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Everything posted by Drooper

  1. Just received an email with a cracking offer on a Cycling Plus sub: 60% Off 13 Issues I already subscribe, so no use to me, but a very good mag for road cyclists.
  2. Good stuff (and cheers for the PM) - I'll give you a shout nearer the time to catch up and say hello....assuming I can still breathe let alone talk
  3. I just returned from holiday in Crete on Monday. My eldest had developed a cold-type thing a day or so before we were heading home, and half of the passengers on the plane were coughing and sneezing all the way back. Our flight was at 12.35am, and I then had to drive home to Dunbartonshire from Manchester. No surprise then that I picked up this lurgie (as did my missus) after no sleep for about 30 hours and travelling for 10 or so Anyway, I'd really missed getting out on the bike so, against my better judgement, took it out yesterday morning when I knew was fucked. Big mistake. I was struggling for breath after 20 minutes, and had to severely curtail the run and face the hill from hell that awaits me as I approach home. It was no fun at all, and I'd have been better to wait until I was in better nick, as I've probably set myself back a few days. On another more general note, it's worth checking out the current edition of Cycling Active which includes a rather nifty wee DVD on proper bike set-up. Well worth getting a hold of it before the new issue comes out.
  4. I'm doing the 100 mile option. Give me a shout if you fancy saying hello
  5. Median nerve compression? Most bike specific gloves/mits have strategically placed padding or gel inserts to combat numbness and pain caused by stress in this area. Not all work for everyone so it can be a bit of trial and error. Look out for reviews that highlight good protection in this area, and that should help. The ulnar nerve is the other common problem area.
  6. Yep, and I'm still pulling on knee-warmers and arm-warmers in mid-June. This weather is fucking hellish. We're off to Crete for a fortnight on Sunday. Will miss the bike, but won't miss the weather
  7. It's not just about saddle height, though. You need to think about how far forward (or back) you set your saddle on the seatpost. This is important if you think about the impact it can have on on where you sit relative to the bottom bracket of your bike, and then consider how this determines your pedalling circle, and hence, your knees. I hope that makes some kind of sense. Don't be lulled into thinking that the position of your saddle only determines the reach distance to your handle bars.
  8. It might be worth getting your riding position checked out, as knee problems can spell big trouble, and they're often caused by a poor riding set up. Are you using clipless pedals?
  9. Good stuff. Looks a lot of bike for the money. I'd get rid of the kick-stand, though. It just adds weight and gets in the way. More suited to a tourer or some such. Also, you should look at clearance for closer fitting guards. You can get special sets that can be fitted even with minimal frame clearance. You'll find that these protect you and the bike much more effectively than the MTB-style guard you have on just now. I'm intending to invest in a set of these when I return from my holiday (you can pick them up cheaper if you shop around): Roadie Mudguards The main thing is to just get out and ride the thing, though
  10. Aye, the wind is the killer. I just get the head down and grind away, trying not to think about it. Oddly enough, I find you don't notice the rain after a while unless it is really pissing down remorselessly with a strong wind to boot.
  11. Big knobblies are hellish on the road, mate - I'd suggest you get rid. Get a set of cheap slicks while you're saving up. Not convinced about the puncture argument, TBH, but, as UtN says, they slow you down horribly, and are ridiculously heavy.
  12. I woke yesterday and was cheered to see blue sky and sunshine. I got half way through my 5 mile morning commute when it started to rain, and for 30 seconds or so, I got thrashed by hailstones....in June FFS! Anyhoo... It seems we might finally be getting a shower installed here at my office. Ah, but it would seem there is a catch, in that we're being told that bikes won't be allowed in the building. This is pish, as I have my own office and the bike doesn't get in anyone's way. I didn't fork out a grand on a bike only to have to leave it lying outside for some scumbag to nick. Negotiations are ongoing, but, needless to say, I've spat the dummy out....
  13. Did you hit something or roll over glass etc?
  14. I prefer MyTracks, TBH. I can't be arsed downloading onto the net and all that palaver. I used Endomondo a few times before I discovered MyTracks, and it's possible i didn't take advantage of all it's facilities fully, but I'm happy with my app now.
  15. Aye, he told me it takes 36 cartridges to inflate a rubber doll.
  16. Back on the bike yesterday, so that was good. Taking it pretty easy just now, but still up for a long run at the weekend. I'm starting to really enjoy the Cube. It goes like stink, and feels very stable and assured. I've fitted my wee saddle bag which does spoil the look a bit, but is helpful on the commute. BTW, my tip of the day is to get yourselves a Co2 inflator. Fantastic wee bit of kit.
  17. I've fucked my knee after helping a mate with some building work at his house. Could be challenging getting on the bike for my commute in the morning. While not an impact sport, cycling can be pretty damaging if, like me, you've got dodgy knees (probably as a result of running ). I've planned a 50 miler next weekend, so hopefully this clears up
  18. The in/out of the saddle thing on the climbs is an odd one. I was reading an article in Cycling Plus where they were advocating staying in the seat for the most part, and I assumed, having watched the pros, that this is the way to go.
  19. The Road Cycling UK forum is a great source of imformation and advice, and they don't seem to be too precious or elitist in any way (a good spread of age, fitness, and ability). Like you, I'd rather concentrate on enjoying my riding. I find it liberating getting out there and escaping for a few hours. It has taken a while to reconcile myself to the fact that there are inherent risks in road cycling, and my missus still isn't too happy with me taking this up more seriously, but it's a cost benefit analysis, and the benefits outweight the costs by some margin. Unlike you, I'm a short-arse, but I was carrying a bit too much weight before I started regularly commuting to work and then using the bike at weekends too. I'm now down to around 10 stone, which is probably my ideal weight (oh, and I'm getting on a bit at 41). Cycling regularly means that it is pretty easy to maintain this, and I feel a hell of a lot better both physically and psychologically. My lastest challenge is to stay in the saddle during big climbs. It is tempting to get up and 'dance' using your weight to pound the pedals, but I noticed the pros tend to stay seated for the most part. It's hard work, but I'm getting there....slowly
  20. I wouldn't consider myself an experienced cyclist (certainly not when it comes to road cycling), TBH, so perhaps I shouldn't be reponding here. Apologies if I'm gatecrashing your post. I suppose it all depends upon what you want to benchmark your progress. I watched a section of the Giro d'Italia, and was uttlery gob-smacked at how quickly these guys managed to get up a mountain (and how fearlessly they hurtled down the other side!). Needless to say, I won't be doing any benchmarking there When I trained for half-marathons, I judged my progress against my previous PBs. I take the same approach to my cycling, though I have to say that I derive more pleasure from getting out on the bike than I ever did from running. If you are looking to get a decent measure of how well you're progressing, I'd visit the Road Cycling UK forum. I post there from time to time, and have found them to be a thoroughly decent bunch of people. There is a dedicated board for newbies, and it is one of the busiest, with the experienced guys routinely offering advice and answering queries: http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/forum/forum.asp FWIW, I can give you some indication of how I got on one of my first longish rides on the road bike a month or so ago. I use My Tracks on the HTC Desire, and find it to be a fantastic app. I cycled 36.25 miles. It was a pretty hilly loop with a couple of lung-busters. The top speed was 38.18 mph (downhill - I'd guess about 22 - 25 on the level). My average moving speed was 14.35 mph. The total elevation gained was 2,469 ft, with a max elevation of 855 ft. The max gradient was 13.8%, the min -9.9%. The total moving time was 2 hrs 31 minutes. I reckon I've progressed a bit since then, and I'm now generally using a newer, lighter, and better kitted-out bike. That said, I still believe performance is predominantly down to physical fitness and mental attitude (in about equal measure). For me, this would account for about 70%, while the quality of the hardware accounting for the remaining 30%. No doubt, the guys at the pinnacle of the sport can wring every ounce of benefit from 12 lb bikes, but for us mere mortals, I think it is much less significant.
  21. Aye, I'm happy that they've repaired the road, and sorted it our so quickly. That's encouraging. Getting a ha'penny out of them for the damage, would, on the other hand, be nothing short of miraculous. The tyres are close to top-end, and are one of the reasons why the bike gets reviewed well. This is often an area where manufacturers skimp a bit, and one of the first upgrades that usually has to be considered. The tyres, along with a decent wheelset, seemed to lift the bike above the competition in the recent Cycling Plus bike of the year (for under £1K....albeit by a quid!) award. I was mightily pissed off that I'd hardly ventured out on the bike and was already having to consider replacing something through no real fualt of my own. Just one of these things, I suppose. The other road bike I use has Continental Gatorskins. A good bit heavier, with a bit more rolling resistance, but they are bomb-proof. They aren't cheap either, at about £20+ a pop. Much more sensible for the commute, to be honest. Dales are a decent retailer, and their guys are pretty clued up. Depending on where you live, I'd also give Evans a look (they have a shop in Braehead Xscape place or whatever it's called). They can order in bikes from a massive range nationwide. A great selection of 2010 models that would save you a good wedge, without having to compromise the quality of your new bike. Dales are a bit more limited.
  22. I've got an early set of Shimano Deores on my MTB and they've been bomb-proof and have served me really well. I reckon the current incarnation will be of equally good quality and pretty reasonable. Aside from that, I can't assist unfortunately.
  23. As I say, I'm not expecting anything from them. I was making sure that they knew I wasn't simply reporting a wee pothole. Any talk of financial implications will have had them on their toes, as the last thing they would want is to blank my email and for someone else to follow it up having taken a sore one only to find out that the pothole had already been reported. Credit is due for the speedy repair, and you are quite right, I'm just glad I didn't come off the bike or veer off into oncoming traffic. Anyway, you don't ask....you don't get
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