Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How much is too much?

In the case of the Mongol Derby almost anything looks likely to be too much.  There's a limit of 5 kgs on what I'll be able to carry in my saddlebags so as I start thinking about what kit will get me across 1,000 kilometres of Mongolian wilderness I'll have to focus on weight and space.

I'm going to try and spread the cost of the kit over the year and I also want to make sure it is well worn in, so I will think about and buy my kit in phases.  I am starting with cold weather kit to be tested skiing and on my cycle commute in London.
My list so far:
- down jacket 
- base layers
- sports bra
- sensible knickers (*sigh*)
- waterproof socks (I can't bear wet feet)

The days will be hot, hard and possibly wet; the nights will be cold.  What would you take?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Toggi Calgary Cheecos

Toggi Calgary Cheeco boots 
(Toggi's description is here.)

I bought these boots as a more cost effective alternative to polo boots.  I knew I needed brown boots for polo but I also wanted boots that were a bit more all-purpose and hard wearing.


I paid about £80; cheapest available online at time of posting was £62 (see Mole Valley Farmers).


These are the standard fit (Toggi do offer a wide fit) and my boots are close-fitting around the calf, even though my calves are relatively slim.  There is give from the elasticated panel at the back, though; I quite often squeeze thick socks and jods into mine and its difficult to do the zip up but not impossible.  The room around the ankle makes these boots reasonably good for walking in although I've found if I walk too far with the wrong socks they rub slightly at the heel.  They are very comfortable to ride in.  A good compromise.

There are some more comments on fit on the Horse and Hound forum here.


I've had the boots for a year and a half or so - I don't ride very regularly (few times a month) but I have used them for walking quite a lot.  They've held up remarkably well - I often get admiring comments (maybe because I wear them when everyone else is wearing wellies!).  They're brilliant in mud - they don't seem to let water in at all, although I haven't stuck my foot in a lake.  Toggi recommend you brush dirt off immediately and of course I've never done that, but they don't look any the worse for it.

The zips in particular seem hardy and good quality - they have often gone on other boots but no sign of wear yet on these.


Good value, good quality and relatively inexpensive - a great all-purpose boot.  Not quite smart enough for proper polo but smarter than Toggi's other 'country' boots.  You could *almost* wear them with jeans but they look quite smart with riding gear.  I love them!

Let me know if you have any questions/comments - do you have a pair?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Bad Beginning

Friday was a busy day.  Bought my ticket for the Derby, had dinner with a recently engaged friend and...

Got burgled.

Not a great start!

Thanks to AutoKey Squad (@autokeysquad) for ACTUALLY being available 24/7...I'll say thanks to the emergency glazier when we have real glass rather than an alarm and plastic!

Saturday, 23 November 2013