Silly Point scoring..

I recently read on one of the cycling websites, a little game that can be used to liven up rides, but would be a great way to give the commute some spice.

In general, you award yourself points for burning off certain categories of riders, or traffic.

Generally, the food chain looks like this, with scooters being the ultimate challenge and electric bikes the lowest.

  • Scooters
  • Roadies with shaved legs*
  • Proper rapid singlespeeds (hard men and women, messengers, tarty shiny fixies)*
  • Roadies with hairy legs*
  • Faux singlespeeds (fakengers, dirty/functional bikes, silly spinny little gears)*
  • Touring bikes (mudguards)*
  • Fast hybrids*
  • MTBs on skinnies*
  • MTBs on knobblies
  • Bromptons/collapsing bikes
  • MTB full-sus on knobblies
  • Shoppers
  • Shoppers with wicker baskets
  • Electric bikes

*Pedal adjustment factor: Flats: +1. Toe Clips: 0. Clipless/SPDs: -1

  • 6 essential rules
  • No dangerous manoeuvres. Don’t be a danger to others or yourself. Falling off causes pain to you and others around you, and you lose your points!
  • Don’t ride like a dick/vulva, we’re all just trying to get somewhere!
  • No passing at lights, junction, crossings, etc.
  • All passing on open roads only.
  • Filtering in traffic is null and void (you’ll know deep down if you’ve dropped someone fairly, turning off immediately afterwards is cheating)
  • Pavement passes – either you or the target is void
  • Show no pain – unless your face is just like that

So that’s just a little game you can play to liven things up. Let me know in the comments if you have any thing you do to entertain your self on the bike.

Elemnt Screens

Going around the various forums, one of the common questions I see, is “what fields should I have?” when setting up a GPS computer.

I’d previously done this type of post for my garmin so I’d thought I’d do one for the screens on my elemnt.

First Page

The first page is pretty much on screen most of the time. It contains all the critical information.


  1. W 5 sec, this simply shows my 5 second average power.
  2. KPH, is my current speed. I’ve found d myself looking at power more than speed recently, so speed is relegated to second field.
  3. BPM, current heart rate I have my heart rate zones displayed on the left hand LED display.
  4. RPM, my current cadence
  5. KM, Distance travelled
  6. Elevation, current elevation above sea-level.
  7. DEG-C current temperature

I don’t need much else on that screen. Using the zoom function on the elemnt, the 4 top items are the ones that are most important and on screen in a zoom state.

Climbing Screen

The climbing screen is pretty much the default. I think I just added RPM and BPM datafields.

There is the default Elevation display at the bottom of the screen.






Course Screen

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Similar to the Main screen, this screen shows all the important metrics, along with a KM to go display for the currently loaded course and a ride time display too. As the Elemnt lacks the timed course feature on the Garmin, we have to remember the time we are out to beat and do it manually.

First ride with Wahoo Elemnt

So, I’ve changed over from a Garmin 520 to a Wahoo Elemnt. And despite the missing vowel, it’s a worthy Garmin competitor.

Initially, I thought the LED’s where a little gimmick, but they are actually bloody useful. I’ve currently got mine set to display heart rate zone but have also used them for average speed, and found them useful for a quick reference point.

Screen wise, it’s a lot more readable in all conditions than the garmin, with better field presentation. Speaking of fields, setting up screens on the elemnt is stupidly easy. You just select the fields in the app, and drag and drop to were you want them on screen. Nothing could be easier. Non of this many button pressing garmin malarkey.

I’d replaced the maps on the garmin with open street maps from which where miles better than the tosh you got preloaded. You can’t replace maps on the elemnt, however they are more than good enough to use as is.

All in all, a great bike GPS unit, and one that’s earned a place on my bike. Just a shame it dos’nt support my garmin lights. Yet.

The power of the Tow

I’ve written before about the benefits of drafting, but as a solo rider, I barely get a chance to experience it, which makes it feel amazing when I do.

I was heading down Bilton Lane, and saw another rider well ahead. He was properly motoring along. It wasn’t until I caught him up that I noticed he was riding a single speed, which explained his speed along the flat.

But when I did eventually catch him, I felt the amount of power I was putting down decreased for the same speed. I was in practice being towed along.

You can see there, the power applied to catch him, and in the later stages the power goes down, with the occasional pedal rotation as I was being pulled.

I actually quite fancy building up a single speed of my own,but funds are a little lacking at the moment.

When I can afford it, I might buy a cheap track frameset and gradually build it up.


Today’s ride was a short easy one, well apart from the wind. 

It was a constant wind, according to the met office 25mph. And man could I feel it. 

As always on the short route to Ripley and back, it’s a tail wind down Bilton Lane, headwind along the cycle path and a nasty sidewind/tailwind on the busy main road to Ripley. Coming back, and the wind was blasting me from the side and front, but back on the cycle path, it was a tailwind. It’s that moment, where you can’t feel the wind, it appears calm, apart from the leaves moving. It isn’t until you stop you feel the wind again. 

Heading back off to Bilton Lane, dreading the headwind that I was bound to encounter going back up, I crossed the viaduct, and on. A couple where walking their scratty little dog off lead, and something told me that it was going g to wander. And surely enough it sauntered right in front. I stopped just short of its nose. And it just stood there, giving me a distainful look. With a muttered “sorry” the owners wandered off. 

And back onto Bilton Lane. And there was my enemy, that wind. Bilton Lane acts like a giant wind funnel, and I’m battling through it. Half way up, and I’m averaging 300w just to try and maintain 10mph, even with me as compacted as possible to present a smaller area for the wind,  But eventually, the end was insight. With my heart feeling like it was about to burst I finally turned off into the shelter of St John’s church. 

But then, another wind tunnel on St John’s road, before the mother of all headwinds on Skipton road. But home I was.. 

A wee ride out

It was a beautiful day, and again I got a little carried away on a ride. Only intending to complete a 20 mile maximum, I ended up doing nearer 40. But, I did make a conscious decision to ignore the Garmin, and just enjoy the ride. No worrying about power, speed, distance or cadence and just get back to the pure joy of riding my bike. Switching off the mind and just enjoy it. 
Started off on the standard dog head, which unfortunately contains a short segment of a road I really hate riding. Last week I saw another cyclist wipe out. It’s a fast, busy main road and always makes me nervous. But it dos’nt last long until I’m back on lovely quiet back roads. 

I sat a while at Farnham to regain some energy, and just enjoy the day when a cyclist rode past, who, shall we say was a big chap. I caught up with him at the bottom of Farnham Rise. I take my hat off to him. He was attempting a hill that beat me many times, but there he was, plugging his way up the hill. I offered a few words of encouragement as I rode past. 

I set a new personal best on the descent toward Staveley, before turning onto the next hill. Yet another one that beat me a few times. I can now push my way up, albeit not fast, but at least I’m not stopping. 

Before I knew it I was blasting down Pottery Lane and into Ripon. 

Sitting outside the Cathedral for while watching the tourists walk past I decided to head out toward Fountains Abbey, or at least the Deer Park. 

So off I went, in completly the wrong direction. So after several Google Maps checks I eventually headed out in the right direction. Along the canal the road is a horrible broken and tatty road, causing me to curse several times as I rattled around on the bike worrying about crushing the crown jewels. 

Then I was on Studley Road, and I completly lost all energy on the hill and had to stop. I watched as some rich farmer played with his helicopter flying low over the village, hovering and rotating before flying away and back again. 

Through the village of Studley Royal and into the deer park, over no more than 5 cattle grids. And now, a long slog up hill to get to the carpark area and a bench to have a sit down. 

Studley Deer park is a beautiful place to visit, with vast deer herds, wonderful old trees, and the ruins of Fountains Abbey. it’s a designated World Heritage Site of some 800 acres features an 18th-century landscaped garden, some of the largest Cistercian ruins in Europe, a Jacobean mansion and a Victorian church designed by William Burges.

I sat admiring the lake, watching the ducks and geese fight for the tourists attention. I watched as another cyclist stopped, posed his bike and took a picture, I smiled as it’s something we all do. I’ve no idea how long I sat there, but eventually I got back on the bike, and headed home by the same general route I came down. Now feeling drained and ready for home it was a general slow limp home. 

Sat at home, I wondered why my legs were hurting, and it appears I caught the sun, right on the top of my knees. 

A jolly jaunt 

Set out on my bike for an easy spin, and it ended up slightly longer than I had planned. And with having nothing to eat before I went out, turned unpleasant for the last part.

Its one of my favourite routes, with some minor hills, but generally quite flat. From Ripley I headed out toward Brearton Lane, before going into Scotton with its fast sweeping bends.

Then comes that hill. Some call it minor, I call it a challenge. For me anyway. After that hill, time to recover on the long fast descent into Stavely. But watch that wind, it’s always in your face increasing the work your having todo. Hunker down and cut through it as best you can.

Through Stavely and onto Minskip Road. A long undulating road, but strangely fast. Next thing you know your crossing the A1 and into Boroughbridge, with its ever present aroma of cowshit.

Finally head out of Boroughbridge and into Roecliffe and its massive industrial area, but a lovely village. Following the road all the way to Bishop Monkton. A wonderful road to ride, but be careful as it is liable to extreme floods and it also gets very narrow toward Bishop Monkton. I looked down at my Garmin here, and noticed my power meter had died. I’ve had more issues with stages than anything else. So stopped, removed battery and reset the crank and it appears to be working again. Off I pedal through Monkton and toward Knaresborough. By this point I’m feeling really heavy legs, with hunger pangs rippling round my stomach. Knowing there’s another steep lump to climb I battle on wishing I had a banana in my pocket.

Through Knaresborough and the gauntlet of shitty drivers and zombie pedestrian idiots I make it onto the Beryl Burton Cycleway. No way in hell I can muster anything to get up the hill, so I get off and push the bike up. Finally close to home, there is only one long slope to climb before home.

Bilton Lane isn’t steep, it isn’t even difficult, my best time up it is 2:15,generally I do it in just over 3. But this time, with zero energy and a serious bonk going on, I plod up it at a very sedate 9mph against the ever present headwind.

Finally all downhill to home, bike back in the garage and food. And drink.