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1000 Xmas Kms: A Ride with K. House
SUNDAY 27th DECEMBER
Distance: 120k (inc. a long route home)
Weather: Cold and blustery but relatively clear, we escape the forecasted showers.
Route: A loop south from Canterbury, over the cliffs around Dover and back (inc. crossing a section of the '94 TdF route).
Another early start to make it across town and get a train to Canterbury, but I'm relieved to see the heavy showers aren't materialising and I feel a lot better than yesterday.
I meet Kristian as he's prepping his bike (with such familiarity he could have done it blindfolded). He outlines the route we're going to be taking before rolling off.
The area is rich with history and as we ride Krisitan points out places of interest, including where he grew up and where family members had worked. He rides steady and fluid, often chatting as we climb (me mostly listening on the hills…) talking about his year, winter training, and the coming season, in an open and genuine way.
I take the opportunity to ask him about our products, what's good, what he likes and, more importantly, if there's anything we could improve or that's missing from the range - It's fantastic to have this level of input into the design and development process.
Also, being from Kent, I know the type of short and lumpy roads we're riding; brisk, steep climbs - including one at 22% - twisting, quiet, organic roads, often covered in unpredictable, washed-out debris. It was an eye-opener seeing the conditions a National Champion was riding in. Far from a sunny, exotic training location, this was often with adverse weather whipping in from the North Sea, and Kristian was out every day, including Christmas Day, without fail to get in the miles.
We turn into the headwind, and make our way back to Canterbury over some sharp climbs, me content to sit on Kristian's wheel and take in some of the great scenery under the low winter sun.
I return to London inspired by my time spent with Kristian and looking forward to the year ahead for Rapha Condor Sharp.
Great to see some new scenery, and hear Kristian's stories about the area.
Seeing the curious paradox of Kristian's bike; a beautiful machine with personalised detailing, yet simply a tool of utility, there to be used for the job.
The ride only being 3 hours long!
…Cleaning my bike (again).
- Who's excited for snowy racing #inbend this weekend? We brought tshirts and coffee for the weekend.… http://t.co/aYYPjQEXTG
- @playa_mansa Sorry, somehow missed this. Our backpack is great for general use. Most of us here use it both on and off the bike.
- @TheRaceRadio A man experienced in sheep aerodynamics, perhaps. → http://t.co/4ysrDy5bie
- The most recent Rapha Gentlemen’s Race took place in Adelaide with 18 teams lining up for the rolling 160km route. → http://t.co/ZQ3Dzz0NEX
- @andersmagnus Hi Anders, there’s been a delay unfortunately, but thanks for being patient. It will be out as soon as possible.
- We're proud to present one of our favourite films this year, so put some headphones on and enjoy. View the film → http://t.co/B2BXnE3JuY
- Congratulations to yesterday’s Alpe d'Quiz winner Khamarul Rejab who receives a Team Sky bundle. Today's prize draw → http://t.co/h4frOXDYma
- RT @chrishoy: Ok, I'm going to make the call now, and it's a big call, but I reckon @Ed_Clancy will break the World kilo record at the end …
- @Barry8012 @RaphaCycleClub You’re most welcome Simon, thanks for your feedback.
- @antmccrossan Thanks Anthony.