Archive for the ‘ Commuting ’ Category

2018 Roudup

Mileage & trip counts:

2016 2017 2018
Miles Count Miles Count Miles Count
Sirrus 24.8 2
Linskey 3793.61 161 2863 149 2647.14 154
Khatmandu 23.43 2
Khatmandu – ice 17.12 1 113.53 7 62.88 4
Raptobike 19.24 1 58.04 2
Vagabond 215.65 14
Other 18.4 2
TOTAL 3848.37 165 3082.8 162 2925.67 172

The mileage drop continues from the highs of 2013 and 2016.

However, the arrival of small devil no3 in January:

meant the whole of February working at home to support the wife. Whether this would have resulted in much more cycling is a moot point as it coincided with the Beast from the East. It also turned out that he was not a “car sleeper”, so someone had to sit in the back to entertain him. Not a good recipe for me doing a long ride to somewhere while the family drove up after.

I found myself lacking motivation to do circular rides from home, so the numbers are made up almost solely from commuting.

On the plus side, the acquisition of the Genesis Vagabond (post to follow) and the discovery of some new routes has made the non race bike days much more enjoyable than using the Khatmandu. This means I’ve not taken the car to work for months.

Road to nowhere?

Last summer, work started on a cycle path between Camberley and Farnborough, which I believe forms part of “Blackwater Valley, Better Connectivity” scheme: BWV_20Better_20Connectvitiy_20Phase_201_20-_20Factbook_20v1

The previous winter, we had witnessed the completion of the “Orange Route” down the A331, with immense traffic disruption, creating an immaculate cycle path from an insanely busy roundabout to a supermarket and a dual carriageway. Great if you want to go shopping from Sandhurst, but not for much else. The “Blue Route” which this work looked like it was starting on makes great sense. There’s no other non-car friendly way between Camberley and Farnborough. Either the A331, with no pavement at all; the A325, with a tiny track on what’s not pavement and Hawley Meadow, which would be a beautiful walk, as long as it hasn’t rained.

Hawley Meadow, which the “Blue Route” traverses has a small track across it. I have cycled it a few times in summer. On a race bike it’s extremely bumpy and I can make about 10mph. Any time outside May – September it’s often covered in brackish “ponds” which I at least can’t get across on a mountain bike or on foot.

So, the sate of the “Blue Route” as it has been for the last 12 months:

The route starts well, Frimley only 2 miles through beautiful countryside, avoiding the horribly busy roads.

Lovely tarmacked surface, nice and wide. I’ll ignore the excavator tracks running across it, as surely it’s a tiny blip.

100m later, turning abit more strada bianchi. Still easily passable s long as you don’t have silly tyres.

100m later it’s turning more technical to go over a bridge.

Then, it’s gone. 1km of singletrack until the Frimley business park.

This is a real shame, because it’s only usable 4 months out of the year and I could really do without battling with cars on the 325 in the pouring rain. Also, the ride across Hawley Meadow, at least on anything other than a suspended MTB is so rough, that you can’t really appreciate the scenery. Once you get to the M3, the path at least has some gravel scattered on top of it, which smoothes it out and stops the water filled ruts. I kind of wish they’d spent their money on making something usable, rather than a pristine path that doesn’t go anywhere.

I have contacted the council several times about if and when any further work might take place, but I’ve never received a response.


Cycling mileage 2015 vs 2014 vs 2013

2013 2014 2015
Miles Count Miles Count Miles Count
Sirrus 2529.39 124 153.81 9  152.69 4
Sirrus Light  1597.21  75
Linskey 3357.64 160 3243.03 158
Khatmandu  84.94  8 46.66 3 40.08 4
Khatmandu – ice 190.15 11 7.83 1 101.61 6
Raptobike 49.17 5 152.83 7 2.86 1
TOTAL 4450.86 223 3718.77 180 3540.27  173


The third year of commuting to Camberley. Strange how 2014 & 2015 seem to blend together. Maybe it’s because we had the same camping holiday both years…

Very similar between the two years cycling wise. Felt like I did more cycling in 2015, mainly because of the failed 600k, but I think there were fewer mid distance Audaxes & weekend rides.

Also average commuting speed (combined moving average of going in and coming home) for all 3 years.

Commuting speed graph 2015, 2014vs2013

Definitely had a good patch through the end of the summer holidays and I think that extra effort (and lack of back pain) lasted through to the end of the year.


Cycling mileage 2014 vs 2013

2013 2014
Miles Count Miles Count
Sirrus 2529.39 124 153.81 9
Sirrus Light  1597.21  75
Linskey 3357.64 160
Khatmandu  84.94  8 46.66 3
Khatmandu – ice 190.15 11  7.83  1
Raptobike 49.17 5  152.83  7
TOTAL 4450.86 223 3718.77 180

New bike this year, but reduced mileage. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it’s a combination of:

  • having a lingering cold for the first few months of the year, so taking the car to work some more
  • doing in my back mid August which curtailed fun rides during a prime season
  • working at home more (especially several weeks in the summer where the air con was broken in the office)

You can really tell how much milder last winter was than the previous one by the fact that the spiked tyres only got used once (though really should have been at least one more time to avoid terror!).

I have also been collecting my average commuting speed (combined moving average of going in and coming home) for the last couple of years.

Commuting speed graph 2014vs2013 scatter


Not sure what it means, apart from that a TI bike won’t double your speed. However, I think this year I’ve been taking slower, but more pleasant routes, so it’s definitely not slower.

Cycling mileage 2013 vs 2012

Straight onto the stats.

2012 2013
Miles Count Miles Count
Brompton 821.9 175
Sirrus 611.83 20 2529.39 124
Sirrus Light 1597.21 75
Khatmandu 42.55 3 84.94 8
Khatmandu – ice 190.15 11
Windcheetah 53 3
Raptobike 49.17 5
Mum’s Raleigh 8.6 1
TOTAL 1537.88 202 4450.86 223

Massively more miles, mainly because I’ve been cycling 9 miles each way to work rather than 2.5, which was the case for the majority of 2012.

Less miles than the All Season Cyclist and I haven’t even had surgery or live somewhere where it’s freezing half the year! However, I do have children, which means I tend to prefer being with them rather than on the road.

Mille Camberley

Three months into the year and I’ve hit 1000 miles!

Here’s the daily moving average.

Commuting speed graph


I’m not an Excel guru or I’d make the points different colours depending which bike I was on and just have the range from 13-20mph. You see the dent made by riding the “Khatmandu” mountain bike with ice tyres through the endless winter. The first 3 days were also just after Christmas before everyone went back to work so were pretty much traffic free, giving an initial spike.

I think the trend’s upwards ever so slightly. How much of that is fitness and how much is me learning every inch of the route I can’t say.


£10 Transport

My new office is about a mile from the town centre. My colleague and I were getting annoyed by having to take our whole lunch break to take a trip into town. I missed being able to just pop out and get little bits and pieces that I needed. I do cycle to work, but my “real” bike looks a little flash and I’d be paranoid locking it up in town.

So, I decided to trawl EBay with a budget of £10 and the result is “the office bike” (innuendo included as it’s a lady):

Office bike 1 Office bike 2

Unfortunately, on the first ride, an inner tube blew and had to be replaced, increasing the value of the bike by 50%!

Now that’s fixed, it goes surprisingly well. The gears work and I think the brakes are ok (though my colleague disagrees). Now it takes 5 minutes to get into town and it’s less effort. Question is, why doesn’t everyone do this for £10?

(That was a good point to end it, but I think the answer is that re-cycling £10 bikes doesn’t make anyone any real money, so there’s no interest in it from those that could make it more popular.)