Cycling

Paul Trotter - So Why Do Brisbane to Gold Coast on a Brompton

So why do Brisbane to Gold Coast on a Brompton?

I am not sure, but I use mine almost every day as a commuter craft and don't have another suitable bike. I had also designed some bike jerseys with Scody Australia, and I was keen to get them seen along with my magpie proof helmet. Maybe I just like the attention because, in combination, it was an unusual setup but still well short of the efforts of the two guys on unicycles!

On the Saturday before the event, the rain was coming down, and conditions looked grim for race day. I put out all my kit the night before including two bananas, four muesli bars, two water bottles, dry change of clothes, towelette, raincoat and spare tube. I was ready for anything but vowed I would stay in bed if the course were covered in yellow and green on the BOM radar.

I awoke at 1:30 am having experienced a realistic nightmare. I dreamt my alarm did not go off and I awoke at 6 am missing the race!!!!

Thankfully I did arise at 4:30 am as planned and I went through my regular morning routine, and I was ready for action.

My mate Cookie drove me in with his wife Amanda looking good in his magpie jersey! We were dropped off at Roma Street Station and made our way over the Kurilpa bridge and down to the marshalling area adjacent the ABC studios.

I have never been before, but I suspect numbers were well down on previous years. We had time for a team photo with our fellow magpie mates before joining the cue and heading into the busway tunnel.

My legs felt fresh, and I kept up with Cookie (on a real bike) all the way up the 80-metre ascent to Mt Gravatt. I passed two guys on unicycles and mucked around with my raincoat as we got hit by some heavy showers.

I finally dispensed with the raincoat idea to rely on my new Scody jersey, and the rain just got heavier and heavier. Near Springwood in an unusually heavy burst the cold water made it down to puddle in the padding in my cycling nicks and puddles were forming in my shoes! However, we were still doing fine!

James from my office (I had persuaded him to come along) then also joined Cookie and I so we could all suffer together in the deluge.

Later we flew down a hill near Loganholme to a roundabout full of water at the bottom. I squeezed the brakes hard....NOTHING and ploughed through the water at some sub 60km /hr but amazingly kept on track.

Would the 40km / hr rest area ever appear? We headed through some lovely green farm country near the Albert River, and I felt I was a world away from the city with full dams, grassy paddocks and happy ducks.

Just as we arrived a stop No. 1, the heavens opened again in time to enjoy a muesli bar and the best banana I have ever eaten in my life all in the heavy rain. We did not hang around long, and we were on our way again, and before long we reached the 50km halfway mark and a large hill that just kept on giving.

This was the point I lost my colleagues, and I was left to fend for myself. Some cyclists elected to walk the top of this hill, but I was having none of that, pushing my Brommie hard!

The course moved out into the canefields and some lovely flat country, and as I went every few kilometres there would be a man in a truck serving a broken bike or someone struggling with a new tube in the rain! There were also exhausted couples sitting on the side of the road and two distinguished gentlemen wrapped in foil standing and staring out into space.

At the 60km mark, Strava tells me I hit 'The Wall' with my average speed of just under 20km/hr dropping down to 15km /hr with more hills and then that diabolical headwind after we crossed the Coomera River.

Its a fascinating ride passing through some places you never knew existed with some delightful country scenes and industrial sites and some major boating operations.

After the Coomera River, we headed into the most dangerous part of the ride on a dual carriageway with lots of roundabouts and 'nuts' in big utes keen to cut you off as you exit the intersections. The bridges were also very narrow so for an exhausted cyclist it was critical to keep a straight line to avoid being collected by passing traffic.

The route eventually finds you near the Broadwater with excellent exposure to that gusty South Easterly breeze that almost knocked you off your bike.

With three kilometres to go my knees finally said they had had enough so the wind was an unwelcome guest and it was a relief but confusing when we reached the finish line. In my delirium at the end, I had strayed into the park and entered the finish from the wrong side. Nothing was going to stop me finishing so I doubled back and came back through the finish line to complete the course.

Strava says it all with a race time of 5:41mins being one of the slowest with an average speed of 17.4km / hr but all on little wheels. Maybe next year I should race a 'real' bike and see if the time improves?

Congratulations to Bicycle Queensland and all the volunteers, marshals, police and photographers for putting up such an event in what were challenging conditions.  

 

Paul Trotter and his Brompton



5 Things to Look for in a Good Chamois

 

It only takes a few saddle sores, chafing and intense discomfort to realize that that pad in your cycling shorts really is incredibly important. A good chamois is by far the most crucial attribute of a cycling short. And finding a good chamois is about so much more than just looking for one with lots of padding as most people seem to think. The comfort, sensation, and hygiene of a cyclist are reliant on a high quality, comfortable, individualized pad. Gender, body type, and performance are variables that determine the pad that is suitable for you. Finding a good pair of cycling shorts is so much harder than it seems. So here at SCODY we have decided to make things easier for you by compiling a short list of 5 things to look for in the perfect pad:

 

Size and gender make a huge difference to your pad, so make sure the pad you are getting is gender-specific. A women’s chamois is slightly wider to accommodate womens’ slightly wider sit bones, whilst a men’s chamois is slightly longer to ensure modesty. Your size and shape also plays a role in your comfort. SCODY has extensively researched saddle pressure zone distribution patterns that cyclists transmit when riding. These tests found that differences between gender, size, and riding styles all affect the comfort of a pad for its rider. As such, here at SCODY our pads are not only tailored to your gender but also to your size, with our smaller garments using different pads to our larger garments to ensure everyone gets the support they need.

 

The positioning of a pad is important as the chamois are designed to provide more support in certain areas. Chamois shouldn’t be too big; a smaller chamois is less likely to slide around. It is important that the pad is not only thick but also made of high density foam which enables it to maintain its shock absortion properties for longer.

 

Positioning and support are two of the main differences between cycling chamois and triathlon chamois. Cycling chamois are longer and more padded as they are designed solely for comfort on the bike. Triathlon chamois, on the other hand, are slightly smaller and thinner as they are designed to allow athletes to swim and run as well as cycle. 

 

The material used in the cover fabric can help minimise chafing, bacterial issues as well as discomfort. Antimicrobial fabrics should be used in all chamois to ensure the chamois doesn’t gather bacteria. Moisture management in the cover fabric and perforation are also necessary in ensuring the fabric has high moisture wicking qualities. This means that the pad will not become saturated in sweat leading to chafing. SCODY chamois feature a highly perforated, 4-way stretch polyurethane foam which creates an abrasion-free interface between skin and chamois that maintains comfort ride after ride.

 

How the pad is cut and assembled together also plays a role. Most chamois are still made using a method called thermoformation, or foam layering, which requires the use of adhesive glues. However, this has been shown to cause a heat build-up between foam layers which is often the cause of saddle sores. The SCODY team has found a way to eliminate the use of glue in chamois construction. SCODY uses “Lazer Cutting Technology” which involves a single piece of high density foam cut into the specific anatomical shape and regional thickness variant required. This results in decreases in heat build-up between foam layers, and therefore reduces abrasion-induced injuries.

 

Make sure you check that the chamois has been sewn into the garment without leaving too much exposed thread as it can rub against your skin causing chafing. There are two common chamois stitch techniques  - a zig zag stitch right on the edge of the pad and a cover stitch which covers the edge of the chamois. The zig zag method has the lowest profile but is more fragile as any break in the thread means it will easily unravel. It is very important to look after your knicks and/or tri shorts and keep them out of chlorine.

 

The perfect chamois is something that takes work. It’s not a simple matter of gluing pieces of foam together in roughly the same shape. The difference between a cheap chamois and a good chamois not only makes a difference to your comfort and health but also your overall performance. As such, the only real way for a brand to develop the perfect chamois is to try and test it themselves. At SCODY we have done just that. Every chamois featured in the SCODY Chamois Range has been tested by Professional Athletes of varying gender, size, and riding styles. Hundreds of kilometers have been ridden by our athletes to ensure the most in-depth feedback possible. The result - a range of Chamois that are the most comfortable we have ever produced.

 

 

Although these 5 steps provide a great starting point, if you really want to find that perfect chamois to ensure you look good, feel good and perform, it can all be done in one simple step: come to SCODY!