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About Greg_Woolley

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    4th Cat Board Poster
  • Birthday 15/10/1977

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  1. With a young family, commuting by bike is most often the only chance I have to get out on my bike these days so I feel very lucky to have such a picturesque daily route. Thanks to NCN route 43 that is mixture of canal towpath, converted former railway line route and river side track down the Swansea Valley, coming out to the sea front, crashing waves and the wonderful mumbles, I hardly encounter any traffic apart from the first quarter of a mile from my house and last half mile from sea front to the office. The Boardman Team CX has been pretty good as a commute and winter weekend bike. In October though the one of the gear levers (SRAM Apex) snapped and for 2 months I was stuck on the 16 tooth at the rear and interchanged between the 50 tooth and 34 tooth chain rings until I had a free weekend to overhaul and swap an old ultegra levers from on another bike plus a few new tiagra bits. But with the extra power from riding almost single speed everyday for a couple of months; I find I don't change gear as often I as I used to. I don't even use the small chainring any more, not even on short climbs. Anyone considering taking up commuting in 2013, I would advise the following: invest in a supply of base layers (cheap ones from Aldi or Lidl are fine for commuting), shorts (i-team ones of course) and socks as your laundry will increase - the magazines never tell you this. I even invested in a tumble dryer this year as a result since we've not quite had the weather for frequent outside drying. My other bit of advice would be tyres: Conti Gator hardshells - not a single puncture in over a year on a pair of 28s. Have now put on a pair of 700x32 of the same version for winter commuting. Finally, if possible make the most of off road cycle routes, they are much more fun, relaxed and safe. It might add a bit to the distance, for example, my route is 9 miles each way but if I stuck to the most direct route on road, it would only be 7 miles.
  2. 2011 Boardman Team CX model acquired through Cycle to Work scheme.

    © © i-Team

  3. At the beginning of last year, I started to cycle to work and intended to blog about my experiences but the reality was that I managed about 3 times in January until giving up and sticking to the bus. Well until that is I got my new Boardman Team CX through the cycle2work scheme in July. Since then I have been doing an 18 mile round trip 4 to 5 times per week which has been great for fitness and motivation and losing the weight I put on when I became a dad and pretty much stopped cycling two years back. Not so good on the wallet though. The monthly bike payments are the same as what I was spending on the bus, but I have had to buy a few extra essentials especially for example, more clothing, lots of inner tubes - well until spending on pair of Conti Hardshell Gator skins. However, the blog didn't quite happen so maybe I'll be better in 2012. And since it is a bank holiday and I'll not be in work today I have got up early to ride 18 miles anyway - and to help get back into a routine as I have enjoyed a rather lazy (cycling wise) fortnight. Also hope to develop a training plan for weekends and have another go at the Tour of Pembrokeshire this year as it has been 3 years since my last event. Watch this space... Happy New year and I look forward to being a more active forum user and blogger this year. Greg.
  4. Well, I finally managed to make the effort to cycle in to work last Friday after months of telling my new work colleagues that I'd been planning to do so since joining the organisation back in September. I intend to do one day a week through January and then up that in Feb to 2 days then 3 in March, after all I have paid for my monthly bus ticket for this month. The ride in was much much slower than the practice run I had undertaken at the weekend but that was done in light and dry conditions and without a heavy rucsac on my back. it might have been slow but I really enjoyed myself. I have come up with an interesting 8 mile route (a direct one would be 6 miles of mostly dual carridgeway) that combines a back country lane then on to an enterprise park before joining route 43 of the National Cycle Newtork to take me into town, round Swansea marina and along the sea front before then cutting back into the other side of town through side streets and up to the YMCA where I work. It took me 50 minutes to do the run in and 40 comming home as it was a bit less wet and dark. What a great way to start the day, rolling onto the sea front to see the Mubbles lighthouse and the waves crashing over the sea front and then back at night; the sun starting to set over the west coast. My bike was quite a state by the time I got home, looking more like I had taken part in a cyclocross than commute. Roll on next Friday...
  5. The sun is shining, the air is warm and I would love to be out on my bike right now, but I came to work on the bus. :-( I can see the sea from my desk so may just have to go for a walk instead, perhaps via the the LBS to brouse. In fact, to be honest, I have made made almost as many trips to the LBS than I have actually managed to find time to get out on my bike since moving from North Wales, down to Swansea in September. Each visit I have to purcahse something to help me become a safer cycle commutor (lock, high vis ruc sac cover... must get battery charger), none of which I have yet used as I can see the bus stop from my house and I haven't yet had time at weekends between building flatpack furniture, unpacking boxes and changing nappies to get out and find a decent route into work on the bike - I'm not interested in finding the quickest - I know that from driving - I want an interesting route to help me unwind at the end off the day rather than battle with cars on the dual carridgeway. So in the last two months I have done a pittiful total of 2 hours cycling in 3 time grabbed trips. This is why the bike would be better than the bus (and cheaper too!)So my next post will have to mark the occassion of my first cycle commute to work. Don't hold your breath!
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