Monday, 26 January 2015

New rules of the road: #2 Addison Lee

Rule #2

Addison Lee

Addison Lee vehicles to be confined to the far left hand lane in all circumstances: Except when actually turning right after an appropriate signal. If this fails to limit the amount of sudden breaking and turning without signalling then a secondary offence of "impersonating an actual cab" should be brought into  play.

New Rules of the Road: #1 Hi Vis

On my journey to work this morning, I was inspired to come up with a couple of ideas that I think would dramatically improve the highway code. I made myself agree that they would target all road users and be for the greater good...

Rule #1

Hi Vis

Hi Vis clothing should be only worn by cyclists and those working in or near roads and trainlines. Hi Vis should only be worn in such a way as to draw appropriate attention to one's location. There is no excuse for looking like you're going to a rave in the early 90's.

Cars are not painted Neon green. They have lights. Try getting lights.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Cycling in 2015

In my first post of the year I talked about 3 decisions for 2015. Decisions 1 and 2 are progressing nicely with my leaving date getting closer and my first application activity getting under way so onto...

Decision 3: Do a cycling event that pushes me harder than I've been pushed on a bike.

I've signed up to do the Newcastle to London ride.

"Hey!" I hear you thinking. "That's not further than you've ridden before?"

That's right. It's only about 300 miles (483 kilometres). Lands end to John O'Groats is further. This event however has a target time of  24 hours; Which means I  need to average 20 kms an hour over 24 hours. I'll have a couple of hours off the bike and stops every few hours to refill water and snack supplies so my average will need to be nearer 25 kms an hour.

This is a much bigger ride than I've ever managed before. To achieve this I'm going to need to get some progressively bigger distances in between now and August. This is basically the Dunwich Dynamo 2.5 times in one go.

I've got the Velothon  in Cardiff  which is 50 kms as my first mass participation ride of the year and I'm thinking of the Ride to the Sun as an overnight practise run at about half the distance. In between I think I'm going to have to do some hill based interval training and some London-Brighton-London or London-Cambridge-London weekend rides leading up to it.

There is also the small matter of directions....

Thursday, 15 January 2015

BONT Vaypor shoes - A first look

Just before Christmas (because timing is everything) I treated myself to a new pair of shoes for cycling in. I had to stop using the basic Shimano shoes/Cleats/Pedals combo I had purchased for the LEJOG ride back in 2011 as the soles were very flexible by 2014 and had contributed to my foot injuries.

After much research I decided upon a pair of BONT shoes as they have a wide fitting last and are heat moldable. They are of course preposterously expensive for a non-pro non-racer. I measured myself using their on line fitting tool and followed the advise to go a half size up on the charts.then I hit the Internet. In December I could only find the BONT Riot at an affordable price until I hit eBay.

An eBay user was selling 2 pairs of BONT Vaypour in exactly the size I was looking for. 1 slightly scuffed looking pair in the perfect colour and a pristine looking pair in a flouro lime green. I swallowed my pride and went for the pristine pair.

In Fluorescent lime green.

To be clear I don't normally buy second hand footwear as it can already have molded to the foot shape of the original owner and be full of bacteria... However These are heated in the oven to 70C(That should kill any bacteria) and then you wear them to mold them to your own feet.

Anyway the molding process is quite simple: First remove the cleats, bolts and fittings. Then:

"Pre-heat the oven to 70C/160F. Place the shoe in the oven for 20 minutes. Higher temperatures will void your warranty and may damage your boot. Caution: Do not place your feet in the hot shoes or you may burn your feet. Let them cool a little and test the shoe temperature with your hand before placing your feet in the shoes. Tighten the straps and allow to cool. If you have any lumps or bunions on your feet or if there are any areas causing discomfort, while the shoe is hot you can use the round end of a screwdriver to press out any part of the boot. You can heat mold the shoes as many times as you like."

Followed the advice and it worked. I can feel the depression under the ball of my foot and the sole feels in contact with my foot the whole way around.

I've only ridden once with them so far so a review is a fair way off, but I'm impressed with the fit, comfort, stiffness and construction so far. A word of warning though - Check you know how to undo the ratchet system before you put them on or you will be asking your significant other to google "undo-ing BONT Shoes" before you know it.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

First post of 2015

At the risk of pretending anybody reads this...

Happy New Year!! Happy New Shoes!!

So since my last post I've discovered that I can indeed take voluntary redundancy and have accepted and then emailed the recipient of the letter to check they'd got it. As of the beginning of march I am no longer working at my current employer. I work in Local Government and gradually the similarities between this line of work and the problems facing the cast of "Parks and Recreation" are becoming too similar to bear.

So decision 1 has been made.

Decision 1 - Leave my current job

This ties neatly into  decision 2 which is...

Decision 2 - Develop an exit strategy for my current sector

Decision 3 was a little harder. I am back running again after my broken foot, but I have done little cycling as I've had to buy new shoes and pedals and they are not tuned in yet. It got me thinking though. I love cycling, I enjoy running and I can tolerate swimming. I should do more cycling and less of the other two. Last year I did little cycling as I needed to get my running and swimming up to "survival standard" to complete my chosen event.

I can do this now. I got a respectable time.

I'm going to do some of the Aquathlons and Duathlons in the Lee Valley area over the spring and summer to keep my strength and overall fitness up. I will continue to run and swim because I can but mostly I want to cycle.

An injury free year where I am doing some running, should build up a bit more strength. The Pilates has really helped here so that must continue. Swimming should help my back and upper body strength...

Decision 3 - Do a cycling event that pushes me harder than I've been pushed on a bike.

I've got lots of ideas but I won't post until I'm committed to an event.