Sunday 28 June 2015

Review: B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket

My cycling partner had found a great little waterproof cycling jacket at what is now becoming one of my favorite stores Decathlon UK

We have been looking for a lighter waterproof jacket that could be packed small to take with us when the weather was questionable but the most important thing is that it has to be of course yellow. When we was looking there seemed to only be Red & Blue available.

We had to wait a few weeks I even emailed Decathlon UK & B’Twin to see when the yellow edition would be back in stock. I didn’t get the answers I wanted so I thought I would just keep monitoring the website as best I could and maybe we’d get lucky.

We got lucky !

I bring to you the B’Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket in Yellow

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket
  • WATERPROOFING - Waterproof main fabric, sealed upper seams
  • BREATHABILITY - Vents under the arms to reduce perspiration while cycling
  • LOW WEIGHT / LIGHTWEIGHT - Single lightweight waterproof layer
  • VISIBILITY – Reflective strips
This jacket is a good middle ground of cycling jackets for me personally. Nothing too heavy, too light just right & packable.

Reflective strips

Zip waterproof pockets
As you can see it can be packed pretty small, easily get into a saddle bag or Mini O Bag

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket & Overtrousers
I have worn it once in a light shower while commuting to work and I have to say I was pretty impressed by it. I wasn't even sweaty underneath it but then again I was only cycling for a short time.

This is a great addition to my cycling kit and will put my mind at ease with the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII that's coming up in a week.

For £7.99 you can’t really go wrong either. (The other colours are £11.99 at the time of posting but still a good price)

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket- Red
B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket- Blue

My Review: B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Friday 26 June 2015

When good tires go bad

This week B's rear has been feeling very wobbly. I thought damn rear wheel is buckled or something so I checked it. Found the marathon plus tire I had on had lumps in.

It's a common problem with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres I've later found out but it's the first time this has happened to me so badly.

My local bike shop Londonfields Cycles tried reseating the tire but it was too far gone to be saved. It was pronounced dead at the scene. So they replaced it there and then under warranty no charge even though they didn't fit it but I bought it from them a few months ago.

Now that's what I call customer service. Keeping it local with independent bicycle shops is the way to go. Londonfields Cycles.

till the next ride, Bee safe

Thursday 18 June 2015

LBC Ride: Retreat from Oxford

It's been awhile since the legend and I have done some decent mileage. Well it felt that way and with the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII coming up in a couple of weeks we needed to do something abit longer for training. So last weekend we when on a 60 mile ride.

Me and my cycling partner in crime OrangeBrompton where travelling up from Paddington Station to Oxford with David & Anne for the London Brompton Club Ride: Retreat from Oxford.

I was pleasantly surprised that I got to Paddington Station pretty early for once, so early that the train wasn’t even on the departure boards yet.

Paddington Station
Even had time for a sandwich and hot chocolate.

Checking the departure boards
Once the boards showed my train and platform I could see MrOrange, David & Anne making their way towards the same platform. We said our hellos and made sure we secured our B’s & Anne’s big bike close to each other.

Bobo, OrangeBrompton & The Legend
Just after we arrived at Oxford station I noticed there was a proper stream train just pulling out. Proper steam and everything woohoooo

Passing steam train @ Oxford Station

Proper steam
We arrived in a drizzling Oxford. After we finally gathered everyone together we kept looking outside to see what exactly the weather was up to. It looked like it was going to be drizzling for the most part of the day so everyone started suiting up in their waterproof jackets.

On this ride there would be about 15 (or so) of us on this ride with a few new faces as well as a few I haven't seen in awhile. This was mainly Rob & Dina’s ride as they live up in Oxford and had done the route a few times.

Getting ready for the off
We kept looking outside a few times as the rain looked like it was going to die off and then it would come down harder again but not actually stop.

As we cycled though the centre of Oxford a Brompton Peloton always draws onlookers.

We even stopped off in the market where Brompton Bike Hire had a stand and of course had to get a couple of photos of us all getting ready for our 60 mile ride to Richmond. After a few shots we had to get moving as we had alot of miles to cover.

I have to say that Oxford is a great place to cycle & lots of old buildings & history to see. Maybe one day the legend and I will stay for abit longer and take a little tour of the city itself.

Getting out of the city wasn’t to hard and the drizzle was fairly constant the whole time. Not heavy enough for full on waterproofs but enough to keep you wet.
Daniel had adopted for the shower cycling jacket & plastic poncho which is good but then again makes a great wind sail.

As we started to ascent a big hill we where constantly passed my old vintage cars that looked to be on some kind of treasure hunt.

Ahead of us in the distance was Britwell Hill. Yup it was a long big hill. I had to stop and walk a couple of times but I was glad it was at the start of the ride instead of near the end. Plus at the top was our lunch stop the Fox & Hound Pub so even more reason to make it to the top.

You see that behind us, we cycled/walked up that thing. It was tough but good to get to the top as we knew our lunch stop was The Fox & Hound pub.

Damn good sight to see when on a ride.

As we browsed the menus I noticed that the beer glasses had Bee’s on them. If I could have I would have taken one to add to my Bee collection at home.

Everyone is wondering what to have as the descriptions all sounds so yummy.

After a well earned pub lunch we returned to the road. The drizzle had basically stopped now so we could strip off a little more and start getting some serious miles behind us.

Looked like we where coming though a little parade/fete here. Was pretty busy with cars and people but we got though pretty quickly.

As always Samantha is snapping away with a huge smile on her face.

Always smiling on a LBC ride

We even did abit of off roading but not for too long, BBB didn’t like this bit too much but I promised him when we got back to the HiVE I would give him a good cleaning.

Alittle muddy
Back on proper roads we ate up the miles. I could tell we was getting near to London as I started to see London Bus stops appearing, always a good sign we was heading in the right direction.

Our last stop before the final push to Richmond, mainly for the coffee junkies.

Coffee Break

The final push and we had made it back to Richmond Station, our finish line.

I didn’t get a chance to take any photos of the group near the station as I wanted to catch the next overground train back to the HiVE. Me and my partner in crime jumped on our train home and commented on how good the ride was.

With myself I still felt I had a good amount of miles left in my legs which is a good thing as in July the legend and I have the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII. A 120 mile over night ride from Hackney Londonfields to Dunwich coast.

As always our ride data, as they say if it's not online, it didn't happen ;)

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Review: B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

I’ve been looking for another pair of over-trousers for awhile now as the Altura Nightvision Overtrousers are pretty heavy & don’t pack small enough for my tastes.

Needed something lighter that could be packed away easily so I came across these B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers at my local Decathlon UK store.

  • WATERPROOFING: coated component (2000 mm) + 100% watertight seams to withstand showers of 1hr.
  • VISIBILITY: Reflective strips on calves.
  • COMPACT DESIGN: Clever, it packs away into its shoe cover, ready to be taken anywhere.
  • FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: The wide cut, designed for cycling, does not hinder pedaling.
  • COMPATIBILITY: VIOO CLIP BTWIN can be attached (at the rear) = visible from 110 m. Not supplied
  • EASY DRESSING: cut for easy dressing, with elasticated waistband

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers
These can be folded and packed into one of the overshoes. A couple of rubber bands to hold the package together and keep it tight, with practice I could probably get it even smaller & just use one rubber band.

Tire used for scale
In addition to being over-trousers they also have built in overshoes to your feet don’t get wet either.

Built in Overshoes
Sealed over shoes
Elastic straps
I’ve worn them once on my daily commute and they worked well. I can get them on and off much quicker than my older over trousers which when out on the road  or short for time can make all the difference.

Can also attach a B'Twin VIOO Clip light for even more visibility for night time riding. (sold separately)

The only down side I have found is that around the calf of the trouser tend to catch on the crank arms at times because the trousers are so baggy at that point. A couple of velcro strips around this area would solve this problem quiet easily.

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers @ Decathlon UK: £12.99

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Monday 15 June 2015

#JupiterNocturne Folding Bike Heat 1

Here is the video I shot of my heat at the Jupiter London Nocturne Folding Bike Race.

 till the next ride, bee safe.....

Thursday 11 June 2015

3rd year of the #NightriderLDN2015

Hot on the heels of the Jupiter London Nocturne race in Smithfield's we managed to get a few hours sleep before the all Nightrider London ride.
This is a great charity night ride all around London for a charity of your choice. This time though I didn't get a chance to name a charity but was going for myself.
My 3rd year running doing this great ride but this time though my starting point had changed to the Olympic Park Velodrome which isn't to far away from me.
Legend arriving at the Olympic Park, Velodrome
The legend at I would be riding with the Bee Team consisting of Daniel, Samantha, Jenny & yours truly. We are of similar pace & speed & we've been riding a few times on the latest rides of late too. We also will be doing the Dunwich Dynamo XXII on the 4th July 2015 (OMG less than a month away)

Signing up for the ride was abit different to last year, You could txt your name to a number so they knew you was attending the ride, only thing was that you still had to line up to get your rider number and hi-vis tops. As always a few people recognized the Legend and a few of the marshals remembered me doing the same ride for the last 2 yrs, this was our 3rd year.

I arrived first and got signed up and waited for the rest of the Bee Team to arrive and sign up.

The Bee Team
All ready for the off, we missed our start time and looked like we was the last bunch to leave.

and so it beings...

and off we went for the Classic Nightrider 2015. This year there was 2 courses, the classic 100km (60miles) & the shorter 60km (32miles) route.
We would be of course be doing the 100km route. I got abit confused at the  point where the 2 routes parted but my Bee Team got me back on track.

Daniel abit too cheerful

Our first big landmark was Crystal Palace. There was an event that looked like it was just finishing so we had lots of traffic and people coming out. Seeing us on our bikes people had to do a little double take at times esp when we was staying we was just starting out to do a 60mile night ride.

Crystal Palace over looking London

Forgot to grab the photo on the Abbey Road webcam of the Bee Team taking an iconic photo crossing the famous zebra crossing.

Onwards we went powering though the night, it was pretty quiet by now so we had the roads to ourselves for the most part, other than other riders coming the opposite direction as they started at Crystal Palace.

As the sun started to rise we passed quiet a few famous London Land marks.

Passing Big Ben

We finally hit Alexander Palace which was a major snack break stop for us and boy did we need those bacon sandwiches and hot drinks.

Now it was time to really put the speed on, time was getting away from us a little and some of the check points where packing up getting ready to close down.

Finally we had the Olympic Park, with the Velodrome in view, Our goal was just ahead now, would anyone still be there? would there be anymore snacks left behind? would we get our hard earns medals?

Our goal was so close, we just had to get onto the Road circuit and that was it job done.

On the road track
WOOHOO we had made it, it was abit of a slog but we got there in the end.
Finish line of the Nightrider London 2015
We was abit knacked after riding all night but it was damn good.

It was a lovely morning so we sat for a little while in the sun for a little rest before heading our separate ways home. I wasn't to bad as I only lived a few miles down the road so the Legend and I cycled back slowly.

Big thanks to all the other riders, marshals and everyone involved with the Nightrider London. Once home we did nap for a little while and woke up to find we could watch Sir Wiggins epic 1 Hour ride which was taking place at the same Velodrome we had just been to. So there had been 2 legends there at the same time. :D

Another medal to add to my collection
Our ride data as always....
till the next ride, bee safe.....