Sunday 26 October 2014

Getting ready for the winter commute

Had a relatively quiet but fun week on the cycling front, covering only 48k. However, made good use of the week in terms of future preparations. Indeed, not only did I create potential routes but I also readied my commute bike for the winter season.
First off, I acquired a funky little KCNC wheel skewer light mount. This piece of kit allows a light to be mounted off the bars (and in line with the hubs). I just need to get a decent commute light for my Genesis bike now. (I have a Hope Vision 1 in mind). The blue bone-head was just for effect. If this works well, I might invest in another for my road bike which would get rid of endless cable from my dynamo hub up to my bars.
The next thing I acquired was a Continental Top Contact Winter II tyre. This tyre will be great over the Winter months as it will allow me to cycle over snow, frost and ice. The tyre has many features including a reflective strip, temperature resistant up to -25C, proven tread pattern for assured winter grip and a high level of puncture protection. My buddy Chris had raved about these tyres last season and assures they are the business. These tyres are not cheap - they can cost anything between £35-50 each! I paid less than £30 for my tyre (from Tredz who priced matched and then gave a further £5 discount voucher). For sure, I need a second tyre but will have to wait until payday. These tyres will be changed back after the Winter season.
The other thing I prepared was a potential 200k route. This route, I hope, will be suitable for a single-speed adventure as it is not overly hilly and never climbs higher than 150 metres at any point. I used 'Ride with GPS' to create the route and am hoping to use this as a DIY perm for maybe November and December. I have entitled the route 'the not-so-great figure of eight'. Any guesses why?
The not-so-great figure of eight, 200k DIY perm
In terms of actual cycling, I had 2 mini adventures. The first was a quick blast on my single-speed bike. This was just a quick route check on my planned event above. I cycled to the first control and then got lost trying to make sense of my Garmin. I've had my Garmin ages and should have learnt that purple route lines take priority over white ones! Silly me.
My final ride was on the day that the clocks went back. And talking of 'back', I had Lunar on the back of my single-speed MTB. We picked up where I got lost the day before. Following the rule that purple lines win over white ones, we found our way. I guess you could say this was a 'Lunar Cycle'.

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