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Life's adventures

Category: Daily Cycling (page 1 of 2)

Daily commuting on a bicycle

My New Daily Ride

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got my self a new daily ride. My old bike, a Specialized Secteur comp which I got back in 2012 had seen better days. So the time was right for a new bike. I wanted a bike capable of going on dirt tracks so I settled on Specialized Diverge.

Take less than you think.

So how much stuff do I need to take on a bicycle tour. The simple question is, as little as possible. On my last trip I took too much and regretted it, and on this trip  i’ve done it again. I really didn’t plan this well. I’ve take stuff that I wont even use. The only things that I find a must is electronics. Stuff like laptops or iPads and a mobile phone. With these simple tools you can plan stuff ahead and I feel safe knowing that I can make a call for help. Other stuff like clothing can be purchased on route.

The other question you need to ask is what is the terrain going to be like. Hilly, gravel roads and weather conditions. All these things play a part in working out what you need to take. I think I would of taken 50% less and saved my self and of heavy hauling.  We’re learn from our mistakes and I learning fast now.

Camping or staying in Hotels / hostels. This trip in the south of France, camping is proving to be a problem. There are limited places to tent camp and the cost is about 20 euros per night. If you consider that you first have to find a place to camp, which might be hit or miss and when you do find a place. You will need about an hour to set your self up. This all means that you have to start looking for a place at around mid afternoon.

If on the other hand you want to stay in hostels or hotels, you can travel lighter which means faster, or high climbs and travel for longer because there is very little setting up. The cost is about double or triple than camping but at least you get a warm shower and a soft bed at night. Next time I’m going to travel light and see how that works out. Also if you are in main land Europe hotels . Hostels are a lot easier to find than camp site especially in city’s.

 

 

 

A MINDFUL CYCLIST

I stole this article from The London Cyclist and just had to share. The article has been taken from a new book by Nick Moore  

How to be a mindful cyclist

 

Illustration of a cyclist riding up a hill

 

Half man, half bike

“The divide between ourselves and the bike becomes blurred. We provide the basic power, but it’s the bike that converts it into motion. Together, we comprise a single, biomechanical entity, in a partnership based on interdependence and mutual benefit. Without our power, the bike simply stands still (or falls over). Without a bike, we’re limited to the speed and range imposed by our own limbs, genes and metabolism. It makes us, in a word, superhuman.”

Hills

“Avoiding hills is a bit like going out only on sunny days; there’s nothing wrong with it, but it is to miss out on a crucial dimension of cycling, and life. Mindfulness requires us to tune into one thing – usually our breathing. Happily, this is also the key to riding uphill, so every climb can truly become a meditation. Regulate your breathing and your legs will find their own rhythm. Feel your diaphragm rising and falling, steady and powerful. Try consciously ‘inhaling’ the road, physically pulling it towards you with each in-breath, then use the out-breath to push yourself forward. As in yoga, maintaining a steady, focused gaze ahead aids concentration. Fix your eyes on a spot on the road about a bike’s length ahead, and what lies beyond ceases to exist, or matter.”

The wind

“The wind is not an opponent, or some malevolent force out to spoil our fun. It is simply the movement of air between areas of higher and lower pressure. It has no agenda or intent, bears us no ill will. It merely obeys the higher laws of energy and motion: we cannot control it or conquer it through clever kit or clothing. What we can do instead is feel it, embrace it and learn from it as a natural, ever-present part of the ride.”

Illustration of a cyclist happily riding through the rain

The rain

“Riding in a biblical downpour is not especially pleasant or pleasurable. Neither is it fun in any conventional sense. But is is deeply, viscerally real. On a bike, you’re completely encompassed – from above by the rain falling on you, from below by the spray fountaining up from the wheels, and from all sides by the slipstream of passing vehicles. There comes a point where you can’t get any wetter. To give into this, to accept and embrace it, brings its own kind of pleasure: a physical and mental unshackling from deep-seated inhibitions, fears and prejudices. You are truly at one with the weather, fierce and indomitable, a force of nature in your own right. Any lingering feelings of misery or dejection are banished. You are self-sufficient, truly alive and discovering the true, perhaps unexpected, extent of your own physical and mental resilience. By accepting whatever the elements throw at us, we grow as cyclists, and as people.”

The puncture

“Few things are more dispiriting than a puncture. To observe and accept this turn of events without judgement demands a singular effort of will, the more so if it’s raining. However, I’ve slowly learned that a flat can be a kind of meditation, and bring new and positive insights into the cycling life. For instance, consider how amazingly frequently punctures don’t happen. A few millimetres of rubber stand between the precious, pressurised air that makes cycling possible, and the numberless sharp objects trying to rob us of it. That these often unseen enemies succeed so rarely is almost miraculous.

“Perhaps most importantly, dealing with a puncture restores a sense of self-reliance and self-sufficiency we’re rapidly losing in today’s hi-tech world. Any automotive problem more serious than a flat battery usually means a trip to the local garage; similarly, if something shuts down or goes haywire in your phone, computer or washing-machine, it almost inevitably requires professional intervention. A picture is one thing we’re still able to fix ourselves, using basic tools and inexpensive parts we can carry with us. Sore thumbs, oil-stains and arriving home a bit later than planned are a small price to pay for the warm sense of self-sufficiency that comes from getting yourself and your faithful companion back on the road. From disaster, triumph; from defeat, victory; from despair, hope and faith renewed.”

The mind

“Cycling trains the mind as well as the body, making it stronger and more resilient. Overcoming hills, bad weather, mechanical problems, close encounters with cars – all require us to draw on our reserves of fortitude, patience, hardiness and courage. Just as exceeding our muscles capacity makes them stronger, so stretching our mental resources helps them grow in size and power – a training that equips us for life itself.”

Great Book at only £5.99

The Fireflies Tour 2015

Back in June 2015 I was invited to ride with a group of people called the Fireflies We rode for ten days and covered over a thousand miles. Although it was hard it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Now forever I carry the honour of being called a Fireflies . The pictures below do not capture those amazing ten days. For Those Who Suffer We Ride

For Those Who Suffer We Ride









Getting back in to it

Well my first week of spinning went fairly  well although I’ve managed to pick up a cold. Second spin of the second week and I feel that I’m getting my spinning legs back.

For a little more motivation I’ve signed up to ride Mont Ventoux in the first week of June. Training has now fully started.