Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Fitness plan

Posted by Matt | August 21, 2008 | 3 comments so far

Good news from Rob recently who has announced he’s been cleared to return to riding after much problems with his knee (more information on the DoMTB forum). Like me, he’s bemoaning his weight gain and lack of fitness which I’m sure he’ll recover pretty quickly.

I too have started thinking about returning to fitness although I’m not ready to start yet. Earlier in the week I mentioned I plan to fit some slicks to my On-one and start getting some miles in on road as a start but it’s got me thinking about fitness more widely.

What I’d like to aim for is to try and make sure that every journey I take under five miles is by bike or by foot in an effort to both cut down on pointless fuel costs and get fitter than I’ve been for a long time. It seems to me the best way to do that is to make a ‘lifestyle change’ as the experts would describe it.

So here’s my plan. Dig out my old 1998 Marin Muirwoods from the box in the garage and build it up into a road specific tool (I knew there was a reason I couldn’t bring myself to sell it). Now, I know what you’re thinking, Matt seems to have spent far too long off his bike and thinking about these things, but hear me out.

Despite the craziness of it, look at the facts. I’d still need to drive to work which is 14 miles away and trips to Guildford and Kingston at the weekends would still involve the car. But that aside, I don’t need a car, friends and family are a maximum five miles away in Ashtead (but mostly in Fetcham/Bookham/Leatherhead) and if I have a road suited bike it should get used more frequently anyway.

I’m planning a carbon fork and handlebars, slick tyres and probably V-brakes if only for the nostalgia. For drivetrain I’m quite tempted to fit just a single chainring with a nine speed road block out back but I’ve no idea whether this is a) possible and b) what gear range to go for. Then to turn the bike into a properly practical proposition I’ll add a rack with a single pannier to transport whatever I need (spares, lock, waterproof, small bits of shopping etc.). It should end up being a pretty light bike overall.

Now that should be enough to get the fantasy bike builders speculating. Any ideas on what components I should be looking at or should I get my head seen to instead?

Filed under Lifestyle, Mutterings in August 2008


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 3 comments on ‘Fitness plan’

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  1. Rob says:

    Try On-one or Wiggle for the carbon fork, how about a 2nd hand Alfine hub for the rear (see doamb site for Gary’s) and Specialized Fat Boy slick tyres.

    I’m off out now into Dorking on the slicked up Hardrock – wish me luck as it is the first time out for me since I had my accident.

    See you soon and good luck with your recovery.

  2. Louis says:

    I did a similar thing myself at the end of last year. The only problem I have is that living in Croydon I don’t like leaving even my old Carrera Kraken locked up for long anywhere.

    I’ve got kids so busy roads sometimes means I need the car (and I don’t do the weekly shop on the bike) but the car mileage has dropped off remarkably. I got to the point where I was almost only using it for ferrying the bikes to good off road places.

    Oh, don’t fit the bike with a quick release seat (it’s one more thing to get nicked easily) and I got a really good U lock and a separate cable lock which had eyelets which fitted to the U lock to connect the wheels to whatever I was locking it to.

    Oh, if you really want to increase your fitness, fit a child seat and tow someone’s two year old around up some hills, you won’t believe how good that is for building stamina 😉

  3. Muddymoles says:

    My retro bike project

    It may be a bit old in the tooth but a good bike like the 1998 Marin Muirwoods never truly dies. It just gets used in different ways.

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