How to pick up some great deals without getting charged the Prime fee

Online mega-shop Amazon is offering a bunch of special deals today, including some big discounts on cycling and fitness gear — but only for people who've signed up for the Amazon Prime service. Here's how to take advantage without getting lumbered with the £79 Prime annual fee.

There are upcoming deals on fitness bands, iPhone heart rate monitors, bike lights, GPS watches, track pumps and more.

Amazon is doing this in the hope that people will sign up for Prime intending to cancel after the 28-day trial period, but forget. It's the same idea as gym membership: many join and pay the monthly fee, few actually get on the weights machines or do the classes more than a handful of times.

We suggest you enjoy the things Prime offers — deals, free next-day delivery, movies and other video on demand — for four weeks but set an alarm on your phone and on-line calendar or even in one of those paper things some folks still use to remind yourself to cancel.

It's also a good way to help keep road.cc going. We get a bung for everyone who signs up by following this link, even if they cancel, so it won't cost you anything.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.