Monthly Archives: October 2015

Feeling the fear

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I broke through a barrier yesterday – I used my bike for actual transport for the first time. Until today, my riding has consisted entirely of recreational cycling. I’ve cycled down the voies vertes for fun, and on the local lanes for the same reason. Yesterday, however, I headed for a friend’s house to deliver apples and pick grapes – an… Read more »

Moving meditation

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  Before the clocks go back and our evenings disappear, I’ve been taking advantage of the wonderful autumn weather to enjoy some evening rides. It’s been eye-opening for me, going around by bike again after so many years. Since I moved to France in 1996, I’ve experienced the lanes around our home only in a car or on foot. In a car, you’re… Read more »

Review: Defeet Duraglove E-touch

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Defeet Duragloves e-touch

During the week, I experienced my first slightly cold ride. We’ve been blessed with superb weather so far this autumn, with temperatures in the high teens, but my cold hands at the end of that hour were a reminder that things are about to change. Since beginning cycling in August, I’ve been wearing a cheapo pair of Nakamura fingerless, padded gloves from… Read more »

In the picture

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One of the reasons I’m excited about taking up cycling again is to do with the views. As a professional photographer, I always have some form of camera with me – even if it’s just my phone. And when we first discovered the voies vertes I was struck by how they represent a major photographic obsession of mine – the marks… Read more »

Review: Sheila Moon winter knickers and Isis skort

Sheila Moon knickers red

Having ordered Sheila Moon’s winter tights and Artemis skort and found them fabulous but rather long, I decided to order the shorter knickers and Isis skort (basically the knickers with a skirt attached), figuring that at my height of 5’1″, the knickers would be more like a tight on me. These knickers and skort are made from the same brushed supplex… Read more »

Review: Sheila Moon fleece jackets and jerseys

Raglan jersey croquis

To confess all, I bought these Sheila Moon fleece jackets to match my new cycling bottoms. When I first got into cycling, I expected to do most of it in my ordinary outdoor gear – Crivit walking trousers from Lidl; Craghopper microfleeces, Eddy and Fiske merino wear from Finisterre and country jackets from Lands’ End and Rohan. And I still, at present, have… Read more »

Review: ergonomic bar grips

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Bar grips

The bar grips that came with my Gitane e-bike were ridged rubber and I realised quite quickly that the ridges on them were quite uncomfortable for my hands. It hadn’t occurred to me to change them, though, until I saw the DH’s Ergon Biokork ergonomic grips. These feel gorgeous and cost a fortune, but I am still on a pink… Read more »

Quiet evenings

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I’ve been having much better rides lately. Somewhat rattled by my tractor experience the other week, lately I have left it till early evening to go out, figuring that the farmers might all go home and have their tea before starting on the night harvest of the maize. The weather has been fabulous for the time of year and the long hot September we… Read more »

Review: Sawako Furuno Eye Candy Pink Flamingo helmet

My new helmet has arrived – this gorgeous Sawako in pink. I’ve wanted a Sawako helmet ever since the idea of cycling began to take root. I love the built-in peak and the visually lightweight styling that stops you looking so much like a big-headed alien when riding around. Sawako herself is a London commuter cyclist who came up with… Read more »

Lighting plan

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As a professional photographer and enthusiastic filmmaker, light is something that matters to me. As a (now) keen cyclist, it might even keep me alive. As we all know, lights on a bike serve two purposes – allowing you to see stuff at night (illumination), and allowing you to be seen by other road users (conspicuity) at night and on… Read more »

There’s a lot of it about

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Data is a dangerous thing, and so-called Big Data even more so. But even where the figures are untrustworthy, the underlying message they tell can be interesting. One of the chief attractions of the Strava smartphone app – at least for some people – is its ability to share data. Personally, I’d use the term ‘over-share’, but some people seem… Read more »

Review: Gitane Organ e-bike

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It’s now two weeks since I got my bike, so I feel comfortable at giving it a first review. I’ve ridden it on the Vélo Francette greenway, the Véloscénie and various other voies vertes around here, and on country lanes around my home – the kind of riding that I’ll typically be doing on it, and my journeys have graduated… Read more »

Review: Bern Brentwood helmet

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I’d be the first to admit I have a big head. It turns out, also, to be an awkward size. While there are lots of arguments for and against helmets, I figured that there’s no convincing case where wearing a helmet is positively bad for you. (And before you say anything, yes I’m aware of the research that suggests drivers will pass… Read more »

Hacking cycle clothing – raiding the closet

As someone who loves clothes but now feels deserted by fashion, I hardly needed an excuse to splash out on new gear when I took up cycling, but as a tightwad, I’m also keen to raid my existing wardrobe for the bike. Because I live a country life with some outdoor aspects (dog walking, rambling, gardening etc), I already own… Read more »