Tag Archives: countryside

Freezing Frolics

On Monday it was my day off, and for the first time in a long time I took to the roads of Northumberland on my bike. My co-Relay worker Sam also came along for the ride. It was an absolutely stunning day – clear, crisp skies and snow in the fields once we got out into the countryside proper. The fresh air and bliss of riding around thinking about nothing except how fast to pedal was so relaxing. What a way to spend a day off! 


There were however, a few hairy moments, largely due to the amount of snow on the smaller roads. Just before the ride I had tried to swap my summer ‘slick’ tyres for my winter grippy ones. But because the tyres were so cold and tight I snapped three tyre levers just trying to get them off. So swapping the tyres was not an option, I just had to brake gently in advance of any hazard or corner so that I didn’t end up flying off the bike. This only got slightly dangerous when we were out by Medburn and the snow and slush and ice meant that it was anyone’s guess where which direction my tyres would head in. Miraculously, I managed to stay upright, much to the disappointment of Sam who was watching eagerly a couple of metres back on all of the snowy areas. 


All in all, it was a beautiful day, a beautiful ride and a wonderful way to spend a monday afternoon!

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The Joys of Cycling

Everyone should be a cyclist! That might seem like a rash statement but I really believe that anyone with two legs and a beating heart can enjoy it to some capacity, whether thats cycling around the park, or to and from work, or on leisurely weekend rides in the countryside. Every single person who I know who has started cycling at uni would now not give up their bike for anything! Its convenient to get around town quickly on, it saves so much money on petrol or metro tickets, and it is so much flipping fun!

I thought it might be helpful to give some top tips to get more people on a bike, saving money and time, as well as enjoying themselves. So here we go, 5 Top Tips to get you raving about biking around.

1) Buy a bike that suits you or fish out that old one in the garage that you haven’t used for years. In one sense a bike is a bike, if the pedals turn, the brakes work and the tyres are full then you are onto a winner! (I’ve been riding mine around for the last two months with only one gear because I can’t afford to get the cable fixed and I’m still loving it). If you have got the spare cash then spend some time thinking about what bike would suit you best – are you going to be going off road every now and again or will you only use it for commuting? Get some advice from your local bike shop who will be able to advise you on which bike will suit your needs

2) Get cycling! Take the plunge and get out on the roads. My housemate only bought a bike this September and at first was just getting used to riding it and doing short trips. Now she loves it and goes everywhere on her bike. She even went for a purposeful bike ride the other week because it was sunny and she was raving about it! Go for it!

3) Find some friends who already cycle and organise fun trips with them. One of the joys of cycling is that its actually a really sociable thing to do. If you’ve got the afternoon off or some time at the weekend then grab some food and head out to the hills for some cycling and a picnic. It can be a very sophisticated affair and there is no need for lycra to appear at all!

4) On the other hand if you are going to be cycling regularly, for example 10 or more miles into work/uni and back, then padded lycra shorts will honestly change your life! They are seriously worth it (the cheapest ones on the market are only about £15) and your butt will thank you every time you wear them! Don’t be afraid of lycra!

5) Wear a helmet. Only idiots risk brain damage by not wearing one! Don’t be a fool, put it on!

There are so many other joys to cycling that I could carry on forever, but those would be my best tips for someone who hasn’t thought about cycling before. My top tip is just to go for it and take the plunge, you really won’t regret it.

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