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.