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

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?).

But.

I’M BACK!

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

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