Fame! Well, for my club anyway.

Our 2011 season kick off meal got into Bike Radar ‘which was nice’. Flavio is a real inspiration and other than that its the informal nature of the club, its inclusiveness and utterly cool kit that helps make it a winner. The purple shirted 70s haircut is me btw.


#bike-radar, #cool-kit, #flavio-zappi

One legged cycling

Well, that didn’t go to plan. I was hoping to do the Performance Cycles mini sportive – 60 miler – and looking for an 18+mph average – pretty ambitious given the hills.
I started well enough, took a wrong turn in the second village and had to rejoin the route later. Second hill I went up I felt a stabbing pain at the top of my right calf. I tried to ride through it, but on the biggest hill I had to give up, get off and walk the last part. I realised that 60 miles might do some worse damage so cut to the shorter route – 43, and had to stay in the seat – any standing or putting down the power just too painful. For the last 10 miles or so I was pretty much cycling on one leg.
People started catching up to me too, not something I like but by that time I just wanted to finish. This did not take much away from the well organised ride and lovely scenery on the route.


Kept the iPhone in my back pocket. It performed well – a reasonable track and there was probably enough battery left to have done the 60.
Ignore the current speed – I forget to stop the thing until I was in the car heading home!

iPhone GPS test

Off on a sportive tomorrow, so tested Cyclemeter today. For the ride I won’t be using the stem mount – that’s only for when I’m in uncharted territory. However I wanted to test the map anyway. As others have said I don’t think the iphone battery is going to last the ride, but we’ll see.

Tigra (Dahon) mount:

Here’s the stem/bar mount:

Here’s the clip on the mount:

iPhone mount in place:

iPhone nestling in the cover:

The clip – I dont’ trust this clip and have heard of phones flying out of several different makes of mounts:

Everything in place and laggy bands for insurance:

After a brisk jeans/t-shirt blip around the village:

The tracking file – as good as the Blackberry I used before:

Overall I’m pretty impressed. I rode over some rough roads, potholes and humps and the mount appears solid and stable.
The Google map mashup was pretty good and the resolution just right. When I do use this for ‘adventures’ or following other people’s routes I’m going to have to find ways around the battery life, otherwise its looking good.

There are plently of routes out there~: I’ve already got the Blenheim 100 and the Watlington 60 Sportives loaded up for some spring weekends.

#gps, #iphone

Raleigh bikes – head bypass.

For a certain set of generations the Raleigh brand is iconic: just a part of the culture. My personal Raleigh journey was Tomahawk -> Grifter -> Scorpio. My son had a Raleigh Sk8: a blue light alloy MTB that was strangely familiar…

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Raleigh Scorpio

My Scorpio lasted from my 15th birthday to 27, when it was stolen from outside St George’s Hospital Medical School in Tooting. Heavy lump as it was I loved that bike and it had carried me thousands of miles. Was worth next to nothing when stolen but my sentimental attachment was immense. I’d still be using it today if I had it, at least as a winter bike. Of course its worth more now, thanks to the fixie trend!

Raleigh continued to make some decent bikes ’til the ninties, especially in the early days of titanium, after which they caught British Industrial Disease. Some of those Ti frames are now very sought after.

The reason I’m rambling on sentimentally is that Raleigh seem to have actually put out a good road bike again! The company seems to have turned a corner and even started to get back into racing. Where’s the money coming from I wonder? Reading C+’s best bikes for 2011 test the Raleigh SP Race gets into the top four – a Carbon and Ultegra 18 pounder for £1,900:

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SP Race

I’m sure that under the badge, it’s yet another far eastern mass factory carbon clone, but that Badge, man, the Badge…

That’s still a lot more than I can afford without many many months scrimping, but until now my penny pinching has been aimed at the long term goal of an Enigma or Burls Titanium – both well over £2k.
Now, Raleigh put out a bike as good as any other at a lesser price than I was going to pay – and despite all my misgivings about carbon fibre, its bypassed my head and gone straight to the heart – this is one bike I’m going to test drive as soon as I can find a dealer…. thence to scrape a deposit together?


Rode one, and… a great RACE bike. However I am not a racer. I am a mamil, and like my long sportives and club runs. Too harsh for that I’m afraid. I will stick with the madone for now.

#grifter, #raleigh, #scorpio, #tomahawk