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New Routes & New Tires

July 16, 2011

Today’s Ride: 47km—Waterdown, Burlington, and about

Weather: Sunny, hot

I set out with Peter Appleton, a fellow Domestique-regular and nice guy, for a light Saturday morning ride. He’s a former mountain bike and downhill racer, and I had some work to do to keep up, especially when it came to handling (I overcooked the hairpin turn on the King Road descent a bit). It was nice to have some company, though, and especially nice to be riding with a local. Peter grew up in Burlington and provided me with snippets of local history—riding and otherwise—along the way. He also introduced me to a couple of new roads I hadn’t tried before that allow for some interesting circuits while staying closer to home. We started and finished at Domestique— cappuccino to start the day and the finale of today’s Tour de France stage at the top of the Plateau de Beille. The contenders didn’t sort themselves out as much as I thought they might have—they’ll clearly let the Alps decide the Tour—but I was pleased (again) to see Thomas Voeckler hold his own again. Great stuff from the Frenchman.

In addition, after living on borrowed time, I finally replaced my tires yesterday, so today’s ride was the first try on a pair of Specialized Roubaix 25s. Smoother than the Vittoria Zaffiro 23s I was riding previously. More to the point, after 5000km on the Vittorias (a ringing endorsement of their durability, frankly), it was time to switch them out. I surely dodged a big bullet, especially on some of the recent longer rides, which took me further afield. I’ll need a bit of time to dial in the right air pressure, but the new tires felt like I was riding on new wheels altogether. And fast, too, which was nice. Also, a new chain; the gear changes felt extra smooth. All in all, a good ride.

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