My (Short Lived) Custom Carbon Track Bike
They say that bad luck comes in threes but I seem to be racking up the mishaps and misfortune at the moment. After a frankly quite horrible day that involved nearly breaking down on the way to Gatwick in a van I’d just been sold (by a crook it turns out) and waiting hours for a delayed flight to the states, I finally touched down in JFK in the middle of the night.
I was in town for a mere two days to race the first Red Hook Crit of the year so wasted no time sleeping in despite my considerable exhaustion. Friday was the day I’d meet my new custom carbon fixed gear crit frame for the very first time and I just couldn’t wait to get her built up and down to Prospect Park for a test ride.
After a brief trip to the bagel store that involved me removing approximately half a kilo of cream cheese from my sandwich so that I didn’t die of a heart attack there and then, I figured I’d waited sufficiently long to allow David from Wyndymilla, my new fixed gear crit sponsor to wake up.
I hadn’t actually laid eyes on my bike thus far as the fixed crit sponsorship deal had been a bit of a last minute affair for various reasons. Keira McVitty would also be riding for the brand so we’d be sort-of-but-not-really team mates – both racing on the same bikes but in different kits due to my commitment to ASSOS. I knocked on her door too and we went to grab our bikes.
Wyndymilla, a UK bicycle brand, specialise in made-to-order hand built bikes so they’d crafted a lovely looking carbon bike for me with a cool, stealthy finish and my name on the top tube. I hadn’t been fitted for it due to time constraints but a large number of emails and measurements had been exchanged prior to leaving to ensure that the bike would work.
The finishing kit was Zipp though due to my loyalty to Spin On These I’d forgone a pair of their hoops and opted for some Spin On These FatBoy DM8s. Specialized Turbo tyres had been a good choice in 2017 so I’d stuck with them though I’d not been able to set them up tubeless. I hoped my bad luck wouldn’t run to be getting a puncture in the race.
The weather was pretty abysmal so I dawdled a bit waiting for the rain to ease off before heading to the park to do a pre-race warm up – I always like to give my legs a good spin the day before a race and it’s especially important to me if I’ve spent a lot of time travelling and sitting down. I rode out on my potential race gearing of 48:15 doing some relaxed laps with a few efforts up the hill. I felt right at home on the bike the minute I got on it. It didn’t feel ‘new’ or different, which though you might think sounds boring is actually a very good thing.
My next port of call was the Red Hook district to meet up with photographer Sylvia Galliani to shoot some photos from Wyndymilla, something we endeavoured to do fairly quickly as it was actually really cold. Just as my fingers were starting to go numb, Keira had the bright idea of doing some photos at a coffee shop so I got stuck into some hot chocolate and thawed out before swinging by the Red Hook Crit pre-party.
As I’d be racing the next day, I barely stayed long enough for any of my friends to arrive preferring instead to head back to the hotel before I was tempted to drink more than the thimbleful of beer I’d allowed myself. I prepared my stuff for race day, edited the days video and polished my bike, leaving her gleaming alluringly in the corner. I couldn’t wait to kick off fixed gear crit season the next day!
To be continued…