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First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave

First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave thumbnail

I have this sense that there is a secret to training that, if I crack it, will result in my becoming a stronger/faster/more stylish cyclist. If not instantly, then at least overnight.

It is this inner inkling that prompts my fascination with power meters (“If only I had a power meter then a programme of effective training would be within my grasp…”).

My innate Yorkshireness (long arms/deep pockets) means I haven’t quite pulled the trigger and bought one. Perhaps my other inner inkling is saying, “Don’t be ridiculous. Spending £500 on a Stages power meter just because Team Sky uses it is clearly not going to turn you into Luke Rowe.”

And yet, and yet… Those crank-based power meters do look awful shiny…

Thankfully, before I splurged half a monkey (or a couple of stoats) on a cheeky power meter, I remembered an email I received from a company called TrainerRoad, way back in the mists of time 2014… [click to read more…]

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Are You Looking For An Entry For RideLondon 2016?

… then look no further, dear cyclist. I might have just what you’re looking for.

Perhaps you missed out on a spot in the ballot? Or you couldn’t commit to raising £500 for a given charity?

Maybe you’ve only just heard of the RideLondon sportive (where have you been!?) and you’re finding that places are now largely gone.

Whatever. Fear not. I have some…. [click to read more…]

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What Bike Do I Need For The RideLondon 100?

What Bike Do I Need For The RideLondon 100? thumbnail

… Or indeed any other 100-mile sportive or gran fondo?

This post has been prompted by a reader question over on the Sportive Cyclist Facebook page.

Yes, there is a Sportive Cyclist Facebook page. And yes, this blog has the occasional reader.

So, to repeat, what bike would be suitable for the RideLondon 100 sportive?

This question wasn’t sent in to me by a recently-retired pro, looking to record the course record. There’s no need to discuss the relative merits of a five grand Pinarello versus a top-of-the-range Trek. [click to read more…]

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What Is The Best Garmin Edge For Cycling in 2017?

What Is The Best Garmin Edge For Cycling in 2017? thumbnail

Updated February 2017.

Great question. And one I’m going to attempt to answer.

The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of the Garmin Edge range of cycling GPS devices as we stand (ride?) here in the first months of 2017.

My aim is to give you an idea of what each Garmin Edge model can do, what features each one has, so that you can go down the list and identify the model that is most appropriate to your own requirements.

(Then you can persuade yourself that you do need the latest pedal stroke analysis feature, even though you don’t have a power meter, and buy the shiny top-of-the-range model.)

Fantasy Cycling (Purchases)

Long-time readers (and maybe some short-time ones) will recall that I own a Garmin Edge 510. It is entirely functional and does everything I need from a bike computer (and quite a lot more).

And yet […wistful music starts to play…] I can’t help fantasising* over a new shiny piece of Edge-bling attached to my handlebars.

(*Too strong a word?)

So I find myself keeping up to date with bike tech (not least via the stupendous DC Rainmaker blog).

And from time to time I share some of this ‘research’ with you (you lucky people). Let’s begin! [click to read more…]

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Kask Vertigo 2.0 Road Helmet Review: Putting A Lid On It

Kask Vertigo 2.0 Road Helmet Review: Putting A Lid On It thumbnail

I am thinking about helmets.

Specifically the Kask Vertigo 2.0 which is my new piece of head protection de jour.

I’ve been using it for about a couple of months now (since Christmas) and here are my initial thoughts (for what they’re worth…).

A helmet is a very personal thing (ne’er a truer word spoke). On the basis that all established manufacturers adhere to the required safety standards, I reckon most people’s selection criteria is weighted heavily towards how they think they look whilst wearing it*. Which only you can decide.

(*Unless you’re a time trialist, looking to eke out every last aerodynamic benefit, and thus buy one of those daft tear drop shaped affairs.)

Still, in this post I’ll give a brief overview of how I am finding the Kask Vertigo helmet and summarise its features, in the hope that this might be helpful as you make any helmet-buying decisions in the future. [click to read more…]

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How To Cycle Every Day (Or 10 Things I Learned Cycle Training For 35 Days In A Row) thumbnail

So i did it. Let the mini trumpets toot.

I successfully achieved my objective of riding every single day for 35 days, from 28th December (last year!) until 31st January 2016.

(Why 35 days? Cos I wanted 16.67% more challenge over last time).

Rather than focus on the stats (which are… epic!), I thought I’d outline some advice that might be helpful if you’re looking to get into into the swing of cycling on a regular basis, as well as some of the benefits I encountered.

Whether you’re new to the sport, or coming back after a winter layoff, setting yourself a challenge can be the perfect way to build a cycling habit and kickstart an improvement in your fitness.

My aim in writing this blog is to help and inspire you to ‘do more cycling’. After all, this website is all about you, dear reader (said the narcissist who publishes photos of himself in Lycra…).

So why should you undertake your own ride-every-day challenge? Because there are benefits (with friends). Begin! [click to read more…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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