Monday, April 05, 2010

Pacific Populaire

Last Sunday Ilana and I completed the BC Randonneurs Pacific Populaire bike ride. We did the 100km route starting from Riley Park, looping past UBC over the Arthur Laing Bridge to circumnavigate Richmond, back into Vancouver over the Canada Line bridge, looping past UBC again to end up back at Riley Park. Including the ride to/from the start point we did 107km in a little less than 5 hours. That day there was very strong wind coming from the East meaning that on several stretches of road we were battling 30-40km/h sustained headwinds. It was a good start to doing some longer distance rides and it made for a nice shakedown ride for my new Brodie Elan touring bike (more on that in another post). Having never done any riding in the Richmond area, I was really pleased with the route the ride took. Most of the time we were on quiet streets or streets with plenty of shoulder space to ride without having to worry about being buzzed by cars, and several parts of the ride wound through scenic views of the Fraser River delta. I'm always on the lookout for new routes to ride, especially ones that combine significant distance with relatively low traffic, and I suspect I'll ride all or part of this route again this year.


lucidpenguin said...

Came across your post about your bike. There is surprisingly little written about the Brodie Elan. I have test ridden the Surly LHT and the Elan, and find the component mix slightly better on the Elan, but the trucker has a great reputation and stiffer frame. Can you comment at all about the performance of the bike when fully loaded?

That was a windy populaire, but still enjoyable - good luck on the cancer ride this weekend.

Tal said...

I have the bike set up with Tubus front and rear racks. I've yet to fully load the bike with a heavy multi-day touring load, but loaded for a weekend camping trip with front and rear panniers and front handlebar bag the bike performed well. It's not a light rig once loaded, but it never felt sluggish or stressed. I'm running Schwalbe Marathon 700Cx32 tires front and rear at around 80-90 PSI. Even under load shifting is pretty smooth and easy.

For reference, my sister rode the 2009 model (slightly different frame) 4000km across Europe fully loaded and the bike held up just fine.

Have a talk with ilan at Bikes On The Drive when you get a chance. He knows both the Elan and LHT very well, and he's got loads of touring experience.

Oh, and it's my wife doing the ride this weekend, not me, but I'll pass on the message :)