Monday, 9 July 2012

evoKate's Third Trip - and Last Trip?

(Kate's second trip was a 90 miles each way ride weekend ride to visit my parents - she behaved beautifully).

Even tho Kate had only been in the country for little more than a week it was time to return to the Nederlands for CycleVision. Three days of racing but around 450km of cycling each way to get there. The plan was to camp so it was necessary to rig Kate for luggage carrying.

On the evening before the trip as I was preparing her I noticed that the steering had developed a strange 'thunk' when turning from lock-to-lock. Panic set in thinking I'd have to bail on the trip. I tried climbing into the velo and turning the steering and the sound disappeared. Ok, lets go ahead with the trip and take advice from the manufacturer at CycleVision...

So 5am Ian and Roy arrived and we set off. Ian's Quest was misbehaving and seemed to spend more of the following two days on its back than on its wheels. This eventually ended up with a call from half way across the Nederlands to who agreed to take a look at her at the factory when we got that far. Ian is this Quest's third owner, both the previous owners have had crashes in her but this was no problem for the guys at the factory who happily made repairs and got her fit for the race track.
Big thanks to Theo and Marloes who put us up in their 'shed' for the night before racing - helping us avoid a night camping in a rather impressive storm.

The racing was wet. CycleVision was great - so many people, so many velos, the circuit for most of the racing was rather small, but as this was a last minute substitution following bankruptcy of the planned venue than it was impressive that the event happened at all.

The return trip was going smoothly until we got to Bijk by Duurstede. On a 'S' shaped fietspad crossing of a road I took the left turn, turned the handlebars to take the right turn and the handlebar came away in my hand. Timing could not have been worse as I hit a steel pole in the middle of the cyclepath. This destroyed what was left of Kate's steering and caused quite a bit of damage to the left front carbon wing.

The impact also embedded the left steering plate in the wheel arch making it impossible to even wheel the evo.

My GPS records my approach and impact speed as 10mph. I am rather horrified by the extent of the damage from an impact of this speed and am left concerned about how she would have behaved in a more serious high speed collision.

A local resident had seen the crash and immediately came out to see what she could do to help. I sent the rest of the group on their way as there was little they could do to help and they needed to reach Europort in time for the 7pm ferry.  As I had a recovery policy I 'camped' in her kitchen until a tow truck could be organised to take me to the ferry and rejoin the rest of the group for the ferry crossing back to the UK.

At least I know know what the 'thunk' noise in the steering was about!

Worse was to come with the level of support I've received from the manufacturer following this failure...


  1. Commiserations Rob, that's not sounding good :-(

  2. She is back on her wheels tonight after replacement metalwork. Repair of the carbon is the next job. It is the comparison between Beyss and that is most surprising - Ymte and the boys couldn't have done more to help fix a 3rd owner, known crashed Quest. I'm two weeks into ownership and getting the brushoff...