Our two-wheeled, human-powered, gin-soaked Odyssey, the Dashing Bicycle Show, toured North America over the past twelve months, taking in both coasts, as well as some of the middle bit. And seeing as how North America isn’t just America, we even hit Canada for good measure.
Wherever we unpacked our boxes, we suggested that show visitors take a photo of themselves with their bicycle, and submit it to our Dashing Bike Photo Contest and take a chance at winning one of the fine bicycles we had on display.
As discerning fans of the odd pint will attest, comparing a multinational brewing giant and an independent craft brewer in terms of end product can be rather like examining the difference between a poured plastic perch and a Brooks saddle. So it was with interest that we learned recently of a microbrewery in the First County that was planning an ale for cyclists.
Earlier this year we drew your attention to a young man by the name of Julian Wong. Following the death and subsequent cremation of his father, Julian hit upon the fine idea of returning “Baba” to his place of birth in southern China. So in the summer, he duly packed the ashes, swung a leg over his B17 and set off.
As Unni put it, “Shouldn’t you be going fast across a weak bridge?”
We wrote last month about Unni Karunakara, who until September this year was International Head of the humanitarian medical aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières. Mr. Karunakara is enjoying all his recently gained free time by making a fundraising bike tour through India and attempting to raise public awareness of MSF along the way.
Putting down hard daily centuries like nobody’s business since early October, he kindly managed to get back to us this week with answers to a few questions we had for him as he set off.
As we all know, if you’re out trick or treating on Halloween night, it’s actually more efficient to walk from door to door than cycle. The time spent locking and unlocking your bike eats ferociously into the time available for the speedy collection from neighbours of monkey nuts, pomegranates and if you’re lucky, the odd mini Mars bar.
So what could we possibly have of bike-related interest on creepy, ghoulish Halloween?
Grant Petersen’s Rivendell Bike Works is a name of renown among aficionados of the hand-built lugged steel frame. We’ve written about Rivendell in the past, and Grant himself has also been an occasional contributor to these pages. So either way, both he and his company should be well known to most Brooks Blog readers.
In 20 years of business Rivendell has placed Brooks saddles on top of some of the most thoughtfully designed, sturdily built and coveted bikes anywhere in the world; a few models went on display together earlier this year in San Francisco when an extremely well received week-long Rivendell pop-up store opened.
Not legal tender, even in BBH.
So it was with interest that we learned recently of the latest fiendishly hatched Rivendell scheme to make paupers of us all with their common-sense, no-pressure style of doing business. Just last week they opened a permanent retail premises in downtown Walnut Creek, California.
It’s called Rivendell Bike Book & Hatchet. Apart from bikes, books and hatchets, you can find all sorts of other useful life-tools like pine tar soap and high quality wool clothing. So if you’re -
(a) a California-based cycling enthusiast,
(b) a California-based book reader,
(c) a California-based chopper of wood,
(d) even just California-based,
(e) curious about becoming one or more of the above,
then we’re sure that a trip to BBH will translate into time well spent. Like its sister company Rivendell Bike Works, BBH is a small independent business that will need to have people coming in through its doors at a fairly steady clip, and ideally going back out through them carrying a hatchet or a book. So hie thee thither.
The Rivendell BBH Grand Opening bash is on November 15th, but if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, feel free to drop by before then.
Dial the number below, and that’s the phone that’ll be getting picked up.
At the Brooks Blog, our enthusiasm for bike polo is famously boundless. Few readers can have forgotten 2011′s (now long since sold out) Limited Edition polo mallet, the “Brooks England”, for example. And elsewhere too in the world of kneepads and small gear ratios, we have demonstrably continued to go beyond the mere call of duty.
Sticking to what he knows best, photographer Stefano made a film about taking photographs.
No Ordinary Night was both theme and title of the recent film-festival-slash-filmmaking-contest organized by esteemed bike light people Knog. Brooks was delighted to lend assistance to the venture in the form of prizes.
As we explained here earlier this month, they tasked entrants with making something that could fairly be described as a bike/biking film. The only other non-negotiables being that it had to be under one minute’s length and shot at night time.
New Book Alert! The Elite Bicycle is a joint effort by photographer Graeme Fife and writer Gerard Brown to capture impressions of engineers, designers and fabricators of some of the world’s finest bike componentry at their various places of work.
It’s a project that took the two all over the globe, and perhaps unsurprisingly in the course of their travels they saw fit to make a stop at Smethwick, Birmingham in order that they get a chapter on fine leather saddles.