Actif Epica Recon

by CycleChick on January 26, 2014

IMG_0280With Actif Epica three short weeks away, organizers arranged a little recon ride today to give registered racers a small taste of the 130(ish) kilometre course.

David discovered it tastes a lot like blood.IMG_0273Young David tried to french kiss a rock. It didn’t like that. The good news is that David’s dentist is getting a new Mercedes.

The conditions were quite cold, about -15º with a nasty wind from the north – nothing like the anticipated race day forecast of +24 and calm. Of the fifteen or so riders that came out to play, there were only about four of us not riding fat bikes. I was on my ‘cross bike with 34c tyres, and everything was ridable, except the parts that weren’t.IMG_0267

Snow can be a drag, but it can also be pretty useful for racking your bike.

IMG_0269I wanted to come out today because, in spite of doing Actif Epica two years ago, I’ve have some trepidation this year due to some equipment changes, diminished training time, not to mention this whole “polar vortex” bullshit.

Like most things, being around similarly minded people can do a world of good.IMG_0268My bike fared well, as did most of my clothing, with the exception of my ski pants that continue to be hideously unattractive. They could certainly take some lessons from Stephen’s sweater, which got top marks in the style department.

IMG_0277Kevin was quite daring in his au courant tape mask, no doubt the work of some edgy new fashion designer from France. Mark my words friends, in the coming months this look will be everywhere.IMG_0262Kevin is the guy you see tearing around in that little yellow velomobile. For today’s ride he was on an equally unusual three-wheeled recumbent fat bike. Kevin clearly has an eye for the unusual. I wonder what his house looks like.IMG_0264

Kim and Dave were there looking all adorable in their matching fat bikes. Dave reports that the Hippy Bars are working their magic and are just as good frozen solid. Heck, maybe David’s dentist can get TWO Mercedes!IMG_0278Charles walked away with the Best Beardcicles of the Day Award by a landslide.IMG_0270I’m happy to report my water stayed in its liquid form, and would have been a total win if I had actually brought enough of it.

All in all a good time was had by all. After all, they say that winter biking is the most fun you can have with eight layers of clothing on. Even if one of those layers happen to be ski pants.

9 comments

Awesome! Great report… especially the great detail on what was ride-able and what wasn’t:) It’s like I was there!

by JP on January 26, 2014 at 1:00 am. Reply #

You’re right JP, I should have given you more to go on. For you, I would recommend a unicycle, with super, super skinny tires. You should probably ride with The Hipster on your shoulders too.

by CycleChick on January 26, 2014 at 1:33 am. Reply #

I endorse this suggestion.

by Mark on January 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm. Reply #

Blood freezes too… who knew…. D.N. gets the crash award of the day, but the first one was actually better.

by Kim on January 26, 2014 at 1:13 am. Reply #

He was involved in both after all. Kind of a win win.

by CycleChick on January 26, 2014 at 1:34 am. Reply #

Great report.
As for the house, very normal, except for the four sled dogs, and a few recumbent bikes, trikes and a Quest Velomobile.

by Kevin on January 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm. Reply #

So who fared better on the recon, the fatties or the cross bikes? I’m still deciding on what to ride for AE and while I don’t own a fat bike, I do have access to one if needed. Any feedback from the guy with the taped face? Does that actually work? I’d love to know since my biggest problem during the winter is freezing the thin line of skin between my goggles and my balaclava.

by jl on January 31, 2014 at 12:48 am. Reply #

Hey JL
I would say it was a pretty even split. The fatties fared better in shallower snow and drifts. They float right over where skinnier tires just sink in. The skinnier bikes are faster on the roads and lighter to carry when carrying is necessary. Most things, if they were unrideable, they were unridable by both.

Yes, from what he said, the tape works. And he should know. Another option: I have this face mask from MEC, which tucks just under my goggles. Never any fogging, no exposed skin. Works great.
http://www.mec.ca/product/4003-253/seirus-neo-fleece-combo-scarf-unisex/?h=10+50006+50020&f=10+50006+50114

I hope that helps!

by CycleChick on January 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm. Reply #

Thanks for the response. I’m leaning towards using a fat bike because it seems like the thing to do for this event and I am nothing if not a great follower. I picked this face mask up today and after testing it on the ride home I am confident it will solve all of my face freezing/goggles fogging problems. It’s a sexy look too – as long as you have a Donald Duck fetish.
http://www.nofogusa.com/NO-FOG.htm

by Jarret L on February 1, 2014 at 12:04 am. Reply #

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