Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Too Cold To Cycle? It's Not The Weather, It's Your Gear

This is my fourth winter cycling. Until this year, I always wimped out and got the train when it was "too cold". I've made every excuse in the book at some point. The biggest – and only "real" (as opposed to "imaginary", as I'd gaze out the kitchen window each morning) – problem that I've had each winter has been sinus infections.

This year? It ought to be worse: I'm no longer in south London, on the flat, sheltered by buildings. I'm now in a rural village on top of a hill. There are no cycle paths. The roads are narrow. They don't get salted/gritted, no matter how bad things get. Motorists don't slow down one iota.

So what happens?

Oooooh, look it's snowing! How pretty!
...brrr, it's cold!
Wowwee, what a wind coming out of the east!
Oh my Gawd, freewheeling downhill is gonna HURT!

But then… somehow… before I reach the "No way is cycling an option in that, no sirree!" stage – I step back and ask –

Or is it?

After three years of being a city wimp, I am now a rural-warrior-in-the-making. But I'm hearing a number of my London friends (who I'd normally consider much more hardcore than myself) saying, as I used to, "it's just too cold to get on the bike". Well, unlike some of them, I don't have an indoor trainer to fall back on. (And if I did, it couldn't get me to the train station each morning.) So what to do? I thought about the clothing and accessories I have and decided to give it another go. Commuting in the snow has gone so well that I thought it might be worth sharing what I've been wearing to keep dry and warm and, yes, happy on my bike.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

London Bike Show 2013 - more innovation, more choice

Today Adam (my partner) and I visited the London Bike Show, running from Thursday to Sunday this weekend at the ExCel Centre in East London. Adam had control of the camera most of the time and I'm only just beginning to realise what sorts of photos best support blog posts, so bear with me if these don't illustrate our visit as well as I'd like. I've just pulled the trigger on a new Lumix camera on Amazon so should be in the driver's seat for photos in future posts. Anyway. Our over-riding criteria for photographing products were: (a) is it new? (b) is it different? and of particular interest to me (c) does this significantly broaden the range of what's out there for women who cycle as part of their daily lives?

So here's a quick summary of what we saw:

a Limited Edition Brompton with one funky colour scheme - loved the colour-coordinated mudguards and the matching flap for the S bag (at the front of the display table)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Testing testing testing!

Okay - steep learning curve ahead, better feather those brakes.

Have decided to give this blogging thing a go. Seems somewhat self-indulgent but I miss keeping a journal and now fnid myself having the best "conversations" in my head while out on my bike in the fresh air - have decided some of those wonderings might be worth capturing on "paper", for my own amusement later when I'm  senile, if for no one else.

So. Deep breath. "It's Not The Weather, It's Your Gear" post coming up soon.


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