Friday 28 December 2012

Review: Altura Night Vision Over Trousers

I bought these awesome Altura Night Vision Over Trousers after seeing a review by my good cycling buddy Mr.O & for the LBC Ride: London by Night 2012 recently. I wasn't sure what the weather was going to throw at us that night so I thought I would make sure with a pair of these bad boys.

I never actually got a chance to ride with them on the LBC Ride: London by Night 2012 ride itself as it didn't rain on the LBC Ride but yesterday morning I saw the weather was looking abit wet so I put them on before heading out the door. I'd only gone about 5 minutes down the road when it started "spitting" down a little and another 5 minutes it was proper raining. I have to say I'm very impressed with these over-trousers, I've never worn cycling gear like this before (well haven't worn any proper cycling gear EVER)

PAD: 27th December 2012
Altura Night Vision Over Trousers after morning commute

Only thing I will say is that these are not "breatheable" and on a longer commute/ride could make my legs alot hotter and sweat more, but saying that in winter they will be invaluable

I can see in the coming days more and more cycling clothing being purchased as I slowly but surely see the light in wearing the proper clothing when riding. When I was on my most recent ride LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012 I noticed how different my riding was when wearing proper cycling type clothing. I felt alot faster, lighter and stronger.

~ B ~

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Returning from the LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano

While returning from the LBC Ride today I had an eventful journey homewards.
I was cycling down from Marble Arch along Oxford Street as the buses where pretty crowded due to the Bank Holiday sales going on so I'd figure I'd going further out along the route of the bus I wanted to take and get on where it wouldn't be so busy and crowded. I was just going past Oxford Circus when I spotted a familiar face, The Traffic Droid 360 himself, of course having a word with a black cab driver. Had a quick hello but he was on his way somewhere and I wanted to get out of Central London as it was getting just a little but too crazy for my taste. I cycled all the way to Angel, Essex Road before the rain came down heavy.

I got on the bus at Angel and got of near Tottenham Hale. The heavy rain had stopped at this time so I figured I would ride the rest of the way home as it was just one road straight. So coming around Tottenham Hale one way system I was cycling along at a good pace when this 7 seater people carrier cut me up BADLY turning into the petrol station. Now I looked at the driver and noticed he was on the phone. I'm sorry folks but THAT burns me even more.
He stopped in the petrol station and before he got out of his vehicle I came up beside his driver side window and said to him that he could have killed me cause he cut me up and was on the phone at the time. He was STILL holding the phone in the middle of a call and I told him to get off the bloody phone and watch the bloody road. I had my HiVis (Nuclear)Jacket on and ALL my lights on flashing so there was no way he could say he DIDN'T see me.

Anyways after that I was cool and carried on, I heard one of the other people in the petrol commenting saying the guy shouldn't have a licence if his doing that kind of thing and I shouted "Damn skippy!"

That wasn't the end of my adventure though about 2 streets away from my house I felt the rear wheel going odd and the now familiar sound of a puncture. Pretty good going as I wasn't no more than 5 minutes away from home and the rain stayed off til I round the last corner home.

Big Puncture nearly bald rear tire
I was actually talking to a Andy Longfellow about replacing tires etc and he gave me the great tip of warming the tire in hot water to make the rubber softer to get it off. I did think to replace the tire with my London Marathon plus ones but I thought I'd wait till the LBC Maintenance Session in Feb '13 and do a full overhaul then.
Warm clean tire for easy removal
 No way I could to the above if I was married LOL
The Green glass embedded in The Legend's poor rear tire
I just replaced the inner tube with a old one and put the same tire back on (remembering to check the tire for more)

~ B ~

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012

Ladies and Gents, this was planned as a little leisurely ride though London. Which included a few of London's squares & bridges & also a little trip to Abbey Road. >:D

My journey into Central London was longer than normal as there was a London Underground strike going on so NO tube trains where running. So I had to make my way into Central London via bus. I made it to Green Park Station and just typed in the postcode to the Le Pain Quotidien and my Garmin 800 took me right there no problems.
Once there met up with a few other members of LBC, which turned out to be 6 of us all together, there was supposed to be 7 but not sure what happened. Anyways we waited as long as we could and then we set off. We knew there was rain forecast at some point of the ride but we hoping we would be all done and finished before it came down.

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Albert Bridge

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Peace Pagoda

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Outside Battersea Power Station

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
House of Commons from Southside of Thames

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Winston Churchill Statue @ Parliament Square

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Nielson Mandela @ Parliament Square

The LBC tried to recreate the famous Beatles Album Cover "Abbey Road"

Beatles "Abbey Road" Album Cover

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Abbey Road Crossing
As you can see there was alot of tourist doing the same thing, the traffic wasn't too happy at times but we did our best. Maybe next time we will try and do it very early in the day and not on a public holiday.

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Abbey Road Crossing
We later found there was a webcam at the crossing and you can go back and see yourself crossing the road itself, you really cant mistake me with my Nuclear HiVis jacket >:D Abbey Road Crossing Webcam

Here we are on

Here we are on

Here we are on

The legend at a place where a legends are born. Take note dear readers, you saw "The Legend of the Brompton Bumble B" here too

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
The Legend at Abbey Road Crossing

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Bromptons outside Abbey Road Studios

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
The Legend outside Abbey Road Studios

LBC Ride: Boxing Day Beano 2012
Regents Park
At this point we all decided to call it a day as it start to spit a little. Most of us headed towards Marble Arch. I was going to catch a bus but seeing the raid was holding off still and the bank holiday traffic was abit crazy I decided to cycle as much as I could til the rain dropped. I managed to get to about Angel before the rain was falling pretty hard and jumped on a bus. When I got off the bus it wasn't the end of my adventures as I will post about in another post.

Another great ride lead by David Parkinson without the use of an electronic devices I might add. Mapping skills amaze me everytime & a good paced ride too.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from "The Legend!"

iBikeLDN Christmas Canal Ride 2012
Merry Christmas from "The Legend" & friends

"The Legend" will like to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas how ever you celebrate the holidays.

~ B ~

Sunday 23 December 2012

Richmond Pre Christmas Spin

Another hard training ride in Richmond Park @ 08:00. Wasn't help that the overground trains not starting till 08:15hrs, so didn't really get there till nearer 09:00.

PAD: 23rd December 2012
The Legend waiting at the station

Met up with my training partner Mr. O at station and headed off to Richmond Park.
As always I have problems with this place with it's huge hills that seem to be getting bigger & bigger each time. Thankfully the temp was pretty mild compared to this week and no rain. Started out pretty good but the the hills started up and I didn't see much of Mr. O with his powerful legs accelerating him into to distance as my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest like in the aliens films.
Richmond Park Deer
Richmond Deer
Richmond Park Deer
Richmond Deer

Once again it was just me and the legend against the elements, this time the enemy was wind. May have been the windiest ride in Richmond to date for me which made it feel twice as hard.
After catching up Mr. O we had a little discussion about aerodynamics & wind resistance. From his work mate he passed on some words of wisdom about clothing to help cut this down to make me more aerodynamic which in turn make riding easier. I promptly said that his going to get me spending even more money on cycling clothing which until recently I had never truly considered.

Currently on shopping list is cycling pants with padding in. Also making sure I don't load myself up with unnecessary items that I don't need for training. Also doing more rides more often & upping my average speeds too, also making sure that for training rides I should wear as little as possible as I should be cycling for the most part so in turn keeping myself relativity warm in the process. So no more "Normal Clothing" s Mr.O puts it and more cycling type clothing but I'm not going so far to get into super tight lyrca, I don't think the world is truly ready to see me go that far.

I have slacked off of late in riding due to weather mostly but also with it being Christmas time is also pretty busy time but with Nocturne in a couple of weeks I need to get my game face on even though I don't know if I've actually been drawn yet.
Other than the Nocturne @ The London Bike Show in January there isn't much on the LBC riding calendar til April 2013. There is who ever alot of rides outside the LBC happening in May, June, July which are the big ones I have entered into.

I think future training rides we won't be in Richmond Park too often as its a hell of a long train journey for me to get to. Will be doing more rides around Hyde Park and other central London areas maybe even closer to my own area if I can find any.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Review: Endura Skullcap

I've found that with my helmet on and short hair my head gets cold pretty fast, esp at this time of year. I wasn't really looking for this but saw this in the shop.
It's thin so doesn't feel tight when worn with my helmet and even long enough to cover my ears to

Endura Skullcap
While wearing this i didn't feel any of the cold or wind. It's made from Thermolite with High Performance Repel Teflon fabric protector, which says draws away moister/sweat. I'm guessing its the same kinda of stuff used in other cycling clothing

~ B ~

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Review: Muddyfox Bike Sunglasses

Found these cycling sunglasses while searching for thermal base layers. I have been looking for a pair of general sunglasses as the ones i have are pretty old and scratched up.
These which are more than enough for my needs and pretty cheap. I may go back and get another pair as a backup just incase.

Whats in the pack, also a small lint-free lens cleaning cloth
As you can see there is clear, night, orange and black lenses, also comes in a handle pouch & lens cleaning cloth

~ B ~

Sunday 16 December 2012

LBC Ride: London by Night 2012

One man had a dream, some would say madness had taken over his mind, saying his should be committed. But when others share in that dream what is it then?

Dear readers, this is the account of one man's dream given form, turned into reality & shared with others. My cycling partner in crime (Mr. Orange Brompton) had a dream and shared it with others of the FOLD!

LBC: London by Night 2012. (14th-15th December 2012)
Riding Bromptons though out the night in London, United Kingdom, seeing how people in London. When the idea for this ride was first suggested by my cycling partner in crime Mr. O it hit a personal cord with me. Working in London as a Bus Driver I have always seen how London changes when the darkness comes, the transition from the evening rush hour workers doing their best and sometimes worst to get home as soon as possible to get home and relax with their families or to go out cause its the weekend and they needed to blow off some steam.

Seeing this ride is taking place in winter I went out and got myself some cycling type thermals to wear,  I didn't get exactly what I wanted but had cheaper alternatives. Which in time I will find out if they any good for the task before me. I will put them though their paces and will be doing a few reviews of in later posts.

On the way to the meeting point there was an accident and I'm afraid to report a casualty. I dropped my water bottle while on the train and it fell directly on the nozzle. :'(

PAD: 14th December 2012
R.I.P my friend

I wanted to try and get a little nap before the ride but too excited I got maybe an hour tops. I was going to be meeting my cycling buddy Mr.O at Piccadilly Circus in Central London about 23:00hrs but in my excitement I kinda got there a little early, ok 90mins early >:D

The Legend waits
Finally met up with Mr.O & co founder of LBC Mick Blackman, we said our hellos and cycled off to The Lord Clyde, 27 Clennam Street, London, SE1 1E. This was the main meeting point for tonight's ride and after we had some great coffee and a briefing of how the ride was going to be we all started to make our way down to near the Thames just after 01:00hrs.

LBC: London By Night 2012
The Lord Clyde

Lining up for group shot

LBC: London By Night 2012
Crossing the Millennium Bridge



LBC: London By Night 2012


Crossing Tower Bridge

LBC Ride: London by Night 2012
Waiting at traffic lights



LBC: London By Night 2012
Our master map reader and route finder

LBC: London By Night 2012

PAD: 15th December 2012
New member wanting a photo with "The Legend!" first, me second >:D

Sunrise over the Thames

LBC: London By Night 2012
On our way home

LBC: London By Night 2012
Another Brompton owner on the tube home

On our train home I saw another Brompton owner (Red M3) and got chatting to it's rider. He asked me about adding mudguards to his Brompton. I hope he doesn't mind me getting a sneaky photo but I did tell him its pretty easy to get a mudguard set and gave him my card with the club & my blog address on.

LBC: London By Night 2012
My Promised FULL English Breakfast
Seeing we finished in Central London its pretty hard to find a "Greasy Spoon" type cafe where you can get a proper full on English Breakfast, so before I got home I made sure I stopped off in my local cafe and refuelled properly ;)

I would like thank EVERYONE for coming on yet another AWESOME kicking LBC Ride, honourable mentions to The Lord Clyde, 27 Clennam Street, London, SE1 1E for being our staging area and giving us a great warm send off with coffee. Also like to thank the LBC members for stopping when people starting to asking about Bromptons on our ride & what we was all doing. I know i gave about a good few business cards with details of the club and blog on for sure.

Photography on Brompton site

On surfing the new Brompton Website I found a photo I uploaded to their gallery, they used in quiet a few times I see >:D

Click News Select

The Legend continues...

Spotted on the Brompton Website >:D

Brompton Factory Ride & Open Day 2012
The original shot I took back in July 2012

~ B ~