Aoife Glass road cycling seaside
If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get a tiny bit of seaside riding in on my commute too

From next week, I’m going to start commuting to work.

Well, that’s the plan anyway. In some ways this shouldn’t be such a big deal, as I’ve commuted to work for various jobs regularly over the last 6 years. What’s different is that I now live in Weston-Super-Mare, and I work in Bristol, so that’s going to be quite a commute. I’m estimating about 25 miles. It’s going to take some commitment.

Now I should just add that I only have to be in the office 2 days a week as my role is part time, but that’s still committing myself to a 50-mile odd round route. But just think of how fit I could get doing that! And having test-cycled half of it, most of the route is on off-road cycle routes or quiet country roads, so that’s another bonus.

But – and I’m not just making excuses here, I swear – I want to make sure I’ve got the gear I need before I try it, because it’s going to be quite different to my London commutes. Most of the time it’s going to be in the dark, at least for the next few months, and the lights that worked fine in London aren’t going to be good enough for dark country lanes with no street lighting. I need to be seen, clearly, from a good distances, and I need lights that will help me see as well.

For the my rear end (snigger) I’ve opted for the Knog Blinder Road 4. Having seen this handy little USB rechargable light in action, I can attest to it’s power and visibility. My other half has one, it’s bright enough to show up clearly at a distance of 150metres-plus in daylight, and it’s eye catchingly bright at night. There are a few different flashing modes, and it’s fits on with a stretch integral elastic strap.

knog blinder road bicycle light
The Knog Blinder – so beautiful purple! And also bright, which is important too.

Last but by no means least, it comes in purple. Stand-by to observe an emerging theme.

Secondly, water bottles, because 1. I chronically don’t drink enough when riding and 2. my old ones have gone a little manky. In fact, they may be cultivating new life-forms and it seems a shame to disturb the emerging eco system. So I’ve got some cool, insulated Camelbak Podium water bottles with a funky purple motif. See, I told you there’d be a theme!

That’s where the them ends though, at least for now. I have more purple ambitions for my road bike which I’ll share in due course.

I’ve also splurged and bought some new bib tights. The Castelli Women’s Sorpasso Bib Tights to be completely accurate. Castelli stuff is normally way outside what I can afford, but a combination of it being on sale, plus a discount code at Evans, combined with Wiggles Price Promise, means that I am the new owner of a rather gorgeous pair of black bibs. I can’t wait to try them out, and I’ll be putting up a full review when I’ve taken them for a spin or two.

New things for cycling! A new light and some water bottles.
New things for cycling! A new light and some water bottles.

My reason for needing these is that I’ve only got one pair of full-length bibs, which are by Pearl Izumi and are lush, but are getting worn rather a lot in the cold weather we are having. A second pair means I’ve got something to ride every day, while the other pair are in the wash.

Having given the Castelli bibs a quick try-on to check fit, I’m already worried they might spoil me for other bibs as first impressions are very good indeed. The fit (I opted for large as I’ve heard they size up smaller than UK brands) is great, and the craftsmanship is impressive. I can’t wait to try them out properly.

So now all I have to do is get all my stuff together, and just get on out and do it! What was it the littlest engine said? ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.’


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