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)