I decided some good old natural leg building was needed, a session of Northamptonshire clay will do that. With the Ragley still in CX mode and a few days spare I had the idea of going for a long one on our PlumzBuster off road sportive route. Do it once in CX mode, then swap to bigger wheels and tyres and do it again to see if the gained mud clearance and quick rolling on the roads out weighed the increased comfort and grip.
The starts good on a typical grey uninspiring day, but soon it turns to the worst leg breaking bike breaking slog on a byway wrecked by 4 wheel drives. Thick sticky clay would have soon killed most bikes, but we not only kept turning but even found plenty of grip. Passing a rider coming the other way carrying his bike was a timely illustration.
The single ring guide collected a ton of mud around it but didn’t falter. The superb rear tyre clearance, even with the dropouts in the fully forward position meant there was never a feeling of that forcing mud through gaps abuse.
It just was not happening though, the bike handled it no problem. Me I fell into the pit of despair that ploughing through treacle brings on once your back starts to twang. 26 miles 2hr:15 kin hard session followed by planting a few feet on my pile of mud from around the uk in the garden.
No way am I doing that again with mtb tyres, that’s mental talk. Hopefully the next race at Thetford will not be a repeat of this ride.