Sunday, 26 February 2012

2012 goals, a step in the right direction

Hmmn....Goals for 2012. As a cycle commuter I guess my initial goals where fairly simple. Continue to cycle to work, avoid snow, stay safe and drive as little as possible. This hasn't gone brilliantly with the recent cold/snow. From March the 28th last year I worked 169 days and of those days I cycled 165 days, so 4 days lost to convenience/sickness. In 2012 I have already lost 4 days of cycling to well 'crap' weather.

I realise there is nothing I can do about this and at the end of the day safety comes first, that said in order to match 2011's days 'ridden' I have to now ride everyday I work for the remainder of the year. yay.

So I have posted previously (you're forgiven if you missed it) that I wanted to ride a 100 mile sportive and I hope to do this later in the year. It's not the distance I fear but doing 100 miles on a Sunday probably won't fare me too well for the following weeks commute, which by the way I have extended from 12.5 miles each way to 14.8. Primarily due to an 'in house mileage war'.

Yesterday looking through the cyclosport site I found this event. Its in Hampshire (close), its on the 1st of April (i'm free) and its 88 miles for £23, if you know sportives you know this is a good price. They supply Breakfast and lunch and the event is sponsored by Torq, so I'll be getting some serious nutrition at the availble stops on route. Its not 100 miles but its close enough as a start, my next sportive will be, I promise. This ride just seems too good to pass up. I can't wait for the 18% gradient 3 miles from the finish, no really (cough).

Anyway, My right leg has gone completly dead writing this so I'm off. Enjoy your Sunday.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

F**k my life

F**k my life it's cold....Last night, Tesday the 7th of Feb was the coldest evening which I have ever ridden. Period. Not sure of the actual temp but I recall seeing a 'realfeel' of -6 showing on my HTC display. It was the wind chill, damn.

I have enough warm weather clothing and was wearing enough layers for the temprature but never before whilst riding have I felt so cold. Riding through Windsor Great Park there was a biting head wind and my hands felt like ice blocks, when usually my winter gloves do the job. One of those nights that almost burn the hairs in your nostiles its that cold.

I look forward to snow and the almost balmy conditions the cloud cover brings.

God damn it's cold out there.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

So, how did it go?

So I got my bike back from my Local bike shop (LBS) in Staines......

I got that call, the one I feared from having been a Kwik Fit customer, the one that tells you whats also wrong with your car that you hadn't accounted for... but it was a good call, I was called by the mechanic (Dean) at 1pm to confirm the price and tell me I should replace the rear gear cable as it was frayed, I was quoted at £25 for replacing the chain and cassette and cleaning up the rear derailleur, which was long overdue due to my complete lack of anything close to maintenance. The gear cable was £3 so I asked Dean to also replace the front derailleur cable as this one was toast too. £31 all in, I'll take that. Bargain.

I got a call roughly 1 hr 15 mins later saying the bike was ready for collection, Dean said 'ask for me and I'll show you how to maintain the gears'. This may not be rocket science but I don't do it, my maintenance schedule is literally to oil the chain and pump up the tyres, damn I've only cleaned it once in 16 months and that was prior to having the gears done as you'd need a shower having to just touch a wheel. In my defence, I've done over 4000 miles on the bike and when it comes to the weekend I just don't want to look at it.

Anyway, I went to collect the bike and asked for Dean, he then talked me through how to clean and oil the chain properly without caking the entire rear wheel/mud guard in excess oil. The work looked mint, the whole gear set-up looked like new, I couldn't stop staring. Proper chuffed. Shiny again.

The thing that got me the most was how pleased Dean looked about the work he'd done and how much detail he'd gone into about keeping it looking good for as long as possible. You could see the man takes pride in what he does. The work looks immaculate and the bike feels great. I even posted a Pb last night on my route home.

There was a few guys in the shop yesterday only I can't recall the names of the other 2 but all providing great customer service and passionate about bikes.

I think I've found the only bike shop I'll ever need.

The enemy within...cont.

So, it's very nearly upon us, the changing of the order. Its so close I can taste it. 8.1 miles and thats it.

Tomorrow I'll do another 26.9 miles which will put me ahead by 18.8 and with a further 26.9 on friday by the weekend the gap will be 45.7 miles. That is as long as Coops doesn't ride between now and Monday.

He's on leave today concentrating on the books, there is potential for a short ride but its cold and he's a fair weather rider.....we'll see.