Win a thermos
We have a 0.47 litre Stanley bicycle thermos worth £30 to give away. Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page and let us know what you’d fill it with. We’ll pick a winner next week.
Cold weather cycling
This week’s commutes might have felt miserable, but it’s all relative. The pioneer adventure cyclists of the 1890s who took to the snowy wilds of northern Canada without the benefit of modern clothing (and 80 years before mountain bikes) knew a thing or two about cycling in the extreme cold. The Great Gold Rush drew 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1896 and 1899. Those who didn’t have the money to invest in dog teams used bicycles and rudimentary cold weather gear.
Max Hirschberg was 19 when he took to a bicycle to join the gold rush. His journal gives a fascinating insight into the cold weather gear of the day:
“The day I left Dawson, March 2, 1900, was clear and crisp, 30° below zero. I was dressed in a flannel shirt, heavy fleece-lined overalls, a heavy mackinaw coat, a drill parka, two pairs of heavy woolen socks and felt high-top shoes, a fur cap that I pulled down over my ears, a fur nose piece, plus fur gauntlet gloves. On the handlebars of the bicycle I strapped a large fur robe. Fastened to the springs, back of the seat, was a canvas sack containing a heavy shirt, socks, underwear, a diary in waterproof covering, pencils and several blocks of sulfur matches. In my pockets I carried a penknife and a watch.”
Ethical cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. How much excess you will be charged is just one of the things that varies wildly between providers. Another is so called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use this term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.
For 29 years we have been providing this kind of straightforward, affordable bicycle insurance. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.