Cycling kit so lovely you’ll be desperate to head out on your bike on sub-zero mornings just so you can show it off. My picks include bargainous jerseys, lustworthy coordinated kit and a jacket that could well save your life. Take that, winter training!
My wonderful and bike-mad mate Mary Spender took a five day cycle trip through Catalonia. Here’s her diary from her time exploring this beautiful part of Northern Spain on two wheels, including pristine beaches, tasty treats and, um, kissing lion bottoms.
“Growing up, my family’s favourite holiday destination was a little campsite called Mas Patoxas, a campsite north of Barcelona and south of the Pyrenees on the Costa Brava. I remember eating lorry loads of shellfish, staying in a swimming costume all day and turning a lovely shade of brown on the golden sand. When Sian invited me to go back to see the region by bicycle with the Tourist board of Catalonia, I couldn’t resist.
Do you like to ride your bike? Are you a lady (or indeed a man) who enjoys wearing skirts? This video is about to change things forever. The best life hack ever, and all you need is a penny. Check out the awesome lasses behind the revolution at Penny In Yo Pants.
If you want to ride to work on your bike but find the idea dodging traffic, staying dry and negotiating roundabouts a little overwhelming, I’m here to help! Here are my top tips for zipping about safely and stylishly, gleaned from years of cycling in cities and shouting at bus drivers.
Itching to get out on your bike this weekend? I’ve put together this handy guide to getting into long distance rides with cycling charity Sustrans. Just tick off these ten steps and you’ll be pedal ready.
If you’ve got a case of itchy feet this weekend, hop on the Eurostar and go see a beautiful new place by bike. It’s quick and easy, and before you know it you’ll be getting lost in Amsterdam, following the Pilgrim’s trail to Provence or pootling around Paris.
Last weekend I met the lovely Thom Heald, the photographer behind Bristol By Cyclist. He likes bikes and he likes Bristol, and that and a penchant for taking beautiful photos has led to a wonderful gallery portraying different faces of Britain’s ‘Cycling City’. Oh, and there are some very pretty bikes to lust over, too.
Feeling a little bit saddle sore? Total Women’s Cycling have just finished a new video series of yoga moves specifically for biking that will show you how to keep flexible and strong – perfect for training during the chilly winter.
In June I spent a week in Israel discovering the delights of Tel Aviv, biking in the Negev Desert and wandering around the labyrinthine streets of old Jerusalem. Here’s part two of the journey – cycling in the desert. Some photos by the fantastic Mark Stratton.
I love outdoors kit you can boast about. “Dude, you think your jacket is light? Mine weighs half as much as piece of paper. Yeah, PAPER.”
So I greatly enjoyed testing out my new Flyweight Softshell jacket from Jack Wolfskin (£80) whilst mountain biking around in the Negev Desert in Israel last week. It was hot.
Cornwall’s a bit nice isn’t it? There’s surfing and sunshine and pasties. It’s the stuff bucket-and-spade-holidays were made for. My favourite thing of all to do in the land of cream teas is to bike along the pretty cycle paths that meander through the Cornish countryside, and these five lovely routes from West Cornwall Cottage Holidays are suitable for all riding abilities, and perfect for little ‘uns.
It all got a bit Famous Five last weekend, when I hit the road with PedalFolk, a band of travelling folk musicians bent on cycling from Bath to the Oxford Folk Weekend, stopping off for gigs, alfresco singing and the occasional cider on the way.
National cycling charity CTC have put together a brand new, women-only elite cycling team, to help promote cycling and encourage girls to get on their bikes. The team will be racing both in the UK and abroad, as well as acting as cycling ambassadors, encouraging young women to get on their bikes as part of an active lifestyle. We chatted to girl racer Lydia Boylan about training, competing and chocolate addictions.
So gorgeous, so ridiculous. Taylor Simpson‘s ‘Moniker’ handlebars are a masterpiece of cycling design, if you feel like pedalling along about a million miles ahead of the fash pack (and possibly hurting yourself quite a lot if you ever fall over).
It’s a warm and sunny Indian summer afternoon in Soho and I am sitting in an air conditioned office. This is not ideal. Instead I will fantasise about practising these absolutely amazing bike moves courtesy of film director Ninian Doff. I am particularly enjoying the Royal Wave, the MGM Lion and the Cup of Tea. Lovely.
One of my favourite things in the whole world: cycling along a canal to a field full of clover, lying down and watching the clouds drift, sharing an MP3 player with someone else and listening to any of these. If you have Spotify you can listen.
My housemate Leo and I went on a little impromptu cycle ride last week along the Taff Trail, which runs from Cardiff Bay to Brecon for 55miles. After a more paltry 8 miles, we ended up at Castle Coch, a stunning, fairy-tale castle near the village of Tongwynlais, which I can’t say and am not completely sure I can spell. The trail is very pretty, hugging the river and passing a huge weir on its way to the castle. The whole thing is traffic free and perfect for cyclists. It was getting late by the time we had biked up the steepest hill I have ever seen to Castle Coch (Leo biked, I walked/biked/pushed/complained), so we had a well-deserved pint in the The Lewis Arms and cycled home. Next time we’re going to do it all (Leo doesn’t know this yet).
I love my bike. A whole lot. His name is Walter and he’s worth absolutely nothing, but I think I would need therapy if something happening to him.
I was given Walter (he’s a Raleigh, get it?) by a friend last year, and he has completely changed my life. I have gone from being not particularly fussed by our two-wheeled friends to a convert. Cycling is just so unbelievably fast, cheap, healthy and convenient. I now go pretty much everywhere on Walter, despite his constant ailments.