Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Winter is back

A 4" dumping of snow from yesterday afternoon to yesterday evening. Again the cycling deity's have conspired to stop me pedalling everyday, my intention was to do a park and ride this morning as it's a short day here in Smethwick and crack the 100 miles/week barrier again. But, what with the weather and me having to go to HQ this morning, it has all gone tits up.

I escaped early yesterday as I had a blood test at the Docs in relation to my blood pressure meds. No problems, just seeing if my new found regime is making a difference to what I need to take.

The pedal home was very snowy and wet, the cut was pretty muddy too, but Brindley Place was rammed, what with it being half term there were pedestrians everywhere. The queue for the Sea Life Centre looked like the queue to get in the Vatican in Rome so consequently it was very slow going through there, added to the fact I caught every red light as well, made it what I thought was a very slow journey, but amazingly it was well under the hour again. I must be going faster than I think I am.

I'm going to make a few tentative phone calls today with a view to selling my motorbike, depending on the answers I might be in the market for getting a new ride to work bike. I've been provisionally looking at a Giant Defy, the write ups seem pretty good for a fairly comfortable entry level road bike. Or a Kenesis Crosslight which would mean I can carry on doing the Canal stuff. It may be all academic though if the phone calls re the Kawasaki don't go the way I want. As always your opinions on that always welcome!

Progress report - another 3Ibs gone this week, 18st 7Ibs now and only 3Ibs off the 4 stone lost milestone. It might be a bit tricky that next week, I'm out tonight with wifey pubbing and currying it celebrating her 40th birthday and pedalling could well be down next week due to the weather, heavy snow forecast again for the start of next week here in Brum.


  1. Have a good eve wiv the missus Clive

  2. Ta mate, depends if the snow lets us out!

  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again - a road bike doesn't have to have drop bars. My Genesis is pure road bike - wheels, tyres, frame, drivetrain are all pure road and exactly the same as you'd find on any reasonably specced drop bar bike - but it has flat bars and thumb shifters.

    Flat bars doesn't necessarily mean "hybrid" - which I take to be a bike that's a cross between road/MTB geometry with pretty big tyres. It just means, er, the bars are flat.

    I personally think flat bars are better on a commuter - more agility, more control and a better position for visibility. In your case (no offence meant) I think it'd also be more comfortable in the belly department, and also easier to adjust between that and the MTB.

    If you want something purely for commuting on the road, you want 700 wheels and 23/25mm tyres. I prefer 25mm as they've got a bit more air in them to soak up the lumps and bumps. They've got less rubber in contact with the road too which in theory means less resistance therefore quicker though I doubt it's noticeable! The downside is they are wider therefore less aerodynamic - but again I think we're both a long way from being able to notice that!

    I'd be looking at something like a Giant Rapid (used to be a different name which I can't recall) or a Cannondale Synapse Flat Bar (same as what I have just ordered but in ali not carbon and flat not drop).

    If you want something that'll handle the "cut" then maybe something with slightly bigger tyres. And for that I''d be looking at a Cannondale Bad Boy (one of the ones with 700 wheels) maybe.

    Hope that helps.

    Great news about the continued weightloss mate.

    Your wife doesn't look 40. And you can tell her that! Mind you I only saw her in the same room as you which probably alters one's perception of youth and beauty ;)

  4. I'm only not laughing in case my sides split! Oh and thanks for the advice, all noted and taken on board. It's a minefield out there!

  5. I love cyclo-x bikes but I wouldn't be in a hurry to recommend one as a commuter.

    Firstly cantilever brakes are utter rubbish. There's a reason why MTBers ditched them years ago in favour of V-brakes and then Discs.

    Drop bars are great for the road and headwinds but they don't give you anything like the control of flat bars off-road.

    And lastly cyclo-x bikes are always more expensive than the equivalent hybrid.

    Everyone has their own take on what makes a good commuter. Basically you need to try a few bikes; and I don't mean sitting on them in the shop!

    For road only like Rafe I would be wanting 23/25mm tyres; but I would probably want to stick to drop bars. (Just personnel preference)

    For a route along a canal side I would go up to 30/35mm cyclo-x tyres (Sticking with 700c wheels) and switch to flat bars for control. I wouldn't want a suspension fork but I might have disc brakes purly to avoid rim wear. (V's would be perfect adequate)

    In terms of the sort of bike I would be after i'm afraid I've got a different opinion again.
    I would want a steel frame (more comfortable than aluminium) and the bike must have room for full length mud-guards and be able to take a pannier rack.

    The mud-gaurds are a must have item for me. I can't stand having cold wet water sprayed up my arse first thing in the morning!

    I was looking at the Cotic Roadrat before I purchased my MTB. I like the ability to run both 26" MTB wheels and 700c road wheels. Geared or single speed. A bike I could keep changing depending upon what mood i'm in that week.

  6. Thanks Red, all good stuff, food for thought etc... :-)

  7. how about a 29er hybrid clive..marin do one...nice and strong too..unfortuantly you cant buy real wide full lenght mudgaurds yet for 29ers in the UK...or a 700 wheel hybrid..edinburgh bike co-op do a courier im sure...and wide roadie mudgaurds will fit 35mm tyres...

    im jealous of all that snow!,hope we get some next week as forcast!

  8. I'm confused with all of the choice now fellers, simple Brummie that I am. I'll have a think when I'm out with Wifey and get her opinion too.

  9. I'll make it simple for you - if you're going to continue commuting down the cut then go buy this: