Summer’s getting closer

You know summer is on the way when:

  • you get to ride to work in daylight
  • you get to ride home in daylight
  • you need your sunglasses for both commutes
  • there are more tourists hanging out on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace that you have to trundle past without running over
  • the daffodil blooms look like they are about to wither and die, if they haven’t already
  • you notice green shoots on the trees
  • there are more cyclists everywhere (where, by the way, did all these fat blokes come from?)

Total distance: 12.13 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 09min and 17sec | Average speed: 11.10mph | Top speed: 18.7mph

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Service

I got my bike serviced at Evans Cycles today. I know I could have probably done the job myself — or convinced my Other Half to do it for me — but I simply don’t have the time (or inclination) to get my hands dirty. Sheesh, I can’t even find the energy to do the housework these days.

Riding home on a freshly cleaned and oiled and properly aligned bike felt terrific. I practically glided all the way and felt so confident I took the outside lane down Kensington High Street, passing motorised traffic limping along in the lane on my left. Suckers, I thought!

Hopefully, an easy-to-ride stead coupled with daylight savings (which kicks off this weekend) may just encourage me to ride more than I have been doing these past 10 or so months. Let’s face it, I could do with the exercise.

Please note: no ride statistics today, because I forgot to reset my bike computer.

Ride It!

Rideit_front
I came home to find the latest Evans Cycles catalogue had arrived via the post, and while drooling over all the lovely bikes and bits and bobs inside, out tumbled a little flyer about Ride It! This is a new initiative by Evans Cycles (in association with the magazines Mountain Bike Rider and Cycling Weekly) to run organised road and off-road rides in various locations across England twice a month this year.

According to the flyer, the off-road rides will be held on Saturdays and the road-rides will be held on Sundays. Both types of rides offer various route lengths, so you can choose the one that best suits your level of ability. They’re not races, but simply a hassle-free way to enjoy some weekend riding in places you might not have visited before. A £10 entry fee applies.

You can find out more via the Evans Cycles website.

Slow

After an 11-day hiatus (caused by increased workload, laziness and Easter hols) I finally got back on the bike this morning. Typically, after a long weekend of snow flurries and very cold temperatures, the start of the working week dawned bright and sunny!

I thought it would be incredibly cold on the bike and went so far as to don my Icelandic socks (which are made out pure Icelandic wool … and are the warmest socks known to man) to protect my little footsies from the (expected) zero temperature, but I needn’t have worried. The weather was remarkably pleasant.

However, I did struggle with my fitness. About 2km in I felt like I’d hit a brick wall. I had absolutely no energy levels and could barely make it up the Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens. Fortunately, the second wind came shortly after and I got to work in my usual time. I just found it hard work.

The return journey was better. I caught most of the green lights, which helped, and I got a real buzz zipping down Kensington High Street with a pack of about 12 other cyclists of all ages, sizes and descriptions. When you "take the lane" as a  group it feels so much safer — there’s definitely a noticeable difference in the way that motorised traffic behaves around you, giving you more room and driving more slowly.

Total distance: 12.29 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 14min and 13sec | Average speed: 10.56mph | Top speed: 19.1mph

No wind, but some rain

After three days of horrible gusty wind, which I refuse to ride in, this morning arrived with nary a breeze in the air. I clambered on board my bike and made my way to work, battling busier-than-normal traffic. I arrived slightly sweatier than normal owing to my having to wear an ordinary t-shirt and not a wicking one, because our washing machine is on the blink and I am running out of clothes to wear!

The journey home was a wet one, a cold drizzling rain that looked worse than it felt. Still, it was lovely to finally get indoors so I could thaw out under a hot shower.

I wonder what tomorrow’s weather will bring?

Total distance: 12.39 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 14min and 48sec | Average speed: 10.45mph | Top speed: 18.1mph

Look out for cyclists

Martin Uttley from the advertising agency Engine Group sent me the above video today. It’s part of a new Transport for London campaign designed to test people’s visual awareness on the road.
It makes a vital point about "change blindness" in quite a clever way.

I "did the test", so to speak, and I’m afraid I failed dismally — and I normally regard myself as a very observant person!

How did you do?

A visit to the British Cycling Museum

It was too damn stormy to cycle to work this morning, so instead of regaling you with tales of my normal Monday commute, let me tell you about my recent visit to the British Cycling Museum.

The museum is in north Cornwall — one mile north of Camelford on the B3266 Boscastle Road, to be precise. It’s basically an old railway station that’s been covered over and converted into one rather large building. From the outside it doesn’t look like much…

Museum

But step inside and it’s like a magical Aladdin’s Cave!

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