Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pedal Power

So I am trying to get fit at the moment and with battling long days at work I am struggling to find the time or motivation.

I do however own a bike and I do live a "commutable" cycle distance away from work. So we have collected my mountain bike from the garage at my grandparents and I have participated in some all important bike maintenance lessons from Husband.

Lesson 1: Changing a Tyre
This was a bit of a hard lesson for me. Well to be honest it was starting to feel like we were being given a sign from above that this was a very bad idea.

On our first attempt we filled the flat tyres only to discover a slow leak which caused them to be flat the next morning.

Our second attempt didn't go much better. We sought out the leak with a basin of water and repaired and reflated the tyre. Only to discover it was flat again the next morning.

On our third attempt we had some success. First of all though we exploded the inner tube rendering it utterly useless. Inner tubes make a really loud BANG when they blow up. Apparently not having the tyre fully fitted to the rim will cause the inner tube to start making an appearance and from then on, if you haven't caught it in time, its like a massive black swelling worm!

We didn't have another inner tyre so re-tested the patched inner tube from our second attempt. There was no leak to be found. So we re inserted and re-inflated.

It was fine the next morning. Neither of us can explain why it didn't work originally.

See what I mean about a sign from above?

Lesson 2: Wheels, Gears and Speed
On a mountain bike I have a heavier frame and a much smaller set of wheel gear thingies (the rings where the gears are rather than the actual wheels of the bike) than Husbands road bike which is much lighter and faster than my bike.

For every one rotation of Husband's pedals I am having to do about 4 to cover the same distance!

So I can't carry any speed and just about every 5 minutes I have to change gear to maintain some kind of steady rhythm. I believe those in the know would call it a cadence.

We went for a test ride to assess the route between the flat and the office. Every 5 minutes I would get a shout telling me to change gears and make like easier for myself.

We also realised that my knobbly tyres weren't helping either so tonight we changed them to slicks i.e less knobbly.

Husband reckons this will take 10 minutes off my current time.

I have to do 13miles in the morning and at the end of the day and have done this twice so far. It has taken me an hour and a quarter. In order to do this and miss most of the traffic I leave the flat at 5.45am and have the best nights sleep that night.


  1. Cass, cycling 26 miles and getting us at the crack of dawn is serious commitment to fitness! Well done, and keep writing about how you are doing!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement- very much appreciated!!

  3. Wow you cycle a marathon a day! That is extremely impressive, you are lucky to be able to cycle to work , great way to get fit. I once fell off my bike and had to have my eye stitched up. Needless to say i stay well clear of anything with two wheels now!

    Great blog , thanks.