Another newcomer that caught our eye (and many others!) at this years Bespoked was Timmy Rowan of Rowan Frameworks. Astonishingly he picked up both best Best Newcomer & Best in Show, which was fairly unprecedented! A staunch Brooks supporter…His bikes are a stark contrast from the recent trend of monster tubed speed machines and have a wealth of small touches and unusual uses of mixed materials. Who knows what’s in store for Rowan Frameworks…but they are certainly off to a good start! We swapped a few questions and answers to learn a bit more about the finer points…
There are all sorts of reasons to go for a ride. Sometimes you want to explore, and to mark the world with your tires like your bike is a cat and the road is someone’s pant leg. Sometimes you want to challenge yourself on that big climb–or, even more pathetically, to challenge complete strangers via some social networking app like Strava. And sometimes you just wanna get naked.
The centennial commemorations of the First World War remind us of the origins of the phrase ‘over the top’, now widely used to describe anything extreme or outrageous. The stuttering newsreel shots show young men clambering out of their trenches (‘over the top’) and walking briskly into machine gun fire, barbed wire and almost certain death. With the war not yet a year over, using such a charged phrase ‘over the top’ to describe a bike ride must have been a very deliberate act and that is exactly what Walter MacGregor Robinson did in his celebrated account of a ride across the Berwyn range in north Wales, published in Cycling in May 1919.
While I ride along the serpentine in Hyde Park, the mood is mellowed to the sound of 70’s disco. ‘Ring my bell’ by Anita Ward, plays from a makeshift stereo; crudely strapped to the back of a bicycle in front of me. I glance back, and I’m confronted by a sea of tweed; with faces beaming in the glorious spring sunshine. My stead for the tweed run this year was equally mellow; it was the latest offering from Pashley Cycles in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The dust is now slowly starting to settle on Bespoked 2015 and it was great to see the event return to it’s spiritual home of Bristol and the show spread out into two venues, Brunel’s Old Station and Contemporary Art centre Arnolfini. Brunel’s was devoted to bikes and Arnolfini to extra-curricular items like Clothing, Bike Luggage, Art Prints and Publications.
This Saturday saw the Tweed Run take place around London. As with years gone by, we were again a sponsor of this marvellous celebration of cycling. Here we share our favourite pictures from the day. Enjoy!
With Bespoked returning to its spiritual home in Bristol this weekend, we took the opportunity to ask founder Phil a few questions about what inspired the event, and the changes he has seen in handmade bicycles over the last few years.
When you’re a responsible (or at least not criminally negligent) adult it can be tough to make time to ride. That’s why the secret to maintaining a healthy cycling life is sneaking in those rides when you can–which in turn means knowing when to dispense with the formalities.
Sure, it’s nice to wear the special clothes and brew the special coffee and apply the special unguents to your crotch and limbs in preparation for your time in the saddle, but sometimes doing so can be the difference between taking advantage of an open riding window and having the sash come crashing down on your head while you’re still applying your chamois cream.
On a recent afternoon I had just such a window. Birds were singing, the sun was shining, and a pie was cooling on the windowsill. I knew I had to get out there while I had the chance. So I skipped the riding attire, hastily stuffed a vegan man-purse from Rivendell with some essentials, and decided to take a spin out to City Island, which bills itself as the “Seaport of the Bronx.”