21.11.13

'One for the Girls' Women's Cycling Evening

Event Flyer

On Monday evening I got the bus (haha) to this event in Central London at Evans Cycles. Having attended a similar event at another store a few months ago I had high hopes for this evening. We were emailed and told to have our questions ready...so there I was...ready to get the lowdown on winter cycling not only to be in the know myself, but to share with you! 

I'm not one to be negative, but I will be honest. The event started at 6pm with the first 50 attendees getting a goody bag. I arrived at 6.10pm and was somehow attendee number 51 yet some of numbers 1 - 50 hadn't even arrived yet...they just got their mates to pick up one for them as well... Not the most impressive start, and I did bring this to the attention of the staff there...

So, the talk...couldn't hear a word the lady was saying so I wandered off to say hello to a few people I had bumped into and check out if there was anything I needed on which I could get a 20% discount...

I decided to go for a waterproof jacket (originally £129.99) currently £49.99. I teamed that with a pair of waterproof over trousers. Both were by Altura, and labels said it was 3 for 2 on Altura but that didn't apply this evening. Disappointed much?! 

The evening wasn't what I was expecting. There were no chairs for the talk so being at the back I couldn't see or hear anything and wandered off, like I said. There seemed to be a lot of staff when you had no questions but then they all disappeared at the same time... When I found someone to ask a question...they didn't always know the answer! 

Positives are that I am hopefully now more suitably kitted out to make it through winter :) 

Ideally, I'd love to add a waterproof bag cover to my kit along with some warm and / or waterproof gloves. If there is anything else essential I need I certainly don't know about it...yet! 

I must add that the Store Manager found me during the evening to apologise about the goody bag incident; he took my details and promised to get one for me... so fingers crossed. 

On reflection, I don't think this needed to be a women's specific evening unless they were going to be more relevant (and organised) talks. It's great as I now know that particular store exists though :) 

In principle, this could have made for a fantastic evening. But I still have all my questions to be asked of someone...anyone...

Elle :) x

Here are some of my questions...

1. What is the ultimate cycling outfit for commuting during winter? Something that means I don't have to take an entire change of clothes for work?

2. Any tips for accessories I should defo have? i.e do I need to own a pump? repair kit? bike cleaner??

3. Top tips (and the very basics) for maintaining my bike?

4. Should I stay off my bike when ice drops or the snow falls??

5. With all the recent tragedy, what are essential tips for staying safe on the roads?

4 comments:

  1. Hi Elle

    As I said on Facebook - I'm really sorry you didn't have the best time. It does seem to us that our London event didn't impress quite as much as those we've held in Reading, Wimbledon and Guidlford, which have had really fantastic feedback. Largely, this seems to be because London always attracts more sign ups, and it seems these events are best run with a smaller, more intimate audience. Regardless, we are really sorry you felt this was a wasted journey.

    CLOTHING

    If you're cycling quite far, and likely to get hot and sweaty, I would recommend wearing cycling specific gear and changing. You can get some really great kit that will make you way more comfy - check out the review: http://blog.evanscycles.com/reviews/riding-with-gore-power/

    However -if you're not going that far, and cycling at a moderate pace, you can always pop a waterproof over your normal work clothes. Gore jackets, though expensive - are amazing, and you get a guarantee with them: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gore-bike-wear/element-gore-tex-lady-womens-jacket-ec053072

    I appreciate this is quite a pricey option, and a good alternative is something like the Gridlock II set from Endura. I actually reviewed this one here: http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/endura-gridlock-ii-womens-waterproof-jacket/

    We stock these and they're great: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/endura/gridlock-ii-womens-jacket-ec053353

    You can team the jersey with these trousers - http://www.evanscycles.com/products/endura/gridlock-ii-womens-trouser-ec053357 - I've reviewed these too but it's not live so I can't share it- but they have great poppers on the bottom to make them longer and ensure your shoes are covered.

    In terms of feet - these ARE the answer to wet/cold feet: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/louis-garneau/glacier-road-shoe--ec031415

    They will put an end to cold feet - but they are pricey. I also have these: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/castelli/diluvio-overshoes-16-ec040816 and they are excellent and keep my feet toasty warm and dry provided rain isn't very heavy.

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  2. cont.
    Tips an accessories:

    YES - always have a saddle bag or back pack with:
    - Spare inner tube
    - Puncture kit - in case you puncture the spare and need to patch it - this jest means you don't need to carry 2 spares. Some people only use patches, you can do that - I'm more a fan of using a new tube in the first instance.
    - Mini pump - ToPeak and Lezyne make amazing pumps that will get you up to a good PSI so you don't have to ride squishy wheels.

    It is also a good idea to have a track pump at home, so you can keep your tyres up to a good PSI (that will vary depending on the tyre - the suggested PSI will be on your tyre wall.)

    Winter tyres are also a good idea - here's a piece about what to look for: http://www.urbanlimits.org/change-tyres-for-safer-winter-cycling/

    CLEANING

    Bike Cleaner - Muc Off make some good stuff for cleaning your frame and it is recommended. Check out this section for some in-depth info: http://www.evanscycles.com/how-to-bike/maintenance#cleaning

    MAINTENANCE

    It's most important that you:
    - Get the worst of grease off your chain and cassette - it's this that will really damage your bike over time. A degreaser will do this: http://www.evanscycles.com/search?query=degreaser

    - Check your brakes if you have V braes or calliper brakes - when the pads are worn down, braking will not be as good. You can buy new brake pads and replace them - they're pretty cheap and make a big difference: http://www.evanscycles.com/search?query=brake+pads

    Check your rims!! If you get grit between brake pad and rim, it will rub - wearing down the rim. which is costly. After a ride, particularly in the wet, run a towel over the rims to remove any nasties.

    It may be a good idea to try a Fix It class, our stores hold these and will discuss these and more tips: http://www.evanscycles.com/servicing/bike-maintenance-classes

    ICE / SNOW

    I stay off the bike when there is ice and get on the turbo. You don't have too - you can get tyres with metal studs just for snow riding. Plenty of people ride off-road in the snow, and that's both really fun and safe if you have a MTB.

    SAFE RIDING

    We will soon be sharing more content on this. To start you out - read this:
    http://blog.evanscycles.com/commuter_urban/help-us-make-london-a-safer-place-to-cycle/

    It could also be worth thinking about a CTUK training course - this will really boost your confidence: http://www.cycletraining.co.uk/index.php?pg=108#.Uo3lt0pFCUk

    I have covered a lot very quickly!
    If you have following questions - email me at michelle.arthurs@gmail.com

    Best wishes
    Michelle

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  3. Oops - sorry : Michelle.Arthurs@evanscycles.com !

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the information!! Will keep me occupied for a while I think :D and will be in touch for sure should I have any more questions!!

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