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Autumn Riding - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes

Autumn Riding


It’s the time of year the days are getting shorter, the mornings colder, but we still get up, climb on the bike and get those miles in. But in this period of weather-based uncertainty what do we wear? The morning chill is too cold for the summer gear we have been happy in for the last few months, perfectly aligning the short to maintain that crisp tan line like a badge of honour. But not cold enough to break out the thickest warmest kit, it’s time to layer.

“less than 15 degrees cover the knees” (Andrew L. Pruitt, EdD)

I first heard this quote years back while I was at the Boulder centre for sports medicine listening to Dr Pruitt speak about biomechanics in relation to bike fitting. We have lots of customers come to the shop pay hundreds of pounds to get the bike set up perfectly for them to avoid injury but then spend the autumn/winter months wearing a thick jacket and summer shorts. The knee joint is not well protected by the body, it is not surrounded by loads of muscle or fat and it is at the leading edge for the cold head wind you ride into every morning. Like any good hinge it needs lubrication. In cold weather the blood flow can become restricted and the natural lubricant found in the knee less effective; causing knee pain or inflammation. If its cold enough for a gilet or thicker top, its time to cover up those knees.
This time of year, I find my ideal line up of kit consists of:

Summer weight jersey with a base layer underneath (for those colder days a nice merino wool one).

Fleeced arm warmers (this way when it gets warmer towards mid-day you take them off).

Summer or fleeced shorts

Fleeced knee warmers

For those colder mornings start off with a wind stopper gilet to keep the cold wind off your chest.

If you suffer from cold hands then a lightweight set of full finger gloves
This seems like a lot of kit but most of it is summer stuff you are repurposing. Adding in some arm and knee warmers is a small expense to bridge the gap before winter jacket and tights season. A merino base layer is cheaper and far nicer to wear on long rides than a thick fleece jersey because it will wick moisture away from your skin.

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La Vuelta - - 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 votes
La Vuelta -
Watching La Vuelta on TV reminds us of the joy of cycling in Spain and many of the reasons we set up Vuelta Cyling – fantastic roads, breath-taking scenery, hugely varied landscapes and great climate (although admittedly 40ois a bit too hot!). (Of course there are other reasons we love cycling in Spain – namely the super-friendly people, great food, wine and cold beer stops!)
We set up Vuelta last year, when we organised a charity ride from London to Valencia, riding 1,100km through San Sebastián, Pamplona, Logroño, Soria and Teruel. Not only did we raise £35,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young, we had the journey of a lifetime and well and truly caught the Spanish cycling bug. We kind of had it anyway to be honest – the three partners in Vuelta all have strong connections with Spain; Ash has a house near Girona (cycling heaven), James lives and cycles in Javea and I lived and took up cycling in Valencia.
This year’s race is heating up nicely, with lots of attacking riding, unpredicted breakaways and dramatic finishes already, and it’s only going to get better. Look out for the stage 15 Lagos de Covadonga summit finish tomorrow (Sunday). 
The stage we're really looking forward to is Stage 17 (on Wednesday 12th) to Monte Oíz (otherwise known as the Basque Balcony, for its stunning views of the region). Monte Oíz features for the first time in La Vuelta and is on one of our Vuelta a San Sebastián routes. We rode it on a reccy visit last year and it’s a beauty, as you’ll see below (excuse the amateur photos, but you get the idea!). Our next San Sebastián trip is 21-23 June, and features beautiful green Basque Country routes, empty roads, amazing food and a day’s riding with Abraham Olano, winner of La Vuelta itself in 1995. You’ll find more details at
The other big stage for us is Stage 19 to Col de la Rabassa in Andorra. The stage starts near our Girona base and ends with a 17.5km climb, at an average gradient of 6.3%. It doesn’t feature in our Vuelta a Girona routes yet, but it could do if there’s popular demand! Make sure to watch the stage on Friday 14thand let us know if you fancy it! 
We hope you enjoy watching the rest of the race and that it tempts you to ride your own Vuelta next year. If you're interested, please get in touch  and enter our free prize draw to win a cycling holiday to Girona

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