Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Summer Sun and Sunflowers

November 28, 2011

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As the weather descends into winter here in the UK my mind starts to wander to next year’s family holiday.

My children will be 14 and 11 and are keen to go surfing – Polzeath in Cornwall being their favourite spot so far.

Being a cyclist, I find the lanes of Cornwall a little hectic at times so whilst I can run on the coastal path or find quiet lanes to ride on my thoughts are leaning towards a holiday spent in Ste Catherine de Fierbois a few years ago where I spent many happy hours navigating the quiet roads amongst the sunflowers.

I’m sure Cornwall will win for August 2012, but I do have another thought – the 2012 Tour de France visits the North East coast and Boulogne, so perhaps I can squeeze in a Gallic trip to see how @markcavendish is warming up for the Olympic Road Race?

A short break in Wales

November 25, 2011

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Mountain Bike Rider magazine has just awarded the Doethie Valley in Wales their “Trail of the Year” award, and I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in the area last month with ten friends.

With liberal car sharing we made our way across the Severn Bridge on Friday evening and awoke the next morning to crystal clear skies.

Saturday was to be a guided ride, ably led by Carl of Bike Brechfa and he did a marvellous job of showing us the best the region has to offer.

Now, due to my recent change in jobs, I’ve been riding a train a lot more than riding a bike, so of the eleven of us, I was near the tail end of the group for most of the weekend.

We were a disparate group, from XC whippets on £4k of Ibis Tranny, to weekend warriors on £400 Specialized Hardrocks the fitness and skill levels varied just as much, and Carl nurtured us throughout the day.

Just as the light started to fade we popped out of the end of the Doethie Valley and had a refreshing drink at The Royal Oak Inn (Royal Oak) in Rhandirmwyn, before the short trip back to our rented cottage.

A great day in a fantastic location, with impeccable guiding and good, Welsh hospitality.

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The last mile – winter

November 17, 2011

One mile. That’s how far my office is from the railway station.

I’m extremely lucky to have the option of a free shuttle bus, but connecting bus and train doesn’t always work, so it can be easier to walk the mile.

I’d like the freedom of a folding bike, so I don’t need to run the gauntlet of missing a train by waiting for a bus.

I’ll be looking for extreme light weight, single speed, maybe belt drive and a very quick fold – so intend posting some of my thoughts as I research.

Commute

October 11, 2011

No longer a 25 minute bike ride, my commute to work is now an hour or so of walk, train, bus, walk.

Depending on the gods of public transport this hour can expand to two or three hours, connecting between bus and train being the biggest variable.

I’m going to explore the Trundlin options for that “last mile” of the journey and share with you.

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Trundlin without moving….

November 1, 2008

Cold (3 degress Celsius), wet, windy. Not ideal for a training ride, but for the committed cyclist that’s no excuse.

Today I’m doing something different. For the first time in eighteen years I’m going to hook up my road bike to an indoor “turbo” trainer and spin for an hour whilst watching an old Lance Armstrong DVD showcasing his seven TdF wins.

Before long I’ll have the grey November rain to my left, and the Pyrenees glinting in the sun in front of me.

www.cycle-ops.com

L’Etape Du Tour

November 1, 2008

It’s been announced! The venue is Mont Ventoux – Hardly a trundlin destination. L’Etape Du Tour is heading up “The Giant of Provence” at the end of a gruelling 172km route.

L’Etape follows the route of a single Tour de France stage every year and this one is a cracker. Enter now and start training, for the experience of a lifetime!

www.letapedutour.com

www.lafuga.cc

www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk

Autumn Colour (or Fall Color?)

October 20, 2008

One fine way to see the autumn leaves turn is from the saddle of a bicycle. Rolling for 469 miles through the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway would make for a great fall road riding route. Visit www.blueridgeparkway.org for maps and info.

Escape from Wall Street

October 12, 2008

Imagine this nightmare scenario. Confidence fails, banks tumble, the world’s governments try but can’t arrest the slide, stock markets continue…… I think you’re with me here. No imagination required!

If I was working in Manhattan, I’d look to escape ‘capitulation’ by heading for the hills, or more precisely, the Catskill mountains of upstate NY.

http://www.bigindiansprings.com is the sort of retreat to salve your nerves and recharge your batteries ready for another week of ….. ups?……downs?…… Predict correctly if you can!

It may be time to head for the hills!

October 6, 2008

“Survivalism” isn’t something you hear about too much in the UK. The Americans have a vast expanse to lose yourself in. Where your stockpile of guns, tins and candles won’t be found.

When Capitalism fails and anarchy takes over (tomorrow maybe?), if you;re English you’d do better to hole up in Russia, or wildest British Columbia.

Why? Well, nowhere in the UK seems to be more than a brisk walk away from civilisation (used in the loosest possible sense for most provincial English towns!).

Not quite as remote as a Shetland Bod, but a good introduction to a remote area are the lodges at Cadair View (http://www.cadairviewlodge.co.uk/).

Family friendly, great for exploring, mountain biking, walking, or just being away from the rat race, “off grid”. Check out the photos on the website and give it a go!.

Cadair View Lodge

Cadair View Lodge

What better way to trundl, than on a bike.

October 3, 2008

No sooner do I blog about the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle as a great trundlin city, do I stumble upon a great feature on road bike riding (pedals, not a v-twin on a Harley).

The feature is on the website of Rapha (www.rapha.cc) a British company who make exceedingly stylish high quality cycling clothing.

This is the epitome of trundlin. Clear mountain air, a bike, an experience. Read it and weep (or if you are in the Seattle region, read it and ride it !