Using the big ring

Last night cycled up various hills, if they can be described as such, around London on a trip across town. Not pushing too hard but just getting there as smoothly as possible. I was feeling rather tired so it was more a case of not making myself any more exhausted. It was about an hour or so ride and I took a water bottle filled with some energy drink to keep my spirits up. The Lemon PSP Go seems reasonably bearable, like a particularly powdery lemon barley, so I may have to mark that down as my powder-based energy drink of choice. Certainly more bearable than the orange flavour.

It has dawned on me that I wasn’t making much use of two out of the three rings on my chainset so I’ve been trying to get used to riding on the big ring and the small ‘granny’ ring when I can. In my slight haze this morning I didn’t really notice that I hadn’t dropped down off the big one as I was making my way up the incline from Highgate to Spaniards Way in North London. In fact I made it all the way to work without dropping down off it so now feel confident that I can turn a bigger gear more often. It also helps me get used to the useful habit of turning the pedals over to build up to the right cadence which seems to be easier to do when you’ve got something to push against.

I’ve decided to start wearing my glasses when I’m on the bike as much as possible so that I can actually see clearly where I’m going. I have, up until now, been quite happy to zoom around with blurred, astigmatic vision on the grounds that i can see most things but not detail. With my glasses on I do find it easier as I’m not straining to focus and so can concentrate more on what’s going on around me. On the other hand they are a pain and I live in fear of them bouncing off the road in front of me. Contact lenses are the obvious solution but someone like me is bound to end up repeatedly stabbing myself in the eye with my finger trying to put them in.

I’m still suffering from a light cold from the constant damp at the moment. So the heavy rain on my way there and on my journey to work this morning were most unwelcome. It’s difficult to enjoy it when you are being assaulted by sharp rain from all sides and you are feeling the chill. It’s also rather difficult to see where you are going and hazards on the road. Of course the rain stopped shortly after I got to work and by lunchtime the skies were that lovely, clear wintery blue.

The bike needs a good hose down before I take it out again, which may be at the weekend to get some new blocks as I seem to have worn the current set quite heavily since they were fitted in the summer. I may even attempt to fit them myself in my ongoing quest to master bike maintenance. It’ll also give me a chance to drop into Sigma sports in Kingston and consider a new bike and getting a ‘bikefit’ consultation to set up the existing one properly for my body.

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