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)
Here’s the Rapha video from the Supercross race at Ally Pally.
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.
The weekend after next, the 27th/28th of October is a bumper weekend of CX racing in easy reach of central London, with two races which look set to be great events for spectators and racers alike.
Saturday 27th 5pm-11pm
Knog Muddy Hell at Herne Hill Velodrome
Sunday 28th 11am-5pm
Rapha SuperCross at Alexandra Palace
“MUD. SWEAT. FRITES. COWBELLS.
Quite possibly the most entertaining three days of racing the UK has ever seen.”
I’m definitely going to be spectating at both events, and sampling the beer and chips on offer!
So it’s cross season now, and I’m getting cravings for some racing and trail action. Been looking at building a SS CX bike around the on-one Pompino frame for a while now. I don’t really have the funds for it currently or really room or justification for a fifth bike, but I hope that in the next couple of months that might change!
Anyway, here are some great builds I’ve seen around the web that are what I’ll be aiming at!
Photo: Cake on LFGSS