Having new tyres fitted and setting off on them for the first time can be a bit daunting especially if the tyres are of a type you haven't tried before. Listening to all of the stories from friends about "scrubbing in times", watching racers slide off on their outlap and the commentators wax lyrical about new tyres and their "break in period", it's enough to put some people off.
However once you've owned a bike for a few years and had a few sets of tyres it becomes second nature.
The basic rule of thumb is to start off riding at a normal pace without big lean angles, throttle openings or sharp braking and over a few miles once the tyres are warm build up slowly to a sportier style. In cold weather it can take much longer but modern tyres are great and need very little "break in". The best option is a nice 100 or so mile ride on roads you know well, so you don't get any surprises.
As I set off this morning from my home in Senija on shiny new Pirelli Angel ST's I had all of this floating around in my head, I had checked the pressure as many tyre fitters guess at the correct figure, its an educated guess, but still a guess. Nothing to worry about they were just about in the middle of the recommended range, thanks to Mille Motos in Benissa for the fitting.
Out of Senija, through the Jalon Valley to Parcent and then up Coll de Rates, it's a lovely view as you climb higher up the mountain, unfortunately this morning I had to take avoiding action from a group of cyclist coming way too fast down and around a sharp bend in my lane. Luckily i managed to avoid them but that is the second time this year.
At the top I stopped to take in the view and watch the clouds floating by, it's a great view which never gets old.
It was a bit early as I had set off at around 8am but after just 11km the tyres had built up a good temperature, there are advantages to living in Spain. Over the hill I went through Tarbena before dropping down the hairpins and on to Callosa d'en Seria. It was busy today in the small town but no time to stop I had a destination in mind for breakfast and wanted to get there before the morning crowds of holiday makers.
Guadalest was quiet as I passed through, the coach parties of Costa Blanca tourists probably don't start arriving until 10am. Further up and past Confrides, the next 5km are some of the best in the area for bikes, it's a never ending left, right, left, right, superb fun and my new tyres take it all in their stride. Before Benasau I turned left back towards the coast, through Alcoleja before climbing up to and over hills at just over 1000m above sea level.
Down the other side towards Orxeta the road twists and turns and is quite narrow in places but is still great fun on almost any bike. I bet the KTM 790 Duke I tested a few weeks ago would lap it up. The Bandit does a superb job carving through the countryside as I take in the brief glimpses of the sea through the trees. Its getting warmer though as we drop down towards the coast and back towards the bright lights of Benidorm.
Barnies was my choice for a breakfast stop, as it often is if I am in the area, they serve a great breakfast at a sensible price which is a bonus. Usually I will go elsewhere in the summer as parking can be difficult and everywhere is busy, today I took the risk and it was still relatively quiet when I arrived.
After a good feast it was back on the N332 towards Calpe and and up the bends to Benissa and Senija, I had a little bit of fun up the bends on my nice warn rubber as a van driver decided he was Fernando Alonso and tried to stay in front of me. Its two lanes going up the first part of the hill and he had his tyres squealing around the corners, good fun.
All in all a good first ride on the new tyres and a nice breakfast in the middle, I will just have to cycle harder this week to work it off again. The Angel ST's worked perfectly as expected with no sliding when new, but need a few more mile's to get rid of the Halo's. Photo before the ride.
Total distance 149km