Posts Tagged ‘What Bike?’

Let’s all celebrate and have a good time….
We gonna celebrate and have a good time…It’s time to come together…
Everyone around the world
Come on!!

Yes!  The time has come. I finally got a bike and  the snow has cleared (thank goodness).

  I met my training instructor at the local shop.  He made sure that I got mudgards, pannier rack, changed the saddle and handlebar heights, tyres pumped up, two locks with  a free bottle rack,  drinks bottle and oil thrown in!  What about a helmet, the sales assistant offered.  I swiftly declined. Surprisingly my instructor didn’t comment!  Altogether my Saracen Venturer 0.5 in  a two tone colour was on sale and a great bargain for a first bike.

But when celebrating you have to dress up. So I wore extra makeup but remembered I’d forgotten to put lipstick on whilst waiting for the bus.  While waiting for the bus I also remembered why I hate public transport!

The problem was it was so cold so I just ended up wearing what I usually wear, including full thermals underneath a long sleeved jumper and another very thick long jumper on top with a padded casual jacket and fur lined wedged boots with two sets of socks.   I thought I’d try my contribution to cycle chic like the Copenhagens and dug out my very long scarf and red woollen gloves!

Again, the patience of the instructors was amazing, answering all my mundane questions, giving advice and caring support. For instance, I didn’t know you could take a bike for a ‘test drive’ just like a car but they made sure I did!

This week, more on right, left and U-turns from a turning-rightminor to major road, and then a nice ride all the way through an unknown area with me leading!  I enjoyed that.  Actually, a car tried to overtake me on a narrow road but I stuck to my primary position, forcing the car to stay behind me but  he didn’t see the bollard I was approaching and overtook on the other side of the road!!  Luckily there was nothing coming in the opposite direction.  How dangerous!

Not feeling totally confident to cycle home for the first time on my new bike up the dual carriageway and busy high street alone, one of the instructors accompanied me all the way home.   I had decided to to keep the bike in my house. Now I feel silly about all that fuss I made earlier about not having  a bike in my house!!  Where else would I put it?

He said I could get my new bike in my car for next week and tried to show me how to release the ‘V’ brake (I know what it is now) to release the wheel and put it in my car but unfortunately I need more practise with that.  He showed me the best way to lift it up the steps to my house. Great, I thought. I can do that. He left and as I lifted it up, the handlebar slipped, turned and busted my bottom lip!  Why me!!  Well Saracen Venturer, Welcome home!

I Want To Ride My Bicycle


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In Love Again!claud-butler-kensington-2009-hybrid-bike

This bike is gorgeous.  I love it!  Still searching around and came across this bike from Evans.  But from the advice I’ve been given, it seems it might be a target for thieves!  That I just don’t want but my instructors say they will show me how to strip it down when I before locking it when out and about; taking off the saddle, wheels etc etc.  That’s a lot of hassle!


Anyway, after training today, we went to the local shop and saw this really really cheap bike on sale at £135, a Saracen Venturer which I’m thinking about but I’m not in love with it!!


It’s quite nice and I’m going for a test drive next week.  But I’m in two minds.  Its best to buy from a local shop rather than Evans as its quite a distance away. The local bike is in the sale and is so cheap that I could buy another one when I get more experienced.

But what’s the point in that?  Still thinking….

Rush Hour In Cambridge

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anatomyI watched an excellent video called Anatomy of a Bicycle by Quickrelease.tv for beginners several times over so I could become familiar with all the terminology and get a bike  to match my needs and budget.  It’s only five minutes long I’m  really pleased that such things are ‘out there’ for folks like me!

I learnt about the top/down and seat tubes. I know where the triangle bit is, quick release, fork, spokes, handlebar, pannier rack, bottle cage, wheel nut and the saddle post.

But… is the chainset the same as the cassette?  I presume something drops out of the rear dropout and front dropout?  Then there are all the brakes. Like the disc brake rotor (do they all look like that), cantilever, calliper and ‘v’ brakes, rear shock something amongst other things that I didn’t quite get because I didn’t see it in the context of the whole bike.

They have more videos for beginners like How to Wear Helmet and Pedal Properly all interesting stuff and they plan loads more. These videos are to promote a Bike to Work book.  A very motivating and great website for a newbie like me.

Cycling Uphill

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What a beautiful bike!  I could just imagine myself on it. Pity I was born dutch-bikein the wrong country!  These bikes are a statement. Maybe one day… when I decide to relocate!

Urban bike fashion & cycle chic for sustainable, stylish city transport. Beat traffic, fat and the credit crunch. Fix it, bling it, pimp your ride says London Cycle Chic.  Sounds good. 

…meets Cyclechic’s strict requirements of encompassing practicality, safety and of course, style.

Now, I’m visualising myself on Dutch style bike, looking chic, cycling about town!  They’re so beautiful but I wonder how practical/comfortable are these bikes?  I’ve never seen them before and they’re not in the shops round here.


Do you know there’s even a fashion for bikes?  I didn’t. I also found out that bike models come out every year just like cars. Well I don’t need the latest model but I don’t want to buy a bike thats unreliable or a problem.

Perhaps I should go for a colourful hybrid sporty looking bike. Then I have to decide which colour!  Owhat-bike1r perhaps a bike with a basket for that ‘villagey’ look!    

Still thinking…..  what bike? 




But I don’t want my bike to end up like this!

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You can only get more experience if you buy a bike. Once a week riding is not enough now you’ve passed Level 1 the instructors reminded me.  Spurred and encouraged by this I asked if I could buy the bike I’d been learning and riding on.  I felt confident with that particular bike and it looked alright. Its a Turismo.

I rationalised that I knew it, I don’t need a fancy bike and I don’t want to spend a lot of money.  They said they would sell it to me for £180. But insisted we go to bike shops and look around.

So after the lesson, they took two of us to the local bike shop, rather a small shop, can’t remember the name, to look at a Sarasaracen-venturer-1-ladies-2008cen Venturer 1 Ladies 2008.  They sold it for £250 but later on I found out that on the internet its selling for £179. 

Then I found this whole new cycling world and stumbled upon Why Cycle  website which I found so informative and interesting.  It lists the reasons to cycle as being

Good for you…

  • Regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person ten years younger. (Source: National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation, Sharp) …

Good For Your Wallet…

  • Bicycles require no road tax, no MOT, no insurance, no licensing, no breakdown recovery services, and above all no fuel bills…

Good For Your World…

  • Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space taken up by one car.
  • To make a bicycle requires only a fraction of the materials and energy needed to make a car.
  • Bicycles produce absolutely no pollution – they are a lot quieter too. When was the last time you saw a rusting, burnt-out bicycle?
  • Cars kill and maim thousands of people every year – bicycles don’t.

So right!

Then I went through the WhyCycle menu that focused on styles of bikes. It seems as though the type of bike I buy depends upon the type of cycling.  Interesting…. it seems I need a Hybrid or Trekking bike. Now I know what I looking for when I go in a shop but can I get a Hybrid bike in my car? How would I transport it around until I’m more confident on the road? I would have to wait till next lesson to ask the instructors.

Born In The Wrong Country

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You need to buy a bicycle to practise the instructors advised. You can ride what-bikenow. That was a compliment I’d been waiting for considering I’d never set foot on a bike before. 



However, I was still in two minds whether to buy one of their bikes. I don’t need a fancy bike or one that is too expensive. Jake told us to go into a few bike shops first before buying to get an idea of what we want.

Halfords was mentioned and quickly dismissed! The website Whycycle has excellent advice in their Buying Your Bike Section and as an newbie confirmed the instructors advice.   Anyway I’m not in a hurry. I need more cycling experience first!

I went into another recommended shop by myself, Evans, but I needn’t have worried because the assistant was so knowledgeable, patient and helpful and explained everything to me. I learnt what frames are, that the lighter they are the better they cycle (?). Can’t remember if the aluminium or steel ones are lighter. Can’t remember the sizes either.  That sizes are measured from the chain thing to the top the seat/saddle (?). I learnt about panniers and other things as well.  So many cycling accessories are needed.  The costs mounts up. I especially like the way the wheel comes off  the bike because it would fit in my car.  But maybe it would be easier to steal.  The assistant said I would need two locks.  That seems like a load of hassle to me! 

Or perhaps I should by a folding bike  but they look a bit small or maybe I could get an ordinary bike and buy a car rack  to transport it.  But then my problem is where shall I put the bike?  But first of all, looking at the Whycycle website, it depends upon what type of cycling I intend to do.

what type of cycling

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j0289291When are you going to get a bike asked the instructors. Oh dear. Still in two minds whether to buy the bike I’ve been learning on or a new one. I don’t know a thing about bikes. 


My first problem is where to put the bike that I do eventually want to buy. Just having recently redecorated my house, not liking a lot of things or clutter around the place and not wanting to wheel it through the house to the back garden (no garage or back entrance), I thought I kill two birds with one stone and get a porch built at the front of the house 1) for the bike 2) stop draughts from the front door. Seemed like the perfect solution until I found out the cost.  So that’s not an immediate solution.

Hang it up advised the instructors. What!  Where? On the wall!! Really who hangs a bike up? I do. I have loads of bikes hanging on the walls and  from the ceiling, the instructors told me. Well, I’ve never heard of such a thing. Who really hangs their bike on their walls? 

Another instructor informed me that he stores all his bikes in a bicycle storage shed on his front drive.  Ahha! This sounds like a good idea because I have a front drive.  The shed on the website looks OK but will it look OK at the front of  my house but not really sure if thats appropriate. 

Another thing  I have to think about is that it  seems to depend upon what type of cycling I want to do. So I’m still wondering researching and thinking about this. So where do most people without garages put their bikes?  As I don’t know many people (any?) with bikes except my friend and the instructors, I’m interested to know about other people. Take the poll.

Buy A Bike

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