Johannesburg Treadmill Running

After a 10km recumbent cycle ride because the treadmills were taken…

Despite precious little exercise since the start of the new year, weight is only up 0.2kg to 93.4kg.

To Buy, Or Not To Buy…

I’ve mentioned previously on my Triumph Sprint GT blog that the problem with so-called “Adventure Bikes” is that the manufacturers make them and then add a few thousand to the cost of the bike and then charge you extra for the luggage that anyone who buys one of these things will want to fit anyway!

Back in 2013, my Sprint GT with all the luggage, heated grips and a comfort gel seat, etc. came in at £8,500 whilst the then Triumph Tiger was £11,000+ and the Ducati Multistrada was £17,000, or twice the price of the Sprint.

Over the past 5½ years, I’ve only done a little under 10,000 miles on the Sprint, mainly on “Eurothrashes” as we call them. After my last one to France, Spain and Andorra, my right hand index finger was numb for a number of weeks which I put down to a combination of vibration and all my weight being on my wrists.

The latter was largely resolved by fitting bar risers but that then shifted more weight to my bum, so a Corbin seat was sourced from the USA at great expense and it seems pretty good.

I’m still left riding an older bike with good luggage capacity, nice looks and a good engine, but with dated and fairly awkward trip computer and no cruise control which is a real issue given that most of the Death Star’s mileage is done in big hits and hundreds of motorway miles to get to the fun roads.  All of these issues are resolved in the latest Adventure Bikes, like the latest BMW R1250GS Adventure – aka the Clitoris (“because every c**t’s got one”) – and the updated 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200.  Talking of the GS, a mate has finally changed from his venerable Kawasaki Versys to a BMW R1200GS Adventure because the 1200 stock was being shifted before the new model came out and he grabbed a bargain.  Being the Adventure, the BMW comes with a massive 30 litre tank capacity giving it a 350 mile tank range unlike the ‘normal’ R1200GS and its 20 litre tank (the same size as the Tiger 1200 and indeed my Sprint GT), so a 200+ mile range. Frankly, that’s not really an issue for me as I usually like to stop and stretch my legs every 100-150 miles anyway.

As I wrote last summer, when the Death Star was in for a service, I borrowed a Tiger 1200 and reported that:

“I test rode the new Tiger 1200 XRt at the same time. Good power, much more upright riding position and all of the toys, including cruise control and heated rider and passenger seats as well as automagic suspension adjustment. On the minus side, after not too long riding it, I had a numb bum so how it would cope with a Eurothrash, I didn’t know.”

At the London bike show at the ExCel last weekend, Mrs Me and I sat on a Tiger 1200 XRt and thought it felt OK, but that the luggage space seems much smaller than the Death Star’s. I’ve just checked and the Death Star has 117 litres of luggage space (standard panniers and top box) and the Tiger 1200 accessory Expedition luggage space totals 116 litres, but that top box looks tiny by comparison.

Looking at my Sprint blog, I’ve been umming and ahhing about a Tiger 1200 (or Tiger 1200 Explorer, as it was known previously) for a couple of years now.  The upright riding position – especially coupled with cruise control – means that my old and decrepit wrists should fare much better, so it’s all down to the seat. The best way to find out whether the (heated) seats are any good on longer runs is to try one out properly and Jack Lilley at Romford (or East London Triumph) have kindly offered me one in a couple of weeks for an extended ride. I intend using one of Ride magazine’s routes around the South Coast (GPX file) and stay over at a mate’s house (he’s a great chef…).

The bonus is the bike they may be letting me try is in the white that we like:

We shall see…

 

2018 Stats

So a mini-review of the year. 2018 saw very little running, a lot of walking and then some cycling as a change to the walking!

Must. Try. Harder.

Activitykms
Running63
Walking528
Cycling102

Weight a Minute…

First weigh-in of 2019 and it’s a doozy: 93.4kg, up 1.6kg (3.5lbs) since October. To be fair, that’s usual for me as Christmas is a time of overdoing it every bloody year!

Six Weeks In

After 3½ weeks of travelling – Poland, Costa Rica and the USA – it was time to ride to work again, especially as today the Brompton was due its first 6 week service courtesy of Evans Cycles.

Sadly, they’ve told me that the issue I’ve had with changing gear from 5th to 6th – i.e. using the two external derailleur chainwheels – is because the chain adjustment derailleur assembly is defective after less than 50km so I can’t collect it today as they’re going to have to source and replace it under warranty.

Hopefully I can collect the Brompton on Friday.

Henty Wingman Backpack

This morning was my first commute into the office on the Brompton.

I dressed as normal in a suit, shirt and tie (but still wore my Nike walking/running shoes as I keep formal shoes at the office) and then rode in. The weather forecast was for showers and indeed a little over halfway there the drizzle started, enough to leave a trace on my Garmin and to feel it, but not really enough to make me wet, fortunately.

But that does raise the question of what to wear as winter draws in: when I run, I wear clothes including waterproofs/water resistant jackets that are fine for warm, cool or cold weather. I wear a different suit every day for work, so simply leaving one at the office won’t work for me. So my choices are either to wear the suit into the office and risk getting it wet or carry one in every day and change when I get in. But how to carry the suit? I looked at some of Brompton’s luggage that clips to the block on the frame of the bike, but none really looked right as a suit bag.  I already have a number of suit carriers but none would be suitable to sling over my shoulder without them falling off again or they’d be flapping in the breeze. No, a better alternative was needed, so off I went to the Internet.

The first decent one – according to all the reviews I read – was the Henty Wingman Backpack which rolls the suit to prevent creases rather than the normal folding suit bags.  In addition, some stiffeners in the bag prevent it from folding and hopefully leave the suit and shirt crease-free.  The garment bag takes a suit and a couple of shirts max and is zipped up and a second roll bag then clips in front of it, intended to take your shoes and toiletries, etc. before the whole lot gets rolled up.  I preferred the backpack design to the messenger bag version.  I’ll probably just use the roll bag for waterproofs and additional layers, I expect, plus my wallet, although that can go in the outside pocket. So I’ve ordered one to pick up today and try out tomorrow.

Wingman Backpack Final 20161223 1080p from Henty on Vimeo.

And here’s today’s ride. I forgot to set the Garmin off early enough so it took a few metres until it had located me, so it was actually slightly longer.