Bring on the Night

Jack provides some top tips for heading out into the night

26 Nov 2015  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Mid November is the time of year when we face up to the undeniable fact that winter has arrived. More than that, winter has no plans to go away anytime soon. In fact, it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. The freezing temperatures and the bad weather are hard enough, but the lack of daylight is the really big downer (quite literally, for sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD as it’s appropriately known). There’s no getting away from the fact that if you ride your bike through winter, you’ll be spending a lot of time riding in the dark.

Over the past few years I’ve come to enjoy riding at night. What was once an occasional thrill has become a necessity as juggling work and looking after young kids means I don’t often get to slip away on the bike until the little ones are tucked up in bed.

I’ll admit night riding isn’t much good for enjoying the landscape in the usual way because most of it is hidden under the cloak of darkness. But every landscape has its own nightscape which come with its own subtle pleasures. Night is a quiet, monochrome place and bereft of light with which to see we rely on our animal senses: tuning in to the sounds of the night, the smells that waft on the night air and the slightest changes in temperature and humidity. And for all that cannot be seen, the imagination is only to happy to fill in the gaps.

Night lights


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Cycle Revolution at the Design Museum in London

We find out more about a special cycling exhibition

17 Nov 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Events, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling, Urban Cycling

We here at Brooks England are proud to be taking part in a new exhibition that is taking part at the Design Museum in London. Cycle Revolution celebrates the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition and looks at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future.


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Gorge yourself on junk miles

Juliet takes a moment to reassess those winter rides

6 Nov 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Over the last couple of months I’ve picked up a few cycling magazines down at the shops, several of which contain winter training plans, advice for getting fitter and answers to some commonly asked questions such as ‘why aren’t I getting faster?’ In many cases the wisdom dispensed includes the line ‘ditch the junk miles,’ which got me thinking, just what are these terrible junk miles I keep hearing of, and should I be worried? Are they addictive and pleasurable yet somewhat shameful and bad for my health, the cycling equivalent of gorging on cola, quarter-pounders, pizza and hot dogs? Should I be careful I don’t become hooked?

In case you haven’t heard of junk miles, the term is generally used to refer to any time you spend on the bike that is not purposeful, so miles that are neither a recovery ride, a high intensity ride, nor an endurance ride or similar would be deemed junk, and either not worthy of your time, or down right bad for you if progression is what you’re after.


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Racing CX in China Part 2

Brooks Sponsored Angus Edmond Brings the 2nd Part of his Report from China

4 Nov 2015  |  Posted by Angus Edmond  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends

Angus brings us up to date with the second half of his China trip to ride cycle-cross.  If you missed part one, read it here

Hainan was a little different. It was a bit warmer and a lot more humid. It had the wonderful feature of the course being 200m from the front door of our resort and in contrast to the last race this one had been built to order. It was regulation width from start to finish, had one of the most interesting flyovers I have ever seen and was fun to ride.

Beautiful track with a stunning backdrop


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“Trick or treat, smell my feet, put some Proofide on my seat!”

Guest blogger Bike Snob NYC loses his head

31 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Bike Snob NYC  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Urban Cycling

The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind. His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance. Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body of the trooper having been buried in the churchyard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head, and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to get back to the churchyard before daybreak.
Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.


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PANNIER.CC launch a Bursary Scheme for Travellers

We talk to Pannier founder, Stefan, to hear more about the site and their Cycle Tour Bursary for travelling cyclists...

30 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Pannier Cycle Tour Bursary

We here at Brooks are keen to promote the joys of cycle travel, whether that is a short trip to the supermarket or a 12 month trek across the globe.  As such, it was an easy decision for us to sponsor the Pannier Spring 2016 Tour Bursary.  In our latest blog we find out more.


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Sprengisandsleið – A Trip Across Iceland

Tom Donhou recounts a special trip to test his latest creation

22 Oct 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

How do you start to plan a trip…? There’s always a flash moment, that spark that gets you thinking, it could be a picture you’ve seen, someone reminding you of a place you’ve always wanted to visit, a particular road you’ve heard tales from… Sometimes that spark can fizzle out pretty quick, other times it can rage! Whatever happens, there’s nothing quite like the excitement you get deep down in your gut when that idea hits, just keep the momentum going and before you know it, you’re touching down in some far off place, brimming to get on your bike and see what the road offers up.


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L’Eroica 2015 – A Ride for Heroes

Brooks Team B1866 Made the Annual Jaunt to Gaiole

21 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Events, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

As a global sponsor of the Eroica series, Brooks is always excited as October approaches as it means our yearly pilgrimage to Gaiole in Chianti is upon us once more and this year was no different.


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You Can’t Spell “Brooklyn” Without “Brooks” (Though You Will Be Stuck With A Leftover “S”)

Guest Blogger Bike Snob NYC Revisits The Great Hipster Silk Route

13 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Bike Snob NYC  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Urban Cycling

On a recent Friday, as the storm clouds gathered, I slipped on my finest woollen jersey and headed out for a ride–though before going outside I always check myself out in the mirror first:

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Take A Technological Detox

Juliet switches off and finds the purity of cycling

8 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights

I’m terribly easily distracted. Between sitting down to write this piece and actually typing the first words, I found myself tidying the living room, brushing one of my cats, going to the shop to buy coffee, watering my plants, looking at Facebook and Twitter and replying to all my emails, and all this before I’d even changed out of my pajamas.

I sometimes kid myself that by doing millions of things all at the same time I’m being super efficient, plowing through stuff on my to-do list at lightning speed. The reality is I’m flitting between so many things that I’m never really concentrating on one or truly immersing myself in anything at all; there are so many distractions when working at home that I’m all over the place yet never really anywhere.

Cycling is usually a break from all this faffing – it’s just me and my bike rolling through the countryside; a pure, simple, uncomplicated time to sooth the neural pathways. It’s a time to disconnect from life’s worries, untether from technology and just focus on the here and now, a time to notice the small things. Or at least it used to be.


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