Roadeo Grocery Ride – Fjord Flannel Review

Another incredible day, and I had an hour and a half window for Opie(grandpa) to baby sit.  I decided to combine errands with the workout.  I have a 15 mile loop that lets me hit two grocery stores.  Total load and therefore spending are limited by taking the Roadeo.  Temps were in the low to mid 50s and wind was crazy, one of the days where you have a headwind more than 3/4 of the ride. 

The layering system for errands is pretty different from what I wear for my morning or non-errand rides.  Most of the time I am layered up in some combination of merino wool and polyester to fend off the morning chill.  When I know that there is going to be more stop and go, time in stores etc. I wear what most would consider normal street clothes.  Flannel being one of my favorite of layers for the cooler months.  Today I busted out my new Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt in Fusion Orange that the wife picked out for me as a Christmas gift.  This is their heavier flannel, and just happens to be a great color combo for playing in traffic.  I ride most of the year in long sleeves for sun protection.  In the winter, flannel provides a great top layer with just a little wind resistance and the ability to quickly adjust buttons or roll up sleeves as needed.   Today there were more than a few adjustments as I had everything from a 15mph tail wind to shady cross winds and then a tail wind home.  This shirt ROCKS, it is the first heavyweight flannel I have added to the rotation in years.  I have three older ones in the closet, one 8 years old, like silk and covered in patches.  I can only hope that this shirt goes the distance as well

Two stops and about 35 lbs of groceries later I was on my way home.  As discovered this past weekend, judicious placement of the load has had little detrimental effect on the performance of the Roadeo.  This time I was pushing the limit up front with 10lbs, a gallon of tangerine juice, up front in the acorn bag.  Another 15 -20lbs in the rear and the frame bag stuffed with rice pasta, yogurt and salsa.

One thing that really helps with the loading, comfort and stability is getting the Rivendell Jack  Brown 33.3mm wide tires back on the bike.  The added cush soaks up absolutely everything between the crappy roads and the rim. 

I have been pushing the limits of how I ride this bike loaded.  Rivendell states that they will not put you on a roadeo if you are over 250lbs.  I would likely agree that around that weight load the bike becomes compliant to a point where you really need to be paying attention to what you are doing.  At the moment I weigh in at about 220lbs.  I am working to get that down another 10 lbs and use this as a nimble allroad touring bike for the summer. 

Have fun, and get outside!

Update: The shirt is gone for the saeson, What is left in flannel is going fast at the winter sale, time to buy your AC cotton, review coming soon

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