Springtime Cycling

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We’d not done a ride with a cafe stop for a while. I just prefer getting back home to a warm drink rather than stopping half way round, but it just felt like the type of day where a cafe stop was a good idea. No record timings were required either with Ryan racing the following day!

With a cafe set in a little Cheshire village in mind, off we went.

Any ride out into Cheshire is a favourite of mine. I just love how there are so many country lanes that intertwine to make up so many different routes.

We even decided to film this ride, so I’ll let the video show you where we ended up.

Let me know what you think!

Exploring Dolgellau: Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles

Pulling the tent out of its bag trying to figure out which side was the door, the jagged ridgeline of Cader Idris dominated the skyline behind us. Us being me & Ryan and with some blue skies the idea of camping for a whole Bank Holiday weekend seemed somewhat more bearable. I’ve never had a great amount of luck whilst camping but this was a weekend I’d been looking forward to.

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Once our tent was set-up it wasn’t long before the road bikes brought out where Ryan and I found ourselves descending the hill into Dolgellau. Turning here, there and everywhere we began climbing out of the village and up into the hills. The gradients of the climbs changed yet my reaction to the ever-changing views did not. Round each corner or through each tunnel of trees opened up a view of lavish hillside the hedge-lined country lane before us meandered through. Token Welsh sheep dotting the fields around us and the history-ridden walls of farmhouses appearing few and far between.

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Whilst part of me wanted to push hard on the pedals during this road ride, the adventurous side wanted to take it easy so I didn’t miss a thing.

Over cattle grids and through gates the hillside soon opened up to uncover a view of the great blue expanse of the sea. With complete silence and a view so picturesque, it was one of those moments you won’t ever forget.

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But it was at this point the road ride became a little bit eventful…a country-lane descent of 25%. And things were going well until trees began to overhang the lane and moss covered the surface beneath my tyres.

O good god! What on earth am I doing?

With a final sharp turn to the right after some sketchy where I wished I had MTB tyres to rely on, Ryan ended up having to stop me in my track so I didn’t go straight out into a main round at the bottom! My rims were hot to touch, but I suppose he could have took me up it! So that was a bonus!

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The fairly steady ride home was mostly spent contemplating what we had just done. That was possibly the most bonkers things I’ve done on skinny tyres! Soon back & climbing up to the campsite my legs felt like they had done a lot more than 16 miles…

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Demo Weekend at Alf Jones Cycles

With their annual road bike demo weekend, it was a busy time for me at Alf Jones Cycles this weekend. But it wasn’t just a case of building bikes or working in the shop, I actually got out on some of the bikes too!


My first time trying a carbon road bike, I quickly grew fond of the Lapierre Sensium 600 I was currently riding. With a full Ultegra set up, I seemed to get on with the bike rather well! The medium size fitted me perfectly and put me in a perfect position to put the power down. And once on a straight piece of road I found it fairly easy to pick up speed. (We were mainly on back roads so didn’t want to go round corners too quickly!)


So the Ultegra parts worked flawlessly and then there’s the saddle…! The Selle Italia X1 Flow Women saddle that comes as standard with the bike. Actually the comfiest saddle I’ve ever sat on! Saying that I’ve never had a women’s specific saddle so there might be no surprise really! I may have to get one of those…


After the Lapierre I turned my head to one of the Giant Liv bikes. A Giant Liv Envie Advanced Pro, which is one of their aero race bikes. I’d never ridden a race bike prior to the Envie so wasn’t too sure what to expect. 

The position you were in whilst riding the Envie wasn’t one I found comfortable. I later found my discomfort could be a result of how stiff they make race bikes instead of absorbing the vibrations from the road. 

One thing that came as a surprise to me was the Di2 gears it had, which I only realised once out on the road. It felt more like a computer than a bike…ha! Despite all that, I could see why it was a race bike. It definitely picked up speed quickly and was extremely light so pedalling was bit easier than normal.


During my two rides out I also tried out some Sealskinz Madeleine Classic gloves. More specific toward road and commuter cyclists you instantly feel it’s a glove that is well thought out. 

Gloves that I am use to wearing always seem a bit bulky to wear and restrict movement. But the Madeleine’s felt incredibly light and extremely soft. Almost silk-like. 


In terms of fit, I used the Medium. On the fingers they had a snug fit which I always prefer from a glove. On the palms they did feel quite big at first, but once riding they seemed to mould to my hand. I didn’t feel like they were restricting me at all, which made changing gear a lot easier to other gloves I’ve used.

I also found out that the gloves are made from water-repellent material so rather than absorb rain straight away, they don’t. I’ve not been able to see how they fair in wet weather yet but no doubt I will get a chance to since Sealskinz gave me the pair I tried out. So I’ll update you all in a few weeks on how I’m finding them!