Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Girl's Bicycle Handbook book signing

My brother was looking for a present to buy me and he found this book he thought I'd love. In the queue to buy it he had a quick flick through the pages and sent me a message saying; "You are so hard to buy presents for. I found a book I thought you'd like but you are in it so you probably already have it."
Yep, I have it*. It's The Girls Bicycle Handbook by Caz Nicklin from Cycle Chic.
It's weird closing a book on my face.
If you want to buy and copy and have her sign it, she will be at Just E-Bikes on Portobello Road this Saturday 6th December. They'll also have free minced pies just in case you haven't started on them yet.  If they didn't already have me at 'free minced pies', I'm a west London girl so this one is just a short cycle ride away from home. 
Westside Massive
*Actually Eileen Sheridan has my copy and says she loved it.

You can read about Caz's favourite London spots here.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

Michaux Ambassador

My bike and I have been riding around decked out in Michaux. Here are some images from a quick photoshoot we did at one of my favourite places, the Turquoise Island in Notting Hill. Check out my five minute interview on the Michaux website.

Pictures by Rosie Holtom

Friday, 17 October 2014

Nice Rack

It's been a while since I bigged up a bike stand. I spotted these corten steel guys near the Z√≥calo in Mexico City. They are by the Italian company Metalco who make lots of other cool urban furniture. 

I think they fit in really well with the landscape and look like sculptures when they are empty. 

I definitely didn't hurt myself leap frogging over them. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What bike lights do you use?

This is what 400 glow sticks looks like
The evenings are getting shorter which means we’ll be using our lights a lot more g’damn it.

I’ve been through a hell of a lot of lights in my time. I’ve lost them, broken them, run over them, lent them out, replaced countless batteries, watched them fade from a flash into a pulse, used them to create impromptu discos, held them together with hair bands, rode home holding them in hand and on occasion in my mouth.
Like we haven't all had to attach a torch to our bikes at some point

Or you could try chaining a toy fire engine to your bike. People will see and hear you coming.
This bike had seven sets of battery pack fairy lights attached. I couldn't wait for it to get dark.
I think I might have finally nailed it.
Here is what I use:

My front light:

This light is melt your eyeballs bright. It has five different flashing modes. I was an idiot at first and didn’t realise (didn’t read the instructions) that one was an eco-flash mode that lasts up to 50 hours so I was having to charge it up every few days like a fool. FYI at full beam it lasts about three hours. No need to steal the batteries out of your remote control because it’s USB rechargeable. The USB folds out so you can plug it straight into your computer without any wires.

I ride different bikes so they need to be self-mounting. This is easy to take on and off as it has a silicone strap with stainless steel clip.

My rear light:

This gets a lot of attention on and off the bike. It’s tubular so is visible from all angles unlike most lights that are just visible in the direction they are pointing at.
It has clips at both ends so can be attached to jackets, bags, I sometimes clip it to the back of my collar. It also has detachable silicone ladder slings that secure to the clips to you can attach it to your frame, pannier rack or helmet. It takes two AAA batteries that you can change without tools (or a penny).

I have on numerous occasions walked into places with it still on my bag and people have said, “you’re flashing!” THEY WISH.

When I put them away I attach the two together so I can find them easily and they haven’t yet turned themselves on in my bag. Winners.

If you have any winning lights TELL ME EVERYTHING.
Hey guys, it's nearly time for this

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cycle Style// London Fashion Week SS15

I put fashion into two boxes; things you can wear on a bike and things you can't wear on a bike (things you would break on a bike). 
Here are my London Fashion Week picks that could well translate into cycle friendly looks.

I love a bit of neon but have never been a fan of full on hi-vis neonness. J. JS Lee and Fyodor Golan both featured jackets with neon accents while Anya Hindmarch repped the neon trend for accessories. I especially liked the detachable purses that would be ideal for attaching inside a pannier bag so you don't have to dig down deep for your keys.

Reflective, mirrored and iridescent fabrics were out in force with Fyodor Golan, Markus Lupfer and Ashish all nailing the sports luxe look.

Last but not least, let's all take a moment for Richard Nicoll's light up dress. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bike Beatz Carnival Special// Calypso Rose, The Bicycle

The shops have been boarded up, fridges have been filled with Red Stripe, residents are deciding how much to charge people to use their toilets, police are perfecting their Bogle and us masqueraders are praying it doesn't rain on our feathers too much. IT'S CARNIVAL.

In honour of Carnival weekend here is the famous Tobagan calypsonian Calypso Rose with The Bicycle.

Westside Massive

Start your weekend with Panorama.
And here are some things that I see and so might you.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pimp my ride// New handlebar tape

 My bike and I are really good at loosing earrings. I was replacing a lost bar plug for the 8,768,976,08th time and I realised my handlebar tape was a year old. My bike was well overdue a makeover. 

Just like tan lines, removing the old tape showed stripes of what the original colour was. Eww.

I decided to really go for it and used Michaux’s gold reflective leather tape to really bling it up. They also sell spare earrings so I should probably stock up.

It feels like a new bike.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Eileen Sheridan

Eileen Sheridan in 1954
I was nervous to meet Eileen Sheridan. Not because she is a cycling icon; having set all kinds of records, most notably in 1954 when she cycled from Land’s End to John o’Groats in two days, 11 hours and seven minutes. Not because I spent a freezing February day riding around in vintage cycling gear on a replica of the Hercules bike she rode pretending to be her for a documentary. I was nervous because I knew after meeting her I would want to cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
Me being Eileen 

I went over for a cup of tea on my birthday morning. She actually lives just around the corner from where I went to school. We talked about everything from how I wished she had worn caps so I wouldn’t have been so cold during filming to our love of cycling, swimming, jewellery, how the make up artist managed to make my 2 feet of straight hair look like her short curly style with the help of 109 kirby grips, all the strange coincidendences that made us alike and led to me playing her. She showed me jewellery she has made, glasses she has etched, photographs and art she loves. The cup of tea turned in to a whole morning and the start of a great friendship.
Eileen and I at the premier of Come on Eileen at Look Mum No Hands

I took with me the bike that The Vintage Bike Cave had made especially for the film. I love riding that bike but it hates me. The little time I’ve spent on it I’ve had two puncture. TWO. As it authentically has tubular tires, I just don’t have the repair knowledge so The Vintage Bike Cave have loved me. I explained how I try not to get mad at getting punctures by believing they happen for a reason and are fate’s way of saving you from an accident you may have later or meeting someone you may not want to. Eileen’s thoughts on this were simply “I never really got punctures” What an absolute legend.

Eileen with the replica bike made for the film by the Vintage Bike Cave

And yes, as I feared I’m planning an End to End cycle. Just not on that bike.

Watch a clip of the film Come on Eileen by Anthony Collins here or head along to the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling for the next full screening which coincides with the start of the Tour de France.

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