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What Should You Wear When Road Cycling In The Winter

road cycling winter clothing

I’ll try to answer this without simply presenting a bland list of clothing items…. fully expecting that it will turn into a bland list of clothing items.

Cycling outside in the winter is difficult for all manner of reasons.

It’s cold. It’s more likely to be wet. It’s more likely to be windy.

‘Nice’ winter weather presents its own challenges. A beautiful clear morning tends to go hand in hand with frost and ice. Ah, the frustration of wanting to enjoy the early morning light over a white-crusted country landscape, but knowing that you’re one false pedal stroke away from an ignominious pratfall and a broken collarbone.

And then we have snow.

(Not this type of Snow. Or this one.)

The window of cycling opportunity therefore tends to be a small one. A small one with a broken latch.

So you want to have a tried and tested winter wardrobe, ready and waiting for when the opportunity presents itself.

And so I’m going to share what I wore on a recent winter’s ride, to help illuminate the issue at hand (and to present you with a bland list of clothing items).

Onward! [click to read more…]

35 Day Cycling Challenge

So I’m just over half way into my 35 days of cycling challenge and …

* Espalier Alert! *

… I’m still on track (for greatness).

Here’s an update!

(PLUS, I reveal the new book cover for the re-release of ‘Sportiveur’. Exciting times.)

Once Upon A Time, In A Garage Far Far Away

Quick catch up: in order to get back into the habit of cycling regularly, I’ve committed to riding every day until February.

Since I started my challenge on 27th December (which is well-known to be an auspicious date), this means that I plan to ride my bike for 35 days in a row.

The rules are simple:

  • Minimum of 15 minutes a day;
  • Indoors on the trainer or outside;
  • Any bike.

The objective is to work my ‘habit muscle’ as much as it is to rebuild a little fitness. The 15 minute minimum time limit is set so low in order to make any excuse for not riding unacceptable. [click to read more…]

How to build a cycling habit

Which is an aspirational title for a blog post, if ever there was one.

And I should probably be clear. This post will not contain the solution to all your time vs cycling vs motivation challenges (well, it might but I can’t guarantee it…).

Essentially, as I’ve done before, I’m committing publicly on this blog to (re)build a cycling habit, with a view to kickstarting my cycling fitness for 2016.

Last time, I successfully completed a (self-imposed) challenge to ride my bike every day for 30 days. This time, things are going to be bigger and better.

I’m going to ride every day for…. (wait for it) 35 days!

(Which is…. *wrangles calculator* …16.66% (recurring) more challenge). [click to read more…]


Please Help Me Select The Cover For My Book

Just a quick one. I don’t want to distract you too much from last minute buying of Yuletide chain degreaser and chammy cream for your loved ones.

I’ve long known that the cover for my ebook, ‘Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing and Enjoying Your First Sportive’ is somewhat, er, amateurish.

(If you’re reading this on anything other than a mobile, look to the right column and you can judge for yourself)  ====>

Last week, in a fit of red wine-fuelled madness, I decided to do something about it.

I’m in the process of getting a new, professional cover design on a website called 99 Designs (where a bunch of designers effectively compete to get their book cover design selected).

I’ve whittled it down to a selection of designs which I think might work, but now I need your help. [click to read more…]

dhb blok micro softshell windslam roubaix jacket review

There are perks to being an internationally-renowned sports writer. If you are one, I’m sure you know what they are.

It seems that there is also the occasional Brucie bonus available to those that have created a small (but perfectly-formed) weblogpedia.

You may remember that I was fooled into taking part offered the opportunity to take part in a spin session in a dark room in London.

I’ve also been sent a book for review.

Now Wiggle has been kind enough to send me a couple of bits of clothing to try out (and I’m assuming they want me to write about them). [click to read more…]


Grimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Birmingham* is full of surprises. It has a nice new station (or rather, the old one just got a face lift). All the cool cats are making it their UK headquarters.

(*Ameri-fans: for the avoidance of doubt, I’m talking about Birmingham in England, not the one in Alabama, Connecticut, or Kentucky (where it is a ‘sunken town‘?!?)).

Birmingham also has an exhibition centre. A National Exhibition Centre. Where, this weekend, bikes were exhibited. And I went along to have a gander.

Here is my photo journal. [click to read more…]


The Grindleford (Half A) Goat: Good Sportive, Lack Of Training

Suffer score

So that was painful.

I’m not exactly sure what compelled me to sign up to the Grindleford Goat. But sign up I did.

And pain and pleasure did I receive.

Here’s my race report. [click to read more…]


How To Make More Time For Cycling

Way back in the mists of time, I conducted a survey of Sportive Cyclist email subscribers, asking them for their biggest frustration with cycling. 

There were complaints about the state of British roads (and those of Azerbaijan) and the standard of cycling when riding as a group, but the main frustration was the lack of time to go cycling.

This is understandable. We live busy lives. We have time-consuming jobs, family commitments, the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. Cycling can sometimes be pushed to the periphery. With worsening weather and shortening days, the periphery can sometimes disappear entirely.

The purpose of this post is to explore the theme of lack of time for cycling, and some of the strategies that we can employ to address it. [click to read more…]


Garmin Edge 520 vs Edge 510: Another “10” – What Gives?

Garmin Edge 520 Strava live segment

So you’re in the market for a mid-range Garmin cycling GPS device and are considering whether to go for the Edge 520 or the 510?

Good, well you’ve come to the right place.

The Edge 520 is one of the newer additions to the Garmin cycling range and, as the ‘520’ number-clature suggests, it similar to the 510 (and with an extra ’10’, a little bit of a step up).

The purpose of this post is to summarise the main similarities and differences between the 510 and 520, for your delectation. Prepare to delect. [click to read more…]

RideLondon 100 Food Drink Equipment

The RideLondon 100 is just around the corner, a fact that is no doubt occupying the minds of many a Sportive Cyclist reader.

If you’re not doing RideLondon (hell, you’ve maybe not even heard of it), perhaps you have another long distance sportive on your target list.

I’ll assume your training is going to plan (c’mon, as the advert said, “P M A”).

So let’s talk logistics. Specifically, what are you going to eat and drink on the ride, what are you going to wear, and what are you going to carry on the bike (for mechanicals and some such).

There is no right answer to this. Much is about personal preference. The clearest way to present this post (and the easiest way for me to write it) is to assume I’m doing RideLondon at the start of August (sadly I’m not – damn ballot…) and simply to tell you what I’d be wearing, eating and tool-carrying.

Feel free to disagree, add to, ridicule or comment in the, er, comments section below the post.

On with le show. [click to read more…]