I’ve finally had the chance to start getting back to some semblance of normality this weekend. My original plan was to go down to Bournemouth early to do a ride before the Primera Tri Expo, but Stu has been unwell and I was still feeling quite tired, so we decided to have a bit of a lie in before heading down to Bournemouth. We went to the Tri Expo last year and quite enjoyed it, so we were looking forward to picking up some bargains this year as well as finding out about new products and races.
Unfortunately, there weren’t as many exhibitors there as last year, which was a little disappointing. There appeared to be one nutrition stand where there were electrolyte drinks, but as I’m quite happy with the nuun that I’ve got (and my stash of high-5 stuff gathered at cycling events), I didn’t bother trying it. Zoom Tri Club were there, but I was surprised that Bustinskins didn’t have a stand and there was no information about Challenge Weymouth either. Race New Forest were also not participating, so it seemed like a much more low-key event. Having said that, I managed to do plenty of shopping:
- Castelli jersey – £70 reduced to £20
- Assos base layer – I haven’t bothered to take a photo as it’s just a plain black unisex short-sleeved t-shirt – £68.99 reduced to £20
- Gore jersey – £84.99 reduced to £10
- Specialized women’s trail top reduced to £5 (I suspect that this item has been sitting in storage for a while as it smells a little musty and definitely needs to go through the laundry before I’ll wear it!)
- Two pairs of socks – a pair of white Specialized socks with pale blue polka dots on them and some DeFeet World Champion socks (I’m dreaming big!) – reduced to £1 a pair from about £9
- A pair of Xtenex blue and white laces – reduced from £9.99 to £5
- A pair of Orca hydro booties – reduced from £34.99 to £5
So, all-in-all, I did pretty well. Stuart also managed to bag himself some bargains, as there were various jerseys that he wanted which had great reductions (such as men’s Castelli jerseys reduced from £90 to £15!)
After the Expo, we had lunch in Bournemouth, before heading to the Primera store. We had been given 15% off vouchers that were valid for one day only, and Stuart wanted to buy some new pedals.
When we went into the store, I decided to have a look at the bike helmets. I bought my road bike helmet in this shop a year ago, but I’ve never been perfectly happy with it, as the straps don’t adjust as much as I need them to. The helmet that I’ve got is a Specialized S30, and the sales person recommended buying a more expensive Specialized helmet. I tried on the superior model and it did fit better, but I’m not sure that I can afford to spend that much on a new helmet right now, and I want to have a look at a few other brands before I make my decision. (Before any queries my judgement about buying other stuff ahead of my safety, I’d like to comment that I have two cycling helmets that fit me adequately, but I think I could get an even better fit!)
Stuart found that he couldn’t buy just a pair of speedplay pedals, so he bought a set with cleats included. With the 15% discount, they were about the same price as the ones he had seen online that were just pedals.
I then made my final purchase of the day – a pump. I’ve got CO2 in my bike bag, but I think it’s sensible to carry a pump as well.
On Sunday, Teri and I agreed to go for a bike ride. We’ve not had the chance to have a chat for ages, and I’ve not done any training since I got back from my running/tri holiday, so I was desperate to get out and do something. I’ve also been quite stressed with work, so I thought some fresh air and exercise would do me good.
I cycled to Teri’s house, but when I got there, I realised that I had forgotten my cycling glasses, so we agreed to cycle back to my house to collect them (<3 minutes by bike). I also realised that it was colder than I had thought, so I popped in to put on my new base-layer… to go with my new jersey and socks and a pair of super-comfortable SOAS shorts. I also put on some black arm warmers.
Teri then realised that she felt a little cold, so we cycled back to her house to collect a jacket.
I had a vague idea of the route that we should take and Teri also had some thoughts, so we headed off towards Romsey. I wanted to cycle up Cow Drove Hill and Teri was keen just to go out for a spin. One of the things that Teri finds amusing is that when we go out running, I always see someone who I know. I think it’s the combination of having been in Lordshill Road Runners for a couple of years as well as my involvement with parkrun. As we got towards Romsey a couple of cyclists passed and one shouted hello to me – it took a second before I recognised him, but I realised that it was Garth from Vankru (bikes and bikefitting). Teri thought it was really funny.
After we’d ridden about 40k, Teri realised that she was getting ‘hangry’, so we stopped at Lillie’s in Stockbridge for some hot chocolate and cake. We decided to have a slice of toffee cake and a slice of carrot cake to share. They were both delicious, but the toffee cake was the clear winner.
It felt quite cold when we’d stopped, so we realised that we had to get moving again, so we headed back towards Kings Somborne. Fortunately, we got onto a route that I recognised – it led us to the top of Cow Drove Hill. At the bottom, I persuaded Teri that we should cycle up it, just because we could. I’m not sure that Teri thought it was such a good plan, but she humoured me and agreed to it anyway. I felt really pleased that a hill which had seemed like an enormous struggle in the past was now much easier.
After our feat of mountain climbing, we headed back towards Southampton. I failed to capture everything on my garmin, but think we did about 65 leisurely km. Thanks, Teri :-)
To round off a great day, Stuart cooked some ‘pasta di triathlon’ for tea!