Category Archives: Shows

Nothing else matters

After the Bristol Belter I was oddly zen-ned out for quite a while.  A sort of it didn’t kill me, maybe it made me stronger thing.  Either that or it just took so much out of me there wasn’t enough left to be stressed out about anything.  It was quite a bizarre feeling whatever the explanation.  I didn’t even have plans to ride the bike again, and had a mad week ahead of me so was just going to muddle my way through it when, on Tuesday morning, when I was planning on going to the gym,  Mim got in touch.  She pointed out the reasonable weather, played the carpe diem card, and before I knew it I’d agreed to go for a ride.  And very nice it was too.


We kept it flat and easy, which worked for both of us – I still felt like I was in recovery mode not training mode.  The sun shone, we chatted, and it couldn’t have been much more different to the previous Sunday if it had tried.  Sunny and sociable – diametrically opposite in fact.  And man, that’s a good word :D.

Cycling time: 1:35:02 hrs
Distance: 25.79 miles
Avs: 16.3 mph.
ODO: 579.09 miles

See, I even had a smile on my face :).  Now why couldn’t it have been like that for the Bristol Belter?  Bleedin’ English weather…*sigh*.

On to the next reason I was busy.  On Thursday The Cycling Mayor Ltd went to the Cycleshow on trade day.  Which was unexpectedly awesome.  Because as it turns out, I knew lots of people!  I chatted to Pocpac and Nuun and Human Race, all of whom I’ve kinda worked with/for over the last year. To Purple Harry and Sponser Sport Food who I know of and knew from last year’s Cyclosport party.  Andrew was up there, with Neil and Josh.  From Cyclosport/Hot Chillee I saw Adam and Sven, and met Henry.  I met Dean Downing.  I met up with Belinda from Condor Cycles.  Dave Phillips from L2P happened to be there, he’s a regular reader here apparently – so hi Dave!  Local company Kiddimoto were there.  My Bike Shepherd boss Kevin was there, and Twickenham CC Sol too.  Martin Harrison, from Southern Sportive events, was there – I’ve done two of his events this year .  I was even second in line to have my photo taken with this man before his timetable (and bouncer!) moved him on…dagnamit!

There may be a couple of people I’ve forgotten in there, and I apologise if you’re one of them.  I also chatted to a few new people – re: nutrition, etape tours and so on.  I felt like I was, even only in a small way, part of the cycling industry, and I liked it :).  I wasn’t as shy about talking to people as I sometimes am either, which may have been due to the frock I was rocking – if I’m feeling good I cope with life a whole heap better.  It was apparently quite well appreciated by the pre-dominantly male audience too ;).  As I said, it was an unexpectedly good day.  I need to work at developing where I am somehow, to build on how far I’ve come since last year. That requires some serious thought though, so not now, hey?  Though if you have any ideas do let me know…  Since it was a cycleshow, I should probably show you a couple of bikes, right?


Pretty, no?  The one on the left would obviously make me go much faster.  The one on the right was made with me in mind…and probably costs less than 1/10th of the other one!

Which brings us to today.  A Monday, which is normally a rest day.  However I was away this weekend and so didn’t really need any more rest!  Plus after 6 days without the bike, even if I had made it to the gym a few times, I needed to get back out there again before I forgot how!  I have spent far too many hours driving up and down one of these of late…

…and it was time to spend some time with the bike, get some head space, and just enjoy some down time.


It was just the usual kind of training loop, in reasonable weather.  My new winter long bib tights got their second outing, and it was the first time back into the long sleeve winter jersey.  It be that time of year for sure.  It’s my first time trying out bib shorts and I think I like them.  They’re comfy, they stop the wind, the pad is good, they’re clever (zip for toilet stops!), and once they’ve bagged a little more around my over-sensitive knees, I think they’ll be just perfect :).

Cycling time: 1:53:39 hrs
Distance: 30.80 miles
Avs: 16.3 mph.
ODO: 609.89 miles

T’was not a ride of note.  My knee is not thrilled that I went out.  Strava is not particularly singing my praises.  But my head feels infinitely better for having been out there :).



Bespoked Bristol 2012

I’m not good with bikes.  By which I mean I like them, I like how some of them look more than others, I’m a magpie for shiny, and I’m a sucker for vulgar superbike carbon.  But I don’t really understand how they’re made.  I don’t understand gear ratios, groupsets, crank lengths, single speeds, fixies, lugs, headsets…all a bit beyond me.  So Bespoked Bristol – the UK Handmade Bicycle Show – probably wasn’t really my bag.  I mean I like looking at shiny new bikes, who doesn’t?, but I think it helps if you know and properly appreciate what you’re looking at.  On that basis, let’s do some looking…

ok, not strictly a bike...

well it's swish...

can't see the forest for the trees?

now that's a FAT wheel!

on to the weird...

...and wonderful?

Onto something I actually get.  And use.  Tyres.  I got to have a nice chat with the guy on the Schwalbe stand too, who advised me to try the Durano S tyre for sportive riding…though that may well not stop me opting for the Ultremo ZXs because they’re fast and pretty :).

And then finally, to carry on my continuing love affair with a certain brand…

Rapha Continental "Feather" bike

Best road frame in show too, by Ricky Feather.  There’s a whole philosophy going on behind it from Rapha Continental.  Most people buy their kit to match their bikes…maybe I could buy the bike to match mine? 😉 *grin*.  The show seems to have been a success – there were certainly plenty of people there.  Hard to be inside looking at bikes rather than outside riding one though – I wonder if the glorious sunshine brought people out to the show or kept them out on the road?  Or maybe, like me, they managed to do both in the same day :).

Cheddar Cycle Store Di2 Open Evening

I’m still not better, though I may be getting there, so today’s entry is not about riding, though it is about cycling.  All things considered, riding on my own hasn’t seemed like a very good idea lately so I’ve been stuck in the gym instead where, if I get dizzy and fall over, there are at least staff to pick you up again.  I’m hoping to ride with the ACG on Sunday on the basis that if everything goes Pete Tong and I need to be picked off the floor, or helped to get home, I’ll be among friends.  Besides which, if I’m on the mend, I may have it together by then right? :).

Back to cycling.  Strictly speaking I should do these things in chronological order, so let’s start with…

…my new BikePure SportsTagID which arrived today, has been duly tailored to size, and is very lovely :).  Medical ID that’s also jewellery – how cool is that?  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a girl, so that’s a win win thing.  Plus since I already wear a Bike Pure band, it’s kinda like a two birds with one stone thing too.  There are various other colour options for the bands, and you get 5 lines of text to customise as you wish, which is pretty cool.  Plus the customer service is responsive and friendly too – what more do you want?

Any blurring on the picture is due to a) the ineptitude of the photographer and b) the fact that I figure publishing my phone number on the ‘net just like that is possibly ill advised ;).

my personalised Bike Pure SportsTagID

I do a lot of riding on my own, and I have had the odd (ok several) accident in the past, so it seems like a good idea to have some decent form of ID on me.  Just in case…  It’s a bit like insurance – one of those things that you have so that you’ll never need it! 😉  Besides, as you can tell, I have a habit of wearing things around my wrist anyway, so what’s one more? :).

Next in the order of things…

…and after today’s gym session I popped into Cheddar Cycle Store who were holding an Open Evening with Di2.  Plenty of MAMILs, fully formed and fledgling, having the wonders of Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 system explained to them, and possibly drooling slightly…


MAMILs in the making

I’m a bit simple really.  I go with “is it shiny?”, “does it work?” and “can I afford it?”.  Well, two out of three ain’t bad…*grin*.  I do wonder how tolerant it would be of all the wet muddy training rides that I would subject it to, and I have visions of running out of juice at some inconvenient moment, though I was reassured that it copes just fine, and that the battery life is impressive.  However I suppose you want to see the shiny kit and bike really, rather than just hearing about it, right?  Oh alright then…

the shy and retiring bike...

ultegra di2 front derailleur

ultegra di2 front derailleur

ultegra di2 dual control shift/brake lever

There, is that better? 😉

Not only was it a nice way to spend part of a Friday evening, I also got to catch up with some of the guys from Somerset Cycling  and have a bit of a laugh too, which can’t be bad :).  *Fingers crossed* the next blog entry is actually about me riding my bike!

London Bike Show

The Cycling Mayor is not a happy bunny.  She’s also talking about herself in the third person, which is deeply worrying, so I’ll be stopping that at once!  Anyway…

Today is a gloriously sunny but breezy winter’s day.  I should be out in the Cotswolds somewhere with GB doing one of a series of winter mini-sportives.  I missed the last one because I wasn’t that well and as a result I over-slept.  Now I’m missing this one because I’m ill again.  Actually, looking back at that entry, I think it’s the same ill, just a different bout.  Marvellous.  I’m getting a nasty sense of déja vu!… I’m also starting to think that me doing that series of sportives just wasn’t meant to be.  This time whatever it is, t’is worse and at least for today, if you want me, I’ll be on the sofa :(.

So, instead of telling you about my ride, I’ll tell you about the London Bike Show instead.  Usually I attend such things as part of my Bike Shepherd work, but this time I was networking me.   I think it’s fair to say that having done Eurobike last year I have been spoiled for all other bike shows…so you’ll forgive me if I wasn’t as impressed with it as some.  Maybe I’m getting a bit blasé about such things in my old age? 😉  It wasn’t massive, and a lot of the very big bike names, the Treks and Specialized types, weren’t there.  It just felt a bit lacklustre somehow but, as I said, maybe that’s just me.

Nonetheless I had a pretty good, and constructive, day out.  I went to see Nuun as planned, and picked up some more of their lovely lemon tea hydration tablets as well as a couple of new bottles which are, oh so importantly, blue to match my bike ;).  I wanted to see WattBike but they were so busy with people trying out their indoor training bikes that I had to give them a miss – clearly a very popular stand!  I had a chat with Torq about their bars and how I wish they had more flavours in their range as sadly after years of eating them, I now have flavour fatigue :(.  I was going to buy some more of their Pink Grapefruit energy drink but then I’d have had to lug it around all day so I’ll have to get that online instead.  Moving along I bought myself some energy bars from the very lovely friendly guys on the ZipVit Sport stand, and chatted about the failings of last year’s Etape Cymru which they sponsored.  I then had a long discussion with Justin from Participate Sport who have taken over both that event and the Dragon, from which I came away reassured that it will be a greatly improved event this year so I’m considering adding that to this year’s event list.  Well, everyone deserves a second chance, right?  Clearly after my review of the 2011 Dragon I can’t do that one again without tattooing “hypocrite” on my forehead…*grin*.

I then wandered around the rest of the stalls, chatted to a few people, avoided buying more Oakleys, and admired various bikes and kit.  Having had a Cube for coming up three years now, I was quite keen to get a look at their current range, but I’m afraid they get a black mark – lots of shiny bikes, including their Di2 offering – and not one of their ladies bikes.  Not one.  I know space was limited, but still…  OK, so being female at the show did put me in the minority, but I wasn’t the only one!

shiny Cube bikes

Considering the amount of fuss being made about Di2 bikes, and the Cube version having a pretty awesome spec for the money, you’d think they’d have been making more a feature of it, rather than hiding it away here.

can you see what it is yet?

all that for only £2499!

In the meantime, amongst the sea of shiny things, I’m still a sucker for the matt black stealth type bikes.

isn't she pretty?

I know someone who races for the Hope team, so this one’s just for her.  It looks better on her than on the wall though 🙂 :

Hope team kit

Having done the “business” part of my trip I then met up with various friends in the Guinness bar round the corner amongst the boats, friends ranging from those I’ve known for ages to those I’ve never met before other than on twitter, which was all very sociable.  Gotta love social media :).  The show may not really cater for women, but apparently my being female makes it a lot easier to find me in the bar *grin*.  Shall I continue to moan about the general gender bias at the show?  The lack of scantily dressed males strutting around looking pretty?  Because the bikini clad girls weren’t really doing it for me… 😉  Alright, alright, I’ll drop it *grin*.

The show, though interesting, wasn’t all that large, and I didn’t really fancy doing the Outdoor Show or the Boat Show on a just because they’re there basis.  I’m not really in the market for a new bike either, since there’s hopefully one in the pipeline, so I ran out of things to look at after a while.  It was also rather too warm!  Besides which, there was somewhere else I really wanted to be, so I headed off to my next destination – seeing Belinda at Condor Cycles :).  Twitter is all very well, but it is nice to see people in person from time to time :).  And what a very lovely shiny shop!  There was lots to see and drool over, especially if you’re me…  I came up with my plan for when I win the lottery.  I shall buy this:

Rapha Condor team bike

I shall buy all the matching kit:

Rapha heaven

And I shall ride happily off into the sunset *grin*.  Of course they don’t just sell Rapha stuff – they sell everything!  And if you were thinking my tastes are expensive you should see the cost of some of the Assos kit they had.  O. M. G. !  Incidentally I can see at least one reason folding bikes are so popular.  From a retailer’s point of view you can stock a lot of them in not a lot of space! *grin*

serried ranks of folding bikes

There you go.  One Bike Show done.  Two bike Meccas visited.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday :).