Paths less traveled, speeds less likely.

As usual, I hit the pavement early and decided to try taking the path less traveled by turning onto every stinkin’ road along the way down which I’d never previously traveled.  It was cloudy and pretty windy, but after suffering through triple digit temperatures and staggering humidity who was I to bitch about a little head wind? Frankly, it felt damn good, and when it began to sprinkle, even better still. The skies never did open up in any meaningful way, and as I passed a “Road Closed” barricade and began to roll down a lengthy section of unpaved dirt and gravel, clouds of dust were left in my wake.

I kept things leisurely and didn’t make any attempt to race. All the same, I was a little surprised at my apparent lack of speed. I had decided to try out the MapMyRide app on my iPhone to track my path. This app works quite well so far as I can tell, for mapping out your entire ride start to finish. It graphs out very insightful details, including an elevation profile and total gain. However, the app has an annoying feature in which a voice speaks as the rider crosses each five mile mark, announcing details such as duration of ride and average moving speed. When I crossed the thirty-mile mark, it informed me that two hours and one minute had passed and that my moving average was 13.1 miles per hour.


I’m no mathematician, but thirty miles in two hours ought to figure out to 15 mph.



I’ve missed riding the last two days, due to day-long, marathon meetings. They’ve been professional affairs, so I needed to be dressed presentably rather than bathed in perspiration, so I couldn’t even really commute to the meetings. The silver lining though, is that my legs are really fresh and I never really felt any fatigue set in: tomorrow is forecast to be a nice day and I plan to start out early on my quest to get in several hours on some road, somewhere, before having to don my big boy pants and head back in to work on Monday morning.

Earlier this summer I was very pleased to have a 1981 Holdsworth Professional frame and fork join my collection. I haven’t really done much with it until this week, mainly because I’ve got plenty of riders that are road worthy, each one just begging to be chosen for my next outing. I’ve given a lot of thought about how to best take advantage of a great frame, and ultimately decided I needed to have a bike at my office, for those days when I had to drive to work. It’s ridiculous, after all, driving half a mile for lunch, and perhaps I’ll have the occasional opportunity to extend a lunch time ride for an additional mile or two.

This frame/fork was built up out of parts I had on hand – primarily Shimano 600, with Cinelli bars and stem, and a Turbo saddle. Tires are the 700 x 25’s that I once had on my Bob Jackson, and which ride very nicely (and I sure wish I could find another pair of these.) I’ve traded out a couple of different pairs of pedals, including a pair of Shimano 600’s that look good, but are probably unpractical for the use I have in mind. I’ve got platforms on at the moment, but in the back of my mind I’m remembering a pair of really lightweight Wellgo pedals I once had; I may have to search for another similar pair.

I wanted to keep this build simple and functional, thus down tube friction shifters and a very minimal approach to brake levers: rather than typical road levers, I’ve used interrupters only. They seem to have sufficient grip and throw to bring me to a stop, once I get the rear caliper adjusted for a little more leverage.

The Holdsworth Professional will probably wind up replacing my Bob Jackson as the British representative of my collection. The Bob Jackson, much as I love the way it rides, is really too small for me. I’ve recently stripped it down to frame and fork and will probably be listing it for sale soon, along with a low end Follis frame set that I picked up at a swap meet not long ago. In the meantime, I’ll likely continue to play around with the mixture of parts on the Holdsworth until I find a blend that satisfies my needs.


2 thoughts on “Paths less traveled, speeds less likely.

  1. I really like the simplicity of your Holdsworth, Mark. I am also interested to hear how the interrupters end up working out for you. I have kicked around the idea of adding them to my touring rig as secondary brakes but just can’t quite muster the nerve to actually do it.

  2. They’re not as “grabby” as other configurations, but that could just as easily be due to the old side pulls and pads as the levers themselves. In fact, the levers feel as though they have more leverage than I had expected them to have. I’m going to swap out the calipers for a set of 600s with Koolstop pads and I bet they will be just fine. The thing is, I just want a simple set up on a very lightweight bike: jump on/jump off, without a lot of thought. Without a terrible lot of effort, that is precisely how this seems to have unfolded.

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