A ride at Glentress – Scotland ‘is it spring’

A plan was hatched via email … the ‘Beer and Bento’ massive, a group of over 30 and over 40 men who should no better decided a trip to Glentress was on the cards and that being Spring we should head off early.

It was colder than I had thought.





When i packed and left all my kit near the front door the night before it was warmer … when I cycled home at 11:30pm with a skinful of booze in me later in the evening I didn’t feel the cold. In the car it said 0 degrees C … got out jackets and tights on and ready to go. Just like the musketeers we were – except there were 5 of us.

I was feeling pretty fresh legged despite the 8km hard run the day before – and cardio was no issue. Some of the others struggled a wee bit. As we climbed up to the mast it got colder until there was a gentle fall of Ice / snow. Suunto on my wrist said 4 degrees but that was in my sleeve …. must have been well below freezing.

icy with dusting of snow still

To put this in perspective Ramon found that his front fork had frozen solid. This slowed down some of the party and there was a bit of waiting around (well earned recovery)

Descended down on black and red trails but then hopped on Blue again at the bottom for the fast sweeping trail (everyone down nr bottom rides red so trail too bust and keep on smacking into tail-enders of groups)

A great day riding

my 'rohloffe'd ti bride'

A new Bike (be warned it is going to be bright)

Popped into Glasgow Bike shed the other day to drop off 2 older kids bike for them to recycle and sell …. then chatted to Richard the manager about bikes. He was doing up an old reynolds Steel 531 frame and painting it a bright orange.

Orange sir ....?

Pulled out some garish green wheels as well and I new that it would be mine ….

that one please

Watch this space.

Video I did for them still doing the rounds as well – over 6000 plays to date

From America Bikes – Bikes and cycling vs cars and Congestion

American focussed but probably the same in the UK


From America Bikes:

  1. Bicycling and walking make up 10% of all trips made in the U.S., but receive less than 2% of federal transportation funding.
  2. Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 13% of traffic fatalities, but receive less than 1% of federal safety funding.
  3. 40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are traveled by car.
  4. Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).
  5. A small reduction in driving causes a large drop in traffic. In 2008, the number of vehicle miles traveled dropped 3%, translating to a nearly 30% reduction in peak hour congestion.
  6. Transportation sources account for 70% of our nation’s oil consumption and for 30% of total U.S. GHC emissions.
  7. Simply increasing bicycling and walking from 10% of trips to 13% could lead to fuel savings of around 3.8 billion gallons a year. This is equivalent to having 19 million more hybrid cars on the road.
  8. 89% of Americans believe that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use.
  9. 71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more. 53% favor increasing federal spending on bicycle lanes and paths.
  10. For the price of one mile of four-lane urban highway, around $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city.


It is my Brompton yes and it is special

purple back in fashion

So you have a brompton and you have chose the colours that best match your style/teeth/porcine preferences/retirement cheque but it still isn’t quite you.

Then this is what you can do:

Customise the bike with custom wood Brompton fenders HERE

See the grain

Knit it a special jacket

knitted cover

Furnish it with a special bag

Custom spanish bags

Nice rapha vid – an oldie but a goodie

Rapha cycling clothing…shot with a Canon XL-H1 and a RedRock 35mm adapter(not on all shots) shortly after this I got rid of the RedRock and bought an SGpro…the SGpro is soooo much better!!

Lance Armstrong Quits again

Lance Armstrong has ended his international career after completing the final stage of the Tour Down Under in the Australian city of Adelaide.

A seven-time Tour de France winner, Armstrong, now 39, had announced in 2009 that he would be ending his international cycling career in two years time, and has stuck to that pledge.

He has, however, come back from retirement before – in January 2009 he ended a three and a half year hiatus to come back to join the Radioshack racing team.

Armstrong, who won plaudits amongst fans after he recovered from testicular cancer to come back and win the Tour de France multiple times, did not produce fireworks on his retirement ride, finishing outside the top 50. He was almost six minutes behind 23-year-old Cameron Meyer, the Australian race winner.

Alleged drug use

He remains contracted to the Radioshack team, and is scheduled to take part in a number of multi-sport events in the United States. Perhaps he will go back to Triathlon …

His participation in mountain bike races or triathlons could be determined, however, by the outcome of a federal probe launched following allegations that he regularly use banned substances while racing with the US Postal team from 1999 to 2004.

Armstrong has said that he expects to be vindicated when the report from the probe is released. The probe was ordered after Sports Illustrated published a story that examined allegations that he had used banned performance enhancing substances.

RACE DAY – What a great run TF Phantom Farewell Run

6am and the alarm goes off. Running shorts on with jeans over the top to keep warm. Drink water, eat banana have some Clif Bar.

pre-race still dark

Down to the start and register again. Get number hobble around in the cold (about 3 degrees C) then sweater off and BANG here we go.

A good race – slightly shorter than the 7.35miles it was supposed to be – probably around 500+ runners. Saw some of them shoot ahead so kept count 11,12,13 …. figured I was in 19th.

lap splits - not super consistent

Kept up the pace for quite a while passed one got passed by another. Eventually coming in at 45m46s (4:08/km). Heart Rate pretty healthy for this type of run

heart rate on movescount

Came in tied 19th – first veteran Huzzah for Old Blokes

Brompton – the good, the great, the brilliant, the slight niggles

Folding bikes are perhaps the ultimate urban vehicles and multi transport vehicles. Consider the following:

  • Zero emissions
  • Compatible with public transport
  • Nimble
  • Compact
  • Easily Stowed
  • Relatively Lightweight

The Brompton is perhaps my favourite city or commuting bike. Consider the following:

  • Compact & clean fold
  • Easy to carry
  • Rugged
  • Quick
  • Quintessentially British

Fork-mounted pannier racks are becoming increasingly popular. They’re good for carrying bulky items that won’t fit in a touring pannier, and when combined with a basket or bar-bag, they’re convenient as catch-alls for running errands or touring/commuting. The downside is that carrying a load on the front fork slows down a bike’s handling, and if the load is above the front wheel, it may cause “wheel flop”. This combined with smaller wheels (26 compared to 700c) makes it worse.


palatial load carrier



A better alternative  and what Brompton uses is a frame-mounted carrier that takes the weight off of the fork and places it on the main frame. So unlike front rack bikes – Brompton’s steering is unaffected by even relatively heavy loads. Last night I just carried 8 litre bottles of water (8kg) back from the store and the bike steering is unaffected and only noticeable when lifting the front up kerbs.

The only better load carrier is my Yuba Mundo (other cargo bikes are available) but you sure can’t fold that up.


Most commuting (smart clothes) is easily done on the Brompton clipping along at 20kph – 24kph without really working up a sweat. Shorts on head down this goes up to 28kph and higher if you remove the drag inducing front S-Bag.

16″ wheels – whilst quick to roll up to speed are not so good at obstacle – not really a complaint just an observation and obviously linked to the small folding ability.

Downsides? Well none yet but then its only been 500km – oh maybe one a little squeak from the bottom bracket but sprayed with WD40 today so hopefully that stops.

Making the most of treadmill running – interval sessions (how to survive the dreaded belt)

Was in the gym running on the treadmill – think this might be the perfect place for interval training/fartlek – the 2 speeds are machine regulated so you know you are doing the proper pace.

I have written about interval training before –  more here

Here is graph from last night

Warm up 5 min (6mph) prob a bit too slow

then run 9.5mph – 1 min

jog 6mph – 1 min

10 repeats then cool down.

Except I can’t count did 11 at that rate then another 2 doing 6mph/11.5mph although last 1 min was 12mph as I discovered the machine doesn’t go any faster.

You can see how your rest heart rate and your max run HR slowly creep up – this shows that your resting is about right – if you always went back to same level the recovery period would become longer and longer or your recovery (treadmill) speed would have to be reduced. Obviously you don’t have to use a HRM –  I am just techie and like to see results. Also you can guage your warm up well – as you can start your quicker runs once your HR stops rising.

There are some dangers to interval training.

When it comes to calorie burning during exercise, research shows that HIT training – short,high-intensity interval sessions burn more calories than longer, lower-intensity aerobic workouts. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, not only are more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercise, but cardiovascular improves can happen faster with something as simple as 30-Second Sprint Workouts.For example, a 154 pound person who runs at a pace of 8 mph will burn 320 calories in 20 minutes. That same person, walking at 3 mph for an hour, will burn 235 calories. 

High Intensity Training Safety

Although shorter, high-intensity workouts burn the most calories, they aren’t always the best option. They are not recommended for a novice exerciser because they can contribute to injuries in individuals who aren’t prepared for the physical demands of this type of workout. They are also hard to maintain and should be used sparingly. Even a highly fit athlete should vary his workout and have some long and slow days for endurance and recovery. Finally, if you work at a high intensity, odds are you will fatigue sooner and be forced to stop after about 20 minutes. If you go slow, you will likely to be able to continue exercising for several hours.If you’re already exercising regularly and progressing in your exercise intensity, you may want to try shorter, more intense workouts to enhance your calorie burning. However, if you’re just starting an exercise program, a slow and steady progression of longer and less intense exercise is probably a better option.

The sort of exercise you chose depends upon your ultimate goal. If you are training for mountaineering or backpacking, you’d better plan some long, steady days of hiking. If you want to lose those newly acquired holiday pounds, give the high intensity workout a try.

Keep in mind that if you have specific training goals you should adhere to the principles of conditioning and follow an appropriate training program for your sport.

It is recommended that you see your doctor before starting an exercise program if you’re older than age 40 and have never exercised, a smoker, overweight or have a chronic health condition.

A Fixed Philosophy

A documentary on why people ride fixed gear bikes. Music featured: Diego Bernal, Beat Connection and The Suzan.
Special thanks to: Charles Hadrann, Luke Taylor, Matt Swanson, Alex Johnson and Jack Hilton
Directed, Edited and Written by Jason Miller

Race coming up and preparing – Intervals and Pace Change

Race (see it paid off) coming up on the weekend – one of the units is changing so there is a farewell run to honour the occasion. Haven’t been doing any specific training just getting some miles under my belt. Just went for a longer run yesterday of roughly the distance then today did a shorter run at race pace. Amazingly how consistent you can be – my lap time are very close to each other /km (apart from the 2nd km on dirt and then the brief piss-stop)

lap splits and a slight detour

Heart rate was quite steady too – shows consistent pace / exertion.

Heart Rate

One way to get out of the steady pace rut is to do fartleks/intervals to speed up the pace. I have spoken about this before


– but I have to confess that I absolutely hate doing them and find myself chanting ‘this will speed me up‘ and ‘it’s worth 3 times the duration in terms of effort’

Still did one last week and you can see how it works – run to warm up – intervals (here are 9 repeat with 2 lazy ones towards the end) and the run back steady.

HR interval run

My HR wasnt that steady at the begining just watch not picking up belt properly at first.

Keeping your bike safe – some tips

The safest bike is one that is really ugly –   this post is great advice given on the Glasgow fixie site






But no-one like to ride around on that – the next choice is buy a folder and carry it with you – but not everyone wants that either. So you pride and joy must be protected so plan ahead.

  1. First, insure your bike.
  2. Then, get a good lock – this means spending money and doing some research. Once you’ve done your research, buy this setup, similar or better:

The D-lock locks your frame and your rear wheel to a Sheffield stand or something similarly sturdy (not this fence!):

Then the cable loops around the front wheel and the D-lock – like this but the opposite way around (simply because the D-lock is heavier duty and the rear wheel is more expensive to replace:

(Two D-locks can also be used – use the other to secure the front wheel to the frame. Also, remove any quick release skewers, especially the seatpost as you don’t want to be cycling home standing up.)

Just ordered a Kryptonite New York Fahgeddaboudid Mini to work with the link.


around the crank arm too if you have space



If paranoia has really set in then you might want to consider using a motorbike alarmed disc lock attached to your chainring. They’re designed for motorbike disc brakes and emit an alarm if disturbed for more than three seconds:

Finally, make sure what you lock to is strong enough:

None of the above is a gaurantee that your bike won’t get stolen and every lock on the market can be beaten eventually (and usually under five minutes with the right tools.) The idea is just to make it too much of a nuisance for it to be worth considering them targeting your bike.


Losing my Fixie fixation ….

Losing my Fixie fixation …. I like looking at them but who am I kidding – My Klein MTB is set up SS for town use, My Carver Ti is my play thing and I have a Brompton for town and commuting and multi transport use. What I don’t have (and I realised on that trip to Arran) is a touring long distance road bike.

So ones that have grabbed my attention are:

1. Salsa Vaya

2. Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT)

3. Jamis Aurora Elite

4. Pompetamine Versa Pro

5. Kona Sutra

1 Salsa Vaya £1250 (RRP £1350)

Salsa Vaya
  • Disc Brakes
  • Road / Gravel Use
  • Sloping top tube / better clearance

The Vaya is our road adventure bike, designed to take on any surface that someone might consider a ‘road’.

Crafted of Salsa Classico CroMoly, the Vaya is loaded with braze-on’s for fenders, racks, and lowriders. This makes everything from wet weather commutes to full-on touring a breeze.

Stable geometry keeps the bike from being twitchy, and makes the bike a pleasure to ride while loaded. Our two smallest Vaya sizes use 26” wheels to provide better fit, improved standover clearance, and to eliminate toe overlap. The larger Vaya sizes use 700c wheels.

Enjoy a long day in the saddle. Link up pavement and gravel. Hit that limestone rails-to-trails route you’ve always wanted to do. Do a light tour. Or load your panniers to the hilt for a month of two-wheeled exploring. The Vaya will get you there. And bring you back.

Vaya. A true do-it-all road-riding bike.

2 Surly Long Haul Trucker £900


Like all our frames, it’s made of cromoly steel.  We like steel for a lot of reasons.  Foremost among them is the ride quality a well designed steel frame delivers.  It doesn’t hurt that steel is relatively inexpensive, or that it is more easily repaired than aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium.  You’ll probably never need to have the frame repaired, but if you do you’re more likely to find someone who can weld steel than someone who can weld ti or aluminum.  Repair carbon fiber?  Good luck with that.

We offer the LHT as a frameset or as a complete bike.  The ‘Trucker is available in a 26” wheel size across the size run, with an option for 700c in 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes.  Some people prefer  the larger diameter 700c, and that’s cool.  26″ is a more popular size around the world, however, so you’ll more easily be able to find replacement tubes, tires, and rims should the need arise. Smaller wheels are also stronger than their 700c counterparts, so they’ll stand up better to rough roads and heavy loads.

The LHT complete is set up with quality parts meant for the purpose of this bike.  Add racks, fenders, pedals, and bags and then, well… go someplace.

3 Jamis Aurora Elite £1130 – 28lbs

Any colour as long as it's brown


  • 631 steel – air hardened Reynolds 631, a touring benchmark.
  • 10 speed cassette
  • disc-braked
  • rack and guards as standard

Road bikes are too light duty. Mountain and city bikes are too heavy duty. Welcome to the Just Right world of Aurora Elite, Aurora and Bosanova, the town bikes for smart urban speedsters and cyclo-tourists.

Legendary Reynolds steel is our chassis material of choice, for its unbeatably robust performance and the resilient ride-damping you’ll appreciate while loaded up and bombing around on the streets. This is magic stuff, especially for full pannier touring and rough-road adventures.

This year’s rides are simply better and lighter—Aurora Elite gets SRAM’s new Apex group, with double-chainring shifting and a huge gear range that’s lighter and faster than a repurposed triple-ring MTB gearset.

4. On One Pompetamine Versa Pro £1000

Pomp and Ceremony


Our ultimate commuting, touring and cross bike. Steel frame, 8 speed Shimano Alfine hub gears, Versa VRS-8 drop bar shifters, and top end componentry make this the On-One C2W must have purchase.

Due to popular demand we are proud to introduce a drop bar version of the On-One Pompetamine- our disc only steel framed multi-purpose hybrid.

Versa VRS-8 drop bar shifters are a perfect match for Shimano’s renowned 8 speed Alfine hub gear system, offering unmatched low maintenance performance and a gearing range nearly as wide as conventional derailleur systems.

Breaking new ground in cross over bike speed and versatility the drop bar Pompetamine bikes are fast, reliable and tough enough to take a right hammering- whether that be on rough city streets, canal towpaths, bridle-ways, touring, expeditions or even cyclocross (now UCI are allowing disc breaks these bikes are competition legal).

The Pompetamine Versa Pro has an upraded spec over the standard model shedding weight and increasing riding effieiciency. A Selle Italia Shiver Kevlar saddle, Planet X Ultralight CNC stem and folding Continental Top Contact tyres are just some of the many highlights of what is unquestionably a beautifully well specced build.

Complete bike weight: 24.7 lbs (11.2 kg)

5. Kona Sutra £1000

'conduct of life'


  • Disc and Racks included
  • Sloping top tube

Kona’s Sutra touring bike adds a slice of mountain bike mechanics to your world domination plans to guarantee good global karma.

The world of long-haul touring bikes is dominated by traditional English manufacturers and specialist long-haul suppliers, such as Dawes, Thorn and others. Kona brings a sensibility that’s rooted in mountain biking to the notion of the sedate touring bike.

Ride: steady as she goes

With a 30lb all-up weight, the Sutra is definitely on the heavy side, but it is designed more as a yak than a racehorse and it fills that role superbly.

The weight you feel on the climbs is what gives it stability when the big panniers are fully loaded. It’s still much faster than an MTB anyway, and once you settle into its steady stride, it’s a resolute and enjoyable roller.

The steel frame is deliberately stiff to stop it wobbling around all over the place when you’re thundering down a pass with all your worldly possessions on board. Even with a sturdy straight leg fork, it’s still a lot more forgiving over potholes, cobbles and bridleways than an aluminium frame.

As you’d expect from a Kona, unloaded handling is still perky enough to play about on winding paths and woodland tracks. Ideal when you’ve set up camp, or fancy heading out for a local play instead of a once-round-the-planet lap.

On more technical trails or filthy days, the Avid disc brakes give a superb confidence boost, with their controlled and consistent stopping. Traction is only as good as the tyres, though, so if you’re heading off-road regularly then get yourself some more knobbly cyclo-cross rubber.

Frame: retro steel appeal

Kona has gone for big retro appeal with the white panel graphics over baby blue paint. Like the Charge Plug, it has a steel frame, although here it’s a quality, butted pipeset from Italian manufacturer Dedacciai.

Kona has also loaded the Sutra with an impressive set of standard fixtures, including v-brake/cantilever studs, as well as the fitted disc brakes and triple bottle cages for long days in the desert.

There are mounts for mudguards and conventional low-rider front racks, and it comes with tough tubular alloy racks fitted as standard.

Equipment: standout discs & racks

The Avid discs are definitely going to be a big draw for mountain bikers, but from experience make sure you take plenty of pads on any long trip, because wet weather rips through them in double-quick time.

In versatility terms, the included pannier racks are superb. The rear one isn’t the stiffest we’ve used under heavy loads, but its unique design means plenty of clearance around the disc brake for easy maintenance.

The Continental Contact tyres are classics, while the Shimano Deore hubs can be home-serviced and re-greased for years of smooth running.


It looks great, it handles great – loaded or unloaded – and it’ll carry your weekly shop or your worldly possessions all the way to Thailand safely and securely.

Overall weight dulls its sporting edge, but it’s a confident and versatile bike that’s not afraid of a bit of rough.

MORE to come I am Sure

Beautiful frame for project

Rossin ‘Prestige’

Columbus Gilco Tubing. Hex crimped top tube, seat tube & seat stays. Chrome Forks. Rossin Pantographed Lugs, bottom bracket shell & dropouts. Internal brake cable. 54cm C-T-C.

Rossin Frame

A nice Italian bike. Quality varies a bit on these – some examples that were imported directly from Italy are not as spiffy as the typical export models we usually saw here. Figure that a nice early 80’s S.R. equipped example should be worth around $900