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Showing posts from January, 2013

Review: PocPac Waterproof Cases

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Put something in your jersey pocket on a bike ride and it is quite likely to come out damp. Sweat, rain, snow and sleet, or if you are really unlucky a burst energy gel; there are plenty of reasons to try and protect your valuables, tools and spares from the elements and yourself!

One simple, but innovative solution, designed specifically for the bike, comes from the new British firm PocPac. Offering both a tool pouch and a mobile pouch, their products promise to keep all your pocket's contents dry. I recently received one of each to review, and have been putting them both to the test in the inclement English weather that we have recently encountered.


The PocPac Road Pac:
The Road Pac is designed to take a tube, levers, a gas canister and its head, as well as a few slim objects like a card, cash or a few adhesive patches. The tools can be separated from the card etc. by an internal slip; which helps to avoid damage.

From my personal perspective I don't use a gas canister, prefe…

Guest Blog: The Wightlink-LCM Systems Race Team

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Thanks to Jack Elton-Walters, one of my team mates from the Isle of Wight, who has put together this fantastic post to mark the launch of the new Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team; which I unfortunately was not able to attend as I am mid-term at university at present.
The team is a group of young, enthusiastic riders, who are looking forward to an exciting 2013 with some fantastic local support...
What is now the Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team has had several names and quite a few personnel changes, but with the founders and key members remaining throughout. Started in 1995 and believed to be the single longest continuous sponsorship deal with Wightlink, the team was at its previous prime in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but is undergoing a rejuvenation with new riders, new sponsors, new kit and renewed big ambitions.
The 2013 SeasonTargets and events are varied this year depending on each team member’s race category and personal goals, but all will be done with the greater …

The Bike Boom: Following The Trend-line...

As an economist, most of my time is spent looking at graphs, models, trend-lines and equations. I didn't think I could bring this to the blog in any way, not without boring you readers stiff. However, in one of my recent lectures we were talking about the "R-word" trend; the number of times that the word "Recession" comes up in news headlines; and how it correlates to economic performance, all related in depth to rational and adaptive expectations and a whole other load of jargon...yada yada yada.

Anyway, it turns out that it is very easy to run an "R-word" type regression using Google Trends, so I started playing around with some cycling words on there, and thought the results were quite interesting; so here's what I found:
"Cycling" Worldwide

Talk about peaks and troughs! Guess which month the Tour de France is in?!The Olympic effect seems to be quite evident - with this summer's peak lasting for a lot longer than normal, as both Ju…

Weekend Watch: Cut Media Showreel 2013

Hints and Tips: Saddle Sore - Prevention and Cure

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Saddle sores are an unfortunate result of riding for some people, from novices to experienced professionals. At best they are uncomfortable, at worst they are unbearable, and may even stop you from riding your bike. The sores are effectively caused by friction between your under-carriage and the saddle; the result is pimples and sometimes open blisters, which untreated can develop into infections.

A fellow cyclist recently asked me what can be done to cure the problem; so I have compiled these few tips and tricks that can often improve or eliminate the issue. 

"Are you sitting comfortably?"Getting the right saddle is the first thing that you should consider if you are prone to saddle sores. The sores are caused by pressure, often on very small areas; as a result selecting a saddle that reduces the number of small pressure points, and ensures that you're sat correctly can make a huge difference.

Visit a good quality bike store and they will be able to show you a variety o…

Please Help Support Me For 2013

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I don't usually use the blog to promote myself, but I thought I could make one exception.

I came across a recent campaign by SportPursuit at the weekend, which pledges to provide financial support to athletes trying to accomplish a goal or objectives in 2013. Many of you may well have read my Objectives for 2013 post, which detailed my hopes for this year, but if not this is my pledge for 2013:


"My pledge is to make 2013 my best year on the bike to date...

Last year I moved from 4th cat. road racing up to 2nd cat. in one season and completed 10,000+ miles on the bike. This year I want to make the big step up to category 1 racing, and get a few more race wins whilst doing so. I'm also hoping to complete another epic mountain tour; in 2011 I did a 1480 mile unsupported bike tour through France and Spain, taking in the Alps and the Pyrenees. It was an enormous challenge, but incredibly rewarding, and a fantastic way to see the country. I am hoping to do something similar, per…

Weekend Watch: Lance Armstrong on Oprah Part 1

Link To The Oprah Interview (All YouTube Videos Removed)

I have resisted blogging about the Lance Armstrong case up to this point.

I will openly admit that he was one of my heroes when I was getting into cycling, one of my role models...what I viewed as the icon of the sport. I had photos of him on my bedroom wall, I had the full library of his books and other books on his success; his example was the one to follow....or so I thought.
Since then those idolisations have been crushed, in a slow and painful way.

This interview is the first of the "confessions" with Oprah Winfrey, revealing the full extent of the drugs programme that Lance Armstrong took part in, and largely conducted. I have only posted it on here because I hope that this will now end the whole ordeal.

Let us move on, to a cleaner world of cycling...I myself have found many new idols, especially with last year's Tour de France and Olympics. I hope that you have all done the same.   

Weekend Watch: Behind The Barriers

Nutrition: Advice for Base Mile Training

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This time of year most people's training focus is on base miles; with the objective of building a good aerobic base that will stand you in good stead for the racing or sportive season.

The focus of base miles is to do long steady rides at a moderate aerobic level; with exertion coming from the duration of the activity, not from explosive efforts. Nutrition for base mile training therefore has a intrinsic part to play; you need the energy to sustain the required level of exertion; but also the right intake of nutrients after exercise, to aid in the all important recovery whilst you carry out back-to-back long rides.

This blog looks at the base mile nutrition strategy in detail; reflecting on my personal experience, having both got the strategy right and wrong in the past. Get it right, and base miles work well. Get it wrong and you are likely to feel the dreaded effects of over-training and often illness.

Pre-Ride Nutrition
After the festive indulgences it is often tempting to skip…

Weekend Watch: Dan Macaskill Industrial Revolutions

Weekend Watch (Full Film): Life Cycles