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Member since Dec 2014 • Last active Nov 2019
  • 32 conversations

Originally 'Joseph' with the banana avatar but I seem to have lost access to my account.



Most recent activity

  • in Current Projects
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    I just picked up a Trek Checkpoint ALR5 for dirt cheap on eBay. The plan is to use this for doing deliveries in Oslo over winter. The idea was to find a frame capable of wide tyres, disc brakes and fixed gear for optimal grip and stopping power. Apparently it gets quite cold, wet, snowy and icy there - actually snowed there today! It's an added benefit that this frame could also be used for gear-assisted adventures too (boring).

    Obviously, I didn't bother researching actual compatible wheels or hubs or anything like that... that was going to all find a way to work itself out after the fact. However, upon commencing research it appears a 142x12 thru axle hub with disc brake and fixed gear capabilities is a hard thing to come by. Who would've thunk it!?

    Paul seem to manufacture the exact thing I require but the price tag is pretty hefty (£145). This bike is going to probably get pretty abused and roughed up in crappy weather and I only went along with this frame because the eBay auction went by surprisingly uneventfully. I've also never had a bike which did not have a threaded BB shell so this is new territory for me. I will need to look into cranks too, I guess! Let's not even get started on what rims or brakes to go for... Unintentionally, this may turn out to be the nicest bike I've ever put together due to limitations thanks to my strange specifications.

    From the Paul website it seems that other people have built up rear disc brake fixed bikes as they surely aren't making this product just for a laugh. Does anyone have any examples? Is there another hub manufacturer out there that would also work? I also have decide between 700c and 650b. Apparently this frame can fit 49x700 but will I be wanting more? I think I need to look into studded tyre options and sizes those come in. Any recommendations welcome!

    Photo 1: The frame I just won
    Photo 2: Paul fixed / disc hub
    Photo 3: A Trek Checkpoint set-up for single-speed (inspo)

  • in Rides & Races
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    I felt like testing out my fixed gear endurance again so booked a last minute ferry to France. I left at midnight from London to catch an 8:15 ferry from Portsmouth to Caen. I basically rode the A3 dual carriageway the entire way. It was fabulous until a huge rain front came in and I got absolutely drenched with about 3 hours to go on the 136km ride. Oh well, it kept me moving and I arrived with 2 hours to spare.

    I was hoping to get some good sleep and to dry off on the 6-hour boat trip but the air conditioning made it seem like a hellish impossibility. I found some reclining seats and zoned out. Before I knew it, I could see France and my clothes had wicked dry (ish). Straight off the boat, I met a friend and we did a 100km loop along the coast before finally getting some proper sleep. I spent the next day just dillydallying around Caen and eating lots of food in preparation for an actual long ride attempt from Caen to Dunkirk (~400km) starting the next day.

    Starting at midday, I left Caen with an epic tailwind and lovely roads. Things got weird at the massive bridge (Pont de Normandie) to Le Havre. First of all, crossing the bridge was petrifying. High winds, a tiny 'bike lane' and motorway-speed trucks coming by. Secondly, I was a bit strange in wanting to stick to the coastline so turned back into the wind westward. This area was also industrial and had tons of trucks. It wasn’t fun. I wasted an amazing amount of time and energy... and then I got a puncture from an awful pothole! I was carrying two spare tubes and to my horror the first one I tried to use was already punctured too. It must have been damaged from transport somehow. After swinging by a Decathlon which was conveniently 1km away from where I punctured, I got back to the beautiful fast roads again and I was into the flow state once more.

    However, as I got to Dieppe I got caught in a downpour. I got drenched through. It was almost 10pm and I was 195km in. I found a McDonald’s and hung out there for an hour or so to ‘dry’ and drink Coke. My phone was also stressing me out because it wouldn't consistently charge. This also meant I didn't take many photos or videos and was stuck listening to the same few playlists I had synced offline. I actually could have caught a ferry back to England from here and was in time to get the last one of the day but I had already told myself I was going to do 400km and I didn't want to take the easy way out. I was kinda worrying at this point about the night being too cold and that by starting it soaking wet I'd be asking for trouble. I had already been shivering in the Maccas. As people walked past me, the wind they generated felt like it pierced into my soul with ice. I was carrying an emergency foil blanket so would probably survive.

    Once I layered up and got rolling into the dark again, I felt unstoppable. For the first 2 hours after Dieppe, I averaged ~30kmh! I then strategically dodged another heavy rain shower in a bus shelter that popped into my reality just in time. However, by 3am, tiredness and the cold was hitting me. My speed dropped and I found myself stopping more (bad). I also almost fell asleep riding a few times too. I was happy when I finally saw glimmers of the Sun rising on the horizon.

    Coming into Calais, I found an open shop and bought more cola, plus a baguette and vegan butter - which I also used the remainder of as chain lube. Almost there, but of course with a wrong turn at the last junction adding ~5km on top! It's never as simple as you think it will be. I was 5.5 hours early for my booked ferry and roughly 22 hours had elapsed since starting the ride, I took a well-deserved nap on some concrete outside the ticket office. It felt like a king mattress after that ordeal.

    Upon arriving in Dover, after a short 2 hour crossing and a pretty uncomfortable nap, I began a cheeky 120km ride back home to London. I followed the A2 and then whatever was the straightest road home. It felt endless but I got there eventually.

    The big one: http://strava.com/activities/2686523786
    Follow along on adventures: http://instagram.com/josephxkendrick
    Sometimes I make videos of rides: http://youtube.com/josephxkendrick

  • in Rides & Races
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  • in Rides & Races
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    Been Googling this for hours. Still no closer to an answer. Weird thing is I'm pretty sure I remember finding a number about 5 years ago on a previous search. Anyone?

  • in Rides & Races
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    Richmond Park Rouleurs were hosting an M25 Orbital ride which involved a ~225km loop around London, weaving in & out of the M25. But, only a few days before it was due to go ahead, it was mysteriously cancelled and all information about the ride had vanished from the internet. In my personal historical fashion of doing loops and cancelled rides: we just went ahead and did it anyway!

    Four brave souls, Valentina, Michal (also riding fixed), Alex and me, met up at a misty east London park at just-gone 4am to ride out to the nearest section of M25 and begin an anti-clockwise shadowing of this major road. We headed north and commenced the loop near Waltham Cross.

    The sunrise was absolutely incredible and it really set the tone for the energy of the ride. We smashed it pretty hard. This was until, inevitably, the directions didn't go quite according to plan. We found ourselves having navigate around gravel footpaths but eventually gave in and actually embraced a grassy one. Nothing like a bit of tracklocross in the morning!

    Somewhat stupidly, I had decided to raise my saddle before setting-off. This was because I had been watching video of myself riding and thought my knees looking like they were bending too much. Well, why fix what isn't broken? By about 50km in, my knees were killing me. I returned my saddle to it's previous position but the damage was already done. According to one Strava segment, I averaged 159RPM for 1 minute and 9 seconds. With the overextended leg position, that definitely set me up for some pain for the entirety of the rest of the ride. It also didn't help that I was riding 48/19 which is fine for solo riding when pacing is somewhat irrelevant but when you have to keep up with a vague group pace it might be on a bit of an under-geared side of things.

    By the time we were half way around, the temperature was really kicking in. I believe it reached around 31C. The brutality of the heat at least took my mind away from my aching knees - although it didn't help with my speed whatsoever. Quite the opposite. We took a large break in Leatherhead and I took in some high quality nutrition - Doritos, Greggs sausage rolls and 1 litre of Coke. We then ascended to the highest point in the ride at Headley Heath where I managed to 'clip' into some fresh dog poop with my cleats. As I rested my bike down to try and clean off as much as I could I had the misfortune to place my brand new tyres (first ride with them) onto onto piece of dog poop. What a shitty situation.

    After a quick and very quiet break we embraced the heat, ploughing down the A25 for a considerable distance. The traffic was regular but not too bad. I was glad to be off it though and heading north again towards Dartford. Did you know there is a free minibus shuttle service for cyclists wishing to use the Dartford Crossing? We took full advantage of it, loading the bikes into the back of the van within about 2 minutes of making the call using the single-purpose phone at the control offices. Remember to pause that Strava app though!

    We were in the home straight. Just some Essex hills to conquer and we'll have completed the loop! At this point, my knees had completely given up. Every time I ran into anything vaguely reminiscent of an incline my speed dropped to minimal levels and I watched the other three zoom off ahead. The sandbag life was real with this one! This made what should have been a jubilant final quarter distort into a mentally draining torture as the anguish began to stretch on for longer than it should have. A quick check of the map thankfully confirmed there were only two major roundabouts to go until the finish line... well, not considering the additional 20km to get back home too!

    A very testing ride, but these ultra rides always throw something different at you that you don't quite expect and that is the beauty of them.

    276km / 172 miles. 2,319m / 7,608ft gain. 16:50 elapsed / 11:40 moving.

    The all-important Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/265154­5121

    There will be a video up from this ride soon. Why not go check out some of my previous fixed gear adventures on my channel? https://www.youtube.com/user/josephxkend­rick

    What should the next fixed gear loop be around?

  • in Rides & Races
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    Oh, unless you're talking about the actual Australia loop?

  • in Rides & Races
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    3,136m / 10,289ft of total gain according to the uploaded file. Take that with a pinch of salt though because recorded on an iPhone!


    Was using 48/19 with a 28mm rear. Quite spinny but hadn't done any long rides in a while (this was my longest since finishing Australia) so didn't want to risk it with too big of a gear. Now I've been riding a bit more, it's definitely too spinny of a gear. Gets a bit hectic on descents and the damage from the overspinning probably doesn't outweigh the 'easier' climbing.