Friday, 3 July 2015

A Big Day Tomorrow...112+ Miles

Tomorrow is going to be a rather busy day. In addition to going in to work for a few hours, later that evening I will be taking part in my second Dunwich Dynamo.

The Dunwich Dynamo is an organic annual cycling event where participants cycle from east London to the Suffolk coast, some 112 miles away. The event starts...well whenever you want but most will get under way by about 21:00. At some point on Sunday morning I will hopefully arrive at Dunwich beach.

A ride of 112 miles has to be respected but the biggest factor for me at least is going to be the weather. Last year the heavens literally opened in what was near Biblical proportions. I suspect this year is going to be quite hot and humid and the need for water will be very important.

I don't particularly care for those hydro/bladder backpacks as I do not like the idea carrying a few kilos on my back for over 100 miles! If I did my back/shoulders would be suffering towards the end.  I intend to simply carry a couple of bottles and hope that I can make it to the halfway stop to refill.

I will be doing the Dunwich Dynamo with my friend and veteran of countless night rides, Geoff. Geoff rides at a good pace and I can just about keep up. This is a good thing. When riding with friends on a longer ride, for me at least the worst thing to do is to ride at a slower pace than you naturally want to, especially when you have so many miles to complete.

To all those taking part, best of luck and hope that you enjoy it. If you are doing the Dunwich Dynamo and see a chap on an orange Brompton, do say hello!

You can read my blog post from last years Dunwich Dynamo which gives you a good idea of what it will be like.

Dunwich Dynamo 2014

Monday, 29 June 2015

B'TWIN 700 Ultralight Windproof Cycling Jacket In Orange!!!

Some of you might remember that I posted a review of the Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Lite CLICK HERE a couple of years ago. This jacket was okay but despite the fact it was incredibly lightweight, I have to report that for me that was its only redeeming feature.

As you know from some of my recent posts the lovely people at Decathlon UK have sent me some items to review. One of these is their 'B'TWIN 700 Ultralight Windproof Cycling Jacket.'

The B'TWIN 700 Ultralight Windproof Cycling Jacket weighs in at 91g but I have to say I didn't really detect that it was a little heavier that my Pearl Izumi. The B'TWIN 700 also has the added bonus of being able to pack itself into a small pocket on the bottom right of the jacket. Packed away it fits easily into the palm of your hand, could be stowed in a rear pocket or in a saddle bag.

The actual jacket is a good close fit and again beats the Pearl Izumi which flapped around a little bit like a kite.

The fabric which is apparently biosphere (whatver that is) in addition to being lightweight is windproof and I have to report that having used this at 03:58 a.m. outside Gatwick airport it certainly provided the warmth I needed at that ungodly hour.

This is where a jacket like this excels. On night rides (and I do lots) you will have read about me being frozen after a halfway stop. This jacket will be brilliant for this purpose but also for times when the weather turns colder. Being so light and compact means that I would always carry it and not have to worry about it talking up space for weighing too much.

The sleeves and part of the hem are elasticated and allow a good comfy fit without being overly tight.

The zip looks like it can stand the test of time and it is nice to see that there is a park for it at the neck.

This jacket isn't waterproof but it does allow protection from light drizzle. Think of it more as an extra layer though.

Again Decathlon offer a two year guarantee on this and it costs £19.99. Bearing in mind the Pearl Izumi was more than double this price, it is again another bargain from Decathlon. The sell this jacket in a few colours white, blue and red and Decathlon will not be getting this one back now that I have reviewed it.

I have provided a link directly to this item on the Decathlon website and again many thanks to Decathlon UK for allowing me to review this. My only regret is that this had of been around when I bought the Pearl Izumi!

Item on Decathlon Website

Sunday, 28 June 2015

B'Twin Orange Mountain Bike Shorts - Very Orange!

As you may be aware from a few previous posts, the lovely people at Decathlon UK sent me a number of items for review purposes.

At the recent Jupiter London Nocturne which I was fortunate enough to get into the final, I wore a pair of their B'Twin Orange Mountain Bike Shorts. To say they are orange is a little bit of an understatement! They are a vibrant orange and definitely allow the wearer to stand out from the crowd.

As far as design goes they are more conventional and have two front pockets, one cargo pocket on the leg and one rear pocket.


In addition there are belt loops should you need them. They are very lightweight and the fabric offers lots of flexibility so they are perfect for cycling.

They can be quite happily used in conjunction with a pair of padded cycling shorts underneath and this is what I did for the Nocturne.

One great feature is an elastic strip that allows you to make the waistband tighter. Using buttons to secure things in place is a quick and easy process. I opted to get a pair of XL shorts but found them too big for me. Large would have been perfect however the fact they had this feature meant that I could still war them comfortably.

Okay, it comes down to price. How much I hear you ask. Well, they cost £12.99. For me this represents really good value for money and the shorts feel as if they cost a great deal more.

If you want to be seen on your bicycle this summer you could do worse. I would also imagine these wouldn't  be out of place as part of summer holiday clothing or just something bright for warmer weather.

They come in black and green if orange is either too bright or not your thing but for me I am going to stick with these.

You can find a link below directly to the shorts at the Decathlon Website and again many thanks to Decathlon UK for allowing me to review them.

Link to item on Decathlon website