You have those periods when you can't stand your luck. Everything falls into place and you feel invincible. September 2019 was such a fantastic month for me. It started with my brand new racing bike. After several years of riding the old Isaac Meson, it was time for an upgrade. What better way to spoil yourself than with a new beautiful olive-grey Meson. Equipped with Shimano Di2, Fore wheels and disc brakes. For that matter, the month, or rather the year, was already perfect. Yet shortly after that something even better came in the form of a trip through Italy. Six days of cycling in the Dolomites with the Meson, who wouldn't want that?
Plenty of Elements in the Dolomites
With my new racer I was able to enjoy six days of an all-inclusive trip through the Dolomites. The Ride Dolomites is an event where you only have to focus on cycling, the rest is taken care of by the organization. You will not be missing anything during the long stages.
You ride through a rocky area so it is logically all about climbing. With the Isaac I rode no less than 750 kilometers, where we together made over 17,500 altimeters. Of course that's a tough job and especially the first few days I really had to acclimatize and get in. The further the week progressed, the better I got. As a professional touring cyclist I did my thing and let my legs do the talking with wattages.
My bucket list with nice climbs has been cleaned up in the past period. It's unbelievable when you see all the things I've been able to do. Passo di Valparola, Passo di Giau, Passo di Fedaia and the Passo Pordoi are just a small selection from the wide selection of cols that I climbed up with my olive-grey buddy.
How did the Meson do in Italy?
The new Meson is equipped with disc brakes and this is so much to my advantage when descending. You descend with more confidence and dare your racing bike easier to run. Whether it's a stupid 4% down or in a fast pace with more than 10% down: you're sure to feel the huge braking power. The difference with braking with rim brakes is significant as soon as the road goes down. The Isaac and its driver went down several times at more than 70 kilometres per hour. By the way, these are numbers you leave out at home with your wife and children.
The Meson is marketed as an aeromodel and at first sight maybe not meant for climbing. Still I drove it very well up the mountain and didn't experience any problems with the bike or the wheels. Climbing from time to time standing up to have some variation in strength in my legs feels good. The bike wants to go forward, even if it is uphill. If you build an ultralight climbing bike you will experience this differently, but for a streamlined racer he is quite good if the percentages are above 5%. What also makes a difference during such a multi-day event is the comfort and forgiveness of the frame. You sit on it relaxed and that just pays off if you have to spend several days on a bike for hours.
The combination of the new Isaac Meson with this beautiful cycling trip through Italy has made this the most beautiful week on the bike ever. Carefully I look ahead and think of a challenge for 2020. I would like to hear some suggestions where the Meson and I can shine.