Friday, 30 January 2015

More Creepy Pictures of Other People's Bikes

Yeh, yeh, I know... I'm not really doing well to hide my geekage but I couldn't help myself.  This vintage lovely was parked out in the damp cold, cheerfully racing green with it's little red/burgundy mud-guards, and pristine white bar tape.

I particularly love the old fashioned dynamo lamp (when it's this senior it's not a light it's a lamp)....

and the new bell with the bright red/orange toggle - it just screams 'In Emergency Only'.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Out of 52 Mondays of this year...This one has a colour

I started to write this post like this:

It's nearly the end of January and I'm thinking of how we've all done.  I have managed three weeks out of a six week programme and today I'm finding it a struggle today.  It's more than likely due to a Hen weekend with a cracking group of girls and all that prosecco, fried eggs, and hoola hooping has gone to my head.  Pinterest, particularly of the Health and Fitness threads with all those Fitsperation (a mash up of Fitness and inspiration, eugh), are getting on my nerves.  

Then I find out today is Blue Monday.  The thing is, I like blue (only as a colour, not as a band).  The sky is blue today. The colour of the coverlet I have on the bench at my window is blue, my living room is blue, my Brompton whilst officially Turkish Green, really wants to be blue and does a damn fine job of it.
What cake would be if it could be today.

It's wrong to call today blue, Shitty Mustardy Nappy Monday would be better.  Or even Black Monday would do but I think Baby Cheesus might have already seconded that one.  

I don't know why I'm taking today soo bad either.  I haven't made any resolutions, so I've really got none to drop.  The programme thing I'm doing no one would know if I said I did it or not.  It also doesn't really matter to any one else, the gids doesn't care what I do with my time as long as it doesn't make me miserable.  Not doing the exercises today wouldn't make me miserable, it'd just compound the mood I'm in.
Way more arsed than I am

I'd be annoyed less if everyone else in the world (well, all those with a lot of first world problems) wasn't having such a hard time of it.  Not because I want everyone else to be happier but because with us all in it together, it means I can't even be original.  Perhaps I should just embrace my basicness, get myself a pumpkin latte and some uggs whilst complaining that my I-Phone's all bendy.  Oh god. Perhaps this is the beginning of the wall of careful alternativeness I've been cultivating all these years crumbling down.  I'll have to quit the cycling, join Jazzercise classes, watch Eastenders, and before I know it I'll be decking a woman in tescos over a cheap giant tv that'll show the ravaged contours of Phil Mitchells face just so (Is he even in 'enders any more?)  I'll have to stop fancying Keanu Reeves and David Grohl and fantasize over Brad Pitt (meh) and Ryan Gosling (he's not really very interesting to look at, is he? Be honest.) I'll have to grow my hair, get fake tan, and all my clothes will have to be from Superydry and I'll have to  pretend I don't know the Japanese style writing is gibberish (we actually asked a japanese person).  I'll have to trade in the bike for a Quigo, and read the Daily Mail and not vote.

Oh well.  It might not be all bad.  I suppose there'll be a comfort in knowing why everyone's talking about Danny Dyer, and what a pumpkin spiced latte actually tastes like.  Perhaps, even Mr Gosling's interesting to talk to, you know, perhaps there are finer points of his personality I've missed.  I doubt it, but gotta give the guy a chance.  


Don't forget you can join me on bloglovin'Twitter, and Pinterest, if you so wish. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Chilly Willy!

One of the joys of living in Scotland is that there is weather. Proper weather.  The kind of weather that does something, demands to be noticed and given it's due respect regardless of the season.  This can be anything from gale force winds in spring, hailstones in the summer, trampoline blowing storms in the Autumn, and minusy looking temperatures in the winter.

A singular joy of living in Aberdeen is that generally, if it's raining in the rest of Scotland, guaranteed Aberdeen will be having it's driest week ever.  Same as we could be having to moor the house to the land due to torrential rain whilst everyone else is being sung to by the sun.

In this particular instance we're being frozen out whilst the rest of the country is thawing.

And you have to agree, sheet ice is difficult to cycle on.  The proof is here:

I am perhaps a little more resigned to the lack of gritting in Aberdeen than others.  In Glasgow, the gritters were usually out before the temperature dropped, and it is certainly anti-intuitive to grit the busiest roads but not their cycle paths.  

It's pretty much an ice rink in my street, so I've been hitting the turbo trainer.  A strange phenomena is occurring though.  Usually I hate HIIT training - which is generally wanky sports person talk for going really hard and then slowing down for what doesn't seem long enough before going hell for leather again (it's supposed to be good for you) - but recently the reps for my sessions have been going past pretty quickly.  I do 1 minute on it, 30 secs rest for 13 reps but I seem to be eating them up at the mo'.  My garmin's been out of cync (truth: I've been lazy in making sure it's charged and it keeps shutting down on me) so I can't say exactly what's going on.  It could be that I'm not working hard enough, though I am concentrating on getting my pedal cadence up, and I've always got a burn in my legs when I'm on my minute.  

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?  How have you been coping?  If you're training/keeping fit, is there anything that's surprised you?

Don't forget you can join me on bloglovin'Twitter, and Pinterest, if you so wish.  And if I don't see you through the window, I'll see you out cycling! *


*I agree this is awfully naff.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

How to Cycle in Heels...

...and not break your neck.

Now,  it has been known for some time that I haven't exactly done more than a pootle on the Brompton recently, and in this there has been a conflict in reasoning in that I've wanted to look more stylish but rather not wanting to break my neck. Stylish is one of my favourite women to look at Lucy Liu, perticuarly as Dr Watson in Elementary.  She quite simply wears the most gorgeous stuff in that show, all low waisted tunics, tights and clumpy high heeled boots.  She looks elegant, and slender and she inspires oddly creepy feelings that I only have about Cheryl Baker - who incidently is not only a pop princess but also a philosphy for life: Cake or a scone? Left or right? Another drink? Just ask yourself WWCBD*?  She'd do them all!

So, after asking myself that very thing, I purchased these:

Which are both high and clumpy and something Dr Joan Watson would wear.  They area alot more comfy than they look - I managed to wear them all day on Thursday without feeling that awful pressure on the balls on my feet - and after much deliberation I set out on the Brompton. 

POINT 1. - You don't need your seat as high as you think you do.  

I had to fiddle with the seat.  Alot.  First of all I had the seat so far up my arse it was pulling faces at my  belly button.  Then after lowering it my knees thought we'd joined the ministry of silly cycling and protested in earnest.  After that it was every forty yards out of a mile of  Not Quite Rightness.  But eventually I found my optimum seat hight and got underway.  It was actually only a couple of inches higher than normal, which considering these are 5 inch heels isn't as much as I thought. 

POINT 2. - Wear close fitting shoes.

I have mostly come a cropper when my feet slip inside my shoes and I end up getting a cross bar in the crotch.  This always and without fail has happened when the lights have gone green, there are people everywhere, and I have the quintessential Angry Middle aged in either a giant 4x4 or his (and occasionally her) natty little roadster that they bought for showing off.  Give your feet a wiggle in your shoes, and test the boundaries of movement.  All shoes expand and stretch as they are 'worn in'  and it's best to be careful.  Trust me, this is one of those times (or one of many of those times) where I've made an arse of myself so you don't have to. 

POINT 3. - Find your optimum foot position.

I felt mostly fine in this position:

But then wanted to go up hills in this position:

Note that the pedal is tucked into the arch area, and considering that high heels were originally worn by horse riders when they horse rode (is that the right phrase?), so that the stirrups would sit nicely on the foot and not slip off it shouldn't be a surprise that this is comfortable.  But be aware, that did this to my heels:

Now, I'm not going to let that stop me, these were only £20 from of the T'interweb so it's not a big deal on these shoes.  However,  have a pair of black suede Carvela heels I shan't be wearing when I cycle because of this.  

POINT 4. - Take it easy, do a trial and error if you're unsure.

I went round the glorious Seaton park to see how I got on first.  I didn't want the rush of traffic, or a particularly large audience if I ended up kissing the tarmac or breaking an ankle.  I also threw my foot around my pedal, wiggled it and tested the grip of the shoe.  Obviously you don't have to do any of this if you're comfortable.  If not, a quick run up and down the roads of your neighbourhood - practising mounting and dismounting (not in the carnal sense obviously) - wouldn't be a bad thing if you felt the need.  

It was easier than I thought it would be.  I had envisioned broken foot tendons and apocalyptic carnage but at worst I got a chunk taken out of the side of one heel.  I think you certainly have to be aware of how you put your foot down,  taking time to make sure it is planted firmly on the ground but my ability to do that isn't really down to the type of shoe I wear.  

Have you thought there's anything you can't wear when cycling?  What is it and why have you not worn it particularly.  

If you've enjoyed this feel free to join me on bloglovin', Twitter, and Pinterest for posts and anything else that tickles me in these realms (I'd use the word 'Platforms' but it makes me sick, like 'incentivise', and 'touching base' which sounds creepy).


*WWCBD - What Would Cheryl Baker Do

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Should'a, Would'a, I'm going to have to now...

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Wasn't on the bike, pootling or otherwise, last week.  So this week, or more pricely today, I shall be doing 20 minutes on the turbo trainer after my weight training session.  All week.  For EVER.

The pre christmas malaise hasn't really shifted, and it's probably showing since I've gone from gentle cynicism to OH-GOD-EVERYTHING-IS-SHIT-WHY-GOD-WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!  And I don't think the lack of cardio has helped so there's another reason to get on the big t.  There's also a man who's just walked in to the coffee shop (yes, I'm one of those people, I'm soo fecking twendy it's SORE!) who has the same hair as me.  You wouldn't think a 90 year old man in walking stick and slippers could carry off a Jedward quiff but there you go.

*Four hours later*

I had done my strength conditioning. I even had my clipless pedal shoes on.  Did I actually get on that bike? Instead I seem to be wearing these.  The dog does not approve.

So no.  No I didn't.


Monday, 5 January 2015

Is it creepy to take pictures of other peoples bikes?

I know I felt creepy doing it.

None the less here it is...

I do like the mixture of the cycle-hacked shopping basket on the front and the old leather saddle.  It's what caught my eye.  And you'll be pleased to know I didn't touch the bike, was just 'looking'.

The paint had worn slightly which I do like the look of more than shiney shiney new bikes.  It's like their wearing their travels on their paintwork which is a charm. 

And I definitely think this old town-esq bike had been about a bit.  

It really does make me feel bad for Luella - remember her? My old cheap as chips purple roadster.  I really must get that out of the coal shed and spruced up properly.  


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