Chris Day of 4season Collective has had an exciting month riding the new BMC RM02 Two and covering more miles than any other month ever including during Prudential RideLondon and four triathlons. Through it all he’s sure of one thing: the BMC Road Machine didn’t let him down once.
Hitting the Road
My Road Machine arrived in late July, so I took it for a quick spin around my local lanes in the north midlands. The realisation that in just two days’ time, I would be riding 100 miles across London and Surrey was ever present as I nudged the seat-post a couple of millimetres up and down in search of the elusive comfort and performance sweetspot. Needless to say, the bike handled beautifully and I couldn’t wait to take part in the biggest closed-road sportive in the country.
I rode with my good friend Bruce Dalton but unlike me, this wasn’t his first rodeo. I felt happy having his experience and knowledge to help settle my nerves. On the Saturday we drove down from the Peak District to London Excel to look around the great expo put on by Evans. There was everything from jerseys to bikes and beer! We spent the whole day just relaxing and enjoying the general buzz around the place, which reached a fever pitch as Geraint Thomas punched his way across the finish line to win the Tour de France 2018. I imagined similar scenes as I rolled across the finish line of RideLondon the next day!
After a carb-heavy dinner and bike health check, we got an early night. Bruce, having done this many times before, fell asleep straight away probably dreaming of disc brakes, a fresh set of Continental tyres and the clean lines of the BMC. I, on the other hand, spent the night tossing and turning with the unsettling reality of getting up at 4am to ride my bike in the howling wind and rain.
The Heavens Open
The squawk of my pre-dawn alarm was enough to get our adrenaline flowing and it was time to head to the start line. The weather wasn’t bad at this point, but it lured me into a false sense of security. We arrived at the start line and at 5:20am the horn sounded for our wave to roll out of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and on to the closed roads of the City.
A fast first hour left me wondering whether my legs could sustain the pace for another 60 miles. I remember cycling hard with a great group of men and women all taking turns at the front and as I dropped back behind Bruce’s rear wheel, he shouted to me, “how are you feeling? We’re cruising at 30 miles an hour!” A quick breather while I sat on for a little while longer and we pushed on towards Surrey saying goodbye to flat city roads and hello to the hills.
The bike responded well when climbing and the frame seemed stiff enough to allow me to deliver power when I needed it most. The earlier threats of gale force winds and lashes of torrential rain became a reality by the time we crested the top of Leith Hill. My fellow riders were still in good spirits and we braved the elements in solidarity. I always find the best part of events being the people you meet.
As we know all too well, what goes up must come down! Descending was a worry for a while, but once I fully trusted the bike (in particular the disc brakes), I needn’t have worried at all about flying down the rain drenched roads making up much lost time due to the wind.
While it wasn’t quite the Geraint Thomas-esque reception I had hoped for, crossing the finish line of my first 100-miler in front of crowds of supporters was a fitting way to end what had been a super weekend with Evans. Undeterred by the fact I’d just completed my longest ride ever in some of the worst conditions ever, I felt like I could do it all again (I didn’t tell my legs that!).
Tri-ing the Road Machine
I had seven days to get back from London, recover and prepare for my next triathlon. I usually ride an aggressive Focus Cayo but decided to put some tri-bars on my BMC and see how it adapted to my aerodynamic demands.
It can feel intimidating racking your non-TT bike next to the £10,000 monsters some riders are lucky enough to own. However, fresh out the pool, I made my way to transition with my head up and caught glimpses of approving raised eyebrows from my fellow competitors! I always have to rack with the expensive bikes because I have a good swim time which puts me up with the serious triathletes (a coveted group I hope to find myself in soon!).
Shortly after sprinting to the finish line in the final run leg of the race, I found out I finished top 10 overall and first in my age group. Usually my bike time is what lets me down but this time it was my run – what a surprise!
Leaving the event a young competitor actually tapped me on the shoulder and laughed about how she saw me pass her on the bike and felt intimidated because I looked good and the bike had “disc brake wheels”. What a turn of events!
It’s clearly not a TT bike and I would say it weighs too much to really be used as a race bike. However, if what you want is something that will give you bags of confidence, keep you incredibly comfortable over any distance or allow you to put the power down when you need it, I really couldn’t recommend the BMC Road Machine more.
It has become my go-to bike thanks to its versatility. I use it daily, train on it and have even raced my last 3 races of the season on it. I am now wondering whether I need to invest in a BMC Time Machine. If it performs as well in its field as the Road Machine then yes, I definitely should and so should you.
If you enjoyed Chris’ adventure with the BMC RM02 you can find him on Instagram here