Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sore Hands

Ever since I started riding bicycles with drop bars, I've had a very particular issue with my hands. I turned to drop bars in the first place because straight bars -- even with Ergon grips -- made my wrists hurt. I thought it made sense to place my hands in front of me at a natural, neutral angle and drop bars seemed to offer the best opportunity to do that. I fit my brake levers so that they "toe in", which helps even further.

All well and good. Except that every pair of gloves and mitts (fingerless gloves) that I've tried have seams placed right across the part of the hand in contact with the bars, especially in my favoured position over the hoods.

On short rides, this is not a problem. On longer rides, however, those seams begin to press and chafe and then hurt in such a way that sometimes I cycle for miles at a time with my attention reduced down to a small focal point fixated on the pain in my hands.

And then when the gloves come off, I find this --

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lucy Meets Yossi (A Nisnas Partnership)

You may recall my last update on Lucy the Brompton ending with mention of "one further modification to be made -- a purely cosmetic one!

Well, now I can reveal what it is:  

wooden fenders with steel inlays, beautifully crafted by hand by the
lovely chaps at Nisnas Industries in Israel [click HERE for details!]

Thursday, 17 April 2014

REPORT: Bespoked The UK Handmade Bike Show 2014 (London)

This year's Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show was held for the first time in London. (Previous years it was in Bristol in a venue no longer available and in any case now far outgrown.) I hadn't been before but of course with my interest in custom bicycles and local craftsmanship (as opposed to mass production), I seized the chance to go this year.

I hooked up a partnership with one of the exhibitors, Nisnas Industries in Wadi Nisnas, Haifa, Israel, for a very special exhibition - more about that in the next post!


Monday, 14 April 2014

** NOW SOLD** My beloved Surly Pacer road bike

UPDATE 13th August 2014:  
The Pacer has finally found a new home and a good one too.
I hope Camilla of Hackney enjoys many happy miles with Robin, as I did. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bespoked Teaser: The UK Handmade Bike Show

Here's a peak at the Bespoked Show, happening this weekend at the Lee Valley Velopark (velodrome) in Stratford, east London.

You ARE going, aren't you??

Full blog posts are in the pipeline but for now, just click on the caption in the photo to go to the first of two Facebook albums, where the photos are all captioned for your perusal:

Lucy the Brompton modelling wooden mudguards by Nisnas Industries - Bespoked
Edited to add:  Photos from Sunday are here.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Book Launch Party

"You've Got Mail":
Kathleen Kelly, independent book shop owner, attends a
book launch and nearly gets her knife into Joe Fox, wealthy owner of big
impersonal corporate chain Fox Books, which is threatening to
put her out of business. The tension and mutual hostility is fired
by witty repartee and cutting insults.
Is this what a book launch party is like??

Have you ever been to a book launch party? Until last night, I hadn't. I didn't know what to expect. The only ones I've ever "seen" have been scenes on screen, like the one above. Invariably they are suffused with snobbishness and back-stabbing amongst the literary "intelligentsia". And caviar.

Things are different though when the book being launched is not about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg but one about helping more women overcome barriers to and enjoy the benefits of cycling. 

Last night, I attended the official launch of The Girls' Cycling Handbook by Caz Nicklin. I was honoured to be asked by Caz back in February to review this book in advance of the launch - my write up is here

So here we were at Look Mum No Hands! in trendy Hackney (not Manhattan's 'old money' Upper West Side) celebrating the launch of Caz's book. The atmosphere was far from tense, stuffy or competitive. The small group chatting when we arrived was friendly and welcoming. I quickly fell into conversation with Alex Davis, LMNH's brand new (two weeks) social media manager and discovered mutual interests in culture, commuting and bags.

From there, conversations flowed and morphed one into another, punctuated by laughter and occasional hugs and a few photographs.

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