Christmas Wishes

A big thank you to my my customers, both regular and new, for the business in 2017.  It’s has been a rewarding year helping people get back on their bikes whether by simply repairing a flat tyre or taking their expensive road bike to bits and putting it back together so they can ride a challenging sportive. Each year cycling technology undergoes some small changes and it is nice to have to under some self learning and training to on top of the developments, which of course now include E Bikes.

I hope you all have a great holiday time and  perhaps even get a new bike.  Whatever Christmas brings for you I hope to see you out and about on your bike in 2018.  If you are able it would be nice to see you on my Mince Pie Ride, here in Shrivenham on Dec 23   Find out more here

2017 Review

I worked on many bike belonging to folk at The Defence Academy of The UK here in Shrivenham.  In the summer made sure several bikes were up to the rigours of their annual Battlefield Tour.  I have also done my best to keep Swindon Borough Council’s fleet of adaptive bike going so that the twice weekly Cycling for Health sessions at the County Ground Running Track can keep people cycling in a safe traffic free environment.

As usual I was out in the early part of the year on my Mountain bike checking and rechecking the routes for the Annual MacMillan Castles Bike Ride.  This year, because many people told me they only had Road Bikes, I also adapted one of our more challenging Sky Rides so we were able to offer a 24 mile ride featuring one of Swindon’t toughest climbs.  Of course the MacMillan Bike Ride is a team effort and we should recognize the efforts put in by so many people at the HQ and out Marshaling the course to make the event viable.  We are also grateful to Mitchel Cycle in Swindon who help us practically and financially and put up a prize for the person who raises the most in sponsorship.  And our Friends at Ffyffes for also bananas that are consumed on the route and at the finish.

I spent much of the School summer term teaching bikeability in schools in Swindon and N Wilts.   I have taken the (tough) decision to stop regular teaching, in part because my wife has now retired and partly because I want to get out on my bike a lot more.   But even now I enjoy going to fix a bike somewhere and one of the children in the house telling me that I taught them when they were at primary school.   I did it for so long I have even had young adults tell me that I taught back in my early Bikeability days.

Thanks to all my customers i ad the resources to keep my own bikes in good order and get oput and about from time to time.

I can’t claim to be a Saturday Regular on the Swindon Road Club (SRC)  rides but I have certainly enjoyed my time out with them and I have several really good sportive rides this year including Velothon Wales, where I bumped into the Paul Ashman and the Recycles team at one of the feed stops, The Ridgeway Roleur, where I got my first sportive gold, Ride London which I started with Malcolm Toop-Rose from SRC,  and although I could not match his pace I still did a very Creditable 5hrs 20 which compared to the 8hr 30 from the previous year (the difference mainly due to an early start and not having to stop because of accidents, oh and some serious hard pedaling).

The highlight though was choosing the year of the 50th anniversary of the death of my school boy hero Tommy Simpson on Mont Ventoux to make my first attempt at this iconic Tour De France climb.   So in September I set off, keeping my fingers crossed that the weather would be good enough to ride the mountain for three days.  And so it proved enabling to clinch all three routes up Le Geant De Provence.  Times not great but set me a bench mark for next year.

My other activities included my regular Monday rides to Swindon to catch the train to Newport and from there ride to the Wales Velodrome for a tour hour training session and then to reverse the journey often via Swindon 105.5 in time to do my Monday Evening Program “It Came From Memphis”.  The Summer Thursday evening 10 mile time trials saw me improve my rather slow times at the beginning of the season down to 28 07, still not so fast but due in part to a pointy time trial helmet and some positive encouragement from the marshals as I flew (ok, I didnt really fly) round the roundabouts.

I should forget to mention that after many years I finally got to ride at Herne Hill.  It might not be on everyone’s bucket list but it was on mine!

In 2018  My aims are:

  • Put on some “Cycle for Health” rides in the Shrivenham Area
  • Work with the Let’s Ride Swindon team to put on some development rides for new cyclists
  • Doing some training in Majorca
  • Another trip to France, perhaps to incorporate Alp de Huez and Ventoux
  • Go sub 28 mins on the 10 mile TT
  • Restore a 1956 green ladies Humber cycle