21/07/2017 16:56:38

Words by Simon Nurse

Cycle journeys (in every sense)

Mind is the Ride_Outlined

Last night, Ian represented the shop on a panel of speakers organised by cycle storage manufacturer Odoni-Elwell and Cyclopaedia client, Future Inns. Also featuring a talk from Cardiff Cycle City, the overall theme of the evening was long distance cycle touring and journeying, in every sense of the word.

The primary speaker was Jet McDonald, a cyclist, writer and performer who spent a year cycling from Bristol to Inida. The journey for Jet was as much metaphysical as it was physical and Jet gave us an insight into how his thinking has changed as a consequence of those long hours in the saddle. Jet uses his bike as both a prop and a road map; tracing his journey along the lines provided by his Thorn touring bike. The thing that struck me most about the talk was the kindness of strangers. We all at one time or another, fear vast tracts of the planet, yet time and time again, people are proved to be kind, welcoming and caring no matter irrespective of geo-politics or poverty. Jet’s book about the journey – “Mind is the ride” – will be published shortly by Unbound books.

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Jet’s talk prepared the ground for a fascinating, informal Q&A, where Jet was joined by long distance cyclist Nia Thomas – her first cycle tour took her from the high Altiplano of Bolivia, through the Andes and on to North America – and Ian, who was invited to discuss bike fitting, the impact of riding position on cycling comfort and his own LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats) experience. This session matched Jet’s talk in length and could easily have gone on much longer; the questions were interesting (‘What kit could you not do without?’, ‘What proportion of time was spent under canvas?’, ‘2 months, anywhere in the world, where would you go?’) and came thick and fast. If after attending the evening you didn’t want to strap some panniers to your favourite bike and head off into the wild, then you really needed to check your pulse.

Keep your eyes peeled for other events organised by the Cardiff cycling community; they are illuminating, inspirational and enjoyable and in the case of this one; enjoyable free to attend.

From the shop.

Our current recommendations for touring or off-road adventures would be the Aliante or Antares from the Fizik range (available in various width sizes) or the Selle Italia. We would strongly recommend a saddle fitting and the use of a test saddle first (it’s worth putting in the hard yards to prevent any hard miles!). We also offer a full bike fit package to ensure that your machine is tailored optimally for you. Give us a call to book an appointment on 02920 377 772.