No. 21 – DIY Golders Green – 210 Km

I decided that a proper way to atone for my sins in the last year would be to ride a long distance – so I did. As days are getting alarmingly shorter, I made sure I’ll leave home at 06:00, with the view of getting back ‘while there is light’. I almost made it!

So, what new things happened during that ride. Let’s see. First there was the first time I used the Icebreaker skin 200 ‘base layer’. This is a pure Merino wool garment that has proved to be immensely reliable in keeping my body warm and also cool. Nice one, right? It is so ‘breathable’ and so light I hardly feel it but it certainly adds a layer of protection against the chill. Not the wind, of course, but it is not supposed to either.

I also used the ‘leg warmers’, which is a weird kind of long socks that are designed to, well, keep the legs warm.. That they do and quite nicely. I only had short trousers and I am sure that without the leg warmers I would have frozen solid. Almost.

Even with all that precaution I was still cold, particularly my right foot. I think I’ll use overshoes next time I go out so early in the winter. Never tried them with cleats, but I seem to remember that there is a hole there just for that purpose. Need to find out soon as I a planning to do a similar course this Saturday. I think I’ll also go for the ‘arm warmers’ to complete the picture.

I am really eager to go for 300Km, but the prospect of riding in the dark for at least 6 hours doesn’t warm my heart. I mat still brave it!

In the last few days/weeks I have started to seriously look into buying yet another Bicycle – this time a ‘fixie’ (i.e. – no gears – single speed). I was attracted to the notion for some time now, but it seems that it would really do me good to have one. The main advantage, I am told, is that you learn to spin faster. I have tried very hard to improve my cadence with some good results, but nowhere near what I would LIKE to be able to do. Also, it does build up strength (you cannot downshift on the climb) and you can stop with your feet – not just hit the breaks. In the Cycle Show that I visited last Saturday there were quite a number of such bikes and I learned a lot by talking to people there. As it is a rather simple mechanical creation, there are a number of them that can be had for about £200 brand new. Obviously – you can spend more if you so wish but I am not certain what additional and SIGNIFICANT benefits that buys you. Irrespective, I am checking out the Specialized Langster model, which is about £400 new and am looking for second hand bargains. I think I may well find one for £200 or so which seems like a good buy to me.

The certificate:

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