Tuesday 29 September 2015

Aldi Specialbuys - Cycling Clothes Review

A What's Good To Do Review

I do a lot of cycling so was thrilled to be asked to review some cycling clothes from Aldi. With the summer fast disappearing I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear my shorts for much longer and had been looking at winter cycling clothes but with cycling gear being quite expensive looking was as far as it went! Thanks to Aldi I am now set up for winter with a great set of clothes that include a pair of tights, Merino base layer long sleeve top, winter cycling gloves, hat and ergonomic cycling socks.

The ladies tights are available in sizes S – L and are very reasonably priced at £13.99, I am usually a size 14 and the medium leggings are a ladies size 12-14 and were a perfect fit. The tights have reflective strips down the legs which is important when cycling in winter and a zip at the bottom of the leg which makes taking them off much easier. I am 6 foot tall and used to sports clothes being a bit short in the leg but I found the Aldi tights quite a good length and a pair of black socks will cover the gap between the bottom of the tights and my ankles. The tights are a really good fit, they have an Italian gel seatpad which was really comfortable, even on long rides and even though they weren’t quite long enough in the leg for me they didn’t ride up at all when I was riding. They have a wind and water resistant front fabric and are inside brushed for warmth, I haven’t used them in the wet yet but I can certainly vouch that they kept my legs lovely and warm on an early morning ride.

The Merino base layer top costs £15.99 and is the perfect extra layer in the winter months. It is warm enough to wear on its own, under a jacket when it is cooler or when it gets colder as a base layer. It is made of 100% pure Merino wool and is breathable and naturally odour resistant. It is longer at the back for a better fit and importantly doesn’t ride up when riding my bike. Again I tried the medium and found it was a very good fit and very comfortable to wear. The sleeves were a good length and it felt soft on my skin.

The cycling gloves are unisex and are available in XS-XL.  They are very reasonably priced at £4.99. They have a warm lining and padded palm and have a velcro strip at the wrist to ensure a good fit.  The reflective detail will be good when cycling in the dark and will help make me more visible to other road users. They have a windproof and waterproof membrane so I won’t have cold, wet hands this winter. I received a pair of XS gloves and thought they would be too small but in actual fact they fitted really well. 

The cycling cap fits snugly under my helmet and will keep my head and ears warm. The softshell fabric is waterproof, breathable and wind resistant. It costs £4.99 and is available in Black, sizes S-XL or Black/Neon Yellow, sizes S-XL.

I normally wear my everyday  socks when cycling but Aldi also sent me a pair of their ergonomic cycling socks to try. The socks are specially designed and they even have L and R on them so you know which foot to put them on! They are for size 4 – 7 but they were still comfortable on my size 8 feet. I didn’t realise socks could be so hi-tech but these have a triaxis bandage which supports and stabilises the ankle with compression and mid foot bandage to stabilise the central part of the foot and provides sufficient cushioning in the shoes. As well as this there is comfort padding which is integrated padding systems where the feet need particular support.  With so much support it’s no wonder that these socks were really comfortable to wear.

Everything is machine washable and up to now I have washed the leggings, Merino top and socks, they have all washed well, even after a particularly muddy off road ride. I have to say I am really impressed with both the quality and fit of the clothes and of course the price. I will be popping down to Aldi this week to kit out the rest of the family with winter gear as they are all quite envious of my new cycling clothes. It’s also great when I am busy to be able to pick up new cycling gear when I am doing the weekly shop.  If you cycle I would certainly recommend that you get down to Aldi and look at the great range of cycling gear that they have and get kitted out for winter.   

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Weekend in Wales

Last weekend we spent the weekend with Mark's Mum and Dad in Wales. We stayed on a caravan site just outside Porthmadog and had a lovely weekend. Saturday was a lovely day and we did a nice walk from Beddgellert. 

There were patches of mist as we were setting off which looked amazing in the sunlight and some of the bushes had cobwebs that were glistening with dew.

Part of the walk was along the river and the boys found a cave which they explored. Luckily Mark had a torch in his rucsack so they were able to go in quite a way which they enjoyed.

The weather was perfect, considering it was September it was really hot and we all wished we had put shorts on like Luke.

On Sunday we went on the Ffestiniog railway which something we have done every year since Luke was small. Usually we travel from Ffestiniog to Porthmadog but this time we parked at Tan-y-Bwlch for a change.

The weather wasn't as nice but at least it stayed fine. There were no open carriages so we had to sit in an indoor one but at least we stayed warm.

We had enough time in Porthmadog to get to the ice cream shop and Luke enjoyed his bubblegum ice cream.

Tour of Britain

On the last day of the school holidays the Tour of Britain cycle race came through the Ribble Valley so we went to watch it come through Longridge. Considering it was a Monday lunchtime there was plenty of people watching. My sister was back at school so we had Ed with us too.

There was plenty of motorbikes before the cyclists came through and then we got our first glimpse of the lead cyclists. Two riders had broken away and had a 2 minute lead on the peloton.

The remaining riders were all together and flew round the corner very quickly!

After the bikes came the many support cars with spare bikes on the roof. We didn't spot Bradley Wiggins but we did see his car.

Monday 7 September 2015

Duck and hen sitting

Whilst Jonathan and Ruth have been away we have been looking after the new ducks and the hens. Luke has really enjoyed feeding them and looking after them.

Ed had a sleepover last night so he went with Luke this morning to let them out and feed them.

Bleasdale Ride

On Friday evening we cycled to Bleasdale in the beautiful Forest of Bowland, it was a lovely evening and the ride was just over 17 miles.

Mark has buckled the wheel of his bike so it is at the bike shop being fixed so we didn't risk going down Snape Rake Lane to Waddecar. It is a very long time since we walked the full length of it and I'm not sure what state the track is in now, it wasn't great last time we went down it so I'm sure it will have deteriorated now.  

We considered (very briefly) riding up Delph Lane to Oakenclough but decided that it was too much of a climb so maybe we will do that another day.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Veet Wax Strips Natural Inspirations Review

I have tried various hair removal methods over the years and I have found waxing is the best option for me as the results last much longer than shaving. We do lots of cycling and as soon as it is warm enough I wear shorts, so I need to make sure my legs are hair free and waxing means I stay hair free for longer. Waxing at the salon is expensive so Veet is great as I can get hair free legs for a fraction of the cost and with my hectic lifestyle I can fit it in when it suits me, rather than trying to squeeze a trip to the salon into my busy week. I have used Veet wax strips before but not the new Natural Inspirations strips so I was keen to see how they compare.

There is a step by step guide on how to use the wax strips on the back of the pack which is very easy to follow. It also gives the following information about the wax strips.

Experience the touch of nature with new Veet Natural Inspirations wax strips. Veet Natural Inspirations wax strips made with 90% ingredients from natural origin give you long lasting smoothness for up to 28 days. Thanks to their formula made with resin derived from pine tree and aloe vera of natural origin, known for its moisturising properties, they leave the skin feeling moisturised and touchably soft.

Inside the box are 20 wax strips and 4 Veet perfect finish wipes which I find are brilliant at getting rid of any stray bits of wax left on your leg. I wax my upper and lower leg and find that 20 strips is about right to wax both legs. If you only wax your lower leg you should get 2 waxes out of a pack.

The wax strips can be used several times, until they use their stickiness. I find I can use them 3 - 4 times before I need a new strip. They are effective at removing hair and whilst it is a little time consuming the end results are worth it. I don't find it especially painful, but I have been waxing for a few years now and I suppose I'm used to it.

I have dark hair that grows very fast so I tend to wax every 2 to 3 weeks but other people may not need to use them as often as I do.

I found my legs were lovely and soft after using Veet natural inspirations and they are just as effective as my usual Veet wax strips.

Disclaimer: I received a pack of Veet Natural Inspirations wax strips for the purpose of this review but all words, opinions and images are my own.