Friday, 27 December 2013

Pre-new year checks

So over the next few days I will venture out on the bike for the first time in 4 months.

During that time I have done almost nothing to my bike.

So if like me you are being lazy when the dark nights rolled in here's what I will be doing before my first ride:

1. Check and inflate wheels/tyres to 110psi
2. Check brakes and gear cables for wear/fraying
3. Check gears run smoothly/changers are all good
4. Check lights, replace batteries
5. Repack saddle bag
6. Tighten cleats and check pedal tightness
7. Check and tighten handlebars and seat post
8. Grease chain, bearings and any other exposed nuts, bolts etc

Now most of this probably sounds obvious - but for a bike that hasn't been touched for a good few months I recommend it.

Also remember that I carry the following in my saddle pack:
1. Spare tube
2. Tyre levers x 3
3. Puncture repair patches (scabs)
4. Multi-tool
5. Emergency £10 note
6. Space for keys/phone
7. Frame mounted pump/CO2 inflator and canister.

That should cover most events that happen on a ride. If I am in a very isolated location I may also carry a thermal foil blanket just in case.

Everyone has their own opinion of what to carry. I prefer to carry as little as possible but the number one rule of a pack is if you use something - REPLACE it before your next ride.

Until next time.

Monday, 23 December 2013

London the Brighton 2014

So - it's that time of year when everyone begins to think of resolutions, etc for the new year.

I for one thought that I would get more miles under my belt this year - I only clocked up a pathetic 278 miles.

So I have raised for £1500 for the BHF with just one event, and I have even tried to make sure I stay reasonably fit by playing football at work on a Friday evening.

So my fitness goal this year is to aim for 100 miles a month - this could be on the trainer or on the road - either way - I want to increase my riding so that the London the Brighton ride becomes easy.

I will be looking at logging my rides on here, however not all of them are going to be on here, just down to the time it takes.

I will be making sure I update any big rides - but the odd hours may get lost.

If you want to donate to our team ready for the 2014 ride you can do it using the "SPONSOR ME" link at the top left of the page

This blog has already had over 5500 views in the year - I am amazed - as I thought it would have been a blog only a few people visit - but I was wrong - I cannot wait to see what this year brings - I have lots to look forward to - I will be a dad for the first time in April/May - so we will see what happens to my training then!

All the best for 2014 and have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Getting to work on my bike - why is it so hard?

So today I was asked to complete a survey for CENTRO (a local transport agency) - about how I commute to work, when and why I use the methods of getting to work.

A little background to my journey to work - it's 12.5 miles (depending on route) and on a good day the journey takes 45 minutes at 7am and 1hr at approx. 5pm.

Now I drive a Mondeo 2.5T ST - a thirsty car - and with good reason - it's a lovely car to drive and averages approx. 20-23mpg on my commute.

My commute takes me from Dudley, UK to the south side of Birmingham, UK. In itself this seems relatively simple... however...

Walking isn't an option unless I wanted to spend 8 hours a day walking.

Bus means a walk to the town from my house (1 mile) - then another bus to Birmingham, then another bus towards my workplace.

Train means a walk to the town from my house (1 mile) - then a bus to the train station, then train to Birmingham, then change trains onto the cross city line, then walk to my workplace from the station.

All in all I have never been able to get to work in under 2 hours using public transport - hence why I drive and why this has really been my only option.

Why not cycle I hear you say?

Well simple:

  1. Nowhere to lock up my bike
    • I cannot feel happy leaving my bike chained to a railing outside my building
  2. Nowhere to get changed
    • I cannot teach lessons in lycra!
  3. Nowhere to have a shower when I get there
    • Spending 6+ hours in work clothes without freshening up would be healthy for me or my students!
Weirdly - the only thing stopping me cycling to and from work (particularly in the summer months) is the fact the facilities aren't available for me.

CENTRO asked these questions and can make £5000 available to our workplace if they feel the school and indeed the environment would benefit from the investment. What is interesting is public sector employers seem to be miles behind others in this. Why don't we have staff showers? Why don't we have a secure bike shed with CCTV running and being monitored?

I know this all costs money - however imagine if people who genuinely enjoy cycling could cycle to work, less cars, less road repairs, less traffic, fitter residents. Surely everyone wins.

I for one have suggested all these things on the survey and have also signed up to be a member of our workplaces "Transport plan committee" in the hope that people will see sense.

For me personally I spend about £300 a month on fuel - I could easily halve this bill and indeed even more so when you consider tyre wear, etc. Not to mention I would accrue considerable miles under my belt each month.

If you work somewhere and receive such a survey - don't ignore it - shout about what you want!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Angelsey Ride - 24 Miles!

Decent ride logged when I was camping in Wales!

Very hilly - and very windy!

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Monday, 17 June 2013

London to Brighton Ride Log

So on Sunday 16th June, 2013 I rode the London to Brighton ride to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Below is my ride log - when I get a little more time I will be completing a more complete ride evaluation - but below gives an overview - we rode from our hotel to the start line which is why it's a little longer - but it was an amazing day - great ride and some challenging parts - all in all an excellent day...

Saturday, 8 June 2013

30.53 mile Friday evening ride

So today I went for my first 'big ride' the longest of my training rides so far - I didn't manage to set out until 7.45pm so was a little limited by light and temperature - however we still managed to get some great miles in! Managed 3 climbs per loop with 1 big one that was hard but unlike the last time I rode it on both occasions last night I managed to get up it without stopping. Hard work but rewarding...

I will be writing a review of my new Continental 4000s Gran Prix tires I have fitted within the last few days once I complete a few more miles on them...

Remember if you would like to sponsor me and my best friend on our 58 mile ride from London to Brighton on 16th June 2013 then you can HERE