commuting

Back on the bike

Decided to get off my arse and start cycling to work again, so after getting back from karate last night, I gave the hybrid a once over, packed the pannier with a change of clothes for work, and this morning cycled in.

Nice wee gentle 40 minute ride – I can hammer it in about 25 mins on the cyclecross, but I was up early and in no rush, as the gym at work doesn’t open till 7.00 so I didn’t want to be waiting about till it opened to get a shower.

By 7.0 I was showered, changed and in the coffee shop reading the paper.
Nice way to start the day.

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New stuff.

Picked up an action camera.  Based on reviews, and not wanting to fork out the money for a GoPro (not that I have anything against GoPro other than price) I opted for an Olfi 5.1
It’s just arrived a couple of days ago, and other than traumatising the cats by chasing them round with it, I’ve not had a chance to play with it properly, but it does seem to be a decent bit of kit, and at half the proce of a GoPro, I can’t complain.
I’ve ordered a 3rd party helmet mount, so I can use when I’m cycling, so when that comes in I’ll have a proper play with it.

Today I also picked up a new rucksack for holidays.  The Karrimor I’ve used for years finally burst on me on the way back from Vietnam, earlier this year.  It wasn’t catastrophic, not a case of clothes spilling all over the conveyor belt at the airport, but I wouldn’t have liked to try using it again, so definitely time for a new one.
I plumped for a Trespass Trek 66 which I managed to get at 50% off.  It’s 6L larger than the Karrimor, and it’s lighter to boot, so seems like a decent enough purchase.

The weather in Glasgow this week has been rain and wind, so unfortunately I’ve been getting the train rather than cycling.  Over the winter (gale force winds permitting) I’ll probably be using the hybrid rather than the road bike.  It’s a Giant Escape M1 and I’ve stuck a rack on the back.  Due to getting loads of flats with the tyres that came with it, I’ve stuck Armadillo knoblies on for the time being, but I’m thinking for commuting, of changing these for Schalbe marathons.  Better for commuting and still bombproof.
It’s been ages since I’ve used it regularly, and when I did use it about a month ago to do the Glasgow SkyRide with my wife, I jumped on, sat down and missed the saddle completely as it wasn’t where it would have been on the road bike.  Actually felt pretty weird for a while, being that upright.  So yeah, need to use it more.  It’s a good bike and doesn’t deserve to be sitting unused.

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50 and counting

So last week I hit a landmark.  The 29th anniversary of my 21st birthday !  I think I was waiting for the sky to fall in, my back to give out, my joints to seize up, and my hair to fall out, when in reality, I just got another day older.

My birthday coincided with winning a new skateboard.  I haven’t been on a board in years, but earlier this year I bought a longboard, and now I’ve got another new board thanks to the facebook group SCUK (Skateboard Collecting UK).  I might have to get older, but I don’t have to grow up.

Still going yoga on my own at least 3 times a week.  I try to do it every weekday and give myself the weekend off, but I listen to my body, and if it doesn’t feel right that morning, then I give it a miss and don’t beat myself up about it.  Sometimes I miss out because one of the cats wants to play and I end up getting a later train to work and don’t have time for a yoga session.

I just finished reading the Russell Brand book Revolution.  I know he’s a bit marmite, and you either love or hate him – I like him – but regardless, the message is important, and it’s too important a message to get tied up in knots about whether you like the messenger or not.  Political change for the benefit of all, and he’s looking at it from a spiritual pov.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately I don’t think either of us will live long enough to see anything close to the kind of change he advocates.

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Back on the bike? Fingers crossed..

So with the ice and the wind and the incessant rain, I’ve not been on the bike since just after Christmas.  So, after seeing the weather for the rest of the week (light intermittent showers.) I’m getting back on the bike tomorrow.
This leaves me one day a week when I’ll still be getting the train, a Monday, as I’ve got a karate class to go to straight from work, but other than that, it’s all go for the bike again.

On Friday I’ve got a day off, and I’m planning on going swimming in the morning.  The only time I get to swim is when we go on holiday.  When we first got married, we lived near Govanhill baths, a beautiful old Victorian pool, which the council in it’s infinite wisdom, shit down.  This resulted in protests, sit-ins and campaigns – click on the link – and no swimming pool.  Now, I’m near (but not as near) Bellahouston sports centre, and you can take out a “swim only” membership, which I’d only have to use once a week to break even on, which sounds ideal.  So, with that in mind I’m going for a swim on Friday morning, to check out the pool, and see if it’s worth my getting a membership.

A couple of months on the bike, and the train fare I’ve saved would pay for the swimming, so it’s a real possibility.

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Lunchtime run cancelled.

Today I was supposed to be going for a lunchtime run with a colleague who’s recently been on a chi-running weekend, and wanted to see if it made her feel like she wasn’t struggling to keep up or holding me back (I don’t think she was doing either). She just called to say she forgot her sports bra, so can we postpone.  I pointed out that I didn’t have one either, but apparently since I don’t have boobs, not having a sports bra isn’t a problem. 🙂

Anyway, I have to admit to being slightly relieved, as I’ve been cycling every day that I’m not running, and today I still cycled into work, knowing that I was going for a run.  The legs are a little bit achey, so, while running might have loosened them up a bit, I’m secretly ok with the fact she has to cancel.

Is that bad ?

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Back on the bike

Just before we went on holiday, we got a new “sit up and beg” bike for Karen.  She gets a sore back using a mountain bike, and sore wrists from the pressure of leaning forward, so it was time to get a bike that suited her.

We planned to ride over to Shawlands for breakfast the morning of the day we flew out, but the night before I noticed my rear tyre was pancake flat.  So, I finally bit the bullet, and took off the semi-slick tyres that were on the bike and replaced them with Armadillo knobblies, that I’d bought and not used.  The bike now looks beefier (for want of a better word), and this morning was the first time I’ve done a commute since changing the tyres.

Now I know (semi) slicks are faster, but I can’t say I took any longer getting to work, and to be honest, the miniscule time I may have lost is more than compensated for with the knowledge that I’m now far less likely to suffer a flat.

I’m actually considering fitting a rear rack as well.  Shopping would become a lot more eco-friendly if I was using panniers, and not having a loaded rucksack on my back would be a bit safer too.  Then there’s the chance that I might actually someday, do a bit of touring/camping using the bike as transport, so I’ll need to prep for the possibility.

The fact that my work is about to launch the bike to work scheme again, and I can pick up a bike for bouncing about off-road and make a saving, makes me more happy to make my commute bike more general use friendly and less off-road friendly.

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