Friday morning. I get well dressed for a ride on my Pioneer. Just before leaving I install my radio in my pockets and ears. Riding the Fuego and Mango have spoiled me a bit when it comes to speed sensation/ The Pioneer is kinda slow on such a long, long straight. Radio 2 is a good companion for the long distance commuter. But it's a good bike, and I get to Nijeveen in a comfortable and save way. I had time to think of ways to make Lobbes faster.
I spent most of the day checking bikes for dealers and customers in France and Germany. Everything most be perfect. Everything as by the book. Everything as good as possible.
After tea I start working on some wheels. And while I'm doing that, Henk is preparing a special Gaucho 28, one with some new, an experiment. Instead of the usual 28 degrees, which racy me finds rather up-right, this one goes down to 21 or so. Of course, without getting a strange geometry and wobbly handling. Two weeks ago I swapped the aluminum plates halfway the bike. Now the bike gets a headlight (an IQ-Speed) and a small rack so that I can ride it home.
Half past five, time to go. I load my stuff onto the little rack and switch on the lights. I sense in the first 50 metres that I like this geometry. It's the ride position of the Fuego combined with the best rolling wheels possible. You might expect that after a ride in the morning on 50 millimetre Kojaks, riding 28 milimetre Conti GP4000S's feels rough. It doesn't, it really doesn't. No rattle, no noise. Nothing more than a deep humming sound. The rear air suspension and 622 size wheels are truly excellent.
It's on my way back home that I know what my Pioneer needs. A derailleur and a different seat. We'll work on that. More things happen when I ride past the canal. My headlight's battery drops in voltage. That means the IQ switches into 'eco mode'. 10 instead of 50 lux. Enough to see the road, enough to be seen. But it ain't very bright no more. To compensate I turn on my latest buy, a Planetbike Spok. Small, economic, high on my helmet and amazingly bright. The perfect back-up!
The Gaucho is clean now, ready for tomorrows race. I'll bring my cameras and I'm curious how it'll do on the track.