Road Cycling

Hey Driver, Please Don’t Kill Me!

Went out for a ride last night after a little break on some quiet country roads around where I live.  Usually the drivers around Kirby Fleetham are pretty good, there are always cyclists about and drivers are usually very courteous but last night they must have taken an idiot pill.

First up was YL16 TZK.  A youngish woman driving along a single track lane who saw me in good time and decided to allow me no space whatsoever and shout abuse at me through her car window.  Lovely!

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As you can see, the driver didn’t even give me a metre.  I ask myself how hard it would have been for her to slow down and even at a push pull over?

As cyclists we are considered ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ in the Highway Code.  Rule 213 states:

“Cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.”

She did not give me plenty of room and forced me on to an uneven road surface that could have caused me to come off my bike.  What would the cost have been to her if she pulled over?  She would have got home 30 seconds later, that’s what, but instead she chose to put me in jeopardy and follow that up with verbal abuse.  Lovely lady.

Second up was BV60 XUS, a DFS delivery lorry.  He came up behind me at speed, proceeded to close pass me then have to brake to avoid cyclists coming in the opposite direction.

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As you can see from the photo the driver did not give me the required 2.25 metres from the edge of the road as advised by North Yorkshire Police.  He also was very close to the cyclists coming in the opposite direction who he can’t have seen as he had to brake.

Again, why couldn’t he just approach a little slower and then when safe to pass just give me a little more room?  But instead he speeds on past forcing me into the side of the road.

Drivers (of which I am also one), just be a little bit more considerate.  If I hit your car I’ll just bounce off and you’ll maybe have a scuff on your car, no biggy, but I might lose my life.  I have a family and I’m only just trying to enjoy my hobby (and lose a bit of timber) and really don’t want to end up in hospital or the cemetery just because you couldn’t hang on for 30 seconds.

Thanks for reading.

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Rapha Lightweight Essentials Case

Lightweight Essentials Case – Chilli – £25 

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Available from Rapha.cc

I had been looking for something to hold my phone, debit card, money and keys for some time and tried quite a few products, most recently a bag that came with my Castelli Nanoflex arm warmers but nothing fitted the bill.  I had noticed that Rapha did a leather Essentials Case but this was a little steep at £45 for a cycling wallet then I noticed the nylon Lightweight Essentials Case at £25.  I could justify £25 so it was duly ordered.

Firstly, lets discuss the case.  It is very light and looks well made.  My iPhone 6 in it’s case already fits inside with room for my debit card, coins and notes along with my house key.  Even with all this loaded in the case isn’t bulky and it fits nicely in a jersey pocket.

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The zip pocket inside the case is great.  It stops coins and keys swilling around scratching your phone and rattling around as you ride.  I use mine as a wallet but it would fit a tube, levers and multi-tool if so desired instead of your phone.

Rapha Postage Costs

Rapha charged me £5 to deliver this item to my address.  Let’s put this in perspective.  if I ordered from Wiggle it would be free and would arrive in two days.  But Rapha’s £5 is for STANDARD delivery which took four days and it didn’t even require a signature.  It would appear that your £5 is used for a posh envelope that they put your invoice in.

Postage really annoys me.  Rapha added 20% of the product price as a delivery charge, sat on the order for over a day then sent it out.  I don’t mind paying for delivery but when paying £5 I would expect more than a four day time period.

Verdict

The product, if a little expensive, is great – only let down by the postage.  Effectively you are paying £30 for a nylon wallet and due to the high price I can only award this 3 out of 5.  An extra point would have been awarded if the price had been a little more reasonable (including postage).

 

Since posting this online I have received a few comments that I am just moaning and I was aware of the P&P charges prior to ordering.

To this is say when paying a fiver postage you expect to get some kind of better service than normal mail which costs less. What I got was a posh envelope for my invoice. 4 days if too long when compared to other cycling suppliers, such as Wiggle, where for free P&P it arrives in 2 days.

I’d have happily paid £5 if they didn’t sit on my order for over a day and then send it out standard postage. If you contact them about this they ignore you. If you put it in a product review they don’t contact you to address it.

Again, if you have a negative review Wiggle will put it online and answer it. It can’t be transparent for a company to just not put them online or address them. I know it’s only a small thing but I’ll never buy another Rapha product again due to this.

 

Rapha have today responded to me:

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Fair enough if my review didn’t meet their guidelines, that is their right not to publish it.  I also take on board that they say they publish negative reviews so I will amend my review.

It’s great that they have today contacted me but prior to me publishing this review they had ample opportunity and didn’t, but thanks Rapha for reaching out today.

2014 – My Cycling Year

2014 – My Cycling Year

Well 2014 has been a great cycling year for me, I had a few goals, completed some of them, watched two stages of the Tour de France, one stage of the Tour of Britain and upgraded my bike.

My goals were

  • Cycle 500 miles in a month (only managed 347)
  • Complete the Coast to Coast cycle route (done)
  • Cycle over 2,000 miles in 2014 (only managed 1,135.5 – big fail)
  • Go faster than 50mph (didn’t better 45mph)
  • Complete a ride over 100 miles (Did 102 miles in a oner)
  • Lose some weight cycling (I lost some, but I think I’ve put it back on!)

So I kinda did 3 out of 6.  Not too bad.  I think my biggest effort was the Coast to Coast ride that I did with a couple of mates.  The second day was brutal – easily the hardest thing I have ever done physically.  At times I just wanted to give up but we had no support car so I had to plough on.

Route map and blog for Coast to Coast ride

Cycling 100 miles was a big effort too.  It was a pretty flat course but the lack of feeding stops cost me towards the end of the ride with me badly cramping at 90 miles and struggling over the line.

Selby 3 Swans Sportive 100 mile route blog

The Tour de France coming to Yorkshire was massive.  I had the pleasure of watching Le Tour in France in 2013 but that didn’t compare to watching the biggest sporting event in the world on roads that I ride.  I blogged quite a bit about it (Grand Tour blogs link here).

Starve are doing a cool video thing for your 2014 cycling, here is mine:

Oh, an unexpected bonus was getting the Mrs out on a bike!  We had a few lovely rides and even did the York Skyride together.  Hopefully we’ll be cycling more in 2015.

So for 2015…

I have bought a turbo trainer so that is my first goal in the new year – get using it!  I want to start the summer riding considerably fitter than I did last year so I can try and get the longer rides in and bust 500 miles in a month.  I would also really like to get 2,015 miles in 2015 so the purchase of thermal bib shorts and a good set of lights will help me there.  As soon as this ice goes I plan on getting out on the road.  Apart from that maybe another trip to France is in order to watch Le Tour and there is talk of a cycling holiday in Majorca but we’ll see.

So, my new 2015 cycling goals:

  • Cycle 500 miles in a month
  • Cycle 2,015 miles in a year
  • Beat my 45mph record and try to break 50mph!
  • Lose 2 stone cycling in 2015

Fingers crossed I can accomplish all four this time.

Tete de la course!!!