My Longest Ride and What I used to Navigate

The weather was not looking promising, I had planned a route covering just over 92k but deciding on a day to achieve this was proving difficult in itself. The weekend was looking like it could have been too wet. After looking at the weather forecast I opted to focus on the Sunday, 09/05/2021. The rain was relentless on the Saturday and as I monitored the weather throughout that Saturday I did think that there was not going to be any let up. However, the sun finally broke through Sunday morning. The ground was obviously still wet and the feeling of wanting to stay somewhere warm and dry was making it difficult for me to venture outside. However, on Sunday, 9/05/2021 I finally managed to ride just over 92k, the closest distance to my 100k challenge on the 4th July. After I had passed the distances that are becoming more comfortable, 48k to 64k, I was entering uncharted territory in the way that my body would react to extended Kilometres.

I had included a relatively flat trail towards the latter half of the route, thinking that it would give me some relief and a break from the hills. Surprisingly, it was this part of the section that caused me the most discomfort. I’m yet to get a bike fit and during this section it was telling, the aching across my shoulders and the back of my neck was intensifying; the seat also began to feel uncomfortable. However, I wasn’t wearing the bib shorts that I feel the most comfortable in. But the surprise came when I completed the trail and was presented with yet another hill, which I was definitely not looking forward to. After a short break I confronted it and found that I was more comfortable riding up this hill than I was on the flat. Usually for me, it is the other way round as I prefer flatter roads.

It was a relief completing the route but the sense of achievement intensified the closer I was getting to my end destination. I found that this spurred me and started pushing harder even though I had entered another climb, no way as steep as the others that I had overcome. It was definitely mind over matter, my legs felt like lead but I was glad that my determination was as strong as it was when I first settled in to the ride.

I feel ready for the event in July and my confidence has increased. This is because I ascended far in excess of what is expected on the event and I managed to complete the route without stopping on any of the hills. As far as my feelings go for this event, before I would say that my nerves was as strong as my excitement. But now, the excitement is definitely in the lead.

Topeak Omni Ridecase DX Phone Holder

I intend on purchasing a Wahoo (cycling computer) in the future but at the moment I use my phone to navigate new routes. I bought a Topeak Omni Ridecase DX and I thought I would talk about my experiences of using this product in case anyone else is thinking of buying something similar. This review isn’t a technical one but will cover what I like and dislike about the product.

First of all, the Topeak has to be assembled before securing to your bike and all the necessary equipment is packed whether you want to mount it to your stem or handlebars. it doesn’t take long to assemble and attach.

The Topeak phone case can be secured on the handlebars, where I have currently got it. Or, it can be attached to your handlebar stem. This can be done by removing your stem cap and bolt then replacing it with the Topeak stem cap which is included in the box.

The holder itself is very secure and there are no worries in my phone falling out, in fact I struggle to remove the phone from the holder which gives me piece of mind when riding. However, I do feel that the Topeak Ridecase DX would be far more secure when fitted to the handlebar stem. The main reason for this leads to my main disappointment and that is the hinge (picture below):

The hinge needs to be stiffer and I would argue that it needs to have a locking mechanism in place. When I ride over rough roads the hinge doesn’t secure the phone holder in place and it drops. This makes it difficult to see the screen and it can become frustrating when I’m regularly positioning the holder back to its previous position, hence why I I feel it would be more secure when attached to the stem. I haven’t tried this yet because the position I have my front light prevents me from mounting the holder there. Another nice feature is that the holder can pivot, this means that you can have your phone in portrait or landscape view.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I like the product as I feel that my phone is secure in the holder and I don’t have to worry about it falling out. The description does suggest that it fits phones with a 4.5 – 5.5 screen. By somehow securing the hinge, this product would be significantly improved. I like it’s versatility on positioning and the options available. I have been able to send a few text messages while the phone is secured in the holder which I have found to be useful rather than having to take the phone out of the holder each time I want to use it. If you don’t mind having to lift the holder up after going over some rough terrain then I would recommend it.

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