Continuing the #StoryOfMyRide ‘summer series’ videos, this time with observations during the first ride after having swapped seatposts on the Lapierre review bike…
– A blog and videos by Rob Arnold
It won’t be long before the racing season is underway again and there’ll be reporting from the action of the Australian championships, Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. As we close in on 2023, however, I’ll continue to share the stories of my rides in and around Sydney while testing bikes and other cycling products.
The latest video upload to RIDE Media’s YouTube channel is a raw clip – ie. no music, minimal editing – with what are essentially observations from the saddle after having swapped the seatpost on the Lapierre Xelius review bike.
The original build of this bike featured a seatpost with no setback which offers little give, translating to rather rough ride characteristics. It is direct and although not entirely brutal, it was relatively easy to begin an experiment to see if I could add a bit of comfort to the Lapierre.
By swapping the seatpost that came with the bike with the Canyon VCLS option (from my gravel bike) – complete with the slight ‘suspension’ offered and a neat, innovative fastening and adjustment system – the Lapierre suddenly became a little more forgiving.
Long video with observations while I ride
These days I document most of my rides but not all of them make it to YouTube. Sometimes there’s nothing much to see, or the commentary is largely personal – essentially notes to myself about how I see my cycling. And sometimes I opt to share my observations as part of the #StoryOfMyRide series.
Cycling in Sydney has been a recurring theme but that will soon expand once more, as I plan to be back reporting from races and sharing other thoughts about bike riding, racing, pro cycling, and the many other stories that emerge. Over the summer months, however, I’ve decided to delve into the catalogue of videos recorded in 2022 and present them on YouTube.
There are always things to see and stories to tell when you ride a bike. But not every video needs to be edited and/or accompanied with a soundtrack; sometimes it’s okay – in my appraisal – to just let the pictures tell the story… with me adding to the narrative by explaining where I go, what I’m riding, and whatever else comes to mind.
Lapierre review continues…
If you want to get my impressions while I make little component changes to the Lapierre Xelius review bike, click the link above and watch the [RAW] video about my first ride with the VCLS seatpost (and new Kask Protone Icon helmet). It is the latest in what is an ongoing series of reviews about one bike and a range of other themes that emerge while riding around my town.
Lapierre review series:
- Introduction to the Lapierre reviews
- Workshop / Bike Build at Tune Cycles
- 1st ride on the Lapierre – mid-ride commentary
- Lapierre Xelius, 5th ride – now with Wahoo Powrlink pedals
- Lapierre Xelius – now with Canyon VCLS seatpost
- Also: Chain waxing (at Tune Cycles)
Sydney is a great place to ride… sometimes. If you know where you’re going and have an understanding of the little deviations that make cycling a little safer in this city, it’s easy to idle away the hours on the bike.
I’m looking forward to riding elsewhere but also don’t mind that I’ve been stuck in Sydney for much of the past two years. It is a scenic city and it’s easy to put yourself in a happy mood by going for a ride.
Rank attitudes remain
As you will see at the end of the video, however, there are also plenty of idiots on the roads of Sydney. This #StoryOfMyRide ends with a tiny clip of a longer exchange with a driver who insisted on getting ahead of me even when the passing manoeuvre required was both illegal and dangerous.
He wasn’t in a rush, or else he wouldn’t have had time to stop and abuse me. He was simply outraged by being behind a cyclist while driving his car, and he was entitled enough to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing on a random Thursday morning in December.
From the seat of his convertible, he sprouted all the usual kind of rubbish that cyclists are all too familiar with. “You shouldn’t be on the road,” he screamed at me while passing.
And later, while parked illegally so that he could express his (misguided) opinion, he coughed up the old favourite: “You should wear a license plate” but only after having told me that I should “learn to ride a bike”.
It is typical behaviour on our roads. The driver thought it was okay to use his vehicle as a weapon and threaten me, simply because I was riding a bike. His antics before I started recording the exchange were dangerous. His commentary while stopped, and before he sped away down the road to Bondi bizarre, and his sense of entitlement obvious… but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.
Still, based on my experiences of riding in Sydney for over 30 years, I know that there is little hope of any action being taken even when I present footage of stupidity by drivers.
There’s a lot to like about cycling in Sydney but it could be a lot better. The roads are there to share but some believe they are more entitled to use them than others… simply because of the way they get around.
I ride. I drive. I live and I learn. And although the driver upset me and spoiled what was otherwise a nice day on the bike, I’ll remember this morning more because of the good than the bad.
The weather was glorious. The bike was lovely. The views – some of which I’ve seen hundreds of times – continue to remind me how lucky I am to be able to ride. It’s something I’ve always done and despite some fools suggesting otherwise, it’s also something that we are all allowed to do.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could ride and not feel threatened by idiots who believe their license to drive gives them more rights to space on our roads than others?
– By Rob Arnold