In August I plan to ride a Welsh Coast to Coast. From South to North following the route of the Wales in a Day Sportive. The animated route published on YouTube really sold it to me. The original route is 185 miles over some very hilly terrain so I plan to split it into 40-50 mile sections and add a loop into Builth Wells, the town in which I met the lady of my dreams who is now Mrs W. Along with Junior, she will be my support crew and have their own fun in the daytime whilst Daddy cycles over the hills returning in time for some playground time and dinner in the VW camper.
Originally I liked the challenge of riding this on my high racer recumbent to follow on from my ride on the Pennine Cycleway in 2014. I love my ‘bent for touring because it is so comfortable, but despite all the hype I would have to agree it is harder work up really steep grades because, whist more biomechanically efficient, you cannot get the extra oomph of getting out of the saddle and using also the power of your arms in a good grind.
I am no longer in my 20’s (by a country mile) and my big gripe with my touring bike is neck ache from the use of the dropped bars. So inspired by Matt Hobley I started looking into alterative or ‘alt’ bars. Normally reserved for off road touring and bike packing there are a number of options out there, including but not limited to Jones Bars and Surly Moloko Bars. But my choice has been some Velo Orange Crazy Bars. These are lighter (aluminum, no loop) and also better suited to a traditional bar bag. I get to keep my bar end shifters (a must) but gain some space to mount my GPS in a sensible place for the first time. The aim is the multiple hand positions essential for healthy long distance touring but a more upright posture.
First long test ride is set for tomorrow…