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
Here’s the latest (albeit not great quality) photo of my Roberts Cycles fillet brazed road bike. I think I’ve got it pretty much where I want it to be now that I’ve fitted Koolstop salmon brakepads, a Flite ti and a Thomson seatpost. The only future changes will be 23c tires and new bar tape for summer.
A few instagrams from Christmas.
Got given a Selle Italia Flite Ti 1990, which has gone onto the Roberts.
Had a fantasic Duck for Christmas Lunch.
Some delightful ‘Good Ordinary Claret’ from Berry, Bros & Rudd.
Got given some new coffee by my brother to try.
And even managed to get out on the Roberts for a swift 20miles today.
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)
Had a good ride round town on the Roberts in the beautiful weather today, bright and crisp, but not too cold. Harringay to Alexandra Palace, over to Highgate, 2 laps of Swains Lane, down the hill for 4 laps at Regents Park, and then along to LMNH for coffee. Then down the Embankment, the Mall, Hourseguards Parade, Tokyo Fixed and Rapha Cycle Club. Then back home through Highbury and Islington to Harringay. Probably around 25 ish miles by the time I’d got back home, a good day in the saddle.
Todays cold and damp ride was a quick there and back route of about 15 miles ish of some of the hillier bits of North London, taking in Alexandra Palace Park, the climb up Wood Vale to Highgate station, then up to Highgate village and 4 laps of the infamous Swains Lane climb, before riding back.
Just a few iphone snaps from my instagram:
So I finally finished the Roberts Road bike build. Super happy with it, it goes like a rocket!
Roberts Cycles Fillet Brazed Road 725 Frame
Columbus Minimal Carbon Fork
Campagnolo Record 1″ Threadless Headset
Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed Groupset
Campagnolo Veloce Ultra-tourque crankset
Campagnolo Mirage Hubs laced with DT Swiss spokes to Condor Cycles Race Rims
Deda Piega Handlebars
Campagnolo Aero seatpost
Schwalbe Marathon 25mm tires
Fizik Microtec Bartape
Charge Bucket Saddle – Soon to be replaced with a Selle Italia Flite Max which I picked up yesterday.
There are more photos on my Flickr.
And you can follow the build on LFGSS.
Did a quick mock up of my Roberts Cycles Road bike, still need to buy the forks though so this is how it’ll stay for a while.
My new wheels for the Roberts, handbuilt Condor Race rims in black laced with silver DT Swiss double butted spokes to Campag Mirage hubs in black.