Monday, May 17, 2010

It ain't what you do

I did the longest ride in a few years yesterday- 40 miles on the St Albans Rotary Charity ride, riding north from St Albans towards Hitchin. It wasn't a huge distance compared to what most club cyclists do every weekend but for someone more used to a 5 mile commute and a few 20 mile rides it was plenty! The ride went well, even though my average speed was a bit lower than what I was expecting. There were a couple of steep hils- I walked one just outside Preston but scraped up the other steep climbs, including a 1 in 10 just outside Kimpton which I was quite happy with. There were a few good downhills too, clocking 36.9 mph freewheeling down one of them. My power-to-weight (or more like my weight to power) ratio isn't exactly optimal for hills...The weather was kind - the forecast rain held off until after I'd finished, though it could have been a bit warmer.

There were plenty of people riding too, though most were doing the 10 or 20 mile version. Plenty of kids out there too, including one boy riding with his dad wearing Welwyn Wheelers kit- chapeux to the youg fella as he was keeping well ahead of me for the entire circuit. It would be nice to get my kids up to that level, I'll have to work on that one over the next few years.

It was good training for Ride for a Reason next month. You are sponsoring me on that, aren't you?...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sponsor me

Sponsor me, originally uploaded by mike1727.

In January 2008 I had a stroke.

Unlike the 2/3 of stroke sufferers who die or are left permanently disabled I recovered fully from the symptoms very quickly, regaining speech, movement and what passes for my normal mental functions within a few days and leaving hospital within a week.

Two years later I'm going to ride the Ride for a reason charity bike ride to rise money for the Stroke Association, a charity which provides funding for research into strokes and support for survivors and their carers.

Sponsor me. You know it makes sense- someday the person having a stroke could be you, or a close friend/relative.

Click on this link, give what you can. It's not (just) about the bike.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

New bike coming

Nice Hurdle, originally uploaded by OregonVelo.

Like a kid before Christmas

The insurance still hasn't some since my MTB was hit at the end of February- no apparent progress from anyone yet so I'm left in a situation where I have no 'proper' off road bike. The pub bike is just about off road capable but gears are limited and it's really heavy. Off-road lights are required too since my Vistalite batteries failed some time ago. To top it all I'm getting sick of using my road bike in the wet since the detachable mudguards are a bit of a pain in the ass and I want the expensive groupset to stay working for a long time.

All these things at a time when the bike to work benefit window is opening. Oh dear...So, a brief battle with conscience and I'm on the max voucher.

Bikery ensues. I don't want a mountain bike since there should be one (or a rebuild) coming sometime this summer when the insurance is sorted out. I want to be able to ride it on easy off-road, mostly when I'm with the kids- the farmer's track up to Heartwood forest and local hardpacked bridleways through Symmondshyde are really the sort of riding I'm thinking about. It needs decent full-length mudguards mounted on real eyelets and a rack. It has to be reasonably fast on the road. That makes it Hybrid vs Cyclocross...

Hybrids....hmm, there are a few around but most of the lighter ones like the Boardman look less than off-road capable.

'Crosser then!

A quick look around at my budget point (pretty much as low as possible given the fact I want to buy decent lights) reveals the Specialised Tricross triple as the bike for me. Nothing top-spec but it will take guards and racks- essential for the bike's winter commuting role.

Now..lights.. Hope springs eternal as a UK manufacturer with a good reputation and long-term spares support. The Hope vision 2 sits in my price band and will do just fine.

Halfords can source all of this for me, I just need to wait until the voucher arrives, should be within the next few weeks.


Went to see the bike at Rock and Road on Friday, looks excellent.