Introducing my Roadie

My other wife aka the MTB, got the exposure that she needed, meanwhile the overlooked beauty prodded me to be put on this blog. So, introducing here and now, the fast, light, fickle, slick tyre beauty:

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The lighter but faster touring Roadie.

This is several kilograms ( kgs. ) lighter than my MTB, but it’s just as fickle if stretched or fiddled with. The MTB can take our typical roads, smooth as butter in one stretch and then absolute mayhem in another. This one doesn’t cut it. On one of my 400 km. runs, it gave up on the way back, a cup in the hub that houses the ball bearings gave up. Today, it’s rear tyre burst and took the tube with it too. I had to drag it and myself for 20 odd kilometres with the no-rules traffic zipping by on the highway. Luckily, this was just a photo op run and I decided to limit myself to within 50 km. of my residence. If I had gone on further, I may have had to haul it over a lot many miles ( or kilometres ).

The roadie suffers from several shortcomings when touring in the Indian subcontinent. It has no suspension and the potholes here can be brutal. Then there are the uneven bumps on the better roads too, which can jar a rider if travelling at a good speed. To be honest, roads are now much better than a decade back, but still a no go for a roadie with slick tires. On the plus side if it gets a smooth as butter stretch it can clock 40 kmph.* with ease. 

*kmph. — kilometres per hour

When I had purchased it, it was a fixed gear roadie. It’s tyres are 27 x 1 1/4″ and the frame is steel. Worked on it and have added 21 gears to it, adding gears is not so easy as it seems, more of this later. The gear freewheel is non indexed and has thumb friction shifters. Have replaced the front and back mudguards with self made cardboard ones, they look a bit crude, but are much lighter and do the job of keeping the dirt in. The pedals are Keo compatible clipless type and I have shoes that lock into them. These pedals are comfortable on the long hauls but can be demanding when negotiating the chaotic Indian city/town traffic. A lot of practice is required before they can be used on our roads. Saddle post was replaced and a cushion seat cover added. Other accessories like a rear view mirror, front basket and a front light with an odometer were put in later, making it a short touring bike. 

Am trying to replace it’s tire frame with lighter alloy stuff but 27 inch wheel frames are rare and am considering fitting in alloy 700 cc wheels. I may replace the transmission with a freehub/cassette combination and compatible shifters. But, this is still in the planning stage. All in all, have travelled a lot on this bike and it has served me well on my shorter runs. That finishes the intro of my Roadie beauty. Keep checking back for more of my travel tips and tours!

 

My Wanderings

Let’s see, I started with 20-40 km. runs then started on 50-100 km. ( abbrev. for kilometres ) runs on my MTB. The roadie came somewhat later and was also single gear, now modified with 21 gears. The first long run i.e. 200 km. was on the roadie, will be posting it’s pic soon as it is now being serviced by yours truly; courtesy broken spokes in the back wheel.

The journey was from Kanpur to Allahabad, now called Prayagraj and then back after meeting with friends lasting 2-3 days. It was about 210 km. one way. The return leg was marred by a broken back wheel hub and I had it repaired at 11 pm in the night, thanks to a local mechanic. Thereafter I decided not to use the roadie for journeys exceeding 150-200 km.

Kanpur – Prayagraj Google Map

That set me up for my long outreaches. I started on another route i.e. Kanpur-Hamirpur-Maudaha and further into Bundelkhand, hitting around 200 km. to and fro., same day runs, both on my MTB and then on the roadie. This route is scenic after Hamirpur as the population thins out.

Kanpur-Maudaha Google Map

A few pics of Hamirpur city, which lies in the middle of two rivers, Yamuna and Betwa.

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This was December 2017, Hamirpur Betwa bridge ( I often get confused between the two rivers, apologies if I got it wrong here ).

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Hamirpur, Yamuna bridge. It’s about a 100 feet down there on the bridge.

Check my other blogs for the super journeys exceeding 200 km.

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P.S.: km. stands for kilometres. We follow the metric system here. Am not using kms. cause its also a short for ‘kill myself’ in chat language.

Small Beginnings

My cycling odyssey started in 2016. I was just coming out of obesity and illness that had dogged me for several years. In my enthusiasm to cut down on obesity I started on long distance running, which resulted in a few injuries and that made me to switch to cycling.

Went to the local cycling shops here and purchased a 26″ MTB, in case you are wondering about 29’ers, well …. we are in the backwoods here and that’s all I could get. It was only 5000/- rupees and that is where it all begins.

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The above is what it is now ! The wheels have been replaced by alloy rims rather than the heavy aluminium ones; it was single gear, but it’s now a 7 gear freewheel, with a thumb index shifter too, there is a new handlebar and a triathlon arm rest. The seat pipe has been replaced along with the seat and seat cover. The front fork has also been replaced to add a disc brake, and another at the back too ! The new stand is lighter and sturdier than the earlier one.

Is that all ? No ! The pedals are Shimano clipless SPD type to along with bike shoes that can lock in to these. I could go on and on, but enough of this. This is what I use to travel over 150 kilometres.