Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Tour Of Britain

On Saturday 21st September I went to Guildford to watch Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain. The Go Surrey website had lots of very useful and detailed information that made planning the day easy. My wife got into watching the Tour de France and became a fan of Nairo Quintana, so she was up for coming along too, making it a whole family day out.

We wanted to see the finish on Guildford High Street, but also to see some action out on the roads, where we'd be able to watch without huge crowds. After checking the route it seemed that Newlands Corner would be a good place. Its only a couple of miles out of Guildford so is easily reachable by novice cyclists. The peleton were due to pass around 1.30pm and its a good place for a picnic. After passing the peleton would take a route North then West, crossing the finish around 3.30pm, leaving us plenty of time to have a picnic and get back and join the crowds in the High Street.

Deciding against the car as being too much hassle, we got the train to Guildford. It was starting to get busy as went up the High Street at about noon. We took a photo opportunity on the finish (lots of very friendly and helpful officials/marshalls around).

We carried on to Newland's Corner and saw the crowd was already building up. It seems like a popular place for bikers and there was a huge queue at the cafe. We started on the picnic but it wasn't long before police outriders started coming past, followed by various support vehicles. I expected a few but was surprised by how many there actually were; dozens of motorbikes, cars and vans. About 10 minutes after the first outriders, the 4 breakaway riders came past to great cheers! At last! It was great to see the riders that we'd been watching on the TV, and to cheer them on! Shortly after the peleton came past and Brad got a huge cheer as he went past (Quintana just behind him got a big cheer from my wife).

The crowds started dispersing and we finished out picnic and had a cup of tea. Heading back into Guildford it was extremely busy with huge crowds. We locked up our bikes a short distance from the high street and headed for the noise! There was a real festival atmosphere; the tannoy announcer was keeping everyone up to date with race progress, also shown on big screens. Everyone was anticipating the finish. We moved through the crowds on the high street (now 5 deep) to a place where we could stand on a step and look over - then came the announcement that the head of the race was minutes away! Craning our necks to see, we heard a roar of cheers, whistling and clapping coming! Then we saw the sprinters dash past at an impressive speed, then it was all over! Mark Cavendish had won!

We hung around, having tea and cake in a cafe, and looking round for some merchandise. My daughter was keen on getting one of the green Skoda flags, and I wanted a Tour jersey. On the way back to pick up the bikes we saw Mark coming out of the press zone (presumably he'd been doing interviews). He signed a few autographs and gave us a wave - I was 5 feet away from him!

All in all a really great day out. It was great to see the pros up close and the event was brilliantly organised. The info available ahead of time made it easy to plan and the officials on the day were really helpful. Now we're planning out trip to Yorkshire next year!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Commuting by public transport

I'm going out on the beers after work tonight, so my usual commuting options are limited; I can't cycle or drive after a few pints. This leaves few options and I chose public transport.

I've previously compared the commute by bicycle and public transport, but I've been working in a new office for a couple of months now, which is at the edge of Reading, instead of being right in the centre of town. I thought I'd see how the different transport methods commute to this new location.

Method Door to door time Cost Benefits Drawbacks
Public transport 1 hour 8 mins* £7.60 Unreliable, slow, expensive
Bicycle 24 mins** Free Fitness/Health, reliable, fast Unpleasant in harsh weather

* See breakdown below
** 7.5 miles

The public transport option was horrible. Here's a breakdown of the journey.

Walk to the station: 0.9 miles, 13 minutes
Buy ticket and wait for train: 7 minutes
Train to Reading: 6.8 miles, 14 minutes
Walk to bus stop: 0.2 miles, 4 minutes
Wait for bus: 12 minutes
Bus ride: 3.0 miles, 14 minutes
Walk to office: 0.3 miles, 4 minutes

Adding that together we get;

Activity Time spent
Walking 21 min
Waiting for public transport 19 min
On public transport 28 min

Here are maps of the GPS traces;
Route taken by public transport.
Route taken on bicycle.

Clearly public transport is a terrible way to commute. It was already worse than cycling but the new office location adds a bus ride which makes it much worse.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Attacked by APC Courier van

On the way home last night I was attacked by a man driving an APC courier van.

School Road in Arborfield has two traffic calming constrictions either side of a school. Traffic moving away from the school has priority. Yesterday, about 5.30pm, while cycling down School Road, I was approaching one of the constrictions where I had right of way, see below;

View Larger Map

There was an APC courier van coming the other way and he failed to give way. Instead he pulled out into my path and drove at me, causing me to make an evasive move (braking hard and swerving) to avoid a head on collision. I was pretty lucky not to come off the bike trying to avoid the collision. You can see the constriction from his point of view below;

View Larger Map

Notice the large, clear sign showing that oncoming traffic has right of way. Note the large "give way" triangle and lines painted on the road. Clearly these don't apply to everyone.

The driver had obviously seen me but either a) made an extremely poor judgement or b) decided that he didn't need to give way as he was driving a van vs my bicycle. I suspect the latter, as he yelled "Fuck Off" out of the window as he raced past.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The only (real) obstacle to Dutch style cycling in the UK

I was prompted to write this by an interesting article on the BBC. The article compares cycling in Reading and The Hague. Its a foregone conclusion that Reading isn't going to come off very well. Many people continue to debate exactly why UK towns and cities consistently fail to achieve anything like continental levels of cycling. Well, look no further, the BBC article offers a glimpse;


Reading has a population of 225,000 in the wider urban area. The article states that one of Reading's objectives is `aiming for 2,300 daily cycle trips across the town`, so their target is 1% of the population to cycle daily? This is less than the current national average and its an objective? Is Reading's objective is to reduce cycling?* Hmm, not sure if I believe the BBC's stats here; looks like they got something wrong.


Cycling is pretty popular, and wherever you go there are always people who are passionate about campaigning and promoting cycling. Reading is no exception with the Reading Cycle Campaign. The BBC article has a quote from the RCC's Adrian Lawson;

"We had a 'workshop' with Reading Borough Council officers, their consultants, and members of the cycle campaign. We identified a lot of simple things that would make it immeasurably better for cyclists. This was over a year ago. Not a single thing has happened. In fact we have had five workshops to look at different parts of Reading in the last two years, and there hasn't been any action arising from any of them".

Hmm, that's telling isn't it, and reminiscent of my own attempts to get Wokingham council to engage with actual people who actually cycle. Then we get a gem from Tony Page who is deputy council leader and lead councillor for strategic environment, planning and transport. Tony said he found it "irritating" that "we have historically developed a system that results in some cycle lanes just ending abruptly". Tony has served on Reading Council as a Labour councillor since 1973, without break. Well Tony, at least you acknowledge your own mistakes, maybe it might be better to actually do something about it.

Then we get to the the real reason why we'll never be cycling Dutch style in Reading. Tony says,

"Our road system is very constrained and we'd look at any suggestions, but we also have to balance the needs of all other road users - public transport as well as cars, lorries and pedestrians. There is only so much space."
Aha, the cat's out of the bag! Tony isn't prepared to put cycling at the forefront of council planning. As for "we'd look at any suggestions", what about those of the RCC? Did you look at those, seems not.

In conclusion, it seems that in the UK, "balancing the needs of other road users" means prioritising motor vehicles and until that changes we're never going to go Dutch.

* The 2008 Reading Council Local Transport Plan already puts journeys at 2100 in 2001 and 3000 in 2005/6 - see section l.3.2

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wiggle Mega Meon sportive

A few weeks ago I got an email about the Wiggle Super Series Mega Meon sportive. Free photos from were on offer! Feeling in the mood I signed up for the 100 mile epic route.

Given that my last Wiggle sportive was literally a wash out (not to mention frustration with the timings being wrong), I was hoping this would be more enjoyable. Arriving at South Downs College, which was the start/finish, things were looking good. The weather was nice, plenty of parking on site (no muddy fields!), and lots of people looking eager to get riding!

When I registered I found that I hadn't signed up early enough to get the free High-5 goodie pack, which was frustrating as on my last sportive I was give the goodie pack, but because I was staying in a B&B a few miles away I had ridden to the start, had nowhere to put it and ended up giving it to someone else. Anyway, I fastened on my number and headed to the start line. It was well organised with little waiting to get off. I passed through the start around 7.30am.

After a slow start to warm up, I found myself riding with a pretty large group including several riders from Portsmouth North End CC and Fareham Wheelers CC. We were whipping along pretty quickly and shed a few riders on the climbs until we were down to around 8. When we got to the first food stop I decided to continue without stopping in order to stay in the group. This was a bit of a mistake as a few miles down the road my chain came off and got jammed in the front mech as I tried to get it back on. I had to get off and get my hands dirty, and by the time I was off again there was no chance of catching the group. I rode along to the second food stop on my own. Despite scoffing everything on offer at the second stop, later on I got really low on energy and really started to regret missing the first one. I was hot, hungry and thirsty. I passed a bus stop with a very inviting shelter and promised myself I'd rest if I saw another. Another came up quickly and I sat down and ate my emergency cheese and pickle sandwich, and finished off one of my water bottles, which made me feel a lot better.

The route was very pleasant with some beautiful views across the rolling farmland of the Meon valley. The weather stayed good all day and even the timing seemed to work this time. Overall a really good day. The only downside was the disappointment of seeing one or two riders who were perfectly happy to throw litter in what is an amazingly beautiful place. What makes them think its OK to throw gel and cereal bar wrappers is beyond me. Idiots.

The official time was 6h 16m which I was happy with and agrees with my Strava timing.

Friday, 26 July 2013


Some donuts on the office today.

Most of my colleagues in the office aren't having one, citing their waistline/diet as reason to leave alone. When you ride a hundred or so miles a week, such trivialities don't get in the way.

One of the many advantages to bicycle commuting is that you can eat as many donuts as you like.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring is here at last - and its lovely!

Today marks an important event - I can now officially confirm that Spring is upon us. According to Google Spring started on 20th March, but judging by the temperature, rain and wind in the last few weeks they obviously got it wrong. The actual start of Spring is defined by the first day in which I can ride to work wearing just shorts and a jersey - no tights or windproof required!

It coincidently marks this years first 1000 miles, according to Strava.

1000 miles so far this year, and very little of it has been sunny
1000 miles so far this year, and very little of it has been sunny
This mornings ride was really nice (even though the last few miles was through solid traffic) and got me hopeful of some great rides to come this summer. The freedom of the bike on quiet country roads on a warm sunny day is one of those pleasures that reminds me how enjoyable life can be.

So far this year I haven't done much in the way of short lunchtime blasts, which I really got into when the weather was nice last summer. Maybe next week I should plan one or two.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Wiggle Super Series - New Forest Spring Sportive

Last Saturday (13th April) I rode a New Forest sportive, part of the Wiggle Super Series. I'd signed up for the Epic route, 86 miles long, which is pretty far for me as most of my cycling is 10 mile commuting rides. I tried to do a little preparation with a couple of longer training rides (about 50 miles) the weekends before.

I've visited the New Forest a few times before, staying in the Youth Hostel at Burley and doing a bit of hiking. I was looking forwards to seeing some other parts of the National Park and getting some serious miles behind me. There's lot of other things to do too, so we decided to make it a family weekend and booked a local B&B. Alison at the Far Side made us very welcome and the location was perfect.

A soggy ride indeed

The Ride

On Saturday morning I ate a hearty breakfast, got into my gear, gave the wife and daughter a kiss, and set off for the event. It seemed pretty well organised at the start, but at registration they were giving away High-5 water bottles filled with product samples - what am I supposed to do with that? My bottle cage and jersey pockets are already full! I said I'd pick one up later after I had finished, but was unable to. The signs out on the road were great, as were the food stops and marshalling.

The first hour or so was lovely with the forecasted rain holding off, but eventually the inevitable happened and the last four and a half hours were spend in the wet. The route was good, with some nice contrasting heathland and forest scenery, in particular the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive was beautiful. Despite the wet and the many cattle grids I remained puncture free until the very end, managing to limp over the finish line with a completely flat front which I think I got riding over the cattle grid into the event area.

My only complaint is that UK Cycling Events seem to have messed up my results. My GPS upload to Strava puts my time at 5h 30 mins, but the official results put my time over 6 hours, has the wrong distance and the wrong rider number.


There are lots of other things to do in the New Forest if you're not on the bike, and I'd recommend the New Forest Wildlife Park as a family activity.

Boar at New Forest Wildlife Park

Monday, 25 February 2013

Cycle insurance and licensing

There are a few proponents of mandatory insurance and tax for cyclists. This is more often than not a vaguely disguised attack on cycling in general. Largely it comes from people hostile to cycling who want to compare cyclists to other road users in an unfavourable way.


It is a legal requirement to have insurance for a motorised vehicle on the public highway [Section 143(1)(a) RTA 1988 as amended 1991]. This law was brought about to protect against liabilities to third parties in the event of an accident. Under UK law if you damage somebody else's property you are legally liable to pay for the damage caused. This is a general rule and is not specific to motor vehicles or the Road Traffic Act. You can do a lot of damage with a car and the insurance is there to protect the interests of other people, should you cause damage that you are unable to afford to pay for.

Everyone is bound by the same law regarding third party liability, whether they are driving a car, riding a bicycle or walking down the street. If you damage somebody else's property you are legally obliged to pay for the damage. When we look at bicycles we have to consider what their potential for damage is. Clearly it is much less than a motor vehicle. Is their potential for damage so great that they must be forced to take out insurance against such damage? Almost certainly not.

Argument: Cyclists should have insurance to make them pay for any damage they cause, just like other road users.
Rebuttal: Cyclists, just like everyone else, are liable for any damage they cause under current law. If a cyclist damages your property the legal situation is no different whether they have insurance or not.

This is why you need insurance to drive a car. Once can't imagine a bicycle doing quite so much damage.


A very hot topic. Road Tax (or more correctly Vehicle Exise Duty or VED) must be paid to obtain a Tax Disc (or more correctly Vehicle Licence), which must be displayed on the vehicle. The current system of charges is based on pollution levels, specifically carbon dioxide emissions. The more polluting the vehicle the higher the charge.

Motor vehicles with low emissions (less than 100g CO2/km) are exempt from the charge but must still obtain a Vehicle Licence. As cycles have by definition zero CO2 emissions then there seems little point in arguing for mandatory tax where there isn't anything to pay.

At this point you should go and have a good look at which contains a lot of well researched information on the subject.

Argument: Cyclists should pay for using the roads, just like cars.
Rebuttal: Bicycles already pay the same amount as a car with the same emissions; zero.

Argument: Cyclists should pay because they use the roads and should share the cost of maintenance.
Rebuttal: Roads are paid for out of general taxation, not VED. The government gets most of its tax receipts from income tax (30%), national insurance (19%) and VAT (17%)*. In fact studies show that cyclists are generally higher earners and therefore contribute more tax, meaning that cyclists already pay more towards roads that motor vehicle drivers.

Argument: Because motorists pay to use the road they should have more rights
Rebuttal: There are no privileges in the UK for paying tax. Paying tax is a duty and nobody is afforded any additional rights for any tax paid. Think about this next time you want to see your doctor, should the person who comes in after you see the doctor before you because he's a high rate tax payer? No. Paying income tax gives you no more rights to the NHS than anyone else just like paying tax for your car gives you no more right than anyone else.

In Summary

Next time you hear someone arguing for cyclists to be treated the same way as other vehicles simply ask the question "Why?". You might get a puzzled look because such claims are made as an attack without any  consideration, and are impossible to back up with reasoned argument.

Monday, 11 February 2013

RideLondon 100

Last year I entered the RideLondon 100 event, a new cycling event which is a 100 mile ride on closed roads in London and Surrey taking in much of the 2012 Olympic road race route. The ride was massively over subscribed with over 50,000 people entering for 20,000 places. I suspect that the actual number of public places is a fair bit lower once the sponsors, VIPs and charity places are taken into account.

There was a ballot for the places and unfortunately I didn't in. There are still loads of charity places open, but I don't have the time or wealthy friends needed to raise approx £500, which is the minimum mandatory amount needed. I knew the odds were against me but I'm still devastated. This promises to be a really, really epic event. Its being organised and run like the London Marathon, with closed roads and TV coverage. In fact its being organised by the same people who organise the London Marathon, as well as the people that organise the Tour Of Britain. A promising set up.

To commiserate myself I've just entered the Wiggle Super Series Spring New Forest Sportive. Quite a mouthful but it promises to be a good ride. I've visited the New Forest several times for camping and hiking, but I've never cycled the area. At least now I've got something to look forward to.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Back in the saddle

I spent quite a lot of last week looking out of the window in the office, noting how the daylight hours are creeping back. Over the weekend I decided that it was definitely time to start cycling to work again, so long as the weather wasn't too miserable.

This morning the weather played along and I'm happy to say I'm back in the saddle!

I haven't ridden the road bike for a while, all my recent outings have been on the shopper which isn't built for speed! Getting back on the road bike felt a bit strange, I guess like getting into a racing car after driving a bus. It felt super light and responsive, and the riding position felt very aggressive - bum high in the air and arms outstretched! A little pressure on the pedals and it was as eager to go as I was. About 10 minutes later I realised how out of shape I was and slowed down to a more manageable speed.

It felt good to be my own master again, no more trains to depend on! At the same time I'm reminded about the trade off, which is dealing with the generally low quality of driving the Berkshire seems to suffer from.

Two incidents this morning. Firstly a woman in a 4x4 decided to overtake on a left bend and then cut the corner, unfortunately for me she cut the corner at the same time as overtaking, causing me to swerve violently to avoid the back of her Toyota as she cut past. She got stuck in traffic shortly after and I realised that she was on the phone perhaps explaining her idiotic driving. Its fairly common for drivers to cut this particular corner and I remembered that I usually cycle in the primary position around it. A few months out of the saddle and I'd forgotten.

Here's the location in Google Streetview;
View Larger Map

The second incident was in Reading. Again it was a vehicle (this time a black taxi) overtaking and cutting in, again forcing me to swerve to avoid its rear end.

View Larger Map

I was stopped at the lights and the taxi was behind me. You can see the two lanes at the lights, I was waiting at these lights in the primary position. After the lights the road has four narrow lanes (I use the leftmost lane). The lanes are only just wide enough for a car so I always ride the primary position to encourage overtaking vehicles to use their own lane and not try and squeeze past. When the lights changed the taxi immediately overtook and pulled back into the left hand lane, but hadn't quite cleared me before pulling in. Luckily as I was riding the primary position I have lots of room to me left, and have to swerve hard to avoid the back of the taxi as it cut in.

I guess I'll have to get used to the idiots again. I'll try our some of my other routes, I have to admit that the route I took this morning does seem to have the highest number of bad driving incidents and was the route I took the least last year. It is however the shortest and fastest route.

Monday, 21 January 2013

BLAZE bike light is funded!

A while ago I talked about the BLAZE bike light project on Kickstarter. The project is now funded, having raised £55,000, more than double its original target of £25,000. Its had some good coverage on the BBC One show too.

As I pledged to back it I should be getting one through the post, sometime soon hopefully. I don't know whether this will be a pre-production model or one from the first proper production runs. When it does arrive, I'll test it and post the results here. I'm really exited!

Monday, 7 January 2013

A new bike joins the family

A short while ago we got a new bike in the family, which came to us in an unusual way. My wife discovered the bike in a ditch on a nature reserve she was working on. She dug it out and found it was in reasonable condition. Thinking it was likely stolen she contacted the local police. They had a look, found it was security coded and were actually able to trace the owner!

The owner claimed the bike had been 'lost' and they didn't really want it back. A more likely story is they the owner had dumped the bike. The police said that as the owner didn't want to claim it my wife, as the finder could have it. It was a good bike in decent condition so my wife decided to keep it. The bike is a Dawes City Vision 7.

It has Shimano Nexus 7 hub gears. It also has a rear pannier and a basket mount on the front. I have christened the bike "The Shopper".

After cleaning the bike off I gave it an inspection. The mechanicals are in surprisingly good order; I suspect it hadn't been in the ditch very long, just a few weeks perhaps. Wheels are true, brakes work, shifters and hub gears work, the tyres even hold air although I discovered the rear is leaky having had to reinflate after a few days. The only thing needing immediate attention was the chain, which was dirty and rusty beyond hope with several links locked solid.

A new chain came from Wiggle in the form of a KMC B1 1/8th single speed at the bargain price of £4.91. The chain comes with a snap link.

To replace the chain I first had to remove the chain guard, which was held on with three screws. The I removed the old chain with a chain splitter tool.

Here is the old and new chain laid side by side. I used the chain splitter tool again to shorten the new chain to the same length as the old chain. The length doesn't have to be exact as the chain is tensioned by adjusting the rear wheel forwards or backwards in its mount, but it needs to be a similar length as the wheel mounts only adjust an inch or so.

Don't put a new chain on the floor like this. I didn't realise how dirty the floor was and had to clean the chain before I put it on the bike.
Don't put a new chain on the floor like this. I didn't realise how dirty the floor was and had to clean the chain before I put it on the bike.

I gave the chainwheel and hub sprocket a thorough clean. First I used a high pressure hose to blast off dirt and grit, then I sprayed with degreaser and wiped with a clean cloth. The hub gears are a sealed unit but I wasn't sure if the seals were still good, so I was careful with the hose and degreaser around the hub sprocket. I spun the crank and it turned freely and smoothly, so the bottom bracket is in good order. The hub sprocket turned OK, but was a bit stiff and clunky.

To put the new chain on I loosened the wheel. There is an additional bolt attaching the hub mechanism to the chainstay, and this needed to be loosened as well. With the wheel loose it can be moved forward in the mounts and the new chain put on. Then the wheel is moved back in its mounts and three fixings tightened when the chain tension is right.

Here you can see the third fixing bolt attaching the hub to the chain stay. The mount has a 4cm track for adjusting the position and hence the chain tension.

Finally the chain guard is reattached. I also attached a child seat. Here is the bike in its finished glory.

I had another test ride and the bike was much improved. Pedalling was smooth and squeak free with the new chain. the hub gears were still a little lumpy but serviceable. I think I might need to give them some attention shortly.

One last modification was needed before the first ride out with my daughter. The bike seat has exposed springs below it, which are right in front of the child seat and a 2 year old can't resist poking fingers into small gaps, which could have nasty consequences. I'm looking for some sort of cover for the saddle/springs but until I find one I have just gaffer taped the springs.

Make sure you don' have exposed seat springs when using a child seat

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A reminder of why I hate commuting by train

In an earlier post I compared commuting by cycle and train. Yesterday was the first day of work for me after the Christmas holidays, and consequently the first commute of 2013.

Things have got worse.

Rail fares are up 5% (£4.20) and the First Great Western railway monkeys still haven't fixed the broken information signs on the platform.

On approaching platforms 4 to 6 passengers are cautioned that the train isn't stopping at the platform, despite Reading station being the terminus of these lines.

Presumably the trains are going to smash through the end of the line and onto the station concourse, which is a really good reason for passengers to stand clear.

Joking aside the failure of these signs is a real problem. The trains on this line can depart from platform 4, 5 or 6. Often there are two or three trains waiting in the station. The trains depart at roughly 15 minute intervals so the signs are useful in indicating which train is next to depart and therefore which train I should get on. Without the signs I have to guess. As you might expect helpful railway employees are rarely present.

Guessing wrong is infuriating. You get on one train only to see the train next to it set off, giving you the awful realisation that you're going to have to sit on the train waiting for 15 minutes before it goes anywhere. On my bicycle, in that 15 minutes I could be more than half way home.

Roll on the better weather and lighter evenings please. I can't wait to say goodbye to the train for another season.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Cycling Kit Review

Lets face it, most men with a interest or hobby have a pretty strong appetite for 'kit', by which I mean the vast array of things one can buy to enhance or further one's enjoyment of said interest or hobby. If you're into computers there's a vast array of upgrades, expansions, gizmos and gadgets for all levels of enthusiasm.

Cycling is no different. I manage to resist most of the time, but I have bought a few bits of clothing this summer season and I thought I'd share my experience.


I bought a pair of Altura Airstream shorts and am really impressed with them. At £27 they're much cheaper than most other brands. They've got reflective detailing, are comfy and have lasted a few hundred miles so far without problem.
Image from


I bought an Altura Airstream Jersey and am similarly impressed. Again, at £27 the competition can't get close with replica team jerseys costing more than twice as much. The jersey has all the features you need; reflective detailing, good pockets at the back, a silicon gripper around the bottom hem, and a half length zip. I guess for bib shorts you'd want a full length zip but as I only have hip shorts, this doesn't matter to me. The jersey is a good bright colour and is really comfortable.
Image from


My most recent purchase is an Altura Night Vision Windproof in orange. I bought this as autumn is coming and its getting a bit cold. The early mornings and late evenings are getting darker so the extremely bright high visibility design is useful. At £63 its good value too, compared to some of the competition which are over £100. Its comfy and manages to keep me warm without getting sweaty thanks to different materials on the front (windproof/water resist nylon) and back (nylon fleece). The arms have a similar design with a windproof front and breathable back. It has three pockets at the back, two standard pockets and one smaller with a zip.
Image from

You might have spotted a common theme here. I didn't go out specifically to buy the Altura brand. Each time I identified a need for something and had a look at what was available. It seems like Altura just came out as a winner each time based on a decent product at a decent price. I love all three items so much I think next time I want something I'm probably going to go start looking at Altura first.