VIDEO: Alpine Coast to Coast with Challenge Sophie.

How did you spend your summer? Telling yourself that next year you will do a big ride, a big run, or go for that dream experience?

Well not Sophie Radcliffe, aka @ChallengeSophie! She went out and, with her husband Charley (aka @digitalsteak) went out and climbed the 7  highest peaks  across the Alps, and to add some extra spice to that Sophie rode her bike 1,669km between them!

The message is simple. Life is out there, waiting for you to experience it. Don’t wait, life is too precious.

Well done Sophie and Charley, really pleased that you were able to get this done!

Check out the sweet video that Adidas sorted for them. Watch it. Be Inspired. Go out and do something!

alpine-c2c-infographic-low-res

Cycle to work day – it makes sense!

A year ago I started my MBA, at the same time I also stopped working meaning family income dropped. One of the criteria for me studying was that we would be a 1 car family and I would cycle in every day rather than drive or use public transport.

To give you a really quick reason why cycling to work, or uni, is so great I want to share some simple maths…

If I drive in every day (5 days per week) I will conservatively use £5 of fuel each day, add to that the cost of parking at around another £5 and it’s safe to say that each day would cost around £10.

£50 per week, lets just say 45 weeks per year and it gives us the figure of £2250 in petrol and parking fees alone.

Add in VED, MOT, Insurance and running costs and that figure can round up to £3,000 quite easily! In 1 year.

Now, a simply question. When was the last time you drove to work, and got there feeling great, with your body’s endorphin levels soaring, with our stress levels low and with a smile on your face? It’s not a common occurrence, instead car-drivers get to work stressed and wound-up from a congested journey in.

My ride is 10 miles, it takes me 40 minutes, and it’s pretty much within a minute or 2 the same journey time as going by car (its quiver than the bus or the train).

It’s free, it keeps my weight down, it keeps my body healthy, and if it’s raining I get wet – but so what? You get wet walking to and from the car in the rain anyway!

A £3,000 yearly saving, a healthier lifestyle, much lower stress levels and I get to eat cake without storing the calories on my body!

I can’t think of a good reason to drive to work!

Transcontinental Race 2014 – 6 hours in….

This blog post, and the ones that follow are the same as the ones that appeared on road.cc – albeit with some more pictures as I’m not constrained by european data roaming charges!

Martin Cox Transcontinental start 1

The training has been done – admittedly not nearly enough – and the plans have been set, and now it’s GO time: the 2014 edition of the Transcontinental is on!

I’m going to try and write regularly as part of the race, to let you know how things are going, and with luck, to hopefully inspire at least a few of you to give it a crack next year!

Yes the miles are many, yes it looks daft, and yes, there’s an element of danger, but by golly that’s what life is for!

I’m writing this from the Pride of Canterbury, the 15.40 sailing from Dover. So far I’ve meandered to the start line, only getting lost in London a couple of times. From London we’ve pootled down the A2,had a chat with a nice policeman, come off the A2 again and back-roaded it down Canterbury (looks like a popular place for a pilgrimage!) and scooted back on the A2 again.

So far I’ve suffered 3 punctures, broken my pump hose and made a horrid hack to ‘fix’ it for now, I’m hoping to get a new pump as soon as I land on the continent, cos right now every mile is slightly nerve-wracking.

By the time you read this I’ll have spent some time in gay Paris, wolfed down some carbs and made my start on the long slog to Switzerland. It never gets normal describing whole countries as destinations and way points – truly bonkers.

I’ve got to say a big thanks to Dave & Tony for humouring me with this, and thanks also to Rapide Bikes for their country-smashing RC4, and the Official Assos Factory Outlet for hooking me up with their super comfy clobber (no Kuku Penthouse!).

But most of all to my wife for indulging this flight of fancy and looking after the 3 boys!

Of course I’m doing this for charity, it’s for Sightsavers, who are pretty awesome, if you feel like throwing a few quid at them then you can do that here.

And you can follow my progress on Twitter @themartincox or @transconrace, and at the Transcontinental website

rock and roll

 

Review: Rapha Brevet Jersey & Vest

Your new favourite, non-racing, jersey. Ideal for commuting with style and cracking out longer rides with full pockets!

Lycra’s all well and good for those days when you want to travel fast and light, and there are plenty of options available to you for that very day, but sometimes rather than travelling like a racing whippet you just want to meander like a St. Bernard. And for those days, the Rapha Brevet Jersey is ideal.

gil1

It’s an item that’s designed for the long-haul, with its sportwool fabric combined with a plethora of visibility increasing features, including a rather natty, and supremely lightweight gilet, it’s certainly able to get you from A-B, or rather P-B-P!

brev f

I’ve been wearing the jersey for a couple of months now, where it’s seen service in both the chillier times and also now with the summer approaching in the early mornings and it’s performed admirably. As a commuting jersey (I ride 20 miles) it can last a couple of days before it gets too whiffy, which helps to save on the washing load. The sportwool ensures that you are kept warmer than a standard lycra jersey, and when paired with the windproof gilet it does an admirable job of keeping your upper body nicely insulated – although your arms are left bare (but Rapha have made long-sleeved versions in the A/W collections!)

On longer rides the traditional 3 pockets are supplemented by a zipped ballast pocket at the rear and a waterproof brevet card pocket to the left-breast (but don’t worry, if you haven’t got a brevet card to hand, simply use your bank card or something similar). The zip is waterproof, which can at times be a bit of a pain if you have tired hands as it can be a little stiff but that’s the price of waterproof zips it seems.

brev r

One of the joys of sportwool is its ability to cope with more than just a credit card, a gel and some keys, and this jersey does it in spades. I’ve loaded it up with bananas, cake, gels and a spare water bottle and it copes admirably indeed – really the only downside is that pockets could do with being a little lower (maybe an inch or so) to help the hands get in.

The gilet comes in either yellow or bright pink, and having seen both examples out on the roads I can attest to their low-light visibility, and of course when lights are beamed on they shine like a veritable candle in the night. It comes without pockets, but slips over a jersey easily to not make it an issue.

gil

I have the burgundy/yellow combo, and like it vey much I do, the jersey packs in high-visibilty and reflective detailing on both the front and rear, so even without the gilet it’s a good option for evening attire.

The gilet is so lightweight that I can fit it inside my saddle pouch (rules be-damned!) alongside a tube and patch kit, its really impressive for its stowability, having said that, it’s no big deal to simply keep it on – its sides and shoulders are vented to help keep you cool when the mercury rises, either internally or externally.

gi2

At a fiver less than £200 it’s probably going to be the most expensive jersey in the drawer, however with the addition of a very nice gilet it’s not as bad as it at first seems. Yes it’s expensive, but in the couple of thousand miles I’ve ridden mine it’s not only performed admirably, but it’s held-up to the rigours of being stuffed in bags (and sadly it’s even seen service on the bathroom floor when there was an ‘accident’) and it’s not had a thread come loose in that time. Depending upon the colour of your shorts it may well be the most used jersey in the collection!

%d bloggers like this: