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Showing posts from June, 2014

Race Report: Portsmouth North End Summer Road Race

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It seems depressing to say that today was my first road race of the season, but it's an unfortunate reality; things have been a bit slow getting started this year, with a focus on endurance miles for the Dragon Ride and a number of early season set backs. Anyway, today was the first road race of the season for me, and it didn't go too badly.

The race was hosted by Portsmouth North End Cycle Club on the Milburys Circuit just south of Winchester; it's an undulating circuit that for the most part can be big-ringed, but has a few deceptive climbs and fast descents. I was joined by other Team Wiggle riders Ben and Andy, and it looked set to be a good day's racing, with the thunderstorms holding off *just*.

Things started out well, I knew I was tired from the outset; it's been a long week and the very long Round The Island race day last Saturday is still hanging over me to be honest; but despite that I felt reasonable and was holding position within the group well.

Two …

Review: Black Mamba Workshop Gloves

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Workshop gloves aren't the most exciting of products to review or test, but they serve a very important purpose, and some gloves fulfil that purpose far better than others...

For years I've used disposable rubber gloves to service bikes; it helps to keep the oil, grease and irritant chemicals away from your skin, and saves times cleaning up after your maintenance session as well. I've used thin rubber ones, softer latex ones, domestic kitchen gloves and even disposable petrol station gloves.

All of them work, to a fashion, but there is always the annoying moment when they tear and let in the muck after several hours of use; or the fact that thicker ones stop you from being so delicate with bearings and the like.

The Black Mamba workshop gloves are quite easily the best workshop gloves that I've tried. They are thicker than normal disposable gloves that you would buy from a hardware shop, and as a result last a full day of use, and even re-use before you have to bin th…

Weekend Watch: Grand Départ du Tour de France 2014

Who's feeling excited for Le Tour?

Race Report: Winchester Car Park Criterium

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I know that I struggle with crits, and today confirmed that. Racing round Winchester Park and Ride was hard for me last year; the constant accelerations, cornering and sprinting proved difficult for my diesel engine, this year was much the same.

Last Sunday I asked my legs to keep going for 11 hours of riding, this Sunday I wanted them to go flat out, time after time for an hour of racing. Those kinds of mixed demands are difficult to deal with.

To cut things short, the race went off quick, and a combination of bad positioning, poor cornering and a shock to the system put me on the back foot almost straight away. A rider a few wheels in front of me dropped the wheel on the hairpin on about the 10th lap, and then we lost touch with the front ten riders or so, and didn't get back into the group.

Once you're off the back in a crit, it's difficult to get back on. The group of four or five I was in tried, but failed, and eventually we were lapped and back in the "main" …

Weekend Watch: 'How to be a Roadie and Mountain Biker'

Weekend Watch: "Rap Battle: Mountain Biker vs. Road Biker"

Ride Report: Slaying The Dragon Devil

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Sometimes it's good to hurt a little... During interval training my legs hurt from the lactic, during time trials my lungs and throat hurt from the heavy breathing, during really hard efforts I can even make my head hurt from the blood rush. On Sunday though, I think it was the first time that I have hurt everywhere, from my feet to my forehead, I think I experienced some kind of pain in all areas of my anatomy during the 11 hours that I spent in the saddle. The weird thing is... it was one of the best days I've ever had on a bike.

I wrote a post on the Wiggle Blog (Link) a few days ago talking about the numbers from the Wiggle Dragon Ride, but in case you missed it, here are a few of the stats:

303 Km (187 miles)5,061 meters (16,604 feet) of climbing28.1Kph (17.46mph) average speed10hrs 46mins riding time216 watts average weighted power7,973 calories It was one long day on the bike, I went through some big highs and some deep lows, but overall the 11 hours of elapsed time tha…

Weekend Watch: Hutchinson Tyres Press Camp Video

It was a great few days!!

Review: Primal Helix Accento Bib Shorts and Jersey

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For 12 years Primal have been designing the highest quality cycle apparel from their base in Denver, Colorado. I was first introduced to the brand through their custom kit range; Wightlink RT chose the Evo:Corsa bib shorts and Race-cut jersey to be customised with their yellow and blue colour way, and I was incredibly pleased with it whilst I was a member of the team.

Earlier in the year I reviewed the Primal Paradigm Jacket (Link) on the blog; without doubt one of the best performing winter jackets I have ever used. The reminder of the quality of this kit made me keen to also try their flagship summer apparel; the Helix range.

The Helix range uses the most advanced fabric and chamois technology to produce a set of bib shorts and a jersey that are some of the most comfortable and best looking that I have worn.



The Helix Accento Bib Shorts
A pair of cycling shorts is far more than the sum of their component parts, but the quality of those component parts plays a significant role in det…