On yer bike!

This year I’ve got into cycling as an alternative to running. I found the repetitive impact on my knees caused by running to be a little wearing, pardon the pun. So, having not cycled for two decades, I got back on my bike. Actually, I got a bike. Then I got on it. Over the months I’ve got quicker and my stamina has improved too. Now I face the real challenge of keeping it up through the dark, cold and wet winter months.

One of the things I really like about cycling is that it can combine exercise with a purposeful journey. I could never jog to the shops and run back with carrier bags bashing around my thighs, but it’s easy enough to stuff goods into panniers for example.

I never did any maintenance on the bikes I owned as a youngster. Maybe Dad did, I don’t know. So I never learnt how to fix a puncture or adjust gears or any one of the number of things you are apparently supposed to do to keep a bike in good working order. But now I have!

I’ve just got back from a great cycle workshop. The workshops are supported by Sustrans, a UK wide charity which supports sustainable transport. Thanks to their support it only costs £5 for the two hour workshop. The workshop covered general bike maintenance. puncture repairs, gear adjustments, brakes and more. Great value for a fiver!

The workshop was run by rideride, a small company operating out of an industrial unit. They were very friendly and the small group size meant it was easy to get extra help. They run other workshops too: If you really want, they will also teach you how to strip your bike down to its component parts and, hopefully, assemble it back together in good working order!

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