Category Archives: cycling

Review: Endura Windchill II softshell jacket

Endura Windchill II jacket

I bought my Endura Windchill II back in December 2016. It’s now nearly June 2017 and I haven’t worn any other jacket since. The Endura has done me all winter and is still suitable for these late May days, due to the long pit zips, which cool you down nicely when you start to overheat. In winter I wore it over… Read more »

New greenways on the Vélo Francette

The other day I wrote about how we’d spotted a new voie verte (greenway) under construction. It was clear that this was a part of the award-winning Vélo Francette cycle route that runs 617km  from the Normandy beaches at Ouistreham (Caen) to La Rochelle. Although we walked only a small section of the new voie verte, I speculated that it might go as… Read more »

Vélo Francette – Europe’s best cycle route

It seems that the V43 Vélo Francette is not our little secret any longer. It has just been voted the best cycle route in Europe. Fiets et Wandelbeurs – a Belgian cycling and rambling organisation – has recognised the beauty and convenience of the route. According to Google Translate and a judicious bit of editing, the jury said something like:  “The… Read more »

Review: end-of-year roundup

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Janus Sportwool hoody

Since it’s the close of 2016, I thought I’d do a review of the winners and losers among the things I’ve bought this year and last. Being new to cycling, I made a lot of mistakes at first, but I quickly discovered that while price is generally (though not always) a guarantee of quality, good kit can be had at… Read more »

Review: Sheila Moon summer clothing

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I’ve been in two minds whether to review these items as they are no longer available except occasionally on Ebay – I bought them last year in Sheila Moon’s closing-down sale. But I’ve decided to mention them as I spent the summer in them and they give me some tips for what to look for when I need to replace… Read more »

Review: Trekmates Merino Contrast Stitch Zip Top and Fusion Crew

I bought a few bits in SportPursuit’s merino sale, including this Trekmates zip-neck and crewneck tee. The Contrast Stitch Zip Top is 100% merino and 200gsm, while the Fusion Crew is 50% merino, 50% polyester and is also 200gsm. Both feature the same plentiful flatlock stitching in a contrast colour, and thumbholes in the sleeves. Both of these items seem… Read more »

Review: Helly Hansen merino Warm Freeze half-zip pullover

I bought this Helly Hansen top on the same day as the Devold hoodie previously reviewed, being taken by its attractive contrast stitching and because I wanted to try out this popular brand. The top is 57% wool and 43% polypropylene, 215gsm and features Helly Hansen’s Lifa®Stay Dry Technology, which is meant to be non-allergenic, with ‘superior insulating and wicking properties’. … Read more »

Review: Devold women’s merino Expedition hoodie

Over the past year I’ve become a big fan of many Scandiwegian sports brands, which provide merino base layers with great design and features. These include Ulvang, Janus, Woolpower and Devold. I’m also a fan of hoodies, which are a useful extra layer on the bike. So, when I saw this merino hoodie, I jumped at it. The Devold Expedition… Read more »

Room for everyone

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Over on Google+, I recently got into a ‘debate’ with another cyclist who took exception to us walking our dogs on the voies vertes. He was ill-mannered and aggressive, and his arguments, if you can call them that, not worth repeating here. But it did get me thinking about cycling spaces and infrastructure. The ‘rules’ about whether dogs should be on… Read more »

Review: DHB Women’s Flashlight Thermal Vest and Jersey

I was on the hunt for a stretch, windproof, high-vis gilet when I spotted the DHB Women’s Flashlight vest – DHB is Wiggle’s own brand. The vest and the matching long-sleeved jersey are available in fluo yellow as well as this fluo pink, which is rather darker than the usual fluo pink, so although very bright in daylight, in lower light conditions it’s… Read more »

Winter light

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Taking a break from cycling can result in quite a shock when you get back in the saddle. For a variety of dull reasons, I haven’t ridden much lately. Then, just as I was ready to restart, we went on holiday. We took the bikes with us for our week in Brittany, knowing that the weather there is often surprisingly… Read more »

Green tunnels

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There are certain sections of the local voies vertes (greenways) that we ride frequently, but they never get boring. Every time is slightly different, depending on weather, light and – above all – season. In Summer, many sections of the voies vertes turn into green tunnels as the overhanging branches of trees fill up and bow down with the weight of their… Read more »

Summer cycling

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I’ve been riding a lot over the course of the summer, but not posting – just haven’t got round to it. But it’s  been a lovely time and I’ve discovered some gorgeous little byways and sights along the way. It’s been between 28 and 36 degrees and sunny, so having enough water is important. I tend to take a 600ml… Read more »