Thursday, 27 October 2011

This Sunday - Haunted Hack

Nah then.
The weather is expected to be perfect.
I've signed a pact with Old Nick himself to ensure puncture-free riding.
And the Ale is due to be in top form at all refreshment stops.

All you need to do is show up and cry like a banshee pedalling up Nick O'Pendle, Trough of Bowland, and Jubilee Tower...

More info here

Bike route 1314246 - powered by Bikemap 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Jack Taylor *and* Morecambe?

That's got to go in...

The hand lining at 13 mins in is my favourite.

Cut to the chase - 5 mins in

#Short shorts, argyle socks, and flat hats.

Nice frame-maker's mark...

Gold glitter - check
Globe - check
Powder blue - check
Contrasting red logo and matching pinstripe - check
Minimalist text - check

never mind the bollocks, we're in business...

Read more about this Rusholme Ruffian on the excellent and exhaustive Classic Lightweights site.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Bartholomew Maps...

Just looking at them makes me want to spin the clock back to 1946 and go touring...

Imagine the empty roads; the local shops; the pubs selling nothing but ale and spirits - drawn from oak barrels with worn beer-engine pump handles like coppers' trungeons.

Like a time warp Humphrey Spender pedalling back in time to make it to the boozer before last orders...

And while we're at it - one of Spender's marvelous paintings...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sunday, 9 October 2011

I See Dead People...

1964 Triumph from beyond the grave

I like roadsters.  Not exclusively.  But I like 'em. 
I can't help liking them. 
I like them old.  I like them new.

Well, new-ish; 1986 is probably my cut-off point. 

We could go into a discourse into why - maybe chewing over the mountain bike's excorable influence on marketing departments, or maybe spinning off tangentially about Neo-Liberalism, Acid House, The Smiths, or the managed decline of British manufacturing.  But we won't...  Because, I'm pacing myself.

I like Roadsters because they're honest. 

An old roadster doesn't try to sell you something that it can't fulfill.  Not like some shitty modern budget bike that mugs punters with front and back suspension for under £150. 

The upshot being a sloppy cake-walk that takes more effort to get to the shops for a loaf of bread than it does walking.  Which is roughly the antithesis of a bicycle's raison d'etre.

But this isn't about money, it's about value.

I've bought roadsters for £3.50 from charity shops - cheaper than a return ticket on the bus into town.  I've run them for months - sometimes years without changing the tyres they came with, and never doing repairs.  Because - for the large part - I couldn't do repairs.  Or didn't need to, I can't really remember which.

A few years back, I had some work in London.  Shit work - long hours, but laughingly well paid.  I was travelling down on the train, but I was broke thus didn't want to be pissing cash away on public transport - so I took the algae-green, step-though, Ladies' Hercules commuter that I'd got for the afforementioned £3.50.

And that was me; from late Sunday night to Friday 6pm when I was on the train back to the family in Morecambe, zipping about at all hours on my £3.50 three-speed. 

It was the ultimate urban tool; expendable and dependable.  I'd leave it anywhere chained up with my cheap lock - safe in the knowledge that I didn't actually give a fuck if it wasn't there when I returned.  (Being essentially un-nickable, it always was).

Near the end of my third week, I was riding back to the council estate in Stockwell where I was staying, when a car broadsided me.  I went over the bonnet and through the windscreen, before being dumped off the other side and onto the curb. 

The car had jumped a queue to turn right - an insane move that cut right across my path.    The tool driving tried to drive off - shattered windscreen and all - but I chased them down on foot, opened the door, and pulled the keys out of the ignition.  It quickly developed into a very shitty scene.

The Old Bill showed up and the situation eventually got tidied up, but my bike was a write-off.  The front forks were like knotweed - but rather them than my legs.  I made it into work next day, Friday - but that was definitely me and my London venture for a while.

Back at home, the word quickly got round about my spill.  A great lady from the charity shop came round to say a bike had just been donated - a Triumph Traffic Master, step-through again, but bigger frame and mint in Champagne and bronze.  Perfect.  Except they charged me a tenner.

Bleedin' ambulance Chasers...

Friday, 7 October 2011


HALLOWEEN HACK - Pendle Hill to Lancaster

First Haunted Velo Run

Sunday 30th October

Following the route taken by Pendle witches after their arrest in 1612.  Only on bicycles...

Roughly 35 miles

Start:  Clarion House Tea Room - Newchurch in Pendle  (1pm)
Finish: Whittle Springs (The Golden Lion), Moor Lane, Lancaster (4pm-ish)

Map: See below

Climbing over some heavy hills and riding through heavy scenery via the Trough of Bowland, the route ends at the city of Lancaster.  More acurately, the pub where the condemned witches took their last drinks before being hanged by the necks for their bullshit crimes. 

But let's not dwell on the injustices of the past, or ruminate on how our sisters are still being persecuted today by the direct descendants of the 17th Century landed gentry.  Because in the pub there will be music and ale and the resting of tired limbs (there may even be spud pie and peas, if I can get it together).

  • Opportunistic pub stops
  • Zero competitiveness (unless you fancy your chances)
  • Well - do you, punk?
  • No entry charges
  • No Prizes
  • No charitable imperative
  • Butties
  • Beer money
  • Some spares
  • A sense of adventure
  • A bike made from steel
  • Whatever the fuck you feel is right


  • See - A Sunday in Hell, Blood on Satan's Claw, 2-Lane Blacktop, Whistle Down the Wind, This Sporting Life, Weekend, If...
  • Hear - Pentangle, Bo Hansson, Colgen World, Walter Wegmuller, Woodcraft Folk, Amon Duul II, Tractor, Agitation Free, Caravan, Dando Shaft, Myrna Townsend
  • Taste - Porridge, Pies, Blackpuddings, Sweat and Tears
  • Feel - Elated, Exhausted, Righteous, & Wrong
  • Smell - Freedom

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