Tag Archives: Bike

A Day To Myself

Last week I was out the country with family for our warm holiday of the year. This is why I’ve been non-existent in terms of this here blog.

But before we went away, I booked an extra day off from work. Usually my mum does the school run on a Friday for our eldest, but Nanny and Grumps were away in the US of A this particular time (or rather on their way back from). I could have worked from home, but the forcast was decent and it gave me an opportunity to get a decent ride in on my bike.

Leading up to the day off, I had planned a couple of different rides using the Strava Route Builder tool. Strava is great, it’s free (unless you want the added perks) and it allows you to not only track your rides, but plan them too.

The particular ride I eventually went for utilised the trails around where I live. There are a few old mine railways which have been converted to trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy. Once I was happy with the route on Strava, I exported it in GPX format and imported it into Garmin Connect to link it to my Garmin. This way I would get turn-by-turn notifications and wont get lost.

Continue reading A Day To Myself

Clearing Ones Mind

There is one thing I have found this last week really useful and that is the bike.  Having the bike set up in my ‘Dad Cave’ has meant that when I’ve been feeling angry, frustrated or emotional for whatever reason has saved me.  I still need to get on top of my emotions and mental state, but the bike has been a lifesaver recently.

Sign on entry to my Dad Cave
Continue reading Clearing Ones Mind

A Brand New Ride

I’m in deep, deep trouble.  I’ve a new bike now, but it’s not the bike that’s the problem, I may have ‘forgot’ to let the wife know it was coming.  Not the greatest move I’ve pulled through our relationship, but I think she’s now just about over it.

So last week I ordered a Cycle2Work voucher via my employer.  It’s a good 15 miles to work when not using the motorway so is easily achievable on a bike.  I’ve never biked to work before but I know of others who do in my office.  They come from all different directions to the office and none live in my direction, so it will be a sole commute when it happens.

c2w_logo

The Cycle2Work scheme basically covers off the cost of the bike and safety accessories at the point of purchasing the bike.  I then ‘hire’ the bike from my employer for 12 months with me paying for the bike via salary sacrifice (before tax – have that Mr Tax Man).  Via the scheme I also got 5% discount on the bike – win win so far yeah.

The bike I opted for is the Boardman ADV 8.8 Adventure/Gravel bike.  I’d done a fair bit or research for the last few weeks on the bikes on offer to me.  My voucher limits me to buy from Halfords, so there wasn’t a ridiculously huge range of bikes to choose from.  But my main requirements were;

  1. Quick and comfortable on tarmac
  2. Able to handle cycle trails and gravel paths
  3. Prefer disk brakes due to winter cycling
  4. Drop handle bars

Boardman_ADV_8.8

The Boardman ADV 8.8 fits all these requirements I wanted.  The bike is £750, so really it’s £712.50 with the 5% discount applied.  Halfords then gave me £36 to spend on accessories as I went via the Cycle2Work scheme and they had a deal on for £75 off accessories with any Boardman bike – £111 or accessories for free, this keeps getting better.  In the end I maxed out on the accessories by getting;

  • Helmet (I’ve been using my dads while using his bike)
  • Front and rear rechargeable lights
  • Bottle cages (2 of)
  • Full mudguards (SKS Bluemels)
  • Spare battery operated small lights (in case the main ones fail during a dark ride)
  • Waterproof helmet cover (got to keep my noggin dry)
  • Cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses (comes with shaded, yellow and clear lenses)

The weight of this bike compared to my dads mountain bike is unreal.  16kg mountain bike compared to the 10.5kg of the Boardman already feels like those hills are going to be easier and I’ve not been on a ride yet.

Last night was a shambles though, trying to get the SKS mudguards to fit wasn’t a easy as I thought it would be and maybe I should have just paid Halfords to fit them – but I’m tight when it comes to something I should be able to do myself.  The rear mudguard went on fine, no issues there.  But the front mudguard is a real pain.  After working out that the mounting points for the stays are no where around the front wheel axel, I eventually found them half way up the inside of the fork.  So no I’ve had to bend the Stays slightly to meet their new location and still straighten into the locks on the mudguard.  Now it’s time to trim the stays, but at 10pm last night I was starting to loose patience and went to bed.  Tonight I will be finishing the front mudguard and hopefully getting out for that first ride.

It’s safe to say I’m excited and can’t wait to get out on this thing, fingers crossed!

 

More information on the Cycle2Work Scheme in the UK can be found here: https://www.cycle2work.info/

More information on the Boardman ADV 8.8 can be found here: https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/products/2145-adv-8.8.html

More information about Halfords and their bike services can be found here: https://www.halfords.co.uk/