Archive for January, 2013

Cycling Belgium

I attended a friends stag party in the Belgium city of Leuven (about 10 miles from Brussels). Apart from the drinking, I managed to get in some cycling experience.

First, it was interesting to see what a nice town it was, in part because of the amount of cycling and the converse lack of cars. All across the weekend, I only ever saw a few cars at a time, but plenty of people cycling, often with their children. Bear in mind it was at least -4 degrees with ice and snow around.

Belgian cycle paths Leuven Giant cycle parking

Some nice pics of Belgian cycle paths, the bike infested town and nice big cycle parking provision in the centre of town.

As well as observing the cycle culture, I took a punt at looking for Challenge dealers and found one next door to the hostel. The excellent A bikes: As well as stocking Challenge recumbents, they also did a fine range of Rholoff bikes and child “solutions”. Despite clearly not having any intention of buying a bike then and there (and unlikely to return to Belgium just for the purpose), the owner let me have a go on a Fujin SL1.

My friends who had come to watch me fall over on the ice were surprised when I disappeared off round the block. Conclusion, very nice handling for something so laid back and it just felt like it wanted to move, would have been awesome to do a longer ride (not in the snow). Proximity to vehicles wan’t worrying, but I could have done with a mirror.

New job, new bike stats

I started a new job mid December, which is between 8 and 9 miles from my house. This seemed a perfect commuting distance that would train me up.

I’ve decided to obsessively log my average speeds so I can see if I get any fitter. I’ve decided to log moving average as it will hopefully be less affected by traffic.

My stats so far aren’t going so well:

Commuting speed graph

There are reasons. After day 3, the schools started again and the traffic got much worse. Then for days 11-13, the ice and snow arrived and I had to switch to my massively slow alternative:

Baby bike

Which can take spiked tyres, but is immensely heavy, has very high rolling resistance (but at least I don’t slip off) and has the aerodynamics of a barn.

I’ll be updating the stats and will probably make a page alongside the speed records page.