Loch Lomond ride


Took the touring bike with loaded panniers for a test ride (for future touring)

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Nice ride down the canals

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Then wee stop at Loch Lomond for a sandwich and flask of coffee. This is the benefit of having 4 panniers on the bike – loads of space.

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5 reasons we don’t ride at night


From single track

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According to our survey data, 55% of mountain bikers have tried night riding. That means that 45% of mountain bikers haven’t even tried it, and of that 55%, I’d be willing to bet the number of riders that strap a light to their bike at least once per week is much, much less.

As I thought about it, I realized that lately I haven’t been night riding nearly as much as I have in past years. Here are 5 things, based on my personal experience and my conversations with others, that might keep you from riding at night… and reasons why they shouldn’t hold you back:

1. It’s expensive.

The number one excuse I hear from mountain bikers who don’t even want to dabble in night riding is, “Lights are so expensive! I can’t afford one of those!” Yes, there are expensive lights out there on the market. But if you took a look at our light buyer’s guide, you’ll realize that there are plenty of lights right around the $100 price point. And if you shop eBay, there are even no-name bike lights on sale for much cheaper than that.

My first night ride of the season. Pictured here is the Fenix BT20, which is a good-quality light set that can be purchased for about $150.
My first night ride of the season. Pictured here is the Fenix BT20, which is a good-quality light set that can be purchased for about $150.

In my opinion, buying a light is the #1 thing you can do to extend the amount of time you can ride your mountain bike in the fall and spring. Even if you have a lower-end bike, chances are your bike is worth at least $1,000. What good is a $1,000 (or a $10,000) bike if you can’t ride it during the week? Drop a hundred bucks on a light, and keep on pedaling!

2. It’s dangerous.

There seems to be this pervasive opinion among night riding n00bs that riding at night is dangerous. But the reality is, it’s no more dangerous than riding during the daytime. With even low-priced bike lights pushing 750-1000 lumens, and some lights boasting a whopping 6000 lumens, these lights can illuminate the trail as brilliantly as the sun.

3. It’s cold at night.

This one really depends on the time of year and the location, and in the northern reaches of the continent during the middle of the winter it can get really frigging cold at night! Honestly, sometimes this is a really good reason to stay indoors. However, with the advent of fat bikes, clothing manufacturers have made huge strides in recent years in producing lightweight, low-profile bike clothing that is surprisingly warm. With the right layers and preparation, you can easily mountain bike comfortably in zero degree (F) weather… or colder.

4. There’s no one else to ride with.

While at times it can be daunting to night ride alone, I’ve found that night riding solo is the most peaceful mountain bike experience ever. There’s usually no one else on the trails, and the quiet and solitude can’t be matched! Of course, if that makes you uncomfortable, it’s pretty easy to find people to ride with. Many shops conduct night rides all year long, as do mountain bike clubs and individuals. There are tons of people who night ride, and many of them will be willing to show you the ropes!

5. It’s hard to get motivated when it’s dark outside.

If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us already know the points and counterpoints listed above. But really, most of the time it’s just hard to get motivated to wrangle all of your bike gear, and pedal your bike in the pitch black of night. However, there are some steps you can take to make it easier.

The first step is to find a regular night ride to be a part of. I touched on this above, but there’s nothing more motivating than knowing a group of your friends will be riding at the same time, on the same day, every week.

The second step is almost just as important, and that’s to keep your gear ready to go, all the time:

When you get back from a ride, toss your battery on the charger so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. (Some higher-end lights feature charging stations that you can leave your battery on, ensuring your battery is always topped off.)
Wash your clothes quickly, and keep your warm winter riding clothes in a dedicated pile, ready to be donned in minutes.
Keep your hydration pack full of all the gear and layers you might need, so all you have to do is fill your water reservoir.
If you run a bike-mounted light, keep it mounted on your bike at all times so you don’t have to take it on and off.
And if you’re partial to a helmet-mounted light, dedicate one helmet to night riding alone, and leave your mount attached so you’re not constantly putting it on and taking it off when switching from night to day.
While at first blush going out for a night ride can be a daunting task, the right mindset and the proper preparation can make it a true joy and an utterly unique experience!

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Christiana Bikes


Saw these in Copenhagen

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Stable, sturdy, and spacious, the Christiania tricycle lets you carry kids and cargo safely, swiftly, and without a worry about soaring petrol prices or scarce parking.

Introduced in 1978, it has revolutionised family transport in Copenhagen (a quarter of families with two or more children own a tricycle), and it is now exported worldwide.

The Danish Design Centre has awarded Christiania Bikes® its 2010/11 Classic Design Prize.

The first Christiania tricycle in London was purchased in 1997 by Terence Conran for home deliveries from his flagship grocery store Bluebird; since then hundreds of families have seen their children grow up on a Christiania tricycle; their most common comment: “I cannot think how we would have coped without”. Similarly dozens of business, from florists to refuse collectors, from restaurants to handymen, from painters to educators have saved thousands of pounds by using a Christiania tricycle.

Core strength for cyclists …


richdirector:

Think I need to try this

Originally posted on PedalWORKS:

I used to be a runner. I ran a lot. Most days. One day, after years of training, I felt my power originating from my core, not my legs or arms. My body, my arms and legs moved in unison with each and every stride.

I used to be a golfer. A good one. At one point, when I hit balls most days, I played to a 5 handicap. One day, after playing for years, I realized my power came from my core not my legs, arms or forearms. My entire body moved in unison as I took the club away, rotating fully into the backswing and then down, delivering the club back precisely to the ball.

Today, I cycle. I cycle a lot. In recent years, I realize my power on the bike originates from my core. My legs, upper body and arms working in unison to deliver maximum power…

View original 204 more words

The Birthday Ride


So tuesday was my Birthday – 45 (I know what you are thinking …. ‘old feck’ OR ‘young pup still’)

Well I digress … it was a nice day so after dropping the girls to school I decided to head out for a ride. I had been grumpy last week after not been outside to ride and Saturday dawned and I was ready for my 100 miler (or 100km’er). I lifted my arm dressing and pow – my neck spasmed and i was left turning like a robot all day. I had spent the whole day before painting floors so can only think this must have strained something. But a pinched nerve was quite literally a pain in the neck so I went down to the gym 3 days in a row and sat in the turkish suite letting the steam and heat do its work. Not that i didn’t guilt my partner into multiple neck and shoulder massages … ‘and its nearly my birthday’

So tuesday dropped the girls noticing the new signs going up in the park …. small steps are still steps.

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travel in terms of walking speed or bike.

Then out on the bike and up the Crow road – my staple ride.

bike stop and the crow road climbing the Campsies behind

bike stop and the crow road climbing the Campsies behind

as you can see from the pic I have my Flash and Flare lights on when i ride. So sick of hearing stories about car drivers killing cyclists and saying ‘the sun was too bright and low and in my eyes and the road was glaring’ LIKE THIS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

I just hope the odd twinkle will allow them to see me. As i climbed the crow I caught up with a guy dressed all in black and I only saw him really when 150m behind. I am sure my bright yellow vest can be seen from much further back.

Anyway great ride but not feeling very fit at the moment so must exercise more.

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