dhb Blok Micro Softshell Windslam Roubaix Jacket Review (Which, Let’s Face It, Is Too Many Words To Fit In A Hea…)

There are perks to being an internationally-renowned sports writer. If you are one, I’m sure you know what they are.

It seems that there is also the occasional Brucie bonus available to those that have created a small (but perfectly-formed) weblogpedia.

You may remember that I was fooled into taking part offered the opportunity to take part in a spin session in a dark room in London.

I’ve also been sent a book for review.

Now Wiggle has been kind enough to send me a couple of bits of clothing to try out (and I’m assuming they want me to write about them).

Read more

Grimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Birmingham* is full of surprises. It has a nice new station (or rather, the old one just got a face lift). All the cool cats are making it their UK headquarters.

(*Ameri-fans: for the avoidance of doubt, I’m talking about Birmingham in England, not the one in Alabama, Connecticut, or Kentucky (where it is a ‘sunken town‘?!?)).

Birmingham also has an exhibition centre. A National Exhibition Centre. Where, this weekend, bikes were exhibited. And I went along to have a gander.

Here is my photo journal.

Read more

Mont Goes To London (Meets A Pro And Falls Back In Love With Spinning)

Monty meets Luke Rowe

I’ve had an exciting week (it’s all relative).

On Wednesday I attended the launch of the Wiggle Etape Cymru. Somewhat surprisingly, this was held in a dark room in the City of London.

I also got chance to meet, and briefly chat to, Sky Pro Cycling’s Luke Rowe.

Having watched my performance on the bike, Luke agreed that I might have a chance in the pro ranks and he gave me Dave Brailsford’s phone number.

Or rather he didn’t.

Read more

And That’s House! Results of My 30 Days Of Cycling Challenge

Good news! It’s over.

And it’s good news for both me and you.

For me, I’m pleased to say I completed my self-imposed penance challenge, to cycle on every day in June [whispers behind hand, “for at least 20 minutes”]. For you, I’m pleased to say you won’t have to hear me going on about it all the time.


That is, you won’t have to hear about it again, after this post. For in this post I shall share my ‘results’.

Read more

30 Days of Cycling Challenge: Progress Report (Week 3 and a bit)

The World Cup group stages are into their vinegar strokes.

Wimbledon has started (thankfully with the men’s defending champion not making an historical first round exit).

Anticipation for the impending Grand Depart is reaching fever pitch (i.e. a few Yorkshire eyebrows are being raised ‘neath flat cap and the odd tsk is being uttered).

I therefore forgive you in advance if you have forgotten entirely about my own sporting Waterloo.

My 30 Days of Cycling Challenge (my own capitalisation) continues. I’m pleased to say that I haven’t missed a day yet. I even getting the sense that my fitness is improving. There might be something to this public accountability thing.

Here is my update.

Read more

30 Days of Cycling Challenge: Progress Report (Week 2)

Hello all. I’m sure you’re chomping at the handlebars to hear how my 30 Days of Cycling Challenge is going.


The moment of update is upon us. Let’s begin.

A Disappointing Lack Of Drama

What I’m about to write guarantees that something will happen that derails the whole challenge.

Boff! [French shrug of the shoulders]

The challenge continues. I’ve managed to cycle every day. I haven’t had any physical breakdowns. I haven’t had any emotional breakdowns.

Read more

30 Days of Cycling Challenge: Progress Report (Week 1)

Well last week’s post certainly prompted some debate.

In the post, I ‘confessed’ to not having ridden my bike for 81 days (i.e. the best part of three months). My self-prescribed medicine was to commit to riding for at least 20 minutes on each of the days in June*.

(*There are 30 days in June.)

I requested that readers use the comments section of the post to indicate that they would be watching my progress, the idea being that this would then make me accountable to those readers for seeing the challenge through to its conclusion.

This worked, with many of you piling in to throw abuse, encouragement and questions (the most sensible of you pointing out the potential folly of going from zero to everyday cycling overnight).

Whilst I was certainly touched (in the appropriate way) by those urging me not to beat myself up for having fallen off the saddle (so to speak), I should probably clarify that the 30 Day Challenge is not meant to serve as a penance. Nor is it a punishment for failing to spin the cogs on a regular basis. My cycling soul does not need cleansing.

Read more

It’s Time To Confess (My Dirty Secret…)

I have a confession to make.

A pretty fundamental confession for someone that runs a cycling blog.

This post probably ranks as classic commercial suicide (or it would be if this blog could be described as being remotely ‘commercial’).

Right Grimpeur. Stop the wittering. Get it off your chest and then tell us what you’re going to do about it (for yes, dear reader, I have a cunning plan*).

(* And my ‘cunning plan’ needs your help, so please do read to the end of the post.)

So, The Confession

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. I have not ridden a bike for 81 days.

Which is 11½ weeks. Which is very nearly 3 months.

Which is pretty shocking really.

Read more

Just Let Me Get Out Of The Fugging House: A Rant

Before anyone gets worried, I should probably say that I am not currently being held in my house against my will.

Rather I wish to rant (yes, rant) about the feeling you get, as a cyclist, when you’re all set to ride, you’re suited and booted, your leg is cocked and then… you realise that you’ve not got [your phone / your emergency funds / your Kendal (bloody) Mint Cake – delete as applicable].

Read more

Cycling In Majorca and a ‘Miraculous’ Recovery

You might have noticed a distinct lack of new posts from the Grimpeur over the past 10 days. The reason? Like Bradley Wiggins, I’ve been on a mid-season training camp in Majorca. Or as my wife calls it, our family summer holiday.

The holiday was an extended family affair. As well as Les Petits Grimpeurs (?!), we also had my parents, and my sister and her fiancé along for the ride.

I’ll admit, I exerted Merckx-iavellian influence to ensure that we went to a cycle-friendly location and booked my bike hire a good four weeks before arranging the rental car, but I didn’t truly expect to have the opportunity to do lots of training.

My persistent knee problems have tended to prevent consistent blocks of training. Despite having rented a bike for 8 of the 10 days of our holiday, I anticipated maybe 2 or 3 rides, with knee-enforced rest in between.

How wrong I was. And, thankfully, wrong in a good way.

Read more