Alta Hits UK Streets
For a variety of reasons I failed to get out on the Alta bike anywhere near as much as Sebastian. Foolishly it was only a week before my Leaving the UK that I managed to get the bike together. Having assembled the Alta the Gods decided to teach me a lesson regarding the sin that is procrastination by send much rain. Why not ride in the rain you may ask. Because the Alta is white, very white, seriously white. And it is pristine, and that is the way I wish it to be when we set out from the Raffles Hotel in Singapore bound for Shanghai in January next year.
I did get a couple of rides in on it and I found it a fine experience. Just one gear so peddle, that is it; just peddle. I liked this very much. At a claimed weight of 9.2 kilos it is the lightest bicycle I have ever ridden and combined with the narrow high pressure tyres this would explain its performance over a 25KM lap of my standard training route. On my expedition machine, a 27 speed machine that I know intimately, I would expect to average somewhere between 30 and 32 KMH. My first ride on the single speed Alta saw an average speed of 31.4. Not bad at all I thought.
On my second ride I decided to try a steeper climb. There is a hill that tops off with a very short but fairly steep climb nearby. Not surprisingly with gearing allowing a 30+KMH average a steep climb is not going to be a relaxed affair. It was a case of out of the saddle with slow heavy strokes on the pedals. OK for a short climb on a brief hour long ride, but it makes me question the gearing for the long ride across Asia. Work needs doing on the set up, but that is to be expected. I have only spent 2 hours on the thing and have done no more than stab in the dark at a seat height. I look forward to more time on it when I finish work in Asia in a couple of months.