Base Layers…

There are few things more important in a cyclist’s wardrobe than the humble base layer, particularly during the autumn and winter. This understated bit of fabric will help to keep you warm and move sweat away from your skin. However, there’s a fair amount of choice out there, including some that are designed to keep you cool in summer, some that are made from synthetic fibres and some that are made from Merino wool. Choices, choices Whilst there is a lot of choice out there, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic materials such as polyester will keep you … Continue reading Base Layers…

Lorries, bicycles and desperately misguided safety campaigns…

If you’ve been in earshot of a social media storm raging this week, chances are it was as a result of the Department for Transport’s laudable but tragically misguided new safety campaign. We’ve talked about lorries before. We even wrote a post about how we need to talk about lorries. They are definitely a problem for us cyclists and for that, any awareness campaign has merit. However, the problem for the DfT on this occasion is that the video they released clearly shows a lorry left-hooking a cyclist (overtaking before immediately turning left –exactly what rule 182 of the highway … Continue reading Lorries, bicycles and desperately misguided safety campaigns…

To Lycra or not to Lycra…

There’s no getting away from it, donning a pair of Lycra shorts and a tight-fitting jersey is making a pretty bold statement. It leaves people in no doubt whatsoever that you are a cyclist… However, you do have to wonder if all that getup is strictly necessary. Spandex, aaall Spandex… Cycling kit leaves very little to the imagination, but there is a good reason for that. Being tight fitting it doesn’t catch the air as you ride, saving energy and reducing the effects of cross winds and head winds. Also, a good pair of shorts will have a thick, effective … Continue reading To Lycra or not to Lycra…

Taking your bike on a Great Western train

If taking your bike on the train is something you do, or plan to do you may be interested to note that Great Western has a new policy. According to the poster, from 16th May you’ll have to book a space on the train for your full-sized bike (folding bikes can still be carried on as luggage). You can do that by calling 0345 7000 125 between 07:00 and 22:00 at least 2 hours before or visit a station ticket office. It also says you can book your slot via the website, but we haven’t quite worked out how, yet. … Continue reading Taking your bike on a Great Western train

Commuting by bike & weight loss…

In news that will surprise nobody, this week another study has found that people who don’t drive to work stay slimmer. Up there with such profound questions as “do bears defecate in the woods?” and “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?” the question of whether people who exercise on their way to and from work have lower levels of body fat, has once again been answered. People who cycle, walk or catch the train or bus to work keep more weight off than commuters who travel by … Continue reading Commuting by bike & weight loss…

Climbing Hills

Hills are awesome. No, seriously, they are. They are bite-size challenges that provide instant feedback on how fit you are now and are a good measure of how far you have progressed. Let’s face it, not many of us have the time to put in 200km+ rides week-in, week-out, so it’s difficult to judge your progress against such an undertaking. However, a climb is largely self-contained, usually short and has variables that are easy to control –wind isn’t really an issue at slow speeds, so it’s just you, your bike, a hill and the Earth’s gravitational pull. No matter what level … Continue reading Climbing Hills

Planning your route…

Whether you are planning to take on a 100-mile adventure or just trying to get to work, knowing the best route to take can be a challenge. Local knowledge is invaluable and asking around your local bike shops is a good place to start for that. We may also be able to help or at the very least put you in touch with someone who can. However, there are a number of online and offline tools at your disposal that can steer you in the right direction. Ordinance Survey Maps The trusty old OS map is a mine of information, … Continue reading Planning your route…