Saturday, 29 August 2015

30 days hath September...

And are we going to do 30 Days of Biking again?  

Yeah come on, let's make it happen:

I didn't finish the previous (official) on in April, though I rode more than I blogged about.  Still anything that encourages people to get out on their bikes is OK by me.

Like Marvin Gaye sang:  Let's get it on! 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

On Coffee

There's definitely some inextricable link between cycling and coffee. 

Whether or not drinking the stuff actually makes you faster I don't know, but after a cold morning ride, there's nothing I look forward to more than a steaming hot brew.  Never managed to be able to drink coffee and ride at the same time though.

My preference is usually for a black Americano and we're blessed to have an excellent and FREE coffee machine at work.  And no, I don't work at Google.

Apropos of nothing this morning (or maybe apropos of the fact that I found a sweet little coffee cup at home) I thought I'd switch to espresso.  It's wonderful stuff but the smaller volume seems to encourage drinking more cups...

In the interest of science and supportng my fellow cyclists, I can confirm that two espressos, drunk in short order is DEFINITELY enough!!!  Perhaps wait for the caffeine from the first one to hit before knocking back a second.

So now I'm rushing round the office in a caffeine-filled blur.  I'll certainly be productive, but need to save something in the tank for the ride home.

Espressos at 5pm, anyone? 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


It's been a very pleasant summer so far. I have had very few wet journeys in the last couple if months and can't remember the last time I didn't cycle in cut-off shorts.  My legs, arms and face have a healthy glow. Thanks to the exercise and sunshine, so too does my mind.

Soon, these lovely golden mornings will give way to something colder and greyer. 

Soon, I'll be wrapping up in Ron Hills and neoprene gloves. 

Soon I'll be putting lights on first thing in the morning. 

Soon...but not yet.

Just for now, I'm going to enjoy pedalling through the sunshine mornings with their (almost) cold, fresh air and long, clear shadows. 

As late summer starts to turn to autumn, I'll take each day as it comes. There's a lot more beauty to be experienced before the darker months set in.

It's a lovely day and, out on my bike, I feel lucky to be alive. 

Wouldn't swap you a car commute for this.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Tempus Fugit*

And fugit it certainly does!  

In the most obvious sense, It constantly amazes me how long the gaps are between posts on this blog.  I like writing on it and it only seems like a few days since my last posting.  Invariably though it's several months at a stretch! Poor show! 

In a similar manner though, I am always pleasantly surprised by how the miles rack up on my bike.  Even though I ride a fairly short distance each day to and from work (23 miles round trip), I am now up to 11,000 miles on my Dahon Vitesse.  That's a pretty long way by anyone's reckoning!  

A case in point is my drive train...

A couple of weeks ago, my bike began to make an awful grumbling, grinding noise when pedalling.  After a couple of days, I took it into the workshop (read "kitchen") to find the source of the problem.  It turns out that my rear sprocket was badly worn out and my chain wasn't in much better condition.

"But I've not long fitted those!" I thought to myself.  However, when I looked back through my log, it was last October when I put tooth items on the bike.  That's several months, a few thousand miles and one winter which have taken their toll!

Ooh shiny!   A nice new chain with only one days riding on it.  The old one was considerably more horrible than this.

Likewise, I'm in the best physical shape that I've ever been which is the sole result of lots of short rides.  I hardly ever go out on my bike for leisure (which is a great shame I know) so I'm not putting in lots of long rides.  My fitness is the result of many short(ish) rides over a few years.

A little and often seems to build to a cumulative effect quicker than you'd think.  Looking ahead at a programme of exercise, it may not seem so, but looking back it's definitely true.

A little and often.  Maybe there's a lesson in there for me when it comes to writing this blog?

*Latin for "time flies" (apologies to classical students everywhere)

Friday, 19 June 2015

Hello world!

It's been a while but I'm still here and still using the trusty Dahon to get around. I'm loving the warn sunny weather and light evenings just now too.

Just by way of getting back into the habit, here's a pic of my bike at the station on the way home this evening.

(or at least there will be when I find a decent mobile blogging app!)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - Days 12 & 13

Day 12 - I had such a run-around Sunday that I thought I was going to have to skip a day (heaven forbid!)  However, I managed to take the dog out for a few laps of the village so all was well in the end. (2 miles)

Day 13 - Monday was a beautiful and bright, but foggy morning.  I love how cool it is when the weather's like this and how you seem to just be able to pedal and pedal without overheating.  There is definitely something about the sun being up when you start riding.  The day starts with so much more optimism than many if those cold, dark and damp winter commutes.  As I keep tellin gpeople - days like this are the payback for the miserable winter ones.  Whatever the weather though, I'd rather be on my bike than in a tin box!

I even took a detour through the park on the way to the office.  The fog reduced the scenery somewhat but it was so nice just cruising along the foggy, tree-lined avenues of the park.

Nicely atmospheric.
I had planned to take a long-cut again on the way home but a couple of last minute errands put a stop to that.  However, I managed to do them all on my bike so all ended well with a slightly longer journey than usual.  (24 miles for the day)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - Days 8 - 11

Day 8 - Slightly shortened normal commute as I met the family for a swim on the way home. The nice thing about a folding bike being that you can just sling it in the car and share a ride home. As I got into the city before the others I spent a while just cruising around new streets and taking in the sites. 17 miles for the day.

Day 9 - Busy day out visiting some clients so just did 1.5 miles with the dog. Better than no riding at all, though.

Day 10 - Normal daily commute by bike and train. 23 miles riding.

Day 11 - Lovely sunny day today, though windy. Narrowly averted disaster with a dash to Morrisons when we ran out of G&T but also picked up ice, lemons, ice creams and flowers for my wife. The heavy rucksack was made up for by a fantastic tail wind for 2 miles down the lane home. 8 miles in all.

We're over a third of the way there and going strong, or so it feels. 153.5 miles for the month.