cycling minimalism

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

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)

New year cycling resolutions 2019

Cycling Plans For 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

What Is A MAMIL (And Are You One)?

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.

Read moreWhat Is A MAMIL (And Are You One)?

Millook 30%

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

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


’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.


(*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

Grimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Birmingham* is full of surprises. It has a nice new station (or rather, the old one just got a face lift). All the cool cats are making it their UK headquarters.

(*Ameri-fans: for the avoidance of doubt, I’m talking about Birmingham in England, not the one in Alabama, Connecticut, or Kentucky (where it is a ‘sunken town‘?!?)).

Birmingham also has an exhibition centre. A National Exhibition Centre. Where, this weekend, bikes were exhibited. And I went along to have a gander.

Here is my photo journal.

Read moreGrimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Mont Goes To London (Meets A Pro And Falls Back In Love With Spinning)

I’ve had an exciting week (it’s all relative).

On Wednesday I attended the launch of the Wiggle Etape Cymru. Somewhat surprisingly, this was held in a dark room in the City of London.

I also got chance to meet, and briefly chat to, Sky Pro Cycling’s Luke Rowe.

Having watched my performance on the bike, Luke agreed that I might have a chance in the pro ranks and he gave me Dave Brailsford’s phone number.

Or rather he didn’t.

Read moreMont Goes To London (Meets A Pro And Falls Back In Love With Spinning)

Boom! I’m Back (Plus The Best Of Sportive Cyclist 2014)

It’s been rather quiet of late on this here website.

Tumbleweed blows through the deserted Sportive Cyclist streets.

Cobwebs have gathered between my typing fingertips.

Mould is threatening to bloom upon my padded gusset (too much?).



(Oh right, you didn’t notice I’d been away? Fine…)

Read moreBoom! I’m Back (Plus The Best Of Sportive Cyclist 2014)