Archive for the ‘Commuting’ Category


57% of UK cyclists jump red lights?!

Monday May 14, 2012

Lies, damn lies, and statistics about red light jumping

Do 57% of UK cyclists jump red lights? One motoring organisation claims so – on very flimsy evidence…

Full story over at the Guardian



Lamp Post Lock

Sunday November 28, 2010

Found this interesting bike lock concept over on Gizmodo.  Simply attach it to a lamp post, lock on your bike and up it goes, out of reach of those nasty criminals.



Ketchup – Cycle Commuter

Thursday April 16, 2009

The ‘Net is great as it gives you an insight into the world of others’.  I like to think that my blog does the same and that the photos I post enables people from around the world to see what it’s like around my part of the world.

I’ve been looking today at the Cycle Commuter blog and at the photos posted there.  The latest post, Ketchup, has a nice selection of images from the author’s commute.  It’s interesting to see how different the area is from Rochester.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Cycle Commuter blog for more great pics.


Bike Skulls – Reflect It

Friday January 2, 2009

Be seen at night with these reflective skull stickers from Suck UK.

For £10 you get three of these stickers, one large (21cm x 14cm) and two small (10cm x 6cm), to stick on your bike or clothing.

I think this is a pretty cool design but I’m not sure that I’ll be getting any as they don’t really suit my… image.  Perhaps they’re better for younger or ‘cooler’ people than me!

Suck UK make some interesting products so take a look at their full catalogue.


Cateye HL-EL450

Thursday August 21, 2008

As mentioned in an earlier post, having fitted the Cateye TL-LD150 I was contemplating getting a ‘real’ front light for the Dahon.  Having been cycling now after dark, I decided to buy myself a Cateye HL-EL450.

Two reasons for this: 1) It’s brighter and intended as an illumination light as opposed to the LD150 which is more of a ‘safety’ light; 2) Some parts of my proposed* commute are dark and in part unlit by street lights.

[* Still haven’t actually commuted to work on the bike yet!!!]

I bought the light from Tredz, as I had done with the LD150, P&P is free, and before long it had arrived.  The box was very small and the light itself is only around 95mm in length.  It’s a very clean design with only a couple of Cateye logos and a rear sliding switch.

The switch slides to the right, where it selects the mode of operation, before sliding back to the centre position under the influence of a spring.  Sliding the switch once turns the light on, to the last selected mode – in the case this morning, constant light at full brightness.  Slide the switch to the right again and the it enters the reduced brightness mode. One more slide and the light starts flashing on and off.  To turn off the light, you slide the switch to the right and hold it there for three seconds. 

There’s a small red push button on the switch slider which, when depressed, allows you to slide the switch all the way to the left which ‘locks’ the light into whichever mode is currently selected (off/high/low/flash).  This is a good idea as your light won’t accidentally turn on in your pocket or bag during the day.

So, what’s the first thing that we all do when we’ve bought a new torch or light?  Turn it on and point it at our eyes to ‘see’ how bright it is!  The HL-EL450 is bright!  As it’s an LED light, it produces a beam with a slight blue tint, appearing ‘cleaner’ than an incandescent bulb beam.  When you’re selecting a Cateye light, their Beam Comparision chart is a useful aid to the selection process, although the HL-EL450 has not yet been added.

Build quality is very good and the light feels solid and reliable.  The small size and sleek design mean that it’ll easily slip into a pocket or bag without too much inconvenience.

Now, the only negative thing I’ve currently found.  The handlebar fixture was rubbish.  The light comes with Cateye’s H-35 quick-release bracket, which can be seen fitted to the light on Cateye’s product page.  When I tried to fit this to the D7HG’s handlebar it just wouldn’t hold.  The quick-release lever kept popping open and it just didn’t seem to be able to grip the handlebar tight enough.  As a result, the light just wobbled and slipped.  The H-35 bracket was removed and discarded.

Back to the trusty Internet and this time to Wiggle to purchase the optional H-34 Flex Tight Bracket (again free P&P).  This bracket is a more permanent fixture and its design ensures a tighter grip on the handlebar.  Fitting it was quick and easy and it holds the HL-EL450 securely in position.  My photos of the bracket below and on Flickr show that I have yet to cut off the excess ‘flex’ and once I’ve finalised the positioning I’ll get rid of it as suggested by the fitting instructions.

The light slides easily on to the H-34 bracket and clicks securely into place.  Once on the bracket, the light can be rotated left and right to 90 degrees if you need to fine-tune the direction of the beam.  Removing the light is simply a press of a button and off it slides.

This is a great commuting light offering brightness, quality, small size and affordability.  If you cycle long distances after dark then you may be after something even brighter with a wider beam, but for shorter commutes on roads with street lights, then this is a good option.  Also, being LED technology, the flashing mode gives you that additional safety option.  As for my bike, it now has the the bright HL-EL450 and the LD150 – the latter operating in its flashing mode.

HL-EL450 - in the box

HL-EL450 - in the box

H-35 Bracket

H-34 Bracket

H-34 Bracket Fitted

H-34 Bracket Fitted

HL-EL45 Fitted

HL-EL450 Fitted

More photos on my Flickr account


Guide to Bicycle Commuting – Mr Brown

Friday August 15, 2008

Thinking of getting yourself a bike to commute to work?  Take a look at Mr Brown’s blog for some tips on what to do and what not to do.

Mr Brown’s Quick Guide to Bicycle Commuting is focused on Singapore but many of his tips are applicable to most countries.  And even if you don’t plan on commuting by bike, or even cycling anywhere, it’s still a good read.  Topics covered include Clothes, Bikes and Accessories.

Other sites covering commuting by bike:


Dahon D7HG – Used in Anger

Wednesday August 6, 2008

I used the D7HG in ‘anger’ for the first time today.  Okay, figure of speech, I wasn’t really angry. 

My car needed a new exhaust so I had to drop it off at the garage this morning on the way to work.  The car had been sounding really great with the old exhaust, it sounded like a really meaty sports car, so I was slightly upset having to buy a nice new, and quiet, exhaust.

Having discussed the details with the Mechs in the garage, I popped back to the car and took the Dahon off the back seat.  With the ‘Transformer’ noise going through my head (MP3 available here if you don’t know what the sound is), I unfolded the bike and cycled off to work.  Now it was only about a mile away but it was definitely better than walking and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do that with an ‘old-fashioned’ (!) non-folding bike.  🙂

We have pretty good cycle parking facilities where I work so I locked my bike up outside right next to a Dahon Mu – someone else at work has good taste!

At the end of the day I simply hopped back on the bike, cycled the mile back to the garage and handed over £124 for the new exhaust before folding the bike down (cue the Transformer sound!) and driving off.

Really cool, really convenient, great bike.


First Trial Commute

Sunday August 3, 2008

Rode the three miles (uphill) to work this afternoon as a trial.  Although the sun hasn’t been out much today it’s still around 22 degrees Celsius and quite humid – unfortunately, I’d broken into a sweat by the time I reached work (something I was hoping to avoid).

I read somewhere that when you cycle to work you shouldn’t necessarily take the same route which you do when you drive.  With this in mind I used Google Maps and MapQuest to find the best route.  The latter has a ‘walk’ option which will change the route to one suitable for walking as opposed to driving.

Route selected, I left the house.  Around the first corner and there’s the first obstacle: a hill.  It’s not necessarily a huge nor long hill but it is surprisingly steep when you’re ‘pushing’ your bike up!

Taking the back roads and cycling along some deserted footpaths and tracks, the three mile, uphill, journey took about 28 minutes of un-rushed cycling.  Not bad.  Coming home I took the longer road route and went out of my way just to stay out a little longer.

The bike handled well on the journey (approx 6 miles).  The upright riding position is fairly relaxed and it’s nice to look around and see the neighbourhood – something you don’t really do when you drive passed in the car.  The seat on the D7HG was okay most of the way but became a little uncomfortable on the way home.  With the small 20″ wheels, you feel every bump in the road, fortunately your not going too fast!

In terms of speed, along the flat it’s quite easy to ‘max’ out the D7HG.  It’s not the fastest bike I’ve ever ridden but I suppose it’s not really designed for speed.  As I’ve said in earlier posts, this bike was bought for commuting and for getting into town, it wasn’t bought to really ‘ride’.  Perhaps I should look at getting a Speed Pro TT!

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