Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Look Mum No Hands...

Look Mum No Hands, is a new cycling themed restaurant bar recommended to me by a work college, who is also one of the biggest cycling enthusiast I know, second to Terry Rawlinson! This is all part of my immersion into the cycling culture which has took off since the beginning of this year! 
  I have lived in London for the best part of 1.5 years now and prior to 2012 have become lazy and too transfixed with XBox, something which I am not proud of. I have always been fairly active, or at least had stints of going to the gym for 2-3 months, however something always breaks the cycle - namely booze! I used to do a fair bit of cycling around Wales, recreational cycling on a Trek mountain bike which compared to my new toy handled like a tractor with four flat wheels! For the first year of living in London, my girlfriend and I were confined to what could only be described as a converted garage where we saw out her Masters degree. Having graduated and secured a job we moved into a one bedroom apartment with a garden - with enough room for my bike. This was the first thing I did, get the bike to London to swap hot sweaty mornings on the tube with hot sweaty mornings amidst traffic chaos. I much prefer the latter! 
  I didn't start commuting properly until after Christmas, I set myself some goals I wanted to achieve in 2012. 1) Ditch alcohol (for at least a month) 2) Become more motivated 3) Get out more! I wanted to find a sport which I enjoyed and didn't see as a chore. I still see going to the gym a chore, I dislike it, I understand the benefits of it, but there is nothing more monotonous and tedious than running on a treadmill looking at a digital clock to tell me how far I have gone. I enjoy weight lifting at the gym but don't have a training partner and fear my technique is rubbish. I decided at first to join the local archery club, not in a bid to get fit but just to meet new people with my girlfriend, that doesn't start until Easter though. So after much consideration (even evaluated my chances at amateur boxing!) I decided to just carry on with my sporadic gym trips. That was until I was told I could get a brand new bike with a decent discount through a work related scheme. My old mountain bike wasn't cutting it with my commute, it was sluggy and as much as I enjoyed cycling, being overtaken by everyone on route home isn't fun. So I decided to apply for the scheme and grab myself a road bike.

 Fast forward a month and I am completely hooked, to the point where I am dreaming about cycling. My new bike is great, Specialized Allez Sport Compact in white and blue. It is super quick now I am certainly not the slowest on the road. It took a bit of getting used to, I fell off with my cleats and the dropped handlebars seem to be causing hell with my neck, but aside from that I can;t get off the thing. 
  I cycle 12 miles a day but have started upping that now as I want to start cycling sportives and doing longer rides.I am keeping a log on endomondo and since January have increased my mileage exponentially, I set myself weekly goals, initially it was to double my mileage every week, I now need to clock over 200 miles this week to meet the target. Unfortunately seen as I am going to Saudi this Friday this wont happen, but my motivation is there! I have also been off the booze since January 1st, I am sure this qualifies me for a chip now. I don't have a reason to not drink other than I want to get fit! So by mid February I have already ticked off all three goals, something which I intend to build on throughout the year.
  So what does the rest of 2012 hold for me...? Cycling, cycling and more cycling, hopefully with my buddy Terry!