Showing posts from November, 2012

Ride Stats: November

It's been a fairly good month, nothing overly fast, nothing overly long; but about right for this time of the year. Looking forward to getting back to the Isle of Wight next weekend and starting my winter training in earnest. Hope everyone else's training is going well, and they are wrapping up in the cold weather.

Weekend Watch: Morvélo á bloc and Test Team

Morvélo. A Bloc. from Morvélo Bicycle Apparel on Vimeo . The Morvélo Test Team from Morvélo Bicycle Apparel on Vimeo . Two awesome new videos from Morvélo Bicycle Apparel

Nutrition: Ideas for a Cyclist's Shopping List

Bit of a random post, but here are some ideas for a cyclist's groceries list, perhaps you haven't thought of adding them to your basket before: Green Tea - High in anti-oxidants Cherries - Even higher in anti-oxidants! Avocado - High in anti-inflammatories Low Fat Yoghurt - A good source of recovery protein Eggs - Perfect recovery food ( Eating for Recovery Blog ) Tinned Beans - Good recovery food Beetroot - The natural EPO! Prawns - Low-fat, high protein Cottage Cheese - Low-fat, high protein Bananas - Obviously! ( Alternative Energy Foods Blog ) Oranges - Vitamin C - Keep that immune system topped up Brie - Soft cheese is lower fat than hard cheese Wholemeal Flour - Lower GI...keeps you fuelled for longer Brown Rice - Lower GI...keeps you fuelled for longer Coffee - The Life Blood of Cyclists Blog Brioche - Low-fat, high carb energy snack/breakfast Stroop Waffles - Dutch Yumminess ( Alternative Energy Foods Blog ) Jelly Babies - Instant sug

COMPETITION: The SportPursuit Photo Competition: 'Your Best Cycling Moment Of 2012"

To celebrate the blog reaching 30,000 views this month (one of my Objectives for 2012 ), SportPursuit has very kindly offered to run a photo competition through the blog, with a fantastic set of   Smart Lunar 25 Lux Lights  as a prize for the best entry! RRP £45! They are the ideal lights for anyone continuing to brave the urban winter commute. The competition will be open until the 18:00 on the 16th December. Entries should reflect the 'Best moment for you in the 2012 season'.  Included in your entry should be a few sentences to caption the photo, explaining why that moment was so special and what made it top your rankings. How to Enter: 1) Join  SportPursuit  through the following link (if you haven't already): 2) Send your entry and your few sentences description to  with the subject name "SportPursuit Photo Competition Entry" 3) If you have signed up to the website yo

Hints and Tips: A Beginners Guide to UK Road Racing

In 2012, I made the transition from trails to tarmac for racing; signing for the  Wightlink   Race Team. I had a good  2012 Season ; achieving my Second Category licence, with a fair few race wins.  This blog is aimed at people thinking of doing the same; with ideas on how to get onto the circuit, be successful and stay safe. There's no substitute for getting out and riding your bike, but there are ways to make those miles count, and help towards a race win. Training This is where it all begins: right here...right now. If you are looking to start racing in the 2013 season, your training should be starting as soon as possible. At this time of the year, the key is to work on base miles; especially if you are new to cycling. It is important to develop a good aerobic base that you can use during the racing season; the best way to do this is long rides from November to January: 2-3hrs should be your aim if you are a beginner. Focus on steady riding with some efforts on the

Weekend Watch: 'A Day In The Life of Jens Voigt'


Objectives for 2013: In and Out Of The Saddle

Last week I gave a summary of my " 2012 Season Objectives: What did I tick off? ", it's now time to look forward to 2013 and see what's on the cards, and what I would like to achieve both on and off the bike next year. On the bike Objective #1: 1st Cat Road Race Licence (or maintain 2nd Cat) On the road, this will be my main objective for next year. I went from 4th to 2nd Category this year and hope to make the big jump up to 1st Cat next year. I realize it will be a big step, and with final year university studies, the prospect of getting a job and other commitments I know it will be a big ask; but it would be amazing to get there, or at very least maintain my 2nd Cat licence.  Objective #2: Do a hill climb season After this year's rather poor performance in the BUCS Hill Climb , I'm keen to make amends. I would like something to extend my season a bit, and the hill climb season seems like the perfect fit. I'll aim to put in

Hints and Tips: Wet Weather Riding Preparation

Monsoon rain in Hanoi (Vietnam) - at least it's not that bad here! From October to April, and in the UK it seems all year round, you are likely to encounter rain on your riding schedule at some point. There are three options when confronted with the wet stuff: 1) Bail (not really an option) 2) Get out the turbo (and get bored) 3) Man-up and go out riding In my book at least, the third option is really the only one of these that appeals, even in a torrential downpour. So here are a few tips and tricks to make those damp rides a bit more manageable and enjoyable. Prepare your bike: MUDGUARDS! Get some! There is frankly no excuse to not have full mudguards on a bike in Autumn /Winter/Spring (when you're not racing). When you are riding on wet roads, about 80% of the drenching is from spray off your front wheel hitting your chest (just where you don't want it to) and spray from your back wheel showering your back and buttocks. If there is one thing t

Weekend Watch: Breakfast Run: Surrey to Bexhill

Breakfast Run: Surrey to Bexhill from Fusion Media on Vimeo .

Review: Dhb M1.0 Mountain Bike Shoes

I bought a pair of these last summer, after the Diadora mountain bike shoes that I bought when I first started mountain biking in 2007 eventually gave up the ghost. I have a nice pair of Specialized Pro shoes that I bought for the Island Games, but I didn't want to be using an expensive pair of shoes for commuting and touring, so these seemed like a good option at around £45. When they arrived I'll admit I was a little disappointed by the initial looks; I'm not sure what I was expecting, but they're not exactly as 'Essex' as my shiny white Specialized Pros (I bought the black ones). However they have proven very practical and a good buy: The velcro closure and fairly roomy fit means that you can use them in any weather; for example with thicker winter socks or SealSkinz. The outer material is a synthetic leather, which has proven very waterproof and dries fairly quickly, almost negating the need for overshoes if you use waterproof socks. The rubber

Under The Tree - Books and DVDs for Cyclists

As the evenings draw in and the comfy armchair beckons, why not settle down with a cycling related book or film; it's the end of season and most of us can afford a few evenings rest a week. And/or for those keen turbo trainers, DVDs provide a great distraction from the sweating and pain that prevails on the stationary bike. This is another Christmas Themed Blog: This time with ideas for books and DVDs that would make great gifts to cycling fans everywhere. 'Racing Through The Dark' David Millar    This book has had some stunning reviews from fellow Tweeters. The autobiography follows Millar's life from his young, exuberant days of living as a teenage racer in France, to his fight with doping and his return to the sport as one of the most successful British cyclists in history. It is a "full and frank" account of his experiences, providing "compelling reading". Certainly on my wishlist! 'Chasing Legends' DVD   I've seen t

Objectives from 2012 - What Did I Tick Off?

A year ago I wrote a blog post on Objectives for 2012: In and out of the saddle , so I thought as my season is truly finished now, I should write a blog on which of those objectives I have completed, and which ones have had to be relayed to 2013. In a few weeks time I'll write a blog on my objectives for 2013. Objective #1: "Become a 2nd/3rd Cat. Road Racer"   COMPLETED  I got my second category licence back in August ( Race Report) , then finished off my season with a string of good results on the mountain bike as well. Objective #2: "12hr Mountain Bike Race" SEMI-COMPLETED I didn't manage to do a 12hr this year, but I did go to the CRC Mountain bike marathon in Ruthin, and do both the Night Marathon and the Day Marathon. Which clocked up some good stats (below). A blog on the weekend can be found here: The Alternative Lads Weekend Night Marathon: 40km (25 miles) Off-road 1350 meters of vertical ascent Finished around 20th of 150 star

Stocking Fillers For Festive Cyclists

This post is effectively a series of mini-reviews for kit, tools, snacks and gadgets that I own, desire or have tested which would make great little Christmas gifts to fill up any cyclist's stocking: dhb Pace Roubaix Knee Warmers   (Wiggle Bike Shop) Knee warmers are one bit of kit that are very desirable in autumn and spring. For those days when it is too warm to be wearing full length tights, but your knees feel a bit exposed and cold (which is not very good for your joints) when you are just wearing shorts. This pair from dhb are fantastic quality and value; full review: Dhb Pace Roubaix Knee Warmers Pedros Tyre Levers   Tyre levers are an inexpensive bit of kit, but when they break, or puncture your tube when you are using them it only adds to the aggravation of getting a puncture. These ones from Pedros are fantastic - touch wood I have never had a set break on me, they are incredibly strong and they lock together to make a small package. It is always useful to