I’m taking part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 again this year, and with only about seven weeks to go I’m trying to get stuck into training! Last year’s experience was pretty challenging, so I’m hoping with a bit more hill training and some consistent riding I should see an improvement.
As ever, life does have a habit of getting in the way of the best laid plans and the months have been flying past at an alarming rate. I can’t believe it’s June already!
So far my riding has consisted of:
- Monday Spinning classes at Berkhamsted Leisure Centre – these sessions are good for interval training and working on power output. Plus cycling to music is always good motivation!
- Thursday evening laps of Richmond Park – I haven’t made it over to the park as much as I would have liked but it’s a great location for cycling. You can build up endurance slowly just by adding an extra lap to get in some more miles, and it really helps being pushed on by all the other cyclists around me! It’s lovely spotting all the deer as well, definitely a nice distraction.
- Weekend long rides – I’m up to 40 miles now and living in the Chilterns, that’s 40 pretty hilly miles. The last route we tackled included Wardrobes, one of the top ten best (worst) climbs in the Chilterns and at 1km long with an average gradient of 9% its horrible! Not quite as bad as Whiteleaf, but I’m still pretty glad I won’t have to ride it during the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival in July – I’m only doing the short route on 15th July, as a taper ride before RideLondon. At 32 miles that will be quite enough of a challenge, although I’m excited to chill out with a glass of fizz or gin at the festival afterwards!
All of my cycling this year has been done wearing the fantastic Livall smart helmet which is pretty revolutionary in terms of cycling headgear! It’s Bluetooth enabled and has built in speakers to listen to music whilst you cycle. I worried at first that this would be distracting, but it’s very similar in a way to the bone-conducting Aftershokz headphones – the music is more like having a radio in the room and you can still hear all ambient noise and traffic around you. I love it for cycling, it’s so motivating having great tunes to push you up the hills!
You can also use the speakers to chat to other riders with the same helmet, like a sort of walkie-talkie, and answer phone calls on hands-free. James and I are still figuring out the best way to use the chat function and test the range on it, but it means that he can be further down the road and relay directions back to me for example.
The Livall helmet also features safety LED lights on the back, which you can activate via a remote control on your handlebars to indicate when you’re turning left and right! Even better from a safety point of view, the 3-axis Gyroscope means an SOS Alert will be activated in the event of an accident, which is peace of mind for you and your friends and family if you’re out riding alone.
For someone who still isn’t the most confident of cyclists when out on the roads, this helmet definitely makes me feel more comfortable being in the saddle and makes riding a fun experience!
How is your 2018 on two-wheels progressing? Any new kit finds?
NB: I was sent the Livall helmet to review, but as always all opinions are my own.