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

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pre-event ride - 26 miles!

So me and my friend Neil decided to try and at least get about half the distance covered before the London to Brighton ride on Sunday 16th June - and we mixed up th route to include a range of slow gradual slopes as well as steep climbs (hard work on my double ring TDF) - below is the route, elevation and information about the ride...

More rides to come this week (Wednesday and Friday hopefully!)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Remember to tighten your cleats!

So here's a top tip - I was mid-ride last night and felt my foot slipping all over the shop!

I thought it'll be OK - ride on, and take a look when you get home. The more I rode however the more I seemed to have sideways movement on my shoe.

I ended up stopping as I actually thought there was something wrong with my pedals. Turns out it was the cleats on my shoes coming loose (even though they were tight when I left).

In case you don't know how cleats attach to cycle shoes see below:

The screws had come loose - not fallen out luckily! So I used my multi-tool (who would cycle without one) and tightened them up...

I might add some thread lock onto the screws at a later date if this keeps occurring - so take my advice - always stop if something feels different to normal!

Coming up later this week an article on essential stuff to take EVERY ride out.

Monday workout!

So I decided despite getting back from work late (6pm) and having had a long day - that I'd jump on the bike for a session. I went further than anticipated.

More workouts to come soon!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Training update

Well it's now turned much more summer like - this is good news. It means I am actually able to take advantage of the summer light and go out after work even if it is quickly.

Something is better than nothing!

I hope to update my workout page to update my latest rides shortly.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Clarke Cycle Trainer (Turbo Trainer)

I decided pretty early on that due to my job and commute distance that I wouldn't be able to ride in evenings much during the winter months.

So I looked into a Turbo trainer. They basically convert your bike into an exercise bike - but with a few advantages:

  1. You use YOUR bike - so it is very similar to road riding for real
  2. You can use YOUR gear (cleats, gears, etc)
  3. You can do as much or as little as you like
So after looking around for a decent trainer at a reasonable price I found the Clarke CCTI Trainer from Machine Mart (link here) - it was on offer *VAT FREE SHOPPING* and it worked out at £56 with my voucher code.

Trainer and front wheel support

Trainer hooked onto my bike
So as you can see there is cable that runs from the magnetic resistance setting to put on your handlebars - to be honest even in my first session I noticed this was useless - it is much better to use the gears to select your resistance.

In terms of positives and negatives I see mainly positives - the only slight negative I have found is noise - this could probably be reduced by using a training tyre (smooth with 0 grip and a softer rubber) - however seen as I intend to change my tires if they wear then so be it.

I will update the blog with regular updates to let you know how my workouts are getting on...

25 mins high resistance turbo trainer - 15 minutes spent in highest gear and going flat out. Once completed refreshed with a banana and plenty of water.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

London to Brighton Bike Ride - Donate now!

Hi there!

Just a quick note that I have set up my JustGiving account for my London-Brighton bike ride in June 2013.

The official registration isn't open yet - but I am aiming to raise £300 minimum and will be cycling along with my friend Neil Temple.

The ride will be completed in memory of several loved ones - including my nan, my girlfriends nan and granddad as well as my friends grandparents. All of who suffered heart related illnesses.

We are training over the next few months and hope to keep you all updated.

Thank you in advance for those who donate online. Remember if you are a UK Tax Payer - select GiftAid when you donate - it gives the tax back to the charity!

If you wish to donate - head over to the page now

Welcome to Cycle2Fitness

Welcome to my new blog...

The purpose of the blog is to document what I get up to on my journey to discover a new hobby - road cycling...

I am expecting to be building my fitness along the way and intend to take part in some charity bike rides - all of which will be published on my blog/twitter.

I am new to the sport and look forward to gaining some advice and putting a record of my experiences online to help others who may be beginning to start or feel lost...

If you want to follow my blog then please enter your email address on the left and subscribe - I promise your email is safe and will not be passed on to anyone else.

Anyway - stay safe and happy cycling!