Monday, 23 April 2012

Planning a Sponsored Ride to the Olympic Site

My wife is planning a sponsored ride from her school in Hemel to the Olympic site for next month, so we drove the route yesterday to check directions etc. Then we went for a walk in the Lee Valley lakes area. The final leg of the journey is down cycle tracks along a canal from there to Stratford. The route on the road section is here:

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Shiny Gears

I had quite a few odd jobs this weekend so didn't find time for a bike ride. I did however clean and lubricate the gears on both bikes. I also went for a walk and dug our allotment today, so had plenty exercise.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Easter in the New Forest

We had a family wedding to attend near Lymington on the Easter Saturday so rented a cottage/studio near Boldre from Friday till Weds. Nicky and I took our hybrid bikes on the roof rack and did a 10 mile ride to the coast and back on the Friday, then a longer 25 mile ride on coastal roads, in towards Lyndhurst over heathland, then through some forest tracks. There are over 100 miles of gravel forest tracks that are ok for hybrids and mountain bikes. I was hoping to cycle a bit more, but Easter Monday was a wash out - so we donned our waterproofs and had walks in the woods and a brief walk on Bournemouth beach (with our son and girlfriend).

On the way back Nicky dropped me near Theale (S of Reading) and I cycled the 41 miles home, via Pangbourne and the Chilterns. I was glad I was on my hybrid as the hill N of Pangbourne was long and steep, requiring my lowest 0.9 ratio gear. I then had to negotiate parts of the Chilterns I was unfamiliar with, without a map or phone signal for much of the way. But this added to the adventure and I eventually made it to Christmas Common, over the M40 and down to Chinnor and familiar territory.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Gear Ratios

I've been giving some thought to gear ratios lately, having had my son's Ricci road bike upgraded (see previous post). There are plenty of gear tables online, but they don't really give a good visual image of how much overlap there is between chainwheel gears to help decide when you should change chainwheel, or to compare different bikes and planned changes. So I've produced my own, based on a standard spreadsheet where ratio = chainwheel / cassette sprockets. (My wheel sizes are all the same, athough my hybrid has bigger tyres.)

Surprisingly my hybrid bike has higher as well as lower gears than my road bike, due to it's small 11 cog. On all bikes it makes sense to change chainwheel after 3rd gear - although on both bikes I tend to stay in my middle chainwheel most of  the time.