Showing posts from February, 2017

Review - Vaude Kabru Light II Insulated Down Jacket

The Vaude Kabru Light II Down Jacket has achieved the rank of 'favourite' amongst my insulated off-the-bike jackets, within a very short space of time. Much like the Vaude Termatic RC Mountain Bike Boots , and the Vaude Winter Cycling Jackets , it is an incredibly well thought-out and executed piece of kit. What makes it the best lightweight down jacket that I've come across to date? First, there's the colour - that perfect blue (regular blog readers will know I'm a sucker for this). Second, there's the fit - not too flappy, not too tight. Vaude call it a 'Sportive' cut. Third, there's the build quality, and the weight of the jacket - it reaches that sought-after balance of feeling featherweight, but with a German quality that promises to last many winters. The Kabru Light II is the kind of jacket that I would wear on a smart business field trip; an evening walk; or take with me on my next bikepacking trip. Intelligent insulation Thi

Riding the TorTour UltraCross Cyclocross Stage Race

Three days of mud, gravel, sub-zero temperatures, and flat-out racing. An invitation to ride the world's first ever cyclocross stage race, seemed like an opportunity that couldn't be missed... Race Report: Stage 2 - 74km - 1,530m elevation I pushed from the gun - trying to hold my own in the front group.  I didn't quite push hard enough though; before long, the five front-runners had got a gap, and I was left in the chasing pack. Nothing for it... solo bridge time. It turned out to be a long bridge to cross. Almost an hour of sitting at threshold, trying desperately to regain the wheel of the last rider in the group ahead. Eventually I made junction. Exhausted; I clung to the wheels. By now the two professional riders were long gone into the distance, and our small second group comprised of two Swiss junior riders (one the U23 National Champ), a super-strong German, and myself.  Up. Up. Up. Today was a day of hunting vertical. From vineyards, through

Introducing the '7Countries7Passes' Tour

There is no better way to see the world, than from the saddle of a bicycle. From flatland forests, to mountain peaks; 'Life In The Saddle', as a cycle tourist, is a physical, visual and cultural discovery.  I'm certain that this year's planned September bike trip - the #7Countries7Passes tour, will be no exception. Inspiration One of the great highlights of my 'Coasts and Cols' tour  was the diverse cultural shifts; as I rode from Spain into the South of France, and then up the western coast. From the vast vineyards of Bordeaux, to the sleepy villages of Brittany; it was a mix that provided great interest, and a distraction from my aching legs. The second notable highlight of the tour, was the mountains. I have a love-hate relationship with mountain summits; they provide challenge and reward, in equal measure. It was these two highlight experiences that provided my inspiration for my 2017 trip. How can I cram as much cultural diversity, and as many