked as a cycle path and an alternative route off the main traffic flows. I soon learnt that not only do I need to shorter cranks but I need to consider shortening the boom. I find that I kept sliding forward on the seat as I put the pressure on to climb the hills.

At 69km with a duration of 4 hours 19 minutes and 19 seconds, this was my longest trike ride so far. My maximum speed was 53.1 km per hour and I suspect this could have been faster with shorter cranks and a better ability to spin when pedalling. The average speed of 15.7 km / hour was slower than anticipated but I did fade badly on the return journey.

Despite this being a shorter journey than previous rides on the Avanti Montari, I still feel more relaxed on the trike. At times, you seem to drift along taking in the scenery and enjoying the ride. However, I was frustrated that I forgot to take my camera with me so there are no photos of this journey.

This cycle journey did take me past a variety of homes and so does my ride too and from work. The Equality Trust (http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/) pushes the way that inequality impacts society. As I cycle around Birmingham and the nearby country side, this inequality is quite clear to see. The small terraced houses of some of the Birmingham suburbs are a stark contrast to some of the large detached houses not that far away. Head out into the country and the contrast is even more noticeable.