We cyclists share an unwritten code of conduct. Knowing this code enriches our riding experience and ensures that we don’t inadvertently madden our fellow riders. The following list, although not exhaustive, will help you avoid unintentional gaffes.
Last week, I had the chance to ride with a new group. I had been getting a little bored solo road riding, so I jumped at the chance. What I didn’t realise was that most of them had no idea about group riding. This became abundantly clear when the wheel in front of me swerved to the left, and I plunged into the depths of some craterlike pothole…
Your pouring with sweat, your bike is filthy, and there are a million and one urgent tasks vying for your attention. So, what do you do? Upload your ride to Strava and check your favourite segments, of course. If you’re like me, you see a list of segments with accompanying times together with the odd bronze, silver, or gold medal. Wouldn’t it be nice to bask in the glow of cups or even that elusive KOM or QOM…
Early this year, I wrote a series of posts for new triathletes. Some of the posts, such as Starting Triathlon - Inspiration and Motivation, really connected with readers. So, now that triathlon season is well under way, I’ve brought all of these articles together, along with some other gems for any triathlete interested in the bike, in one place. I hope you enjoy them.
There’s a commonly held belief that, as a triathlete, you should focus your training on the bike if you want to achieve the fastest possible time. At the end of the day, the bike does form the longest leg of any triathlon, so surely the notion of ‘bike first’ makes sense. Of course, not every piece of conventional wisdom is true, take the Earth being flat or that eggs are bad for you. This week, we lift the lid on the issue and get to grips with where you should focus your training efforts.
I remember when 29ers became mainstream and a debate raged on whether 29 inches was just too much. There were plenty of people arguing that the 29er was only suitable for taller riders (six-foot plus) and the inertia caused by those big hoops meant these lanky steeds would only ever be suitable for cross-country. Fast forward a decade and we’ve got 29ers for five-foot riders and big wheeled downhill monsters shredding descents. Oh, how attitudes change.
Airport parking, check-in, security, over-priced drinks, and your off – a sunny cycling destination is just around the corner. Fight to get off the plane, rush for passport control, wait for an age for your bike box to appear, queue forever to get a hire car then explain why you don’t need additional insurance for extra-terrestrial activity, and finally, you’re on your way. There’s only one job left – build your bike. Unfortunately, your bike’s headset decides not to play ball, and you end up with something like…
When I was in my twenties, I was a self-confessed rock hugger. Every morning and every evening, I’d head to the local crags and pass hour after hour lost in the mental and physical challenges of bouldering. Work was chosen on proximity to climbing locations, girlfriends on their ability to spot and dyno, and holidays meant sleeping in caves and forests to make the most of Stanage Edge or Fontainebleau. Then one day, I stopped hugging rocks. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know how; it just happened.
The other day I was out on a ‘social’ ride with some class riders, to say the least. Whilst trying to hold the wheel in a crosswind (tornado, if it adds to the drama), I got to thinking that maybe it was my bike and not me that was making it such a slog – I’m sure you know the feeling. Fortunately, the gods were kind, we soon made a sharp turn, and were swept up by a delicious tailwind.
The world is full of people that inspire and motivate us, and each of us has a list of personal heroes. Specifically, in the world of cycling, there are legends that have inspired us to start cycling and individuals that have motivated us to keep those pedals turning. This week, I’d like to share with you some of the people that have inspired me and whom I respect for what they have done for me and my cycling journey.
Last week, whilst strolling around Port de Pollenca in search of some lunch, I bumped into some old friends. After exclaiming our surprise at happening upon each other, which wasn’t the greatest shock really considering we were in this cycling Mecca at Easter, they dropped the bombshell, “you’re looking good.” As cyclists, these little words always strike at our very core. Good? Looking good? We all know this is code for overweight.
It’s that time of year when lots of us make our annual pilgrimage to Mallorca. Sometimes, especially during Easter, everywhere seems so busy with every climb seeming like a sportive. Maybe you’re looking for something a little different, maybe something off the beaten track. This week I’d like to share four of my favourite climbs that are far from the madding crowds and are fantastic climbs in their own right.
Twenty years ago, P.J.O’Rourke, in Holidays From Hell, shared his tips on third-world driving, namely, don’t. Continuing in this spirit, this week I’ll share some hard-earned lessons on cycling and surviving the roads of Mallorca.
Previously, I shared a story of when Big Em and I got beasted by a group of OAPs on the Costa Blanca. As you know, they were a bunch of wiry ex-pros, but they are not the only older riders on the Costas. Up and down the coast of Spain thousands of OAPs harmlessly pass their winters…
Spinning through the lanes this morning with mud splattering my face, I was thinking Spanish spring cycling isn’t all suntans and beers. Today was one of those days that Mallorca pays homage to the Spring Classics with its own mix of rain, gravel, and side winds. It’s not always this way and whilst recollecting sun-filled days, I drifted back to my first Spanish cycling adventure.
Last week, I wrote an article on the women’s Spring Classics, where I highlighted some of the inequalities in the racing calendar. This article led to some interesting debates and a lot of questions. What is clear is that there’s an overwhelming groundswell of people who want equality in sport and genuinely want to watch women’s racing. So, what’s holding us back? In this week’s post, we’ll explore some of the big questions and invite your ideas on how we can answer them.
Unless you’re living on the moon, you’ve probably noticed that the Spring Classics are underway. These are one-day races that take place mostly in northern Europe and are renowned for being especially brutal. Some of them date back to the first decade of cycle racing, but what progress have they made in representing women…
We want to entertain, inform, and make you a better rider – we’re nice like that. So, why on earth are we telling you how to ride slowly? It’s simple – failure helps us learn. Learning from others’ failures is even better; it saves us time and energy. In this latest post in our Starting Time Trialling series, we explore some of the ways you can sabotage your time trialling performance.
It’s the 24th July 2010, and I’m stood at a Bordeaux roadside watching rider after rider whizz past. There’s a deafening roar; a wave of excitement passes through the crowd. In a blink of an eye, Fabian Cancellara flies past us, and the crowd goes wild. We are in awe of the fastest man on two wheels – a time trialling legend.
Sometimes it can be a struggle to train, right? Whether you’re a newbie to triathlon, or an old-hand, sometimes it is such a drag to get out there when the weather seems to be against you, and life gets in the way. In this sixth and final article in our Starting Triathlon series, we hope to inspire and motivate you by sharing a personal story and some handy tips.
You don’t have to be following triathlon for long to realise that aerobars (tri-bars) are a hot topic. In this fifth article in our Starting Triathlon series, we’ll really get to grips with them, answering questions such as: what are they? Are they for me? Are they really faster? What should I buy?
We all know that a triathlon involves swimming, cycling, and running. But have you thought about what you should wear for your event? Your choice will affect your transition times, your comfort, and your pocket. In this fourth in our Starting Triathlon series, we look at clothing for the novice or first-time triathlete.
Pedals are one of your three contact points with the bike; the other two being handlebar and saddle. Your choice of pedal affects your power, endurance, and stability. As a triathlete, you have to keep in mind that you have a transition between run and bike where your pedal choice determines your shoe choice, and this in turn affects how you approach transition…
It’s easy to imagine that training is something reserved for professional athletes or those at the peak of their abilities; not something for people starting out in a new sport. Far from it. Training is simply adopting a structured approach to activities with the aim of improving performance. Following a simple training plan, when starting triathlon, will help you complete your chosen distance to the best of your abilities…
Congratulations on committing to your first triathlon! Of the three disciplines (swim, bike, and run), the bike has the potential to deliver the biggest time gains, but also cost you the most money. It’s a fact that high quality road bikes are expensive, and you may be wondering whether you have to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to take part in your first event. Don’t worry because in this article we take a practical look at how you complete the bike leg of your first event without breaking the bank.
It’s that time of year when the dark nights and chilling weather get us all thinking about sunnier climes and the idea of a spring cycling holiday. One of the most popular European destinations is Mallorca. With over three hundred days of sun a year and a tempting mixture of mountains and flat roads, it has become the number one choice…
Let’s face it, it’s hard to get motivated to get out and ride. The weather’s foul, and the roads are peppered with potholes and slippery with leaves. For a lot of people, the turbo trainer is their solution - for us it’s not. Cycling indoors, although sometimes necessary, sucks. A great alternative is to jump on a CX (cyclocross) bike and embrace winter riding. In this post, we explore some top reasons why you should add a CX bike to your fleet.