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.


Comfort #cycling with @vulpinecc

I met with Tom a keen cyclist. He is a real one. Great Trek bikes with all the trimmings.

I always like to question the choice of ride, clothing and destination. This is what he had to say:

Cycling is great. Commuting by bike I can get into the office each morning feeling fresh and wide-awake – before I’ve even had a coffee! I love starting the day by getting some fresh air in and enjoying the sights and sounds around me; it’s really refreshing. Then at the weekends I cycle down to the shops or visit a café, I love how I can catch up with my mates at the same time as getting some exercise in.

Commuting by bike

Commuting by bike

The greatest thing about cycling nowadays is that cycling fashion has moved away from all that shiny, tight-fitting lycra. I can wear stylish clothing which doesn’t scream ‘lycra-lout’ but still fits well and performs on the bike. I can go to a meeting or to the pub on my bike and not look ridiculous when I’m not on the bike, which opens up a whole new wardrobe of functional clothing that looks good.

Cycling wardrobe and design

Cycling wardrobe and design

My current favourites are from a British brand called Vulpine (meaning ‘foxy’ or fox-like). They have exceedingly high standards and a tailoring background so you know their products are going to look and feel great. Their Merino Henley top and summer shorts are my go-to wardrobe items whenever I want to throw a leg over my bike.

The Henley short-sleeved top looks like any normal top (although more stylish!) but has the added benefit of being designed with cycling in mind. It’s cut slightly longer at the back to make sure your love handles don’t poke out when you lean forward on the bike! And it’s made from natural merino wool which doesn’t smell even if you get a bit of a sweat on during the commute – I often go straight into the boardroom after getting off the bike – no need for a costume change.

The shorts are also designed for cyclists as they come up quite high on your back, again to make up for when you stretch forward in a riding position. The fabric is slightly stretchy which makes cycling comfortable and means I can move my legs easily. They’re also lightweight so they’re a great clothing choice for a hot day in the office or a sunny weekend ride.

Both of these clothing items are stylish and refined whilst also having all the right technical properties to make them perform just as well on the bike as off.

Urban cycling - map

Urban cycling – map

Now that I’ve been doing more and more cycling, I’m planning on a Spanish cycling holiday to the Costa del Sol. I’ll be flying out in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to enjoying the sun and also riding my bike along the epic scenery from that part of Spain. Costa Cycling Experience (the company I’m going with) take you on rides right into the heart of the mountains so I’m looking forward to testing my legs on some climbs as well as enjoying the beaches and pools. The girlfriend is looking forward to the spa and I’ve also got my eye on the golf courses but I’m keen to ride up some serious mountains and earn my paella!

cycle sun ride

cycle sun ride