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Showing posts from February, 2021

Review – Julbo Fury Cycling Sunglasses

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Cycling sunglasses do a lot more than just protect your eyes from glare and UV rays; they are also a vital barrier against wind, grit, and overhanging trail surroundings. The Julbo Fury sunglasses are a lightweight set of all-weather riding glasses, which will protect your eyes even in the toughest off-road conditions. I have been testing the Army Green coloured Julbo Fury glasses for the last few weeks and have been highly impressed both by their styling and function. This model comes equipped with a Cat. 1 polycarbonate lens; designed to offer continued clear vision even in poor light conditions—perfect for those late evening and early morning rides. The wide cylindrical one-piece lens sits suspended within a robust but flexible frame; offering impressive ventilation to reduce fogging, as well as a superb level of coverage and protection. The frame is fitted with a flexible shock-absorbing grip insert on the bridge of the nose, as well as Grip Tech arms that hold the glasses firmly i

Review – HydraPak Flux 1L Flexible Water Bottle

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Flexible soft bottles have been a secret weapon of mine on bikepacking and cycle touring adventures for a while. The compressible bottles are the ideal solution when you need to carry more water on scorching days, or you need to stock up on fluid before heading off for an overnight camp. I remember one time on the #RoadsFromRome trip when a kind Italian man offered to help me fill up my water bottles at the end of a sweltering day. When I kept pulling soft flasks out of my pannier, he took great delight in the apparent magic trick, and then joyously started to try blowing one flask up like a balloon… (pre Covid-19 times). He did not get far—these things are surprisingly robust. Soft flasks have been used by runners for a long time, and feature in many ultra-running vests. Equally water bladders have been used in mountain biking hydration packs for years; offering a way to carry water when you do not have bottle cages on your bike. Flexible bottles like the new HydraPak Flux are somet

Explore – 5 Best Road Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight

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Those that have ridden a road bike on the Isle of Wight will know that it is an incredible landscape to explore. The unique geology of the island has created a topographic profile that is undeniably tough, but unquestionably beautiful; from towering cliffs to wild wind-swept flats. In this post, I have selected five of my favourite road cycling routes on the Isle of Wight—an insider's choice for the best road cycling on offer, as well as my personal recommendations for café stops and highlights. Wight Road Route #1 – Panoramas and Pottery Difficulty – Medium Distance – 50 kilometres (31 miles) Elevation Profile – Moderate (400 metres elevation gain) We start with a fairly easy route in the West Wight—starting and finishing at the wonderful Caffe Isola in the centre of Newport, the ideal place for a pre-ride breakfast and coffee. The route then heads out of town through the rolling hills of Bowcombe and down to Chale Green—a picturesque village at the southern point of th

Review – Aeropress GO Portable Coffee Maker

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When it comes to making coffee in the wild , the Aeropress has always been my preferred method. For bikepacking and bicycle touring trips it is the ultimate compact coffee maker. The new Aeropress GO is the brand’s innovation on the already superb design. The GO is smaller, lighter, and has some great functionality improvements. Let us start with how it works… the same as the Aeropress: you place a paper filter in the perforated bottom cup of the chamber, then add scopes of fresh ground coffee to the chamber. You then pour boiled water into the chamber and use the provided stirrer to circulate the grounds. When you have left the mixture to brew for as long as you wish, you take the plunger and push the coffee through the filter into your mug. With the new Aeropress GO the procedure is the same as with the original Aeropress, but there are a few slight changes in the instruments. To make things more compact, the scoop has a smaller handle, and stirrer is foldable; so, both fit ins

Good Reads – 'The Race Against The Stasi' by Herbie Sykes

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Post World War Two Europe makes for a fascinating study. At school and university my history and economic history courses delved deep into the political, economic, and social impact of the divisions between the communist bloc and the democratic west during the Cold War period. However, what my studies never really touched on, was sport. So, when the ' Race Against The Stasi'  was published I was sure it would be a compelling read. The historical account follows the life of Dieter Wiedemann—a cycling hero from the GDR (East Germany). Dieter's biography: composed of quotes, news extracts, and letters from his life, is a captivating account. It is story of ambition, success, challenge, and love. The narrative begins with Dieter competing for the GDR in amateur events such as the iconic Peace Race and tours of the communist bloc countries. However, after realising the true extent of political influence on his life and sport, Dieter eventually makes the life-changing decisio

Good Reads – 'Africa Solo' by Mark Beaumont

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I have always been a fan of Mark Beaumont's past documentaries and books. Both ' The Man Who Cycled The World ' and ' The Man Who Cycled The Americas ' were superb in their ability to showcase the beauty and captivating cultures seen on long distance bike rides. ' Africa Solo' is an equally interesting story, but in many ways a quite different sequel; and unfortunately, I must admit one that in some ways I found slightly depressing... Mark makes it clear early on in ' Africa Solo ' that the attempt at the World Record from Cairo to Cape Town will be about speed, big miles, and racing the clock. The focus on culture, content creation, and storytelling will be pushed back to second place. I found this rearranged focus to slightly mar what I am sure could be a beautiful story of exploration of the African continent. Mark's previous tales of solo unsupported tours of the Americas and the World were a real immersion in the civilisations seen an

7 Tips – Secrets to Improving Sleep Quality and Recovery

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Sleep is the primary pillar of effective recovery—getting enough quality sleep is therefore fundamental to endurance sports performance. I have learned the hard way what a lack of sleep can do to your health, wellbeing, and cycling success; in this post I look at seven of those lessons, and tips on how you can improve your sleep quality and recovery. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is a critical part of recovery. It is during the deep sleep period that our bodies begin to fully repair and rejuvenate themselves, readying themselves for the next effort. Key growth hormones are released when you are in undisturbed sleep—so it makes it a fundamental part of performance improvement. 1 – The Sleep Routine The most important ingredient in getting superior quality sleep on a regular basis, is to create a regular sleeping schedule. You often hear people say "I wake up at the same time, even when I am tired…"—this is natural—it is because our bodies like routine, and so we

Review – SunGod Vulcans Cycling Sunglasses

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The Isle of Wight is sometimes hyped for being the sunniest place in Britain; at least that means that even in the depths of winter I can find a good excuse for a new pair of riding sunglasses… The Vulcans from UK brand SunGod caught my eye a while back, and I have been lusting after a pair ever since. This month, I took the plunge and ordered a pair of the Vulcans TF (half frame) glasses in a classy blue and black colour scheme. They have not failed to impress me… SunGod made their name in the casual sunglasses market, but after moving into the performance eyewear marketplace in the last few years they have been quick to make their mark. The Vulcans are one of two models within the Pace Series by SunGod; the other model is the slightly larger and more angular lens Velans. Both the Pace models share the same ultramodern lens technology, as well as a super adjustable fit, 100 percent UV protection, and a lifetime guarantee. The SunGod Vulcans begin with the robust and comfortable frame.