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    A Dirty Wknd In Bath!

    A Dirty Wknd In Bath!

    Bath is the perfect city to see in a weekend; intimate, but packed full of amazing history and a buzzing nightlife. The Abbey, the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa are all must see sights, and thanks to the compact nature of the city, you can do them all in a weekend.

    The North Somerset countryside is a playground for the active weekender! As Bath is a small city, you can be out in the countryside in no time; whether hiking or cycling, the undulating routes provide great views of the city and an amazing day out!

    Friday

    8.30 pm

    1) Late Dinner at Yammo

    In Naples, ‘Yammo!’ means ‘Let’s go…’ so there isn’t a better place to start your active weekend! Head to Yammo for authentic Neapolitan street food. No frills; it’s fun, informal, and exactly what you need after a long week. Yammo! lets the food speak for itself, and it shouts pretty loudly; the pizza’s are the best in Bath!

    Dirty Tip: Have freshly-made arrancini to start, washed down with a Negroni Spagliato. It’s made with Prosecco instead of soda; perfect for starting the weekend off with a bang.

    Saturday

    9:00 am

    2) Early breakfast at Society Cafe

    Start your morning at the Society Cafe for a Shoreditch-esque breakfast. The coffee is excellent and pastries are fresh, and their freshly-made cakes make for the perfect mid ride snack. Opening at 7.30am is ideal if you’re heading out on a ride, and they even have bike parking. Regular art exhibitions mean that there’s always something interesting to discover whilst you prepare for the day.

    Dirty Tip: Ask about the guest coffee. usually an unusual blend, and definitely worth trying. Comes with a free coffee lesson from the barista!

    10:00 am

    3) Morning Ride!

    Whilst it is tempting to spend all morning in bed; you’ll feel so much more relaxed after a cycle. The feeling of achievement afterwards will set you up for a great weekend!

    Both cycling and walking in Somerset is hugely rewarding, due to the challenging terrain (hills) and the beauty of the scenery. There are hidden gems as well, in the shape of iron age forts, 18th Century follies, and fantastic country pubs!

    Dirty Tip: North Somerset is surprisingly hilly, so prepare for climbing, and allow yourself a bit of extra time. Take plenty of water and energy bars.

    Cycle Routes

    Bath to Bradford on Avon Loop (Easy Route)
    A lovely ride out from Bath to the quaint and picturesque village of Bradford on Avon. Stop at one of Bradford’s famous Tea Shops!
    Distance— 44km (2 hours). Route details and map Click Here

    Bath to Cheddar Gorge (Intermediate Route)
    Riding west from Bath, this route takes you into the Mendip Hills Area Of Natural Beauty and finally the cycling mecca of Cheddar Gorge! The Gorge area is quite hilly, so be prepared for climbing! Stop at the Cheddar Gorge tourist centre to refuel.
    Distance— 80km (3.5 hours). Route details and map Click Here

    12:30 pm

    4) Lunch at Sam’s Kitchen

    Head to Walcott Street, Bath’s trendy artisan district, and grab lunch at Sam’s Kitchen. More an open kitchen come deli than a cafe, the food is freshly prepared every day from very local sources, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Lunch is roasted meat (from the family farm 12 miles away) and/or fresh salads, followed by mouthwatering, made-in-house cakes and pastries. Regular art and music events also keep the diners entertained, so pop in and see what’s on.

    2:30 pm

    5) Visit the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa

    Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to visit Bath’s must see sites. After brunch head to Bath Abbey to see where England’s first king was crowned. The Abbey is closed from 2:30–4:30pm on Sundays, so get in early. After the Abbey it’s onto the Roman Baths for a tour of this World Heritage Site — an amazing glimpse into Roman life in 70AD! Get a free audio guide and listen to American author Bill Bryson’s insightful commentary.

    Dirty Tip: Buy a ‘Spas ancient and modern pass’ for access to the ancient baths, champagne tea in the Pump Room and bathing in the modern Thermae Spa and rooftop pool! Perfect for recovering after yesterdays cycle.

    7:30 pm

    6) Dinner at Sotto Sotto

    Now the exercise and culture part are out of the way, the real fun can begin! After the Spa, head to Chandos Deli for a glass of wine (or two) and some nibbles before dinner. The two best places to eat in Bath are Circus or Sotto Sotto (book in advance). Circus is a modern British restaurant that prides itself on locally sourced, fresh ingredients and its reputation as Bath’s best family run eatery. Subterranean Sotto Sotto (above) recently won ‘Bath’s best Italian’ for its fresh, traditional Italian dishes, with a contemporary twist. The setting is beautiful, and the food fabulous!

    Dirty Tip: Head to Cheap Street after dinner for a Romantic stroll around the lit Abbey — It’s quieter at night and less touristy; you won’t be disappointed!

    Sunday

    10:30 am

    7) Brunch at Wild Café

    Tucked away down a tiny cobbled street in the city centre, Wild Café is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday morning. They produce the freshest and most local brunch in Bath with the motto being ‘west is best’. Have the fair-trade organic coffee, poached eggs and ‘Bath pig’ chorizo. The café is also run on 100% renewable electricity, and future plans include the first zero carbon Eggs Benedict! After a delicious brunch and a wander around the town, head back home feeling relaxed and ready for Monday morning!

    Dirty Tip: You can’t book at Wild Café, so grab the Sunday papers and relax in the café’s waiting area.

    Where to Stay

    ££ Dorian House

    This boutique B&B is a 10 minute walk from the centre and boasts great views of Bath. The staff couldn’t be more helpful and the breakfast, served in the Japanese inspired garden, is delicious. The rooms are an eclectic mix of modern decors, boasting Asian antiques and a vast modern art collection. White Company products, marble bathrooms, power showers and a coffee machine can be found in all rooms.

    Dirty Tip: Secure bike storage is possible, just let the house know you will be bringing them when booking.

    Travel

    By Car:
    Bath is very accessible by car, only 2.5 hours drive down the M4 from London. We recommend leaving early if you can, as the traffic can get quite bad. Exit the M4 at Junction 18 and just follow the signs for Bath!

    By Train:
    Bath is also incredibly easy by train, and it’s also really simple (and free) to book your bicycle on as well. The best way is to phone The Train Line and book your ticket and bike space all at the same time. Check train times online (www.thetrainline.com) but then call 0871 244 1545 to book. Remember to book bike(s) space, as if you don’t, they might not let you on the train with them when you arrive.

    Summer Might Be Over, But The Party's Just Getting Started!

    Summer Might Be Over, But The Party's Just Getting Started!

    Pinch, Punch...get out on your bike!

    Summer is not really over; summer is a state of mind. If you're lucky enough to be a cyclist then you have access to that state of mind every single day. All you've got to do is swing your leg over your bike and get out on the road. Summer is year round when you're a cyclist!

    Whilst we're sure you all agree with the above, some of you have asked what the plan is now that autumn is upon us. Well the answer is more of the same and a lot more besides! See below for an outline of what we've got planned for the next few months (and we've already started planning for 2017 too).

    Dirty Wknd Group Rides - join a fun and social group

    Rides Rides Rides!

    That's right; we will continue to run as many rides as we possibly can throughout the autumn. We love taking you guys out on the road and helping you to grow in confidence, take on new challenges and meet other cyclists. A slightly cooler temperature ain't gonna stop us (rule #9 is the most important rule). Weekend rides will be continuing as normal, with a view to create even more rides in more places!

    Obviously with some uncontrollable factors (like that pesky daylight) we are having to make some changes to our rides, but we relish the challenge. We've had to be creative with our offering to deliver our members real value. Some plans below:

    - Morning Rides
    From laps of Regents and Richmond Park to hill reps of Swains lane; autumn training = early mornings! Trust us,it's a great feeling to get to your desk having already ridden!

    - Indoor Rides
    From spin classes to track sessions, we will be running a few indoor rides over the next couple of months, including trips to the Olympic Velodrome, the Velopark and Herne Hill. As well as indoor rides, we hope to be running some yoga, pilates and fitness classes specifically for cycling. Details are still to be finalised, watch this space. 

    -Member-led Rides
    We want to expand our rides to more cyclists in new places all over the country. To do this, we need your help! If you want to set up a ride in your area, please just email us with the details and we'll put it on the site.

    Adding Brands to the Dirty Wknd Membership

    We've already got Queen of the Mountains, Super Domestique and Yellow Jersey on board, but we're not stopping there. We've listened to your feedback and have a host of exciting brands ready to join the membership and offer you discounts. We weren't able to convince everyone to join (Rapha gave us a very polite 'no thanks'!), but we hope that you'll be pleased with who we're getting on board. If you're not, or you want someone specific added, then please get in touch.

    Dirty Wknd Sardinia winter cycling

    Sardinia Winter Training Camp!

    This Oct and next Feb/March we will be running a long Dirty Wknd in Sardinia. This will be Fri - Mon and consist of 4 rides on the beautiful island, 3 square meals and accommodation in a lovely 3 star Italian hotel. Details will be released in the next few days, with the 1st trip taking place on the 21st - 24th Oct. There will also be a 'non-rider' package, so loved ones and friends who don't ride can come along. Book it off now! 

    Dirty Wknd Club Kit!

    Final designs have been submitted and the kit will soon be ready to pre-order. We're incredibly excited to show you, especially as so many of you helped to design it. The kit will be extremely high quality, incredibly reasonable (with extra 10% off for members) and we really hope you're going to like it!

    Summer Party For Cyclists

    End of Summer Party!

    Like Sir Brad & co above (photo: Daily Mail), we will be throwing an end of summer party to celebrate everyone's amazing achievements over the last few months. It will be open to all friends and family; basically anyone who wants to come along for a good old knees up! Dates and venue are being confirmed, but will likely be a Friday at the end of Sept/early Oct.

    Dirty Wknd Walks!

    Now it's certainly true that cycling is our first love, however we also really enjoy a good autumn walk. Picture the scene: a short train ride out into the countryside, followed by a long group walk (with a pub stop for lunch, of course) before another short trip back into London. Sounds pretty good to us! More details to follow, but please email us if you'd like to hear more about Dirty Wknd Walks!

    Join a walking group in London

    As you can see we've got a lot planned for the next few months, and we'd love you to be a part of it. As previously stated, Dirty Wknd members get access to all of the above for discounted prices (even free in some cases), as well as discounts from our awesome partner brands. For full info and to sign up please - Click Here

    Finally, we'd just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who's ridden with us, emailed in, tweeted us and generally just been involved. We've loved every second of it, and can't wait to ride with you in the next few months and beyond. As we said, 2017 planning is already underway!

    Happy Pedalling!

    David & Emma
    Dirty Wknd 

    The Bike Fit Series No. 2: Getting A Bike Fit

    The Bike Fit Series No. 2: Getting A Bike Fit

    When I left you last time I'd decided that I was going to get a professional bike fit and orthotics from Super Domestique in Shoreditch. In short, I'd decided to get a bike fit, mostly due to some sustained joint pain, but also just to see what all the fuss was about! It is fair to say that 100% of cyclists I know that have got a bike fit in the past have raved about it. Can it really make that much of a difference, or were they just waxing lyrical due to the sheer amount of money they'd spent? Well, let's find out...

    Pre Bike Assessment

    I arrive at Super Domestique a little unsure of what to expect. I assume that I will be strapped to a turbo and made to pedal, whilst the fitter takes notes and adjusts bits of my bike. I couldn't be more wrong! I am met by Elliott Richmond, owner and head fitter, who duly tells me that we won't be touching the bike for a good hour at least. This is the first indication that there might be more to this bike fit lark than I had thought. The first thing that Elliott is keen to stress is that a bike fit is a very personal and bespoke process, and that everyone gets something different out of it. Best to have an open mind then.

    We sit down over coffee from Hex next door (part of the service) and discuss my entire cycling, sporting and injury history; as well as what I want to achieve from getting a bike fit and from cycling in general. Again Elliott stresses that there is no blueprint for this - it's about me and what my body is telling me, but also what I want to achieve from riding my bike. As I list all of the injuries I've sustained over the years I begin to wonder how I'm still upright; broken ankle and collarbone from riding motorbikes, patella damage from playing rugby - all of which, Elliott tells me, will be potentially having an effect on my cycling position, comfort and overall output. 'Surely you can't compensate for an ankle I broke 5 years ago', I think? Again, how wrong I am! Listening to me list all my past injuries, alongside any aches, pains and niggles I am experiencing on and off the bike at the moment, Elliott is formulating a picture in his head (you can pretty much see the cogs turning). 

    Dirty Wknd Bike Fit Blog

    Still no sign of touching the bike yet. Elliott tells me we're going to start with my feet, and moulding the custom made orthotic footbeds. This is partly because they take time to mould and set to the shape of my foot, but also because making sure our feet are supported and have a solid base to push from is one of the most important things we can do when it comes to cycling. Elliott tells me that our feet (and our bodies in general, actually) haven't really evolved for cycling. Running and walking yes, but cycling, not so much. Orthotic footbeds are a heat moulded insole that is shaped to your foot, set hard, and then cut to fit into your existing shoes. The moulding process can be seen in the picture above. 

    "The orthotics bridge the gap between the sole of your shoe and your foot, essentially bringing the shoe up to your foot, making a rigid lever that is ideally needed for cycling" is how he puts it. He goes on to tell me that the orthotics also help to hold my foot in place; the less my foot moves around in my shoe, the less my knees have to move to compensate for the foot movement. This added stability to the leg serves to align my knees and feet, giving me a more natural pedal stroke. Orthotic footbeds improve efficiency and output, but more importantly help to control and limit the stress on the joints in the kinetic chain (foot, knee, hip etc). "One or two millimetres of movement in your shoe can easily become ten millimetres in your knees and even more in your hips, lower back etc. All the way up to pain in your upper back, neck, shoulders and even hands; often this is rooted in your feet not being secure and stable enough, so other body parts overcompensate." I think about the pins and needles I've been suffering in my hands on longer rides. Never in a million years would I have thought this could be due to me feet being unsupported! Elliott also tells me that many saddle complaints actually occur in the feet; so if you're having saddle issues, you might want to look to your shoes! You can see the difference in the photo below: the black insoles are the new orthotic footbeds, and the blue ones are the original insoles. The difference in contour and rigidity is huge.

    Dirty Wknd Blog - Getting a Bike Fit in London

    Physical Assessment

    Whilst the footbeds are setting, you'd think it would be time to jump on the bike and start measuring. Like me, you'd be wrong. At this point I really realise just how thorough Elliott is, and also just how complex this process is. Next is the physical assessment, where Elliott examines my posture, flexibility and range of motion; both standing and on the physio bed. Range of motion stretches tell Elliott pretty much everything he needs to know about how tight certain muscles and joints are, adding to the knowledge he's building up about my body, even before he's seen me spin one pedal rotation. In my case the tightness occurs in my hip flexors and IT band. More on this hip tightness later.

    For his next magic trick, Elliott works out that my left leg is fractionally shorter than my right. Not a major problem I think, it's not like I'm walking around in circles, or have even noticed before: what's the big deal? Again I'm surprised to learn that is a pretty big deal, is having a massive effect on my cycling, and is actually quite common. Thinking about any pain I'm getting whilst riding, it becomes clear that it's all on my lefthand side. He then points out that the left hand side of my saddle is actually sagging a tiny bit where I've been leaning over to extend my left leg. How on earth have I not noticed this before?!

    What can be done about having one shorter leg, I hear you ask? Nothing I would assume. Of course, I am wrong again. If you have SPD SL road pedals (clip in one one side) then Elliott can add a 'block' under your cleat to address the balance. If like me you have SPD pedals (mountain bike pedals, clip in on both sides) then a wedge can be added under the orthotic to the same effect. This balancing of the leg length serves to make the pedal stroke more natural and more circular, and should help to alleviate a lot of the pain I'd been suffering.

    Riding, Adjusting and Riding Some More!

    Super Domestique Bike Fit London

    Finally it is time to jump on the bike and let Elliott confirm his suspicions based on my history and range of motion. Nothing on the bike has been adjusted at this point and we've put the old insoles back into my shoes. This way Elliott can check that his assumptions are correct before starts to adjust the bike. He sticks small squares of tape to my ankles, knees and shoulder blade to help with filming and measuring. Elliott asks me to cycle for about 5 minutes at a decent tempo to replicate the stresses and movements my body goes through whilst cycling. When concentrating on body position, form and pedal stroke I can just about make it look like cycling - Elliott wants to see me when I'm out of breath, my form has fallen apart and I'm only thinking about breathing in and out, not my pedal stroke. I.e. my normal cycling form! 

    Whilst I'm on the bike Elliott is walking around me, looking at different angles and body parts, muttering under his breath and making notes. When I've got my breath back I ask him what he was looking at. "Everything" is the answer! He is looking at the movement of my feet, the extension of my ankles, the angle of my knees; how much side to side movement there is in my knees. The list goes on, but he notices everything; the tiniest movements are all incredibly important he tells me. We then analyse the video footage and measure the angles of my legs, ankles and back during the pedal stroke (see below). I ask Elliott if there's a perfect angle for all of the above. Yes and no, is the answer; again, it depends on what you want from the fit. A pro racer will have a very different desired angle to a social rider, because they want to get into a more aero position (and also because their body is likely to be more flexible and able to handle it). This I think is one of the most valuable things about getting a proper bike fit. There are plenty of youtube videos out there that tell you to set up your bike between X and Y angles (trust me, I've watched them all) - but a bespoke fit will ensure that your bike is set up to the angle that best suits you - not just somewhere within an acceptable range.

    How a Bike Fit can Improve Your Cycling

    After analysing the angles Elliott adjusts my seat height, bar angle and hood/brake lever position. He also moves my cleats back in my shoes; this is to reduce the stretch that my foot is making on each pedal stroke. I have been getting achilles pain - this should not only prevent that, but also increase my power due to a more stable 'pushing' position. We put the newly moulded orthotics into my shoes and it's back on the bike for more measuring and testing. The difference in my feet is immediate! It feels weird at first, like I'm wearing new shoes (in reality they practically are, such is the difference). My feet feel so much more supported - the bottom of my foot touching the insole at all points, rather than just at the heel and ball of the foot as before. It's too early to tell if there's a material difference in my power/efficiency, but they are certainly a lot more comfortable. More adjustments followed by more peddling and measuring. This goes on for a while until Elliott is happy he's got everything just right. Again, there's no blueprint; it take's as long as it takes (although they rarely go over the suggested 3 hours, he says).

    One of the best things about this whole process is just how much input I get. This is all about me, and Elliott goes to great length to ensure that I not only know what's going on at all times, but that I'm happy with all the adjustments. It's reassuring to know that he hasn't just set my bike to a certain angle and then kicked me out of the door. He also makes me pedal at really high resistance to ensure the new set up doesn't cause any immediate injury. Elliott describes the process as a "conversation, not a dictation." I think I was expecting to be dictated to, so it's a real relief to know that I have a big say in what we're doing. After all, it's me who'll be riding the bike everyday.

    Why you should get a bike fit in London

    Another part of the 'conversation' that is my bike fit that really surprises me is how we decide to set my bike up in an 'aspirational' way, that will allow my body to develop and grow into the fit. By this I mean that we're giving me a chance to work on flexibility (specifically my tight hips, remember them), which will allow me to get into a more aero position and generally be more comfortable on the bike. Elliott could easily set me up for how my body is currently, but I want to improve my position, so after a conversation, we leave the bike set up with a bit of room to grow. Elliott tells me that this type of fit is great for newer cyclists, as their bodies are going to change loads as they start cycling more and more. If Elliott sets up a new cyclist to fit their body exactly as it is, they will be back in a few months because their body has changed a lot and the original fit is no longer correct. If he leaves a little bit of room to grow, it means that the body can develop into the bike fit, meaning they shouldn't need any additional adjustments for a lot longer.

    If I'm not able to work on my hip tightness in the next couple of months, I'll go back in and Elliott will make the necessary changes. Part of Super Domestique's service is that if you notice any pain or discomfort right after the fit you can come back and they will make more adjustments until it's right, with no extra charge. Reassuring to know that I'm not stuck in an uncomfortable position if I start to feel any pain. As Elliott says, it sometimes takes a few weeks of riding a new fit, and a few more minor adjustments, before it's right.

    Three hours has flown by! I feel like I've learnt loads, not only about my bike and riding position, but also about my body and also the mechanics of cycling itself - I genuinely feel like a better cyclist from having undergone the process. Now, time will tell if it does actually make me a better cyclist. After a couple of weeks of riding around on the new fit I will report back in part 3 of the Bike Fit Series, including more on Elliot's background and training. 

    If you think you need a fit, or just want to have a chat with Elliott about the process and what he can do for you, click the link below and request a call back. Remember that Dirty Wknd members get 15% off Bike Fit labour, 20% of workshop labour and 10% off any parts! Become a member - Click Here.

    Request a call back from Super Domestique - Click Here.

     Dirty Wknd Cycling Community

    The Bike Fit Series No 1: Why I eventually decided to get a Bike Fit

    The Bike Fit Series No 1: Why I eventually decided to get a Bike Fit

    I have a confession to make. Despite having cycled my entire life, usually averaging 200 - 300km a week, I've never had a proper bike fit! I've always been one of those riders who smirks at Jonny Club-Rider as he explains (in detail) the benefit of a fit, thinking I know better; that watching youtube videos and adjusting parts myself is just as good. Why would I want to spend £250 on a fit when I can just adjust a bit here and there depending on how the bike (and my body) feels. Can't make that much difference, can it?

    This is blog number 1 of 3 in the 'bike fit series'. Read blog 2 (getting the fit) here, and blog 3 (results of the fit) here.

    Why You Need a Bike Fit Blog

    The truth is I'm not the best at listening to my body. For a while now I've been trying to ignore achey knees and pins and needles in my hands, putting it down to the relatively high mileage I'm doing every week. Surely, I thought, I just need to do a bit more warming up and stretching and I'll be able to work out those aches and pains? However, during Ride London last weekend, the pain in my left knee became pretty much unbearable! Every peddle stroke was agony and I had to back off until the pain had subsided, thereby dashing my chances of hitting my target time.

    The nagging in my knee was almost as bad as the nagging in my brain; 'should've got that bike fit' I kept saying to myself. Would it have made a difference? Would it have meant that I would've been able to push hard without pain? It's hard to say, but I certainly wish I'd at least tried to find out.  

    A few days after Ride London I checked my event photos from the day and they all pretty much looked the same. Arms locked completely straight, back completely upright and shoulders hunched over; head right down trying to ease an aching neck. This, I thought to myself, is not how Peter Sagan looks on his bike. I thought back to all of the people who've commented on my body position, many of whom are very experienced cyclists, and wondered why I never listened to them before? Probably because they always ended their commentary with 'you really need to get a bike fit.' I have now resigned myself to the fact that they might just be right!

    One Pro Cycling Bike Fit London

    To be honest the cost of a bike fit has also been a barrier in the past. £250 always seemed like an awful lot to shell out for someone to adjust your saddle height! Or at least this is how it has always seemed, but I guess it's this sort of thinking that has left me with achey knees! When you stop to work out the actual cost based on the length of time you own the bike, it doesn't look that bad. What's £200* if I'm cycling 300km a week and I keep hold of the bike for 2 years? Quick maths will tell you that it works out at 0.6 pence per KM! On paper that seems like a much better investment than those new wheels I've been eyeing up. After all, what use is shaving 100 grams of weight if my knees are shot to bits!

    So I've taken the plunge and booked a fit. After some research (there are quite a few options now) and a personal recommendation from Mason (club member, ride leader and all round good guy) I got in touch with Super Domestique in Shoreditch. They are the bike fitters of choice for the One Pro Cycling Team (pic above), so if it's good enough for them, I'm sure it'll be fine for me! They were incredibly helpful and managed to book me in for the following week. After a useful email exchange, where they allayed my fears of having to buy a new frame and loads of expensive parts, I am really looking forward to the fit.

    So check back on Wednesday when I will post blog number 2 of the Bike Fit Series; how the actual fit went, what I learnt during the process and just exactly what Orthotics are!

    *As Super Domestique have come on board as our official bike fit partner, DW members now get 15% off bike fit labour and orthotics, 20% off workshop labour and 10% off any parts. Check out our Club Membership HERE

    Benefits of Getting a Bike Fit in London

    Introducing - Dirty Wknd Club Membership

    Introducing - Dirty Wknd Club Membership

    Join The Cycling Club That's Truly For Everyone!

    We are incredibly pleased to announce that our new Club Membership is live on the website! Members will be able to benefit from incredible discounts from our partners, including Queen of the Mountains, Yellow Jersey Insurance and On Your Bike, with many more in the pipeline to join. Members will be sent a membership package when they sign up, including discount codes and 'membership e-card' to flash in partner stores (below).

    Dirty Wknd Membership Card

    Along with exclusive access to these awesome cycling brands, members will also have access to free club rides, discounts on day trips and wknds away, as well as club kit (coming soon). Going forward, weekly club rides will be £3 each to non members, with the first ride still being free for new joiners.

    We're not charging for rides in order to just make money, and certainly not to put barriers in the way of people joining; but rather so we can expand our community of riders and offer more rides and events to our members.

    Dirty Wknd Group cycle rides in London

    With paid memberships we can put on more events, including more beginner rides to grow the community and more days out/trips (London to Brighton, London to Cambridge etc.) and more wknds like London to Paris.  

    We absolutely love that all types of cyclists are able to to come to us and enjoy a ride; from people with little to no experience to those who have been riding for years. We are the club for everyone and we hope that this exciting development will not only ensure this continues, but help us to grow faster and to reach more people and help them get out on the road too! 

    To see all of the details and to sign up to Club Membership please Click Here

    As ever we are always want your feedback, so if you have any please Email Us and let us know your thoughts. We will always get back to you!

    Dirty Wknd Cycling Logo

    Dirty Wknd Ride Leader Profile - Oli Crosby

    Dirty Wknd Ride Leader Profile - Oli Crosby

    As we begin to introduce 'guest' ride leaders into our weekly group rides, we thought you deserved to know something about the people who are going to be leading you around the lanes, hills and descents of London.

    First up is Oli, who is leading this Sunday's Surrey 100 training ride (details and sign up here). As someone who will complete his third Ride London this year, he is well placed to offer good advice on the ride and cycling in general!

    Vital Stats.

    Name: Oliver Crosby
    Height: 179cm
    Weight: 80kg
    Max Power Output: 750watts (probably)
    Max Speed: 72kmph (on the decent of Wells hill in Kent)

    Current Bike: Pinarello FP Due. He's called 'Frankel' after the undefeated race horse. He's a beauty - he does everything I ask of him. I think he probably gets a bit frustrated with me at times, but he doesn't show it. A pleasure to ride.

    Dream bike: I love my own Pinarello, so it would have to be Froomey's Pinarello Dogma F8 Xlight

    Dirty Wknd Ride Leader Profile

    Rides.

    Notable Wins/Performances: none of note... 

    Notable Rides: London to Loire Valley (2013), London to Bordeaux (2014), Ride London Surrey 100 (2014, 2015, 2016) - I love riding ride London on the closed roads, but it's not quite cycling through vineyards for hours in the South of France in the blazing sunshine though!

    Favourite London Climb: Toys Hill, Kent. A real climb - nice and long, starting off gently but kicking up to around 18% in the middle, before levelling out but not stopping! Really tests your legs and your lungs!

    Favourite Ever Climb?: The Koppenberg, Belgium - I've only done it once but had to put my foot down.  After riding all day on the pan flat roads of Belgium to get there, having forgotten what hills are, you come to a gradient which hikes up to around 23% in places...over cobbles...with moss all over the cobbles...and grass in-between the cobbles! That all means you can't get out your saddle or you lose all friction with your back wheel and the road.  You just have to sit up, lean back into your seat to get the weight over your back wheel, and embrace the wheel spin as you climb. Bonkers! The pros make it look so easy...well, easier anyway.

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    Pro/Fantasy Cycling.

    Current Favourite Rider: Geraint Thomas - all round funny guy. Always got something witty to say and a loyal servant to Froomey. Rides hard!

    Favourite All Time Rider: In 5 years time I'll say Sir Chris Froome (although 5 years ago I'd have said someone else...).  Until then I'd have to go with Eddy Merckx based on his records....you don't fluke 11 grand tour victories.

    What position would you take in a pro cycling team?: Super domestique/Sprinter. I'm loyal and heavy! 

    Who would be your perfect pro team (with you as team leader)?: Luke Rowe (he knows how to keep you up front in a peloton); Ian Stannard (can I have Rowe without Standard? I think they come as a pair); Jens Voigt (superman); David Miller (great bloke - knows how to stay out front); Steve Cummings (so strong and knows how to read a break); Geraint Thomas (been Froome's domestique for a few years now so knows what he's doing); Peter Sagan (just because he would make me laugh and he's so weird!); Rafael Majka (he's shown what a strong rider he is; he's polish so staying true to my roots); Directeur Sportif: Dave Brailsford (the marginal gains man - revolutionised cycling).

    Why Do You Ride.

    How and When did you get into cycling?: I used to cycle to school in the summer on my mountain bike, as fast as I could. I then didn't really cycle at all until I was about 21 and finished university, and started cycling to work.  That progressed into touring holidays in France and started riding sportives when I was around 25. I'm definitely going to be riding long into my twilight years.

    What's your favourite thing about cycling?: I love the summer and being outdoors in general, but I love the journeys you can make on a bike.  It's like going for a walk but you can cover 50x the distance. I also love the feeling of the hum of the mechanics of a bike as you ride. There's no greater feeling than flying down a dead flat road at 40kmph tucked in behind your favourite domestique (in my case, my brother)!  I also love the psychology of sport in general, and nowhere is that more apparent than in cycling. Being in a happy state of mind in the sun as you get to the top of a hill with the wind at your back, having just smashed your best time on Strava, versus riding up an impossible climb into a headwind in the driving rain on a freezing cold day - it could easily be considered two separate sports. I like that - I like the show of mental toughness that it takes to stay in your happy place on those dark, dark winter cycling days!

    What's the best piece of advice you've given to new cyclists?: Eat before you're hungry, because there is no worse feeling than dropping off that cliff. Stick at it and be mentally tough; stay in your happy place, because it makes it a lot more fun to be out on the bike, and makes a big difference to your performance. Most of all when you start cycling don't expect to wake up in 6 weeks time and for cycling to suddenly be painless - "It never gets easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond

    If you want to learn more about Oli then come along on Sunday and ask him everything you can think of about cycling over the 100km ride! Ride Details