The bikes are here! (Well, one is…)

We’d got to the point where we thought our bicycles were just a myth. Ordered weeks ago, when summer was still blazing, the hope they symbolised started to fade with the shortening days. But now, at last, one of them (Trish’s, dammit) has finally arrived… It was the biggest box we’ve had delivered in a while. “Matelas?” queried the delivery… Read more »

For the sake of argument

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As Homer Simpson once memorably said: “Facts are meaningless! You could use facts to prove anything…” And statistics, which are not necessarily the same thing. So one wanders into the whole helmet/no-helmet debate with some trepidation. And yet here I am… The problem with this discussion – as with so many on the interwebs – is that, sooner or later,… Read more »

Review: Just Ride

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Just Ride

In the three years since its publication. Grant Petersen’s Just Ride has become something of a bible for a certain type of cyclist – a type that Petersen himself dubs the ‘unracer’. I’m not all that happy with that term because it still defines such people – ie, us – in reference to racing, and as a negative. Frankly, I’d… Read more »

Changed expectations

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It’s funny in a way to see how this cycling business is burgeoning out of control. Only a couple of months ago I was wincing at spending 45 euros on a second-hand cross-country bike, and now we’re into it to the tune of several thousand euros for two e-bikes and all the kit. Well, this is what happens when the… Read more »

All the things

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It appears that, even when you’re recreational, unracer cyclists like us, buying the bike isn’t the end of the matter. It’s only the beginning because there’s suddenly this whole world of other crap you need to buy. Well, okay, maybe need isn’t quite the right word. Neither is crap. You need some of these things. You want the rest of it. That’s… Read more »

The benefits of e-bikes

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I’ve already explained why we’ve bought e-bikes. But it’s worth expanding a little on why the electrically assisted bicycle (vélo assistance éléctrique, VAE) is something for everyone to consider. There seems to be a little misapprehension, and not a little snobbery, about e-bikes – especially in the cycling world. Although it’s rarely, if ever, phrased this way, the attitude boils… Read more »

Review: Sheila Moon winter cycling tights and skort

It was a case of mixed fortunes when I first hit upon Sheila Moon cycling apparel. Finding her was the good bit – not so good was the fact that she had decided to close her company literally the week before, after 18 years in business. The thing that attracted me to the Sheila Moon designs was the yoga-style crossover… Read more »

Visibility

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While we continue with the seemingly endless wait for our new bikes, I notice that as a driver, I’m becoming much more aware of cyclists and their visibility. Often, it leaves a lot to be desired. It’s been cycling season here in France – the time when seemingly every local man, young or old, hauls himself into lycra and a… Read more »

The curse of August

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It has occurred to me that we made a rooky error. We ordered French bikes via a French store … in August. For those of you not familiar with French ways, the country pretty much shuts down in August. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but you’ll still find many shops and factories either closed completely or… Read more »

Bloody cyclists!

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Yes, I confess that, on more than one occasion, I have been guilty of uttering the phrase ‘bloody cyclists’. My excuse is… well, no there really isn’t any excuse. But in mitigation of my offence, let me explain. I live in France, the land where cycling is a religion. It is the only place on Earth where ‘bothering a cyclist’… Read more »

Slow cycling

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There’s a lot of competitiveness and snobbery in cycling (as there is in car ownership, flying and so many other activities – ask me sometime what hackers are like). It seems as though, if you don’t know the precise gearing of your bike (and have modified it yourself), or ride anything costing less than £3,000, or have never done a… Read more »