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2014 Stats: Year In Review

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2014 TotalsHours Riding: 815 hrs 39 mins--- (The equivalent of riding non-stop for 34 days)Distance: 20,044 Kilometers (12,454 Miles)--- (Halfway round the world at the Equator)Elevation Gain: 223,498 Metres --- (Like climbing Everest 25.3 times!)Biggest Ride: 483 Kilometers (300 Miles) --- (Falmouth to London non-stop)

Notable NumbersApproximate Number of Pedal Rotations: 3,916,880 !Approximate Number of Calories Burnt: 473,108 Kcal'sBikes used:Touring Bike: c. 10,000 KmRoad Bikes: c. 7,000 KmMountain Bike: c. 3,000 KmAverage Weight: 70.1 KgsAverage Speed: 25 Kph

Bring on 2015!

The Festive 500 (650) 2014

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"In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer" - Albert Camus

The Festive 500 has become somewhat of a ritual for me now, and the 2014 edition will be the third time on the trot that I join many others around the globe in riding 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
The only slight difference this year, is that I've added on an extra 150 kilometres to the target - making it the Festive 650. That's because if I do it, it will take me over the 20,000 kilometre mark for this year. That's not a milestone I've been aiming for, but I realised I was close a week or so ago and it seemed like too much of a landmark to miss. So let's get started with the Festive rides...


Ride 6 - Freezing Finale (YTD Total: 20,044Km!)
Distance: 119.3Km --- Time: 4:43 hours --- Elevation: 1,549 metres



Ride 5 - "Frozen Trail Time"
Distance: 58.3Km --- Time: 3:18 hours --- Elevation: 1000 metres



Ride 4 - "Six Hour Solo …

Weekend Watch: From Cancer to Corsica

One of the most moving short films I've seen in a long time.

Making The Choice: Mountain Bike Grips

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There is going to be a fair bit more mountain bike content springing up on the blog over the coming months; as 2015 approaches and my dual season of XC racing and road racing evolves. In this post, I consider a question that has probably been encountered by most mountain bikers at some time: What kind of grips should I get?

Your handlebar grips are one of the key contact points on a bike, and along with tyres, pedals and saddle, they are one of the most significant (an cheapest) upgrades you can make. However, start shopping for new grips and you'll find there is a wide market: there are lock-on grips and slide-on grips, chunky grips and thin grips, cheap grips and expensive grips. Which one do you choose?

I've been testing three sets of grips from Lizard Skins, and so this seemed like a good time to comment on the difference in feel and performance of each of the varieties.


Lizard Skin Slide-On DSP Grips First up on test, the Lizard Skins DSP grips. These slide-on grips use …

Christmas 2014 - Gift Ideas for Cyclists

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This is a bit late in production, but with just a week to go until Christmas there is still time to get a great gift.

I tag up a lot of product reviews as 'Gift Ideas', but in this post I've picked a few of my favourites; a select number of products that I think would make super presents for a cyclist.

[Note: I haven't picked any nutrition products or cycle clothing, but if there is something you know your lucky recipient is looking for, then these could clearly also make great gifts! I've reviewed some fantastic pieces and products in 2014, view them HERE]



For the Book Worm:
'Land of Second Chances' by Tim Lewis
Land Of Second Chances' gives a detailed and eye opening account of not just Rwanda's rise in professional cycling, but also that of many other African teams and individuals. Africa is becoming an interesting and potentially great power in pro cycling, and a source of riders that are from an incredibly different context than most current Gra…

Weekend Watch: Riding The Trafalgar Way in 24hrs

Check out my blog entry on riding the length of the Trafalgar Way from Falmouth to London in 24 hours back in October 2014.

Review: MaxiNutrition ProMax Milk

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After a cold and arduous winter ride, the thing on most people's mind is how quickly they can get to a hot shower. Because of this, I've decided that having a pre-mixed or pre-prepared protein shake made for when you get home, is a very good idea. Grab it, down it and run for the warmth.

That's exactly the thinking behind products like ProMax Milk; convenience is key to avoid the temptation to shirk good recovery.

I've been keeping a stock of ProMax Milk close to hand, so that when I get back from a ride and have forgotten to make a shake before I leave, I've got something quick to kick-start the recovery process.

Made from UHT milk and whey protein isolate, these little bottles contain a significant 30 grams of high quality protein as well as a multitude of BCAAs. They're not too high in sugar and they're fat free. They taste pretty good too. In effect, they're a protein shake that is pre-mixed with milk.

On the days when I do shirk recovery, I can ce…

Review: Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag

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Back in the Summer, I reviewed the Thule Enroute Escort daypack; I rated it very highly as a smart and durable rucksack that would be just at home on the bike as it would in the office or travelling.

The Thule Pack n Pedal range is the Swedish company's offering in the commuting/touring market, and consists of everything from panniers and racks, to rack-top bags and handlebar bags. In this review, I take a look at the Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag; a compact 11 litre rack-top bag, which is designed to carry the essentials or add some extra carrying capacity to your touring kit.

The design of the Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag is simple, yet effective. It's a roll-top closure, fully-waterproof bag, with a structured hard base. It attaches to any pannier rack with four Velcro strips, and it provides a safe and secure holder for valuables and small items.

As seems to be the norm with Thule products, the build quality of the Trunk bag is up there with the best. The seams are all fully wel…