Some might consider it churlish on this Day of Days to be diverting attention from one royal family to another, but neither Wills nor Kate have ever gone on the record to declare any specific preference for the kind of seat they like under them when they’re out for a spin.
Thirteen years after it was established under its present name, the Swedish art and design foundation Vandalorum finally has a place it can call “home”. Or should that be “hem”? Interestingly for us, at any rate, is the fact that the first exhibition to take place there opened a week ago, and is all about bikes.
Brooks has always had an affection for the native Japanese style, but also for the frequently funky yet always ingeniously tasteful Japanese take on Western styles.
In an effort to complement our line of cycle bags with appropriately fashionable functional clothing, Brooks has entered into a capital tie-up agreement with Hideto Suzuki’s clothing brand PEdALED. The purpose of this endeavour being a more complete offering for those seeking alternative cycling apparel and accessories.
I returned from my most recent trip to the Brooks works at Smethwick last week having had all sorts of news- as well as some fascinating arcana pertaining to venerable English leather saddles- kindly imparted to me. In due course, we’ll be sharing all of it here.
First up on the Order of Business is the result of this year’s Employee Of The Year. Normally reported on in our annual paper, The Brooks Bugle, it appears that at the time the Bugle was going to the printers it wasn’t immediately clear which of the nominees had in fact been awarded the title.
Production Supervisor Barbara Lawrence was kind enough to introduce me to the winner on my visit. And Barbara’s a good judge. She has been a cornerstone at Brooks for over thirty years, as was her mother before her.
Office Manager Steve Green has been around at Brooks a while too. We let him take up the story…
A Blossoming Corn Poppy Flower – Malgorzata Krawczyk
I found myself in London for the third annual Tweed Run at the weekend. On arrival, I was greeted not only by the gratifying sight of English leather saddles at every turn, but also by the sound of sweet piano music, emanating from a piano, of course. But extraordinarily, this piano was built into and around a bicycle frame, its rider/player accompanying the group down Blackfriars as we set off.
English Cycle Style continues to make it way in and around parts German, cultivating appreciation for things English along its way. Most recently the event debuted in Basel at Single Speed, one of the finest Brooks Dealers of Excellence on the Continent.
Brooks England is a proud sponsor of the London Tweed Run this coming Saturday. The Tweed Run raises money for Bikes4Africa, a great charity that donates bicycles to children in Africa who would otherwise have to walk for miles every day to school, keeping them from arriving late, exhausted and unable to concentrate.
Neither Alan Winslow nor Morrigan McCarthy would have described themselves as “big riders” when they set off on their 11 month cycling tour around the United States in September 2008. Motivated more by the photographic and narrative possibilities such a trip might hold, the first time they even took their bikes out with full kit happened also to be the morning on which they set off.
Of the 25000 photos they took, and countless hours of audio footage they recorded along the way, 23 images and a handful of short interviews were moulded into a travelling gallery exhibition called “Tandem”.
Most bike polo afficionados surely deplore the thoroughly unstylish (yet popular) practise of cobbling together makeshift chukkah equipment out of plumbing pipe and old ski poles. As a result, the Brooks team began last year to investigate possibilities for a more elegant Limited Edition mallet that would reflect the rich English heritage of our name, and of this old-but-new sport.