oooooh, yeaaaaah!  I got my first ‘KOM’ (king of the mountain?) on Strava last week!  You’d better all watch out – I could be overtaking you at any moment!
ImageAs long as you’re cycling through a park, that is.  A park that apparently only 4 people are cycling through…

So, yeah – I’m the top out of 4 people, and I wasn’t actually trying.  The first time I got onto the segment was when I went into the park to swap my 16 speed cog for a 14 speed, and spent 15 minutes at a park bench doing the swap.  Strava only tracks moving time, so the time stopped wasn’t counted, but I still veered offroad, braked to a stop, then had to accelerate out again.  That got me second place, so gawd knows what the other three have been doing!  Jogging, probably.  😛

I’ve ran Strava on my phone since I found out about it a few months ago, mainly just to see if my speeds are improving, or if variations of routes are faster than others.  I never expected to be beating anyone elses times, because I don’t jump red lights, I’m not great at filtering through traffic, and I’m just too cautious in general.  That’s one of the reasons why I’m a softy (should that be softie? I need to consult the Beano!).

While I’m talking about me, I suppose I should mention all my cycling foibles, then you can guage the kind of cyclist I am. From good to bad to personal taste..

1) I stop at red lights
2) I always have lights fitted
3) I don’t cycle on the pavement
4) I never undertake HGVs or buses
5) I don’t wear a helmet
6) I’ve always got headphones in
7) I usually filter on the left
8) I don’t wear lycra
9) I wouldn’t be seen dead on a hybrid

When I’m on my bike, I’m a road vehicle, so I try to abide by the highway code, even if I’m the only one.  Sometimes I’ll use pedestrian crossings by getting off the bike and walking, but I never cycle through.  I think cyclists who jump pedestrian crossings are the worst kind of cyclist, because they could really hurt someone.  By all means risk your own life around cars if you have to, but don’t risk injuring the peds!

I’ve never found a helmet that fits, so I don’t have much option with helmets.  Having said that, my life has been saved by my peripheral vision on a couple of occasions, and I’m not sure how I’d like having my head restricted, so even if I had a choice, I might not take it.  I never have my headphones turned up very loud, as I hate not being able to hear traffic.  It effectively removes one of my senses, and it’s a bloomin useful one.  I’m the same in the car – I have to be able to hear the engine, and can’t stand it when the radio’s on too loud.

My left filtering is just me being a bad cyclist, and it should improve with time.  It’s a hard to get into the habit of filtering on the right, though, and every time I try it, I get stuck in the wrong lane while HGVs surround me.  It’s no fun!  :s

Lycra.  lycra, lycra, lycra..   I don’t care what benefits it has – it looks ridiculous!  I’d rather be one of those lunatics who cycles in their work suit than wear lycra.  A few people can get away with it, but I dunno if most lycra wearers realise that what might look passable while standing in front of a mirror looks positively repulsive when they’re hunched over a bike.  One guy on my commute has the proportions of Greg Davies, yet wears lycra.  I’ve now started altering my commute when I find myself behind him – my poor eyes can’t take it!

I don’t think I need to say anything about hybrids.  Also; lycra on a hybrid?  What on earth is wrong with some people?  😛