Cycling Thread - All Peddlers and Pedallers welcome.

(464 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 14:21:23

Have started a new thread as the other one is very nearly full.

ssmile Mon 09-Sep-13 14:36:04

Marked spot as phone is cooperating and letting me load the new short page :-)
Detrmined to get back on bike more now we back at school/childminders& work for me. Did 9miles Sunday and plan to cycle to work tuesday (18miles) but its getting darker in the mornings now - I leave at 6.15am so got new jacket& refelectors in lidls last week but they didn't have any shoe covers. Anyone recommend do gd ones? I suffered with cold &wet toes last winter.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 14:45:10

Aldi normally do bike stuff in Sept and they had good shoe covers last year quite cheap, might be worth waiting a couple of weeks.

LadyMud Mon 09-Sep-13 14:50:17

Shall we introduce ourselves agin? I'm a mountain biker, more of a rambler on two wheels really, rather than a Dirt Diva. And the bike makes a handy All-Terrain Zimmer Frame for my old bones blush

For the road, I have a recumbent trike (Pashley PDQ3).

Piffpaffpoff Mon 09-Sep-13 14:56:07

Hello, glad to find the new thread! I'm a mountain biker (easy stuff, nothing crazy!) and an occasional roadie. Currently unable to cycle due to a foot problem following a recent bike vs car incident but hoping I might try a short run later this week to see how I get on. Meanwhile, I just got a rather dazzling pink new Altura night vision coat in the sales which I'm quite excited about. They may stop me cycling, but they'll not stop me shopping for cycling things!!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 15:02:41

I'm a wannabe tourer.

I've got a Tricross cyclocross type bike which I commute on and do day rides. Have a mtb which has been in the work shop for six months but should be fixed next week!

Have just bought a recumbent trike which is driving me demented with mechanical problems....all of which I think are caused by me. grin

I hope to do a tour next year.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 15:03:19

I've got an altura night vision coat though mines yellow, really nice coat.

LadyMud Mon 09-Sep-13 15:17:48

I think mine is also a Night Vision (silver grey) . . . but the reflective bits have mostly dropped off because I didn't wash it properly blush

Piffpaffpoff Mon 09-Sep-13 15:26:49

Viva my tricross is in pieces at the moment but will hopefully be fixed soon. It's such a nice bike!

puffylovett Mon 09-Sep-13 15:45:09

Hello! Thanks for the new thread. I'm a wannabe mountain biker (just started), riding an old and vintage bike.. Am inspired by this thread to get out in my dps hybrid and try road biking. Not on a recumbent though by the sounds of it grin

Went out again this morning and bashed my vagine on the cross bar.... Note to self, invest in some decent clothing!! Including padded shorts grin.. Trouble is we're totally brassic, so dp has been shopping for running trousers for me to wear over cycling shorts, am not really very convinced by that one I have to say!

We only did 7.8 miles but it was uphill most of the way and rocky, so very hard work. Must also stock up on cake for afters...

LadyMud Mon 09-Sep-13 15:59:44

"Must also stock up on cake for afters... "
Puffy, you are now a real mountain biker, not just a wannabe wink

puffylovett Mon 09-Sep-13 16:39:12

Does it have to be Kendal mint cake or can I get the real gooey stuff in!!!

Piffpaffpoff Mon 09-Sep-13 17:08:44

Real cake! Perhaps we should start another thread on best cycling cake stops. I could add hundreds!! I'm still sad that The Hub closed at Glentress, they did an ace chocolate cake that the new cafe there doesn't even come close to matching! And the millionaire's shortbread was something else! I miss The Hub.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 17:13:56

Piffpaff, are you near Galloway?

I've been eyeing up coming to Dumfies and Galloway for a week, not really mtb. More road biking. Original plan was to camp or rent a cottage for a week and do day rides. I've been struggling finding any day ride route info, can you recommend any books for this area? Looking for rides of about 40 miles.

Of course if I came I'd have to bring the mtb and try a route.....but it's been 20 years since I did any mtb.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 17:14:39

And then the other thing that caught my eye is Glens and Lochs southern route from Carlisle to Glasgow, looks a lovely trip.

puffylovett Mon 09-Sep-13 17:50:22

Ooh love the idea of the cake shop trail..

Do it viva do it! Get your mountain bike out grin

Piffpaffpoff Mon 09-Sep-13 18:02:51

I'm east coast in Fife Viva and we've never really managed more than a weekend to Galloway - we can't seem to do anything but go north when we go anywhere, we're both big fans of the Cairngorms and thereabouts. Leave it with me though, I'll ask DH because he goes there a lot for work.

LadyMud Mon 09-Sep-13 18:04:05

Hey KitKat Girl, the route I pm'd you about starts at a deli/coffe shop, stops for lunch in a cafe, then afternoon tea at a garden centre, and finishes at a pub. It's not a long route, but obviously with all those stops, it takes all day grin

puffylovett Mon 09-Sep-13 19:45:08

ROFL Ladymud, love it!! That's my kind of trip out smile

Thanks for the pm - I did reply but I think my phone lost the message rather than posting hmm

puffylovett Mon 09-Sep-13 19:53:04

I might actually namechange now cake

ssmile Mon 09-Sep-13 20:34:12

I'm getting back on my bike more after second daughter turned two last week. The only rides I seem to find time for is a once a week commute to work which is 9.5miles each way half cycle track half roads and a weekend morning ride whilst hubbie does breakfast for kids I get an hour to myself so only about 9-10miles. I'd love to do more and bought two cycle mags on our hols last week and was checking out new road bikes. My bike is at least 15yrs+ old a mtn bike with road tyres grin but comfy so I'd have no idea where to start with a new one these days plus its sturdy enough to carry bike seat for dd and tagalong for other dd.
Thanks for Aldi shoe cover tip will keep eye out but they not very local nr me

UniS Mon 09-Sep-13 23:29:46

Lidl had cycling stuff in last week, I picked up some shoe covers too.

puffylovett Tue 10-Sep-13 10:01:55

I keep checking the aldi website and have signed up to newsletters, but no sign of any adult cycling gear for the next few weeks sad

Anyone know what time of year they usually do it?

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 10:13:04

Aldi had some "commuter cycling" gear in quite recently, so there may be a few bits left in some stores. They usually have biking stuff in around Easter, I think.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 12:23:55

That's right they did have a few commuter bits a few weeks ago. I was hoping for more soon but maybe that was it for autumn. Last year they had loads more, I got gloves, socks, some fab winter trousers, merino wool base layer. They had shoes, tool kits, overshoes.

I guess it's different every year.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 12:24:48

It was sept last year.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 12:26:33

29th sept last year, info on last years items here

So fingers crossed in a few weeks they do some.

eightytwenty Tue 10-Sep-13 12:37:06

May I join?

I have recently bought a road bike for the first time. Have been getting bike fit for triathlons which I've started competing in (love the swimming and the cycling, much less keen on running) and did the fresh'n'lo Glasgow - Edinburgh 47 mile ride on Sunday which was my longest ride to date though we did stop once for lunch.

Had been looking at the altura night jackets @£70 -£90in the bike shop. Any good places to pick up in the sale?

Have just had puncture resistant inner tubes fitted - very clever gel that seals punctures. Next purchase cleats and clippy shoes. Oh and maybe a new coat.

Piffpaffpoff Tue 10-Sep-13 13:40:05

eightytwenty I got mine for £60 from Wiggle here but they've also got them in Evans for the same price now, with a wider range of sizes.

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 18:38:14

Off tomorrow to reccy a section of the new Kinder Loop ride, so I just checked the weather forecast . . . 11° in the valley shock Also wet and windy in the afternoon - eek!
"Winter drawers on", as they say!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 18:47:01

Ladymud, that route looks good. Is it mtb only or do you think a cyclocross bike would be ok?

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 19:07:07

I don't know anything about cyclocross, Viva or what the bikes are capable of, so I can't really comment.

The Mary Towneley Loop is well worth doing, although you'd be better with an MTB bike for that.

MERLYPUSS Tue 10-Sep-13 20:30:45

I want to start cycling again. Mainly to save petrol on shopping and to get a bit fitter. I am torn between a trike with basket on the back (seats on top of the basket) or a hybrid with a kid trailer. Need advice. Would poss not use the trailer for kids too much but would have that option, but was thinking it would be more stable than 2 wheels (and other traffic would afford me more road space) until I regained my nerve and road sense. Anyone use a trailer?

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 20:35:44

Please don't get a trike! Upright models like the Pashley feel horribly unstable on the road, unless you ride well away from the kerb. Roads generally slope down into the gutter a little bit, and this tilts the trike. A trailer will feel much safer!

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 20:40:09

MerlyPuss, check with your local council, as many offer free cycle training to Bikeability Level 3 standard. This can be 1-2-1, so you won't be with a bunch of kids!

Also check out Breeze Bike Rides. They're specially for women new to cycling, or getting back into it. And they're free smile

93pjb Tue 10-Sep-13 21:10:17

Merlypuss I've got a zigo which is essentially a reverse trike/ cargo bike. The camber/crap road surface thing is a real issue and takes a lot of getting used to but once you are used to it it's not too bad. The other thing is that a trike or cargo bike is likely to be extremely heavy even before you've loaded it with kids which will severely limit your range. That said, I wouldn't have a trailer because I'd be worried about traffic not realising it was there when I pulled out. We live in central London though and if we'd been in Cambridge for example I'd have been quite happy with a trailer.

Whatever you are riding you'll still be dealing with traffic and that's probably the biggest confidence issue - a lot of councils do cycling assertiveness training so have a look at that too.

93pjb Tue 10-Sep-13 21:12:20

Sorry ladymud just seen your post about training! That's what I meant but said much more clearly!

LadyMud Tue 10-Sep-13 22:00:13

Great minds think alike, 93pjb wink
I just googled Zigo - they look cool!

UniS Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:47

re trike- trailer choice- IF you can... try before you buy. Borrow or hire what ever you are considering and try it out, on the road ( with out children but with a suitable weight load if you want a better idea) . I thought I wanted a front seat, hated it, ended up with a trailer, loved it. Was interested in a tag-a-long,tried it, hated it, tried a tandem, loved it.

puffylovett Wed 11-Sep-13 08:23:17

Hi eightytwenty, I have puncture resistant slime wall tyres too. For a while they were fab, now I'm just paranoid in going to get a puncture, not realise it and shred my wheels to bits grin

Actually they rock, when you consider where I cycle I've yet to have a puncture, where friends have had several. Dp fitte them when we first got the bike, obviously he considers me useless at any kind of bike mechanics!

Bugger re aldi gear, was really hoping for some merino base layers in soon - shall keep fingers crossed for end sept and in the meantime head to sports direct for some shorts..

LadyMud Wed 11-Sep-13 09:18:03

Decathlon is good (ie cheap) for cycling and other stuff - all year round!

puffylovett Wed 11-Sep-13 13:56:42

Just reporting in that our local aldi have rain jackets, overshoes and over trousers in. No shorts though sad

MrsShrek3 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:59:44

Bookmarking smile

gindrinker Thu 12-Sep-13 15:06:03

Bonjour.
I went out for a 10mile jaunt with my weds evening men in the rain. To the pub, then back to another pub.
I've officially given up on trying to find local female cyclists. The breeze network apparently cycle so slowly they may as well not bother and I can't spend my days trying to track down the couple I've seen out and about.
The guys are stupidly fast but at least they're pushing me to go faster!

For shoe covers I use these "PRO" ones which are made Shimano which are incredible. Make sure you get ones with Neoprene and these ones also had black bamboo in them?! So so warm and kept my feet really dry.

Check out the DHB stuff on Wiggle. Really nice stuff, great value for money. Make sure you also get some CrudCatchers http://www.crudproducts.com/products/roadracer too

puffylovett Thu 12-Sep-13 17:24:48

Hello. Just hopping on after doing our local route in the mud and sun to wave my lemon drizzle cake at ladymud wink

LadyMud Thu 12-Sep-13 18:26:31

Ha ha, Puffy! Lemon Drizzle cake - mmmm cake
You're really getting the hang of this biking lark now grin

LadyMud Thu 12-Sep-13 18:34:37

Gindrinker, you might like to reconsider your comment "The breeze network apparently cycle so slowly they may as well not bother"

Cycling is for everyone, whatever age, shape, level of fitness, etc. There are plenty of clubs and other opportunities for keen riders.

Breeze is specifically to encourage non-riders and ex-riders to start riding (again). It is not intended for the likes of you (although perhaps you might like to become a Breeze Champion or a Sky Ride leader).

Please don't be rude to other women cyclists! At least they're not slobbing out in front of the TV . . .

UniS Thu 12-Sep-13 20:22:51

Breeze rides vary - hugely.
Just like cyclists and group bike rides of any name vary.
I've done breeze rides that were 4 miles long, I've done breeze rides of 30 miles, some of them at 3 or 4 miles n hour some at 10-12 miles an hour, I've not done any with a higher average speed as 10-12 is about my comfortable speed for 30 miles, but I know they exist as friends have done them while training up to doing a sportive.

Sadly some people don't read ride descriptions and assume a breeze ride will be what ever it is they have in their head. This has led to some women showing up for long, hilly, building up to sportive rides on a mountain bike wearing jeans, thinking it would be a pottle in the park and conversely some women rocking up to a traffic free path pottle on skinny wheels in lycra & then complaining they are getting cold.

If I go on a club run I read the description and decide if its a ride I want to do and a ride I CAN do. this for me rules out the local club A, B, M1 & M2 runs, as I don;t ride that fast OR that far. It leaves me with the social run and the breeze/ club joint run.
Thus far I've not done any sky rides, some of those look VERY short, others look about right for me, but they are a bit far away and I don;t want to drive for an hour before and after a ride.

BerylStreep Thu 12-Sep-13 20:57:04

Hello all, glad to find the thread.

I started cycling again earlier this year, and completed Lap the Lough, a 90 mile cycle round Lough Neagh a couple of weeks ago.

I have a Merida Juliet Lite road bike, with clippy shoes. I love it. I also have a Ridgeback hybrid, which I use when doing family things, although DS (6) is still on stabilisers (but learning well - still at the running along and holding the seat stage) so we don't really manage to do too much as a family yet.

I plan to go out this Saturday for about 30 miles, which is the first I will have been on my bike for almost 3 weeks since the event.

SummerLightning Thu 12-Sep-13 21:29:28

Hello, just seen this thread, I lost the old one as it went off my watched threads, I think cos they buggered around with the categories relating to sport so it moved.

Anyway I am mostly a mountain biker but i do have a road bike as well, as i live in a flat part of the country so the mountain biking round here isn't that exciting.

i have 2 mountain bikes, one road bike a commuter bike and an old singlespeed mountain bike that i never ride.

I also don't ride with many other women, though I do have some female riding friends, mostly it is guys, if I only rode with women I would hardly ever ride! I have enough trouble finding people to agree to go for rides with me early in the morning to fit around the kids. I also night ride off road a lot in the evenings.

Off to Wales this weekend (mountain biking) woo hoo.

I do the nursery run with the kids in a trailer which is 3 miles - or at least I did until DS started school this week, we are yet to decide what to do with getting DD to nursery now (might be bike seat on the back) - I have found this fine and not that scary but a lot of it is on bike paths so quite safe - also live in Cambrdige where everyone else cycles. Not sure where whoever was asking about the trikes and bucket style kid bikes lives, but there is a shop in cambridge which specializes in them (I think it is called school run centre). If you live in London it could be worth a trip, I just popped in once and they let me try a bakefiets (dutch bucket style bike) and christiania (trike one with two wheels at the front - v weird to ride i found) there and then - really good.

VinegarDrinker Thu 12-Sep-13 21:45:22

Evening cyclists

Quick intro: we're a car-free family and cycle for utility mostly (commuting, shopping, nursery run, visiting family etc), although do some "leisure" rides too. Have DS who is 2.5 and DD who is 10 weeks. I've cycled throughout both pregnancies and been back riding daily for a couple of weeks now. I've clocked up 20 miles so far this week, with the trailer and kids in tow, hoping it'll help get the baby weight shifting.

I ride a cheapish Trek hybrid, with mounts for kid seats both up front (Bobike mini) and rear (Hamax sleepy), and a trailer hitch (Croozer for 2, with an infant insert for DD). So in theory I could transport 4 kids at once, although I haven't tried it yet....! Using the trailer mostly at the mo, as DD is way too little to sit up in a seat.

We live in London (zone 2) and I don't find it a problem at all in traffic, everyone gives you tons of room (although I do mostly back streets so they aren't sitting in the trailer inhaling loads of exhaust fumes).

Merly - I'd definitely go for a trailer - but don't rely on it to improve your balance - the hitch means your bike can tip right over without affecting the trailer. definitely agree with getting the training if possible.

VinegarDrinker Thu 12-Sep-13 21:47:07

Meant to say, I lust over cargo bikes and Bakfietsen, but practically and financially our current set up makes more sense though I still have an eBay alert set up for Bakfiets

gindrinker Fri 13-Sep-13 11:40:16

Sorry- I should have phrased it better about what the breeze folks do in my area.
They don't do what I want to do, in a sensible location to me, on the terrain I want at a time which is convenient to me.

The guys I ride with meet a mile from my house, shout at me when I'm being slow and go to the pub after.

LadyMud Fri 13-Sep-13 12:33:45

I thought that's what you really meant, Gindrinker! Have some cake LM x

gindrinker Fri 13-Sep-13 12:48:53

Mmmm post cycling cake!
smile

rubyrubyruby Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:41

Ooooo - is another Aldi visit due?

ssmile Sat 14-Sep-13 15:07:24

Thanks to who linked to the breeze rides I've just signed upto one next weekend its 15miles so "steady" but thats bit further than I have been doing in one stint and in an area I've not cycled before. It will be way out of my comfort zone as I don't "do" exercise with other people normally grin so good to try something new and build my confidence in cycling more on the road instead of paths I normally stick too.

BerylStreep Sat 14-Sep-13 16:54:36

Well I managed to get out for a leisurely 29 miles today. Weather was glorious, but quite fresh.

UniS Sat 14-Sep-13 21:50:26

Myself, DH and the boy did a "Historic Churches Ride n stride" today. visited all 7 churches in our benefice, covering about 40km and 740m of climbing.
Tired boy now.

ssmile Mon 16-Sep-13 12:55:33

I'm seriously thinking about getting a road bike after riding my mtn bike with road tyres for the last 18yrs. Can I have a road bike with flat bars set higher than the seat? I need this for my back issues but wasn't sure if it would unbalance a road bike and therefore I'd be better with a hybrid. I've been googling and these bikes are on my short list so far triban 3or5, specialized dolce, giant avil 5 or trek 1.1. Any ladies got one of these? I'm looking to stick under £500 on the cycle to work scheme.

LadyMud Mon 16-Sep-13 16:06:55

I've just been having a tea-break, and a little browse on an MTB website. Someone posted a photo of a large lady on a bike, presumably expecting others to mock (it's quite a bloke-y forum, but generally more intelligent and educated than similar sites).

Anyway, it's really refreshing to read all the comments praising her for riding. Must admit, I feel a bit sorry for the child though!

BerylStreep Mon 16-Sep-13 17:06:12

ssmile, my friend has a road bike with flat bars, and little pads on the bars too so the heel of her hand doesn't get sore. I will find out what sort she has and let you know.

I got a bike podiatrist to set my bike up for me, as I have a few neck / shoulder issues. He rotated the handlebars up a bit, and raised the bars by turning the stem round, giving me a slightly more upright position.

The other unintended benefit of this riding position is that it doesn't put as much pressure on your fanjo grin

UniS Mon 16-Sep-13 20:20:40

Dh bought a new bike the other week, a "road bike" with riser bars, so the bars are higher than the seat, except he doesn't like that so swopped his old bars onto new bike.
www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/revolution-trailfinder-13?bct=browse%2fbicycles%2fcommuter-hybrid-bikes would something like this suit you?

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 20:26:53

Hi all,

can anyone recommend shoe covers? I went last winter without any and so spent most of it with cold, wet feet. NOT this year! I've googled a few but it's hard to tell which are actually good and which are just sold well. Anything I should be looking out for in particular?

PedantMarina Mon 16-Sep-13 20:37:29

Guys: it's back!

By way of introduction, I'm mainly London commuter (Brompton, graduated up from Barclaybikes), and can do mountain-y stuff on weekends, but haven't for a bit.

LadyMud Mon 16-Sep-13 20:50:40

Yay, Viva was spot-on, predicting end of September for Aldi stuff! Thanks for the link, PM.

LadyMud Mon 16-Sep-13 20:55:14

Pan, I can definitely recommend shoe covers. They make a huge difference to comfort.

As to which ones, well - it depends! Are they for road-riding, with minimal walking? If so, anything will do, so long as they are easy to get on the shoe.

If you are plodding up mountains in them, then something with a robust sole will be necessary.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 21:08:19

It's for commuting on a whizzy hybrid with normal pedals and with minimal walking Lady. I got new shoes at the weekend, and want to be properly prepared for winter. I ride about 100 miles per week, from edge of Derbyshire into Manchester centre so there is LOTS of what we know as liquid sunshine.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 21:55:31

Bit of cross-thread fertilising - Aldis are having their annual biking gear sale commences 26th Sept

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 21:56:17

whoops! wrong thread!grin

Piffpaffpoff Mon 16-Sep-13 22:00:34

I got a soft shell jacket and winter trousers this time last year in Aldi and both are excellent.

gindrinker Tue 17-Sep-13 17:39:30

Smile - giant do a range called the dash which is marketed as a road bike with flat handle bars.
Might be worth a look?http://m.tredz.co.uk/Products/66435/dash-4-womens-flat-bar-2014-road-bike

ssmile Tue 17-Sep-13 19:31:48

Thanks for bike tips and Aldi heads up will check them out. I need shoe covers too. Plan to cycle to work tom light is on charge is getting SO dark in the morning now :-(

VivaLeThrustBadger Wed 18-Sep-13 06:34:31

Will put the 26th in my diary for an Aldi trip.

Piffpaffpoff Wed 18-Sep-13 10:28:13

Exciting and nervous day here - I'm going to go out on my bike for the first time since my accident. Just a flat couple of miles to the library and back but its a start. I'll have so much luminous clothing on, not only will every car driver see me but probably the astronauts in the ISS too.

I'm ridiculously excited, I just hope my foot is as healed as I think it is.

puffylovett Wed 18-Sep-13 16:44:58

Ooh I went out with my friend for a couple of hours (did 11.2 miles, climbed 780 foot but in not keeping track, oh no)

She said aldi bike stuff is in tomorrow, I got ridiculously excited - now my hopes are dashed, got to wait a whole nother week angry

My fanjo definitely needs some protection, and soon!! Hurry up the 26th

puffylovett Wed 18-Sep-13 16:46:30

I'm not in (bloody phone)

Piffpaffpoff Wed 18-Sep-13 18:03:36

Well I made it! Totally crapped myself every time a car went past me, but that's to be expected for a while I think. It's scary how unfit I am, I was puffing on the gentlest incline. My foot was ok except for very bad pins and needles all the way back. I'm not sure what that means so back to the docs I think. But despite all that, I had the biggest grin on my face at finally being back out. grin

puffylovett Wed 18-Sep-13 18:42:42

Mumsnet needs a 'like' button piffpaffpoff grin

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 20:48:56

As a sort of bye-the-bye, do posters know we have a busy thread on the Tour de Britain here? We're half way through now, with a Cav stage win and Lord Wiggo of Wiggoland in the gold jersey.

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 20:52:14

or here even.

ssmile Wed 18-Sep-13 22:00:48

Tour of Britain comes past me Friday its very exciting worth going to see if its near you. My little town had a stage finish couple yrs ago it was brill a little mini tour de france style atmosphere :-)
Well done piffpaff. It will get easier. After my op in Apr I did a few short 2-3mile rides to ease my nerves and lack of fitness.
Got soaked this morning on ride to work but blown home with tail wind grin

UniS Wed 18-Sep-13 23:06:50

ssmile- I'm now trying to work out where you are! I live in Devon too. Will be riding over the moor to Moretonhampstead then down the ToB route to Bovey and up to Haytor. Boy is booked in with Childminder after school. We had stern letter about attendance policy at start of term... bum. Last two years I've pulled him out for a day.

LadyMud Thu 19-Sep-13 20:40:39

Aldi - full details!

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 19-Sep-13 20:53:37

Yay, I want some winter trousers.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Thu 19-Sep-13 20:57:13

Thanks Lady. Going to be investing in a winter jacket, and cover it in additional reflectives.

And I invested in these Shimano shoe covers today from Decathlon. Will do a review asap. Just watch us enjoy an early autumn heat wave...

SuddenlySqueamish Thu 19-Sep-13 21:15:19

Hello fellow cyclists! Glad I found you smile
I started cycling when I lived in London because it's better than being squashed up against somebody's smelly pits at rush hour. Not in London anymore but still cycling and love it. I'm naturally a really anxious person but when I'm out on the bike I just chill the f out!

I ride a mountain bike. I'd love a road bike for my commute but my journey is on fast roads and the separate cycle paths are in terrible condition. Had one week with 3 punctures and I ride off-road for fun too and they can handle that just fine!

Thanks for the Aldi tip off, really need to get some new winter gear, it's getting chilly out there!

Happy to hear from VinegarDrinker about cycling through 2 pregnancies. Should I ever manage to conceive I really want to carry on cycling.

BerylStreep Fri 20-Sep-13 09:11:41

Sadly we don't have Aldi in NI.

Lidl were doing cycling helmets last week, but I have one already. We do however have a big branch of chain reaction cycles, so I may have a browse there later today.

ssmile Fri 20-Sep-13 17:02:29

Missed the tour nr Exeter today as had to work but will be watching highlights later unis. Hope it was good. Yes we too now restricted by the "You will NOT take child out of school" policy :-( but I'd already booked a weekend at centre parcs in few wks time so we may have hmmmm ear ache for a day Opps!
Yes please any shoe cover reviews as I need some. Can you get them to cover "normal" shoes or just clip inones

puffylovett Fri 20-Sep-13 17:09:21

the tour de Britain practically came past my mothers house and she didn't go and watch shock

I've already earmarked in the aldi brochure exactly what is mine all mine.. Dp has agreed that Santa can come early this year!

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Fri 20-Sep-13 17:23:09

ssmile - covers allow for both- there is a gap on the sole for clips if that's what you have.
Of course now that I've spent £27 on covers, I see from the forecast that it's going to be dry for the next 10 days. So you have me to thank for that.smile

Thistledew Fri 20-Sep-13 17:48:11

Hello all

I'm glad to see this new thread, and so many regulars posting on it.

I haven't posted for ages, but have been doing a decent amount of cycling this year- but nothing particularly exciting. I am clocking up 100 - 150 miles a week with at least two 25 mile round trips to work and 50 - 60 mile club rides at the weekends. I am slowly getting stronger and faster, but I think I have plateaued a bit at the moment, and have certainly not made any dramatic improvements.

I have also been competing in triathlons this summer, so have been dedicating time to swim and running training as well.

I still have my Specialized Tri-cross for commuting, and Specialized Tarmac for fun.

I have been working on getting my cadence up this summer (number of pedal rotations per minute), by basically riding my tri-cross as a single speed. I have stuck it in the big ring on the front, and about halfway down the cassette, so when I pull away from junctions, traffic lights etc, I really have to work hard to put the power down, but then when I get up to about 17 miles per hour, my legs are going like crazy! I actually spin out at about 20 mph. It does seem to have worked, as I am now riding at a much higher cadence, even when on my Tarmac. The extra effort pulling away in the big gear has been good for power as well. I really felt the strain in my legs for the first couple of weeks I did this, especially on the day that I had to carry so much paperwork to work with me that my panniers weighed 15 kg!

It must have made some difference to my muscle mass as I went into Jones the Bootmaker a couple of days ago to buy some new winter boots, and found that I could not get the standard fitting ones zipped up on my calves! I'm a size 10 so not exactly chunky, so am feeling quite disgruntled that I now need a plus size fitting. hmm I would still like a bit more muscle on my thighs though grin.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 20-Sep-13 18:55:46

Well done on the Triathlons Thistledew, I keep thinking that's the next thing for me, I really fancy giving one a go. Less fab re the boots! I find getting ski boots really difficult thanks to my cycling calves.

So my exciting news for today is that I went to see the doctor re the pins and needles in my recovering foot. She's referred me for physio and said that nerve damage can take up to a year to recover but...(drum roll)...she doesnt think cycling will do any further damage so if I am happy to tolerate the pins and needles, I can go on my bike! gringringrin. I think she could tell I was getting desperate!

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 20-Sep-13 18:59:56

100-150 miles a week is amazing.

I'm struggling to find the time to do 100miles a month!

puffylovett Fri 20-Sep-13 19:10:33

Wow, triathlons is amazing too! I keep looking at, reading about and wondering about plucking up the courage to enter a small one... Am no good at running though..

Ooh it's very nice to see thistledew back, I wasn't on the last thread but read every post avidly, thank you for starting it.

We are off to Delamere forest on Sunday for a family bike ride with pals, hoping ds2 is going to be up to it.. He's got a bit of a cold and temp. We managed to find ds1 (6) a hardtail on eBay, it's a bit of a dud but DP is going to play rejig some of the parts of his previous tank bike to customise it, which will hopefully be an easier better ride.. F xd..

VinegarDrinker Fri 20-Sep-13 19:29:39

Another 10.5 miles today towing the trailer, few smallish inclines and my thighs are feeling it!

puffylovett Sat 21-Sep-13 19:30:31

Has anyone got ergonomic hand grips? They're sort of a curved shape.

DP just showed me a picture, they look like they would be quite good for my dodgy right wrist... Reviews welcome?

ParvatiTheWitch Sat 21-Sep-13 19:41:16

Hello All, I wanted to mark my place and greet you all.

I have a 12 year old Claude Butler hybrid which has done me proud. I have never been without a bike really, but after doing the cycling bit only of triathlon training (Nore Road anyone?) with my triathlon friend, I have finally been persuaded onto a road bike.

I have ordered a womens Scott Contessa road bike on Thursday on the cycle to work scheme, so I will finally have a racer soon. I am a bit nervous of it.

Glad you are recovered and back on the bike, PiffPaff. I had a fall off the bike on Thursday and used my shoulder, face and knee as a brake on the gravel. I might get back on tomorrow, but my knee looks like a hamburger.

I do about 12-14 hilly miles about 2/3 times a week, with lots of pootling in between. I managed 37km (sounds better than 22 miles) on The Strawberry Bike line this week though.

Thanks for the Aldi heads up.

I have naturally chunky calves and I am dismayed to hear that cycling could bulk them up more, rather than slim them down.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 21-Sep-13 19:44:03

Puffy, a friend of mine has ergonomic hand grips on her hybrid. They're slightly squishy gel type ones. She likes them a nd they certainly look/feel comfy.

UniS Sat 21-Sep-13 19:45:23

ergo grips- I have ergo bar ends on our tandem. I like them. It makes a nice change from griping flat bars.
My other bikes have drop handle bars.

BerylStreep Sat 21-Sep-13 20:38:58

Yes, the curse of chunky calves.

I keep buying boots in the hope that one day my legs will become slim. I have a beautiful pair of Ecco knee length boots, that look like gestapo jack boots on me. I am very envious of the Mummies at DS' school who turn up in skinny jeans tucked into boots and look great.

Off out tomorrow with some friends - will hopefully do around 40 miles.

ssmile Sat 21-Sep-13 21:12:16

Best boots I got last year from clarks like biker boots but the material over lapped on inside so even with chunky calfs I could get jeans tucked in. I love them as then you can wear tights and the boot adjusts back. Will see if I can find link. I loved the fly boots but they just wouldn't zip up sad just had brilliant hour out with all of us on wheels but not on bikes, husband on inline skates, me on quads and both girls on scooters racing along. Youngest has only just turned two but is fast fast on her scooter smile

Piffpaffpoff Sat 21-Sep-13 21:24:36

Puffy I have these ergonomic grips on both my mountain bike and my old bike that I use to nip around town and, combined with Specialized BG gloves, it makes for a much comfier ride.

puffylovett Sat 21-Sep-13 23:57:16

Thanks guys, piffpaffpoff they're the ones he showed me.. I get bad pain in my right wrist on flexion, doesn't hurt when im biking at the mo but its a bit sore after. They look really good.

We have lovely weather for it tomorrow ladies! Planning to make the most of it.

Oh and Ladymud I made apple and sultana muffins today wink cake

puffylovett Sat 21-Sep-13 23:57:53

Oops wrong buttons! Meant to highlight the names lol

BerylStreep Sun 22-Sep-13 14:00:15

Just back from 31 miles. Was brilliant!

Piffpaffpoff Sun 22-Sep-13 17:17:01

Well, I made it out for a short but very sweet 6 miles, mainly offroad on some singletrack round the local woods and then along farm tracks. I could have gone further but I think I need to ease myself back into it so I must hold back!

VivaLeThrustBadger Sun 22-Sep-13 17:28:29

Just done 9 miles after work today. I've lost one of my cycling gloves and I can't believe how much difference it makes not having any on....really achy hands now.

The weather looks like its going to stay nice all next week so should be able to go out tomorrow and next weekend as well.

I've ordered new gloves!

UniS Sun 22-Sep-13 21:03:50

DH and I had a grown up bike ride day on Friday. Was quite different to riding with a 7 year old. We did about 70km a circular route taking in part of the ToB route of the day, up the Haytor final 5km climb. Stopped and watched the race, then rode home a different way , over the moors.

UniS Tue 24-Sep-13 19:31:22

Today bike riding was all doing errands.
Took Ds to school by bike.
Went up to the top of village to pick up a packet for a friend and take it to post office.
Back down to bottom of village - huge queue at post office so I took packet home.
Picked up Library books and rode to mobile library, up hill a mile n a half out the other side of the village. Rode home, noticed quite a few branches came down in last weeks high winds.
Hitched up bike trailer and took a pruning saw, collected largest fallen branches and brought them home.
Left trailer at home, bike to post office, then home.
Later - collect DS from school by bike.

Not sure how many miles, but all of them in a 1.5 mile radius of home.

just looked it up - about 9km with 157m of climbing and decent.

ssmile Thu 26-Sep-13 08:28:32

Bun fight at Aldi!!! grin I got there at 8am all 10 people in the store were in the cycle section. But I got shoes covers yeah!

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 26-Sep-13 10:32:35

I was first through the door at aldi.

Got shoe covers, winter trousers and waterproof trousers.

My shoe size is 5.5 so was totally unsure which covers to get. Went for the 6-7 in the end.

Piffpaffpoff Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:37

I went to Aldi but not til 11.30, picked up winter trousers and soft shell coat for DH and, of course, a couple of pairs of socks!

I was late going because it is a beautiful day here so I dropped the kids off and went for a very gentle 9mile ride, all off-road on a mix of cycle paths and a lovely section of coastal path. Was lovely, but my duff foot has been an explosion of pins and needles since I got home, not sore but really irritating.

PedantMarina Sat 28-Sep-13 23:48:34

Woo HOO! Didn't get to Aldi 30 seconds after it opened on the Thursday morning (she said, bitterly, after failing to get some of their WIGIG bargains in the past), but STILL managed to buy the LED lights today.

On a similar, but off-topic, note, has anybody, in their local Aldi, seen the bathroom pedal bin in that wedgewood blue? Our local branch completely ran out, and we're not keen on lavendar or grey.

We (DH also cycle-commutes - he to more locally) did ponder the reflective spokes, but decided against them in the end.

Absolutely did NOT think things like compression base layers, et al, were worth it.

ParvatiTheWitch Sun 29-Sep-13 20:15:24

I got my new bike on Friday and I'm a bit scared of it.
I have had it out to the pub on Friday, but I haven't done my hill route yet. Somebody say something to make to do it on the new, ultra responsive, unstable feeling, road bike instead of my 12 year old hybrid.
I know, I am a big old shit-house.

capercaillie Sun 29-Sep-13 20:21:47

Hello!

New road bike here too! I'm a regular cyclist at weekend but last weekend,DH went out and returned with road bike. We're about the same size so I can ride it too. First trip out on Sat - with the clippt pedals and everything. It's fast! Hills are much easier and will be much better once I've got a bit more used to the pedals and the fact my feet don't move. I did find the bike a bit twitchy though - need to improve riding position and just get used to it - particularly downhill and round corners.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sun 29-Sep-13 20:40:34

When I got my cyclocross bike it was so twitchy and scary compared to my mountain bike. Then I went full hog and clipped in to make it scarier! grin

You do get used to it quickly.

Habbibu Sun 29-Sep-13 21:24:04

Can I join? I'm a novice mountain biker, but did my first race last weekend and am now completely hooked. I'm easily bored, so the constant having to think of off-road suits me well, I think. PLus going WHHEEE on downhills...

UniS Sun 29-Sep-13 22:45:03

Going to get my new bike on Tuesday- I won an ebay auction. I am soon to be owner of a 5 speed racing green brompton folding bike. Hurrah.

ParvatiTheWitch Mon 30-Sep-13 17:37:57

Hello capercallie and Habbibu. How's the road bike, capers? Have you got your bottle up yet?

Thanks viva, I finally got my act together today and did my hill route. Even getting used to the new bike, I was quicker up the gradients. I must say, those brakes felt far away on those curvy handle bars, so I bottled it and went really slowly back down the hills that I normally fly down.I my defence, I came off my bike the other week and used my face, shoulder and knee as a brake. The knee is still sore, so maybe I am feeling more timid than normal. I definitely feel less exerted with the road bike than with the hybrid.

I am looking for opinions please; I have a mamogram scheduled for 11am tomorrow. Would it be terribly bad mannered of me to cycle the 10 miles there for it? It would mean I am a bit sweaty. Would the scanner faint, do you think? I don't think I normally stink after a strenuos ride, but it would be damp.

Habbibu Mon 30-Sep-13 17:45:37

Why don't you take some wipes, and fresh top/bra?

ashleysilver Mon 30-Sep-13 17:59:26

Perfectly fine to use whatever form of transport you like to go for your scan. I'm sure the technician will have seen (and smelled:-D) it all before.

I went for my mammogram a few weeks ago. If your hospital is anything like mine, you will have to wait a bit anyway, which will give you time to cool down.

ParvatiTheWitch Mon 30-Sep-13 18:03:27

I have bib-tights so, well yes the baby wipes and a fresh top over the bib tights and a squirt of deodorant do you think? I will still be weird with my bib things hanging down while they squash the life out of my tits.

Habbibu Mon 30-Sep-13 18:05:06

Well, it's a weird situation. I'd go for it.

UniS Mon 30-Sep-13 20:19:11

Bib tights hanging down will be be a lot cooler than some of the things a mamogram tech sees I'm sure.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 30-Sep-13 20:23:57

Some people don't seem to wash for weeks before hospital appts. I'm sure they'll have had worse. But yes baby wipes and deodorant and you'll be fine.

puffylovett Mon 30-Sep-13 22:55:59

Hello and welcome all the newbies.. I haven't been to say hello for a while, been too busy cleaning cycling wink

Found a nice cross country local circuit today, it was nice to get out and explore. But I missed getting my usual steep hill in - I like to feel like I've had a thorough workout.. We were meant to be doing the Goyt Valley today, but had to reschedule.

We haven't done too badly - clocked up Delamere Forest and a tricky 9 mile offroad woody rooty route in the last 10 days, as well as doing my local loop.

Is everybody else out enjoying this gorgeous autumn weather? Aren't the leaves just amazing - <ignores the potential for slippage!>

UniS Tue 01-Oct-13 15:25:05

one bike gone, one bike arrived, number of bikes in garage still n.

I now have my new brompton. its green, 5 speed, seems to have a habit of dropping the chain when one folds it, but i expect that can be cured.

The boys loan racing bike has gone back to the club.

Habbibu Tue 01-Oct-13 21:57:59

Did anyone else do Ride Like A Grrl the other weekend? Was rather wondering if there were MNers there. I know I met one at the kids race the next day.

capercaillie Tue 01-Oct-13 22:02:32

I know exactly what you mean about the brakes feeling further away on the road bike - definitely held back a bit going downhill because of that.

I got a lovely ride in with DS today (thank you striking teachers) - not on the road bike obviously but a nice circuit to a cafe in another village. I liked it because I got to do a couple of new bridleways and other bits I hadn't done before.

VivaLeThrustBadger Wed 02-Oct-13 07:51:51

Because mines a cyclocross rather than a true road bike I've got sissy brake levers on the flatbar as well as normal road bike brakes. I must admit downhill I have my hands on the top and use the secondary levers!

Thistledew Wed 02-Oct-13 09:31:52

For anyone struggling to reach or comfortably hold the brake levers on a road bike, you can get spacers that fit in the lever mechanism that alter the angle of them and bring them closer to the bars. I have them fitted on my road bike, as even though I have very long fingers I didn't feel I had a comfortable hold on the brakes when I was on the drops.

It is good practice to get in the habit of descending 'on the drops' on a road bike - that is to say that when you are going down hill you should have your hands on the curve of the handlebars. Leaning forward more feels like the last thing you should be doing when you are going down hill but it is actually much safer as you lower your centre of gravity and your grip on the bars will be much more secure and stable. You can actually get a stronger pull on the brakes if necessary.

Keep your weight to the back of the saddle, and on straight sections, keep your pedals level. Going around corners you will need to have your inside leg bent and the outside straight, and sticking your inside knee out a bit will help with the balance.

VivaLeThrustBadger Wed 02-Oct-13 10:17:18

I didn't know about spacers. Thanks Thistledew, ill get some fitted.

UniS Wed 02-Oct-13 14:22:16

One of my winter projects is going to be altering the set up on my drop bars. I'm going to roll the bar round forward a little, move the hoods and brakes a bit nearer me as well, then re-apply bar tape. I should end up with the brakes nearer me and more flat bar at the bottom of the drops, also nearer me.

Was suggested by the chap ( cycle tech) who did a bike fit for me at a club night.

UniS Wed 02-Oct-13 14:48:15

If any of you are in the South west there is women and girls only cycle coaching session going on on Sunday at Westpoiunt ( devon county show ground) near Exeter.
You don't need to be a racer to benefit from some coaching. and a road bike is not compulsory.
https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/99949/Rider-Development-Session---Women-and-Girls-only

ParvatiTheWitch Fri 04-Oct-13 18:58:08

Thanks Thisledew, I'll definitely ride downhill on the drops and look at getting some spacers, you live and learn.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 07-Oct-13 12:10:47

I'm really excited. Have decided to book a week's holiday up to Galloway. Its not till next July as dd has a week long school trip. So she's off to Germany and I'm going to seize the opportunity.

The plan was to take my cyclocross bike and do some road riding/bridlepaths. Then I thought I'd take my trike as well. I'd prefer to take the trike but if its really hilly it might be a bit tough. Then last night I was looking at the Glentrool website and reckon I'm going to take my mtb as well.

Taking 3 bikes with me for a week's holiday isn't excessive is it? grin

ParvatiTheWitch Sat 12-Oct-13 20:28:33

Did anyone go for a ride yesterday morning in the wind? A branch twig blew off a tree and hit me in the face and all the squirrels two were legging it around, out of their trees. It was exhilarating.

UniS Sat 12-Oct-13 23:06:25

I went for a ride, but didn't notice the wind. Maybe because I was in deep bridleways most of the time on the edge of dartmoor. Getting a little cyclo cross practise in before I tackle a novice ladies CX race next weekend.

Was rather scarey coming down hill on rock n rubble trying to use the drop brakes ( not the cross tops) AND keep my weight back.... more practise needed I think.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 23:30:23

Not been out this weekend but have got my mtb bike from the cycle shop after six months!

What I thought would be a fiddle to fix the gears has turned into a full restoration. Only the frame, tyres, hubs, handlebar and stem are the same bits.

New wheels, new cassette, new front mech, new rear mech, new chain, new chain set, new gear levers, new grips, new cables, upgraded to v brakes, other new stuff I can't remember.

Can't wait to ride it again!

Crappyoldframe Mon 14-Oct-13 16:47:52

Hi All, Hope you don't mind if I join in.

Just started cycling a couple of months ago, have a Giant Escape Hybrid and love it but am plagued by bloody injuries.

Training to do C2C next year, unfit and building up slowly (5 miles to 14 so far!) Have also been seeing a PT and doing strength and interval training for a few months. I have achilles tendinopathy (longstanding but improving problem) minor meniscus tears in both knees which are healing and now after pushing to increase my MPH this weekend what I think is a calf strain!

It's really disheartening as I should be doing everything right re slow build up and recovery. Bike is in for service this week though I will be out of action for a bit, Any advice greatly received!

I've just got basic pedals at the moment but thinking I should change to cleats then at least I can maintain a stable foot position and find out what works best for me. Not sure if I am confident at handling the bike well enough yet though. Look forward to learning from you all!

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 16:58:14

Sticky shoes might help if cleats are scary, though I don't know if that's the done thing in road biking. I have five tens, and they keep my foot in place quite well.

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 16:59:05

Viva - v exciting. Never replied to your post about the borders - did you decide how many bikes to take in the end?

Crappyoldframe Mon 14-Oct-13 17:04:22

Thanks Habbibu though I have no idea what sticky shoes are smile I will ask at the bike shop tomorrow what my options are as I just wear running trainers at the moment and my feet are all over the place.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 17:08:24

I reckon I'm going to take all three bikes. I can take two up on the bike rack and the trike folds up small and will go in the boot.

Only thing I'm slightly worried about is keeping two in the holiday cottage while I'm riding one. I get the impression the cottage is quite tiny and I don't want to piss the owner off by keeping bikes inside. Though its an isolated farm so I guess I could just lock them up outside to something secure.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 17:10:25

Crappy, yes get cleats. I got some and haven't looked back, made a massive difference. If you suffer with your knees try to keep your cadance quite high, so spin in an easier gear rather than pushing hard in a stiffer gear. Kinder on the knees.

Just keep building it up bit by bit.

Thistledew Mon 14-Oct-13 17:37:44

Hi Crappy

You might want to get cleats with 'float' - these are supposed to be better for bad knees. Cleats are either 'fixed' or with 'float' - the latter just allow you to rotate your foot a little on the pedal so you can find the most comfortable position.

I have Speedplay Zero pedals on my road bike which I think are great, and which do have quite a lot of float. They are particularly ridiculous for walking in though.

Also make sure that you have you saddle at the right height. Having it too low will put a real strain on your knees. Sitting square on your saddle, with the pedal at the lowest point of the rotation, you should be able to rest your heel on the pedal with you leg completely straight. Get your bike shop, if they are a good one, to help you check if you are unsure.

stickygotstuck Mon 14-Oct-13 17:42:10

Hello! [waves] Room for one more?

I have been lurking here on and off, and I think it's time I joined.

I cycle about 3 times a week for fitness and because I like to be outdoors when I can. I wouldn't say I am a serious cyclist, but this is the only exercise I get and I have been trying to stick at it for the last 3 years.

I have an old 18-gear Raleigh MTB which is made of some strange alloy called 'Cromolly'. Now DD is too big for her child seat sad I am going to swap it for a new bike for my birthday in a couple of months. I am very excited about that smile, but getting bogged down with all the choice!

I want to be able to go further in the same amount of time and not to be overtaken by loads of road bikes going twice as fast with half the effort and I was looking for something
- lighter
- with smooth tyres
- with a more upright sitting position
- with larger wheels (not sure about this one)

I thought I had narrowed it down to a hybrid and got a couple of catalogues from my local bike shop.

But I went into Halfords last weekend and sat on a Pendleton Somerby. It was so comfortable that, to my bewilderment, I am thinking could I make do with this instead of the hybrid.

It's only 7 speed and weighs 15 kg, and it looks just too pretty to get all muddy and take around bridle paths (and it has cream tyres, cream! shock). BUT the sitting position really was comfy and I loved the huge wheels. Plus it's not expensive.

Any words of wisdom? Can anyone talk me out of it/suggest an alternative?

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 17:44:42

Lock them and take a tarp and bungees in case it buckets down, Viva? WE did that in Wales last summer.

Crappy, I'd listen to the cleats people. I mostly ride off-road and am way too chicken for cleats - sticky shoes are, I think, derived from shoes used by skateboarders, and have a special sticky rubber on the bottom that stops your feet slipping on the pedals - you have to lift them upwards to readjust. But cleats would probably be much better for your knees.

Thistledew Mon 14-Oct-13 17:55:34

I wouldn't go for the Somerby if you are wanting something a bit more nippy. With only 7 gears you are going to be spinning out and going nowhere before you are able to work hard enough to get the benefits of exercise. I also wouldn't really think the balance would be best for going down bridle paths.

What other bikes have you looked at?

Wheel size is not so much of an issue - Mountain bikes tend to have smaller wheels as they are supposed to be a bit more agile and easier to ride over bumpy terrain. You are more likely to be able to fit a slick road tyre on a 700c wheel.

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 17:57:10

It's very Dutch in style, isn't it, sticky? Which is no bad thing, but to my mind it's a real city commuter. If I had spare cash I'd find it hard to resist an Islabikes beinn 29. This Dawes bike is similar to the Pendleton one.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 17:57:46

Tarp and bungees is a good idea.

Thistledew Mon 14-Oct-13 18:08:25

That Islabike looks good Habbibu - but have you checked out the gearing? It has just one 32t Chain ring and the cassette is an 11-36. Definitely aiming at off-road riding, and not all that nippy on the flat.

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 18:23:26

Yes, I know (though my technical knowledge is very poor). I think it's to keep weight down. They are great bikes - beautifully made, but I have my lovely Giant mtb, so really don't need another off-road bike. My kids have islabikes, and they are just lovely, though.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 18:32:11

I don't think the spec is very good on the Dawes and though I can't see a weight I'd guess its heavy. I think Specialzed do some good hybrids, have you looked at the Vita?

Crappyoldframe Mon 14-Oct-13 18:32:55

Thank you all very much for the advice smile Think I just need to brave it with the cleats and be prepared to fall off a few times - God knows what I will spend in the bike shop tomorrow on various bits - learning this is not a cheap hobby!

Will have to wait till calf strain better before trying them out and hurting myself again! Hope I don't make too much of a tit of myself getting used to them!

Can I use the SPD Pedals without cleats and just with normal shoes on whilst I am too chicken to try? If so may ask them to fit whilst in for a service tomorrow.

Thistledew Mon 14-Oct-13 18:42:57

You can get SPD touring pedals which are either flat on one side or double sided but with a sort of cage so you can ride in trainers etc. I have these on my cx bike/ commuter and I do think they are useful for commuting, but really the number of times that I have ridden the bike in normal shoes is so small to be irrelevant. I wouldn't buy them now, as they are heavier and bulkier than the plain cleats.

Crappyoldframe Mon 14-Oct-13 18:57:13

Thanks thistle I guess when I've got used to the cleats I will stick with them and don't want extra weight, I've got some bloody big hills to get up.

Spikey have you looked at any of the ridgebacks in that price range

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/ridgeback/comet-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec043401#features

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/ridgeback/meteor-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec043403#features

stickygotstuck Mon 14-Oct-13 19:43:43

Thanks everybody.

Crappy hope you get sorted with the pedals tomorrow.

And thanks, yes, I have looked at those two Rigdebacks. In fact the Comet was top of the shortlist as my local shop stocks them and I have the catalogue downstairs. But now I am looking at them side by side, I think I prefer the Meteor. I rather fancy the tourer look (not so much the colour though). I think it's because I have had the MTB for so long I'd like a change of 'look' (silly, but hey)

Thanks Habbibu, afraid the Beinn is above my bugdet.

Thistle you are all right, it doesn't make sense to move from a MTB to the Pendleton. But it is just sooo nice blush. Ok, so sensible hat back on!

My technical knowledge is somehow lacking, so if you had to chose between the Specialised Vita (www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/vita-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec030756) and the Ridgeback Comet (www.evanscycles.com/products/ridgeback/comet-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec043401#features) which one would you go for?

And how about between the Vita and the Ridgeback Meteor (www.evanscycles.com/products/ridgeback/meteor-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec043403#features)?

Oh, something very important I forgot to mention. I am planning to fit a Tailgator bar for DD in the new bike. Does anyone know if it's a problem to fit it in step-through type of frame (like the Meteor)??

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 19:52:29

Based solely and pathetically on looks, I like the Specialized best. But there may be a difference in geometry which means one brand fits you better, I suppose. But I think I don't really like step through frames (even though with my stumpy legs they are clearly a better option for me). A friend has a Ridgeback hybrid (maybe the comet?) and it's lovely in the flesh, and she loves it.

yy, the Beinn is a bit of a silly price. Holds value really well, but that only makes sense in kids bikes, where you're much more likely to sell fairly quickly.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 20:01:30

Theyre all decent enough specs.

Spec wise the meteor and the comet are nearly the same bike, only the chainset is different. The meteor is a tourer and has a rack fitted and mudguards which is worth the extra money.

The Vita has 24 gears compared to the Ridgebacks which both have 21. I agree the Vita looks nicer. Also Specialzed women bikes are meant to be well designed for women. That they don't just make a blokes bike smaller....but they take into account different average reach, blah, blah. It's meant to mean they're more comfy but it may be advertising bollocks.

I think if they're all in price range go and test them and see which you like best.

stickygotstuck Mon 14-Oct-13 20:04:01

Thanks Habbibu. Unless there is a massive technical difference I am not taking into account, I am also going on looks (a bit wink) at this stage. I am saturated with technical data and unable to process them anymore!

Oh, the other contender I forgot to mention was the Giant Escape (www.shopgiant-bicycles.co.uk/3695/products/2014-liv-giant-escape-3-w--mint--hybrid-bike.aspx). Those are my four. On looks alone, this one is the winner for me.

Any other opinions more than welcome, needed in fact!

stickygotstuck Mon 14-Oct-13 20:06:42

Cross-posted! Thank you Viva. The only way to decide really is to try them, isn't it?

What do you think of the Giant?

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 20:10:24

I like the Giant, but I am biased, as Giant bikes suit me well. I think you will have to just try a few and see which one feels like home!

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 14-Oct-13 20:18:27

The giant looks fine, similar spec to the others really.

Crappyoldframe Mon 14-Oct-13 20:20:01

I would try them if you can. I got Giant escape 1 (mens small) 1 based on spec and weight and was advised best in my budget (for c2c) it's so fast and easy to ride compared to my old crappy hybrid, BUT i don't think it's quite the right fit for me. I feel like I want to be sat further back on the bike, will adjust saddle for next ride but don't think It will be enough. I wish I had tried different ones to see the difference but it wasn't an option in my shop as they weren't all in stock and I was impatient!

stickygotstuck Mon 14-Oct-13 21:01:40

Thanks, I'll go round to my local bike shop this weekend, see which ones they have to try.

Shame about your bike, Crappy, hope you get it sorted. I'd like to avoid rushing into buying the wrong bike. I have waited 15 years for a new one so I'd like to get it right!

I am hoping the Giant Escape will be available and a good fit. With a pannier rack and mudguards it looks ideal to me.

Any thoughts on whether this (or the Meteor's) step-through type frame would cause problems to fit a Tail Gator bar?

Habbibu Mon 14-Oct-13 21:25:42

Looks to me like it attaches to the seat post, so can't see that the position of the top tube would make a difference.

Crappyoldframe Tue 15-Oct-13 08:01:54

Yes worth it fir the extras, think I paid about 100 quid to have rack and mudguards fitted.

Thistledew Tue 15-Oct-13 08:46:19

Cross with myself this morning. I woke up a little late and it looked all cold and grey at 7.30 so I wussed out of cycling to work. I am now on the train in the glorious sunshine and feeling really annoyed with myself!

It is so much easier to do the early starts on the bike in the summer. Anyone got a good source of motivation?

Definitely going to cycle tomorrow.

VivaLeThrustBadger Tue 15-Oct-13 08:48:03

I haven't biked into work for over a month so am of no help!

We used to have a trailgator thingy and don't think a step through would make a difference as far as I can remember.

stickygotstuck Tue 15-Oct-13 12:13:36

Thanks Habbibu and Viva, glad to hear it. The Trail Gator is a big part of the new bike set up. DD (almost 5 yo) is getting her first proper bike next month too so she can be my cycling partner!

Thistle, I work from home so it's a bit different. But I am very pleased that I did drag myself this morning after the school run and went for a ride. It was very grey but the rain held off. I used to take DD to nursery on the back of my bike until last July, but she's at school now (and way too heavy!)

I actually had another look at the Ridgeback catalogue last night, and I rather fancy this Speed too (www.ridgeback.co.uk/bike/speed-se-open-frame#details). Looks the same as the Meteor, but it's slightly lower spec. It's got a couple less gears, but I am not bothered about that.

The Meteor has the edge in that the handlebar adjusts, and I am thinking that is a big plus if I find that the sitting position is not as comfy as it could be. The minus is that it's brown (sorry, I know it's shallow but I am just not keen on the colour at all, and I'll have this one for another 15 years!).

Habbibu Tue 15-Oct-13 12:37:11

I'd have thought there'd be av few 2013 bikes kicking around at decent prices, so you might get more for your money.

stickygotstuck Tue 15-Oct-13 13:44:50

I was counting on it Habbibu! I had plans to use any savings twoards the Gator Bar grin. However, I have not seen any price differences between the 'old' models and current ones I'm afraid. Only the Meteor seems discounted in some online shops, but I'd really like to buy from local shop, as I get to try them, they'll set it up and service it.

LadyMud Thu 17-Oct-13 11:27:37

Hi y'all! Just been catching up on this thread. It's nice to see some new girls, especially another mountain biker (waves to Habbibu).

We've been down to Shropshire for a few days, staying on a farm on Wenlock Edge. Viva, I took an old sheet to stand the bikes on, and there was a hosepipe for washing off the mud.

We popped into Islabikes, as it was next to Ludlow Food Centre. No-one came out to speak to us, so we didn't stay. I think you'd need to phone first, if you wanted to try out their bikes.

Shropshire is an excellent county for easy mountain biking, and also for hilly road cycling (if that's your "thing").

Habbibu Thu 17-Oct-13 14:15:29

Hi LadyMud! Shame about Islabikes - have always had really good service on the phone.

LadyMud Thu 17-Oct-13 15:31:40

I didn't mean that to sound like a criticism! Islabikes has an excellent reputation, and that's why we called in. But it's more like a car showroom (with bikes, obviously), rather than a LBS. Not somewhere to have a browse, or buy a mag and a spare tube.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 11:31:37

Sticky, edinburgh bikes are currently 15% off the revolutions.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 11:32:17

Sorry, it was Ridgebacks not revolutions you were looking at!

stickygotstuck Fri 18-Oct-13 11:46:26

Hello,

Thanks Viva, I just had a look. They look good but no local stockist (plus I think I am confused enough as it is!)

Can any of you ladies enlighten me as to riding position? A bit of a general one, but here goes - how different really is the sitting position on a hybrid compared to a standard MTB? And how important would an adjustable handlebar be to, well, adjust it if you don't find it as comfy as expected confused? Thing is, I do like to be as upright as possible.

I am going for a hybrid because (a) I do intend to go on the odd bit of roughish terrain and (b) the drop handlebars are a big no-no because (I imagine, as never actually rode one!) they must be quite uncomfortable for your back. Plus the thinness of the tyres of a road bike gives me the hibby-jibbies anyway, (being on the large side that I am grin).

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 11:50:09

I don't think there's much difference at all between a mtb and a hybrid seating position.

One thing you could fit onto a hybrid as well is bar ends, if you angle them up and a bit forward it gives another hand position which is a bit more upright.

stickygotstuck Fri 18-Oct-13 12:12:07

Interesting Viva, thanks. Do you think the adjustable handlebar on the Ridgeback Meteor would serve the same function?

Think I'm hoping someone will come and say that riding 1 - 2 hrs at a time on a sit up and beg style bike would be much more comfortable and won't kill my bum. It won't be, will it? Let's be honest, my dream bike would be a 10 kg Pashely style bike for under 350 quid blush.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 12:24:17

I think an adjustable handlebar stem is a bit of a gimmick to be honest. If a bike fits correctly then there's no need to adjust the stem. It's not something you'd keep changing mid ride, you'd just find the best length for it and leave it there.

So I think bar ends are better as it gives you different positions during a ride, like a butterfly bar really which is another option to fit to a bike. Butterfly bars are very popular on the continent.

For me a sit up bike would be really uncomfy, I need to lean forward a bit. But it's whatever works for you. I can't help thinking your bum would be sore.

Of course you could always get an Ice Trike. I've got one, no sore bum!

stickygotstuck Fri 18-Oct-13 12:54:10

Oh, Ice Trikes, I've seen people riding those. They look like the coolest thing but I'm not that cool!

Yes, that's my gut feeling - the more upright, the more sore your bum. Sigh.

Very glad to hear your verdict on adjustable handle bars. It means not having to buy a brown bike grin. OK I'm a pushover, bar ends it is. Just googled butterfly bars, never noticed them before, they could be good too.

I think I have enough ideas now to call my LBS and not feel like an idiot too uniformed. Thanks again.

Crappyoldframe Fri 18-Oct-13 17:09:18

Have to say I have a hybrid Giant Escape 1 and I'm not comfy feel as if I want to be leaning forward. Can I change the handlebars?

LadyMud Fri 18-Oct-13 17:28:39

On the subject of sore bums . . . why on earth does anyone think that big squishy saddles are a good idea? They just mean that your own "squishy bits" take the weight - which hurts!

A correct width saddle means your weight falls on the "bony bits" of your bum (ischial protuberances), which is a lot more comfortable.

Nothing beats a recumbent trike for comfort, though!

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 17:28:52

Yes. I reckon you could either put bar ends on and angle them forwards, so they're pretty much parallel to the ground. Or look at butterfly bars.

Butterfly bars would probably make the most difference, but I've never used them so I wouldn't swear on it. Bar ends would be cheaper and easier to fit.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 18-Oct-13 17:30:55

Squishy saddles aren't meant to be the best for rides of more than about 90 mins. Saying that years ago I took the old saddle of my mtb and put a squishy, gel saddle on. Looks awful but its been comfy buti haven't done long rides on it.

I've got a Brooks b17 on my cyclocross bike which is meant to be the mutts nuts of comfy saddles. Dh laughed when he saw it as its as solid as a block of wood. But it's been amazingly comfy.

stickygotstuck Fri 18-Oct-13 18:57:27

Crappy, looking forward to someone more knowledgeable answering your question, as I am considering a Giant Escape too.

LadyMud, I think it's instinctive, a bit like thinking that a sofa is comfier than a dining chair I guess. But I hear what you are saying. I have a soft(ish) saddle and my squishy bits do suffer. I am used to it, although I'd like my next bike to be an improvement on this.

CuntyBunty Fri 18-Oct-13 18:57:53

Never mind sore bum, I have a sore fanjo! I did 30km today and DH insists it's because I wear knickers under my padded bib tights. I am sceptical.

CuntyBunty Fri 18-Oct-13 19:00:29

Oh, I was P*arvati*the*W*itch, before CB.

UniS Fri 18-Oct-13 20:19:54

pants under cycle shorts- never a good idea. The pad is seamless for a reason...

I went out for abit of Cyclocross practise today... given I've not yet done a cyclocross race I'm a bit vague about what to practise, so I went for a ride for about an hour and dived off down ( or up) all the byways and farm tracks I saw. and on the skinny lanes tried riding up the grassy bit in the middle. Got a bit muddy, din;t fall off, had fun. met a large dog, but it was chained and it couldn't reach the far side of the track, so I rode past as dog went bonkers and hurled itself to the extent of its chain in my direction.

LadyMud Fri 18-Oct-13 20:34:00

CB, my friend refused to be taken to A&E when she fell off on ice last winter . . . because she was knicker-less beneath padded tights blush.

So how about some cheap padded cycling pants under your tights, instead of your lacy thong?

stickygotstuck Fri 18-Oct-13 21:07:27

CB yes, the fanjo is what I meant, not the bum so much.

Well I never! Knickerless riding, whatever next shock. I may consider it if they start making 100% pure cotton padded tights though. Lycra et al will not ever be in contact with my 'squishy bits'!

UniS, your cyclocross pactise sounds great (minus the dog)

SummerLightning Fri 18-Oct-13 23:00:52

Hello! Not been on in ages, hope you are all good.

Seriously would never ride with underwear under my padded shorts, well sometimes I do to work as I am always forgetting my underwear and having to go commando at work, but never for a proper ride! Every time I tell non cyclists this they are either shock if they are female, or [rather pervy face] if they are male. But try it and you will never go back. sticky the pad bit is not made of lycra though! Not sure what it does tend to be made of mind you.

I love that she wouldn't go to A&E LM, seriously? that totally wouldn't cross my mind. I got stung by a bee this summer through my shorts, and my initial reaction was to pull my shorts down, while surrounded by about 10 guys to try and get it out/have a look. Fortunately I stopped myself just in time, could ahve been quite embarrassing.

Oh sticky on the new bike, I have an adjustable stem on my commuter bike. it is about 3 years old but recently it has started creaking like mad and refusing to tighten up properly so the bars wiggle up and down. Bloody annoying and googling just suggests replacing it with a fixed stem. So I guess i'll do that. They are a bit of a gimmick, though I did find useful when pregnant, as just moved the bars up for a more comfy position. My bike is a Ridgeback velocity, perhaps the Speed is the same model and they thought they would give it a very original new name (I think it looks similar)! I am not a fan of it as it's quite heavy, but then my other bikes are more expensive so i guess not surprising. I can't think of any reason that step through frame wouldn't be ok with trailgator. I have just got a 2nd hand tagalong and am hoping to use with commuter bike so hope it's ok!

crappy re the position of your bike, you could just put a higher rise stem on it to raise the bars? Prob cheaper than getting new bars. what are butterfly bars - not heard of them? But you could also get bars with a rise to them. Do you know any keen bikers as ime they tend to have about a million different sized stems in their garage and you could try a few and have a play?

ladyM and other mtbers do you run tubeless? Thinking of converting...

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Oct-13 23:19:12

chamis [sp?] and you can get cream for the padding in your shorts. The whole idea is so you don't have seems in the under part rubbing your private parts and making them sore -which tbh sounds yuk to me

lady - they cut of the shorts often enough in a&e so wouldn't be expecting any pants to be worn and might think you were a bit weird if you did wear pants - not that they would pass comment

ssmile Sat 19-Oct-13 07:35:11

I converted to pantless riding last year after my DH queried why I wore pants under my shorts. It hadn't occurred to me before but its alot more comfy grin
Went out yesterday for quick half hr in my lunch break and my gear cable snapped confused the gears had been getting crunchy and my DH had looked at it and my local bike shop "adjusted" it but now its snapped. I wish I knew more about fixing it myself. Once we get past having toddlers in the house and I get more time back I will learn. At the moment I barely seem to have time to breathe some days!

Habbibu Sat 19-Oct-13 08:08:05

What does run tubeless mean? I'm very new to all this.

CuntyBunty Sat 19-Oct-13 10:24:29

Ok then, thanks. I will go without next time. I just didn't want to be washing the kit every time....

Habbibu Sat 19-Oct-13 12:23:15

Ooh, tubeless tyres. Now I've googled, I'm interested. I have psoriatic arthritis in my hands, which means that although in theory I can change a tyre, I have real difficulty in getting one back on, and although I haven't yet had a puncture, it does worry me. That may well solve my problems...

LadyMud Sat 19-Oct-13 13:50:40

No, I still use inner tubes, SummerLightning, but get punctures so rarely (one every couple of years) that it's not worth switching over at the moment.
Anyway, riding without tubes would feel like going to work without knickers wink

Crappyoldframe Sat 19-Oct-13 13:51:33

Thanks for the advice on the handle bars. Will look into options. Something else to spend money on grin.

Bike back from service, went for combination pedals spd one side and standard foot plate the other. Got loads of new gear and can't wait to get out. Physio say's probably another 10 days rest with calf strain grrr. Hope the weather is not too bad for everyone and you manage to get out. sticky are you going to trial some bikes this weekend?

LadyMud Sat 19-Oct-13 13:55:11

Habbibu, it's worth learning the right technique for changing a tyre. Brute force and ignorance works, but it's a lot bit easier if you know the tricks.

Peachesandplums Sat 19-Oct-13 15:59:18

Ladies, would cleats be suitable for hardtrail? I've tried looking online and can't find any info. I ride a merida. Newish to cycling and also looking at winter gear. I bought cheap muddy fox cycling tights etc, but am at the stage of upgrading for winter. Any recommendations? I have a dare2b wind shell which has done ok, but is there a better jacket I could buy?

does anyone use a garmin edge?

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 19-Oct-13 17:43:30

butterfly bars

Peaches, I use cleats on my rigid touring/commuting/road bike. I've got a garmin......don't think its an edge. It's an etrex of some description which I used to use for geocaching, never used it for cycling. I'd like to, be able to use it for turn by turn directions if biking in an unfamiliar area but I'm a bit of a technophobe so not very confident.

My winter jacket is an altura night vision which I'm very happy with.

Peachesandplums Sat 19-Oct-13 18:00:08

Hi viva, I've read a lot of good things about altura. Them and rapha? Just wondering if sticking some thermals under my cheapo tights will do for now. And a merino base layer? Have a 26 mile ride tomorrow and there will be a few stops, so thinking tis better to layer up!

The edge allows you to track online and was looking for others as you can have "friends" and sort of egg each other on.

Habbibu Sat 19-Oct-13 18:16:16

Dh has got an altura night vision jacket, which he likes a lot. LadyM, would love to know tricks which might save my hands - could you point me in the right direction.

I like a buff in winter - keeps the chill out. DH just got a Garmin Edge 200 from PIL for his birthday.

Peachesandplums Sat 19-Oct-13 18:39:22

I have a few buffs now, very handy for coastal riding and the bloody headwinds I get!

UniS Sat 19-Oct-13 22:35:43

I had an altura night vision jacket, but it de-laminated and leaked after a year or so. so I now have the mountain warehouse copy, very similar but about half the price. pit zips work a bit different so you can't use them to access the whole inside of jacket as a massive pocket like you can on the altura.
I have spd pedals on my tourer. I use MTB shoes was they are nicer to walk in.

Did some fettling this morning and turned my and DS's bikes into somethimg approaching CX bikes! mudguards, pannier racks and lights all removed. my bike looks very naked.

SummerLightning Sat 19-Oct-13 23:05:28

I am not a massive fan of altura. I have a laptop pannier of theirs, it is very annoying, it has an outer pocket that doesn't zip up, and if the bag is full with, err, for example, a laptop, then stuff falls out of it. Shit design! But at least I can carry my laptop without having a backpack.
My experience of their clothes hasn't been great either, but can't remember why now as it's years since I've owned any of their clothes.

Rapha on the other hand, I can't justify the prices of. Actually I tell a lie, I had a pair of their socks, that my MIL bought me. They were great, i wore them so much that I put a hole in them though.

My clothes at the mo are a mixture of Pearl Izumi, sugoi, Craft, Terry, Maloja and probably a few others.

Tubeless means just that, getting rid of inner tubes, but I think you have figured that out habbibu. You can run lower pressure, so more grip, no pinch flats, and put slime in and you shouldn't get flats really. but I have not done it, and I find it a bit daunting even though my expensive mountain bike has tubeless rims. Unlike most biking women i know, I do not have a biking other half who loves fettling bikes so I have to do it myself.

ssmile changing a gear cable is easy, you just thread it back through where it was! The only slight difficult bit is adjusting tension for the derailleur, this is dead easy to look up how to do on the net though, and it literally should be a matter of twizzling the barrel for the tension rather than having to fiddle with the limit screws, if it was set up correctly before. It sounds like if it was crunching maybe you need new outers too? It is quite easy and it's soooo lovely having new cables after they have been getting a bit shitty!

peaches do you mean for a hardtail? I ride cleats on all my bikes. Even for the most technical mountain biking, i have even done a downhill race (badly) in cleats. I hate riding without them, but I do have a pair of flat pedals that I'm planning on putting on my hardtail for playing around on. Oh and they all have mountain bike spds on them, even the road bike. As i can't be bothered with different shoes for different bikes. My commuter has the 2 sided jobbies, these are great for popping to town in normal shoes. I have never got on with the caged ones, that are 2 sided spds but with a cage round them, as I found in normal shoes you could still feel the cleat, and in cleats I was not comfortable not clipped in so it was kind of pointless.

Oh and peaches don't know where you are but I'd have thought one layer of full lenght leggings would be ok for keeping warm in current weather. What size are you? As I have a merino base layer I don't want, I think it's about a size 10. I just don't get on with merino, I find it itchy! I can just about cope with it for socks, but not base layers. I appear to be in a minority though.

Peachesandplums Sun 20-Oct-13 08:51:55

Summer thanks for the advice! I'm in Scotland,coastal and we get some cracking nippy winds! I'm a 12 on top smile

I might have to get cleats then. A friend said its like having an extra gear.

stickygotstuck Sun 20-Oct-13 10:28:51

Sorry, I managed to hide this thread by accident.

Summer, thanks for the advice. Many of the 2013 Ridgebacks seem to have celestial body names. The 'Speed' is a bit of a letdown name wise, I'd much rather ride a Comet, or a Meteor grin

Crappy I am going now to the shop [excited!]. I'll report back.

I am totally unprepared on the clothing front. Or rather, my normal clothes are more or less suitable for cycling so I don't have much cycling specific gear. My only concession has been a high viz vest. Boring, me.

Habbibu Sun 20-Oct-13 10:59:27

Wow, summer - I'm too chicken for cleats at the best of times, but doing a downhill race in them? That's hardcore. Mind you, I can fall off getting on my bike, so I think that tells you a lot about my skill level. I got 5 10 shoes which made a big difference, and will possibly see if Santa might bring some new pedals.

Peaches, I'm in Scotland too, on the Tay coast. Don't think we get quite the winds you do, though dh got blown off his bike once, at a break in trees on a cycle path.

stickygotstuck Sun 20-Oct-13 20:00:37

Well, been to the shop today. I got to sit on a Meteor and a Giant Escape. the Escape left me a bit cold. The Meteor felt just right. Waiting for them to get a new model Speed to try, and then it's decision time.

Unfortunately, they can't get hold of the 2013 green for the Speed anymore (which is the one I liked the most). This means I'd have to chose between the new two colours, one of which is exactly the same as my old MTB and the other it's a bit nondescript. Alternatively, I could get it from other places online, but I'd rather my local shop assembled and adjusted it for me. Also, I'd feel a bit bad not to buy it from them hmm. Which is silly, because we are getting DD's bike from there anyway.

Oh, I also saw some butterfly bars in the flesh, I like them! The man in the shop thought bar ends would not fit the bill in my case, and recommended getting the right handlebar height to start with instead.

SummerLightning Sun 20-Oct-13 22:18:07

peaches my top would probably fit you, it's a size M. Pm me your address and I will send it to you if you want it! It's just a plain black merino top. Hope you were warm enough, yes I was thinking when i wrote that should be warm enough in just one long layer on the bottom that it could depend on where you are!

sticky sounds like the meteor could be a good bet, plus you liked the name better :-)

habbibu no not hardcore, just too used to riding in cleats!

Crappyoldframe Mon 21-Oct-13 07:57:23

sticky I wish I had the patience you have. I'm amazed you left the bike shop without a shiny new bike smile

Peachesandplums Mon 21-Oct-13 08:34:39

Have sent you a pm summer smile

UniS Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:49

I did it, I managed to come somewhere mid table in my 1st cyclo cross race and I didn't die.Or fall off ( nearly but I got it back again). I did wheel spin quite bit on the up hill slimey bit, but I managed to get into top gear for the grassy down hill after a couple of laps . It was quite good fun. Has me wondering about getting some cross tyres for one of my bikes....

Habbibu Mon 21-Oct-13 20:17:55

Yay!!!! Fantastic. Are you on a bit of a high? I've only ever done one race, and was buzzing for weeks after (and I came almost last and fell off 4 times).

Habbibu Mon 21-Oct-13 20:18:50

How does cc differ from mtb? Obv not the sticky downhill bits, and I guess no singletrack? Is it mostly grass?

Habbibu Mon 21-Oct-13 20:25:26

Oh, I googled - wiki says it's the same thing - singletrack and stuff.

Habbibu Mon 21-Oct-13 20:27:59

Oh my word I'm dim today. Cyclo cross not same as cross country. Bah.

UniS Mon 21-Oct-13 20:37:53

CX ( cyclo cross) is mixed terrain racing, so it seems a typical course would include , grass, mud, tarmac, rough track, some up hill, some down hill, something that will make you get off and walk/ run past an obstacle.

XC is cross country- more MTB territory were one would not expect to get off the bike.

The novices race i did was largely grass, wood chip and mud with a short tramac section as well, some twisty bits through and under trees as well. The kids race had more single track through woodland and some short but steep (45degree) banks both up and down.

I was buzzing a bit, but not as much as my DS who came 2nd in his under 8s race. 1st time CX for him too. There were LOADS of kids, about 50 across U8, U10 and U12.

Habbibu Mon 21-Oct-13 22:59:36

JUst looked it up properly - looks amazing. Hard work - all the climbing off and carrying the bike. Your ds must be really good - how brilliant. DS (who was 3 at the time) insists he won his under 6 race in a wee dirt crit thing. Stopping dead 3 yards before the finish line (after almost all the kids were through) rather gives the lie to that, but I do admire his self delusion. I'm not sure my kids will ever really be up there with the winners, but I kind of hope they get the racing bug a bit, just for the fun of it.

stickygotstuck Tue 22-Oct-13 10:14:47

I am well impressed UniS, well done! And well done to DS too!

It's great that he came 2nd (wow) but also that he's out there enjoying the ride. Like Habbibu, I think DD will never be in that league but it would be so nice to see her try and simply enjoy the outdoors.

Habbibu Tue 22-Oct-13 12:48:01

Woo! I am about to sign us up for Pedal for Scotland 2014. Well, DH will do the actual 47 miles, but the kids and I will do the 9 mile family ride. DS will be nearly 5 by then, and it'll be a good thing for them to work towards. I think I massively underestimate what they're capable of on bikes (and therefore so do they) so they could probably do it now - if we work towards it they could do it faster! And after that I'll be doing Ride Like a Grrrl again - anyone else doing that next year?

Likeaninjanow Tue 22-Oct-13 14:38:57

Hi all! Just wondering if any of you experienced road cyclists can give me any tips on entering & exiting cleats?

A recent ride included 3 falls & lots of difficulty even clipping in after unclipping hmm. Luckily the only thing that was injured was my pride!

Any advice? I really want to be good at this, and confident, rather than crapping my pants every time I go out!

UniS Tue 22-Oct-13 19:34:00

check your cleats ( on the shoes) are clean at the start of a ride, they do pick up grit. Also check they are firmly attached to your shoe.
If you are finding it hard to unclip try loosening off the spring tensioner in the pedal.

Getting clipped in first try is just practise practise practise, try if goofy ( not favourite foot first) every no n then, you might surprise yourself by being better at clipping goofy than regular. You can pedal before you are clipped in, its not the end of the world.

Likeaninjanow Tue 22-Oct-13 20:18:17

Thanks UniS! I'll check them for grit as I seem to be getting worse, rather than better. That could be it. I didn't realise that could happen.

I'm right handed/footed(?!), but do find it easier to unclipping with my left first, although I clip in right first.

I'll do as you say and practice more!

Likeaninjanow Tue 22-Oct-13 20:21:28

Oh, and the XC race sounds great! Well done your DS smile

Piffpaffpoff Wed 23-Oct-13 20:50:45

Habbibu I'm hoping do Ride Like A Grrrl next year - would have done it this year but I was injured. I'm just back from half-term hols in Aviemore and have had two weeks of amazing biking. Still not managing huge distances by my standards but any ride up there is amazing. I think I rode part of the Ride Like a Grrrl course, the most amazing, single-iest single track I've ever ridden, it was ace!

However, two weeks of riding nearly every day has left my injured foot a bit achy and sore. I'm waiting on a physio referral as my toes feel all scrunched up even though they aren't and I'm hoping some stretches might help with that. But it was soooooo very good to be out on my bike again.

Habbibu Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:18

Oh, let me know if you do! I was really not v fit at all when I did it, and was miserable to start with on the road - coughing, and feeling cold and heavy, but then we turned off over a moor, with crazy boulderage, over a river, and then it was just ace. I grinned like a loon all the rest of the way. I can't recommend it enough. I was quite slow, and would love to up my time next year to about 2 hrs. Need to be a bit fitter!

Habbibu Wed 23-Oct-13 21:44:17

Yy to ace biking in Aviemore - I like the road down from cairngorm ( the trail alongside it). Might take my bike next time we go to IL's nr Inverness and try Abriachan.

Piffpaffpoff Wed 23-Oct-13 22:15:49

My fave Aviemore ride is up the track beside the road to the far end of Loch Morlich, round Loch Morlich and then down through Rothiemurchus to Loch an Eilien then back over to Aviemore. I think I did that about 4 times. The stretch through Rothiemurchus is my favourite bit of cycling anywhere (nothing to do with the fact that it's mostly downhill.....grin)

There is a kids dirt crit at Abriachan on the 17th of November if you're around then.

Habbibu Thu 24-Oct-13 09:48:14

Oh, that would be good, but it'll be in the Christmas holidays we're next up.

That's a shame. I think we might do it - it is ds3's third birthday the following day and he has been asking to do another bike race.

All you lot are making me jealous - you all seem to have done more biking around this area and I bloody LIVE here envyangry

SummerLightning Fri 25-Oct-13 22:37:58

How does getting a 3 year old to race work? My 4 year old can ride a bike but just lie on the ground and scream if he wasn't winning!

SummerLightning Fri 25-Oct-13 22:38:43

Sorry WOULD just lie on the ground!

Habbibu Fri 25-Oct-13 22:53:20

Well, on the dirt crit my and notin's kids did, the parents went round with the under 6's. Ds is convinced he won, despite stopping a good yard shy if the finish line.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 25-Oct-13 22:55:10

DS (who was 6 at the time) did a wee fun race at the Aviemore MTB festival in August and DH got to go round the course with him too.

SummerLightning Fri 25-Oct-13 23:03:18

Ah ok that makes sense!

UniS Fri 25-Oct-13 23:13:18

boy started racing at 5. he was quite happy to go off on his own, but some smalls do have a parent running with them.

Its all but impossible for kids to work out if they won or no. when age groups are racing together there may be 6 different races going on at once, boys and girls, U8, U10, U12. and some kids will finish earlier than kids who place higher by having done more laps.

boy always tells me he came 4th or 5th. I don't tell him that he came 6th out of 6. IF he gets a podium place its a nice surprise. Mind you, he got lucky on his first race and somehow managed to place 2nd. Hes only manged that twice more in 3 year and about a dozen races. He still loves being a bike racer. Its one of teh few chances he gets to ride really fast with no cars around.

SummerLightning Fri 25-Oct-13 23:27:03

Tbh when I do a race I never know where I've come either! He might be ok, if I lectured him to just ride as fast as possible and not worry about it. How long are little kids races?

UniS Fri 25-Oct-13 23:44:31

crit/ road about 10 mins+1 lap for U8 . CX seems to be 20 mins. VERY occasionaly we come across a commissar who is new to youth races and trys to run a so many laps race, but they are often talked out of it and back to a time plus 1 lap race.

SummerLightning Fri 25-Oct-13 23:51:24

Do they do cx on proper mini cx bikes or do the little ones just ride mtbs?

Piffpaffpoff, - was that the one at Glenmore? It was fab. Ds3 was desperate to do the wee ones race, then when the time came he was too tired and didn't want to do it. Have you ever seen the Strider bike cup? I always wonder how many of the toddlers change their minds last minute!

Most of the wee ones at the dirt crit are only joining in because they have older siblings taking part in other races - there were even a couple on balance bikes. Ds did need pushing a fair bit, but he really enjoyed it. Despite only being two he lives and breathes bikes. He will watch youtube videos of Danny MacAskill and go and fetch his balance bike (even though he rides a pedal bike he still enjoys messing around on balance bikes) and try to copy what he's seen grin

Piffpaffpoff Sat 26-Oct-13 12:47:43

Yes it was - It was great wasn't it? We were up for the weekend and decided to go along since it was on and we're glad we did. Both DCs did a timed lap, had a shot on the wooden track and I went on a wee ride out with the PetalPower ladies which was nice. Hopefully they'll do another one next year.

It was fanatstic. The dcs loved the wooden track and the dirt pump track, even though ds3 went face first into one of the rollers... We loved The Clan stunt team too, and the Trials biikes. 7 year old ds did a timed lap too, but his chain came off. I was really proud when he told me he put it back on by himself smile

I've bee out a few times with the wonderful petalpower ladies, but my bike has been broken for a while (needs new forks)

Which brings me to my next question: Can anyone recommend a hardtail mtb for about £400 for a 5'2" lady?

UniS Sat 26-Oct-13 21:42:41

re what bikes do kids race on... it depend on the kids. in U8 there will be everything from bike shaped toys to mini CX bikes. some mountain bikes, some hybrids. A lot of Isla bikes. Even more Isla bikes as you go up to U10 and U12. because all 3 age groups often race at the same time its hard to tell who is a big U8 and who is a small U10. Even some U8s fit a 26inch wheeled Islabike Luath ( cross/ road bike).

Habbibu Sat 26-Oct-13 22:03:31

Mine is a Giant Revel 1 Ltd (434 at Cyclestore) and I like it a lot. What make was your old bike?

UniS - dd has just turned 7 and I think she'll fit a Beinn 26 before long!

prettybird Sat 26-Oct-13 22:07:05

Ds (U14) has just started racing CX. He has a borrowed Islabike Luath with cross tyres from his club 'cos I refuse to buy him a third back to add to his expensive road bike and not quite so expensive track bike hmm and seems to be enjoying it. He's nowhere near winning but is doing it purely pragmatically to improve his road racing (both strength and technique) over the winter. grin

He's off tomorrow to Loch Lomond to a CX race there. It looks like it is going to be really wet and muddy hmm

The U8s are soooo cute and so determined.

Habbibu - if you're in Scotland, you can join the Facebook group "Youth Racing in Scotland" and see some of the photos from the ERC Introductory CX Race a few weeks ago (an atypical apparently warm sunny day) and the CX last weekend at Callendar Park in Falkirk.

prettybird Sat 26-Oct-13 22:13:30

SummerLightning - I've seen the younger kids racing on all sorts of bikes - including a tiny wee Barbie bike.

UniS Sat 26-Oct-13 22:15:03

Habb- Yes the Beinn 26 is not stupidly big for a 7 year old. The Luath is a little larger but DS aged 7.5 fits one JUST.

He owns a Beinn 24 ( formerly owned by Prettybirds DS) as he didn't fit the 26 when he turned 7. he's saving for a luath 26 having had a club one on loan for the back end of the road season.

prettybird Sat 26-Oct-13 22:18:00

The Facebook group is "youth cycle racing in Scotland"

prettybird Sat 26-Oct-13 22:24:52

Unis - ds is now using a 700mm Luath from his club for the CX. Glad your son is enjoying the Beinn 24. I was able to buy him a Madison Genesis track bike with the proceeds from selling his 26" Luath and the rest of his inheritance from his granny (after buying his Cannondale Road bike). His race wheels for his road bike (bought by his Opa/grandad) cost more than his dad's b'twin road bike!! shockshock

Just went to join the Facebook group but it says you have to be "friends" with at least two people in the group.

There is a CX race in Inverness soon and I think ds2 would love it.

Got accepted anyway smile

prettybird Sun 27-Oct-13 18:57:32

Notinthemiddle - PM me and I'll give you my fb name so you can friend me. Then I'll work out how to get you another name. You'll be able to see the photo albums of recent races via me anyway.

prettybird Sun 27-Oct-13 19:01:01

I took a photo today at the CX at Loch Lomond especially for this thread: it was a wee kid who couldn't have been more than 4 in the U12/U10/U8 race on a teeny weeny bike. I've not downloaded them from the camera yet but will add it to my MN Flickr account and link to it from here. smile

Would love to see that smile

Crappyoldframe Tue 29-Oct-13 11:31:53

Morning all - Have to say all this kids racing sounds exciting. My DS is 4 and has very little interest in his bike - got him a nice little ridgeback which he will probably have grown out of before he learns to ride it! I'm thinking of getting a follow-me to take him out with me but fear he'll refuse to go on his own then if he can just hitch a ride from mum! We are just discovering cycling and DH has just bought a second hand hybrid after much nagging this weekend - need to get him on the road too!

We are in Yorkshire so will take DS to Grand Depart next year and hope that ignites his interest a little

Well it's about 18 days since I've been out. I'm tempted today as calf is feeling much better but I'm really scared of doing stuff too soon. Has anyone any experience of calf strain and cycling and how long I should give it? Last thing I want is to do it again and be off for longer but I really want to get going!

sticky did you get your new bike?

stickygotstuck Tue 29-Oct-13 22:11:15

Hello all.

So jealous of all your kids going on proper races, you sound a like really dedicated lot!

DD is just about to swap her balance bike for her first proper pedal bike. I hope Crappy's scenario doesn't play out and she does get some use out the new one - it wasn't cheap! We measured her up and paid for it today, with a view to picking it up in a few weeks. A lot of coincidences with Crappy, we are also in Yorkshire, also planning to take DD (who is also 4) to see the Grand Depart, and I almost got her a little Ridgeback too smile.
This is DD's bike, a Frog. They are newish to the market, very light, aluminium bikes. Any of you have any experience of them? www.frogbikes.com/lightweight-kids-bikes/hybrid-bikes/frog55.aspx

I have gone to try the Ridgeback Speed today. Feels exactly the same as the Meteor but it's metallic grey. I am now thinking that I need a quick-release front wheel so I can put both our bikes in the boot, and why not have the adjustable stem that the next model up has as well. The Speed has none of those, so that one looks like a no (especially as that horrible famous lime green does not seem to be available anymore).

Got the new catalogue today and I have fallen in love with this Ridgeback Velocity (finalist 1)- www.ukbikesdepot.com/m18b187s18p11692/RIDGEBACK_2014_Velocity_SE_Ladies_Hybrid_Bike/RS_GB/34055?gclid=CLjt3JvdvLoCFfMbtAodXgYARA. But it doesn't make sense, it's more expensive and then I'd have to add the mudguards and pannier rack myself. But I like it! confused.

The sensible option is the Ridgeback Meteor (finalist 2) - www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/bikes/brands/ridgeback/ridgeback-meteor-women-s-2014/. I am normally the Ms Sensible, but I am tired of being sensible. Then again, my budget is not great.

So, still undecided. I do wish bikes came in more exciting colours sad [& childish, I know!]

prettybird Tue 29-Oct-13 22:42:06

(Haven't downloaded the pictures from my camera yet, sorry blush)

Our LBS has just started stocking Frog bikes and I know many of the more knowledgeable other parents at ds' cycling club have said lots of positive things about them. smile

I have heard a lot of good things about Frog bikes (haven't seen one yet though) and if I was in the market for a new kids bike and could afford it I would probably buy one. You will have to review it for us when you get it ;) Is she very tall btw? The bike you linked to is for approx age 6+.

The velocity isn't much more expensive... ;)

I'm also looking for a new bike. I started a thread but no one replied sad www.mumsnet.com/Talk/exercise/1896270-Oooh-fell-in-love-with-a-mountain-bike-today

stickygotstuck Wed 30-Oct-13 13:50:53

Thanks prettybird and NotintheMiddle, I'll certainly report back on the Frog. (BTW, NotintheMiddle, I have replied to your other thread wink. Not very helpfully, sorry blush)

Yes, DD is quite tall for her age. We tried her on the smaller size but it looks as if it will last her no more than 5 or 6 months. She can reach the floor OK but she does look a bit stretched on that one. My reasoning is she'll get it in one month's time when she turns 5 and then the winter will be here, so she won't use it much for a few months now. DH worries that the gears are a bit too much and I agree, but she can ignore them until next spring.

I was looking for the lightest thing (grandma's) money could buy, and that seems to be it. But yes, it is quite expensive. I would not have gone for it if it hadn't been a very generous gift, and I still feel awful about having spent that amount on a child's bike. Also, there's a massive price difference between the smaller one and this one (obviously no gears on the little one).

As for the Velocity, it doesn't cost much more, but then I'll have to add the mudguards and rack so it adds up. Plus, I think the wheel is fixed. The specs don't seem to be very, uhm, specific.

Crappyoldframe Wed 30-Oct-13 14:01:44

sticky just something to think about with the quick release wheel and getting the bike in the back of the car. Assuming you are fitting mudguards you will still have the front mudguard to contend with and fit in the car so not much smaller than without the wheel on.

Thanks for the replies on my thread smile

Sounds like the Frog will fit her fine.

prettybird Wed 30-Oct-13 17:25:58

Hopefully, as the Frog bikes establish a reputation, you'll be able to sell on the bike for a good price once your dd grows out of it.

If I were to advise someone now for whom funds were tight, I would suggest buying an Islabike 2nd hand as they would probably be able to sell it for approximately what they'd paid for it when their child grows out of it. As long as it was maintained properly of course smile

UniS Wed 30-Oct-13 20:15:07

Frog bikes do look good. I haven’t seen many yet. just one sticks in my mind which someone had swapped the flat bars off and put drop bars on. It looked very odd as the geometry didn't really work.

A 5 year old can get the hang of gears. DS had a 20 inch wheel bike for his 5h birthday. he was able to gear shift for himself after a month or two.

Have any of you seen kids raceing on a "Formeula" bike? they look similar to Isla's Luath bikes. I'd be interested to try one.

prettybird Wed 30-Oct-13 21:28:42

I was going to say I hadn't come across them but after clicking on the link I realised that I'd seen quite a few kids on "Forme" bikes and they look good.

SummerLightning Thu 31-Oct-13 11:07:12

Hey sticky I have a velocity and mine at least has qr wheels

stickygotstuck Thu 31-Oct-13 23:38:02

Oh, Summer, does it? What's it like? Would you recommend it?

SummerLightning Fri 01-Nov-13 21:52:47

Hi sticky I did talk a bit about it further up the thread

Basically, I am not the best person to ask as I have 4 bikes and the velocity it the cheapest and therefore the heaviest and the slowest. I know this makes me a bike ponce but I have bought the 4 bikes over the last 10 years so I am not too bad!!

Anyway I do actually think it is quite heavy as even my husband has commented when lifting it onto bike roof carrier. But potentially for the price you are paying for it being a good reliable hybrid is its a bit heavier. I have had no problems with reliability it's lasted great on 12 miles a day for 3 + years. I did have to pay for the mudguards and rack on top of the price. I have had to change chain and cassette once and prob one set of brake pads. In addition the adjustable stem just gave up the ghost so I now have a fixed one.

It's a good reliable bike. You are right though the colours are dull. Mines a metallic light green - not particularly cool!

stickygotstuck Sun 03-Nov-13 12:08:29

Thanks Summer!

Yes, I remember you saying the adjustable stem is not great. To be honest, I hadn't realised it was adjustable on this one too. It does seem a bit less upright than the Speed and the Meteor, which is not a good thing for me.

Another candidate was the Vita Specialised, but then that one stopped making sense as the specs were similar to the Ridgebacks but without the rack and mudguards.

Wish I hadn't looked at so many now. I am totally confused sad.

*Glenlivet Trail Centre Review*

We had a great day. After 7 year old ds2 headed off with his mountain bike club, I took 2 year old ds3 out for a short run on the trails. I used a Trailgator as he cannot manage the uphills - I was going to let him loose for the downhill bits but decided I better see what it was like first!

We only did a short loop of the blue (the whole blue is 9km) - instead of starting at the beginning of the trail we went up a forest track to join the blue near the end. I think it took less than 30 minutes.

It is a fantastic flowing trail with some great rollers and some twisty bits and one big berm. The downhill seems to go on and on for much longer than the uphill seemed to suggest IYSWIM. Our faces were like gringrin when we got to the bottom.

Ds2 also had a fantastic time. He did the whole of the red trail (22km) and some of the black features (he says wink). It took them somewhere between 2 and 2 and a half hours, but I think they stopped a lot to discuss tactics.

The cafe was great, if a bit busy at times. Nice cheap bacon rolls (£2) as well as more expensive burgers (£7). Lovely hot chocolate, and a good selection of cakes and traybakes. I didn't sample the cakes as they didn't have chocolate blush but the traybakes were nice. The staff were lovely smile

We were planning to go back and do the wee loop of the Blue again after lunch, with ds3 doing the downhill bits solo, but ds2 was so tired after the mornings' efforts that we decided just to head home.

We will be back!

Should have said even though the car park was jam packed, the trails didn't seem that busy. We were only passed by one person, and it seems that everyone was spread out.

UniS Sun 03-Nov-13 20:05:07

That sounds like a good day out.

I took boy to a cyclo race today. His home work says " the mud was extremely gooey and sticky and lots of people fell off" Thus he has used one of his spelling words and some descriptive words and a (boring) connective in a sentence.

Piffpaffpoff Sun 03-Nov-13 21:57:02

That sounds ace Not although no chocolate cake??!! Black mark!!

stickygotstuck Sun 10-Nov-13 20:42:49

Notinthe, I hope you have all recovered from last Sunday exertions, that sounds great.

It was a lovely, cold, bright day here and have been for a longer than ancipated ride - I found it really hard going today sad. Does anyone find that your fitness level seems to vary A LOT from one day to the next? Plus I struggle with my throat in the cold.

Anyway, I decided to blame it on my clumpy old mountain bike and I finally did it - came back and ordered a bike today! grin. And this, ladies and gents, is my new bike. Drumroll please... www.ukbikesdepot.com/m18b159s18p7064/RIDGEBACK_Velocity_Open_Frame_Red_2013/RS_GB/20507?gclid=CMzwnfmfwroCFRDItAodMCEAXw - a shiny new 2013 Velocity in red.

I got what I thought was a great deal too (130 quid off 400). I got some silver mudguards too but no rack. I really like the colour of this year's model (green!), but cannot justify spending an extra 130 quid on what's really the exact same bike. Plus I much prefer the red to any of the current colours for all the other models I was considering.

The only downside is that I ordered online as my LBS could not get hold of this one. Hope I don't have any trouble with assembly.

Crappyoldframe Mon 11-Nov-13 10:24:49

How exciting "sticky" smile

Well I'm back in the saddle calf is getting better thank goodness but taking it steady. Cardio fitness back to square 1 - also found it very hard yesterday sticky. I am supposed to be doing c2c next May over three days. I really feel I have no hope at the moment as I'm just not getting anywhere - I don't think I'll be ready sad

It's 2 steps forward 1 step back every time I gain a tiny bit of fitness I have an injury to contend with. I'm still stuck with 11 MPH average speed and about 13 miles distance - some way to go!! Would love to hear any encouraging stories of fitness improvement - I can't get up a minor hill at the moment and just don't see how I'll ever climb the pennines!

Sorry for mega whinge!

Crappyoldframe Mon 11-Nov-13 10:27:15

Oh on the positive front though have just booked tickets for Festival of Cycling at Harewood House - The Grand Depart goes through - there is a whole weekend of events and camping for those interested. We live locally fortunately but glad to have the tickets and know we have parking (if we don't go on our bikes) and a place to watch the event. Excited already!!

stickygotstuck Wed 13-Nov-13 12:20:28

Oh Crappy, well done for getting back on the bike! Like you say, you have to take it easy, you don't want to aggravate your injury.
It can be discouraging when you feel you are not making progress, but you are - miles more than you would if you didn't get out there. I am sure you'll be fit as a fiddle come May!

Well done on getting the tickets for the Grand Depart, how exciting. Where did you get them? I have not looked into it seriously, but I'd really like to take DD to see the Tour as we are not far. I naively thought we could just plonk ourselves somewhere along the route and take a peek, but I don't know if it's as simple as that these days. It was when I was young...

My shiny new red bike hasn't turned up yet - getting impatient now! Am pinning my hopes on the bike change, I have been imagining myself flying by on this one - as if! grin In reality, I can't get up the slightest hill without knackering my knees. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that my old MTB is not that heavy anyway, it's more the knobbly tyres and the fact that I haven't really been maintaining it properly that slow me down. That and the fact that I could do with riding more frequently.

Speaking of which, I am in the market for a good head cover. Something that can keep my head warm, but also my face. Not that bothered about the neck, as my jacket covers that nicely. The Mountain Warehouse make a head tube that seems good for what I need. Any recommendations?

SuddenlySqueamish Sun 17-Nov-13 12:39:51

Hi all. I've created a blog to share the stories of cyclists to try and show that we are just people trying to get from A to B. Sick of victim blaming when it comes to accidents and people just seeing cyclists as an homogenous mass rather than human beings who just happen to ride a bike.

iamacyclistblog.wordpress.com

Hope you don't mind me sharing it here, I'm trying to get as many stories as possible. Only started yesterday so only 2 stories on at the mo. Realise this will out me but oh well, I need to do something.

Would be really grateful if you would be happy to share your story. Does not need to be connected to your MN username in any way to preserve anonymity.

Thistledew Sun 17-Nov-13 22:47:38

Does anyone else use a turbo?

DH and I have just purchased one, as a joint Christmas present to each other. We went for a fairly basic Tacx Blue Matic. Apparently, the main difference between this and the pricier ones is the noise, but as we will be using it in the shed at the bottom of our garden that is not really an issue for us. We also just happened to see a rather gorgeous classic steel road bike for sale in our local bike shop, which will now sit permanently on the turbo. I was a bit nervous about using any of our other bikes and knackering out the rear tires.

We are probably going to download some of the Sufferfest videos. Does anyone use these? I am determined to improve my climbing!

kelper Mon 18-Nov-13 09:14:41

Hi all, glad there is a cycling thread on here smile
Can I pick some brains? I've done a couple of through the night 100k's, but have signed up for a weekend long 300k next July shock
My ds is in school, and I work at lunchtimes, so I have no real opportunity to go out for 100k rides.
I'm umming and aching about getting a turbo, but I don't have a spare bike to put on it.
I'm also umming about getting an exercise bike, but I find when I use these at the gym I don't enjoy riding them iykwim?
I know I need to train really hard for this, I'm doing it with a lot of very fit people so I'll need to keep up. I've got a hybrid bianchi, I'm wondering if I should get a proper road bike, although my bianchi is fabulous and lovely to ride.
Any training ideas and hints are very welcome smile

Crappyoldframe Mon 18-Nov-13 13:35:01

Afternoon All!

Sticky has it turned up yet? I hope it has and you've been for a ride!

I got the tickets online if you google festival of cycling you will find it.

For the head covering I'd recommend a "buff" - very expensive tube of fabric but versatile and you can use for various, hat. scarf, snood combos.

Thistledew Mon 18-Nov-13 14:27:10

Hi Kelper

How many days are you riding the 300k over?

I think the question of whether you should change bike depends on how fast you are intending to ride. If maintaining a fast-ish speed is important, then you would be better off with a road bike. You could get something lighter, and more aerodynamic than what you have. Having a road bike would also give you the option of different positions on the handlebars, which means that you are not stuck in just one position for the whole distance.

On the other hand, a 'pure' road bike as opposed to a tourer or cyclo-cross bike will put you in a more aggressive position (making you quicker) but it will also be more tiring for you to maintain that position if you are not used to it. You may find, if you have a decent hybrid Bianchi, that it would not actually be lighter than a tourer or cyclo-cross.

In terms of training, the best bit about cycling for me is being outside and watching the world go by as you train. I have only invested in a turbo as I have some very specific training goals and strength work that I want to focus on. If you can't get outside for long rides then a turbo is better than nothing, although I think they are more use for doing short but high intensity sessions, rather than long endurance rides. It will get your fitness up, but won't give you the psychological advantage of knowing you can ride for hours at a time.

Don't worry about not having a spare bike. So long as you keep a close eye on your rear tyre it is perfectly fine to use one bike for road and turbo. On the other hand, DH and I only paid £150 for the bike for our turbo.

kelper Mon 18-Nov-13 16:34:41

I love cycling outside, don't get me wrong, but I'm trying to work out how to do decent training rides when I only have about 3 hours spread out over the day.
I think the ride is over two days, it's from London to Stafford.
I've got a couple of old mountain style bikes I could put on a turbo, the logistics of bringing my bike in and out are just annoying!
I'm not sure what the other riders will be on, or the average speed they do is, so I guess I need to find out this info smile
Also make sure dh comes home from work at a sensible time, or stick my ds tag along back on my bike, and use ds for resistance training ;)
Thank you for your fab advice

Thistledew Mon 18-Nov-13 16:48:17

I definitely recommend using small children for resistance training. This year's Women's National Hill Climb Champion does a fair proportion of her training towing a trailer with her two year old in it! grin

stickygotstuck Mon 18-Nov-13 17:53:49

Welcome kelper.

I have been lugging DD around in her child seat and do not feel like I got any faster or fitter, but I must have done to some extent. I don't practice enough anyway. Having said that, I am convinced I have the strongest thighs in the West!

Squeamish I have taken a look at your blog. Looks interesting, not sure I have anything to contribute but will have a think.

Will take a look at the buff thingy, Crappy, thanks. And the tickets.

Well, the bike has not turned up yet sad, but there have been some very exciting developments today. I ordered it over a week ago, so I rang the shop and asked where is my bike. They've been short staffed and I'll have it tomorrow, they said. They then emailed later to say sorry but they made a mistake with stock and they don't actually have my size available in that colour.

I was getting increasingly annoyed by then but guess what! They offered to send this year's model for the same price! Am shock and smile grin. Am so pleased. Apparently, I'll have it on Wednesday. Fingers crossed!

prettybird Mon 18-Nov-13 22:18:56

If it makes you feel any more confident grin, I, as a 52 year old, did a 100km day trip just over a month ago on zero training ok, I had cycled about 16 miles in total during the previous 8 week - 2x4 mile return trips to a Pilates class hmmblush. So it is possible. Dh was brilliant and did a 2012 Chris Froome/2013 Richie Porte job and let me sit on his wheel the whole way there and back (we were in St Malo for a wedding and made a day trip to St Malo).

SuddenlySqueamish Wed 20-Nov-13 10:07:08

Thanks Sticky smile

You don't need anything specific to contribute, it is basically just narratives on people's lives and what is important to them. You can talk about your work, family, whatever basically. I just want to show that cyclists are people with a whole life story attached to them.

ssmile Thu 21-Nov-13 10:58:36

I have a cycle trainer cyops turbo which I used on maternity leave mostly when baby would nap during day but too small to go out on bike. I would just do half hr flat out listening to dance music smile will set it back up in winter as its gd to keep fitness ticking over if weather too bad to get outside. Not looked into training videos for it. It didn't seem to damage my tyre? My hubbie used it too it was 1min to swap bike on and off it.

Cycled to work Tuesday brrr 3c dark then rain started coming in at 45' angle oooh what fun!! Got blown home though its 18mile round trip.

Yey Sticky!

stickygotstuck Fri 22-Nov-13 15:16:06

Newsflash! My new shiny bike just arrived! grin grin

Unpackaged it in the garage. Looks great, if darker than it looks in the catalogue. I just need to rotate the handlebars, no idea how. There is no way I'm taking it outside and get it all muddy! wink

You lucky thing smile

Thistledew Fri 22-Nov-13 19:07:33

Yay Sticky! Nothing better than a new bike. grin

I am not too familiar with hybrid designs - on a road bike there would be a hole for an allen key in the top of the steerer that you would loosen to alter it. I can't see from the picture you posted whether this is the same, or whether there is some sort of lock nut at the top of the frame?

If I were you, unless you are confident about setting up a bike yourself, I would take it to your LBS to ask them to do a mini-service just to check that everything has been set up properly. You don't know the skills of the person who put it together - did they set it up, adjusting the brakes and indexing the gears properly, or was it just literally assembled?

I'm still looking for a new bike. I am very keen on the Scott Contessa Scale 720 which is £6.99. Or even the 710 which is £100 cheaper. However we can afford neither atm.

I keep stumbling across awesome 24" bikes which would do 7 year old ds very nicely. But we didn't really want to get him a bike until he turns 8 in the summer. And they're expensive too!

stickygotstuck Sun 24-Nov-13 16:33:27

Well, I haven't tried my bike yet. I worked yesterday and today I was too busy getting very cross with myself for having gone against my instinct and got it online sad. Nothing mayor, but you know when you really could kick yourself and just can't let it go? Well, exactly that.

As far I was told, it has been assembled and set up properly. Thistle, I have now established that it has just a big locknut on the stem, but I haven't got the massive spanner needed for the job. I could buy one (although they are expensive! I'm sure they used to come with the bike when I was young and I don't really know if I'd do the job right) or take the bike to an LBS. The trouble is, my LBS is the place I did not buy it from, but they know me because I went to have a look at the other models in the flesh. I feel so embarrased that I couldn't bring myself to taking the bike today blush.

Am I being silly? Would they hate me for turning up with my brand new bike I didn't buy from them? hmm They couldn't source last year's model for me, which is why I went online, but it's not my fault I've been given a free upgrade. Gosh, I am being stupid.

Notinthe, the Contessa looks good, but it is expensive!

Shminzo Sun 24-Nov-13 18:31:11

Hello - just saying erm, hello! Joining thread as I'm a mountain biker/general cyclist type person! Although missing riding at the moment due to first baby (8 weeks)...

sticky I work in a bike shop and people do that to us all the time! Unless you're confident mechanically please do take it in and get it checked - if they couldn't get you the bike you wanted they should understand why you went elsewhere, and on the bright side are still getting your business for servicing/repairs etc smile

Hi, Shminzo congratulations smile
sticky - think you just have to brazen it out. And explain if they say anything...

Went for a nice ride today. Only 3 and a bit miles but that is the furthest ds3 (only just turned 3) has managed without the Trailgator. And he didn't whinge once!

He had great fun on his new bike (which I built myself from scratch to blow my own trumpet!) and he found the 16 inch wheels rolled much more easily over the tree roots and rocks - he was even deliberately heading towards rocks to wheelie the front wheel over grin

Can I I join I cycle 8 miles a day to and from work every day (total 16 miles a day) as we don't have a car its my version of a car not sure how I'll take the english winter on a bike as I moved to england 5months ago (from scotland) so I hope temps doesn't drop too low as I struggle with the cold.

stickygotstuck Mon 25-Nov-13 13:26:06

Welcome Shminzo and pink! And congratulations on the baby, Shminzo! Have you started looking at child seats for your bike yet? wink

Notinthe, well done DS shock. No way DD would have coped at 3.
And did you just say you built his bike from scratch?? Now I am impressed! Please explain.

As for my bike situation, thanks all for the advice. My current idea is to get a spanner, tighten the stem (as it really is the only thing that needs doing), then take it for a first service in one month's time after I've 'run it in'.

Does that sound reasonable? Or am I just trying too hard to avoid the embarrassment, and I should really take it in even before riding it. It's sat there, all shiny and lovely in the garage, and it's even bright and sunny today sad.

Shminzo, I feel a bit better to hear you say it's common in your bike shop. That's the way I looked at it - I may not have bought the bike from my LBS but they will be my go-to maintenance people.

pink - good call! it was minus 5 up here this morning.

sticky does this help?http://www.llbean.com/customerService/assemblyInstructions/images/110408_Bike_Assembly_Threaded.pdf

If that helps then your plan sounds reasonable.

I did build his bike. I did a couple of bike maintenance courses through the local women's mtb club. Then I decided the best way to learn was to get stuck in. I bought a cheap second hand bike with an aluminium frame from ebay (£16!) and then bought bits and pieces to build it up. It was good fun and I've learnt a lot. I can try to put a photo on my profile.

Shminzo - if I've done anything glaringly obviously wrong break it to me gently! ;)

Right, have put a photo on my profile of ds3's bike. You can't really see it very well and ds3 gets in the way a bit.

Shminzo you're probably the perfect person to ask about bike racks for cars - what would you recommend/warn people to steer clear of? We have a Skoda Fabia estate.

stickygotstuck Tue 26-Nov-13 15:00:26

Ooh, good question, Champagne! Shminzo, you are going to have your hands full here! wink. I was considering the Saris (www.wiggle.co.uk/saris-bones-3-bike-rack/?lang=en&curr=GBP&dest=1&utm_source=pla&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=uk&kpid=5360069246), mainly because it's plastic and rubber so I'm hoping it won't scratch the car. But I hear it's no use with drop-frame bikes.

Notinthe thanks for the link. I have looked at that and similar instructions online but what I need to know is so basic it does not seem to be anywhere. But then I had a brainwave: I rang the online shop - doh! Unfortunately, I got sidetracked and didn's ask the right question so will take a look tomorrow and ring them again.

By the way, I cannot click on your name to take a look at the pic. Is it me? I can click on other people's names though.

Oops forgot I namechanged a while ago and didn't make a profile. I have clicked to make it public but it's not working sad

Working now? smile

stickygotstuck Tue 26-Nov-13 19:12:04

Yes, it is thanks!

The bike looks ace, and your DS looks very much the part, really enjoying himself. He looks very confident on the ramp too - can't believe he's only just 3 (or maybe that's because I am comparing him with DD who is a bit of a latish bloomer for some things). Give yourselves a clap!

Aw, thanks for looking. He is a bit of an early bloomer bike-wise. I think it comes from being a fourth child. I have done a wee video on you tube if anyone would like a look. Things to do Before You're Three

This will totally out me so I am off to change my name...

stickygotstuck Tue 26-Nov-13 20:42:25

Thanks, just took a peak!

What a great little film! He looks just too cute in his little balance bike*s*. I just can't get over how well he handles himself on two wheels. That boy has a cycling future I tell you! smile

Butteredsidedown Wed 27-Nov-13 11:28:05

Hello, can I join for advice?
I'm starting a new job in cheltenham and the parking is a nightmare. Was thinking of bunging my bike in the back of the car, parking where there is a free car park, and cycling the last 1.5 miles.

I'm a couch potato with ankle/knee problems. Biking is probably easier on my legs than walking...I think!

On my shopping list so far is a high vis jacket...hoping to get one off ebay for cheapness. I've bought some super lights already. Got a helmet, lock and rucksack. Um, what else? Gloves?

I'm a bit daunted by the traffic I have to admit.

ElaClaw Wed 27-Nov-13 12:03:14

Check Aldi/Lidl for cycling stuff like gloves and jacket - they sometiimes have them as specials.

Glad you liked it, sticky ;)

stickygotstuck Wed 27-Nov-13 12:05:26

Welcome, Butter.

Cycling is just great. Apart from getting you fit you get to be outdoors some of the time! But for a 1.5 mile trip I would think it would be quicker to walk, if you take into account having to negotiate traffic, taking the bike out of the boot and put on your gear.

As for essential equipment, yes to helmet, something high vis (a cheapy vest will do). Gloves are a must this time of year, and a waterproof jacket if you intend to cycle in all weathers. Lights also essential for after dark if you haven't got any. Have fun!

stickygotstuck Wed 27-Nov-13 12:10:36

Hi Ela wink

By the way, my bike is all sorted and ready to go.

Called the shop again, who were again very helpful and confirmed I only had to tighten the top stem bolt. In fact, the hardest bit was to adjust the adjustable handlebars. Not sure I've got them right yet, but I'll have to go for a short spin to find out. But work is getting in the way today sad!

Happy to get wait a few weeks for first service after bike has bedded in, as Ridgeback only use dealers that will send the bike fully assembled and tuned up. So, happy sticky smile.

ElaClaw Wed 27-Nov-13 12:41:13

smile

Butteredsidedown Wed 27-Nov-13 12:43:17

Thanks smile

I see your point about it being a faff getting stuff out of the car. But I have a Touran so I can just take the seats out and don't have to bother about taking a wheel off so it will fit.

Also, because my ankle is bad, anything I can do to take the weight off it will help. I'm looking at a potential ankle fusing in later life.

I'm driving an hour to get to cheltenham already. So hopefully this should cut down the time a bit... Maybe.

My brother inlaw suggested I get one of those kids scooters...!

Shminzo Wed 27-Nov-13 13:04:28

Apologies, but car racks not my area - can recommend Thule as a brand but there endeth my helpful advice in afraid sad

Notinthemiddle - li'l bike looks good to me! Forks are on the right way around at least ;)

Butteredsidedown - when I worked in Hereford I used to park on the edge of town then cycle the last 3 miles. Think it was actually quicker then driving! Was nervous of traffic initially but after a couple of times got used to it and loved it, best part of the day smile Lights and reflective clothing a must. Waterproofs and mudguards if cycling all weathers. Cycling in traffic - be assertive, hold a good road position, never assume a driver has seen you! Have fun smile

Shminzo Wed 27-Nov-13 13:11:07

...by reflective I mean high-vis! Although reflective is as important as lights for cycling in the dark IMHO. Car lights tend to drown out the humble average bike light Personally would have lights on even in daylight for cycling in town.

Butteredsidedown Wed 27-Nov-13 13:56:25

Yep, I'm going for a sexy yellow waterproof. I've promised myself I'll wear my helmet too even if I get helmet head. I'd rather have bad hair than a head injury.

Any ideas where would be a good place to ask about racks, Shminzo? bike shop or garage?

sticky someone else said Saris Bones to me - anyone on here used one?

ElaClaw Wed 27-Nov-13 16:46:19

I have a Thule 9708 HangOn 4-Bike Towball Rack

It is good apart from there isn't really space for 4 bikes. What sort of bike rack are you looking for?

Hi ElaClaw I'm looking for one for occasional, short-distance use, ideally that doesn't require me having a tow-bar put on or buying a light-board as well!

ElaClaw Thu 28-Nov-13 21:04:46

Randomly I parked beside a car today and it had a Saris Bones rack on. Looked good. You could try searching on bike forums (like bikeradar) for suggestions smile

Thistledew Thu 28-Nov-13 22:53:40

Hi Blue

I have one like this fairly basic one from Halfords. It is easy enough to use and does the job, but it does mean that you can't get into the boot once it is on.

Hi Thistle as it's only for occasional use, getting into the boot probably isn't a huge issue - thanks.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 30-Nov-13 22:44:04

I've got a Saris Bones and its amazing, really easy o use.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 30-Nov-13 22:46:46

I can have it ready to put bikes on within 30 secs. Putting the bikes on takes another minute max. Mine is a saris bones 3 and dh can put 3 bikes on it ok. I've only ever needed to put 2 on it and not sure I might struggle squeezing three on it.

ElaClaw Sat 30-Nov-13 22:56:12

Sounds good. Mine is easy to put on but getting the bikes on is a bit of a bugger.

I know a few of you like to bike around the Aviemore area. Can anyone recommend a short (less than five miles ) and fairly flat and easy bike ride to do with the kids. Fairly Smooth paths are best for the three year old.

It's hard because seven year old ds likes technical single track and gets a bit bored with what ds3 can manage.

ElaClaw Sun 01-Dec-13 17:32:19

In the end we went from Glenmore to the Green Lochan. Dh decided to come too and he has no bike at the moment so we walked and the two little boys cycled.

It was lovely smile

That's a great ad Viva - will look into both - thank you, both.

stickygotstuck Mon 02-Dec-13 13:05:38

Viva, does the Saris Bones work OK with drop-frame bikes? I've heard it's no good for those and you either need some kind of adaptor bar or it's just unstable.

Ela your walk/cycle sounds great.

DD got her bike this weekend. She was not really in the mood for it, more interested in the party after (in hindsight, it probably wasn't such a good idea to do both things on the same day). I think we'll have to go gently about it, as she is moving straight from her balance bike to a 20inch bike.
I must look into rotating the handlebar so it's closer to her. The shop didn't think it was a good idea, but the manufacturer's site says it can be done if needed.

Meanwhile, I still haven't had a chance to test mine, will you believe?!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 02-Dec-13 13:13:22

Dd has a drop frame bike and it worked ok kind of, was at a funny angle. But secure enough. I did buy the special beam for the bike which is very easy to fit, think saris sell it direct. Cost me £20.

ElaClaw Mon 02-Dec-13 15:15:49

sticky, whch bike did you get your dd again?

stickygotstuck Mon 02-Dec-13 16:31:19

Thanks Viva, I think that's the one I'll go for.

Ela, DD has a Frog bike.

ElaClaw Mon 02-Dec-13 20:13:49

Frog bikes sounds like a good choice (I do remember now!) smile

JustineF Thu 12-Dec-13 12:16:28

Hi all, London Cycling Campaign are offering free bike lights for the first 20 members who sign up today. It's just been put on Twitter

ElaClaw Fri 27-Dec-13 20:10:12

I got a new bike :D:D My lovely dh had been squirreling away money and got me the Scott Contessa Scale 720. It is awesome :D

ElaClaw Fri 27-Dec-13 20:40:00

Oops meant gringrin and possibly even fgrin

I want to go out and ride my bike! Unfortunately dh is back to work tomorrow so away for two weeks, so will only be able to ride with the kids.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 27-Dec-13 20:44:36

Congrats on the new bike, hope you get to ride it soon.

I did 5 miles on my trike on Xmas day, still kills me....its such hard work.

Then did 18 miles yesterday on my normal bike. Was out with friends and we hit a patch of black ice. Guy infront of me went down hard. I managed to clip out and jump off as my bike started going down. Was just over the brow of a blind bridge and we were skidding about on the road as I panicked that a car was coming! So be careful out there!

Luckily no injuries to people or bikes.....apart from a sore arse!

Hoping to get out tomorrow on the trike.

ElaClaw Sat 28-Dec-13 15:41:37

Yikes, sounds scary! Hope you're out doing more miles on the trike. Went out for a wee ride with the youngest kids (7 &3). Just went for a short while in the woods and found a nice bit of single track and pushed up and zoomed down several times...

VivaLeBeaver Sat 28-Dec-13 18:55:16

Got 8 miles done on the trike today. Can't wait for better weather as the forecast for the next few days looks pants.

ElaClaw Sun 29-Dec-13 11:44:09

Well done. We have beautiful weather today smile Even better dh unexpectedly back, his trip is delayed til after new year grin

Taking to boys to a localish bike skills park today grin

ssmile Mon 30-Dec-13 17:58:25

New bike sounds great ella. Black ice very scary viva
I nearly skidded off my bike on ice yesterday at 11am. I thought it all be melted by then as bike computer was reading 7c was extra scary as had my toddler on back in bike seat! Made me nervous for a couple miles after. My dh was tagging our eldest DD, luckily I shouted out to slow down so they were ok. Was nice to have a good family ride in the sunshine we did 9miles In total. The toddler was asleep dead weight for last mile it was enough for her smile
I hope we get a few more dry low wind, days before kids go back to school and we can get some more rides in.

nightshade1 Mon 30-Dec-13 22:12:58

Thistledew how are you getting on with the turbo trainer ive just been looking at that model on wiggle and debating ordering it.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 30-Dec-13 22:41:29

Did anyone see that programme on the TV the other night about setting the cycling speed record. Think he did 110mph.

Bloke was on a turbo trainer with Laura Trott advising him as part of his training. She said you need to go flat out on a turbo trainer for 20secs, slow it down for 20secs and repeat x6. She reckons it improves/builds fast twitch muscles. That's less than five mins of training. I'm tempted to drag my trainer out from under the sofa. grin

ElaClaw Tue 31-Dec-13 08:51:38

Guy Martin programme was awesome. 5 minutes of training sounds about right ;)

ssmile Wed 01-Jan-14 08:22:00

We watched the guy Martin prog last night on catch up. Was good and made me think I need to get our turbo trainer set up again post our house move smile I found I used it most when it was set up ready to go in our garage and I could jump on for 20-30mins unplanned bursts when the kids were occupied or baby asleep in buggy (wheeled in garage with me). Ive really missed my cycling last 3wks I've hardly done anything what with awful wet n windy weather n Xmas build up, and my body is stiff and gained 4lbs. So will venture in garage today set if I can make space to set it up clear out some boxes;)

ssmile Wed 01-Jan-14 17:41:42

Just did half hour hard work out on the cycle trainer grin tried out the 20sec fast 20sec normal and after 6mins I was dripping (had done 5min warm up 1st). I carried on 20sec fast and 40sec normal for 20mins and it felt like a good work out. I put my mobile phone stopwatch on the floor and just left it running where I could see it. Anyone else got good work out tips for the cycle trainer?

ElaClaw Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:15

Well done smile

I went out for my first proper ride on my new bike (first proper ride a very many months). Did almost 10 miles with a lot of up! Knackered now!

nightshade1 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:08:18

those of you with turbo trainers, how do you get on with them? any recommendations?

I broke my wrist crashing my mountain bike into a tree in the spring and although the bones have healed ive got nerve damage and trouble with grip in that hand still (which is being treated but slow old road) I don't feel safe riding my bike out and about yet but really really miss my bike and the fitness I had when I was riding properly. im thinking this may be the way forwards instead of wasting £5 a week on 1 wattbike class which although i enjoy it doesn't really do much for me fitness wise (but better than nothing I suppose)

ssmile Sat 04-Jan-14 14:24:32

I've got a cyclops turbo trainer. Got it from wiggle 2years ago was about £160 inc the stand for the front wheel which is worth it. It's paid for itself in me not joining the gym at £33 a month and my DH used it a it too. I had it for a specific goal and set it up in my garage so it was quickly accessible. I couldn't cycle with a new born baby so I used it lots for the six months in winter until she was big enough to go on the back of my bike. It's definitely a winter trainer for us. I'd rather be outside but it's a good alternative when your short on time and have the motivation to use it. I have also set it up in our kitchen when it was too cold to be in the garage in the snow grin. At the time the cyclops ones were holding their value on eBay so I figured it was worth a punt. I can also cycle with music on full wack which I never do when on the road.

nightshade1 Sun 05-Jan-14 19:39:13

thanks ssmile
I think it may be a new year present for myself - its that or a gym membership. hmm

ssmile Tue 07-Jan-14 17:47:56

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-crono-fluid-elastogel-trainer/
This is the trainer I got two years ago with a riser block and it's good to see it's holding its value! Sorry it wasn't a cycleops not sure where I got that from? Mummy brain...anyway it's been good and worth the money.
I've been on it again today squeezed in half before collected girls after work but gosh after first day back at work I felt sick doing the 20sec blasts they definitely work!

KouignAmann Wed 08-Jan-14 22:56:34

Just remembered this thread after ages away and a name change!
I ordered a Cyclops fluid turbo trainer yesterday to help me speed up on the hills a bit. I do lots of long distance stuff but I am really slow on the steep bits. I need to speed up for Ride London 100!
It is so frustrating seeing how quick the youngsters are and how slowly I am improving. I am going to see a sports physio on Friday to have my leg muscles checked as I think my right leg is weak.

Anyone else doing the Ride?

Thistledew Wed 15-Jan-14 17:08:35

Hi nightshade1 and others considering a turbo.

I am getting on well with the Tacx. It has a good smooth action once you get it turning. I would perhaps pay more for a slightly better model if I had to use it indoors as it is not the quietest I have heard. It seems to find a fantastic vibration at around 80-85 rpm, which sounds like a small plane taking off, but that is just good incentive to keep my cadence up!

DH has found that he needs to put the bike in the top gear and on maximum resistance to work at maximum effort, but to be fair, the gear ratio on the bike we have sat on it is quite gentle, so it would be easy enough just to put a bigger chain ring on if we needed more resistance.

I have found it quite advantageous having set up in the shed. I start off with a long sleeve jersey on, but by the time I have done a warm up I am down to a short sleeve jersey and short shorts, even if it is freezing outside!

I am also really happy with the Sufferfest videos. They aren't much more than fancy interval training sessions, but I find them really motivating to work hard and complete a session properly.

I have to say that I have been very cautious about going out on the bike recently with all the ice and flooding. It is nearly a year since my bad crash and so I'm quite happy to play it safe and do a turbo session instead.

UniS Mon 20-Jan-14 17:25:20

hello pedlar s. I just found this thread again.

news from me- I passed my level 2 cycle coach qualifications. hurrah.
news from the boy- he won a race. cyclo cross u8. he had placed 2nd or 3 rd before but this was his first win.

nightshade1 Wed 22-Jan-14 13:34:12

well it arrived yesterday and ive just done my first session............and im pooped I think we can safely say my fitness levels have reached zero. ah well at least the only way is up I suppose.

Misssss Sun 26-Jan-14 08:17:21

Hello cyclists! I finally learned to rude a bike yesterday. I'm 30 years old and was ashamed that I hadn't learned. I now have a developing addiction and a very sore fanjo.

I went the bike right bike ability training and they lent me a bike called a bronx savannah which I loved. I might get one of these. Can anyone experienced tell me if this is any good. My brother has lent me his carrera crossfire mountain bike which needs a new wheel so I'll take that in to be sorted too.

I had one issue, shoes. I wore my gym trainers but because it was wet my feet kept slipping off the pedals. Are there any better shoes I could wear? Thank you!

UniS Sun 26-Jan-14 10:41:01

welcome to the club miss. good fun isn't it.
shoes - if your gym trainers are slipping have you got any out door trainers with a bit of grip to the sole that you could try?

Misssss Sun 26-Jan-14 14:58:11

Thanks Unis! I adored it! That's a good idea, I'll try my walking shoes next time.

My fanjo and surrounding areas are killing me though. Are those padded shorts any good? Can't wait to get out on the bike again!

UniS Sun 26-Jan-14 18:56:03

padded shorts are most definitely worth it. won't salve EVERY ache , some of it will just be because your not used to using those muscles or sitting on a saddle that shape YET. BUt padded shorts will make life more comfy in the long run. you don;t wear knickers under them, they are a base layer with no seams in nasty places as well as being padded.

stickygotstuck Mon 27-Jan-14 23:19:32

Hello again, fellow cyclists! And welcome to the new ones [waves]

I haven't been here for a while. I was away after Christmas, and after that I've had the most monumental bronchitis for 3 weeks now, so I haven't got a lot of cycling done lately. Although, I did hire a MTB while I was away and made the most of the nice weather and wonderful rocky (mud-free!) terrain. I even managed to get lost, turning a one hour ride in a three-and-a-half hour expedition blush

After all the agonising over which bike to get, I have used my new bike a grand total of 4 times since I got it back in November sad. What I have managed to do is get the right height for the saddle, but the handlebars still need tweaking. I've noticed that my hands go even more numb than before, and I am wondering if it's because the grips on the new Velocity are made of a harder plastic than my old MTB's.

Just a random question to those of you with new/newish bikes [aside: Ela, congrats on the new Contessa, what a great present, well done Mr Ela!] - do you keep your old bikes too? I am not sure whether to give away my old MTB or keep it. I would like it as a backup, but the garage is packed with various bits of rubbish, plus 3 adult bikes and 2 child bikes and we simply cannot get into it anymore!

Hoping normal breathing is restored sometime this week so I can get out there again grin.

LentilHearted Tue 28-Jan-14 20:06:36

Hello I ride an 80's mixte racer, it's my transportation, I ride to work [10 miles] shopping daily ish 4 miles each way, I have panniers and a rucksack and 27 inch wheels, god, the bike can take some hefty weight abuse, I buy bottles of water and fruit n veg, then I really leg it home, I love my old bike, it is ace smileplus I never wear lycra, young lads overtake me but I don't care any more, I love riding my bike too much.

HowGoodIsThat Tue 28-Jan-14 20:13:47

<waves>

Hello! Having cycled my heavy old style hybrid for years and towing small kids in trailers, both my girls are solo cyclists so I have decided that this year, I am aiming high.

I have splashed out on a Giant TCR Advanced (4th hand but still in good nick) and had a bike-fit. I have made the move to cleats and have signed up for 4 big sportives - the first of which is in May. Gulp.

I had planned to get out over the weekend but the weather was so atrocious we failed.

However, I need to get out and training - the 8 mile commute to the station once a week won't get me to the fitness level I am going to need!
Onwards!

ssmile Tue 28-Jan-14 21:33:20

Ooh lots of new bikes about I have finally splashed out to get a new bike smile comes tomorrow hopefully it's a specialized vita. My current bike is 18yrs old grin mtv with road tyres but everything is slowly breaking. But now I will have to get a decent bike lock. Has anyone got good recommendations lightweight but not too costly?

ElaClaw Fri 31-Jan-14 20:24:40

FOund thread again so marking my place. Welcome newbies and congrats UniS and mini UniS

stickygotstuck Sun 02-Feb-14 14:09:43

So, is anybody going to update us on how they are getting on with their new bikes? Or are you all just too busy enjoying them to come and tell us?
grin

ElaClaw Sun 02-Feb-14 18:27:56

Haven't been out for a while, but planning a ride next week smile

UniS Sun 02-Feb-14 18:39:27

project for this week is moving my brake levers/ hoods on the drop-bars. then trying out the new position before re taping the bars.
on Friday I ran a coaching session in the piddling rain on starts and cornering, then was assistant coach for session on sat am in intermitant heavy showers on stats, sprints and cornering. Then to conclude was assistant coach for an adults intro to coaching session on, wait for it, starts, group riding and - of course- cornering. I think I have those coaching points off pat now.

ElaClaw Tue 04-Feb-14 19:33:32

That reminds me - I keep meaning to fiddle with my brake postition on myu new mtb.

Am I right in thinking it is cyclocross you/your kids do, UniS? I think 7 year old ds would love it.

UniS Tue 04-Feb-14 23:06:28

Cyclocross - both DS and I, Road ( closes circuit - just DS, novice mountain bike - just DS.

At 7 its not important what kind of racing they do so long as they enjoy riding their bike. Boy has so far enjoyed every kind of bike racing he has tried. If you 7 yr old has a mountain bike then cross or mtb would seem like good ones to try first. Closed circuit road racing works better with a smooth tyred bike, but in Under 8s you will see mountain bikes and bmxs as well. Look out for go-ride or go-race events, these are entry level events that don't cost much to enter and are not aimed at kids who already compete as a high level.

ElaClaw Wed 05-Feb-14 11:21:39

He does go to a mtb club and has done a couple of dirt crit races which he really enjoys. Will will have to be a bit more serious this year as he will be one of the older ones in the Under 8s - last year we actually only made it to one race and he didn't finish due to a mashed derailleur.

We also went to an opening day of a closed road circuit http://www.highlandcycleabilitycentre.com/ on his mtb and he bashed out 5 miles by himself! He would also love to do bmx racing but we don't have a bmx track up here.

HowGoodIsThat Sun 09-Feb-14 08:20:01

Managed 60km yesterday but am a bit stiff this morning. It was glorious, sunny and not too windy (we chose the route quite carefully!). Only fell off once (still getting used to cleats).

I am hoping to get out for a shorter ride this morning but the rain is a bit offputting.

ElaClaw Sun 09-Feb-14 19:25:56

60km! Well done smile

HowGoodIsThat Sun 09-Feb-14 21:43:07

Thank you! And another 30km this morning but the wind was fierce. If you can get out and bike in this weather, anything else is easy!

And for the first time, I didn't fall off!

stickygotstuck Mon 10-Feb-14 15:07:46

Ladies, I'm in a massive rush but just had to tell you - I have just taken delivery of two pairs of padded cycling shorts (and one pair of tights). After much deliberation, pantless riding here I come! grin

Don't want to spend a fortune at the moment so ordered some cheap ones (Muddy Fox) and mid-range (MFX Purebreed) ones from Sports Direct. Any experience of either? I do wish they didn't come with the obligatory shocking pink bits. Almost ordeded the ones with the red bits but they were mens' envy.

HowGood, that's good going! I can't even manage half fo that at the moment.

ElaClaw Mon 10-Feb-14 20:03:25

hooray grin

UniS Sun 16-Feb-14 23:04:19

Only got one wet foot each cycling through a BIG puddle on our way to take tea at the local castle. Actually boy didn't even get wet socks as his trainers are waterproof, but DH and I were both wearing "proper" cycling shoes which are largely mesh uppers.
Was good to be out on my bike, feeling very unfit tho as the boy was dropping me on every hill .

KouignAmann Sun 16-Feb-14 23:40:49

UniS you could try SealSkin waterproof socks in your trainers. I find when I am out on the MTB they are brilliant as even if you step in a puddle your feet stay dry.

I have been getting out twice a week since New Year and also lost 6kg so today I rode 30 miles and floated up the hills. It felt brilliant and inspired me so I am doing two 30 mile rides next weekend! At last my fitness is coming up and I am not last in the group smile

Has anyone else found the floods in their way out cycling? I went through two foot of water last week...

KouignAmann Sun 16-Feb-14 23:44:08

HowGood I started on cleats a year ago and you have me realise that I have stopped falling off now. The gradual improvements are so slow I don't notice them but sometimes I pedal up a hill that last year I walked up and it makes me smile. It is so nice to feel I am becoming a proper cyclist and not an embarrassment. It is all about not being impatient and just keeping on going out on the bike.

UniS Mon 17-Feb-14 23:13:43

We even have a pair of sealskinz, both DH and I wear them on occasion and this time we were both riding so neither of us wore them IYSWIM.

stickygotstuck Sun 23-Feb-14 21:01:30

Hello all. No bad flooding here, but the wind! Haven't been out much thus week, going stir crazy - the half term didn't help either.

Can I just say, big thumbs down to the padded (kknickerless) tights. Padding pointless and uncomfortable. I'll have a go with non padded tights and no knickers next time.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 23-Feb-14 21:06:23

I couldn't live without padded tights. First ones I ever got were Muddy Fox and I still wear them, they're not as good as my more expensive ones but for me they still do the job fine. My arse would be well sore without padding.

Johnogroats Sun 23-Feb-14 21:21:08

Hello all.

Can I ask if anyone is doing the Surrey 100 in august? I am... Having been signed up by DH who didn't get a place. I am a novice, and have a lot of training to do. Have started cycling to work about 45 mins away and intend to do this 3 times a week. Also planning to do some longer rides at weekends. It will be a challenge!

UniS Mon 24-Feb-14 13:36:27

feeling very unfit. just went out to see what the new bit of the "granite way" cycle path was like. About 40km later I'm shattered. Lunch becons.

UniS Tue 25-Feb-14 13:49:10

just got hailed on putting bike on roof of car. bah humbug. managed to pick up 3 trailers loads of logs first , hurrah.

stickygotstuck Wed 26-Feb-14 17:17:56

grin UniS:"About 40km later I'm shattered" grin. There's no hope for some of us then!

John, I'm up North so no Surrey 100 for me. Is that 100km??

Going back to my new cycling shorts obsession if I may blush, can anybody tell me what the difference between running and cycling tights really is? It sounds stupid, but I have been going around a few sports shops and assumed that womens' non-padded cycling shorts have a much larger piece of fabric on the crotch (where the padding would go). Have I dreamt this up, or are they specially rare?? I got some yesterday and have had to return them after close examination at home, as they are covered in seams just where they shouldn't IYSWIM

UniS Wed 26-Feb-14 19:46:45

sticky- sounds like you bought cycle style shorts. rubbish aren't they.
shattered after 40km was not good news, I have let things slide a bit over the winter, mostly things like cake and chocolate sliding towards me. Could really do with being a bit lighter too as it would be easier to get 75 kg up a hill than 85 surely.

stickygotstuck Wed 26-Feb-14 20:37:45

I think you are right about the short, UniS. I do have a pair of unpadded winter tights with the larger crotch piece (just checked!) so at least now I know they exist. It just seems difficult to find them.

From now on, I think I'll call the winter months 'the cake slide' - love it! Mind you, my level of fitness is such that I wouldn't notice the difference much, sadly. But you just made me realise that I don't really know how much ground I cover in a ride. I'll try and work it out the next time - if only to get depressed.

My LBS mentioned the other day that there is a new women's cycling club starting this spring. Have been dithering over whether to join. Never been in a club before. Would any of you recommend it? Bearing in mind I am a purely fitness/recreational rider.

ElaClaw Thu 27-Feb-14 20:18:20

The mountain bike clothes thing I don't understand is they all wear baggy shorts with long tight trousers underneath. What purpose does each layer have?

I can't be a proper mtbiker until I know this...

UniS Thu 27-Feb-14 23:05:12

tight layer with appropriate padding is the base layer for comfort, the baggy layer is tougher fabric to protect the base layer from damage from branches, crashes etc. And coz baggy is cooler looking than Lycra.

my opinion on bike clubs is that you join if there is a benefit to you in joining. I joined because I wanted to do coach training and the club were willing to give me a bursary towards the cost. I've done a few club social rides but mostly I ride alone.

ElaClaw Fri 28-Feb-14 07:17:27

Thanks. Need to get myself a pair of baggy shorts then grin

UniS Tue 04-Mar-14 12:10:43

managed another Monday morning ride , tho it was actually on tuesday as twas piddling down all day Monday. Hurrah. 20 km and a stop for a cuppa and biscuit at a friends farm. Nice to have a catch up chat with out the kids needing refereeing.

ssmile Tue 04-Mar-14 19:53:40

I had to drag my weary legs on ride to work this morning but made it in good time and cycled home again :-) I did it last Wednesday too. My goal is once a week commute at mo and twice a week once weather gets a bit better. It's about 20mile round trip but SO many potholes have appeared since Dec when I stopped. Hoping to wean myself off the winter cake n biscuit diet and back onto endomorphines again grin cycled at weekend too but only 12miles my legs feeling rather stiff at mo.

PansPeloton Sun 09-Mar-14 12:03:35

Any ideas on a front derailleur prob please?? The mechanism often refuses to take the chain onto the higher chain ring (of two) and either doesn't jump it, or the chain falls off altogether. The finest minds at the local Halfords have no solution, or explanation after tinkering and adjusting for about 45 mins.
It's a bit hilly where I live (Peaks) so I need both chain rings use, and every day as I do about 100 miles per week to work.

MeanwhileHighAboveTheField Mon 10-Mar-14 15:09:37

Sorry can't help with front derailleur, haven't got that far with my mechanical skills yet!

PansPeloton Mon 10-Mar-14 19:38:36

oh no worries! Halford boys appear to have 'fixed it' so now it never goes onto the higher ring! Cheers lads!grin
I'll take it off to another independent shop in town who may help. Halfords said "it's temperamental"...hmm

Velorider Sat 15-Mar-14 08:01:23

Hi all! I just started a thread for anyone who is interested in joining me to do the rapha Women's 100 in July. Doesn't matter where you live! Posting here for fellow cyclists who may like to have a look and a blether about training etc.

womens 100

Thistledew Tue 18-Mar-14 10:21:09

Hello all.

I've not signed in for a while, but it is lovely to hear what everyone else has been up to.

I had my first decent ride of the year at the weekend - I have been out on a fair number of 40 mile trips, but the weather was so good I went out with my cycling club for a 70 miler!

I was pretty tired by the end of it, but bizarrely, apart from a bit of stiffness in my lower back, the only place I have a real ache is in my jaw! confused shock confused

I obviously wasn't cycling quick enough as I had enough breath to do lots of talking!

A few weeks ago, DH and I took our cross bikes off road on the gravel paths around our local park. It was so much fun, and great to ride the bikes as they are designed to be used, rather than just as commuter bikes.

I bought DH a bike fit for his birthday and he was so impressed with the difference it made that he bought me one in return. I just need to book an afternoon out of work to go and have it done, and will report back.

pootlebug Tue 25-Mar-14 13:29:16

Hello! <waves>

I just sneaked in here feeling a bit of a fraud. I am training for some triathlons but as things stand bike is definitely my weakest leg....not so good when it is by far the longest leg time-wise.

I wondered if you could help me with some training ideas. Cycling 40km isn't a problem; cycling 40km at any kind of decent pace is much more of one.

I have a road bike, a gym membership (can do some Spin classes or go on the Watt Bikes in the gym), and a heavy hybrid with a child seat on the back. I have limited time due to small children - so can train early in the morning before DH goes to work, and try to train early at the weekends before everyone is up so as not to take up too much family time. I could take youngest out on the bike seat while the other two are at school. At the moment I usually do:
- Spin class Tuesday a.m
- 40-50km ride on a weekend morning
- Another session of around an hour early one morning - either in the gym on a Watt Bike or outdoors.

Any suggestions for how to train on the longer ride and gym session / shorter ride to make the best out of the limited time available? I need to increase speed and also endurance to keep going at speed iyswim. I could at a push fit one more hour-long session in too....

Thistledew Tue 25-Mar-14 23:26:19

Hi pootle. I am gearing up for my second season of triathlon, although cycling is by far my strongest leg. I'm guessing that you are aiming for Olympic distance tri if you are talking 40km bike sections? Kudos to you! I just did sprint last year, although I have half an eye for an Olympic distance later in the year, maybe.

What do you think is your weakness? Speed on the bike is down to the watts you can generate in your legs and your cardio-vascular fitness to sustain it. I am guessing that your fitness must be pretty reasonable if you are aiming for a full distance tri, so watts is the issue?

Firstly, have a look at your technique and bike set up. Is your bike set up to put you in a good aero position? Do you use aero bars? Is your seat at the right height and cleats (if you use them) in the right position?

Then have a look at your pedalling technique. Are you pedalling in a good cadence (pedal revolutions per minute) of 90 -100 on the flat? Are you simply pushing down on the pedals or could you pedal more efficiently by pulling your foot through the bottom of the stroke (imagine you are scraping something off your shoe)?

If it is simply a matter of power in your legs, then you could do some gym work to build muscle, or even do sets of squats at home.

Otherwise, just try to use your time on the bike efficiently. Work out some interval training sessions so you learn to really push yourself and work hard on the bike.

Hope this helps!

pootlebug Thu 27-Mar-14 18:01:17

Hi Thistledew, thank you for your detailed post.

Yes, I am aiming for Olympic triathlon (I have a Sprint to do first). Which is perhaps mad given that I have only ever done super-sprint before, and that was 12 years ago and pre kids. But I learnt to swim front crawl and got all enthusiastic that it meant I could do longer triathlons....

One thing that leapt out at me reading your post was the cadence thing. I have just put a cadence monitor on my bike and my cadence is considerably too low. So I think I struggle to maintain speed because I am in a higher gear, turning pedals too slowly, but don't have the strength/power in my legs to maintain the power for very long iyswim?

I am trying to improve my pedal stroke. The Watt Bike helps as it shows how much power you put into each bit of the stroke in a diagram with each pedal stroke. It's still something I have to consciously think about though; it's not automatic.

Can I ask a couple of questions on interval training - should I be aiming to just speed up cadence for the hard bits, or to up the gear, or both? And what is good in terms of how long to go hard out and how long to recover?

I will try and fit in some squats/weights as my legs are weedy and they might help I think.

ssmile Sat 26-Apr-14 15:06:58

How's everyone doing out on their bikes in the lighter weather? I've managed a total of 45miles so far this week and I'm hoping to get out and do 20miles tom if the weather allows. My goal is 60-70miles a week slowly building up to 100 over the next 8wks. It was either strong winds today or less wind tom and rain so I'm hoping tom be more cycle able smile.

I'm After some advice on what people wear cycling in the rain? I get wet either from rain or sweat inside a coat so can't decide if I just need to assume I will get soaked and just need to use layers to keep warm or whether there is any gear worth investing in?

HowGoodIsThat Sun 27-Apr-14 17:26:56

I did 75km yesterday with 1200m of climbs, averaging a shade under 20km per hour. <excited about being new to Strava and having actual stats>

Pulled my left calf muscle and only just made it home but given that this time last year, the most I could ride was about 10 miles, I am really chuffed.

Three weeks until my first sportive which is short but hilly with 4 Cat 4 climbs. I am refusing to think about that too hard....

I started off in heavy rain yesterday and had my thick commuting hi-viz ALtura jacket on and was very grateful for both waterproof and windproof properties. However, 2 hours later when the sun finally broke through, I was rather uncomfy. I think I shall shop around for a lightweight waterproof that can scrumple up small and go on the back pocket of my jersey.

HowGoodIsThat Sun 27-Apr-14 17:34:02

Pootlebug I have been doing some rudimentary cadence work. Basically move to a higher gear until you can comfortably turn as close to 90rpm as you can. For a few weeks I picked routes where I could concentrate on building up how long I could sustain that 90rpm. As your legs get stronger, you'll be able to turn a slightly lower gear but maintain the cadence. And that's it really.

Use hills to practice changing gear but maintaining cadence - i.e., use the gears to respond to the change in gradient rather than making your legs work harder. If you are spinning properly, you are working with your glutes and cardio-vascular system. When you are grinding a big gear, its all thighs and muscle and hard work.

I am a total newbie to it really but this was how I made sense of it all! My average speed has gone up from around 15km to 20km in the last 4 months (although cleating has also helped that!)

Pipkinhartley Mon 28-Apr-14 22:09:59

Hello HGIT, (and wave to Ssmile!) don't know if you've had a look at the Rapha 100 challenge thread on here? There's a few familiar names from this thread over there as we are hoping to take part in the global event. (except where people have already got things planned on that day, but still good to see how training is going generally)

A few of us are also following each other on strava and completely agree, it's great to be able to measure your progress.

Good luck with your sportive, especially with those climbs! That's the area I really need to work at. I've only done a couple myself. One last October and one yesterday and looking forward to next Sunday as another planned. (Gets a bit addictive!) also hope your calf is sorted and not playing you up.

pootlebug Tue 29-Apr-14 16:43:02

Counter-intuitively with the nicer weather I've actually just started spending more time on the Watt Bike in the gym. I have a load of Sufferfest videos and one of their triathlon training plans and hopefully that should help strengthen my legs. Because my triathlon cycle legs are only either 20km or 40km I really really need to up the speed. I look a total wally dripping with sweat in the corner of the gym but I'm guessing it must be doing me good given how much it hurts!

I am picking up my new-to-me (ebay) triathlon bike tomorrow and I am very very excited!!!!

HowGoodIsThat Tue 29-Apr-14 21:23:56

<waves at Pipkin>

I have tentatively signed up for the Rapha 100 challenge with a local club. They have not yet posted the route so I am holding back until I see how flat (or not) it is. I am slowly feeling more confident about that kind of distance but only over rolling terrain - and we have some big hills round here. I will see if I can find you all.

I am doing lots of calf stretching - it seems to be on the mend. More big rides planned for the holiday weekend so it needs to be well.

Pipkinhartley Wed 30-Apr-14 08:22:19

Hi Pootle, watt bike training regime sounds good! I'll probably give the sufferfest DVDs a try later on in the year when it's back to the turbo trainer. And let us know about the new bike!

HGIT, go for the Rapha challenge! Your 75k with some decent climbing puts you in good stead. Strava are happy to accept your own upload as proof of completion so not necessary to wait on a route designed by someone else - although it is nice to get out as a group. (PM if you want to swap strava details)

Glad to hear calf is on the mend. Like you, looking forward to a couple of decent rides this weekend. Will probably have a day of on Saturday before sportive on Sunday but intend to get out again on Monday. (Did this after last Sundays sportive and it eased muscles of nicely.) Also hoping to get a couple of track sessions in this week (tonight and Friday.) lucky to live close to Mallory Park who have recently opened up for cycling track nights - had my first go ever last Wednesday and loved it!

ssmile Fri 02-May-14 21:38:04

HGIT I tried working out my cadence using the simple count "how many times my knee comes up and double it technique" I was averaging 65-70 so I got it upto 90 with some effort and it made my legs ache a lot!! I did get my average speed up a little over my 45min ride to work though smile. I've done two cycles to work this week and a couple of shorter rides around town bringing my total miles up to 55 this wk, hoping to do some more tomorrow as my goal was 70miles this week. It's not a lot by some of you guys stds but a few weeks ago I was only doing 20miles in a week so I'm pleased I'm building up my fitness more.

Hope you can all get some good bank holiday rides in smile

HowGoodIsThat Sat 03-May-14 10:00:51

I am doing a short 30km ride tomorrow with my just-starting-cycling friends so I am aiming to do the whole ride in as high a cadence as possible. Then Monday is set aside for a 80-90km training ride. Only three weeks til my first Sportive. <lalalala>

ssmile you are certainly getting the miles in!

LightsOnNotIn Sat 10-May-14 16:28:17

Hi. I apologise if this is not the place for a question like this, but here goes: I have just bought my son an Islabike. £200. I don't live in an area where theft is rife, but I am a little worried about the possibility. I really want to cycle to school with my son when he starts school in September. What are my options for security? I've read that a Kryptonite mini D lock is good, or should I somehow hook the bike onto the back of my bike and bring it home every morning, then take it back in the afternoon? (using a trail gator bar). Would it be quick/easy to attach and detach a trail gator bar twice each day?

ssmile Sun 11-May-14 18:24:22

Lights have you tried talking to the school or other parents who have kids there and cycle? Find out what other parents do, ask someone in the PTfA if bike thefts are common? My DDs school has a bike shed which is within the school gates and these are locked at the start of the school day as it's the playground. So the bike would be reasonable secure. I would just buy a lock that you feel comfy with and use that to lock at the school bike shed or rack. My daughter has a JD bug scooter for school, and to start with I felt funny leaving that unlocked but it has been ok. We do live in a very low crime area though.

ssmile Sun 11-May-14 18:27:30

Lack of cycling this week sad family commitments, children and weather have meant I haven't been out at all this week, only for a 3mile trip to the shops to buy bar ends and mud guards for newish bike. Must do better next week if I am to do my first sportive at the end of June! The wind has been awful in the SW this weekend with50mph gusts and I was doing a late night charity walk at the weekend so my legs were a little weary today.
How is everyone else getting on?

HowGoodIsThat Sun 11-May-14 19:01:17

I rode a 30km followed by a 75km over the back holiday weekend. I was planning on another 75km ride yesterday but did something bad to my SI joint and have been unable to do much at all. My first sportive is next weekend and I am really under-prepared. Lalalalala......not thinking about it...

Pleaseputyourshoeson Sun 11-May-14 20:32:05

Hello all bikey people