Monday, 17 June 2013

2013 Niigata City Ride report

Well the Niigata City Ride has been and gone , it was held yesterday on Sunday 16th. Quite a while back I suggested to my boss that I could ride the 120km event on one of our shop  fat bikes - a 2011 Surly Pugsly with tyres that are 26 inch x 3.8 !, yes that is quite a fat tyre and not really suited to such a long road ride but I was in need of a challenge and that would make it a sure fire challenge indeed. Many of my customers did not believe I could even finish the event on such a machine.

Well yesterday I proved everybody wrong by finishing the entire course on a fat bike, there were plenty of comments when I showed up at the start in a sea of 700 x 23c road bikes . I had a time limited of 8 hours to complete the 120km ride and paced myself well throughout the morning in the cool weather drinking lots of water and eating some energy bars I had brought along in my frame bag, good job I did have extra food as the provided lunch was tiny to say the least. Pictured below is the tiny lunch - almost 1.1 scale !, I am sure this will not happen next year

 My main problem throughout the entire day was seat post slippage. I should have replaced the clamp before the ride as every 15km of so I had to stop and re adjust the post height and gently clamp it tight again , either the rider was too heavy or the seat post clamp was shit, my Salsa lip lock clamp on my Kona never slips so I would say it is a badly designed component if you have a gentlemanly figure, skinny riders need not worry !. After lunch the sun came out in force and heated up from a nice 23 deg to 27 deg with high humidity - just what you need when you have another 60km to go. Just 15km from the finish I was told I was the 2nd last rider on the course , so after two stops to re fuel at 7/11 a few sandwiches , pizza bread and a fried pork cutlet sandwich & ice coffee - I had a 2nd wind and as I was riding the fat bike back towards the city I decided  I wanted to finish before 3.30pm after starting at 7.30am that morning. That was going to be a mission in 27 deg heat of a fat tyre bike , but kiwis do not give up easily and I have never pulled out of a race / event in my life and was not about to start today. Upon enter the cool underground cycle tunnel under the Shinano river in the city I could not believe my luck when I spied  several tired cyclists plodding along slowing towards  the other end of the tunnel. This is when I put the hammer down or balls to the wall as my mate Brian would say ( he had already finished a few hours earlier ) . Coming out of the tunnel I made one last seat post clamp adjustment that would hopefully take me to the finish line about 5 kms away . Then I clicked up several gears and spun those fat tyres as fast as I could , overtaking a few surprised roadies before I hit the rider side cycle path. Upon getting onto the path I saw a bunch of 10 road cyclists riding slow , waited for a wide gap and really put the hammer down and flew past . I was feeling great and then about 50 mtrs in front I spied 4 of my customers in their brand new Furumachi Bicycle cycle tops on their brand new Cinelli road bikes, this was to be the icing on the cake and I really worked hard to catch and over take them at speed , they let out a yell in shock and fumbled quickly through their gears but it was too late as I was a man on a mission. I really worked it hard to cross the finish line in front of them - they put up a great chase and I gained about 14 places in the last 5km and finished at 3.15 pm totally knacked but very happy. This was more an experiment and advertising feat than anything else , yes you can ride a fat bike 120km on the road but I certainly do not recommend it at all. Below are some photos taken at the finish with my customer over spec Ishii on his new Sulry Big Dummy ( he was fast totally loaded up) and Team Fujumoto
san who chased me across the finish line .

To check out all the photos see the following link 

1 comment:

Pandabonium said...

Otsukarisamadeshita! Congratulations on your accomplishment. Looking at those tires, I would be skeptical of you being able to do it too. Amazing.