The Challenge Bucket List

I am going to start this post of with a disclaimer based on all those pictures that are going around about “What I Really Look Like.” I am not an athlete by any means; I just like cycling.  I try and set myself one challenge a year to give me something to aim for and keep me out as much as possible in those long winter months.

I’m going to start this off as a post but it will probably end up as a separate page at some point or another once I finally get my act together.  Some of this list is achievable and some is serious pie-in-the-sky-may-never-happen but we can all dream.  I have a few ticked off already, but on the whole there is still loads to go:

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Lidl bike stuff out tomorrow

Tomorrow Lidl open their doors to reveal their next batch of cycle clothing; check out a review here. Your going to have be quick though. I have bought plenty of this – well base layers and shorts mainly; it’s at a price that cannot be ignored and works perfectly well. The only thing I would recommend is you camp out and get there early as it always goes very quickly.

Planning needs work


As much as I have to plan in my day to day work I have completely failed again.  I pre-registered to do the Etape Caledonia  way back last year (in May 2012 in fact) and got the pre-release entry opportunity quite a while ago (last November even) and entered with gusto and there my forward planning and thinking took a rest until yesterday, when, due to the fact that another 4999 have also entered and thought about accommodation earlier, means that I am having a nightmare finding somewhere to crash the night before.


To make matters a little more complicated I am meant to be in London the following day for the HTB Leaders Conference and so need to get my bike back home as well as appear ready and awake at the Royal Albert Hall.  My wife, have I ever mentioned how fantastic she is, rang round, what feels like half of Scotland, to get me somewhere to crash on Saturday before the race.  She did eventually find me something and I have to head home, drop the bike off and then get a red eye the following morning.

I am looking forward to doing this sportive, though I do need to get in a few longer rides before then.

Then to cap it all off after getting back late on the Thursday it is the Baker Hughes 10k in Aberdeen on Saturday and my office has a team.  So after all this I am wondering if I am able to really plan after all.

Dead wheel

When I got my Van Nicholas it came with a set of Easton Circuit wheels.  No matter what you see below please first understand that I have ridden my bike most days, covering between 120 to 200 miles a week and have ridden the bike for four years before this happened.  Other than this final death throw these wheels have remained true and have been fairly maintenance free.

I got into work after my normal commute, pushed my bike into entrance knew something wasn’t quite right.  My immediate thought was a buckled wheel, and on first inspection it looked a little like I had broken yet another spoke, though it has been a little while since I broke the last one.

On inspection though it was a little worse than that.

Yes I was lucky, but this was rather predictable.  When I looked at it in detail I have been riding some pretty shoddy roads for a few years on wheels with 20 spokes both front and rear.  I had already replaced the front wheel as I had worn the rim down so the wear marker had gone.  This was expected considering I mainly using my front brakes.  What I didn’t consider was the concentrated loading the rims where getting with reduced spokes.  So when I looked at the rest of the wheel it was in a pretty poor condition with most of the other eyelets.

Has anyone else experienced this or is it just me?  In view of this please always check your rims on a regular basis; especially if you prone to buying wheels that are minimalistic where spokes are concerned.