Sunday, 30 January 2011

Injured - withdrawal symptoms kicking in already!

The photo doesn't really show the bruising very well but let me assure you it flippin' hurts!

This morning I went for a shortish run prior to a bike ride this afternoon.  While I was out I took a tumble and landed on some rough frozen ground.  To be honest this is the first time anything like this has happened while I've been out running.

I managed to land awkwardly on my left side with my shoulder, arm and in particular, my hand taking my fall.

Back home Rachel suggested an ice pack and maybe a trip to Accident & Emergency.  Naturally I've tried to shrug this off and I'm trying to convince myself I have sprained my hand and it'll be better soon.  My family helpfully reminded me of the time I broke my wrist almost 5 years ago and put off going to A&E for 4 days as I emphatically denied any possibility of a fracture.  Even when I was at A&E I wanted to check the X-ray myself!

What bugs me the most is that there's no way I can ride this afternoon - I'd been looking forward to that for a few days now.  Even more frustrating is that the weather is getting much brighter and nicer outside.

Our Sunday afternoon routine generally involves a trip to see my Mother in Law.  These days I normally find my own way there under my own steam and this is when I was planning my Sunday afternoon ride.  Door to door, it's about 6 miles and there are a number of other reasonably quiet and scenic routes to take, adding a few more miles.    Even for me, cycling is out of the question today; it would be too painful if I were to try and hold the handlebars with my left hand.

I suggested to Rachel "well, at least I could run up to your Mum's this afternoon and see you there"

"Honestly - MEN!"

So, I'm really suffering withdrawal pangs this afternoon.  I was so much looking forward to clocking up a few miles this afternoon.  How depressing.

I always remind myself, as I often hear myself saying to the girls, let's keep a balanced view on this.  It could be worse and it could be for the better.  Oh, it did mean I could settle down and listen to Desert Island Discs  earlier - the guest was Jon Snow, broadcaster, journalist and a big cheese in the CTC.  Excellent chap.

OK I went to A&E.  Almost certainly a bad sprain diagnosis based on having a feel and seeing if I yelped.  A consultation with a Doctor was on offer if I was prepared to wait a few hours.  So I got sent home with some painkillers which is fine by me.  Coming home that is, not the need for painkillers - I was issued with four Diclofenac Sodium which are pretty useless but fine with a recent dose of Ibuprofen.  The Triage nurse said I can expect it to get worse before it gets better but in any event to go back later if I need to.

What was really depressing at the hospital was the sight of people puffing away smoking cigarettes near the entrance including a man in his hospital pyjamas sitting in a wheelchair.  He must have been freezing cold - it has been only 1 or 2 degrees today.

I felt so pleased for being so healthy, albeit out of action as far as cycling for a few days.  Just wondering how I'll be able to drive tomorrow but we'll just have to wait and see.  All for now.....

Update 2
The general consensus in the office was that I should go and get checked out again; my hand was not a pretty sight with a nice bruise coming both sides and very swollen.  I could hardly swivel my wrist at all and probably shouldn't be driving.  Rachel and Becky kindly took me.

I decided to present myself as someone who had only a really minor injury and surely it would be quick dealing with me.  It worked although the LED sign suggested they aim to see people within 4 hours.

I was seen fairly quickly, perhaps 15 minutes or so, by a triage Doctor.  Without any hesitation he requested an X-ray and sent me to the nearby department.  After 5 minutes the images were emailed back to the Doctor who said it didn't look like I had any fractures which was a brilliant result.  Grinning like a Cheshire cat I shook his hand and thanked him and was on my way.  He did say, however, that the Radiologist hadn't checked the X-rays and so they would phone me if anything else came to light.

So that was a quick win for the hospital, as I'd been processed through really quickly and probably helped their performance measures in my own small way.  Others were having to wait, some looking in a pretty bad shape for other kinds of treatment and patching up.  While I was wondering if I should feel guilty, I knew that I had taken so little time to deal with and had I not been seen to quickly, I would have helped clog up the whole shift.  All in all I'm delighted: no fractures, less painful and today the healing has been noticeable.  Soon I'll be out running and cycling again.

I couldn't help marvel at the X-ray.  What an incredible design the hand is.  It looks so simple and yet it can do so much with such precision.  Amazing, utterly amazing.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A Cyclist's Breakfast

I remember being taught as a child that the most important meal of the day is breakfast.  A few decades later I have come to eventually agree.  It's important nutritionally but also for us as a family (see below).

The food, the a normal week, I have this mega mixture for 6 days....

Museli - from Dorset Cereals, Goodness Foods etc.  Typically these will contain ingredients like Oat flakes, wheat flakes, barley flakes, sultanas, sunflower seeds, dates, Brazil nuts (a real mega super food) and hazelnuts.  All this together contains Vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein, sugar.  There are many benefits but include anti-cancer, anti-oxidants and lowering cholesterol.

Linseed (flaxseed) - just a desert spoonful mixed in.  Contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and some protein.  Helps in keeping cholesterol under control and assists the immune system.  It is also suggested it helps maintain healthy blood-fat levels and maybe protective against cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Wheatbran - just a spoonful sprinkled over.  Also contains Vitamin B2, B3, B5, B6, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, zinc and of course, lots of fibre!  Naturally this helps keep "me moving" and also is an antioxidant and helps detoxify the body.

And then a piece of fruit mixed in.  Normally just one, but maybe two.  I try to have a good variety but normally the fruit basket has a choice of:

  • Grapefruit - just half a grapefruit contains a good dose of Vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, bioflavonoids, citric and phenolic acids, lycopene, pectin, sugars and some fibre.  All this adds up as a powerful detoxifyer, assisting the immune system and blood pressure.
  • Orange - also contains Vitamin c with some B3 and B5.  Helps maintain healthy blood cells, skin etc.
  • Banana - contain Vitamins C, B3, B5 and B6, biotin, magnesium, fibre and sugars.  Bananas are said to help with keeping skin, hair, nerves and bone marrow in good order together with being such a good fuel in their own right. 
  • Kiwi - Vitamins A, C and B3.  Kiwis have an antioxidant effect and also encourage the health and repair of body tissues and promote the release of energy from other foods.
  • Melon (Cantilupe) - Vitamins A, B3 and C, cartenoids and sugars.  This fruit may help prevent cancer cells developing and otherwise help in the repair of other cells in the body.
Other fruits that we often have include pears, blueberries, prunes, grapes and dried apricots.  We normally have a small glass of smoothie and again we have a wide variety.

I would normally mix up my breakfast and let it soak for about 20-30 minutes in ordinary tap water.  That helps it become more digestable (especially with the bran in mind!).  All in all this is an incredibly filling breakfast and helpful in having lots of different kinds of food and nutrients all in the same meal, albeit in relatively small quantities.  It gives me plenty of energy through until lunchtime and fantastic for cycling.  There is no way I could go for a run with that inside me!  If I run in the morning my intake is straightforward.... just a cup of tea and then I'm off and run best on an almost empty stomach.  When I get back, that's when I have my mega mix.

When we're in a "normal" routine, we will always have breakfast together.  It's a chance for the four of us to be together ahead of the business and hectic happenings of the day.  It's a social time, a chance to talk, swap ideas and share what is happening for each of us during the day ahead.  A chance for a short Bible reading and a prayer time together.

Often on Sunday, I'll have something different, normally to fit in with the rest of the family as a way of pretending I'm not totally weird in the eyes of the girls!  Often we'll have a boiled egg with toast, or maybe a croissant or something like that.

So that's my ideal breakfast - a fantastic meal any day but if it's ahead of a bike ride, well, it's fantastic!

Related: Runner's Lunch (aka Compost sandwich)
Flaxseed (small), wheat bran (medium) and museli

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

An ordinary day that just got even better

In an average week I covet the time when I can sit at my desk.  Often I sit in meeting after meeting, accumulating all kinds of things to follow up on and seem to have less and less time to do it in, let alone my own work.

One day I over heard a conversation between one of my daughters and a school friend; they were talking about their Dad's jobs.  Apparently I earn a living from going to meetings, nothing else, just going to meetings!

So for today, no meetings, no need to drive anywhere, no ice, snowstorms or 50mph winds, all was set for me to ride into work.  I had a sneaky feeling something was missing though and it turned out to be a meeting.  And a tie.  And a jacket.  Thankfully the meeting was at a local Council office, within easy walking distance.  I felt a tad uneasy in having no option but turn up a little casually but I'd go anyway.  Sometimes Police colleagues, depending on their rank or uniform, get away without wearing a tie and sometimes I've even heard one ask a superior officer "do you mind if I take my tie off, Sir?".

I digress.  There I was at this meeting, no jacket or tie, feeling under dressed.  Thoughts of "will they take me seriously today?" crossed my mind.  The meeting was fine and I walked back to the office in my bright yellow (grubby, sweaty) jacket with our new resident Judge.  All the time we were walking along I was wanting to explain I'd cycled in as a way of justifying my appearance.  Would he notice, buy it or even care?  Perhaps not, besides, he didn't seem to mind.

Now for the bike ride bits.  Much more interesting perhaps.  As I was feeling motivated from yesterday, I got everyone up a bit earlier so I could leave earlier - I had decided to cycle and to take a more rural route.  It adds a few more miles, there's 2 fairly steep hills and a long drag of a slope/hill.  In previous times I would ride miles to avoid riding up a steep hill.  Nowadays I'm recognising hills should be welcomed as a kind of interval training (short bursts of increased effort).

The bike (Audrey the Audax) went like a dream, never missing a beat, so to speak.  Every gear change as sweet as the last no matter whether it was clicking up or down the 9 sprockets at the back, or the triple chainset at the front (there's no real need to use the small granny wheel at the front).  As the gears change so easily and smoothly, I guess I find myself changing more often.  With the Dawes gear changing was, shall we say, challenging.  This in turn meant I tended to just stay in the same gear regardless; but probably good muscle strength training.  My position seems almost perfect in relation to how I sit and reach for the pedals and handle bars - the tweaks have been tiny as the bike shop was so close.

Leaving work to ride home was something to relish, despite less than ideal riding conditions.  The roads were wet causing plenty of spray and there was a little very light rain.  Once out into the countryside I was feeling really good, a nice pace, good breathing rhythm and a sense of achievement.  My mind wondered and completely lost track of the journey for a couple of miles.  I was just thinking of how much I enjoyed being set free from all those little tin boxes people are sitting in, alone, driving along isolated from their surroundings.  I find myself trying to rehearse what I'd say to people about why I like to ride in to work, particularly in January when its cold, damp and dark.  It really is hard to explain, so much so, I don't think anyone could understand unless they've had the same experience as it is so hard to put into words.  It gives me the opportunity to rise above the trappings of the day, to leave them behind as I head towards home.

Monday, 24 January 2011

I might have caught myself, just in time

Taken at St Pancreas Station, London
Yes, I might have caught myself, just in time.

What with cycling to work three days last week, parents coming to stay last weekend and the usual array of other distractions I've "let myself go" a little.

I went to the gym this evening.  I did some stretching and didn't feel brilliantly supple and a little stiff doing some other things.  So I decided to go for a treadmill run, just for 5 miles, rather than my usual 6.2 miles (10k).  I did it alright, albeit sweating more than usual and I knew I'd pushed myself more than usual. My time was 38 minutes, which on its own, isn't too bad for me but I could just tell I was getting out of shape as I felt quite tired at the end of that.  Ordinarily I could keep that pace up for another hour - but not today as I'm definitely off peak.

While I was on my way there, I stopped off at Sainsbury's who are doing free cholesterol testing.  Now I know there's going to be some marketing going on there but considering the hassle of getting it done at the Doctor's surgery it was worth having it done this way.

The result wasn't too bad at 5.01 but I'm normally lower.

So, taking 10 days off running has already had an effect.  Eating the wrong foods has had an impact so I must get back to the normal regime, especially with such grandiose ideas for this year!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tender times

Mum & Dad came to stay for the weekend.  During the afternoon Dad said something about having brought a piece of wood he wanted cutting; it was in their car boot.

It turned out to be for his own garage where he was modifying his work bench in wanting some boards at the side - to smarten it up and to make a place for hanging some tools.

So here we are just finishing the job.  So simple but so touching - pottering around outside in my garage.

I'm looking forward to having a spring clean in the garage when the weather gets a bit warmer.  For now, I'll savour that tender father-son time of just pottering together in the garage.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Week 2 with the Thorn Audax Mk3

Audrey the Audax and I are getting to know each other quite well nowadays.  I guess we're still on our honeymoon and yet there have been a few "words" between us (mainly me muttering about her performance).

With my excellent Cateye Strada wireless computer I know we've covered 95 miles in the last week. That was a birthday present from my wife.  She said I could have anything for my new bike, gizmo wise.  That had me thinking of  whether to go for GPS, heart rate monitors etc.  In the end my choice was something more down-to-earth and straightforward.  Part of this was nor knowing quite what I wanted and perhaps the best would be just speed with distance functions.  Too many other things would have me taking my eyes off the road too much.

Most our miles has been commuting to work - a round trip of about 25 miles from one town to another via A roads.  Each ride has been different and compelling.  Here's how it went:

Monday morning.  We finished reading "Ee By Gum Lord", ready for me to return to my colleague Sonia at work.  It were reet grande.  Almost every morning at home we have a bible reading around the breakfast table.  The ride itself was fast, quite warm and very wet.  In fact I didn't care after a while how awful the weather was as I was enjoying it so much.  That gave rise to those feelings of being unbeatable and just didn't care how bad the conditions got or about the amount of spray being generated by passing trucks.

It was an experience that was more than just a bike ride to my office.  It was an adventure that is hard to describe and one which none of my colleagues would ever understand, though some might come close.

Audrey was going great, no issues.  Just fast responsive and comfortable, even with the new Brooks B17 saddle.

I'm fortunate enough to have an office for myself in a largely open plan building.  That made me feel OK about draping my wet socks over the radiators.  I only had one meeting during the morning and that was with a partially sighted colleague who probably wouldn't notice my socks!

Going home, the weather was damp and the ride was reasonably brisk with no headwind.  Then to my complete surprise I realised I had a puncture!  This is not the first puncture I've had with Pasela Tour Guard tyres and I wonder if they're really as good as we're led to believe.  Hard to measure something like puncture resistance.  As I was mercifully just 1 mile from home, I tried pumping the tyre to see about riding home..  Within 100 yards the rim was starting to bump along the ground.  Audrey and I walked home, had tea, fixed the puncture.

Tuesday morning
A beautiful clear sunny day and again a brisk ride.  Starting to get into the pattern the journey taking 45-50 minutes (barely any slower than it takes in the car).  The day actually started with going to the Dentist for a check-up, which I decided to take Doreen the Dawes for the ride into town.  As Audrey the Audax is about 2 inches shorter, I could see why there is such different handling.

I felt so aware of my surroundings and how there was so much I would miss if I was in the car.  I go down hill as I approach my office and as I slowed there was an awful banging from the back wheel.  What could it be, had I caused a problem in fixing the puncture last night?  It turned out to be a small blob of metal that somehow had wedged itself into the wear indicator grove of the rim.  At home it was prised out with a screwdriver.  It seems a strange thing to happen, probably totally unrepeatable.

Wednesday morning
A crisp cold frosty morning which had me riding really gingerly until I reached the main roads.  We have a friend, Mike McK living nearby and I said "hi" as I passed him scraping the windows of his car.  He couldn't quite believe anyone would be on two wheels until he realised it was me!

Oh, a colleague of mine, who is a bit of a cyclist (he has a cheap mountain bike that occasionally comes in) got into a conversation about Audrey the Audax.  Although he's a bit of an outdoor type and has a loaded looking motorbike and a coupe car, he was gobsmacked at the cost, even though I played the true costs down.

As this was the forth successive day I have cycled, I felt my legs were getting accustomed to it better and spinning faster and taking the short inclines faster.  Toes and thumbs cold coming home.

A fast, brilliant all-rounder.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Brooks B17 saddle - a 27 year love affair

My 27 year old Dawes Galaxy (with Argos respray), complete with the much loved Brooks B17 saddle
We've ridden thousands of miles together and its been such a great saddle, Brooks was simply the most obvious choice for the new Audrey the Audax.
I did toy with the idea of a different Brooks, after all there's quite a variety but the B17 is, I think, the cheapest and the most logical choice.

I remember being really disciplined with using Proofhide in the early days often applying it on both sides.  To be honest in latter years its only been applied to the top but I have left it for a few days to soak in.  You know, treating it with Proofhide is all part of the charm and enjoyment of nurturing a saddle like this.  It becomes like a favourite pair of jeans; the older it gets, the better it becomes.  I even remember it cost me £17.00 back in 1984 and although £65 seems a bit steep, its not too bad, especially if it serves me another 27 years.

As for the new one, unpacking it was part of the pleasure.  A lovely card box with such quaint language in talking about the heritage of the brand.  Some of the text reads "A Poor saddle is Bad Economy" from 1906 and "Many kinds of leather would be utterly unsuitable for saddles, and of the correct kind, very great care has to be exercised to select skins suitable for Brooks tops" which was from 1925.  Inside there is now even a tensioning spanner; a thoughtful touch for a new comer (a tin of Proofhide too would have been nice).

So before I fitted it to Audrey the Audax, I gave it a good coating on Proofhide on both sides, having softened it by resting the tin on a radiator for just a few minutes. That lovely smell, nothing like it!  Even though its sometimes ages in between a Proofhide application, I have never forgotten that smell!

Once on the bike and in what seemed like the ideal position I gave it a gentle tap.  Certainly very firm and taut!  Just wondering now how long it'll take to break in.  Becky and I went for a short ride this afternoon, about 3  miles.

Riding down the road I was very conscious of it, very firm and solid.

"So Dad, how long do you reckon it'll take to break in properly" asked Becky

"Not sure, what do you think?"

"Well Dad, I reckon two days.  Easy, two days"

That had me thinking, it might apply to a pair of new school shoes but surely not this new saddle?  "Nah it can't be that easy Becky.  I reckon a few hundred miles"

"Wow a few hundred miles?  Sounds agony Dad!".

And so my journey with the new Brooks B17 has commenced....

Friday, 14 January 2011

First week with the Thorn Audax

The first week with Audrey the Audax?  So far, so good.  Brilliant in fact.  It's nice it is getting a "used" look already with some minor - road grime.

I've been like a kid with a new toy and this has been compounded by some of my colleagues at work wondering if I had it for Christmas.  I don't blame them for thinking that one bit.

Over the weekend I had a couple of short daylight rides, covering about 30 miles and then twice to work adding up to about 80.

My first impressions of it being quite a fast bike remain.  Fast but with really good stable handling.  Actually on my way home from work on Wednesday, I decided to go a slightly longer way avoiding some A roads and heading along some minor roads.  One bit involves a short down hill stretch which is steep and a poor surface complete with gravel.  Potentially it could have thrown me off with fairly slim tyres digging in.  No problem apart from a little hesititation, even at speed.

Credit also goes to Ian in the bike shop who got the handlebars and seat positioned in a near-perfect position.  All I've had to do is swivel the handle bars up a few degrees.

Changing gear has been like a dream.  It works so smoothly, quietly and without any fuss.  Even when there's still some pressure on the pedals , keeping the chain fairly taut, it changed very well - both front and back.  In fact it's remarkable.  Also having a fairly close ratio 9 speed cassette must help.  Also I've now got the hang of which way to pull or push the levers - it was far from automatic at the start.

The only possible gripe is with the bottle bosses on the seat tube being so close to the front mech.  You can see from the picture below that without some extra spacers (presta valve locking ring) it would be difficult to mount a bottle cage without interfering.  I'm sure SJS Cycles must have a solution.

I really like the understated look. OK the paint is a bit loud but it's not complicated with silly stickers etc. Only those who are really in-the-know will recognise it for what it is.

Rant about Sainsbury's

"I'm off to Sainsbury's to buy some fruit, anything else I need to buy?"

"Oooo yes please" Rachel said "could you get some Gala apples for Hannah's lunch box, you know they're the only ones she'll eat"

That seemed straight forward enough until I got to the store.

The nearest I could find were these.  What kind of a variety are "Family apples"?.

Then trying to work out the prices, to compare one against the other is really difficult.  How on Earth do you compare a bag like this against others sold for 29p each or even others sold by the lb or kilogram.


I feel better now.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

New year, new bike!

After much anticipation and even more faffing around, here I am arriving home this morning with my new Thorn Audax Mk3.  Hannah looks pleased too.

It was easy deciding Thorn bikes were good from the various reviews and general things on the internet.  Easy too deciding it was the Audax Mk3 was my choice.  Fairly easy deciding on the spec (to keep the price down).  The really hard part was deciding on the colour!  I had mistakenly gained the impression from the helpful Thorn staff that they had almost every colour and "guest" colour in stock in my size and there was much debate at home about this.  Should I go for this, or maybe that.....? So after deciding on British Racing Green, with Cobalt Blue as my second choice, I called late last year and placed the order.  In the end the choice was red or blue.  I really liked the blue.

I actually decided on getting the frame before the impending price rise and made it just in the nick of time.  I also propositioned a local bike shop by saying I'd committed to at least the frame and their challenge was to reproduce the basic SJS spec in matching the price or improving it.  They came up trumps and its nice to support a local bike shop too.  SJS were pretty relaxed about this and quickly supplied the frame.

I opted for the Dura Ace bar end shifters as a long term bet.  The STI combined gear / brake levers do look and feel nice though.  Balanced against the attraction of keeping it simple and a tad cheaper, bar end shifters would be a safe choice.  In the bike shop there was some debate about the wheels, suggesting the standard DeOre hubs could be improved on and as I like the idea of happily riding this bike for the next 25 years, some more up-market Miche sealed hubs were selected - they're very smooth and I think worth a little extra and accept Shimano cassettes.  Sticking with the wheels, the same Pasela puncture resistant tyres are used, together with 32h Mavic Open Sport rims.  These rims aren't top-of-the-range but still very good with an interesting cross-section (need to see more detailed Mavic information for these details). There's a wear indicator engrained into the braking surface which for me is something totally new to me - I've never worn a rim out although I'm sure my old ones are a much thinner nowadays.

The bike shop has used Cinelli bars and stem, a Nimrod rack, Shimano brake levers and brake calipers.  They ordered me a Brooks B17 saddle which didn't arrive in time so for now I've got my old B17 on.  Pedals are my existing Shimano SPD clipless ones (they're the sleek looking single sided tourist model).  A 12 LED Cateye rear light (already got one - no qualms about getting another) and that almost completes the bike along with some comfy gel-filled cork tape and a lightweight Specialised bottle cage.  That was an interesting challenge to fit: the position of the boss was very close to the band of the front mech (Shimano XT).  Some spacers - about 3mm - had to be used to make the bottle cage stand proud enough.  That was a curous thing, particularly as the XT front mech was part of the Thorn spec.  The DeOre chainset came with a chainguard.  Without apology, it was unscrewed.  It just didn't look or seem right.

Had lunch, quickly noted the serial number under the bottom bracket shell) and got ready for an "introductory" ride; to get to know the first bike I've bought for myself in 25 years.

All in all, it was superb!  I noticed quite a few differences from my c1984 Dawes Galaxy.  Some were anticipated, some took me by surprise, some just slowly unfolded.  The positioning of the pedals seemed much wider: the MTB style cranks are designed to offset your feet outwards by a few mm.  That combined with the bottom bracket appearing to have an external bearing arrangement, adding a further 5mm on either side.  Quickly I got used to this.

The frame.  The frame - wow! As anticipated it is a lot sharper to ride, much faster compared to the Dawes Galaxy.  From the start it seemed to just get the balance right between being a fast responsive frame and yet gave that comfort you come to expect from a classy steel frame.  Being a tighter, shorter wheelbase I was expecting a ride that was a little more fidgety which to a certain extent I got but within a couple of miles I found I'd adapted and really there is no issue.  The real test was a nice downhill sweep where normally I'd freewheel down at 25-30mph.  To my surprise it was completely stable and felt very sure-footed: this really was a sign of a great handling bike.

The frame itself is finished off flawlessly - I went over it pretty thoroughly and it is without any blemish and each of the welded joints are very clean and neat.  I like the detailed touches, even down to the way the mud guard can screw neatly into a little tube just behind the bottom bracket - not a hole to put a nut and bolt through, but a threaded socket.  Getting a little bottle of touch-up paint was thoughtful and without doubt it'll be useful in the fullness of time.

Once again I'm in the cool position of having a bike worth more than my car and I can say with real conviction - IT FEELS GREAT!

I'm really looking forward to getting to know the Audax Mk3 better over the coming weeks.  Today's 10 miles has been a good start but just that, a start of what will hopefully be a long and healthy relationship.

Great having a triple chainset for once but I don't need those
ultra-low gears on the standard SJS spec

A reminder why mudguards are a must, no matter how naff they might look
While out running I noticed this road was closed
 during the recent wintry weather

Perhps the most boring self-timer picture of all time.  Nice bike though.