Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • Beginners Guide To Tackling Hills

    Tempting as it is to throw everything you've got at a hill, you've got more chance of staying on your bike all the way to the top, if you take it easy!

    So, focus on getting up the hill, not how fast you can do it. Drop your pace. Drop your power. Breath easy. Spin slowly.

    Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 03/05/2014 - Cycling - Yorkshire, England - Fat Lad at the Back. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 03/05/2014 - Cycling - Yorkshire, England - Fat Lad at the Back.

    1. KEEP TALKING!

    If you can't talk, you're probably pushing too hard and you’ll soon run out of puff! Remember, this isn’t about pushing yourself as hard as you can, it’s about pacing yourself!

     

    1. YOU’RE A TORTOISE NOT A HARE

    it doesn’t matter how slow you go, just keep the wheels turning nice and steady - you're gaining fitness, not winning the Tour de France.

     

    1. KNOW YOUR GEARS

    At the risk of stating the obvious, get to grips with your gears. There’s nothing worse than going into a hard gear, instead of an easy gear half way up a hill. You’ll lose momentum and end up having to get off.

     

    1. DROP YOUR GEARS

    Unless you like pushing big gears, give yourself a break and start dropping down as soon as you need to. Don’t push through the harder gears and ‘save’ your easy gears for later, as you’ll burn yourself out. Get organized as you approach the bottom of the hill and start dropping a gear, so you maintain your momentum.

     

    1. TRY STANDING UP

    Riding out of the seat uses different muscles and allows you to use your body weight to push the pedals, but it is something that you may need to practice on short inclines until you’ve got your technique sorted. Once you’ve been out of the saddle it’s tough sitting back down if you don’t have an easier gear left, but it can often be enough to just get you over the brow of a hill.

     

    1. IT NEVER GETS EASIER

    To paraphrase the words of Greg LeMond, It never gets easier, so don't expect it to, but you WILL get faster!

     

    1. IF IT CLICKS, FIX IT

    If you’ve got anything that clicks or clanks when you turn the pedals or wheels, fix it, even if it's just something on your clothing, otherwise you’ll be notified of every single revolution.

    8. DROP YOUR HEELS

    Shift your weight back in the saddle and drop your heels to engage your glutes and give your quads and knees a break.

     

  • Still stuck for Christmas inspiration? Here are some last minute gift suggestions! - For the Lad in your life.

    Cycling Inspired Christmas Shopping for the Lad in your life.

    No Excuse All Weather Jacket:

    Want to keep your lad in the saddle whatever the weather?  Lads Gaffer Cycling jacket is packed full of features and provides an Insulated, wind and waterproof layer yet it’s fully breathable, lightweight and has stretch to ensure a comfortable ride.

     Keepsake:

    How about a personalised memento of a special cycling achievement? These bespoke replica miniature mile markers and mug by Summit Finish are perfect and they’re made in Yorkshire!

     Sitting Comfortably:

    Good trousers are arguably the most important bit of cycling kit for a Lad and a top quality pad is essential. Stealth anatomical reflective cycling bibs are made from super soft fabric and have a high density ENERDRY foam pad so they are outstandingly comfortable.

     Keep It Together:

    The Cycling kit bag from KITBRIX is great for a Lad that travels to events and likes to keep all his FLAB kit together

    Hi Vis:

    A new take on high vis this innovative graduated jersey will make him stand out without looking like a giant Orange! High vis Beacon Jacksey

     For The Lad Who Has Everything:

    Every pair of these fine silver Fat Lad Logo cufflinks is unique as they are individually handmade by a local Ilkley Silversmith

     Get A Head-Set:

    How about designing a custom headset cap with a motivational quote to keep those legs pedalling when the going gets tough KAPZ custom headset cap

     Cold Feet:

    Winterproof his feet with these Northwave Winter cycling boots. Not only will they keep his tootsies cosy, they remove all the faff of trying to get your overshoes on top of your cycling shoes

     Confused:

    Not sure what size to get? Always get it right with a FLAB Gift Voucher

     Join the RIDE:

    A years British cycling “RIDE” Membership provides many benefits including Liability insurance for commuter, sportive and leisure cyclists British Cycling Membership

    Clock Watching:

    Help him count down the hours until his next bike ride with this Bicycle wheel clock

    Say It How It Is:

    Just in case anyone needs reminding this fab Bicycle print get’s right to the point.

    Recycling:

    Making household objects out of bits of bike is all the rage and this ? bike wheel ceiling light creates an interesting ceiling effect.

    Money Money Money:

    Is your lad dreaming of a trip to France to watch a stage of the Tour? Or cycling through vineyards in the South of France? This adventure French trip money pot is a great way to start saving for a Tour de France adventure.

     Join Us And Be Proud:

    This is not just a T-shirt…it’s a FLAB T-shirt

     Close Shave:

    A nice little travel set for the French trip! Le Bicycle shaving kit

     Keep His Cockles Warm:

    Fill this Bicycle hip flask hip flask with your Lads favourite tipple to help warm the cockles…

     The Dogs ….

    Certainly a gift for a Lad with a sense of humour, this bright red light will bob along as he cycles and might even make a motorist smile  Bike balls lights

     It’s a Doo Dah/whatd’y’m’callit/thingy’m’bob:

    Keep those chills away with this practical Camo neck doo dah

     To The Shed:

    Does your Lad like to tinker with his bike? or maybe he’s thinking of doing his own bike maintenance?  Road bike maintenance book

    Get Dapper:

    Keep your Lad looking dapper even when he’s not on his bike with this Pure Silk Cycle Print Tie

    Fancy A Challenge?

    Getting something in the diary to motivate/scare you into is cycling throughout the Winter months is always a good idea and what better reason than the FLAB Up North Yorkshire Sportive entry Not only is it a great route through Yorkshire with epic feed stops but it’s also ‘the friendliest Sportive around’.

  • Still stuck for Christmas inspiration? Here are some last minute gift suggestions! - For the Lass in your life.

    Cycling Inspired Christmas Shopping for the Lass in your life.

    Stand Out From The Crowd:

    Our best selling In The Pink long sleeve reflective jersey offers high visibility, without looking like a high vis waistcoat. The outstandingly flattering jersey design and graduated body attracts the eye upwards, away from the lower torso and towards the head, neck and shoulders. It works equally well on all shapes and sizes.

    Important Places:

    This lovely chamois cream  is formulated just for Lasses and helps prevent skin irritation in the ahem..delicate area. It also comes recommended by one of our Flambassadors who has ridden thousands of miles with it and swears by it.

    Flower Power:

    Pretty and practical the Na' then Flower neck warmer helps to keep out the chill in style.

     Stay In Touch:

    This handy portable charger fits easily into a pocket and will recharge her smartphone when She’s on the go especially if your lass uses a power draining phone app to record her ride Pebble smartstick Charger

     Sitting Comfortably:

    Good trousers are arguably the most important bit of Cycling kit and a Female specific garment pad is essential for a comfy ride. Made from super soft lightweight  fabric that’s breathable and thermal they are outstandingly comfortable because of their high waist construction  Lasses reflective  Thermal Cycling tights

    Confused:

    Not sure what size to get? Always get it right with a FLAB Gift Voucher

    No Excuse All Weather Jacket:

    Want to keep your lass in the saddle whatever the weather? Our classic jacket has been debranded, it’s a lightweight thermal Winter Jacket made from the latest innovative fabric that provides an insulated, wind and waterproof layer yet is fully breathable. Lasses purple blue gaffer cycling Jacket

    All That Glitters:

    For the lass who’s cycling mad, what about some cycling themed jewellery

    Sweet Dreams:

    This Bicycle duvet cover is sure to induce lovely cycling dreams.

     Light me up:

    This funky metal bicycle lamp adds a quirky touch to a side table and we are reliably informed that the photos doesn’t do it justice!

    Walk All Over it:

    Where else would she be? This gone riding door mat says it all.

    Sup Up:

    Perfect for a post ride drink and she’ll be well happy if you promise to do the washing up? Bicycle mug and tea towel set

    Wet Wet Wet:

    Perfect for watching the kids play football, the FLAB Umbrella

    Fancy A Challenge?

    Getting something in the diary to motivate/scare you into is cycling throughout the Winter months is always a good idea and what better reason than the FLAB Up North Yorkshire Sportive entry Not only is it a great route through Yorkshire with epic feed stops but it’s also ‘the friendliest Sportive around’.

    Hankie Panky:

    Even nose blowing can be cycling themed with this  bicycle hankie

    Post Ride Pamper:

    http://www.purpleharry.co.uk/shop/muscle-cooling-gel/ This lovely cooling gel contains peppermint and menthol with the moisturising and soothing properties of Aloe Vera. Massage into tired muscles post exercise and relax!

  • FLAB'S getting layerie!

    FLAB'S GUIDE TO WINTER LAYERING.

    SW1_6704Different layers give you multiple options and more flexibility across different weathers and
    temperatures and good layering is the key to keeping your core warm and dry.

    Our guide will help you stay comfortable and look stealth like without feeling like you’re geared up for a polar expedition. Remember this is a`guide’ and it will probably take a couple of rides to get it right not least because we all feel the cold and regulate our body temperature differently

    Upper body -  The three essentials

    1: Base layer

    A base layer goes between your skin and your jersey. You can get light weight ones that help keep you cool in the summer or if you're hot stuff and don't really feel the cold, and thicker ones for when the temperature plunges or if you really feel the cold. They also come in a multitude of designs, sleeve lengths, high or low cut necks and in many different materials and weights.

    Long Sleeve Baselayer FrontThe best base layers are made from technical fabrics which allow sweat to wick away from your skin so you don’t get wet, which in turn helps you stay comfortable and helps avoid you
    getting chilly on your ride.

     

    Short Sleeve Baselayer Front

     

    Base layers function better if they are close fitting so avoid baggy garments which will bunch up and the excess material will probably end up as an uncomfortable damp lump as moisture will not be able to wick away properly.

     

    Once you are wet, you are more likely to feel cold, especially if you are not exerting yourself, for example on down hills or when you stop for cake – and anything that interferes with the enjoyment of cake is unacceptable.

     

    2: The Mid Layer-Long Sleeve Jersey

    A long sleeve jersey is an essential piece of kit and can be layered up in multiple ways to get you through the different seasons. Once again there are a multitude of different fabrics and different weights of long sleeve jerseys, though at this time of year ‘Roubaix’ fabric which has a warm fleece lining is a popular solution to beating off the chill. The Roubaix fabric creates a microclimate against the skin, trapping warm air and keeping you snuggly. It is also very breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin, ensuring that you stay dry and comfortable.

     

    Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 29/10/2016 - Cycling Fat Lad and Fat Lass At The Back Cyclewear shoot - Burnsall, Yorkshire

    If you find you are sweating in a long sleeve jersey, then you have too many layers on, un zip and think about shedding long sleeve base layers next time. Alternatively go for a different fabric – the FLAB Jacksey is a great option, as it has fleece on the back and a windproof membrane front.

     

    HIGH VIS BEACON GREEN LONG SLEEVE REFLECTIVE CYCLING JACKSEY

    3: Top Coat - Winter Jacket

    Your first line of winter defence against the elements, a decent winter jacket offers two core functions, water and/wind resistance.

    It’s important to remember that there’s always a trade off between waterproof and breathability and if you wear too many layers (a common problem) you can easily end up wetter on the inside than on the outside.

    The best waterproof fabrics are made of membranes which allow smaller sweat molecules out, but not the larger water molecules in. These fabrics also have the advantage of not requiring ‘re-waterproofing’ treatments as the waterproof feature is created in the fabric construction, rather than by a waterproof covering on top of the fabric.

    You can get very lightweight wind/shower resistant jackets that fold up and fit nicely in the pocket of your cycling jersey which are perfect for showers or those changeable weather days when you get all four seasons in one ride.

    https://fatladattheback.com/womens-cycle-wear/womens-floral-gaffer-plus-waterproof-cycling-jacket-size-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22-24-26

    Lasses Floral Gaffer Cycling Jacket

    If you’re a hardy FLAB and are still happy to throw your leg over the stead no matter what the forecast, a good quality wind and water resistant jacket is a great investment. The gaffer FLAB jacket is the ideal winter jacket as it’s made from the latest innovative membrane and provides an insulated wind and waterproof layer, yet it’s fully breathable, lightweight and has stretch to ensure comfortable riding.

    Lower body

    SW1_7876Although some FLABs have a tendency to still get their knees out until it snows (see FLABinati rule#22) once the temperature drops you might want to hibernate the shorts for a few months and get some long cycling tights to keep your legs nice and toasty.

    LADS ANATOMICAL REFLECTIVE THERMAL CYCLING BIB TIGHTS

    You can get lighter weight ones for those transitional days but you can’t beat a warm pair of thermal Roubaix (fleece lined) tights or bibs when the temperature drops below 10 degrees. Bibs and high back leggings will keep your kidneys and back warm and will keep your muscles warm and supple on those cold winter rides. Reflectivity is also a great additional feature on Winter leggings as moving reflective details or hi vis are much more likely to catch the eye of a motorist than the equivalent that’s fixed to your back or you bike.

     

    Extremities

    Head and neck

    A neck doo dah can be popped over your head to keep your neck warm, pull it up over your chin, nose and mouth to keep you warm and it also helps take the biting edge off the cold air when you’re breathing hard or can be worn as a hat.

    Cycling specific head bands can keep the ears warm and light weight hats and skull caps are great for popping on under your helmet.

    Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 29/10/2016 - Cycling Fat Lad and Fat Lass At The Back Cyclewear shoot - Burnsall, Yorkshire

     

    Gloves are a winter essential and don’t need to be cycling specific, as long as you can use your brakes and gears okay, a good pair of wind and water proof gloves will see you through all weathers.

    https://fatladattheback.com/blog/2017/10/20/flab-guide-to-warm-hands-this-winter/

    Overshoes:

    A combination of wet and cold feet can make for a very unpleasant ride, slip on a pair of overshoes on top of your usual cycling footwear to help keep your tootsies warm and dry. You can also purchase waterproof socks which are easier to get on especially if you cycle in trainers.

     

    Arm and leg warmers are also useful especially in the Spring and autumn and can be easily removed and popped in your pocket.

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