Friday, 31 January 2014

Against The Wind

Image: via Google

This by Lovely Bicycle! earlier today struck a chord. Not so much the bits about the English always talking about the weather (I share Kate Fox's views on that) and not the bits about rain not calling an end to play.

No, it's the bit about the wind.

So what's your safety threshold? How strong does the wind need to get to make you feel unsafe and at risk of getting hurt?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sustrans: The Movie -- A Celebration of Volunteers, by Volunteers

Volunteers from all over the country have contributed film clips of their activities to a compilation film put together by Sustrans. This isn't an official release of any kind. It's not part of any campaign and it won't get any official publicity.  (It also had no budget!)

It's just us, celebrating what we do.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Lucy Gets More Gears

I introduced Lucy, my bespoke Brompton, in a previous post, explaining the background to the modifications described here.

All the research on how best to get Lucy some more gears was done last winter and to be honest, I don't remember all the various options that we looked at. In the end, though, we settled on getting a Sturmey-Archer 8-speed conversion kit from Kinetics in Glasgow.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Now We Are One!

Yes, vélovoice is a year old today!
One year ago, I was inspired to start this blog by sharing details of the 2013 London Bike Show. The year that followed has featured many ride reports, messenger bag reviews, an overwhelmingly popular review of Carradice’s new Stockport bag for the Brompton S-type bicycle, musings on health issues and bike fit, not to mention a momentous decision to get a custom bike. (On those last two topics, I will be writing more in the coming year so watch this space!)

So what’s been popular?  In order of pageviews, the Top 10 posts are:

Saturday, 18 January 2014

I'd Like You To Meet Lucy

No bones about it, my Brompton is a headturner.

Everyone who sees it loves it -- friends, colleagues, the guys in my local bike shop, people on the street.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Isle of Wight Holiday - Of Shipwrecks and The Sunshine Trail (Day 7)

Welcome to new readers! 

Over the past couple of months, I have been posting a photo-diary of our cycling holiday last August on the Isle of Wight -- in serial/instalment form.  Today's post covers Day 7 and is the next to last in the series. 

If you wish to 'catch up', here are links to previous instalments: 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

#ScotTourTrain - Weekly Report ... And Hello to an (Unwelcome) Old Friend

This first week of #ScotTourTrain(ing) did not go quite to plan.  I intended to ride four days in a row (Sunday - Wednesday) then rest until Friday's night ride from Whitstable (72 miles).

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday went well, with Tuesday being a fairly tough day. But instead of getting a 'recovery ride' on Wednesday, I got a migraine and spent most of the day in bed rather than on a bike. Thursday, I did housework and bike fettling. Friday, I went into town by bus then pottered around the house (cleaning cleats being my main accomplishment), and took an afternoon nap.

Then I got ready for the night ride. However, the moment my butt made contact with my saddle, I experienced a very sharp pain (like a pinch) in my upper right thigh. I pedaled as far as the end of the road, scooting around to see if I would get some relief. I didn't. I knew I could not endure a ride of any length at all with such an intense pain, so called it quits and freewheeled home. I was so disappointed, I actually cried.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


No, it's not a train.

It's -- oh my god, I can't believe I'm saying this --

A Training Plan.

For our Scotland Trip.

But... I don't train. I just ride my bike.

Maybe it'd help if I call it 'conditioning', not 'training'. In any case, somehow I've got to transition from the type of cycling I do now -- indeed the type of cyclist I am now -- to riding 60 hilly miles a day, day after day, on often narrow, bumpy tracks with... er... intermittent tarmac.

So I've got to do something new. No, not new, just different. No, not even different, just.... more of it, more often. With experimentations and variations.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

Today -- for the first time -- I "portaged" my bike around a flooded portion of road.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Scotland Cycling Holiday - Route Planning II

Dun Telve, one of the Glenelg Brochs (Oct 2008)

Well, we're not letting the grass grow under our feet!

I was a little concerned that I had done quite a lot of experimenting with routes, calculating mileage, agonising over elevation gain and gradients, without conferring much with Adam. Was I leaving him out? He loves trip planning as much as I do! So I expected we'd need to spend a few evenings poring over maps and data before arriving at a consensus. But no. Last night, Adam had a look at the routes I'd prepared so far, asked a few questions and suggested a few things, then looked over my shoulder while I played around ridewithgps a bit more... then said "that's great, let's go with that".

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Scotland Cycling Tour - Route Planning!

View of Loch Moidart (tide out) from Tioram Castle, Oct 2008

And so the planning has begun... I'll say "in earnest" although right now we're trying to keep our options open. The key elements agreed at the moment are: (1) we're free from Tuesday evening 10 June (i.e. if we leave that night and take the sleeper) through Sunday 22 June, and (2) our "must see" priority is the isle of Skye -- I've been there, Adam hasn't.

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