Riding with Confidence – Are you ready
Larisa Chinces – Riding in the Mountains
As an athlete, I love being active, and I love the mountains. When the temperatures drop lower and the wet and rainy weather hits us, which it will and does too frequently, it won’t always be possible to cycle outside. Wet spring can be like snowy winters, with rain making the roads tricky and debris from the hills, and cold air. No, it’s not always fun, and yes – it’s a good time to stay indoors and plan a trip away.
We can of course head inside and ride the bike trainer, but it’s not the same – you and both know this. For now, though, I’m trying to ride as much as I can, and to use my Red Chilli bike as often as time allows. Sometimes it’s nice and sometimes the rain catches me on the route. Kit is important, and not just tyres. I need to feel comfortable and to be confident as I concentrate on the road, and to know how to handle the conditions in safety. The best way to gain that confidence is to have the right kit and to ride outside in all weathers – unfortunately. Yes, kit gives confidence, and it helps me to ride well – physically and mentally.
Confidence in Kit
Confidence is the most important thing, when riding in these conditions, and I’m very content with the Pirelli Pzero tyres, fitted to my bike. Your bike tyres are super critical, as they’re literally what separate us from the road. Choose them wisely and accept that you do need different tyres for different riding and types of roads. Having a second set of wheels is a good idea, so that it’s easy to swap things over. There’s a move towards wider tyres these days, but I ride with 24-26 usually, in this width area. It gives me a good balance between speed, grip and safety – in dry conditions and in wet.
I’m able to keep my speed in the damp, as in the dry conditions, and it’s important, because I don’t want to get cold, and so I stay riding hard to stay warm. Bike, tyres, clothing and shoes- they all add up to a good ride, if you choose well. I’m currently wearing clothing from the superb ALE Klimatik range, including their awesome Klimatik Guscio Race, rainproof jacket for woman. It’s made from highly technical fabrics and doesn’t rustle and is designed to fit to form and be comfortable in the race position. Yes, good clothing is also part of the ‘ride with confidence’ equation.
Me and My Bike
Our feet are the hardest working part of us, and always attached to the bike- we hope! Shoes that fit well also give us confidence, which is why I use brands like Lake, who actually measure my feet and have many different shoe options. Do you know how much power can be lost in badly fitted shoes – lots. And you’ll notice it too in your bike control. For instance; have you ever properly measured your cranks – are they the right length. You’ll ride so much better and with more confidence with the right cranks. I’ll be testing Verve Info Cranks this year and getting lots of data to help me in my development. Add to this, that my Red Chilli bike was specifically made to measure for me, including the handlebar width and stem length, and you’ve got a bike that I know that I can control with confidence in all conditions.
Head to the Hills with Confidence – and Smile
At heart I’m a lover of the hills and the wild countryside. I love cycling through the mountains and the lower meadows in the valley, especially around Sibiu, here in Transylvania, which has beautiful countryside at this time of the year. I really love the landscape transition from a season to another, in this case from winter into spring, when nature comes to life again, slowly and beautifully.
My Favourite Ride
The route which I really like to ride, begins from historic Sibiu, then it heads towards Poplaca on the Calea Poplacii, continuing to Gura Riului, through a very beautiful open road with cultivated fields and hills and mountains in the background. The views of farmland and villages in the rolling valleys are amazing. From Gura Riului go to Orlat-Sibiel – Saliste and then back to Sibiu via E81 international European road. Overall, it’s a 60 km approximate route with beautiful scenery and some challenging decent climbs, which I’m sure that anyone who is passionate about cycling will enjoy this route as I do. You should fly here sometime and ride these roads.
Heading into the hills alone on the bike is wonderful. Travelling to these places is exciting too, but… we need to have the ability and the confidence – in ourselves and in our kit and bike. I test kit and so I get to see what works well. However, it’s something that we should all do, and to get the benefits from. This way, when you head off on your cycling travels, with Bike Box Alan looking after your bike, you’ll know that you’re looked after too!
Ride my favourite route too, by clicking here 😊