The Spider Cave

Posts Tagged ‘cycling

Polar Wearlink +

This is a bluetooth HRM which enables it to connect to a bluetooth device like your mobile phone. It connects to applications like Endomondo and other fitness applications.

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The strap is very good quality and when you put it on, it is very comfortable. The monitor runs on a battery which it says last 150 hours.

I’ve kinda damaged the opening bit of the battery. I just didn’t use the right coin which is a 10p and also I didn’t turn it hard. I went slow and the sides have kinda melted and now I can’t turn it.

It’s good so far. Make sure you wet it then connect it. Connecting with Endomondo is easy. I’m gonna have fun with this working out.

I have just sat and worked out all my cycling stats. It is quite interesting. What I have done is I have split them into years and put in categories like 10+ miles, 20+, 30+, 40+, 50+ and so on. Over the next three posts I will list all the miles I have done (arranged by year, of course). I won’t count any below 10 miles as it will clutter up the whole stats. And just for the fun I have put these into trophies so 10+ miles will be bronze. 20+, 30+, 40+ will be silver. 50+ miles will be gold and 100+ miles will be platinum. So it will be interested to see how many have I collected so far. So we shall start by the year 2011 which I will list it in my next post.

 

edit: I have decided not to list all the miles as it will be unnecessary and the list will be too long so I have summarized everything in a page called ‘Cycling Stats’. I will only update that page yearly whereas the main trophies bit at the top of the blog will be updated regularly.

Two different haiku from today. One from afternoon and other at night.

First one is a simple one describing me cycling in wind.

Sun shines through black shades
My bike sways violently
The wind is my foe

And secondly is a bit complex. It describes a stretch of dark road. I am going to take the second left on my bike in this clear cloudless sky. At the first right, there is a police car in flashing lights who had stopped a driver and were investigating.

Stars gleam overhead
Red and Blue flashes at front
The dark farm is lit

The angle at which the police car is parked, it’s headlights is lighting up the dark farm in a way which is looking amazing. And the stars shine on the whole atmosphere. The central theme has got to be light.

Well, Christmas day and my day off too. I took full advantage of it. Slipping out of the house at half six in the morning. I had pre planned a couple of routes but now decided to take one.

The traffic was next to nothing. I saw one guy cycling in the town centre and saw not a single human being for the first two hours. Obviously everyone is at home having dinner and here I am out on the bike.

It was a bit foggy but not so cold. I went towards the Erskine Bridge/Loch Lomond way but I turned right at Arnprior and headed north towards Lake of Menteith. You are probably wondering why I am saying the word ‘lake’ in Scotland and not the usual word ‘Loch’. Some English guy mistook ‘laigh’ for low ground and the word lake stuck to its name. It is quite shallow and can freeze in winter conditions and if it is frozen enough, a grand match of Curling takes place on it.

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The lake was covered partially in fog and stood still. It was peaceful and quiet. A lot of deer running around on the road. One ran ahead of me for half a mile until it found a hole in the fence and disappeared in the woods.

Passing Thornhill, I saw a first cyclist (well second, the first one was a commuter I think). I never took rest here and just kept going. Actually after Thornhill I’ve been on this route recently in last months so they were familiar. Turned left towards Doune where I took my first proper rest. 35 miles in. The rest of the route was very familiar. Towards home I managed 54 miles. 50 miles were done just under 4 hours and the last four miles took half an hour. I was just so tired. Anyway it was a nice ride and I had a nice time listening to the end of the first book of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Just brand new in ordered online from Merlin Cycles (great site by the way).

When I bought my new bike, I bought a black Camelbak 500ml bottle which I loved. I wasn’t into cycling much then so one bottle would do me just fine but as I started doing longer trips, I felt the need to have another water bottle. I remember the second week of my new bike, without even checking anything and I mean anything (tyre pressure, water, weather) I set off on the hills. There I was tackling 400 m hills and on an unknown route and I had only ONE water bottle. And on top of it I got a back puncture due to low pressure and had to walk the bike or ride slowly for 13 miles because there wasn’t a mobile signal. I mean could you believe it? I was stuck but thank god I wasn’t lost. I feel so stupid thinking about it now.

So just recently in this (2012) winter I decided to take off my old bike’s bottle stand and attach it to my new one and also I decided to use the old water bottle. It is a 750 ml white sports cap bottle with a plastic cap. My Camelbak one is my primary one which I love but this old one is a nightmare. First you grab it then with the help of your teeth you flip the plastic cover off then again with teeth you push the sport cap out then tip the bottle and squeeze it to get the water. Then close the sport cap by pushing the cap against my face skin and I have a grown up a fair amount of stubble so when a hair gets stuck it makes you scream then after all that you have an optional choice to close the plastic cap if you want (hehe you had forgotten about that didn’t you?). Seriously whoever makes it please stop doing it. This was annoying so i decided to get a new water bottle. I went online and ordered it. And here it is. Presenting to you a Camelbak Better Bottle Tritan 750 ml Grey.

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It has a unique Bite N Sip function where you just have to bite the top bit and water comes flowing out. I have to say whoever made this is a genius. It is very refreshing and easily accessed. All you have to do is take the bottle and pull up the lever by your teeth and bite and sip. Then close it by your chin. It is as simple.

So goodbye old bottle and welcome new Camelbak. Making my cycling easy.

I did some shopping and went around the cycling store and got a couple of things for the winter.

First is a windproof cap. Last year I bought a large one and it was too big for my head. A couple of months back from today I bought a small/medium one from Trespass and it was too small. It gave me headaches. So you know what to do. Never buy something which says S/M. Seriously how can two sizes fit. It’s either small or medium or large. Here it is. A Gore Bike Wear windproof cap which fit perfectly on my head. It’s snuggly too.

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Next is something new. A Specialized Arm Wear. I don’t know why I bought these. Considering I wear t shirts a lot and while biking I have my jacket on, I’ll just slip these thermal arms on. They are quite nice and fit tight.

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Next are just a normal pair of linen socks which I could slip under my normal socks and hopefully my feet will stay warm. I have those thick socks (and I mean really thick) too but I heard they stop the blood flow so the feet get cold too soon.

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Seriously my hands and feet feel so cold when riding. They didn’t have any linen gloves otherwise I would’ve bought them. I’ll see how my experiment goes with these socks. I’m most excited about the cap because finally I have found a true cap. Fingers crossed.

So here we are. I normally do a ride of the month and I picked this particular ride as my Ride of the Month.

I started off at 6 in the morning. The sun was just peeking out. I had left my sun shades at work so I had to wear my transparent ones which I mostly use for night riding. So I checked my bike and headed out. The first thing that hit me was the coldness. It was not windy but there was damp cold in the air which chilled me. But it only remained for 15 mins then my body adapted to the weather. This is one of the best things about a human body that it adapts to whatever the situation is. Not extreme situations but you have to be prepared for it and dress accordingly. The best time to test this is riding in January. I’ve cycled at minus three and you don’t really need an insulation for legs and arms or chest. You have to make sure your feet are properly safe and snug, your hands and lastly your ears. These three parts bug me a lot.

So I rode my way through then quiet busy roads and up my way towards Slamannan. I always loved this town. I was not expecting so much climbing but there were hills so I climbed never coming off the bike. The only time I had to stop and get off the bike when I had to take photos. And that was my big problem. The music player on my phone kept crashing and I had to stop to fix it. Taking photos cost me but it was worth it.

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I climbed and climbed to Slamannan. There was a little bit of up and down after and then finally I reached Black Loch, the highlight of this ride. I actually have seen it before last year when I was doing Freshnlo Pedal For Scotland 2011. I really loved the scenery.

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I had a little break as I was 13 miles in. I carried on taking a last look at this favourite loch of mine. This stretch of road was amazing. Up and down and quiet. Reminiscent of last year, this little stretch to Avonbridge I particularly enjoyed.

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I bought a bottle of water from a shop in Avonbridge and made my way up the road. There was a yellow road sign saying this road will be closed for Pedal For Scotland 2012 next week. I felt a bit sad as I am not going to attend this year because I have a wedding coming up. I had registered and even my number had come through the post. Number 299. Oh well, nothing can be done now.

There was a good amount of climb after Avon. I was around 650 feet up which was ok. I started to see school kids now in the little villages. And I came across this little village called

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which was pretty awesome. It was quite small though. I came to Shieldhill and turned right down. Yes I said down and it was a full descent for 2 miles. I hit 36.4 mph down that and it was fast and amazing. This was worth the whole ride. I am more of a fan of ascent and like a good climb but oh boy that descent was worth it. That made me join my normal route and 26 miles in I took a last break and had a sandwich from Tesco. Three more miles and I would reach home and that I did. 9 am. Took me 2 and a half hours excluding breaks.

I was expecting it to be and easy ride but all that climbing got me but I really enjoyed it to name it my ride of the month.

Black Loch

I bought some new lights.

First off is RSP Asteri 3.

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3 watt rechargable. Quite reputable I believe. Read some very good reviews. I just recharged it and it looks pretty heavy and bulky in my hands. Looks like a piece of metal. I think my Night Rider 600 is better looking than this.image

Next up are two Blackburn Flea 2.0 USB. These are really small but they do the job. Mainly use it for the flashing mode. They do look sleek and stylish

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You could get them from 20 pounds and RSP from around 45.

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Adventure

Posted on: April 26, 2012

It was morning about 10 am when I woke up. The first thing I see is the weather out of the window if it is cycling compatible. Today was different. It was cloudy with wind and a little spit of rain. The thought of not cycling never came in my mind. A sense of adventure came in as a thought and it grew. I thought lets go and have an adventure. So I got my helmet, put my jacket on and my gloves and got my bike out.

 

This was not my daily run or going-to-work thing. This was pure adventure. The sheer love to cycle no matter what conditions. I’ve seen people cycling in a storm. Battering rain and wind and dark and they are cycling away. I’ve seen it in the snow. they just don’t care because its love and adventure. So I took off from my home and headed toward the country lane. The rain wasn’t there but the wind is. Sometimes it is difficult to decide which I dislike most. The rain or the wind. After some thinking I would say wind because it has some effect on the cycling. So the wind was there but it was not a lot.

 

The road was newly built and wet from the rain last night. But it was awesome to ride on. I headed west between farms and I saw sheep. Sheep are amazing and baby sheep are ultra amazing. They stare at you, this innocent stare which I absolutely adore. And they keep staring. They are so adorable but my evil side took my good mushy side over and I rang the bell, drrrriiiinnnnggggg, and they ran off. I smiled a little and crossed the bridge heading west.

 

I could see the cream coloured castle up ahead on a hill. I just had to turn right and a bit downhill then uphill. It was a moderate hill, farm on the right and some trees followed by a house then the castle when you conquer the hill. Halfway up the hill, I was in the saddle but it got hard so i came out of the saddle but kept pushing. There I saw a figure coming toward me. I could not see it first because it was far away but then I realize that it was an old man. An old man pushing a sack barrow with something on it (a mini fridge or something?). He had an orange red jacket on with white messy hair and the first thing which came to my mind was: a zombie. He was coming toward me slowly but on the other side of the road. A serious face but when we came closer about to cross each other, he saw me pedaling up the hill, panting and he mimicked my panting and smiling. I relaxed a little because that stretch of a road with the eerie and haunted looking castle always gives me uncomfortable spooks. So it was a relief.

 

At the end of my 8 mile adventure it started raining and I took it as a blessing as I love rain. I knew I was reaching home and my adventure was going to end and so it did. When I think about my cycle runs, this one stands out and it feels like it was yesterday. Wait, as a matter of fact it was yesterday, Wednesday 25th of April, 2012.

 

I just checked Twitter and found an appropriate quote by RGV (Ram Gopal Varma Bollywood film director). ‘Adventure could be dangerous but routine could bore you to death.’