This past week I’ve been down in south west Co. Cork in Ireland with the parents and my brother. The riding has mostly been short ish easy going rides along the undulating coast roads, but I knew there were some more serious rides around. We were going to drive the pass anyway but when we turned northwards off the coast road I stopped the car and saddled up. The climb its self is pretty alpine in nature, starting gently before rising through a series of hairpins and getting steeper. There is one last kick after the final hairpin before the summit. From there the road drops away into Co. Kerry, hugging the walls of the valley overlooking the lake. Whilst I rode the pass, the family drove ahead of me, stopping to allow my Dad to shoot the photos you see here.
More photos on my Flickr
I admit these photos area little late, but none the less here are a selection of my shots from Bespoked Bristol 2013 back in March. It was a great show with the hall jam packed with fabulous bicycles and frames of all shapes and sizes. What was really impressive was the consistent high level of quality across all the stands, from the established Roberts, Rourke, Hewitt et al… to the younger generation Oak, Feather, Donhou etc…
I’ll definitely be back next year!
The rest of my set can be seen on Fickr
The rest of my set can be seen on Fickr
I’m still counting the pennies, saving up to get my repaired Dawes Galaxy repainted. So in the meantime I’ve been scouring the interwebs (mainly on LFGSS – a great resource and forum for all kinds of cycling and bicycles, way beyond the original remit of London Fixed Gear and Single Speed) for inspiration for the rebuild. I’m thinking of going for a more classic build this time, i.e more chrome and brown, which should go nicely against the green or blue paint I’ve got planned.
First is this fantastic F.W Evans tourer which was rebuilt to catalogue condition by ‘Hilly Ben’ off the LFGSS forum. I think this bike is just a fine example of the British touring bicycle, lugged 531 frame, racing green paint, cantilever brakes, all the braze-ons and plenty of brown leather. The thread following the build is here.
Next up is this fantastic Faggin Tourer/Randonneur restored by ‘psee’ again from LFGSS. I really like the combination of the tan sidewall tyres with the bright chrome mudguards. Build thread.
More of an Audax/Randonneur bicycle but still awesome. Once again seen on LFGSS is ‘Spotter’s Raleigh Royal, this has been upgraded with a modern groupset, but still looks great especially with that big porteur rack on the front. There is a build thread which is a little out of date now.
And finally another LFGSS bike, and this one is firmly in the audax bracket, but nevermind, this Longstaff Audax is just a lovely bicycle. “Vesalius’s build thread is here.
Bought my rail tickets to Bespoked on Saturday. Very excited! Will be posting a full show report, with plenty of photos, sometime next week.
Feather Cycles has a new website, and have put a new video on the front page. It’s really well shot, with some nice workshop scenes as well as beautiful bicycles.
(click the image for more)
I’m really looking forward to Bespoked Bristol thats coming up in April. The exhibitors list is bursting with the best of British framebuilding, (from the legendary Roberts Cycles to the up and coming Oak Cycles), as well as a few international builders.
(click the image for the full listings)
Bespoked have released some great ‘Meet the Maker’ video profiles, which really give a flavour of the skill and craftsmanship that go into a handbuilt custom (mostly) steel frame.
One of my iphone snaps got posted on The North Race as part of their “why I ride competition”. I didn’t win but pretty cool to get it posted. Check The North Race out, its got a really good mix of original content from various posters.
Thought I’d type a few words about “Made in England: The Artisans behind the Hand-built Bicycle” by Matthew Sowter (of Saffron Frameworks) and Ricky Feather (of Feather Cycles).
I’d taken keen interest in the first info that came out about this project ages ago, having a great interest in frame building and the British hand-built bicycle, and as soon as the pre-order came up my Dad and I placed an order straight away, especially as one of the featured builders is Chas Roberts (of whose bicycles we own several).
The book is a beautiful piece of work, with each builder having several pages of stunning ‘at work’ photos as well as a double page spread of one special frame or bicycle, as well as a fascinating section about Reynolds Tubing. Credit must be given here to Kayti Peschke for the brilliant photos which really capture the character of each builder and their creations. The writing is really excellent with both the questions asked and the responses given being interesting insights into the world of the framebuilders. It is obvious that everyone involved, from Matthew and Ricky to all the builders has a huge amount of passion and knowledge for bicycles, and this comes out in the book.
The book also serves as a wonderful memorial to Ron Cooper, in the form of the chapter dedicated to him, who sadly passed away on the 12th of December. His chapter really seems to capture his “old school” spirit as well as his incredible skills and passion.
I would really encourage any cyclist, engineer, or metal worker to get hold of a copy, or even just anyone with an interest in bicycles. If you are in the market for a custom built frame then this book would serve as the ultimate shop window!
Made in England: The Artisans behind the Hand-built Bicycle is available from the Push Projects website, or the Feather Cycles webshop.
(apologies for the iphone pics)
Headed up to the Rapha Supercross race at AllyPally yesterday, with a reluctant girlfriend in tow, but she admitted by the end that she’d quite enjoyed it! It was a great day out with plenty of exciting racing especially in the Elite mens and the Novice race complete with Tequila shortcut. The rain made a brief appearance, but didn’t dampen the large crowds spirits, helped I am sure by the bar, burger vans and coffee stall. (and the free cowbells!) I for one will be back next year, and if I can afford another bike possibly racing! Here’s a few snaps from the day, and there’s more on my flickr.