My Bikepacking Toolkit

In many ways it’s the remoteness that makes bikepacking so great.  Riding rough tracks, alone with nature, a hundred miles from anywhere.   That same remoteness makes it altogether less great if you have a mechanical.  No public transport, no mobile phone signal, not even a  farmer’s door to knock on.   If you can’t fix it with what you’re carrying, that 100 miles from anywhere just turned into a very long walk.  So you’ll want to have a few more tools and spares with you than on your Sunday morning road ride, yet you don’t want to add too much weight and bag space is always at a premium.  This is what my trips so far have taught me to take. Continue reading “My Bikepacking Toolkit”

Puff Puff Pass

Dear makers of generic blue inhalers,

I’m afraid I need to make a formal, public complaint about your product.

To start off, let me introduce myself. I’m a deeply average bike rider, someone who enjoys riding quickly but often find my old-codger legs unwilling to do the bidding of my boy-racer brain. Nevertheless, I persevere at my hobby, standing as it does as the only obstacle between me and the obesity statistics. Continue reading “Puff Puff Pass”

What is Gnarbital?

My little sister and I had a game when we were kids.  Our house had more furniture than space.  The lounge had bookcases, occasional tables, a sideboard, sofas, chairs.  The game was to get around the room without touching the floor.  For the floor was lava.   We’d climb from table to bookcase, jump on to the sofa, leap from there to a chair.  The general aim was to follow the room perimeter but diversions into it were encouraged to climb over something more interesting.  Continue reading “What is Gnarbital?”

A velodrome is for life….

…not just for winter.

Now the evenings are getting lighter, people look surprised when I tell them I am going to the velodrome in the evening. Why not go outside and ride they say and its a fair question to which the answer varies based on their experience of cycling.

To some I can explain about the intensity of interval training, the lack of traffic and how a good coach will be able to make the simple art of turning left every 10 seconds an enjoyable experience with a variety of drills.

To others, I just say its fun. Continue reading “A velodrome is for life….”

The Passenger Theory of Disappointing Rides

Nelly-elephant

I’d like to preface this blog by stating that I’m not technically mad. I don’t think.

However. We know that cycling is as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one, as Cycling Weekly explored recently.

And I think that for me this is even more true than it is for “normal” people. I have more bad rides than good, whatever the numbers say. And I’ve decided that this is almost entirely down to the passengers I’m carrying with me. Continue reading “The Passenger Theory of Disappointing Rides”