Really getting back into cycling


Bike pimp stage 1: Reflective stickers and light

I’m finding that old spark for cycling. It’s starting to come back to me. I think it helps that I love my bike. It’s lightweight and comfortable to ride. Not racing is also helping me love the sport because there’s no pressure to perform.

This morning I found some reflective stickers in a bundle of cycling things Mum had left at my house (she also left a reflective belt). I always used to have reflective stickers on my commuter bikes to help cars aim for me see me clearly. Somehow they make me feel safer on the road. And with the new headlight I will actually be able to see the road when I ride home tonight.

Mum and I went for a ride along the water at Victoria Point this morning. It is so wonderful to be able to go for morning rides together in daylight. The sun is now up at about 5:20am and by the end of October sunrise will occur just before 5:00am, making it possible to go for longer and safer pre-work rides together. The daylight means we can ride side-by-side on wider sections of road, secure in the knowledge that we are visible to the cars (though we do move back to single file when there is no emergency stopping lane to ride in). This morning we cruised an easy and sociable 32.18km along mostly flat roads.

Last night I ordered some more new gear for my road bike. I’m currently waiting on the chain, cassette and tools I ordered from on 26 September (I anticipate it will arrive from the UK in the coming fortnight). Last night I ordered:

2 x Continental Ultra Sport White Road Tyre 700 x 23mm White
1 x Lezyne Power Tyre Lever  White
1 x Blackburn Road Mirror  
1 x Topeak Mini Morph Pump

I am most excited about the new tyres. Sure, the white tyres are going to look filthy in no time but they were $6 each cheaper than the same tyre in black so I decided to bling up my bike a bit (until the first time I ride with them). The tyres I’m riding on now are a 5-10 year old pair of Hutchinson Quartz 700×23 tyres. They have been pretty good so far but are almost totally bald and starting to show signs of wear (funny how that happens after so long). The tyres are so old that I don’t remember buying them and don’t actually know which of the three road bikes I used to create my current bike they came from; though I suspect from the colour (red) they are from my old Giant OCR3 commuter that I rode 70km-80km a day for a few years before I quit riding. Needless to say, they are a ticking time bomb. The Continental Ultra Sports have great reviews as a training and commuting tyre and only set me back $18.99 each (compared with the $40 – $100 we pay for tyres in bike shops here in Brisbane).

Mum has recently put a mirror on her road bike and, while I’ve always scoffed that I don’t want to know who’s trying to run me off the road, I can see the benefit in knowing what’s happening behind me. This is particularly true when I am riding two-abreast with my Mum. With the mirror I will have more warning about vehicles behind me so I can drop back earlier to single file (note: riding two-abreast is legal where I live but I prefer not to do it).

And the pump … well, it’s been a long time since I had a working frame pump. The Mini Morph has a clip so it is like a small track pump that you can carry on your bike and can pump up to 160psi. I am looking forward to actually having a pump with me in case of flats while out cycling.

I can’t wait until my road bike is fully pimped to my specs. The only things left after this are a spare light set (a requirement for night riding with Audax Australia) and a handlebar bag (so I can carry food and things). Then I can buy some new cycling clothes (my knicks are worn out, I only own two jerseys and I don’t have any cold / wet weather gear) before I start pimping out my MTB.

Boys and their toys *rolls eyes at self*

Total: 32.18km cycle this morning + cycle commute home after work (Mum gave me and my bike a lift to the office after our ride this morning)


5 responses to “Really getting back into cycling

  1. But where are your mudguards? Or does it never rain where you live? 🙂

    This is my one week old new commuting bike – but mudguards and a rear rack went on before it even left the shop!

    • That is a seriously nice bike!

      Mudguards aren’t common here in Oz. I am seriously considering them though. It would make me look odd amongst Brisbane riders. But I might set a new trend.

      Perhaps they’re not common because our rain falls by the bucket and mostly in summer. So we get soaked to the bone no.matter what but at least it’s warm (raincoats are useless bc you sweat in them).

      I would like them for the odd winter shower or road wetness though. Do you have any recommendations? I’m not sure what to look for in mudguards.

      • SKS chromoplastic ones if you have eyelets and clearance to fit them on your bike.

        Otherwise you need clip on ones. There’s a review of the common ones here:

        Or you can get an MTB style rear one. I use this for easily getting it on and off and swapping between bikes:

        All ‘sensible’ (!) commuters have them for our weather. Why get an unnecessarily soggy / gritty bottom?!

      • Thanks for the links. I am still thinking about the mudguard issue. One of my running mates uses them and swears by them. I like the look of that 9/10 rating set in the link you posted. I am leaning towards them but am going to wait until the wet season starts first. This way I have an open mind and can decide when I need them (postage usually only takes a week or two from the UK where I’d get them from, and our wet season lasts 3-4 months)

  2. It’s good to add bling lol.

    I never use mudguards, even when I’m off-road.

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