Each time I go out for a ride I try and make a small adjustment to my bike, such as adjusting the saddle height, saddle position, how tight my toe clips are, etc.
When I'm cycling at a constant speed I've found that sometimes it gets a little uncomfortable to keep my hands on the handlebars all the time, it's nice to be able to move your arms a little. So a week and a half ago I decided to order some bar ends for my bike
I've got them fitted now (which was an interesting process... moving rubber grips along handlebars is not an easy task) and one thing I really wasn't expecting was for them to look so smart. They appear to use a very similar type of rubber to my existing grips, so the finish is nearly seamless:
Unlike many of the bar ends that Wiggle stock, these seem to be the only type that extend both below and above the bar. I almost wondered if this was a bit of a gimmick (if it's such a good idea, why isn't everybody selling them?) but having been out a couple of times now I can say that they're not
I've also ordered a pair of clip-in pedals and shoes. Up to now I've been cycling with a pair of very old trainers. These were fine until I discovered how much better it was to cycle with the straps very tight on my toe clips... a very noticable difference in power, especially when pedalling uphill. The downside was that the soles on the shoes were very soft and after about 45 minutes it became slightly painful to have the pedal digging into the underside of my foot
So, when the new pedals & shoes turn up I'll have to pedal around at work for a while getting used to clipping in/out. Tim Uglow (an engineer at work) suggested the work car park as a good place to do this... set yourself a spot that is your imaginary traffic lights and stop/clip out for that point. If you can't manage it, it's no big deal (you won't fall off sideways and break your leg/arm/ankle) you just keep going and unclip there. Obviously once you've got some practise in, you'll be ready for the road