“I’m by no means happier than after I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, driving alongside a stage route on the Tour de France.
Pricey Readers – Our beloved colleague and buddy Ed Hood suffered a critical stroke in February. We don’t anticipate Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to assist Ed together with his future. Learn the complete publish right here – and please think about donating.
** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to assist Ed **
We’ll be posting a collection of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.
PEZ Rant: The World is altering and modifications in biking appear to come back alongside on daily basis. Ed Hood is taking all of it on the chin: e bike, disk brakes, gravel… however he nonetheless yearns for a number of the equipment from the previous. Time for a rant!
Bowie – Modifications
Modifications; ‘time could change me; however I can’t hint time,’ mentioned the late, nice David Bowie, most take it to imply that while you possibly can run your finger again alongside the time line of your life, you possibly can’t change something alongside there.
All change for Ed
I take myself for example; now I’ve an ‘e’ Gravel Bike, disc brakes, 1 x transmission. And after the altercation with that silent however lethal hybrid SUV, I now have been made to pledge to put on a tough shell helmet. I do know, I do know, it’s wise, units an instance, and so forth.
However in my head it’s nonetheless the 70’s, ‘Oppy’ cotton caps, Belgian woollen coaching hats – and I can’t assist feeling that I seem like Dan Dare’s outdated adversary, ‘The Mekon’ with a Giro planted on my nut.
No not Ed the Mekon
If I nonetheless street raced I’d desire a Banani patent leather-based crash hat set on the similar jaunty angle as Roger de Vlaeminck’s, not some chunk of plastic. Nonetheless, if I had a tough shell on the opposite day it could have saved me a little bit of blood. My large concern was that I’d ripped my Craft arm heaters, a gift from Michael Mørkøv however happily, all was nicely on that rating. And my altercation helped with my ‘disc schooling’ – I buckled the entrance rotor and needed to get on the ‘chat’ with Adam at Chain Response Cycles.To my shock and delight the brand new rotor and elimination software arrived subsequent day and it wasn’t too tough to suit.
Disks! Get used to it
However subsequent trip I punctured – no spare, natch and needed to trip house on the rim. My Gravel/MTB schooling continued after I tried to swap a tyre off my Cannondale MTB with the defunct one on the Ribble. This was after I uncover that 26” isn’t 650c – it’s all so complicated. I phoned Craig Grieve of Spokes Cycles for recommendation and I used to be a bit deflated to listen to that solely ‘cheapo’ MTB’s run 26” now. I didn’t point out that in entrance of my Klein.
And Jeez – these cool Sendero tyres take a little bit of getting on the rim however then my thumbs ain’t as sturdy as they as soon as have been. In any case, new disc rotor, new rear tyre and. . . a crash hat – that’s me sorted and comprehensively, ‘modified’ with just some ‘hero marks’ on the again of me gillet to remind me of my encounter with the tarmac. However ‘disc brakes,’ that’s an enormous change proper there; a yr or two in the past PEZ mentor/soothsayer Viktor and I each pledged that we’d by no means possess a bicycle with disc brakes – however you realize what? Sure, we each now trip bikes with disc brakes.
Aaron Gate – Not on 1 x
I used to be listening to quadruple Commonwealth Video games gold medallist, Aaron Gate on the Bobby and Jens podcast the opposite day. The previous World Omnium Champion has been on each side of the disc fence on the improper time; when he raced with the Aqua Blue crew in 2018 and their SRAM 1x 3T bikes, solely them and Roompot have been on disc brakes – race service didn’t carry disc brake wheels so should you punctured and the crew automotive wasn’t close to at hand then it was, ‘Goodnight Vienna.’
Sure, you possibly can nonetheless win on rim brakes – Aaron Gate 2022 Tour of Luxembourg stage 3
Now he’s with New Zealand continental crew, Bolton Equities – Black Spoke Professional Racing, the one crew at present nonetheless on rim brakes, he confesses to horror on difficult moist descents as a result of he has to brake 20 or 30 meters earlier than his disc braked adversaries. However don’t concern, Black Spoke go ProTeam, are disc for 2023 season. Sticking with the mulleted (made up phrase) Kiwi he was speaking about his gearing for the Video games occasions. Within the factors race he rode 70 – sure seventy – x 18, or in outdated cash, 105” while within the crew pursuit he rode 66 x 15 or 119” in outdated cash.
Gate on the observe
I can bear in mind when 88/89/90” was the norm, 91” was large and 93” large; however sprinters are actually doing their time trial 200 metre qualifying rides on 60 x 12 – which is 135” and I’ve even heard tales of 140” plus ratios being employed.
On the variable gear entrance, I can bear in mind being excited to go up from 5 to 6 rear sprockets; I can now buy a Campagnolo Ekar Gravel transmission which can give me 13 sprockets.
Down tube levers – Class
And bear in mind down tube shifters? – slipped gears and knees torn open by the tiny screws on the highest tube cable clips; now I can change gear electronically on the push of a button. Head apparel, brakes, gear ratios, transmission have all modified and let’s not neglect ‘AERO.’ BUT finest learn this subsequent bit earlier than you shell out 33,000 Euros on a Pinarello identical to Pippo’s – oh, and upwards of 17,000 Euros for the cockpit.
Save your cash
Going again to Messrs. Bobby & Jens, they’d Rohan Dennis on the present and as a Nationwide, Commonwealth and World Time Trial Champion, to not point out former world hour report holder, the Aussie is a dude who is aware of somewhat concerning the, ‘alone and unpaced’ effort. Within the Aussie’s opinion, place then helmet and skinsuit are probably the most very important issues and may make an enormous distinction. Then come wheels and tyres so as of significance. However in his check expertise, the body makes zero distinction. Hate mail to Rohan guys, not me, I’m simply quoting.
Rohan Dennis is aware of his aero
With reference to skinsuits and bike clothes usually there’s little doubt that firms like Assos, Bioracer and Castelli have modified issues a lot for the higher – the times of six layers and hardly having the ability to transfer on the bike are lengthy gone, fortunately.
No radio for Steven Bauer and Jim Ochowicz… but
Then there’s race radios, thank the Motorola dudes for that change – the argument for not banning them is that they make the racing safer, DS are capable of warn their expenses of upcoming hazard, this common includes simply two phrases; ‘transfer up!’ The difficulty is that each DS is saying the identical factor and there’s solely a lot tarmac up there. . .
Don’t point out your ‘p##n c##e’ to Ed
And no rant about ‘modifications’ can be full with out point out of Zwift and ‘e’ racing. For me, the enjoyment of the bike was, and nonetheless is, getting out within the countryside, the sensation of a pleasant bike beneath you, the solar in your pores and skin, discovering some new observe, the herons rising from the streams, the seals sunning themselves on the rocks – not staring on the storage wall or spending fortunes on some snazzy ‘p##n c##e.’
Karstens had all of it, a vibrant character
However wanting on the important element of any bike race, the riders, I wrote an obituary the opposite day for the late, nice Gerben Karstens and it struck me that issues actually have modified; Remco, Wout, Mathieu, Tom, Julian, all nice riders – however ‘vibrant characters?’ However like I mentioned at first, you possibly can draw your finger down that point line however you possibly can’t change something. . .
Ed’s Ribble ‘e’ gravel bike