#23: Strava, Virb, Video, Segments, Pinterest

Road to Church Point

In post #18, “So what do I want for Christmas” I was torn between asking Santa for new Specialized road shoes or a Garmin Virb.  As you know I chose the shoes but the profound thing is they ended up being involved in me missing some time on the bike (that is I pinched a nerve in my foot) which I am happy to say is nearly all resolved due to refinements.

Now that I am on the bike again and getting out there, I am enjoying my new shoes and my new Garmin Virb – yeh!!!!   Yes, I couldn’t help myself and bought one with a bike mount for the handlebars and started taking video and pics like the one above on the road to Church Point.

My Garmin Virb

This year I have come to terms with the fact that racing is not where I am heading and that exploring on my bike is, so I have found the Virb is adding to that experience. In addition to me enjoying being out there on the road, appreciating the visual world I live in, feeling the wind in my face as it cools my sweat and having the time alone with my thoughts, I have now found a way to continue the ride when I get home.

As you may have noticed I really enjoy combining technology with riding. Continue reading

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#18: So what do I want for Christmas???

Xmas Choice

Let me check my list. I have……

  • Bike, peddles & shoes
  • Garmin with cadence sensor & heart rate monitor
  • Helmet, pump, under seat bag
  • Front and back lights
  • Shirts & undershirts
  • Pants & bib
  • Socks & gloves
  • Winter & wet weather wear
  • Peddle spanner, spare tubes & bike tool

Well that’s about it.  I think I have everything…. or do I?

Notably, every time I walk into a bike shop I look around and think – I could use that, and other than the head warmer which I haven’t warn because it didn’t get that cold, I have used everything I have bought.  This is good. Continue reading

#13: My favourite must have clothing accessories

Undershort and Armwarmers

Once you have been riding a while and tried a few things to wear through summer, spring, autumn and winter, you begin to appreciate the finer details that make a difference.

For me, the enlightenment came last Sunday when I started the day at 15 degrees C and finished 5 hours and 100kms later at 33C, still wearing my undershirt with my bike shirt zipped up.  How is this possible?  Two layers of clothes yet I didn’t want or need to remove them.  They almost felt like another skin and I felt better for having them on.

At Standwell Tops

So my #1 accessory pick is Continue reading

#10: It’s good to get stuck on a brand: Specialized

Specialized-2

In my life, I have never really been much of a brand loyal person. I have had many car types, buy different brands of clothes and generally mix things up a lot.

The only brands my loyalty has stuck with all my life are the Cronulla Sharks which is the team I have followed since I was born and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) as I can’t seem get enough of their 11 secret herbs and spices.  In more recent times, after being an Apple disliker for so long I lined up and bought the first iPad on the day it was first released. Now I have about 8 Apple devices in the house but still refuse to buy a Mac.

These days, my feelings about brands are that things seem to be smoother when they are designed to work together. I think I learnt this most with Microsoft products, finding it simpler to use their products as they were tested together as apposed to using different browsers, word processors, etc that seemed to break too many times for me.

When I searched for a bike to buy, I stumbled on Specialized with no intent (see previous post). On further research I found they were everywhere in the world, have an extremely wide range of bikes, many superstars in their lineup and good write ups on the forums.

I then bought a Specialized bike and totally bought into the brand…. Continue reading

#9: How to buy a bike or How I buy a bike?

Specialized Secteur

Is it a spiritual experience choosing your first bike?  Does your bike choose you?  Are you just being sold to by a fast talking sales person?  Is it a decision of price, affordability and getting the cheapest?  Is it an internet purchase after doing your research? Is it a quality decision? Or a friends recommendation?

There are so many ways to decide and every story is different.  But I chose mine with the help of a sales staff (notice the plural) who helped me interpret price, quality and what I was thinking, and to me that was what was important.

I had never bought a bike before as my parents had always bought the few bikes that I had owned, but I did know how to buy something methodically so as usual I did.

When I started looking I had a reasonable amount of money to spend on a starter bike so I had already ruled out buying the bike online, from a discount store or a department store.

I wanted to get knowledge.  I wanted interaction.  I wanted to work out exactly what I needed based on what I wanted to do, my experience and my physical fitness.  I wanted service! And thankfully, I found a business that did just that.

Near my home, there are a number of bike shops.  I had been to 3.  A very small one, a larger one that also had an online business and a concept store. Continue reading

#7: I cannot stress enough the value of lights!

Lights

Today I forgot to put my front light on and because of that, it nearly cost me a lot of money and pain, as I was only just able to avoid an accident.

You will hear commentators say in sport it’s the 1% that makes the difference and with lights on your bike, I absolutely agree.  One little thing could be the difference between life and death.

If a driver can just get a quick glimpse of a flash it may cause them to brake instead of accelerate, and that may be the difference between a good ride and an ambulance ride.

It was daytime and I was travelling in traffic Continue reading

#4: Technology motivates the cyclist

TechApps

As a person who has been in IT and computers for more than 25 years, technology has been one of the biggest motivators for me to continue cycling. Even if you are not into technology, for self-motivation you have to try it!

It’s rare that you will ride without your phone on you so why not use it for your advantage. After hearing about a few options, I downloaded a couple of apps and tried the first one – Runtastic Road Bike.

HeartRate

When you start your ride, you open the app, click “start” or “ride”, put your phone in your pocket and off you go. You can “pause” it if you stop midway or just “stop” when you are done. The key thing is these apps use features on the phone such as GPS to record your time, distance, average speed, top speed, elevation up (meaning how much you rode up hills) and elevation down, plus you can see the whole route and track it on a map.

For those who want to get fitter, many also calculate calories that you have burnt which means if you know you have burnt 500 calories in the morning, you can eat the yummy stuff at night without feeling guilty (and you’ll probably be way ahead of everyone else).
Continue reading