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.”
The Cambium-clad bikes of Red Hook Crit contenders Team Desgenà
The world is constantly changing, everything is evolving, new technology is created, old trends fade and new emerge. Track bicycles have been around for years and whilst the materials, construction processes and designs have evolved the essence has remained the same. The track bike has a humble and firm place in the bicycle hall of fame and as cyclists it is our duty to keep some of this heritage alive.
“Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze.”
So wrote the great Alfred Stieglitz, one of the pioneers of photography, back in 1893. He was wrong of course. Both these novel technologies of the late nineteenth century are still very much with us. And more than that, they seem to go hand in hand.
Throughout that decade cyclists were earlier adopters of Kodak’s new ‘hand camera’. Kodak boss George Eastman himself rode a bike to work and made long sight-seeing cycle tours of Europe. He knew that the last thing cyclists wanted to carry was a hefty tripod and a saddle bag full of heavy glass plates. His company sponsored round-the-world cyclists Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben, who sent back more than 1,200 circular images on 3.5-inch nitrate negatives, a selection of which are currently on display at an exhibition in the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles.
Photographs by Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben
I have mixed feelings after the Worlds. To sum it up, it just ended badly. There were some highlights in there. My manager Pieter giving me an Orval while the paramedic cleaned up my leg was one. Dinner with the boys after was good fun too. But the second half of my race went badly and the fact that I now have trouble walking has most certainly tainted my mood. The time, energy and preparation that you put into a race like this certainly increases the expectations, but of course you need to remember that everyone else in the race will be giving it 110% too.
After returning from a 59 day tour of mainland Europe, I never envisioned taking on the world on two wheels. But 13 months and 2,000 miles later, I found myself in Istanbul, Turkey far from my home in Ireland once again. With the right support behind me I continued on through 41 countries, covering 30,000 miles on bicycle, and 20,000 by boat. Relying on the kindness of strangers, I lived for two and a half years on the finer things in life, while raising over £5,000 pounds for Depaul Ireland, a charity tackling homelessness on the Emerald Isle.