I stumbled upon this interesting blog from New York Times recently about the effects of exercising and aging, with particularly strong evidence that we should all keep on cycling.

"Active older people resemble much younger people physiologically, according to a new study of the effects of exercise on aging. The findings suggest that many of our expectations about the inevitability of physical decline with advancing years may be incorrect and that how we age is, to a large degree, up to us." Read the full article

Since I got the On-One Lurcher I'd been eyeing up the parts needed to make the On One Lurcher, single speed.  I've always fancied giving single speed a go with my mountain biking, but never taken the plunge. So when everything I needed arrived at Christmas I couldn't wait to give it a go.

The great the about the lurcher frame is that the dropouts are interchangeable so you can switch out the dropouts set for gears and put track style dropouts on by just changing a few bolts.  Coupled with a simple single speed sprocket and space set and a single speed chain its an easy transition to give it a go and very easy to convert back if I find it doesn't suit my riding style.

I managed to get out over the break and give it a go and can say I'm glad I gave it a try, I'll most likely switch back to gears over the summer and for racing but while the weather is less favorable to simplicity and ease of maintenance is a huge plus.  There were definitely a few moments where I moved my thumb to make a shift and quickly realised that I couldn't, therefore forcing me to exert that extra energy and crank it out.  I'll post back on here from time to time with my progress, the weather is pretty bad here in NOVA right now so I'll take my chances to get on the trail when I can.

I was lucky enough to receive a pair of On-One Thicky Merino socks this Christmas.  One thing I have learned is that no matter the season, a good pair of socks is essential.  These beauties are made of 100% merino wool and as the name says are thicker than usual to ensure that feet stay warm through the colder months.

Anatomic cycle-specific fit
Silky, itch-free comfort
Naturally odour resistant
Stretch arch support
Durable heel and toe sections
High warmth to weight ratio even when wet
Fully-fashioned seam free
Machine washable
Check out www.One-one.co.uk for more info.

For me Christmas and New Year often means, an extended period away from work.  Once the new year passes the next few days allow me to reflect and prepare myself for the year ahead.  One thing I've been meaning to do for some time now is update the look and feel of my blog to bring it into modern times.

I hope you like the result.  There's still a few final tweaks to make and links to finalize, however, I'm confident that this will give me a solid platform to keep adding content throughout 2015.

In the last couple of years mountain biking has become a big part of my life, I've always had a lot of hobbies, but mountain biking and cycling in general for that matter have proven to be constant. I'm now at that point with both of my bikes, (On-One Lurcher mountain bike) and (Kona Kapu road bike) whereby I'm happy, and the urge to upgrade and change components has waned a little.  This leaves a strange feeling that I've not experienced before.  I'll now only change things if they break or wear out and rather than replace like for like I'll aim to upgrade (unless of course I see a killer deal).

This has given me the opportunity to reflect on my purchases in 2014 and the hap hazard approach to spending, I have managed to sell off some parts to keep some money in the pot but in general there's been no set budget or plan for buying bike things.

This got me thinking, there must be a more disciplined and structured approach I can adopt for 2015.  My other two main activities soccer and pool, require me to pay dues every time I play.  Could I apply this same approach to my cycling and adopt a pay per ride approach?

So here's the plan, every time I ride I will put $10 in a savings account to be used to fund replacements, gear, etc.  If I can be disciplined enough to keep on top of it it should yield several main rewards.

1. A comfortable buffer should anything break, after a while there'll be money set aside without dipping into daily budgets.

2. An incentive to ride, if there's a new component I want or the latest gear, the more I ride the sooner I'll be able to afford to get it, in turn I should reap the health and fitness benefits.

3. An account dedicated to spending on cycling, making it straightforward to track the true cost of this wonderful way of life.

Here's to a 2015 that holds many rides!  Happy new year to you all.