Tuesday, 23 December 2014

a bit of commuting and all that

Well it's been a bit milder and we've settled into the new building so I decided it's time to get back to commuting. Every mile cycled instead of driven benefits the economy to an extent (that extent probably depends who you talk to and what their agenda is but it does definitely make a difference.) Parking is also at a premium so me cycling helps my colleagues and visiting patients. My only gripe being some of them live ten minutes walk away and would never dream of leaving the car at home. OK I know I'm the weird one here!

The last two days I've taken the 29er. It's great fun because I get to blast down the hill in prologis park and do a little jump out of the drainage channel then it all gets a bit disappointing into K town. I bumped into Steve on the way in this morning. Ironically it was exactly where he bumped into a kamikaze pedestrian on a club ride.

On the way home I go for a spin in the dark in Weekly Woods. I love the way the one23 extreme bright lights the place up and it's quite funny spooking the unsuspecting bunnies. The last bit of the journey was into a fierce headwind. Apparently that's a great training technique for improving climbing. I read that somewhere and have the ridiculous fantasy that someone after reading it here will repeat it too. I'm not sure how you test the theory though. Do you do loads of headwind riding then take on a hill to see if you're better? Should I ride up hills in a headwind to make them harder? 

I've also been spending the remainder of my birthday funds. I wanted some suitable trousers for the off road bike. You're not supposed to MTB in lycra so I had a look at the options in C&DCycles. They didn't have anything in but a quick browse through the catalogues and I settled on some endura Humvee zip off trouser shorts. They ordered them there and then. I think they're great. I don't like the padding you get in baggies because it never sits right but combining them with bib shorts feels like the ultimate in comfort, practicality and style.

So yesterday I popped back in the shop because I'd seen something else I really wanted. I've settled on not wanting a saddle bag but ultimately I'm dissatisfied with small carrier bag I use for essentials. It does fit perfectly in a jersey pocket but it's a bit naff. So I saw a Christmas gift idea list with the Lezyne phone caddy. This little pouch of wonder holds a spare tube, levers, a multi tool and a touch screen pouch for a smart phone. So I asked Andy if they had one and no was the answer, he tried to find me an alternative but my mind was set. So between Andy and Chris they set about ordering me one, which amazingly arrived today! it's perfect. I'm slightly disturbed that it also doubles as a belt loop pack (not on my watch not now not ever and I wouldn't have done that in the 90s either!) anyway you'll all be jealous when you see it.

I've had some mad work chats about cycling recently. Firstly a colleague revealed the furthest he's ever ridden is 6 miles. He did this as a daily commute on a bike that cost £50. As he was saying this I glanced at my £120 helmet on my desk which held at the time my Garmin Virb, gloves and eyewear. All told about £500 worth. That thought lingered and I realised as I rode on my bike that is an absolute bargain at a lot more than £50, that the kit I was using including lights and bits of clothing is flipping expensive. The bigger thought though is that I've got some really good stuff and there's virtually nothing I've regretted buying. Also I'm really glad of that club discount!

Another chat was even more hilarious. One of the secretaries who is actually retired but keeps coming in anyway was highly concerned that I cycle "all the way from Rothwell!" She worried that I was riding down the A14, as you know from above, I don't. Then she was fascinated with my big bike and especially the 'furry' wheels (the spiky bits you get with new tyres still haven't worn off.) I love her, she's hilarious. Even more than that I love talking cycling to non-cyclists. They look at me like riding ten miles is madness and should take half a day and to a person they believe that cycling on our roads is as dangerous as juggling rattlesnakes. Yesterday someone actually said: "Richard's brave, he cycles to work!' That's right, in another life I was in the charge of the light brigade!

Happy pedaling

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