Sunday, August 3, 2008

Roadie vs Dahon shoot out

Pic courtesy of Ultraman, Dahon Forum Spore - http://speedmatrix.webhop.org/

Roadies are faster - but by how much?

Its been a while since I joined the Dahon boys for a ride. They do this 100km Century ride EVERY Sunday. Talk about commitment. I'm not much of an early riser but today, I made a Herculean effort to ride off at 0540. 2 motivators really. One was to test my new Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires fitted on my Speed Pro. Secondly, a chance to see if the Dahons could hold a candle to 3 roadie friends riding pretty high end bikes.

It seemed to me what was touted as an "Easy Ride" was simply the juicy lure to get people to join in. Put 13 guys together buzzing with testosterone - you get a potent mix of alpha male competitiveness brewing. I will bet Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory probably was inspired during an all men group bicycle ride.
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Riding in the cool, crisp morning air with zero traffic made for a lightning ride. Flying at 30kmh most times, we reached our rendezvous point 20km away 15 mins before time. Was surprised to see so many bikes out there at that unearthly time, perhaps 70-80 riders! Cycling is very much alive in Singapore.

The Dahon boys finally zip in at 0710. Gathered together, it was a formidable sight to have so many Speed Pros bunched together. After the obligatory photo shot, the race began. This was a 4-5km sprint along Mandai Road. As expected, the roadies zoomed ahead with the 2 top Dahon riders nipping at their chain. Their average was about 35-40kmh which was way too fast for me. I managed to max 51kmh on a downslope, lower than my 63kmh achieved on my Stelvio race tires. Bummer!

At the finishing point, the first 2 Dahon Speed Pros ridden by Nuclear Heng and Piston Leg Paul was only 20 secs behind. Which is not bad for a 20" wheel bike you can board a bus/train, store inconspicuously in a small apartment or car boot So the roadies won as expected but the foldies' candle was certainly burning brightly too.

Fun as it was, I think I rather be touring at a real easy pace. Getting too old for this and its too darn early !!! But then again, its starting to get addictive. I just may be there for the next ride.
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I posted this topic "Foldies vs Roadies" on Bike Forums and it attracted a lively discussion. Seems many here feel foldies are nearly there or even just as fast as the roadies. Maybe I should post this on the roadie forum and see what happens...

1 comment:

Xiao Rou Wan said...

Nice interesting article.

Just become a folder rider myself, but riding a KHS-F20R. Wondering if I can join your group ride next time?