Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Damian ‘velo’ dLG. I don’t race, or time trial, or even ‘sportive’ much these days (although I have been known to Etape, Marmotte and even Wiggle). I just ride, quite a lot. I try as hard as I can to ride at least 10,000km every year if not 12,000km or beyond. For the last three years I have documented, on Instagram, every ride with one photograph of the road I have travelled.
What bike(s) do you ride?
I ride a lot, but I’m not talented with a spanner nor deep of pocket so as a result I never seem to have a fully healthy bike to hand (#yourbikehatesyou) or indeed pristine kit to wear. All my jerseys and bibs get a lot of wear and all proudly declare their history in the form of rips, patches and fades.
At the time of press I have my trusty steel commuting Charge Filter which at the weekends swaps out its pannier rack, sheds its mudguards and dons cross tyres to become my gravel bike; a carbon Cinelli Saetta Radical as my ‘summer bike’ and an aluminium Specialized Secteur as a wet weather/gravel option, not to mention a hardtail mountain bike and a Chopper restoration project.
Favourite route to ride?
I’m very lucky to live somewhere that gives me access to the coast, lanes and hills of Dorset or the equally laney and hilly Chalke Valley, but most frequently I find myself heading for the beauty of the New Forest. Strava tells me I have ridden some segments over 800 times and I tend to gravitate towards my favourite roads – Braggers Lane to Burley, Highwood Lane to Linwood and recently I’ve become slightly addicted to the gravel trails around Bolderwood. There is little better than watching the sunrise through the mist over the New Forest heathlands from the saddle of a bike.
What was your first bike?
Apart from a series of kids bikes that got thrashed over home made jumps or hammered off-road and a bright pink Peugeot ATB, my first real bike was a golden 1991 Kona Cindercone that I absolutely loved and still rode until only a few years ago (another restoration project for the future).
Best bit of kit and why?
I’m a big fan of the casquette and I simply couldn’t ride without one, under my helmet, obviously. I also couldn’t make it through the winter without my Santini roubaix knee warmers (from Prendas), I have three pairs now.
What’s your dream bike?
I always tell myself, when someone blasts past me on a ride that they are either, (a) not going as far as me, or (b) on a much more expensive, lighter bike with posher wheels. I’d worry if I had a really light bike with deep section rimmed wheels and di2 shifting, I would have no excuses and would have to ride way too hard ceaselessly. Having said that we all know the N+1 rule and I don’t have a titanium bike, or a time trial bike or a trials bike for that matter (I’d love one of those!).