23rd March 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip of the Week – Stash the Cash!
Before you set off, always make sure you keep a little money stashed in your saddle bag for that emergency. You might never need it but it’s always good to have £5 stashed just in case you should need it!
16th March 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip of the Week – Always be Ready to Ride!
Having your bike ready to ride may seem obvious, but we have all been there! We finish work a little earlier and we have the chance to get out on the bike… only to open the garage door to see the bike caked in grim from you last ride or a flat tire etc etc.
Spending 10 mins at the end of the ride to square away your bike will pay dividends in the long run. Get into a cleaning habit, give you bike a clean down after each ride! A clean bike generally is going to have less mechanical issues and prolonged component life.
Image supplied by crankalicious.com
2nd March 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip of the Week – Cycling Safely in Built up Areas.
When cycling in built up areas where the traffic is stop start, ride in a strong position on the road (primary position) which is essentially halfway across the lane. This stops you getting pushed into the pot holes and kerbs or drivers clipping you as they try to get past.
Obviously use your common sense, but this is a good idea to ensure your safety when you are in stop start traffic and travelling the same speed. Avoid cutting up the inside or outside of cars as they usually aren’t looking for you!
24th February 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Training Advice
When training and looking to seek gains, the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is to go easy or go hard and avoid the middle of the road grey areas, i.e. long and slow or short and fast. The stuff in the middle that’s comfortable can result in you plateauing if that’s all you want to do. Secondly, allow yourself adequate recovery.
It’s always best to seek out a qualified coach you can trust.
10th February 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Be Kind to Your Lycra!
Don’t use fabric softener on your beloved Lycra! It can have a detrimental effect on it, effectively reducing the lifespan of the garment.
3rd February 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Dealing with Chain Snaps
Always carry a split link and multi tool with a chain breaker on it. If your chain snaps and you have no means to join it, you are stranded! At least with a chain splitter and split link you can piece together your chain and get home!
27th January 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Dealing with Multiple Punctures on a Single Ride
Ever had a puncture and then another one leaving you without any spare tubes? Don’t worry all is not lost! Find the puncture point on the inner tube after removing it, tie a knot in your inner tube over the puncture area. This will seal the puncture and allow you to get home.
20th January 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Keeping your Drive Chain Clean
If there’s one part of the bike to clean, it has to be your drive chain. This is the heart and soul of your ride. Don’t think just by adding more lube it will be okay! All this does is attract more dirt and grim to your chain, resulting in you creating a cutting past which just erodes your chain.
Show your chain some love… de-grease it before apply the lube, then apply the lube and wipe off. Don’t make the mistake of putting on too much.
13th January 2020 – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Over Tightening your Quick Release!
How tight do I tighten my quick release? Most likely 90% of riders overtighten them. If we talk in terms of the quick release is fully open at 6 o’clock and closed at 12 o’clock then the lever should be free all the way up to 9 o’clock and the tension should be felt at this point or just after then closed off to 12 o’clock relatively easy. Also a lot of riders close them off against the frame or fork because it looks cool. This can result in the quick release not being fully closed it’s also harder to open it. Overtightening quick releases can damage your wheel bearings so it’s super important not to do this.
Overtightening quick releases can damage your wheel bearings so its it super important not to do this.
Image supplied courtesy of Park Tool
16th December – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Climbing
The times I see people on a climb and they are physically fighting the bike, grimacing, tense, straining, rocking around… sound familiar? Then it’s time to relax! Everything above the waste should ideally be relaxed everything else is a waste of energy.
Scan from top to toe when climbing. Is your jaw and neck relaxed? Shoulders down and relaxed/loose, seating position relaxed and upright. Soft elbows and hands.
Sit bones anchored to your seat, this is where your power comes from, rocking around gives you an unstable platform to ride from.
9th December – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Don’t cross chain
Don’t get me started on this! Often I get this where riders say my gears are noise;no they’re not. The bike is telling you it doesn’t like that gear, listen to it and do something about it… CHANGE GEAR.
Cross chain is when you are in the small chain ring at the front and small at the bike the chain is pulled in a diagonal direction to accommodate the gear selection, it’s noisy, it stresses the chain and it’s inefficient … STOP DOING IT 😀 Rant over !
2nd December – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Drink Frequently
Drink frequently on the bike and look to drink a bottle every hour. Many riders I see can’t drink and ride at the same time. This is a super important skill to learn. If you can’t drink and ride this ultimately results in lack of hydration especially when in a group environment. See my fueling blog for more detailed information.
25th November – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Correct Riding Style.
The most un-aerodynamic part of a bike is us… a couple of changes to your riding style can make a massive difference. Sit in the bike with the sun behind you or when you are riding look at your shadow, you want this to be as small as possible elbows tucked in knees in etc.
18th November – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Changes to your Cycling Position
If your making changes to your cycling position do it slowly… let your body get used to the change. Change one thing at a time, that way you know if that one change has worked for the better or worse.
11th November – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – To Chammy or not to Chammy!
A personal choice I know but many riders that don’t use it! For me… I wouldn’t dream of cycling without it especially on long rides!
4th November – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Ditch the Underwear!
The amount of riders that I see wearing underwear! Cycling shorts are designed to be in contact with the skin. Trust me on this one… it’s time to go commando!
28th October – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Temporary Tyre Repair
Cut a small piece of an old tyre and keep it in you repair kit. If you have a damaged tyre insert it inside to bridge the damaged area of the tyre, at least you will be able to get home. Other alternatives I have used is a gel wrapper, and I have heard, that the new £10 pound notes would also work as a temporary tyre repair!
21st October – Mr Retreat’s Tip for this Week – Cycling Clothing
Spend money on the parts that touch the bike. Starting with your shorts… a quality pair of shorts can be the difference between a painful or enjoyable experience!