Showing posts from December, 2017

2017 - Life In The Saddle - Year in Review

2017 has been a year of so many challenges, smiles, and adventures. It is hard to condense them all into one blog post.

This is my attempt to summarise an incredibly memorable year...

Early Beginnings TorTour Cyclocross Switzerland (February 2017) - The season began early, with the TorTour Cyclocross Stage Race in Switzerland. Mud, snow, sweat, and sub-zero temperatures.

An awesome event, which was both impeccably organised and super challenging, as well as being great fun. 4th place, in an international field containing professional riders and national champions.

Read the TorTour Cyclocross Ride Report here

Tuscany Torrents Strade Bianche Grand Fondo (March 2017) - The next event on the calendar was the Strade Bianche Grand Fondo, on the white roads of Tuscany.

The weather was not kind for this early season Spring Classic; rain turned the white Tuscan roads to sludge. Narrow tyres squirmed and skidded on the rutted roads. My Sportful Fiandre kit showed its true virtue.

Read the Strade Bian…

Weekend Watch - 'Thousand Year Journey Bike Touring Video'

An incredible story, with an inspirational message. Time to get on the road again soon...

Review - Vaude Minaki Mid CPX Winter Cycling Boots

In the depths of winter, and particularly for mountain biking and cyclocross, a pair of dedicated winter cycling boots really are a worthwhile investment. The Vaude Minaki Mid CPX Winter Cycling Boots are the best that I have tested to date.

Overshoes will only take you so far, in terms of protection in the winter months. Thick neoprene helps to keep out the spray and wind, and the latest zip-less designs do seal around your ankles effectively. However, if you are dismounting and running through mud and snow, or if you are riding in extreme cold, then the fully integrated approach of a winter cycling boot is the ultimate solution.

A winter cycling boot is a sealed unit: there are no gaps or vents for water to seep in, like it can on summer cycling shoes with overshoes. There are also no open lace systems, which turn into a nightmare when saturated in mud and water.

Last winter, I rode in the Vaude Termatic RC II Winter Boots. They performed impeccably, both on the daily commute, and r…

Season Highlights - Top Casual Cycling Clothing

Lycra is not always appropriate. Lycra around the house... not advisable. Lycra in the office... just no. Lycra on a night out... hell no.

Instead, look for some quality cycling inspired casual kit. It will be more comfortable, and more acceptable when you are not sprinting for signs or tearing up trails.
These are some of my latest favourites, from this winter's collections...

Swrve Skinny Cycling Jeans I am a great fan of the casual clothing range from American brand Swrve. I wear a pair of their Indigo Cycling Jeans or WWR Trousers almost every day. The new Skinny Fit Cycling Jeans are the latest addition to my wardrobe, and a great one at that.

They have a flattering slender fit, reflective trims, and also cleverly incorporate just a little Lycra into the material mix, to give them a bit of stretch if you are riding around town.

The black Cordura denim provides a look that is smart enough for most offices, but a fabric durable enough to stand up to years of use and abuse. Swr…

Review - Galen Leather Bicycle Saddlebag

Classic saddles like a Brooks England Swift, deserve a classic saddlebag to complement them. The leather saddlebag from Turkish brand Galen Leather, is hand-crafted and beautifully finished.

I featured the exquisite Galen Leather Traveller's Notebook in my 'Stocking Fillers for Cyclists' post, earlier this month. The leather saddlebag is a similarly bespoke product, with a great quality presentation.
Made from vegetable-tanned leather, and stitched by hand using waxed thread; it has a classic look and feel. The leather is proofed with a weatherproof coating of natural oils and beeswax.

Belt straps secure the bag to the saddle loops, on any heritage saddle, like a Brooks. You could also use this as a top-tube bag on any narrow tubed road bike.

A beautifully made and hand-finished product. Much like a leather saddle, it will grow in character and style with age. A timeless classic.
View the Leather Bicycle Saddle Bag at here

Review - Vee Tire Co Road Runner Road Cycling Tyres

I am an advocate of the benefits of going bigger, when it comes to road cycling tyres. Greater volume means more comfort, more grip, and research suggests very little increase in rolling resistance. As a result, I was pleased to be testing the 28c version of Vee Tire Co.'s Road Runner tyres this autumn; this is the largest size tyre that will fit into most standard road bike frames.

The Road Runner is pitched as a do-it-all road tyre: providing grip, puncture protection, and longevity. With my riding focussing largely on endurance challenges, it appeared to be a good fit.

Despite a relatively low thread-per-inch of 90 TPI, the Road Runner promises traction from first inspection; the rubber compound feeling tacky to the touch.

The low thread count does mean that the tyres are relatively quite heavy, at 280 grams for the 28c version. But, the added rubber in the casing translates into greater durability, and puncture resistance.

Out on the road, the Road Runner feels sure-footed a…

Rudely Alternative Ride Snacks

Winter training has started in earnest. Long miles, and hard efforts. Rides that require more than your morning bowl of porridge to get you through them. Rides that require #fuelfortheride.

Energy bars and bananas are all well and good, but after a time you crave something different. Something to add some flavour and excitement, when you pull the foil wrapped package from your jersey pocket, with frozen fingers.

Using a selection of products from Rude Health, I have come up with these 'Rudely Alternative Ride Snacks'…

Chia Peanut Butter and Ginger Oaty Sandwiches How many superfoods can you pack into a jersey pocket? Chia Charge Peanut Butter, and Rude Health's Ginger and Turmeric Oatys, contain four at least.

The recipe is pretty self-explanatory: grab two oat cakes, make a peanut butter sandwich of them, and then wrap it in tin foil to keep it all together. Alternatively, take the component parts with you, using Pip and Nut's Squeeze Packs, and a four pack of Oatys…

Review - Artivelo Bike Dock Storage Solution

We cannot ride our bikes all the time. That presents the conundrum of where to store your ride, when you are putting your feet up. The solution, provided by Dutch brand Artivelo, is to make your bicycle into a piece of wall-hung artwork.

Providing that your bike is clean, and not some ghastly mix of random components, then the chances are, it is something you are proud to present. You are a rider. Let that show.

I believe there are some bikes that pray to be presented - I would claim that my Kona Rove Ti is one of those, as is my Neil Pryde Bura SL road bike.

With these kind of bikes calling out for some attention, the Artivelo BikeDock provided the perfect presentation shelf.

More than a shelf… The Artivelo BikeDock is a lot more than just a shelf from which to suspend your bike.

Machined from industrial looking 3mm powder-coated steel, your bike hangs from its top tube, supported by a luxurious leather pad (enabling all shapes of top tube to be supported).

The rack also has some …