New Forest Spring Sportive

By Jason & Kate

I had ridden the Hampshire Hilly Hundred twice before. Kate, having just reached double figures for the number of outings on her new road bike, did not know what to expect. However, neither of us anticipated the number of participants taking part on the day which I believe reflects the continuing growth in popularity for cycling and also an unseasonable hot day for the time of year. Continue reading “New Forest Spring Sportive”

Commuting for Cameron

By James T

Today is a day of firsts for me, and all to squeeze in some extra training time.

To backpedal a little, I started cycling as a student in London in 1989, on a fat-wheeled mountain bike.  It lasted about 3 weeks before it came off worse in a late-night collision with an Austin Montego on the Old Kent Road.  Scorched buttock eventually healed, I was back in action on a similar beast (Specialized Hard Rock Comp, if you’re taking notes) about a month later, eventually trading up to the Marin Indian Fire Trail that, over 20 years later, I still own.  Although I swapped the knobbly tyres for slicks, that was as racy as my daily commute ever got when we lived in London. Continue reading “Commuting for Cameron”

Chasing The Shannon¹

By James T

The alarm went at 5.15.  The missed opportunity to wake Franca with coffee in bed at 8, and tell her that the Sportive plan had all been an elaborate April Fool, evaporated into the parallel universe in which common sense and appetite for challenge do not battle for supremacy.  Instead we dutifully boiled eggs, ate porridge and drank strong coffee before deserting the house (and the children within) to head out into the dawn for the road to Plumpton Racecourse. Continue reading “Chasing The Shannon¹”

Tomboy to Tourmalet – part 2

By George

Also see Tomboy to Tourmalet – part 1

Skip forward to marriage and three children, you then have “recreational” cycling dominated by a certain desperation to find family activities we can all just, well, do. There’s a great deal of cajolement that needs to happen cycling with kids, or the use of one of those trailer attachments to drag unwilling or incapable children behtrail gaiterind a quietly blaspheming parent; but sometimes it’s easier to take the strain rather than the whinging. Continue reading “Tomboy to Tourmalet – part 2”

Wet & Windy Winter Training

By George

The deprivations of winter haven’t been a deterrent for our C2C cyclists in the gentle climes of the South downs, I mean its not Finland is it? In Oulu, the self-proclaimed capital of winter cycling, it gets so cold the snow freezes and you can’t even build snowmen. They have three hours of daylight and temperatures stay well below -25ºC, but the majority of the residents cycle regularly all through the eight and a half month winter… hell, what do we have to complain about? Continue reading “Wet & Windy Winter Training”

All the gear and hopefully (now) an idea

By James S

Part of the love-hate relationship many have with road cycling is the amount of kit, and increasingly technology, available to ‘improve’ one’s cycling experience. As is often the case, technology can cause frustration, both in understanding the vast array of what’s available and also identifying what’s actually useful, versus simply a novelty that adds extra weight to your stealthy steed. Then there’s a case of identifying which manufacturer or model works well from a vast array of options available, most of which only online from cycling specialists. Continue reading “All the gear and hopefully (now) an idea”

Tomboy to Tourmalet – part 1

By George

Apart from when I was a tomboy of 15 years old, the sort you you don’t tend to see these days; gawky and androgynous, I have never really bothered much with cycling. But back in the day, I was really quite enthused by my “racing bike” which had a perilously high, straight top bar. It proved I was no skirt wearing girly girl but threatened me with severe groin injury at every road junction because my father insisted on having the saddle at the “correct” height, which meant my feet could barely touch the ground on tip toes. Continue reading “Tomboy to Tourmalet – part 1”