Minimalist Cycling (Or How To Write A Lot of Words When Just A Few Will Do)

cycling minimalism

Right. It’s time to go a bit off the wall.

In this post I’m talking about cycling and minimalism.

I decided to write about the topic because I’ve been thinking about minimalism (and the potential benefits) in my life more generally and I wondered whether I could wrangle some cycling-specific plus points out of the subject.

Also, you know, it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to (write about minimalism if I want to).

Read moreMinimalist Cycling (Or How To Write A Lot of Words When Just A Few Will Do)

Cycling Plans For 2019

New year cycling resolutions 2019

With Christmas out of the way (other than paying off the credit card bill), and New Year celebrations over with, thoughts turn to what 2019 may hold.

Whilst conversations with normal people (my wife) revolve around what we need to do with the garden (answer: burn things), how I still need to complete various painting jobs, and getting two of the childrens’ passports renewed, my internal monologue is entirely centred around cycling:

  • How do I maintain the modest amount of momentum built up from 7 rides since Christmas Eve (not quite the Festive500; perhaps the Turkey242.8)?
  • How to spend the Wiggle voucher kindly gifted to me by my sister-in-law?
  • Can I justify a new bike in 2019…?

With that in mind, I thought I’d share my cycling-related objectives for 2019 with you, dear readers.

And not my wife.

(Yes, I know they are not ‘SMART’ objectives but I am not one for New Year Resolutions. Just getting them out of my head, even in generalised form is progress. Baby steps…).

Read moreCycling Plans For 2019

What Is A MAMIL (And Are You One)?

What is a MAMIL

Do you like being called a MAMIL?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering lately, partly following the results of my subscriber survey and partly because I see that a new documentary on MAMILs is coming out. More on both topics later in the post.

But is the term MAMIL perjorative? (Good word…)

Offensive even?

Or something to be proud of? A tribe to identity with. A flag (stretchy, in garish colours) to rally around.

The modern MAMIL is a complex beast. And he needs analysing.

So, if you’d like to muse on the MAMIL (or perhaps find out what one is…), read on MAMIL-duff.

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Do You Always Wear A Helmet When Cycling (And Should You)?

I’ve been writing the Sportive Cyclist blog for nearly 5 years now, so I guess it’s time to hit the big red self destruct button.

It’s time to get political.

It’s time to enter The Great Helmet Debate*.

(* which is I think the name of the new BBC show commissioned after they lost the rights to GBBO…).

In essence, will wearing a helmet make me more aero (#moreAero)?

Oh wait, the other helmet debate. Should we be forced to wear helmets when riding a bike?

Read moreDo You Always Wear A Helmet When Cycling (And Should You)?

Cycling From Bude To Millook (Another ‘Greatest Climb’ Bagged… Thrice)

Millook 30%

Since going back to work a couple of years ago, I’ve struggled to piece together a consistent period of riding. Work, family and laziness have tended to get in the way, particularly if the riding conditions were anything less than ideal.

This situation seemed to have improved in early summer 2017 as I managed to ride consistently (sort of) during … [Mont frantically checks Strava records] … June and July.

I wanted to maintain this improved record during our summer holiday in south west England. I needed some impetus for bring my bike on holiday with us. And I found it in a book.

Read moreCycling From Bude To Millook (Another ‘Greatest Climb’ Bagged… Thrice)

Cycling Wins: When A Ride (Or Two) Can Cure Grumpypants Syndrome

Last Saturday afternoon, I was about as grumpy as I’ve ever been.

Despite the physical ease of surfing a desk at work, weeks (months, years!) of early morning starts had taken their toll. The afternoon was looking like a write off.

The midday power nap (with a pre-nap coffee chaser) hadn’t helped. In fact I felt worse for it.

I could barely get off the sofa. Grey thoughts clouded through my mind.

Our chatty 8 year old (let’s call him “Elmo”) chewed by ear off about the next naff Kindle Fire app he needed and our belligerent 15 month old (“Semo”) voiced her displeasure at the passing heatwave with a siren-like wail.

Something had to give.

Read moreCycling Wins: When A Ride (Or Two) Can Cure Grumpypants Syndrome

Mont Tries Out Track Cycling For The First Time (A Taster Session At Derby Velodrome)

My wife has a habit of buying me ‘experiences’ for Christmas and birthdays. I have a habit of not getting around to going on them.

I’m not sure mi amor has entirely forgiven me for not going to a driving track day that she bought me very early in our courtship. More recently I only got round to attending a sailing taster session (birthday present) a few hours before the voucher expired (i.e. my next birthday).

This ungrateful behaviour doesn’t seem to stop her.

And to be fair, she’d be forgiven for thinking that a voucher entitling me to a series of track sessions at the recently-built Derby velodrome, would be a Christmas gift I’d (i) be delighted to receive; and (ii) be motivated to book myself onto the session.

She was right about (i). Delighted.

The issue was (ii).

Time slips away. Derby City Council do not make it easy to find and book yourself onto a session. I finally got round to organising my first session in November.

And here is how I got on (spoiler alert: it was brilliant).

Read moreMont Tries Out Track Cycling For The First Time (A Taster Session At Derby Velodrome)

Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Cyclists

Eek!

’Twas the (fort)night before Christmas, and all through your head, no present ideas were stirring, not even a shed*.

I know. You’ve got every confidence in Amazon Prime, and its army of self-flying drones (this is a REAL thing people), to provide next day delivery right up til Christmas Eve.

But you really want to get your Christmas shopping sorted and this is the weekend you’re going to do it.

Mais what to buy? (Or to suggest that others buy you?)

Fear not. Monty has suggestions. He has a pret-a-manger Christmas list, which he (I) will share with you now.

So, on (your bike) Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

Read on below and see what your mitzen.

(Ahem)

(*We literally just bought (and I built) a shed for our son’s 8th birthday… the photo is at the bottom of the post…)

Read moreLast Minute Christmas Gifts For Cyclists

Please Help Me Select The Cover For My Book

Just a quick one. I don’t want to distract you too much from last minute buying of Yuletide chain degreaser and chammy cream for your loved ones.

I’ve long known that the cover for my ebook, ‘Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing and Enjoying Your First Sportive’ is somewhat, er, amateurish.

(If you’re reading this on anything other than a mobile, look to the right column and you can judge for yourself)  ====>

Last week, in a fit of red wine-fuelled madness, I decided to do something about it.

I’m in the process of getting a new, professional cover design on a website called 99 Designs (where a bunch of designers effectively compete to get their book cover design selected).

I’ve whittled it down to a selection of designs which I think might work, but now I need your help.

Read morePlease Help Me Select The Cover For My Book