Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Its about time

So I've bought the parts and the bike is in the shop.....

This shop to be precise. No real reason for using these guys over the likes of Evans, their just within walking distance, which is uber handy.

Rear Cassette (12-25) and chain purchased, I guess the bike will need new gear cables too, after 4000 plus miles a bit of TLC is probably deserved. When I took the bike in, the mechanic on his knee's at the rear wheel, instantly said 'damn, you've got good use out of this'. Never done this distance, don't want my chain to snap but at the same time, if it ain't broke....

Anyhoo, this update is for me to make note of when I next need to change the chain/cassette. The mechanic did mention the middle ring may need replacing but the 'Outer' and the 'Granny' (never used), were fine. I spend most the time in the big ring so found this slightly odd.

Will be interesting to see what lube I'm advised to buy upon collection. For some reason I seem to be waiting for a call telling me numerous parts are 'screwed' and need replacing....must come from being a 'kwik fit' customer.

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Enemy within....

Great friend, great foe....

You know that one person in the office, the one you share experience's with, buying tips, hardware advise, you both love cycling and your both passionate about it. You're cool (in your own mind), you pretend it doesn't matter, the speed, the stats but in truth when your on the bike, its all that fucking matters.

I don't have to finish 'fastest' according to strava i just have to 'win'. Now this guy I class as a friend, someone I'll always have time for and someone I'll always look to share stories with.

Thing is he's winning, you pretend it doesn't matter and in the grand scheme of things it doesn't but as a pride thing, its nice to be on top.

I have a funny feeling this could take all year. Coopster the 1st, I'm coming for ya.....can't be behind.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

An Ode to thee....

Cycling home tonight in the dark I noticed my front light wasn't flashing, I always ride with the light flashing to distinguish myself from car drivers, its the third setting on my light, I flicked through the lights settings to try to find the flicking mode, not happening. Very odd. I continued to ride and the light flickered hmmmn. The light then dimmed automatically, confused I again try to flick through the settings to make the light brighter.

'I charge this thing daily, shouldn't die on me, hope its not goosed'. Then the ligh flicked again and seemed to dim further, 'shit I haven't charged this for days' oops. Ow man, this is not good. With over half my journey left it dawned on me that I hadn't charged the light since the new year. I rode through the unlit part of my route with a dimmed light, not easy but manageable.

I got to Ascot and the light died completely 'fuck', then I saw my saviour. A few hundred yards in front of me was another cyclist lit up like a christmas tree 'bingo'. I rode my ass off up to about 10 ft back hoping to just sit behind him without him noticing. Not good road manner's to draft another rider without taking a turn at the front, wasn't really up for that on this occasion!

The rider clocked me behind him when looking back to file through traffic, I hoped (partially) that he'd go the other way before I needed to explain myself. He didn't and I stuck behind him, it soon became apparent that he was going the same way as me, more to the point he kept looking back as if to say 'well come on then, take your turn'. At this point he started to slow, time to make my move. I rode alongside him and apologized for riding in his wheel but hoped to continue to do so as my front light was dead. The chap said 'no problem fella where are you headed?', I stuck to his wheel for the next mile or so until I reached the roundabout at the end of my road. I thanked him gratefully and we went our seperate ways.

I'll probably never see the guy again as I've never seen him on this route before, shame, I'd hope to one day repay the favour.

Fucking love cycling, real cycling and the people that do it. Special breed indeed.

Funny when a stranger carries out and act of kindness, it could have been so different.

So here's to the guy on the red road bike wearing the very same shoes as me 'cheers'

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Mileage reset....

So 2011 is over and 2012 has started, my startfarm (yeah, you'd think it would be statfarm right?) stats have been reset and its back to zero.

Over 3800 miles covered in 2011 but this is a new year so a new challenge awaits. I want to achieve 5000 miles in the saddle this year, which by my calculations should be do-able. Riding my commute distance 5 days a week over 52 weeks is roughly 6500miles, take into account holidays and potential sickness and I should be ok. Anything above 5000 would be a bonus.

Realising that only ever riding 12.5 miles at any time I really want to achieve distance. I'm happy in the knowledge that I'm fitter at 34 than I've probably ever been with cycle specific conditioning, I hope to ride a 100 mile sportive at some point this year. I've been riding all winter so I'm in no rush to do it, only the weather will make me faster but I do want to do it before the year is out.

Also possibly a hill climb, I'm a fairly strong climber at the moment so it would be a good test for the legs. I love climbing, its the one part of a ride I really cherish, the one moment where you can really set a marker and leave your mates for dead. I do enjoy the feeling of riding away from other riders, especially ones on carbon machines worth twice as much and weighing half that of my machine. After all, its not about the bike....

First things first, some attention to my running gear before my chain snaps

Time to step it up in 2012.