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Why I cycled a hundred miles to meet my first customer (cyclelove.net)
117 points by 3stripe on Nov 17, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments

I really like how the author enumerated all his "mistakes" along the way.

I was reminded of my mistakes the night I couldn't sleep and embarked on a full-day bicycle journey up to San Clemente at 3am (mistake #1). Woefully unprepared (#2) and on my mom's upright commuter bike (#3), I got lost in Camp Pendleton (#4) after convincing the entry guard I'd walk my bike all the way to San Clemente since I didn't have a helmet (#5). Pretty soon I started hearing closeby gunfire (#6), found myself next to extremely fast traffic (#7), and was eventually escorted off the premises by a friendly, but firm Military Police officer whose parting words of wisdom were "you might want to try the 5; the highway patrol might have a problem with it, but you sure as hell can't ride back this way!" (#8).

As soon as I got off the base, I opted to explore a bit before immediately taking my chances on the freeway. Sure enough, there was a deserted road a little off the beaten path, sandwiched between the army base and the freeway.

Pretty soon, I realized the MP had inadvertently dropped me off in familiar territory. I was on the very beach trail to San Clemente I had taken with my dad, from many years prior in my childhood when I went on my first multi-day bike tour.

A few whimsical "mistakes" every now and then can make up for the rest of the bullshit in life. Oh, the places you'll go!

Great post, thank you for sharing!

Whoooa, that's a fairly crazy outing!

I really enjoyed reading this. I liked the writing style, and the mood of the pictures gave the story a good feeling to it.

Thanks for sharing.

I agree, it was a very good read.

Yea! What a great post. Subscribed to the blog in fact.

"No visible lycra — I am not, and do not intend to become, a mammil." "No fancy gear, cleats or hi-vis — I will make the journey as a human on a bike, not a “cyclist”."

Although the article is well written, and the t-shirts are nice, I can't help but feel the author is very narrow-minded. There's nothing wrong with wearing lycra, cleats, or hi-vis - it does not define the type of cyclist. This does nothing to integrate and align the interests of the different cyclist groups (ironically his mission statement is to celibate the diversity of cycling). To each their own, and if your interest is in cycling on busy roads in the dark without any lights, hi-vis or helmet then that's your choice. But don't label those who value their comfort and safety over how they look.

I take your point, and with the benefit of hind legs it does sound a little like I'm venomously anti-safety/lycra, which was not my intention.

In fact I did have Lycra shorts on for this ride, always use lights at nights, and wear a helmet for most journeys I make. I've also frequently ridden clad head-to-toe in a certain stretchy fabric.

It's just for this particular outing I wanted to emphasise the fact that you don't need loads of special equipment to ride a bike - as I think this is a misconception that puts a lot of people off getting on a bike in the first place. The more cyclists there are on the road, the safer it becomes for all of us.

CycleLove has covered naked riders, pro riders, pregnant riders and slow riders... I don't really mind how people ride, so long as they enjoy it, and don't endanger other road users.

I am amazed that a human being can cover 100 miles in a day, even if on a bike. Awesome.

I feel like such a lazy bum!!

It's actually very feasible; I once spent a summer riding close to 100 miles every day (and often more) and I don't consider myself extremely athletic (although I obviously got into pretty good shape that year): http://bybike.ca

The bicycle is the most efficient means of human transportation there is, in terms of distance/energy, as long as you have reasonably surfaced roads or trails.

Sigh... I dearly miss frequent rides.

You should move further away from your office.

Or move your office further away from your home.

I went and chose an office location that allows a 25 minute train ride, but the cycle ride following the river is far nicer and only takes an hour... so I do that instead (with the train as fallback if I'm having to make an exception once in a blue moon).

Riding != commuting, for me. I mean, being on a bike is nice, but going for a ride implies a more care-free attitude, and the complete liberty to go fast and sweat (there are no showers in the office). My favorite thing, once upon a time, was to just grab the bike in the morning and go.

I think you're just looking for an excuse ;)

I do 2h training rides (in full lycra, of course) before work, and we don't have a shower. Come to work, change all my clothes, put some water in the face, apply deodorant and I'm set.

I also cycle to work and do the same thing (change clothes, apply deo). Only a 25min or so ride though. I cycle differently to work than going back, makes it more interesting.

It's a rite of passage for some recreational riders. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_ride

Thanks for the link! I have a vague plan to do the ride as an annual event, at lease I know what to call it now :)

A century ride is actually pretty doable. It's somewhere between 5-10 hours for most individual, possibly a tad less if you're good and are riding with a group. You mostly just have to keep moving.

A double-century is a bit more challenging, but this is also a commonly encountered distance for recreational riders. Times tend more to 9-14 hours. At this distance, chafing and other discomfort can be an issue.

Elite cyclists may attempt 300 or more miles in a day, which does start to get a bit stiff.

He was lucky it was only Peterborough. It could have been Newcastle, or Glasgow. When you live in London everything is so busy that it becomes easy to assume that everyone else must live there too.

i just came back from a 100 mile ride - you're a nutter to be doing it without cleats - you lose so much energy and it's asking for foot/ankle problems if you don't have stiff soles. i hope you had straps at least.

as for the lycra i have to say i feel the same way.. it stays underneath or is replaced by too-expensive rapha stuff where applicable.

nice tshirts anyway.

That isn't actually true. Cleats or no, the power comes from the down stroke not the up stroke: see http://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/bike-fitting-the-myth-of-the... . While there are good reasons to use cleats (mostly so your feet won't come off the pedals), I haven't seen any evidence of significant efficiency gains. Furthermore there are plenty of ordinary shoes with sufficiently stiff soles to cycle in.

that's interesting.. i would have said from feel that accelerating and especially sprinting up hills i was pulling up - but perhaps the benefit is just that my feet are stuck to the pedal at the top rather than lifting off.

What is it with being scared of modern synthetic materials? Sure, if you have more money than sense wear the same stuff made from merino wool, but otherwise, why would you not take advantage of modern clothing technology that keeps you dry and warm? Not to mention the decrease in wind resistance, which is _the_ main factor in going fast on a bike.

i'm not! the rapha stuff is pretty high tech, merino/synthetic blend - i just wear shorts over the bottom half, partly because i feel somewhat exposed in just lycra, partly because it's kind of drafty without. another benefit is more pockets for longer rides. i'm not sure what the shorts are made from, but they're not straight cotton anyway - they don't seem to absorb sweat.

Pockets on your legs mean a lot of extra energy expended raising and lowering what's in those pockets. Panniers or a jersey pocket FTW.

i feel "panniers lol" is an appropriate response here.

my jersey pockets are full, that's the point.

Hey, 3stripe! Good to see you on here, I didn't realise that you were. Great blog post, drop me an email or PM and I'll put a mention in the LFGSS email for you.

Are you going to Impetus Momenta on the 6th? If so... see you there.


Have been lurking here for a good wee while :)

That would be sweet. I'll PM you on LFGSS. And yes I should be at IM, meant to be taking some photos for the blog.

Cheers, J.

Amazing story! Love this.

Great story and photos.

great. long life to your venture!

Why would he not ship the item via mail?

That's explained in the blog.

This is my favourite comment so far :)


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