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In another random report from Fatty, he will be telling you about PBK desk jockeys doing their bit for charity, his subsequent attempt to get fit, the humiliation of crashing and a few very brief fatty is riding exerts. He will also touch on him passing the milestone that is….40!

As you will all soon become aware, PBK are taking part in a sponsored 24h crit for charity. The Annual Race24 event takes place on the 19/20th of June at the Top Gear Test track in Surrey (www.action.org.uk/ride24).

On the run up to the race, we will have a few blogs for you specifically about this, but basically instead of asking for your (and our friends and families) hard earned cash to support us, we will be offering a raffle with a massive prize fund (truly massive) and all ticket sales will go to the charity – Action Medical Research. Sorry I digress. As a some time racer in the past and because I own a bike or two and have a history of stupid events, I have been cajoled out of retirement to ride for PBK and what they laughingly expect is a 150 mile in 6hours as part of the team effort….

So how is the training going? Well if that 150miles were over a week and that 25mph was closer to 17mph, I would be extremely confident. As it isn’t, then I’m not!

Anyone who follows my FB Garmin experiment will realise I am not exactly on fire at the moment. Training was going OK, but then a freak over the bars uphill sprint accident resulted in more than a bruised ego. I know I’m now the wrong side of 40, but just how long does a cracked rib take to heal?? (You want to relish in my suffering don’t you?) What can I say other than check your skewers every ride and well that’s it really. Loose skewer , wheel pulls out,  bike stops, forward momentum allows poor old fatty to continue in a graceful arc, handle bar breaks my fall oh and my rib….Oh and joy of joy I wasn’t alone! Help was at hand but luckily for me, no one remembered to take a photo.

(The graphics dept. found a very similar one though):

So what’s new on my bike? I’m always greatly motivated by new and shiny things that are designed to make me go faster and no, the titanium hip replacement isn’t on order just yet.

Well the excellent race specific Vredestein Tri Comps that have been a standard fitment to my bike since I first tried them in Italy last year have finally been replaced. They had worn flat on the rear and I have had to on more than one occasion pry pieces of glass from the rubber and even though they were used in some pretty bad conditions, I didn’t get one puncture. https://www.probikekit.co.uk/blog/app/uploads/sites/23/2010/09/display.php_.gif?code=Y0049

So a very fast tyre, excellent puncture resistance and a decent profile (till they wore flat), so what have I swapped to? With the added problem of a regular 1/2mile farm track and a cracked rib and the need to get some quick miles in I need something fast and comfy.

The brand new Michelin optimum has it all and these are designed specifically for the sportive rider and the first few hundred miles have proved a revelation. https://www.probikekit.co.uk/blog/app/uploads/sites/23/2010/09/display.php_.gif?code=Y0110 Being a fat round 25mm they were always going to be comfy, but the first two rides out I kept stopping thinking I had a flat.

I soon realised that going from the 145psi of the tri comps, anything would have felt softer. The best bit is they don’t feel slow and there is no drag, just a bit of added suspension (just what that rib needs). They are fast and comfy and all I need to do now is 3000+ miles to see if the Michelin claim for longer life is in fact a reality.

Also new on the bike are the new Hudz(2) in softer silicon. Ok, they’re not a performance enhancement, but a bit of nice bling and a lot easier to fit than the originals. I’m sure the marketing boys will tell you that there is a performance upgrade, but to be honest, they do a job and do it well. There’s no real negative about them, if you want coloured hoods on your bike then buy some. If you don’t want coloured hoods, you’re not missing out (interestingly there is no black option at the moment).

New to try and a massive change for me are some new bars. I’ve got a set of PRO Stealth Evos and to be honest, I don’t like the idea of integrated bars. I normally use Campag and Pro is a Shimano brand so this is a big experiment for me. On the plus side, PRO are now the finishing kit suppliers of 3 big professional teams, so they are proven parts and I’m interested about the comfort element and perhaps the ability to use the flat uppers as arm rests for this race!!! Anyhow, they will be fitted this week and I will do a full report in a few hundred miles time.

So that’s the round up for now, in 3 weeks time I’m off to Italy to Party with a post Giro Cervelo squad and get some 2011 product gossip. My colleagues are all absolutely delighted for me as well, which is very nice of them indeed!!

So, expect a report on my return. Oh yes, turning 40? It didn’t feel any different to when I was 39. I am still unfit and my expectations still far outweigh my actual ability! Falling off my bike made me feel young again, until I hit the tarmac and the reality of falling onto concrete hit home all too well!

More from our aged colleague next time, if we are speaking to him after his jolly to Italy!

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