Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well I hope everyone had a great Christmas!?
I myself did what I set out to do (drank, ate and slept)...and feel very relaxed from it. 
Got some pretty great presents; including a tool pouch for my bike tools.  It even matches my bike- score! (I pasted this photo of it from their website, but man I really do wish I owned those shoes!!!)

I still don't know how to fix a puncture or adjust my brakes.  All the gear and no idea as it were!  Thankfully I haven't had a puncture as yet (touch wood).
I just found out about a website- London Cycling Campaign, set up to promote cycling, and to support it's members.  They give some pretty good step by step guides on bike maintenance, that I'm going to study.
It also has a link for the TfL (Transport for London) free cycle guides.  I had heard that you can get these maps, but totally forgot about it.  I have started to find my own routes to ride, but there may well be some better ones to try.  So I've ordered myself a couple.  Looking forward to finding canal paths and ways through the parks :)

Also I decided to buy myself a Christmas present, a helmet...and about time too.  I know I should have bought one straight away.  I wear a helmet when I snowboard, so it definately makes sense to when I'm riding on tarmac.

Well I'm going to brave the cold and get out on my bike a least a couple of days this week for a ride...got to work off all the Christmas snacking!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve and I'm at work in the shop...  only one hour left to go and then I can start the Christmas celebrations- lots of food/drink and cheesy movies.  Already got on it last night actually, watched Little Women; an absolute classic!
It has actually been quite funny at work today- last minute Christmas shoppers are cr-azy!
But yes, cant wait to get over to my parents place :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

embrace the snow!

I found this video today of a fixie rider in New York who's embracing the recent snowfall. Fair play!

Turning Tricks - Episode 18 from KrEEEstowfUr on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

riding in the snow

So this week saw the first snowfall in the UK this winter, and extreme snowstorms over Europe.  It has caused massive disruption to travel everywhere.  It's full on!

Weirdly central London hasn't been too badly effected.  The snow just hasn't seemed to settle all that much, so at the moment we just have icy puddles dotted about.  Not too bad on foot...but when it was snowing on Thursday night I decided to go for a ride...
I was really quite anxious about visibility, it was fine though.  There weren't too many drivers on the roads, and I'm really liking taking the back roads.  They may not be the quickest way to get about but they certainly are more scenic.
I stayed focused on keeping my wheel straight as I rode over ice.  And with that in mind it wasn't too intimidating.
I hadn't thought about how blustery the wind would be.  When I was faced into it I could have probably walked faster!  This did piss off a few drivers, but there wasn't much I could do...but just keep pedaling.
I'll get out again next week...just got to psych myself up :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the first snow...

Today I was out Christmas shopping...much like a lot of people...

At about 10.30am it started snowing and it did not stop.  It was magical I tell you.

Alas it did not settle but,
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

give me a hand

So I'm having a few problems when riding, that I'm hoping someone out there might have a pointer or two to help me out. It all comes down to balance I think...???

  • The first one is, that when I'm indicating to turn, I lose my balance and veer in the other direction. At the moment I'm having to do a blinker motion with my hand- which isn't very obvious. Drivers probably think I've just got cramp in my hand or something! So a bit of a safety issue this one.

  • The other problem I'm having is that when I'm really peddaling my heart out my upper body and arms are moving, and so in turn the handle bars, so I do a slight zig zag up the road.
Any suggestions are welcome...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

down by the river

Had a really nice ride along the Southbank the other day.  There's always so much going on down there in the summer time, but this time of year it's a lot quieter so you can switch off a bit and take in the views.  I didn't have my camera out with me, so please excuse the phone photo...but the sky is still quite stunning I think.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

fair weather cycling...

Each morning lately, that I've intended to cycle to work it's been called off on account of rain.  I have given it a go, but it doesn't fill you with confidence when you can't feel traction! So I'm still just riding around my end of the city in the evening...when it's dry of course.  I have been really enjoying it, as the roads are a lot less busy!  At times I have the road to myself- which is a rarety in London I tell you!  It's a great way to wind down at the end of a day at work.  I am working full time in a clothes shop (10am to 7pm) and I've also just had another order placed for my accessories brand (I'm crocheting every spare moment I get)...it's hard to find free time to go out riding, but each time I get home after a cycle I am buzzing.  I'm getting the bug :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

trains, planes and automobiles...

I got back from India a couple of days ago. It was an amazing trip...we explored the west coast of Kerala and Goa- on tuck-tucks, Ambassador taxis, a house boat, a canoe, trains and planes. I totally fell in love with the country, the people were so friendly, the colours so amazingly vibrant...I will definitely be returning there at some point!

The biggest culture shock for me when we first arrived in Kochi was the road systems...I would say, or lack there of...but everyone does abide by some key rules.
-There is a hierarchy on the roads, the bigger your vehicle the more right of way you have. (this means buses and trucks never want to use their brakes, so over the course of the trip I saw a fair few drivers run off the road!)
- Drive with the horn, and overtake where possible. As a driver approaches a pedestrian, cyclist, other vehicle, cow or what have you, they are to honk their horn until they have overtaken that obstacle. It's pretty much a symphony of horns.
- In Goa I noticed that there were speed restrictions depending on what mode of transport you are driving. For example, if you are on a scooter you are restricted to drive at 40km/h, but if you're driving a truck it's 60km/h on the very same road!

I did get used to it after a short while...but I really don't think I would have liked to be a cyclist in those conditions; being bottom of the food chain and all!
So now I'm back in the UK, and we are having a freezing cold winter by our standards (5 degrees Celsius! Does that make me a wimp?!), with lots and lots of rain. It's hard to motivate yourself to go and ride. This weekend I'm going to do the full cycle into work...and now I have typed it that means I have to do it! It's good to have this incentive.
The thermals and gloves are out- wahoo :)