Beginner cyclists start here, advice and suggestions

I've added a mini series of videos to my YouTube channel ( called What Cylclists Don't Tell You and given it a playlist.

I decided that experienced cyclists take lots of 'stuff' for granted, from types of clothing to gear-changing technique to getting comfortable pedalling position.

I hope to help new cyclists quickly acquire a few of those snippets of knowledge.

A huge increase in cycling has been widely reported during COVID19.  They might be new cyclists or those returning to it.  It would be great if those people could keep cycling once life slowly returns to normal.

Normally they'd acquire the knowledge from riding with others or going into bike shops.  At the moment, that's out.  Hence this mini-series.

Other experienced cyclists might scoff at the simplicity of the information I'm sharing, or even disagree with some of it.  That's fine. There are plenty of other adventure cycling videos on my channel to watch, and I will add to those.  Here's the first of the videos.

Constructive suggestions about additional 'stuff' I should cover would be welcome.  Either offer the explanation  yourself in the YouTube Comments, or point me in the right direction.  All my social media links are on the YouTube channel.

YouTube experts would probably caution against developing my channel in this way, but that's not the point.  It feels like the right thing to do at this time.

The day after lockdown was announced in the UK, I woke at 5am and knew I had to start a podcast in which great adventurers share their great adventures.  My thinking was, since we couldn't get outdoors much, we'd bring great outdoor adventures indoors for the duration.  I used the same title as the YouTube Channel because I'd already bought the URL  .  3500 downloads later, it's going quite well.  Let's see what happens with the channel.

New Podcast brings Outdoor Adventure, Indoors during covid-19

While we can't get out on adventures of our own, I thought I'd bring some to you in a new Podcast.

Great adventurers share their great adventures in Always Another Adventure.

Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays with occasional extra podcasts for good measure.

You can listen on the website's web player, where they first appear at

If you subscribe you'll also get them a day ahead of just waiting for the podcast streams to update.

There are links to all the usual places pleople listen including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify on the front page of the website and on the mobile version.

We opened with three accounts of world-firsts: world-first swims, world-first cycling and two world-first canoe trips.  Then we really got going. 
I can't tell you what you'll find there because it keeps changing and improving with each and every upload.  Please check it out, subscribe, and ideally leave us a glowing review if your Pod player allows.

No Pool? Start Wild Swimming in Cold Water. 7 tips to stay safe. Video.

Many swimming pools are closed, or people don't want to go there, during the COVID19 outbreak.

Might I encourage you into what we call 'The Big Pool' instead?  

Here are seven tips to get you started, safely.  Please add your own ideas in the comments, there are plenty more I could have mentioned.

We've been swimming year round in Loch Sunart for six years now.  We've had great coaching from Dan at SwimForTri and we've picked up a few ideas ourselves (like the wellies).

Shockstop suspension stem and suspension seat post - review with video

Summary: the stem is superb; the seat post is either brilliant or a drag, depending on the type of riding you do.  Here's why.

Last year I wrote to Redshift sports and asked if I could demo their Shockstop stem, make some videos and take some photos.  Off-road riding gives me pain in my thumb tendons and I wanted to test whether their stem helped to ease the vibrations. I offered to buy it afterwards if I liked it. 

Showing off for Strangers - a social media guide for beginners

I was recently asked to explain the different types of social media to a friend who wants to start using it to promote aspects of his business.  This is what I wrote.

Social Media’ is a catch-all term for very different types of media, each of which needs a specific approach.

1. Twitter - It has become a shouty, unpleasant space where it’s difficult to pick up new followers.  

They tend to find you from another route, such as looking on your website for your Twitter profile so they can ask you a question.  

As a marketing platform, for a business with a diverse product base, it’s not great.  

But it’s worth monitoring simply so you can respond to questions and build engagement.  I regularly delete all my Tweets.

There is a way to share Instagram posts to Twitter (and more) that’s much better than simply linking accounts and that's IFTTT (see below).

“Do you particularly like Titanium bikes?”

Borrowed, Lynskey Helix
“…and if so why?”  A pair of questions I was recently asked on my YouTube channel.

Good questions and the answer was too long for a comment. 

Two years ago we visited my friends in Frances.  He allowed me to ride his winter bike - a Lynskey Helix - during our stay.

My wife borrowed his wife’s Lynskey Sportive.  Both Lynskey’s are, of course, titanium.

Suspension Stem Test, Video

This is an old idea, rejuvenated for a new era of cycling.  My initial thoughts are that its pretty good.

Redshift Sports make a few niche cycling products and have sent me a couple of them to test.  You can see the first test in the video below.

The first is this suspension stem - a stem with two elastomer inserts that provide different degrees of 'bounce' depending on your weight, type of bike and terrain you're riding.