Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sunday Ride with New Shorts

The plan for the day was to ride 100km with a few little lumps and bumps with an old school friend. The route we took from Lancaster was to take the flatlands out towards Blackpool then follow the river Wyre back in land to near Inglewhite then back north and home. Details of the ride can be found on Strava. This was the same ride as I had done the week before and the weather conditions were very similar. The main difference this week was a change in riding partner. After 100km there was a difference of about 15 mins difference and several personal records were set on the segments. A coffee stop was taken at the ever popular, for cyclists, The Barn in Scorton. When we arrived there must have been at least 50 bikes stored outside but still plenty of room and quick service inside.
Rob and me in The Barn Scorton.

Gear Review
Suogi Liquigas Cannondale Bib Shorts

I received a pair of these bib shorts, from Probikekit, recently and it being the middle of winter was wondering when I would be able to wear them. I used then initially on the instrument of torture, sorry Turbo Trainer, in the garage and they were perfectly fine for my short work out in there but how would they fare on a real ride. Well this Sunday I managed to get out with these on with a pair of padless bib tights over the top. When I use a pair of bib shorts there are a few fundamental properties that I want. These are:
1) Comfort on the pad
2) A good fit
3) They stay where they are supposed to.
So how did these do?
Comfort on the pad was excellent. After a 30 min turbo session I was sure that they would be good and after a 4 hour ride I knew that to be the case. There was no discomfort or numbness which can come about from either a poor thin pad or one that is just the wrong shape. I was more than happy to wear these for several hours and would even have no problems wearing them for the 200km audax ride that I have coming up at the end of January.
Fit was also good. With Lycra bib shorts they will stretch to virtually any size and shape and the main consideration to take into account is height as you do not want them pulling upwards. I am 6ft 1inches and 182 lbs and the size large fitted like a glove. There was plenty of give in the material to ensure a snug but not tight fit.
So lastly did they stay where they were supposed to? Yes they did, the silicone gripper around the legs kept them just at the correct place, which for me is along the bottom of the muscle line.
The build quality is very good with excellent stitching and no signs of wear after a few washes.
Score for me is 9 out of 10
I know that some people regard team kit as the worst thing in the world but if you want a comfy pair of shorts for wearing all day then you wouldn't have to look much further than these and if you like the colours who cares what anyone else thinks.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weekend Warrior

New years always bring new resolutions for some it's lose weight or give up smoking.  For me this year it's cycle as many miles as 2013 whilst also doing more running and fell walking.
In both 2012 and 2013 I managed to cover over 7000 miles on the bike. This was a combination of the daily 20 mile commute, cycle touring, sportives and Audax riding. I am very keen to keep this as a minimum for the year however I feel that I need to do more other things to improve my overall fitness not just cycling fitness.


PHD minimus vest.
For those who have never heard of PHD it is a small outdoor company in the north of England who specialise in down clothing and sleeping bags.
I bought my mimimus vest in one of their seasonal sales and used it primarily for light weight backpacking. It is a fantastic piece of kit which ticks all the boxes. Lightweight
I use mine in the evening when camping as it's a little to warm to walk in it. So as I am sat round cooking food or chewing the fat in a cold Scottish bothy this is the first piece of kit to throw on. It is also super useful for when you pack the wrong sleeping bag (or son nicks the warm one) to bump the comfort rating. A dry shell outer means that you do not have to worry about the odd spot of rain but I definitely would not use it in a proper downpour.