Testing the Fassa Adventure Bag
Posted on September 13 2016
In July 2016, and with much excitement, we made our annual journey to the French Alps to watch the last mountain stages of the Le Tour de France 2016. Would Quintana crack Froome we thought? With the van loaded with bikes and provisions for our own 3 week tour, we descended France and then made our climb up to our base at Taninges in the Haute-Savoie region. We camped at a French Minicipal campsite which was great and highly recommended.
Along with us we brought a couple of prototype Fassa Adventure Bags. I've never been a fan of little bicycle saddle bags, electing to carry everything in my jersey pockets, but there are times when practicality and load space win over and riding all day in warm conditions is a perfect time to test them.
On our first day, Wednesday 17th July, we rode from Taninges to Samoens and what was noticeable was that under seated riding conditions, I really didnt notice the Adventure Bag behind me. Out of the saddle, and under rapid acceleration you do get a bit of 'tail waggle' but I think with a few design alterations we can minimise this.
Into Samoens the road is still nice and flat and with little notice of what's to follow we make a left turn on to the start of the ascent up the Col de Joux Plane and Whoaa! What's happened to my legs! The initial kicker is about 10% and the heavy breathing has already started! And only 12km of this to go!
The day was hot, well in to the 30's and before long the road started melting. And then not long after that, the road surface started breaking up and sticking to our tyres. And then we came to a grinding halt. The tarmac had bonded so thick to our tyres that the wheels wouldnt turn past the frame. Disaster!
We dismounted and carried our bikes along the grass verge to a shady part. With us, thankfully we had our Adventure Bags each containing a 2 litre bottle of water, a change of clothing, ham and cheese baguettes, basic tools, flip flops and not to mention a few bags of Haribos!
With our basic tools, and with the tarmac still warm we chipped and scrapped it from our tyres and frame and then debated our next move. Cyclocross training here I think. So we traded our Sidis for the flip flops in our Adventure Bags and walked with our bikes on our shoulders for about 1km and as we did we could hear a noise getting louder. A big noise. What was it? We turned the next corner and to our astonishment, we witnessed a kilometre section of the Joux Plane being resurfaced, just three days before the tour was due here! Massive lorries, rollers, men in high vis. And in this temperature, how would the road ever set in time? And how would the riders cope with the melting road? As luck would have it, the day the tour came through it was terrential rain and thunderstorms so it was never an issue...but it could have been.
Later, in Morzine we changed into t shirts, shorts and put our cycling kit, shoes and helmets in our Adventure Bags and walked the town, had lunch and enjoyed the sunshine before returning to our bikes, changing and making the descent out of Morzines down through Les Gets and back to our campsite in Taninges. Another memorable day on the bike and I'm now starting to understand the advantages of bag attachment to a bicycle. I'm really pleased with the first test and we hope to have our Adventure Bag on sale by mid November 2017.