My good friend Paul – and also a Coast to Coast team mate – is a bit of a boffin as you might already have gathered from the recent torture chamber exploits. So far Paul has considered the various gradients we will be faced within the C2C challenge and has decided a spirit level will be useful for determining what effort and gear ratios are required.
Now Paul has taken this a step further with a wind speed indicator. Hummmmm. Apparently this is what we have all been lacking so far: a means of assessing the head wind in order to determine the approach needed, rather like the spirit level needed for tackling hills. According to Paul, it works a treat.
To the untrained eye it might look like the fan from an old computer which has been taped onto the side of the bicycle frame. To those in-the-know it is a high tech piece of state-of-the-art equipment designed to optimise slipstreaming opportunities and power management when cycling into head winds; but I guess you already knew that (I didn’t!).
Paul has calibrated the wind speed indicator to a display unit on the ever growing “dashboard”; he says it is pretty accurate by trying it out in still conditions the wind speed indicator matches the road speed. He also confesses the handlebars / dashboard are starting to look busy with a cadence meter, road speed and now head wind. Plus there’s no sign, as yet, of the spirit level which will complicate things further. I wonder where his SatNav and smartphone is going?
So there you are, an exposé of our secret weapon in the Coast to Coast challenge. I guarantee you will only see one of these, so please say “hello” to Paul while he optimises his slipstreaming right behind you. As for me, well I’m afraid I’m still a bit Old School: I see a hill, I dig in and grind my way up as best I can. Sensing a headwind, well, I get into the right position on the bicycle (i.e. head down a bit), drop into a lower gear and plod away. Maybe that’s where I have been going wrong all this time!