Cycling and running (and the Ferriby 10 2010)

Raleigh cycle computer with the maximum speed after cycling from Little Weighton to Skidby I’ve been thinking of starting running again. Last weekend I took the Kinesis bike out for a ride to Skidby and Little Weighton. These villages are in the East Riding of Yorkshire and offer the nearest hills to where I live. I wanted to see how big a gear I could push on the way back down the hills. As I suspected, not that big.

As I cycled past Cottingham High School I saw lots of runners making their way towards Skidby and the start of the Ferriby 10 (an annual ten-mile road race that doesn’t actually make it to Ferriby, oddly enough). I set off an hour later than I had planned, so I was able to catch up with a friend I’d been out with the night before, and wished him luck five minutes or so before his race. Then I set off on what was essentially the same course, but in reverse. It’s a long drag out of Skidby towards Raywell, I then took a right turn and headed towards Little Weighton. My first chance to get on to the big chain ring that day to check out my speed using the cycle computer I had fitted that morning. About 28 mph, but not using the smallest rear sprocket, 11T.

Raceligh Kinesis T2 railway line near Cottingham

The Kinesis Raclelight T2 bike. Now with its Blackburn EX1 carrier it's starting to look a good deal more sedate. Rather like putting bifocals on a teenager.

I was trying to establish whether there was any point in keeping the rear cassette that came with the bike. Paired with the Sora Triple chainset, it is perfectly fine for local cycling conditions. However, I plan to take this bike up to the Yorkshire Dales at Easter, so I could do with some lower gears. And at the upper end of gear range, I wondered whether I could make use of the 120” plus gear. When I arrived at the main road in Little Weighton the last of the competitors were making their way through the village after running up the long hill from Skidby. The look on their faces made me glad that I was on a bike that day. And it was very, very cold.

On the road to Skidby I had the chain on the 50T chainring and the 13T rear sprocket. I quickly got above 30mph before the front wheel started to wobble from side to side. That was possibly because I was spinning as fast as I dare and could have used a higher gear. But I didn’t bother. 30mph is fast enough for me I think. The amount of time I will have those conditions (long straight hill, slight tail-wind) doesn’t really justify a gear much above 100”.

Kingston Communications telephone kiosk in Skidby

Having a rest in Skidby. The cream telephone boxes are a distinctive feature of Kingston Communications. The old Hull Corporation telephones department remained the only municipal telephones department not to be absorbed by British Telecom.

So my first cycling online purchase: on to the Chain Reaction Cycles web site and two Shimano HG50 cassettes and an HG53 chain. I ordered a Tiagra 13-25 and a Deore 11-34. When I replace the Tiagra rear mechanism with my spare Deore model (assuming the 114 link chain is long enough) and drill out the retaining pins on each cassette I will have the following gearing:

50/39/30 and 13-15-17-19-21-23-26-30-34. This puts the 21T sprocket right in the middle where I can make use of it from the big chain ring. It is a fairly low gear, but one I like to spin in normal cycling conditions.

That’s the plan anyway.

The winner of the Ferriby 10 2010, Carl Ryde from Doncaster AC

The winner of the Ferriby 10 2010, Carl Ryde from Doncaster AC.

As I write this, it is starting to get light outside. I’m thinking of running later this morning. It’s been a while since I did any real running and I’ve felt a few twinges in my right hamstring lately. I want to get in a short steady run rather than cycle today. Mrs Bailey and I went for our first cycle ride of 2010 yesterday. That will have to do for the weekend I think. It’s the half-term break soon and I’ll start those jobs, cycling and non-cycling, next week.

9 comments on “Cycling and running (and the Ferriby 10 2010)”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    My touring bike was supplied with 48/36/26 11-32. With 700 x 37c tyres, that gives me a high gear of about 119.5" and a low gear of 22.25" (I think). For going on tours, with all up weight of bike and loaded panniers of 75lbs, I have another set of wheels with a 11-34 cassette, which gives me a very low 21". On the hills round here I sometimes use the lowest gear, and we did in Denmark last year. A couple of times up long hills with a strong headwind we were going so slow that we got off and pushed.

    I only use the big chainring with the two smallest sprockets, otherwise the chain seems too far out of line. The bike was supplied with a 114 tooth HG53 chain but I bought an HG93 for touring last year. This chain is still on and now pretty worn. HG53 is fine, I think. I can't see a reason for spending the extra.

    In my 30s and 40s I enjoyed running too. I began cycling regularly in my late 30s and that took over from running, especially as I was beginning to feel my knees. I think you really need to watch out for your knees as you get older. I have no issue cycling all day but walking down fells I'm at a point (age 61, 62 next week) where I probably need sticks. Again, I'm fine going up. My dad did a lot of running and hill walking in his 50s and 60s (including all the Scottish Munros) and he knackered his knees totally. My (late) mum did too. On the Coast to Coast in her 70s she could only walk sideways. He says it was worth it but I'm not so sure. Perhaps it was but from his mid 70s he could hardly walk at all, although he cycled until he was 90. At 92, he still rides 10 'miles' per day on an exercise bike.

    Watch out for your knees – you'll need them for your 90s!

  2. Chris wrote:

    Good news about the HG53 114-tooth chain, thanks. The longest the chain will be stretched (and the greatest deflection) is 50-23. I leave the extreme three rear sprockets well alone when I’m on the diagonally opposite chain ring (and the two rear sprockets at either end of the cassette when I’m on the middle chain ring).

    The threat of general wear and tear on my body is just one of the reasons why I’ve held off returning to running. I’ve managed to build up a half decent fitness level right now, including building up those quadriceps immediately above the knee that keep that joint stable. I’m still carrying too much weight, but I’m just about light enough to make a start again. I plan to take it very steady. Your dad must be a real inspiration to you.

    Happy birthday for next week!

  3. Mary wrote:

    92 and still cycling, wow what a man. I hope when I am in my autumn years that I am lucky enough to be still cycling.

    Enjoyed the post Chris.

  4. Chris wrote:

    Ran less than 3.5 miles this morning at just over 8-minute mile pace. Felt okay mainly, but I think Patrick must have put a curse on me. A right knee niggle I last felt when walking off Whernside (or was it Ingleborough?) returned. The knee is just a little stiff and the faint pain will no doubt disappear by tomorrow.

    Just re-read your comment, Patrick. I suppose if the outer chain ring on your Deore chainset only seems right on the two smallest sprockets it would appear to confirm why Ridgeback have switched the Panorama's chainset to one with a square-taper axle that the company claims will give a better chain line.

  5. Patrick wrote:

    Mary wrote: ... I hope when I am in my autumn years that I am lucky enough to be still cycling.

    I hope you are too. I reckon we're all more likely to still be cycling than we are to be walking up and down mountains. My parents must have passed their dodgy knee tendencies on to me, so I'm being careful with them. Some people are lucky with their mechanical bits. Joss Naylor is one. He was interviewed on TV recently and he's still going strong.

    Re the Ridgeback Panorama – I didn't know they'd reverted back to square taper. Their online spec says Octalink as it did when we bought ours in 2008, but they are Hollowtech II. I'm not sure a square taper BB would move the chainset further inboard, as the external bearing is recessed into the 'spider'.

  6. Garry wrote:

    My last 2 touring bikes, before my Thorn Raven, had 42, 32, 22 in front and 11-28 and 11-32 behind. The first was a Dawes Galaxy which suffered a comminuted fracture of its pelvis about a year ago and was put down by a friendly vet, and the second a Giant Racing mountain bike, front suspension, converted to a tourer by me. You really don't need a bigger gear than 42 x 11 for touring, in my experience. That's a top gear of 95 inches. In the Yorkshire Dales, the lowest gear will come in handy on a couple of hills.
    My Thorn Raven has about 18-95 inches. The lowest is unnecessarily low, but it is there.

  7. Chris wrote:

    Patrick wrote: Re the Ridgeback Panorama – I didn't know they'd reverted back to square taper. Their online spec says Octalink as it did when we bought ours in 2008, but they are Hollowtech II. I'm not sure a square taper BB would move the chainset further inboard, as the external bearing is recessed into the 'spider'.

    The plot thickens. The online written specification does indeed refer to a Deore chainset. However, the printed 2010 catalogue, and the photographs in the brochure and online, don't look like Deore. I emailed Ridgeback for clarification. This is the response I received:

    "Amazingly Shimano still don't produce a specific transmission for touring & there are always minor issues with chain line & front derailleur function.

    Contrary to the bike in the brochure & online, the 2010 Panorama will come with a Shimano chainset ref FC-443 this is below Deore but comes with a regular square taper axle which allow us to specify the optimum length for best function. In terms of benefit, this nominal downgrade far out weighs the a slightly better quality chainset with an inferior chain line."

  8. Chris wrote:

    Garry wrote: You really don't need a bigger gear than 42 x 11 for touring, in my experience. That's a top gear of 95 inches.

    Yes, I was going to order a 14-25 cassette, but on reflection I fancied keeping that top gear above 100". Just in case. And I want this bike to be able to do everything but heavy touring. Perhaps if all goes well in the Dales I won't bother to buy the Ridgeback Panorama this summer. I'm not sure if I need that extra "expedition" quality. We'll see.

  9. Patrick wrote:

    Chris wrote: The plot thickens ...

    Well, that's interesting. As it happens, I'm perfectly satisfied with how mine is lined up, with the large chainring more or less in line with the second smallest sprocket. I upgraded the bottom bracket to a Deore XT last year – I think the original was plain Deore. People criticise them, but I like the external bearing system. However, I do agree there are always minor issues with chain line & front derailleur function. I wonder why Ridgeback talk about an inferior chain line when so many of the gears overlap and you can choose your line quite easily.

    The main thing about the Panorama for us is that it does four panniers. Ridgeback's claim that the Panorama is expedition quality is a bit optimistic. It's a heavy tourer for the western world. A proper expedition bike is more like this one »

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