Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Long time no see!

Hello all.

Sorry there's been no activity in a LOOOOOOOOONG time, but I've been very busy....

I'll be back to normal ASAP.

M. x

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Gorgeous Weather

Good evening,

Today, in Fareham, the temperature topped out at 20 degrees centigrade. Lovely. We had planned to go on a picnic, and had it all ready to go. The day started out well, and I cycled 2 miles to the 'local' coffee shop, bakery and florist to pick up coffee (duh), muffins and a flower to lay a breakfast tray. I learned a valuable lesson here-impromptu coffee collection is not truly viable.

About half of the coffee made it home. The cardboard cups are waxed on the inside, not the outside. A few bumps caused the coffee to spill over and leave the cup soggy and flexible-same with the cardboard holder the drinks were in.Oh well, I'll plan that better in the future. :-)

After that though, the day sort of ran away with us. We didn't go for a picnic but did head out to explore our local green spaces at about 4. We found a lovely park just about 2 miles from our house, and lay out on a picnic rug and read for a couple of hours. I think we'll take the picnic to the beach tomorrow.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Plans for the games...

As you can see, I'm taking part in the Lets Go Ride A Bike Summer Games!

Here is my rough plan for the next three weeks...

May 17-June 6: Social Cycling

Go on a group ride:

On May 31st in my local City of Portsmouth, there is a group ride and picnic to focus attention on the heath and welleing aspects of cycling. To get to Portsmouth is a 10 mile cycle in it's own right, so that will be a 20 mile ride too. Mr E and myself, and possibly Thor and some of his Valhalla friends will be joining us.

Leave a nice note on a bike, or say hi to a cyclist at a red light

I am making some cute notes that I can leave on bikes, with little illustrations on and such. I'm also taking the time to say 'Good Day' to every cyclist I pass or see on my travels. Most just look at me, and I just keep smilling. :-)

Schedule a bike date with a friend or partner — dress up!

Mr E will be escorting me on a mystery date next week. It may be an evening picnic, or it may be a meal in a restaurant. I will be sure and get dressed up to the nines and take plenty of pictures for this!

Recruit a non-biking friend for a ride

I've a couple of people in mind for this...

Ride with your family

My sister, brother-in-law and two nephews all have bikes and like by some lovely cycle tracks, some lakes and even a beach. I think I will encourage them to join me on a bit of an explore of their local area.

Typically, on the 7th June, I'm going to Centreparcs with my whole family, Nan included, and there would be plenty of oppertunity for family based cycling, but I'm sure the next section of the games will provide loads of ideas for us!

As promised, here are the most up to date pictures of Cherry Mellow (My favorite Velo) on our way home from work yesterday. We ride along bridleways, cyclepaths, along a river, past an abbey and only a bit on the roads. The road parts of the journey can be a bit hairy and there are a couple of hefty hills in there, too. All fun!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

More about my ride

So, what about my chariot?

I ride a 2009 Raleigh Oakland. This is really an inexpensive bike, purchased from Cycles UK. It is a deep cherry red colour, with a nice low, step-through style frame. The bike has six speed Shimano dérailleur gears and 'V' type brakes. The ride is very smooth, and the gears are OK for riding around town, and to work as there are a lot of hills around me. The ratio is a bit low to handle longer rides comfortably though, but I seem to be managing well enough at the moment.
The basket that comes with the bike is really quite puny, so that was quickly replaced with the Basil Adie Basket, which is lovely and roomy. (My basket and panniers are made by Basil.)
The bike originally came with flat handlebars, which I replaced with Raleigh North Rounder bars, which are more sweptback and make for a more relaxed ride.
I had to add a pannier rack onto the bike as I'd go mad without one. I also added a kickstand, as the bike didn't have one. Finally, the lights on the bike are a set from Halfords.
My most recent additions were a Brooks B67s Saddle in 'Brown' and some Brooks leather handlebar grips in 'Aged'. (I added these only last week, and have not take any pictures since these have gone on, sorry!)
The cherry on the Cherry is a silver ding-dong bell from Cycle Chic which seems to surprise people whenever I use it.

All in all, my ride is well and truly 'pimped'. I feel very happy riding her as she is extremely lightweight in comparison to say, a Pashley Princess Sovereign. In the future I can see myself changing out the gears to a hub set, and maybe adding a generator hub and some headlamp style lights.

She looks much better with the Brooks bits, so I'll try and take a picture on my commute. You can also see my helmet here, which was a cheap skate helmet that I sanded down and resprayed to match the bike. There's also my briefcase, which again is a bag that I DIY'd and added pannier clips to.

I love my bike! There's no bike the same as her in the world, and this makes me smile.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Righty Ho!

It seems polite to introduce myself. The box on the right over there says it all. Hi, I'm Mickey, I work in a professional capacity as a Database analyst and I commute by Bike. There are many stereotypes about the 'type' of person who commutes by bike, and I take pride in breaking every single one. I wanted to start a blog to share my experiences for a while, and the lovely ladies at Let's go Ride a Bike have given me the perfect incentive to start one.

They are running the LGRAB summer cycling games!

For full details, mosey on over to their (fab) site, but the gist is that each week has a theme, and there are a number of events in each section. Anyone who completes at least two events in each of the three categories will be entered into a draw to win a Batavus BuB bike. They're also giving away prizes as readers complete each category!

I shall be trying my best to complete all of these, and I'll be on Honeymoon in Amsterdam for some of the games, so test riding different bikes and carrying loads should be a piece of cake.

May 17-June 6: Social Cycling

  • Go on a group ride
  • Leave a nice note on a bike, or say hi to a cyclist at a red light
  • Schedule a bike date with a friend or partner — dress up!
  • Recruit a non-biking friend for a ride
  • Ride with your family

June 7-June 27: Learning Experiences

  • Perform a maintenance task — big or small!
  • Decorate your bike
  • Read a book about cycling
  • Carry a load on your bike — groceries, etc.
  • Test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride

June 28-July 18: New Territory

  • Ride a greenway
  • Have a bicycle picnic
  • If you don’t normally ride to work, commute by bike, or by bike/train or bike/bus
  • If you do commute, take the long way home: add distance to your usual ride
  • Explore a new part of town by bike