Thursday, November 19, 2009

a short hiatus

Tomorrow I am off to India, on a much needed holiday. To be honest I cannot wait to get away from what has been a manic 6 months. I am going to be travelling around Kerala and Goa with two of my friends, Katy and Jessie. It's a 10 day trip, so I'll be back in London at the end of the month. My bags are packed, and I'm raring to go...shame I can't take my bike with me :(I will be taking lots of photos while I'm out there. I've got two really old plastic cameras- one Holga, and one Lomo 4 lens camera. I did a Photography degree years ago, and I'm hoping this trip will re-ignite my passion for it!

Wish me luck :)

Monday, November 16, 2009


The word cadence is defined as balanced, rhythmic flow.

Other bikes I've riden, I've not felt the presence of this. You pedal a bit...coast a bit...and
repeat. Having just one gear presents a
new challenge in this way. As I ride now
I need to consiously ride differently get in flow. And once you have it,
you feel like your gliding around the roads. Learning to ride a single speed bike is tiring

...but it really does have its rewards.

Friday, November 13, 2009

night riding

I'm not confident to do the commute to work in the morning and back in the evening on the bike yet, as it's about 50 minutes each way. That's at my current time I should be able to get it down to 35 minutes...or that's my aim anyway.

So for now I feel like I'm in training.

After work I get the bus home (usually have a nap on the way), eat some dinner and go for a ride.

As it's winter it gets dark by about 4.30pm, so it's pretty dark out when I'm out riding. I've got my lights on obviously, but at night you do feel a need to be a lot more vidulant out and about. It's good training.

So for now I am a night rider.

Monday, November 9, 2009

the day after

So I got up on my day off, to head in to the west end to collect my bike from work. To bring her(I'm still deciding if I want to name my bike) home! Taz met me there, to guide me through the streets of London. I twinged a little when I looked upon the plastic bike seat again. I knew I would not love this bike until I got a new comfy seat. So after lowering my bike seat a little, off we headed to Brick Lane Bikes, in the east end.

For some reason I felt less daunted riding than the day before. And cycling through the back streets of Soho I had a big smile on my face. It got a little scarier as we rode on the main roads, and stop starting at traffic lights. But sure enough, whenever I felt I wanted to stop for a breather, there was a cycle path to hop onto.

When we got to Brick Lane I found the sort of seat I was after...lots of padding!

I feel far more comfortable riding now :)

So after a long coffee break, we continued the journey back to my house. There was a hill or two we encoutered. As we approached the first one my face dropped. In my head I was thinking "I'm riding a single speed, I can't do this!" But it was the route we had to take, so screw it. I got some momentum behind me first, but it was fine. Sure I had to catch my breath for a few minutes afterward...but it was fine.
And although I was immensly exhausted (we ended up cycling around for 2 hours in all!) I had this amazing release of energy when I got home, and I couldn't stop smiling.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a "what a day" week

I declair this week to be a what a day week!

This week...
I've been given a job promotion to Assistant Manager, my accessories brand got launched on the web and I was this close (gesturing with thumb and forefinger) to being evicted from my home. Clearly that was the massive low point!
So I was really excited yesterday morning when Condor bike shop got in touch with me to let me know my bike was built and ready to collect. I chose that bike shop because a friend of mine, Tom works there. I thought it would be great to collect it from someone I know, and buy my bike accessories.

My eyes shon when I saw my Roll, it's beautiful!!!

Tom took me through the ins and outs of the bike, adjusted it for me and everything. I could not stop smiling!
My friend Taz met me there, to escort me to work and show me the route to take.

Now then I would love to say we rode off, I took to the bike right away, traffic didn't phase me and I felt in my element. I shall never need to take public transport again!

But that would be a lie.

The thing I hadn't taken in to consideration, when choosing where I wanted to collect my bike from, was what the roads are like around the shop. Condor, as it happens, is on a rather busy main road in central London, Grey's Inn Road. The route from there to my work in morning traffic was pretty full on for a novice! As I said in my last blog, I have never riden a road bike. The posture of it is completely new to me (being hunched over the handle bars), and so I felt a little uneasy. After cycling for about 10 minutes I needed a break. Not from physical exhaustion, it was just quite draining. We alternated between walking with the bikes part way, and riding part way. I was relieved to get to work, have a cuppa and chill out! Also I was feeling a little sore from the bike seat :(

As you might have assumed already, I did not ride home last night. I reluctantly left my bike at work and took the bus.

I need to aquaint myself with the bike first- slowly slowly. So today I have the day off, I am going to collect my bike, and ride around London's east end. Taz and I are going to ride the backstreets and parks. Well that's the plan...we'll see how it goes. I want to build a great bond with this bike, and I'm sure I just cant rush these things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

an introduction for beginners

So then... I've taken on this project with Globe Bikes, to write a blog about my experiences on the Roll for the next 3 months.

I live and work in London- which can have a tendancy to be overwhelming in itself. I take the bus and the tube to and from work. Not surprisingly it has been grating on me for some time now. The thought of getting a bike is something I had been toying with for a while, but the thing that always put me off was...well...cycling in London! I haven't properly ridden a bike since I was about 9 years old, riding my moutain bike at the weekends. Road cycling is a thing apart!

My bike should be ready to collect within the next few days. Yes I am feeling quite anxious, but mainly just excited. I think getting the bike was the biggest battle; now all I have to do is ride :) And I feel at ease, as one of my friends is going to ride with me for the first week.

People say having a bike in London opens up a whole new side to it. I can't wait!