All Posts by Huw Griffiths

Ladies bike

Ladies Bike

11 tips for a ladies bike

Ladies Bike  11 tips to consider

I rode to work for 20 yrs through the centre of London. I have to say not always on a ladies bike, but on occasions. (Elswick 1936 ladies bike ). Cycling is quick efficient economic and pollution-free. I learnt a great deal, of what to do and have and not do and no need to have. That is why I have put together these 11 tips for a ladies bike together.

When starting out it can be quite a daunting task to choose the right bike. I have not listed a series of bikes you could buy. No, my list is comprised of the aspects I would consider before buying the bike. It would be similar for a man’s bike or a ladies bike. Each of these tips are serious considerations. Often learnt the hard way. So, please don’t just go for the name on the frame, think the whole thing through. The most important tips from 20yrs

20 yrs of cycling through London

bike riding in Lonon
14 miles a day

  Below are the most important things I learnt. 30 yrs ago when I started cycling to work very few others were doing it. I would cycle in all weathers, all seasons. From Parliament Hill, Hampstead to South Kensington. 7 miles there 7 miles back and it always took 1 hr each way. ( by car, bus or tube would take the same time, if not longer)

My journey would as far as possible avoid the big roads, using cut-throughs in parks and cycling along the canal paths. Not rushing, not getting up a sweat, just a steady tootle.I had no special clothing and had my cycle clips to keep my work trousers from becoming covered in oil from the chain. I would arrive at work calm relaxed and feeling refreshed. It is surprising but in London it really doesn’t rain as often as you think. Hardly ever would I arrive soaked through.

Here are my top 11 tips for a ladies bike.

Bike lights are essential
Good lights are essential
  1. Have good lights on your bike.

Re-Chargeable are best, You don’t want to be buying batteries all the time and it is not very eco-friendly. You need to be seen all the time. The brightness is important.
My lights cost me more than some of the bikes I bought! For after being knocked over, in dramatic slow motion on a winters evening in Regents Park by a taxi cutting in off Prince Albert rd, I realised that he just had not registered my dim lights. That’s when I got a serious amount of Lumins front and back. I still have my trusty Cats eye volt 700 which cost around £90, 15yrs ago. ( Prices have dropped since then ) but it is a rugged bright beam and USB rechargeable.

2. High vis jacket and well-fitting helmet.

I didn’t always where High vis but after the Regents Park episode, I changed my mind. Being seen is a good idea and never take for granted that the driver in the car has seen you, for they usually haven’t.

Good bike breaks are essential
Coaster break
in rear hub

3. Have good brakes.

To be able to stop well is a great asset. In the last 20 years, the technology has improved so again spend on the brakes. All-weather brakes are a must. The old block brakes really will not stop you in the wet, and that’s quite scary. ( I am still alive to tell the tale). The best is the rear wheel coaster braking system. Where you use the pedals to engage the rear brake by backpedalling, they are inside the rear hub and work well.

4. Have good locks.

You need to have locks for your bike. The great thing is that with a bike you can park anywhere, but you need to secure your front wheel, your back wheel and your frame altogether, with equipment which is going to deter the casual bike thief. The serious thief will have hydraulic cutters and sorry but you can say goodby to the bike if they are around. ( I had 12 bikes stolen in 10 years Central and East London.)

puncture free tyres
Puncture free tyres

5. Have puncture-less tyres.

This saves hours of hassle and walking. Riding on a bike, unless it’s a bike path, you tend to get edged into the gutter where all the glass and shrapnel live. If you have thin normal tyres, you will pick up punctures, this can be very demoralising. A good reasonable price make is schwable, I use them and find them reliable.

6. Have mudguards on your bike.

When I see bikes without mudguards I cringe. Mudguards keep you dry more than any other single piece of equipment, I believe all bikes should be sold with mudguards.yuck a dirty wet back from a damp road is gross.

7. Have carriers fitted at least on the rear.

Going to work? You will have your laptop tour lunch, your, books and on the way home the shopping. Goo solid carriers are a must they are indispensable for otherwise you have to carry everything on your back and guess what you will get a hot and sweaty back so arrive at work or at home really soaked. Use paniers not backpacks.

Ladies Bike  11 tips to consider

8. Carry lightweight waterproofs

Enter the untrendy rain poncho, it was always my first choice as it just covers all of you and the rain goes straight off you, or some 100% waterproof jacket and over trousers. But another reason for the poncho you will get hot cycling in the waterproofs, and they take time to put on and take off. The poncho is 20 seconds and your dry and the air circulates well. Trust me a sturdy plastic poncho does the trick. Some worry about the wind flapping etc, seriously its not the Tour de France, it is getting to work dry, slow down in the rain and be careful.

9. Don’t have too many gears

Simple is best and it is not a race. In the town or city, you really don’t need many gears, 5 is almost too many, but if you live up a hill then make sure the gearing ratio is adequate to give you the ability to do a hill climb.

10. Don’t have a hugely expensive bike

But have good wheels and breaks. The weight doesn’t really matter especially if you are carrying shopping or laptop etc. Treat your bike like a workhorse, not a fashion accessory. Quality yes, but not fancy.

The main reason is that bike thieves know a good bike when they see one and if you park it every ay in the same place don’t be surprised  if you come out of work one day and it will be gone. Tip: ( Add your bike to your household insurance, it makes the loss easier to take).

11. Make sure it fits you

Your leg length, get a bike which fits you well and is easy to ride and you enjoy riding, you could be doing 2hrs a day on it.

The last thing is you don’t need to wear lycra sports gear, that’s for the MAMIL’S. (Middle Aged Men In Lycra.) Don’t try to look trendy, dress practically and comfortably in everyday clothes. ( but hey, that’s just my opinion).

The traffic and the traffic lights and the road works will slow you down more than your clothing! Wear what is comfortable, (clogs as footwear are not a good idea, back in  the 70’s I lost one of my clogs going round Old street roundabout,   but that’s another story)

  • in my following blogs, I will break down in more detail each of these aspects of getting cycling in the city.
eco friendly car obituary

Eco-friendly car obituary

Is this the end of the eco-friendly car?

 Eco-friendly car obituary e bikes for the family
The trike to like

Has the car had its day? Is this the end of the eco-friendly car?

In urban situations, cities and large towns, things are changing, as we look into the future we can see that the pollution generated by traditional petrol and diesel cars, trucks, taxis, and busses is definitely an unacceptable health risk and environmental pollutant. The main exhaust pollutants being CO2, NO2 and micro particulates PM2.5 .

The urban health risk

The Eco-friendly car, as wonderful as it may seem, is it any better than its petrol or diesel cousins or is it just another green car wash? what is the real impact on our health and on our environment of electric cars? Emissions.

Exposure to the PM2.5 emissions from diesel can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease
  • nonfatal heart attacks
  • irregular heartbeat
  • aggravated asthma
  • decreased lung function
  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. (www.epa.gov)

The eco-friendly car?

Electric cars are seemingly clean, however, their power source, the electricity needed for propulsion has to be generated from somewhere. At present all national grid UK electricity is a mix of the coal and the nuclear the gas plants and renewables.

Analysts at EnAppSys has found that between January and March 2020, In the quarter, 44.6% of power came from renewables and 29.1% from gas-fired plants. The remaining power came from nuclear (15.3%), and coal plants (3.7%).

Indicating that less than 45% of the power for your electric eco-car is powered by renewables indicating that 55% of the electricity you use is generated by carbon or nuclear sources. The emissions may not be in your back yard but they are pumped out into the environment.You just don’t see them.

Eco-friendly alternative is the bike.

Beners-Lee in his Carlisle, 27 Sept 2018 presentation of his book ‘There is no planet B’, makes this rather astute observation. That a solar-powered e-bike gives the best return from renewable resources and totally ideal for urban and city dwellers.

Eco-friendly car obituary
E bike is best

In spite of all this, the human desire for independence and freedom is so well encapsulated in having the car always available outside, the keys in the pocket and a full tank of fuel. This habit will be difficult to change.

Solar powered electric bikes

eco-friendly car obituary
the urban family ride

With the extra power and help of 250-500wh motors and a range of 40-60 miles, these new additions to the biking range make it both feaseable and enjoyable to get to work, or go shopping with ease and Zero environmental impact.

Urban transportation for the urban lifestyle will need to be reassessed. Either through the intelligence of each individual taking upon themselves not just to do the recycling, but to really consider how they would like their environment to be and how they live our lives. But also through state intervention, investment and taxation.

Eco-friendly car obituary
the carry all bike
Carry it all

It will be a lot more rewarding, It will not be a case of having to do without, far more of having an equitable community-based responsibility for the way we live locally, how we source our food, our transport, our schools and housing. The privately owned car will be replace by the community car share, the tram,the train, the bus and the bike. Empowering the individual to have rapid efficent clean transportation around the towns and cities.

Looking forward eco-green

They will be wranglings over the next few years about the money economics, production, employment, GDP, the welfare state and the list goes on. The singular perspective is that things will have to change if we are going into to avoid a global environmental crisis. We may only see the beginnings of the effects at this moment, soon it is only going to increase.

By ignoring the symptoms, the illness does not go away. We’ve seen that with covid-19 in the USA and Brazil. Collectively, Homo sapiens is pretending that everything is ‘ok now’ and believing by ignoring the warning signs of climate change, the deforestation, the degradation of land, the overfishing, the pollutants, the plastic, will all just go away. It reminds me of the 2 yr old who hides behind their hands closing their eyes and believes that you can not see them.

Ask the economists and they will repeat the mantra of the environmental Kuznets Curve. ‘Growth will eventually fix the environmental problem that it creates’. If we make more money, we continue to grow with more profits and then we will fix the environment. Not true.

The solution will come through interconnected ideas and appreciations to solve it will take joined-up systems thinking, logic and action. Limited linear economic thinking will always fall short.

The future looks good. Is this the end of the eco-friendly car? Urban Transport will be 100% renewable electric community cars, electric bikes, electric planes, all powered by solar, wind, heat pumps and waves sources. We will be able to look after the environment, the climate, the biosphere, the wilderness, the forests, the rivers, the lakes, the seas and our selves.

Humanity will flourish, together with all life. Homo sapiens is growing up from the 2 yr old into an adult. Taking responsibility and the consequences for all our actions.

Showing sleepiness in atree

Why am I so tired all the time?

Do you ever think…Why am I so tired all the time and low on energy, when I have hardly done anything? It really can be quite worrying. Catastrophy runs wild in the imagination, what could be happening, a serious illness, flu, COVID 19? Who to ask what to do.

The first step is, to step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself the following questions  Where does the tiredness come from?

 The first question to ask, is how long have I had this tiredness? Is it the physical body or the mind? Is it coming from physical symptoms or more of mental-emotional symptoms?

Always
Tired

If we have had tiredness for some time, and it is progressively getting worse, then the first thing we must do is visit your GP. It is imperative to have a full check out the state of our physical body. The medical world with all its ability of tests and scans can put our mind to rest. identifying whether the tiredness is due to a major concern, which may need attending to or physically everything is OK and we have the all-clear.

Extremely Tired all the time?

Once that is sorted then we must begin to look at the more subtle causes of  why we are feeling extremely tired. The most obvious place to start is with our lifestyle and our diet and our fluid intake.

Lifestyle. If we are overworking and constantly overworking and extremely tired through the exertion of the day. The first thing we must do is to stop and reassess the real needs in our life. Altering our lifestyle can help us to conserve and re-energise our body and mind. We do not have to be tired all the time!

Is your life style tiring?
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Diet. It is very important to have regular meals of freshly cooked food with a balance of proteins carbs and vegetables. Easy to say, but sometimes difficult to achieve especially when we have a hectic life. Takeaway meals, frozen foods, oven ready foods, processed foods, should all be kept to a minimum.Improving your diet with acupuncture Much of the goodness and energy-giving nutrition has often be broken down in the pre-cooking and the processing of convenient foods. They might taste nice and yummy but they just add to our tiredness and fatigue.

Food intolerance and allergies.

Increasingly food intolerances and allergic reactions to foods are increasing, it is not, however, a simple situation. The body is a highly complex and interconnected homeostatic system. In plain English, it means that it’s not just the food we eat it’s the State of Mind with which we eat it and our overall emotional status.

Just consider this. When we get upset often we get a tummy ache or we have to run to the loo, or we have fullness or swelling in our stomach. All these symptoms are generated through our limbic system in the brain reacting to the emotional responses we’re feeling, which affect our ability to digest. It is very important to know which foods we have problems with but don’t be surprised when times we can eat those foods with no problem and at other times we eat the same food and feel very tired lethargic fatigued.

 One of the big difficulties with food intolerances is it takes between 10 to 20 minutes for us to feel the negative effects of the food. Therefore often we don’t relate directly to the food we ate and the symptom we have. Allergies on the hand have a direct almost instantaneous response within the body, as soon as the allergic substance is ingested or touched.

Have you had a food intolerance test?

Therefore, it is important to have tests either by a therapist or a doctor to isolate out which substances and foods we have trouble with. In addition, we can do an elimination diet our self by cutting out the foods we consider to be affecting our energy and making us feel tired. In not eating them for a period of two to three weeks, and then reintroducing them to our diet one of the time and noting how we feel each meal. This will give we a very good indication of our ability to digest and assimilate this food. It is advisable also to note our emotional state of mind. For instance, happy anxious angry worried etc. as this could be a good indicator of our digestive abilities.

Testing for tiredmness

I am of the mind that a little of everything is fine for us. It is the excess which is detrimental to our health and well-being. Too much of anything is bad for us. This does not mean but meals have to be boring, we just have to find the energy to be creative. This is a positive spiral upwards. We make interesting food, it tastes good, it does us good, and it gives us energy, and our fatigue and tiredness will slowly diminish.

Mineral Water

Monitor your fluid intake. For thousands of years, homo sapiens has drunk water. With the occasional alcohol at festive times and herbal remedies as infusions for health. Mineral water is the closest we have to drinking natural water. In the last 150 years, which is no time at all in our evolution, we have begun to drink a vast amount of stimulants, black tea, coffee, sugary drinks and artificial fruit drinks. This is novel and energy-intensive for the digestion. Mineral water can be inexpensive and give you all the advantages of hydrating yourself without fear of the over sanitisation of tap water.

It is our kidneys which have to sort out the pure from the impure fluids. We need pure water to bathe our cells and functions, and lubricate our body’s energy mechanisms and digestive mechanisms. I believe that coffee and strong tea are two of the most dangerous artificial stimulants that we are ingesting at the moment. For the simulants act on the adrenal glands creating adrenaline and cortisol to produce more energy and along with the thyroid glands. When over used this chemical reaction inverts and creates the feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

Within the body when we overdue anything the homeostatic mechanism of the body will attempt to recreate the balance and if we push our self for too long too often finally the body will say ‘stop I can go no further’ and we will have intense fatigue and tiredness.

Drink pure water. helps tiredness
Drink pure water

Therefore try and drink more water and less stimulants, less alcohol, regaining the balance is of the Essence. A little bit of everything is fine but three or four espresso coffees or lattes or cappuccinos a day is excessive and will do damage.

Emotional Tiredness

The next area of tiredness is emotional tiredness. This is the most subtle and yet pervasive draining of energy in the body. (I will link this to another post of mine concerning the brain and how it functions.) Just to say that our emotions when we have no insight will use a lot of our energy.

Thoughts can cascade and catastrophize through fear, anger, worry and insecurity. In these times, May 2020, there is huge in security and there is vast emotional fear. And as I’m sure we have noticed we cannot say to our selves ‘I don’t want to be scared or frightened or fearful’ for this just doesn’t work. We have to come at it from another perspective and that is from going deep into the limbic system of the mind and calming down the initial stimuli of the creation of the chemicals which creates the feelings of the emotions.

 This is not done with our clever mind, this is not done by trying. It is done by coming to the present moment, by sitting quietly or lying down quietly, and allowing our consciousness (which is not our clever thinking mind) to come to the present moment. To experience that which is really happening to us not that we think may have happened or might happen in the future to us.

Negative Emotions make you tired

There is a huge and profound difference. Once we gain the insight into our own mind we can re-engineer and reverse the emotional negative impacts on our energy and our tiredness.

In rebalancing our emotions we do not have to go through every single thing, dragging up all the trauma, dragging up all the let-downs, dragging up all the unfulfilled wishes expectations, we don’t have to do that. We just have to be more mindful.

Have you tried Mindfulness?

This is where mindfulness meditation begins to release us from the tyranny of our own mind and allows us to find and that joy and happiness, which is deep within us, waiting to be freed from the fears and insecurity of our clever mind.

Mindfulness calms th mind and gives you energy
Mindfulness Calms the Emotions

For more information on how to do this please follow the link below.

www.mindfulnessbath.co.uk