Tuesday, 20 December 2016

God Damn Winter.....




Part of me feels like this is some kind of badge of Honour.


Another part of me think's I'm just a lazy bum that doesn't like cleaning his bike. 


There is some Red on that rear Triangle. Fairly sure of it.
This is my better bike. It's a testament to it's capabilities that it doesn't find itself in the shed. I freaking LOVE this bike. In my defence, its wet, cold, dark and crap outside and this thing just keeps on killing it. Everything just works and it's lovely to ride. The only thing I check regularly are the tyres for flints and lube the chain. It will get a wash, at some point.

The weather for tomorrow is actually wall to wall rain, which is perfect as it should wash off most of the muck, so I'm looking forward to riding tomorrow, ironically.

My Allez will get a full Service come March, new chain, cassette, new tyres (onto my currently in the shed, Ultegra wheels). It has the original Axis 2.0 wheel on the rear and some Giant PSL wheel on the front with Gatorskins on both. I'll lose the guards come spring too. Will be like a new bike. Actually its only 5 months old now.

Luckily I don't use the granny ring when I ride, fairly sure with the amount of cack on the front mech, it's not changing.....



I get annoyed at my kids for not respecting their things, perhaps they actually get it from me. Balls.

It should look like this, one day.

Monday, 19 December 2016

The sudden realisation you're not quite going to make it.......


I keep thinking I'll make it up, I'll make it up, I have plenty of time. Turns out, I won't and no, I don't.

I wanted to hit 8k this year, 8000 miles for the year. I won't. It'll be close but not close enough.

I've ridden further. This year I've been able to Work From Home more frequently, more often than not, twice a week. This does really hit your mileage. I used to be really reluctant to WFH. Losing the days mileage was just too much to stomach. Now, I positively Love It. Mostly.

I've slightly upped my commute distance to allow for the additional WFH day. 25 miles each way. It does get a little tiresome. At the end of the day when it bleak outside, dark and pissing down, I don't really want to cycle 25 miles. 15 would be perfect. 25 can be a little much.

So if I ride 3 days on the bounce and get in 150 miles, by the time Thursday rolls around, WFH and staying in bed for 2 hours longer is BLISS, it really is.

Then, Along came Boy.

My social riding has been non existent. I can count on 2 fingers the amount of weekend cycling rides I've gotten in this year.

So, early December I'm chasing the miles, hoping to make up the deficit. June I rode 393 miles in a month. That's at least 300 miles less than I'd have hoped in a normal month. So this is where I missed out on the 8000 for the year but my 2nd Son was born, So I missed out on nothing. I just enjoyed my beautiful boy and his first few weeks.

I then thought 'whats the point' in trying to make up the miles in crap weather. I know exactly where I lost the miles and exactly how to make them up next year. So there it is. Yeah I could make them up, If I wanted too. In dark, foggy conditions. I won't though.

Or I just start again 01/01/2017. Well it won't be, It'll be 03/01/2017. Got Sherlock to sit through first. obvs.

I'd like to be committed enough to take part in the Rapha festive 500 but I'm not and I won't. Christmas isn't about miles. It should be done by then. Christmas is about family, friends, food and fun.

I haven't finished just yet. About 125 to add to my total of 7740 before I sign off for the year. A Close call.




Tuesday, 6 December 2016

SealSkins Fix

Do I really need to find a fix for a £160 pair of boots?


Well, its more of a Bodge than a fix and nothing is broken to be fair.

And I do Love these boots. After all, they do this....
Which is completely mental.

No boot will ever be 100% water proof, unless you were to some how buy a pair molded to your very being. I got these in a shop.

My ankle's are poxy. No winter boot I purchased was ever going to fit snuggly around my ankle making it impossible for water to get in, EVER.

I think I have found the perfect solution, in the shape of a hacked up pair of SealSkins mid weight socks. I wouldn't suggest doing this to a new pair of SealSkins, they are far too good a sock for that but mine were on there way out a long time before this happened.

I wore these Specialized Defrosters in minus 7 temperatures last week and they were spot on, ok it was cold but my feet were fine. They do however, have a gap around the ankle, which isn't an issue when its freezing but I knew it would be in the rain.

The boots do have a lot of adjustment round the neck if required but I still get a small gap either way ow and a rubbing boot. These are new so I'm going to 'allow' the rubbing element.

Anyway, whatever. Half the ankle of a mid weight SealSkin and boom. The perfect fix to any potential leakage. My commute is about 1hr 30 so chances are, my feet will get a smidge damp at some point but this has prolonged that massively.

Well, I'm excited.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

We've Been expecting you.....

Garmin Live tracker.....or Group Track


If Only I had buddies, that rode in winter, on similar routes to me, that I could track using this. The idea is so freaking cool.


Ok it was a gimmick to sell a new product. I'm lucky enough to own a Garmin Edge 1000, so knew it would be imminent on their flagship device, rolled out rather quietly.

Now I just need friends.......

Finally, some space......


The wife is always banging on at me to get my bike out of the kitchen......

It's a fair point. Bike's don't live in kitchens. I've got a shed. It's always been there. It's just full of crap that required movement before making space for the bike.

It's been on my list for a while. I don't need to be reminded every 6 weeks, it'll get done yeah....

Ta daaaaaa


There is even this shelf which has the perfect sized slats to fit a road bike wheel, who knew! I've had a bike in the house here for as long as I can remember, part of the furniture. Up against the kitchen wall, its own little carpet, not bothering anyone, next to a radiator to help dry it when its wet. Worked out lovely.

With the addition of our nearly 6 month old baby son, I can't be having a bike ready to fall on him once he's crawling/walking, think of the damage to the bike.........just kidding, its not worth thinking about what could happen in that situation, to the boy obviously!

It's been soooo cold these last few days, I took the chance to work from home today, so this is the result of a free lunch time at home. Space saving. 152 miles ridden this week, I don't want a medal but it would be nice.

Just so pleased I bought my Defrosters when I did, they've been an absolute god send. My feet would have been toast without them. A great addition to the winter wardrobe.

I'm loving this Strava add on for Chrome. At the end of each week I ride, I just about catch up with my yearly total progress, only for it to slip away when I work from home until I start chasing again the following Monday. Great to know your progress though.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

-5 and counting.....

So I needed a test for the new winter boots. 

I had to wait 2 days. Literally my second day of riding in them and its -5. great. 


I mean, 0 would have been ok. I'd have been ok with 0. 0 is cold enough.


It was a cracking morning, my ride didn't get above -4 until I reached the outskirts of Staines where it maxed out at a balmy -2.5


Honestly, the boots were good. It was below freezing and my toes knew that but they were cool with it :) . I could have ridden all day in those temps and my toes wouldn't be uncomfortable. 


So yeah, a decent addition, bought just in time. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Defrosters and the box of bargains!

I ride a lot. Well, a decent amount. In all weather conditions and I'm partial to a good bit of kit.

I don't have a lot of spare cash especially at this time of year. So when I see a bargain, I've got to take advantage.

I rarely spend money on myself, my clothing cupboard is in serious need of an upgrade but when it comes to bike stuff, I can usually make ends meet.

Now I live in Fleet, not by choice but that's where I live. As luck would have it, Fleet happens to be the home of a Kick Ass bike shop called Pedal Heaven It's a Specialized Elite store. They do a cracking bike service and the shop is dripping with beautiful stuff.

Black Friday is usually a painful experience, I want no part of. 300 emails in the space of 48 hours about utter crap you don't need at prices you think you can afford. Whatever, delete, delete, trash, unsubscribe.

So I am currently rocking a set of DHB R1 road shoes and some DBB Shoe covers, which doesn't make sense at this time of year. I need me some winter shoes. Badly. I'll use them, I have no qualms about paying the required price as I hope these will last me 3-5 years and they'll be worn November through to March/April.


So Pedal Heaven had a Black Friday sale. I had a quick peruse for a boot I wanted made by their brand of choice. I bought this lot for £156!!! The Defrosters, some DeFeet Merino socks and a set of SPD SL cleats. What a Bargain. I couldn't say no, honestly, I just couldn't.

Check of the reflectivness of the Defrosters. I mean WOW how cool are these boots! Those pics below are simply taken one with the flash off, the other with the flash on.


The temps round my way will be in the minus figures these next couple of days so It'll be a great test of the boots warmth. Testing of their waterproofness will need to wait for another week. I'm bedding them in for now and have skinny ankles, so just as well really.

Properly made up with the box of bargains above though. Winter feet sorted for many a year to come.