Power and energy Or Cycling and toasting [video]

How much energy we consume compared to what we can generate – in this particular case, powering a 700 Watts toaster.


Bikeability in #Devon with @cycledevon

Not enough people are aware of Bikeability! It is widely available and to go straight to the point it is about “Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century“.

Being in Devon there is something even more special: Andrei Burton is involved in the scheme!

Who is Andrei Burton (just in case you are not on the same timezone)!

He is a multi Guinness World Record Holder – passionate about riding his bike.

To get the full picture,  visit his website http://andreiburton.com/

Andrei Burton

Andrei Burton

In fact, he is more than just showing his face – he is backing Devon County Council’s project to make sure that Bikeability goes forward.

To clarify, Bikeability is dedicated to children who want to discover, explore and learn how to cycle safely and further down the line are able to enjoy the freedom of riding a bicycle whether in the countryside or in the urban landscape. Safety first and once this is acquired… the rest is history.

…Hundreds of thousands of young cyclists have already received Bikeability training and have been awarded coveted Bikeability badges and certificates. We want as many children as possible to have the opportunity to take part in Bikeability training, and it is estimated that more than 1.5 million will have been trained by March 2015… Source

bikeability logo

bikeability logo

It is also related to get the cycling community involved throughout Devon – it doesn’t matter whether you ride a road bike, MTB or fixed gear too.

Devon is the largest provider of bicycle training in England. And then, there is The Exe Trail which makes things easier for families who want to go for a casual ride along the river Exe. The map shows a rather interesting itinerary from both sides of the Estuary.

Very practical and fun if you want to spend a few hours between Exmouth and Dawlish. A real joy for tourists staying for a well deserved Break in this County. It is a real breath of fresh air when leaving their Devon holiday lodge and embracing the beauty of nature – this is what makes this area of England so unique.

In the past decade things have improved so much. Before, (shared) cycle paths were either rare or difficult to access. Thankfully, Cycle Devon has turned things around! The website has regular updates and social media (twitter and/or facebook) provides mre than a handful of information.

All this couldn’t be possible without the financial support of DfT (Department For Transport). The amount in question is £264,000, which will allow 6,600 children to be trained for the year 2015/2016.

For more information related to  cycling in Devon as well as Bikeability – including Summer Holiday courses –  please visit cycledevon.info

Bikeability banner

Bikeability banner

#Cycling: everything is important

Purchasing a bicycle is something special. A bike is a rather personal object.

First, there is the make/builder as well as the colour and style. Will it be a road/racing bicycle or a mountain bike? Some prefer to go for a touring bicycle depending on the ambition and type of cycling.

Whatever you decide to go for, you want it to be the right thing with the right feel.

Even when it comes to get a fixed gear (probably the simpliest of all because no derailleur and the eventual front brake), the rides have to be comfortable whether it is for an urban commute or a longer ride.

Once the model is established, it is about “the bits“. Whatever style you decide to go for it can become complicated and exciting at the same time.

Imagine that you have this nice looking thing giving you the opportunity to go wherever you want, whenever you wish! But some details aren’t exactly matching your personality or a different saddle would be better for your well being and posture or just a louder bell?!

All can be adjusted and/or changed. There is no real limit. Buy a cheap(er) bicycle and amend whatever is not right without forgetting the essential accessories such as decent helmet, visibility jacket, gloves, front & back lights for a start.

According to your budget, flexibility can be possible.

Of course, some people are more cyclists than riders. What is the difference?

  1. A cyclist is generally a person with all the equipment – mainly the lycra thing and everything is matching: brand and colours. All this can be (very) pricey.
  2. A rider is more a person who likes to ride not caring too much whether he/she looks cool/trendy as long as there is a fun side.

Let’s be clear here, cyclists and riders aren’t enemies. It is just a different “breed“. We could compare this with joggers and runners…maybe?

Anyway, it is clear to identify.

The other association with cyclists is the coffee pit stop.

Rapha has created coffee cups and even a limited edition espresso machine because “apparently” cyclists like such drink… or do they actually drink it to give them a boost?

Rapha rocket espresso machine

Rapha rocket espresso machine

Rapha Limited Edition coffee machine

Rapha Limited Edition coffee machine

Here is an article giving some explanations. All this is not that new.

 …The legendary Eddy Merckx rode for Faema for his first dominant Tour de France victory in 1968. Faema is an acronym for Fabbrica Apparecchiature Elettromeccaniche e Affini but Belgian cycling fans said it stood for Faites Attention, Eddy Merckx Arrive (Look out, Eddy Merckx is coming)…

Cyclist Eddy Merckx Faema

Cyclist Eddy Merckx Faema

A good hit of caffeine will certainly help to get that kick for a few extra miles and the independent artisan coffee roaster is able to make the green beans appealing to the right crowd. Coffee is (initially) a fruit and then it becomes a science. Alternatively, you can opt for protein drinks.

When taking the road/cyclepath for a few miles (whatever the distance and itinerary) it is important to be happy with the steed and all details about it. An aluminium/steel/carbon frame won’t give you the same results: it is all about the rigidity and/or shocks’ absorption without forgetting the weight which can play a major role if racing.

Overall, what counts is to obtain what you are after. Quality is what everyone wants and the actual difference between bikes and ways of riding can be seen as irrelevant, but it isn’t.

When cycling, everything is important.