Monday, July 21, 2014

Rapha Women's 100 2014: The Ride, The Kit and Staying Visible

At the last minute I asked my mechanic to install my DayTime Red
This year's Rapha Women's 100 came on the heels of lots of rain and high humidity. In fact I started a bit later than last year due to a few early morning rain storms moving through. Due to some tire and bicycle computer issues on the Terry, I road the heavier Nishiki first until repairs could be done. Being about 15 lbs heavier than the Terry, I definitely felt the difference especially on steep hills. My average speed was about 14.5 mph.

Donkeys grazing in a hillside corral on my ride route.
Once the Terry was ready, I switched off and rode that. Last year I had the Terry for the whole route so after lunch, I enjoyed a much lighter ride! However by then the winds had picked up so headwinds all the way out. The humidity had dropped but the temperature was up into the 80's.

Maximum wind speed was 5.7 mph
The Kit  The Giro Amare Road Helmet weighs only about 280 grams and was so cool with the 26 active turbo vents. I could really hear the wind in my ears especially on the descents. Likewise the Giro Riela Trail Shoes are much more aerodynamic than the Pearl Izumis. The foot bed is also much stiffer which gave me a lot more power in the pedals. Read more about my ride kit HERE.

Giro Amare Women's Road Helmet

During the morning ride, I put on my Safety Smart Wear short sleeved Jersey over my Castelli 2.0 Body Paint Cropped Tri Top and Bibshorts as it was still pretty cool. The Castelli Kit is the lightest, most comfortable cycle wear I've worn to date. It performed so well keeping me cool and dry. The chamois was not too bulky and stayed cool in the saddle. After lunch, I simply wore my Verspertine Vesp over the cropped Tri Top & Bibshort. What I really needed was visibility as I am riding in 50 mph traffic.

Vespertine Vesp taking a break on the Terry in the shade.
Visibility Factors
If you look close in the photo above and in the lead photo, you'll see my DiNotte Daytime Red under the Butterfly saddle of my Terry. At the last minute, I asked my mechanic to install it. A ride this long and with traffic whizzing by can be very stressful. I wanted to make sure that I was seen and from quite a distance. It was sunnier in the afternoon so the Daytime Red did it's thing. Cars saw me and stayed away. I call that winning!
Likewise the Vespertine Vesp offers lightness but high visibility. It is not as aerodynamic as the Castelli Body Paint pieces but I felt safer since I am riding alone and people may not be expecting me on the road. Still I did see quite a few other cyclists out there but just not involved in this Sportive.

Washed and drying after the Rapha Women's 100!
The Ride Wrap This was a great ride this year! Despite having a late rain start, equipment substitutes and repairs, I did a respectable 22.5 miles for the day. My ride route has hills and I'm out there alone so I don't have a group to draft with. Still I would rather challenge myself with a certain degree of difficulty than take an easier route of flat, boring roads. Besides, I would miss all of the horses, turtles, donkeys, sheep and goats I get to see on my route! No, this is way more interesting. The main thing is for us women to get out there and make it happen. Special thanks to this year's ride support team: Giro Sport Design, Castelli Cycling, Safety Smartwear, Vespertine, CatEye Bicycle Electronics and my Number One Bicycle Mechanic, my husband Joe!

CatEye Strada Digital Wireless

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