Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Everyday cycling

I know I have been going on a bit too much recently about my longer rides and the training I put in.
But that isn't what most of my cycling actually is.

The number one use I put my bike to is commuting - I ride to work just about every day. I tend to drive about once a year, and I walk a few times a year, too, but the rest of the time it is on the bike.

Anna uses her bike mostly for errands, including the bulk of our food shopping.
Sometimes I go with her - we can haul quite a bit between to bikes!
Usually we would only haul about 20kg (44 lbs) between us, but when needs require, we can haul about 40kg (88 lbs) between us. More than that, and we just make two trips!

But I guess that is what makes Mermaid so special to me.
Mermaid really is a "one bike".
The only differences between the bike I ride on long distances and the bike I ride to work are the panniers and basket - I just attach what I need for the job in hand. and for work this is usually just a single pannier and a set of lights (I'm commuting both ways in the dark now, but three days a week I usually come home for lunch, and at least that extra bit of commuting is in daylight.
The rest is the same - same gears, same tyres, same wheels, etc. etc.

Anyway, here are a few pic from a recent shopping trip for me and Anna - and yes, this being October, pumpkins do feature (although we eat them rather than carve them).
Handy to have a "pumkin-sized" pannier! This is the Pacific Outdoor pannier I have mentioned before.
Yep, I'm cycling in running shoes, and Anna is cycling in sneakers (trainers).
Don't you just love platform pedals :-)

The parking here is so difficult that it is usually quicker to just take the bike!
It is kind of on the edge of the town centre (rather than being on the edge of town),
and lots of olks park here to walk to the centre itself.

Anna and I came the way we almost always do - on bikes.
Anna's bike is sporting a Bike Bins lockable pannier on the left and the pumkin-laden Pacific Outdoor pannier on the right.
the front basket on Anna's bike is a Basil Boston XL, which we have had for quite a few years, and we recommend,
My bike (Mermaid) is sporting a pair of low-cost panniers from Lidl.
This pair are styled like shopping bags, and one of them also has a further pumpkin stashed in it/
The zip pocket in the front of the Lidl pannier is handy, too - my gloves are in there!
The blue Lidl "shopping" panniers (I think rated at about 8 kg, 17.5 lbs ) are so handy that I sometimes take them on shopping trips when I walk!
They have a couple of "bottle" sleeves inside, one at each end of each pannier. Designed, I guess, for wine bottles.
I think they were about 10 or 15 pounds (15 to 20 dollars) for the pair.
More than anything else, Mermaid gets used for commuting to work!

A nice ride to the lake on the North of town

A pleasant little jaunt along the canal towpath near our town

A winter ride up into the hills (I think this is February, and Mermaid has "snow" tyres on.
We are only about 6 miles (10km) from home

A bike is handy for leaving at the hospital when one has a medical appointment.
A lower value bike is the sort of thing to leave in places like this, rather than a shiney new road bike/

A gentle country ride - this bench makes a civilised pace to stop for something to eat!

Of course, a bike can be used for moving bits of a bike!
This is me bring my new wheel home/

Shopping, leisure riding, whatever.
there is more to cycling than training and sportives/races!

Coming home with Anna from another shopping trip by bike

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