Tag Archives: bikes

Spin Up in a Brewery

Saturday saw the second ever ‘Spin Up in a Brewery’ event, hosted by Dark Star and supported by Kinesis Bikes and Morvelo Bicycle Apparel. They had me at ‘bikes and beer’, so when I was asked to come along and have a stall at the event, I was pretty chuffed.

Sadly I had to drive over (the options for transporting a table full of bike-art goodies by bicycle are limited) but two groups of cyclists rode over from Brighton to the brewery in Partridge Green – one by road and one off-road. The hoards of thirsty riders were greeted by free beer and a huge BBQ – there was also plenty of coffee, crepes and homemade cakes if that was more your thing.

That’s my ‘I’m having fun’ face. I’m also modelling my new Morvelo tee.

Once people had filled their bellies there was still plenty to do. Of course the ideal activity post BBQ and beer is to spin your guts out (hopefully not literally) on a bike: that’s where South Coast Sprints came in with their roller racing. Prizes and shouting galore! I am massively gutted that I didn’t get a go – it was so popular that by the time I went to add my name to the list, it was full. Next time.

If you didn’t particularly fancy sweating your arse off on a bike, you could instead plonk it on a hay-bale and watch some live music…

David Osborne, aka ‘Puncture Kit’

For those with a bit of pocket money weighing them down, there were lots of other nice things to buy including bicycle clothing and some awesome up-cycled jewellery and accessories. I bagged myself a Morvelo t-shirt and some bike chain link earrings from Judy, aka Beer Babe.

Wisdom

It was great to see some familiar faces, as well as lots of new ones. It’s always fun playing the ‘match the face to the twitter profile picture’ game. Thanks everyone who came and said hello.

A big thank you to Dom, James and Oli for their work organising the event, and to my partner in crime Leesi for helping me out all day. All in all, an ideal way to spend a sunny Saturday. My only regret was not trying to steal a Kinesis Race Light bike (just kidding…).

Oh, and since quite a few people have asked, I’ll be putting some badges on the online shop very soon.

The Claud & I swag pile

When man invented the bicycle…

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.

- Elizabeth West

London Bike Show & Nocturne Series

There was a moment when I wondered if I’d make it to London at all, but I did, and it was well worth the snowy journey. I’m not going to bore you with exhibition talk, but here are a few of my highlights…

1. Surviving the snow. Not dieing is always a plus. There was a moment, when the snow was stuck to the windscreen and the screen-wash was frozen, that I did ponder on my chances.

2. Elite Women’s Crit – Friday. This was brilliant. It made me want to join in. And anyone who says women’s racing is boring…well you should have watched this. Clemence Copie of HWCC won the crit, with Alice Bahns of 23C Orbea in second, and Louise Mahe of Team MuleBarGirl in third.

3. Elite Men’s Crit – Saturday. I bloody love watching these guys race. First place was taken by Ian Bibby of the Madison Genesis team, which had been launched earlier in the day. Second place belongs to Pete Hawkins of IG Sigma-Sport, who came off his bike very early on, sustaining a nasty looking bit of road rash. All the more impressive that he placed 2nd.

4. Looking at all the pretty bikes. And talking to nice people. It was great to see some familiar faces, and a chat to a few new ones. I resisted (nearly) all temptation, and left after two days at the show only having bought two things…a discounted jersey, and a pair of socks!

5. I’m gutted that I had gone home by this point, and didn’t get to see the race, but despite that the biggest highlight has got to be seeing three Team ASL360 guys on the podium for the Juniors Race. The race was won by Dan Gardner, a local lad from Scaynes Hill. Smiles all round.

Why you love to ride your bikes…

Some of the replies I had on Twitter to #whyilovetoridemybike

The train leaves without me, and always takes too long – my bike leaves when I start pedalling, and is as fast as I can make it.

The loudest voice in the playground this morning loves riding their bike because ‘IT FEELS LIKE FLYING’!!

When I snap my cleats into the pedals I am melded to this graceful machine that makes me better in untold ways; and being in that moment, being intimate with the world around us becomes easy.

Because it’s fun and I love the feeling of freedom.

The smells. I love the different aromas I encounter as I cycle round the city, in my head there is a smell map of the streets.

I love to ride a bike for the pure joy and the freedom of 2 wheels in a busy city.

It’s always up for adventure, doesn’t suffer from headaches and never gets tired – I love it!

Exercises, nice surprises, natural highs and gentle rises: countryside in all its guises, aching thighs, wife sympathises.

Why? To relive my younger days & help overcome a long term disability to become stick free after 20yrs. What better way to do it?

There’s nothing more simple than riding a bike.

Cycling for me is an escape. Sometimes an escape from ‘real life’, and sometimes an escape deeper into it.

I’m sure everyone has their own reasons for riding. To be thinner, fitter, faster, stronger, happier, calmer. Whatever the reasons for starting out, I don’t think we’d carry on it if it wasn’t for the the simple pleasure we get from riding a bike.

The more I ride a bicycle, the more ‘cycling people’ I know, and the more cycling I watch, I realise there is a whole lot of fluff around the edges of the sport. Most of it is good stuff: when you really like something, you get swept up in every element of it. There’s nothing wrong with being obsessed with something, but how long before it turns sour? How long before we favour staying in and getting angry over a documentary about a certain disgraced cyclist above that evening ride we had planned? Or writing an essay on the politics of a certain governing body over meeting friends for a cafe ride? Those things may be important, but I don’t want to forget how I got here. I got here riding a bike, with a smile on my face.

Whatever happens out there, they can’t stop me cycling.

There’s nothing more simple than riding a bike.

Cycling belongs to those who love it