I've held off on doing one of these posts for a few weeks partly because there's been a lot of other sports and fitness related posts/reviews on the blog, and partly because of THIS POST about feeling a bit of fraud.
But whatever else is going on, and however I dress it up, there's still been lots of time on two wheels this week, which is what this is all about. The few days of summer weather made for some stunning cycling, and I definitely got out there to make the most of it with a cycle from our home in the East End to Kew Gardens which is South West London- roughly 27km each way, not including a minor detour for navigational purposes on the way out.... *ahem*
T and I outside the gates at Kew on a super sunny Sunday
Upon closer inspection, we discovered it costs £16 per person to get into Kew Gardens themselves, so we settled for very large ice creams on the green next door instead. Having had a really enjoyable barbecue with friends the night before, it was a pretty perfect way to cap off the weekend.
I had planned a couple more longer rides this month, but due to unforeseen circumstances otherwise known as a bike rack coming off the car, and mine being the bike to take the impact, my much loved single speed was out of commission for 10 days whilst it had some fairly major repair work done. I'd love to say it's as good as new, but the paintwork is a bit battered and because mine is apparently a limited edition bike, it would seem parts are in short supply and the replacement front forks no longer match the cream paintwork on the rest of the bike. Not being able to get out as much is a bit of a killer in May, because in June I'm taking a 2 week holiday in Spain to try and recharge the batteries and generally enjoy a bit of down time before what I anticipate to be an exceptionally busy few months. Not having my own bike for what seemed like forever has also cemented a lust for a secondary bike to use for my non-commute rides (I've signed up to do London to Cambridge again in July FYI) and also to serve as a back up for repair/maintenance/disasters. I'm not sure T is all that impressed with the idea of N+1 bikes, but I'm excited as the saving is underway!
Total mileage for May... not so great
I seem to have nailed comfortable cycling clothes recently as well- for the record, I don't own masses of cycling specific kit as it's always way more expensive than generic fitness clothing or running clothing, but I do prefer to wear more technical clothing because it definitely helps me to regulate my temperature and it's way easier to launder than 'ordinary' leggings and t-shirts.
A new piece by cycling brand Rapha thanks to a gift voucher and one of my fave combos for cooler rides- H&M sports tights & base layer and a long sleeved cycling jersey
I chatted earlier in the month about my current sports leggings habit, in particular coloured and patterened ones I can wear all the time- you can read the post HERE, but a full post on some of the pieces I've been buying from H&M (some of them pictured above right) lately and possibly a review of my Rapha baselayer (pictured above left) to come. I'm really enjoying some bolder prints and not needing to wear five different layers just recently.
I also reviewed 2 of my cycle commuting essentials this month which were kindly given to me by Mountain Warehouse. I can't thank them enough since they turned out to be exactly the right things at the right time. You can read my reviews of their Sprint 8L rucksack/hydration pack and the Glide long sleeve baselayer (in the most amazing shade of purple) HERE, and the sharp eyed among you will notice that the rucksack features in my picture above left.
And that just leaves one more thing to mention. The Women's Tour 2014. I won't say any more than what a fantastic week of exciting racing, and there's loads to read on Total Women's Cycling if you fancy a bit more! I never never thought pro cycling would be of interest to me, but this was great fun to watch.