Cycle Qld 2011 – 10 Days to go – Get your bike serviced

Ok, I was going to do a 14 days to go post but I got lazy and slipped few days.

So with only just over a week to go, I’ve already started amassing my gear in the spare room and am starting to think about what to take.  Do I really need that extra Tshirt if I’ve got to haul it up those hills in my pannier?

Also, this week, because I know very little about bike maintenance, I will be dropping my bike in for a full service and check over at the local bike store.  With 600km to ride over a week, I’m not keen on anything going wrong that couldn’t be prevented.  And with this amount of time, the bike shop has plenty of time to do what needs to be done.

What I wore on the bike today

Now, although we often say, you don’t need to wear lycra on the bike, I have to confess, I usually do.  Doesn’t matter if I pedal 5 kms, or 100kms, I usually wear knicks, and some kind of synthetic fabric.  Sure, I might wear fancy stuff over the top of my knicks, but I generally always wear them.

I couldn’t really tell you why, it’s probably more of a habit then anything else.  So, with the purchase of my new helmet, I decided it was time to make a break from tradition.  Today, I didn’t wear knicks!

I was only riding 10 kms (5 kms each way), so it’s not as if I really needed much in the way of padding on my bum.  So, I wore board shorts, a long sleeved cotton tee shirt (shock horror – cotton!) and my beautiful new helmet.

Verdict?  I didn’t dissolve, my clothing didn’t fall off, and my butt didn’t disintegrate even though I wasn’t wearing knicks and technical fabrics.  I still think that for long rides, it’s much more comfortable to wear a bit of padding and a fabric that wicks, but for short rides?  It definitely beats having to get dressed again when you get there.

Mini Track Pump Review – Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HPG

So what do you get when you cross a track pump and a hand pump?  A mini track pump!

This type of pump is perfect for travelling and cycle tours.  It is the best of both worlds being both small and portable but has a higher capacity cylinder and a pressure gauge.  My Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump has been on quite a few trips.  It is the first thing in the box or pannier when going on a trip.

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Women in cycling – literature

Another interesting journal article, looking at women in cycling:

Currently, there is an inverse association between being female and participating in cycling in Australia (only 6% of females could recall riding a bike in the past 12 months).   Travel surveys regularly find greater participation in cycling by men, then women.  Yet in many European countires (Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany), there are more females participating in cycling then men.

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What to put in a saddle bag

I don’t always ride with a saddle bag.  If I have panniers, I prefer to use them to carry stuff.  Also, when I’m commuting, I rarely use one because I don’t want to leave the bag on the bike if I lock the bike up somewhere and someone help themselves to the contents.  So, I mainly use the saddle bag for longer rides where the aim of the ride is just to ride.  I guess a training ride or just a joy ride.

What you put in your saddle bag is up to you.  But here are some suggestions and ideas as to what will fit in a saddle bag.

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My Favourite Cycling Jerseys

The weather has been wet and gloomy so hasn’t been inspirational riding.  I decided to do a gratuitous photo post on my jerseys.

These are my favourite 4.  They always attract attention and I get plenty of compliments and people asking where I got them.  The top 3 I got from the SBS Shop.  They are all a standard weight jersey and I’ve had them for a few years now.  The Netti I got from Epic Cycles.  It is a light weight jersey and in white, perfect for summer.

making arm warmers

I was getting a bit sick of my boring black arm warmers, so I decided to make some new ones.

I was feeling a bit lazy, so I bodgied them up the easy way.

You will need:

A pair of over the knee socks – try and go for something that isn’t cotton.  There’s lots of non-cotton socks out there – wool, bamboo and a stack of nylon/spandex stuff.

Gripper elastic – enough to fit around your upper bicep twice (one for each arm).  Gripper elastic is elastic with silicon on the inside of it so it stays up.  Kinda like the stuff on the inside edge of a strapless bra.

Sewing stuff (needle and thread)  I sewed this by hand as I couldn’t be bothered getting out the sewing machine.

Anything you want to pretty these up with – buttons, ribbons, iron on patches. Whatever

Method

Cut the socks off at the heel.  If you bought tube socks, you can probably just cut them off at the toe.  These ones were quite long (and I have short arms) so I cut them off a bit higher and I’ll hem them so I get a pair of arm warmers AND a pair of socks.

Cut the sock off at the heel

Now, hem the raw edge

Hemmed raw edge.

This part becomes your wrist hole. Now, get your gripper elastic and sew into the inside of the sock.

Elastic sewn in

Now you’re pretty much done.  Pretty them up with anything you like – buttons, ribbons, whatever, and you’re done.

Finished!

It is super easy, and good fun.  Give it a go.