Season Highlights - 'Kit To Climb Mountains'

Riding a bike in the mountains is a bit like playing roulette with the weather gods. Sometimes you get lucky: you ride light and fast, in blue skies and sunshine. The inevitable will come though... at some point, you will be struck a blow: rain, sleet, wind and snow.

The answer, is protection. More specifically, layers of protection. To stay comfortable and safe, you need to build a layering system of adaptable insulation and waterproofing. This is your shield, against the power of the weather.

Base layer It begins with a base... The heart of any cycle clothing layering system starts with the base layer. This basic, often seamless garment, plays a vital role.

A base layer wicks sweat away from your torso; transporting moisture to the outside air, and away from your skin. It helps to cool you in the heat, and keep you warmer in the cold.

The Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Base Layer takes things one step further - shielding your front-facing torso from the chill using the Windstopper fa…

Review - Knog Oi Bike Bell

I am a big advocate of the bike bell. Cyclists have enough problems being seen, without risking not being heard as they approach pedestrians and other path users. The main reason enthusiast cyclists don't seem to have a bell on their bike though, seems to be aesthetics, and (slightly unbelievably) weight.

The Knog Oi Bell is designed to combat the two fore-mentioned deterrents to having a bike bell. It looks sleek and sophisticated, but also weighs next to nothing.

Mounting is simple and easy, with a single bolt tightening the clamp, which will accommodate 23.8 to 31.8mm bars.

Possibly the best thing about the Knog Oi bell though, is its charm. It has a positively tuneful 'ding'.

A great stocking filler for any cyclist.

Review - Knog Blinder MOB V Four Eyes Rear Light

A good rear bike light is a huge asset, in terms of visibility and road presence. Even in the daytime, a rear light will help to alert other traffic to your position on the road. The latest Knog Blinder rear light - the Knog Blinder MOB V Four Eyes, is a great all-weather option.

I have tested Knog lights for many years, and they always perform in terms of functionality, and simplicity of use. The new Knog Blinder follows suit.

The light mounts up easily to any size of seat post (including aero seat posts) using a variety of rubber straps. Once on the bike, it is easy to turn on, and then to toggle through the five different light modes.

On maximum FLASH, the Knog Blinder V4 will output 44 lumens of light, and last for 4.5 hours. On Eco mode, the light will last for a whopping 55 hours of burn time.

When it comes to charging, it couldn't be easier; you simply remove the unit from the bike, and plug it straight into a USB drive on a computer, or a USB mains plug. Charging takes 4-5…

Review - Craft Cadence Tempo Waterproof Trunk Bag

A rack top trunk bag is the ideal solution to carrying light and small loads. Better than a rucksack as it doesn't leave you with a sweaty back; also better than a single pannier in terms of balance; it is my preferred option for a daily commute. The new Craft Cadence Tempo Trunk Bag is a good value and well-built execution of the concept.

Made from PVC coated nylon, and with a roll-top closure, the bag is waterproof and durable. A rigid insert helps the main section of the bag to keep its shape, whilst two small zippered pockets on the outside are ideal for things like a phone and keys.

The bag attaches to the pannier rack using two large Velcro straps on the underside. A third strap on the front of the bag can provide extra security, to stop the bag shifting back on the rack frame. The mounting system feels secure, and even with some off-road riding it has shown itself to be a stable design.

Neat additions include a light clip on the back of the bag, which is useful if you are …

Hints and Tips: Treating and Recovering from Road Rash

For road cyclists, road rash is unfortunately likely to be something that you encounter at least a few times during your riding career. Icy lanes, drivers, greasy roundabouts and tyre blow-outs; they are just a few of the potential hazards that could leave you with the painful red abrasion to your hips, elbows and knees.

I have had my fair share of road rash. The worst was the 2014 season, where I seemed to be plagued by crashes. During that season, I learnt a few tips to help the healing process of tarmac abrasions.

1 - Get it clean, straight away Tarmac is not a hygienic or sterile surface, and getting bits of grit in your road rash and cuts will prolong the healing process, and potentially lead to infection. It hurts like hell, but wash your cut out thoroughly in the shower after the accident, and use antiseptic wipes to really get it clean, before you do anything else.

2 - Apply Sportique Road Rash Remedy Road rash unfortunately takes a long time to heal, and it can often leave a…

Review - Restrap Commute Rucksack

Made in Yorkshire, the Restrap bags collection has fast become a favourite of mine. The new Commute Rucksack is the latest addition to the range, and another superb piece of craftsmanship.

The Restrap frame bag, handlebar bag and seat pack, have been my touring luggage of choice for long distance self-supported trips like the 'Coasts and Cols' and the #7Countries7Passes. Their durable, robust and faultlessly engineered designs allow you to travel far, in confidence that your kit will go the distance.

For daily use, when things are a little less 'epic', Restrap have released their new 'Utility' range; which includes this beautifully made roll-top waterproof rucksack.

Built with purpose Roll-top rucksacks don't need to be extravagant, they need to work. They need to keep your kit dry on your daily commutes, and allow you to ride in comfort and safety.

The Restrap Commute Rucksack focusses on the essentials, with the aim of delivering faultlessly on its inten…

Game Theory of The Breakaway

If you have seen the film 'A Beautiful Mind' or you have done a bit of industrial economics, or even gambling, then you might have heard of Game Theory. It is a science that tries to make sense of the decision choices made by individuals, when they are faced with one-shot simultaneous move situations.

The application of game theory has found its way into topics from penalty shoot-out decisions, to how easy it is for two firms to collude to raise prices in an industrial market. In this blog, I try to show how game theory can be applied to a breakaway situation in a road race.

The classic example of game theory is the 'Prisoner's Dilemma': consider two gang members, stuck in two separate cells at a police station; both prisoners were arrested at the scene of a crime, and had no chance to discuss their alibi with the other.

Simultaneously, both prisoners are taken from their cells to separate interview rooms and told:
If you confess and your partner does too, then you…