All the gear and practise, but still no idea?


December 14, 2015 by welshcyclist

The company I work for, Network Rail, has just had its latest round of Cyclescheme, where employees, such as myself can buy bicycles, cycling equipment, and accessories. I bought my single speed and her indoors’ tricycle through the scheme in past schemes.

This year, I signed up again, and went mad. Purchasing £1000 worth of goodies i.e., a 27-speed Dawes bicycle for my eldest son, waterproof jacket for herself, another waterproof cycling jacket for said son, waterproof cycling shoes, waterproof gloves x 2, cycling socks x 3 pour moi, padded under shorts x 3 also for myself, long sleeved base layer x 3, waterproof cap, rear lights x 2, two sets of rechargeable headlights and a Garmin vivoactive watch.

Obviously, this is a lot of money to invest, most of it for my commuting, but should help me no end. I bought it all at Evans Cycles in Cardiff, all at discount prices, saving £100’s in the process, plus 25% discount via tax. Some are destined to be Christmas presents for herself and my eldest son. The bike was the most expensive item, at a knockdown price of £197.99, but I think you, my reader will be surprised what else were the major purchases price wise.

Shimano Goretex waterproof cycling shoes at £120, and the Garmin Vivoactive watch at £180.

Keeping my feet warm and dry through the winter is very important for me, especially with the downpours we are experiencing this year. It is easy to be soaked through only minutes into the commute, then if the wind is blowing, easier still to feel the chill of winter. Hopefully, my new Shimano shoes will avoid that problem along with my new gloves.

My Garmin Vivoactive watch is something I am determined to use, in fact I used it almost successfully, today, for the first time to gauge information on my cycle commute. I had one flawed attempt Saturday, I believed I had set it up correctly, but when I viewed it at work, it simply read press start, DOAH!!!! No, I’m not much of a techno, but as today proved, I am getting there, because I remembered to press start.

The watch is a bit fiddly with even my old thin cycling gloves on, which meant I had to press said start long before I had even carried my bike down stairs from the signal box, and put my gloves on. The result was inaccurate, but, at least, I had some figures to ponder.

Very disappointing they were, my commute, one way, which I have always believed to be 19.67 miles, came out at 18.52 miles with a time of 1:47:42. Normally, I manage the commute home in 1:30, and can do it in 1:20 with next to no traffic through Neath, all green lights and a tailwind. What really excited me though was the watch produced a map of my trip, altitude gained and lost etc.,etc.. Amazing! This is all done via synchronisation with my mobile phone, from which, I can readily read the results. I have yet to learn how to download all this to my notebook computer and to insert into this very erratic blog of mine. Bare with me, my faithful reader.

The watch has been counting my walking steps for a couple of weeks now, and I regularly top 10,000 for the day, this plus my cycling must be burning lots of calories. There is so much the watch can monitor, measure, and so on, but it will be a while before I can use it properly.

About a month ago I joined our local rugby club choir, and have been practising twice a week, since. Last Saturday evening I was thrown in at the deep end, along with my neighbour Keith, when we had our first performance, at the rugby club dinner. The choir was founded in 1962, and we still have several of the founder members performing in our midst. The oldest, I believe, is a sprightly 91!

But, back to Saturday night. It was a night of choral performances, solos and sketches or skits? Keith and myself did a “Who wants to be a millionaire?” sketch, which went down quite well, at least I feel only slight embarrassment when I see locals looking at me. My son has loads of pictures of the crime scene, so hopefully, I will be uploading some to the blog, in the near future.

Time has beaten me, my double finger typing is so slow.

I’ll try to type again, soon.


9 thoughts on “All the gear and practise, but still no idea?

  1. Maybe both of us splashing out on winter gear is what’s holding winter at bay this year 🙂 I’m impressed by your commute, mine is nowhere near that impressive. Have you worn your shoes yet? I’m not planning on any fancy tech like your watch, mainly because I will only be disappointed by my lazy performances on the bike. But maybe you can sell me on the idea of one, let’s see how you get on with it.

  2. tootlepedal says:

    The garmin thing is wonderful. It makes even the dullest ride interesting. I look forward to the pictures of you in entertaining mode.

    • welshcyclist says:

      My Garmin vivoactive watch is a wonder, just getting used to using it. Biggest struggle is remembering to turn it on when I star a pedal, walk etc., and then to turn it off again!

  3. bribikes says:

    You are a cycling beast! That is quite the commute, I hope your new cycling shoes are working out well for you because having cold, wet feet for that distance is no fun at all.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Thank you, I am a bit of an overweight beast after Christmas and New Year, but I keep pedalling, I wish I could say the same for blogging. My posts have become very few and far between. I find it amazing that only a few moments ago, I knew nothing about you, nor you of me, and yet you sent your comment, while I was still engrossed in your year end post for 2015. My commuting seems so very tame compared to your experience. Over here, in Wales, we rarely get the snow and ice, the like of which you are accustomed, and I have to admit I wimp out at the site of ice. I’ve been cycle commuting for 10 years plus, through most weathers, but, riding unprepared for icy conditions, I had a couple of bad falls. Didn’t break anything, but it really hurt, and not just my pride. I am 65 next month, so a fall means I am at least going to be very sore next day. The last time I came a cropper, my shoulder ached for weeks, and I am sure when I look at my shadow, with the sun at my back, as I pedal, the left shoulder, the one that took the full force of me hitting the ground, is much shorter than the right. Do you ride studded winter tyres? I invested in winter tyres, a couple of years ago, but they are not the studded variety. I have to say, however, they did give me enough confidence to risk a few heavy frosts and thick ice. The weather has turned much colder here after an amazing run of very mild weather, nothing that you’d worry about, just dropping below 32 degrees, a week ago it was still in the high 50’s, and mid 60’s. Any way, I’ll be riding my commute early in the morning, so I’ll close. Thanks for commenting on my blog, keep pedalling, cheers. Hope you don’t mind me writing so much, you just caught me at my pc.

      • bribikes says:

        I do use studded tires, I went with Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240, I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to falling so I wouldn’t dream of riding in icy conditions without them 🙂 I hope you have a great commute in the morning! It always makes me smile to meet fellow bike commuters online, I am glad you stumbled upon my blog today 😀

  4. massivemtber says:

    Nice one mate, good to see you’re still fighting the good fight as am I.
    The MassiveMtber is back!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 15,771 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32 other subscribers


Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Tom’s TDA

Africa on a bike saddle

Travels On A Bike 2

Follow Garry on his travels


a wee blog about bikes

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...between leg shavings

Chronicles of a Travel Addict

Solo, ethical travel with a literary twist


A fine site

Performance Bicycle Blog

Behind the scenes at Performance Bicycle

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

Cycling | Travel | Adventure | Podcast

Tim's cycling blog

mostly about cycling and cycle commuting

%d bloggers like this: