Well, this must be my most anticipated blog post ever. Last Monday I received an e-mail that it was ready, and on Wednesday, around 2 in the afternoon, I walked in to the Beyss factory.
I changed clothing and had a go. The seat needed to be a bit more upright and the shifting wasn't what it should be. It quickly turned out that an expert was needed, so the help was Daniel was called in. In the following hours, the seat bracket was adjusted, the rear wheel was changed (better fit and 500gram or so lighter!), the cassette fixed, the chain shortened and I the tires where swapped for something faster.
After that we did series of coast down tests with 2 different K's, mine and Daniel's. Apart from about 7kg, there also light years apart in components. So by swapping wheels, and putting the optional head fairing on these 2 K's, we discovered interesting things. We tested on a tiny slope with smooth asphalt. We concluded that a 23-571 Vittoria rolls much better than a 35-559 Kojak. We tested that with both K's, and swapped riders too. I could see my brand new K seriously lifting a wheel in a corner, and I smiled. That didn't happen by accident ;-) Obviously, there was nothing wrong with the steering and handling of the heaviest K ever made. (25kg)
Serious again, more testing followed. To my surprise, even at a speed below 5kph, the head fairing has a noticeable, even significant advantage. Even below walking pace, you can feel an airflow coming in through the small inlet under the visor. So, if you want the fastest VM, a really racey 571 wheel is a step forward. And the K 'Kopfhaube' has an advantage at every speed. Of course, as it is with aerodynamics, the higher the speed, the bigger the differences.
Afterwards, it was past 11 in by now, we had a beer. Now the legend goes that legendary riders drink beer the night before a race and big ride. On Thursday, this legend was confirmed for me.
The next day started at 8:30. Breakfast, check out from the hotel, walk to Beyss and buy food in the Supermarket I walked by. I rolled my K outside and loaded my stuff in the luggage spaces. There's enough space, but I'm yet to learn how to use it best.
First part of the ride was easy. But strangly, as soon I crossed the border, the cyclepaths disappeared or got worse. The region around Venlo is not blessed with the usual 'Dutch cycle path' quality. To make things worse there where construction works everywhere and I had 2 punctures within 33km. The ride continued, still over 200km to go. And the more north I got, the better the roads became.
The K is agile and doesn't get stuck on drempels, but it's more at home on 'fast' roads. More a semi lowracer than a swb tourer. Steering is fantastic, stability outstanding and I got to test the higher speed stability later this day. The suspension does a fine job, though you wont fly over a cobblestone road. However, those roads are a small minority.
Through Nijmegen and Arnhem, nothing mentionable happened, except lots of 'thumbs up' from teenagers. Specifically, more from the girls than from the boys. By now I'd ridden over 100km and I'd planned to stop to eat something in Apeldoorn, still 35km to go. The ride had only just begun....