I got a new bike on the cyclescheme this year, a nice new Giant Defy 1. At under £1000 it’s not going to set the world on fire but it so far has worked really well for someone getting back on a road bike and with the state of roads around here it can handle the potholes which more expensive and delicate components probably couldn’t.

Been wanting to get a road bike for a year or two to update my Giant hybrid which has served me very well through wind, rain, sun and slush.

Before riding to the office on it I wanted to break it in on the roads around home and sort out any little issues you always get as everything beds in.  I found myself going further and further and after a couple of rides finding that with the weather being so great it was a wonderful lunchtime workout.

Tracking

I wanted to track where I was going, plan ahead and keep a record of my times and routes. I’ve been using DailyMile for my commute to work for a few months, but little else and not really looked at it in great detail. I mentioned on twitter about tracking and uploading routes with a couple of IBMers, Brian O’Donovan and Ben Hardill. Ben in true fashion came up with Tracks2Miles app for Android which takes the route recorded in MyTracks and allows you to upload it to DailyMile, importing the route you just cycled or ran, or using an existing route from your current selection on the DailyMile site.

Training

It’s really helped me get out and keep an eye on how I’ve been doing and also record where I have been, expecially on the occassions I get lost or decided to go down a road I’ve not been down before. An incredibly cheap alternative to some of the very expensive options out there.

DailyMile itself is a great source of info on training within it’s foums, plus the challenges give you something to aim for tragetted at different levels. There are challenges to ride 150 miles in a month or the most miles in a month. For the speedy, you could sign-up for the fastest 15 miles, 25 miles or 50 miles.. or come up with your own challenge and invite friends from Facebook and Twitter to join.

And I now have something to really aim at, the IBM UK Centennial sportive next week.

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