This man found this dog in a cardboard box dumped by the river. He took the dog in and they have been companions ever since. The dog is now 18 years old and can not walk very well so the man carries him in a basket on the front of his bike. He was a very nice man and is an active campaigner for making Rome a safer city to ride in.
Lago Maggiore, north of Milan.
This wall was inside a bike store I visited in Turbigo, north of Milan. The small town features (most years) in the Giro route and their is a strong sense of pride and love of cycling amongst the town folk. The gent that owned the shop had been a mechanic at 24 Giro d’Italia races. He had a picture of him and Moser on the wall. The walls of the shop were lined with glorious photographs of cycling greats.
We didn’t go hell for leather when we went to Italy, we tootled on town bikes. We rode down river paths and across cobbled plazas. We stopped and talked to fishermen and admired their catch. We drank from water fountains at the side of the road and cooled down with our feet dipped in the stream.
Spot the puppy.
This store is owned by an ex pro. He was very passionate about cycling and very fond of talking.I figured if his legs work as his fast as his jaw it’s no surprise he was a pro. The store was filled with carbon Wilier Triestinas and the such and their were plenty of lycra clad men with their noses pressed against the store windows admiring the top end machines.
This is Brigola. She looks nice as pie, but she is not. She is viscous and calculating in her impromptu attacks. She has drawn my blood twice. I forgive her because she is cute to look at, but I don’t forget. Her card is marked.
A trip to Italy is not complete without an obligatory trip to some ruins to praise the prowess of Romans. This particular spot,Ostia Antica is the site of the old Roman port town. All the goods would be unloaded from the ships into warehouses here and then transported the 30 or so km into Rome. I took this photo whilst stood at the top of the theatre. I also visited the bar where the sailors would drink after a long journey; unbelievably you can still make out the shape of the oven where the food was baked.
And that was my trip to Italy. It was a real pleasure to explore the city and the countryside on town bikes and take it easy.
Damn, these are just delicious. I would like to get rid of my wire hangers that come free with the dry cleaning and replace them with a combination of the above. Ideally I would have the full Philip Lim collection to hang on them. Building on this I would also like a wardrobe instead of a rail. And a roll top bath with a skylight above it.
You can read more about these hangers and their maker here
This video has changed everything. I thought I knew what I wanted out of life until I saw this. Now I know I just want a giant hairy dog to hang out with on my bike.
NB: I am not entirely sure cycling is particularly good for dogs. I would say don’t try this at home, not with any pets, especially birds because they don’t have knees.
I have been in Italy, unfortunately I have not been watching the Giro, not live anyway. I stayed on the route, not once but twice- however I happened to be traveling in the opposite direction to the race. Needless to say the sound of the Giro and the smell of espresso pouring out of the cafe doors provided a wonderful backdrop to the weeks holiday.
We went riding and we met a Giro mechanic come bike shop owner. I have not had my pictures developed yet so more about all that next week.
COME ON CAVENDISH
Last Sunday my good friend Sam Hart organised a ride from London to Cambridge that ended with a river swim. She managed to figure out a route that resulted in us not seeing a car for 40 miles. We saw lots of thatched cottages and fields full of flowers and road kill. We did a 100 km and it was fairly flat, the climbs we did meet weren’t long enough for us to experience any feelings of hate and hopelessness. It was a joyful ride with just enough punishment to make you feel alive.
This is Sam smiling on the way there. She also rode the 100 km back and she still smiled. She isn’t mental. Her mum and dad own a bike shop in Gloucestershire and she lived above the shop as a kid. She is bike bonkers. She is a bit like one of those old fashioned jewelry boxes with a ballet dancer inside- when she puts her feet on her pedals it winds up her face into a smile.
I didn’t jump in the river because it was too cold. Many of the riders had done Ironmen and a triathlons and were (very marginally) tougher than me; they seemed very unfazed by the prospect of jumping into 9 degree water and not having anywhere to get dry. I have my suspicions that they are all lunatics or even androids.
Sam is organising more rides and they are open to anyone. Last sunday about 20 of us did the ride. We split out into 2 groups, ‘the fast’ and ‘the not as fast’ and from here little breakaway groups splintered off and found their own pace. If you are pretty fit their will definitely be a group that suits you. I think you should all come because a decent ride on a sunday with loads of nice people can’t really be beaten.
If you are interested in coming you can click here
Both images courtesy of Colin steele
I went to Wales for a week. It was very beautiful. Apparently Prince William and Kate Middleton (why has she not got his surname?) live near to where we were staying. I didn’t see them though. I did see a some wild seals basking on a rock and a Puffin bobbing on the waves.
Me and my bike liked Wales. I don’t think either of us wanted to come back.
This is Beaumaris Bay in Anglesey.
Crabbing off the pier
Welsh cows all speaking native tongue,’araf!’ they mooed to me
Do you remember that irritating advert where it repeatedly said ‘there’s an app. for that’ and you thought I bet there isn’t an app for it because you would not even imagine what weird questions and thoughts I have in my head, their is no way someone would have made an app for them.
Well I remember it clearly and I didn’t have a smartphone then so I didn’t have any apps, but I do now.
I openly admit the majority of my apps are really boring and practical, but not all.
Some are fun.
Image courtesy of Camille McMillan
Take this one for example, The Collarbone. The Collarbone describes itself as ‘a photography journal for the iPad documenting the beauty and eccentricity of professional bicycle racing’.
I couldn’t have put it better myself- smart pictures taken by Camille McMillan who is a phenomenal photographer all pieced together by Scheybler and Company (one of the fellas who started Rapha).
The app. is free and good to have.
If you are looking for something good to do, I would say do this
I did it last year and it’s great, it’s a really nice route, with lots of lung busting tough climbs followed by euphoric descents, the views are amazing, the food half way round is top notch and it’s just all round good vibes.
Oh and if you look at last years’ results can you please note before chuckling at my seemingly poor time that
a) my friend had a headset issue which we spent 45 minutes trying to resolve,
b) we stopped for half a shandy,
c) we went in the Yorkshire Dales visitors centre (and bought a tea towel),
d) we got totally lost in the last 5 miles,
e) I am actually a cycling powerhouse and that time is not indicative of my abilities only of my achievements.
Can we? Shall we?
One day very soon let us go away together
Just you and me
Can we? Shall we?
Call in sick one day and travel to the sea and hold hands all day.
Can we? Shall we?
Should we eat our sandwiches on the train and get dunk on fresh air
And come home tired and never tell anyone. Ever.
Poem courtesy of Rob Ryan
My friend Ted likes to make bikes. Sometimes I kind of forget that’s what he does because when I see him it’s usually because we are eating or drinking or riding bikes not talking about them. I saw Ted on Tuesday morning and he happened to mention he was going to exhibit again at this years Bristol Bespoked, the handmade bike show.
He told me he had been working on some exciting new projects and his eyes lit up and I could see how the conversation was steering towards the technical, these kind of conversations leave me dazed and confused so I changed the subject quickly and asked his girlfriend where she got her warm looking slippers from.
Get yourself down there
Feeling curious as to what he had been up to I decided to check out his website and aren’t I glad I did.
Ted has built this wonderful mixte for his mum and it’s about as perfect a town bike as I have ever seen.
Handcrafted for mum
What a streamlined beauty- I am really excited about the rack and mudguards, which sounds a bit sad, but they are usually an ugly and cumbersome addition to any bike throwing the line of the bike off form, but not here. And the colour, what a colour! and no seat stays?
I urge anyone with an interest in bikes to visit Teds website to read all about his innovations and inventions (and his lathe- a great joy in his life), I reckon he might just go down in history as one of the greats, what a great pleasure it is to know him.