Tag Archives: Bike For Life - Page 2

Personal Syston 10 mile time trial

I have a 10 mile loop that I use like a little time trial.

I rode almost exactly the same route as yesterday only today I was 2.1mph faster which is nearly a 7 minute saving (same bike and quite similar weather conditions).

Still very windy but I was pushing myself quite hard although usefully fueled up by both Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake 🙂

Not sure how often I’ll do this on my Stoater, Bike for Life, which is rather over equipped for a 10 mile time trial 😉 In the past I have done almost the same ride at 17.7mph on my fixie. Still in terms of trying to improve my fitness riding a heavier bike makes it more intentional and intensive (see my post Approaching the year end and considering future goals).

In fact I am not really sure how often I will do the same time trial ride, I like variety rather more than simply trying to do the same thing faster each time. Although it would be interesting to see how much quicker a full road bike or even a proper time trial bike would go.

Given that 10 mile time trials appear to be so important in British Cycling I guess I vaguely wonder approximately what sort of performance level just under 41 minutes for a 10 mile time trial is (especially when the type of bike and weather is taken into account).

Hoping to see a result when I step on the scales in the morning, but for the moment having to learn and play “Munchkin” with the family!


Approaching the year end and considering future goals

So with just a few days of 2013 left I’m starting the process of reflecting on the year just ending and considering my goals for the year to come.

I will have cycled just over 3,500 miles which is about 2,000 miles down on 2012. I am putting that down to last year’s LeJoG ride and the training for it. Probably the key loss for me has been a much reduced number of longer day rides.

On the plus side I have had some fantastic rides on my Bike For Life which continues to be all that I had hoped for: a delightful bike to ride that is incredibly reliable, low maintenance and practical.

Less good is that my Pearson Touche fixie has been off the road for a while. Hoping to find time to sort that out soon.

Next step is going to think about my goals for the next year and how public I am going to be about them. For various reasons (including an approaching 50th birthday towards the end of 2014) I want to be more intentional about my health than I have achieved in the past. Making that challenge harder is my proven poor interest and stickability at daily routine and good habits. Riding a bike is going to be a key part of this but it isn’t enough.

Maybe more on that later.

I am also interested to see how the blog develops over the next year now that I have moved it onto a more powerful hosting platform. Suggestions are welcome.


Punctures or not

Just over two weeks ago I got another puncture. My Schwalbe Durano tyres have been getting very battered with lots of nicks some of which have caused punctures so it wasn’t particularly a surprise.

It happened just as I arrived in the centre of Leicester and it was a sudden deflation.

A bit frustrating as I choose to travel completely unprepared. I have read all the magazines, books and blogs describing all the tools and repair kit I should carry, but I choose to carry nothing most of the time.

One reason is that mostly I ride my bikes for transport and I have enough stuff to carry already for work, shopping or whatever.

Another reason is that I have chosen everything on my Bike for Life for it’s reliability, carrying tools around is unnecessary when a bike is properly reliable. Now the Schwalbe Durano’s have been a slight compromise on this front. I switched to them from the totally reliable Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres in the summer for two reasons a) for a bit more speed (saving nearly 1kg helped) and b) for a bit more clearance, the Marathons are a bulky 700xx40 while the Durano are a slim 700cx32

Anyway, so I was in Leicester on a cold damp afternoon with a flat tyre and no tools. Made more complicated by the Atomic22 Infiniti3D locking the wheel on.

However, in the end it proved to be no real problem. I popped into Future Cycles. They didn’t have any suitable latex foam or slime which would have been one possible solution. But after a quick look the cause of the flat was obvious, a shard of glass that I was able to pick out. So I bought some new tyre levers, some patches and borrowed their pump. Fixing an obvious puncture like this is very easy without needing to remove the wheel and so within 15 minutes I was on my way again for about £5, so no big deal.

Since then, I have refitted a Marathon Plus 700cx40 to the back wheel, but this time I have used smaller spacers between the mudguard and the frame which has increased the tyre clearance a lot. I have also moved the mudguard stays from the dropout and bolted them to the rear rack which also helps with clearance.

For the front I have just fitted a slightly smaller Marathon Plus (700cx35) which hopefully should avoid problems with the mudguard rubbing and trapping grit and mud as much.

I think I’ll stick to the Marathon Plus tyres for my Bike For Life, their reliability and longevity fit with the rest of the bike much better. While the Duranos are faster they are much more prone to punctures and have only lasted just over 2,000 miles.




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