Since the launch of our new Cambium saddle we’ve been keen to learn how it stands up on (or off-) road. To this end, in May we sent over 100 free Cambium saddles worldwide to a diverse pool of cyclists, whose testimonials can be found in the shop comments section of the Brooks online shop.
We are happy to report that, perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Now, the latest seal of approval comes from the 2013 Eurobike Award jury, who out of 496 products from 30 different countries bestowed upon the Cambium their coveted GOLD Award, given only to 10 products this year.
New and successfully defending champions were celebrated on the podium in an array of disciplines last month, as around 400 couriers met in Switzerland to take part in the annual Cycle Messenger World Championships.
Veteran of last year’s WCR Grand Tour Richard Dunnett reaches the Transcontinental finish line.
Richard Dunnett spent a sleepless two days over the weekend racing through Serbia and Bulgaria to guarantee himself Silver in the inaugural Transcontinental Race, the first ever unsupported competitive ride between London and Istanbul.
Race marshalls clocked his arrival in the wee hours of Monday morning, roughly a day after the winner, Belgium’s Kristof Allegaert.
30 racers started from Westminster Bridge earlier this month, seven of whom have so far withdrawn. 5 have made it over the finish line with two more likely to arrive today. This would leave 16 still out on the road.
Most of them are barreling through Serbia and Bulgaria as we speak, among them Juliana Buhring, the only women in the field. Based on her current progress she should comfortably finish in the top ten; there’s a tight race on for eighth between herself and Mikko Makipaa.
Like many of his competitors, Makipaa, a 34 year old Finn, has encountered all sorts of trouble since leaving London. He’s been chased by several packs of wild dogs, had a ton of punctures, and to make things even worse the batteries keep going dead on his GoPro. He has also fallen prey to some nasty sunburn while napping… in the sun of course, so our sympathies in this last regard, at least, are qualified.
Elsewhere, Nicholas Longworth probably isn’t going as slowly as the SPOT Tracker would have us believe. The 26 year old ultra endurance fiend appears to be still in Switzerland, but more than likely he’s a good deal further down the road than that. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have a working phone with him, and his tracker is on the blink.
We expect to hear from him with the rest of the field on the banks of the Bosphorus for the finishing party early next week at the very latest.
Women’s circumnavigation world record holder Juliana Buhring en route in the TCR.
Kristof Allegaert continues to force the pace in the Transcontinental Race this week. He has already reached Bulgaria, exceeding most of the mileage-time predictions made in advance of the start, while WCR Grand Tour veteran Richard Dunnett is doggedly trailing him through Serbia in second place.
Who will photograph the photographers? The TCR tracking car heading for Turkey.
Although self praise is famously no praise, our record in helping people out with their cycling related adventures is fairly good. And when we get wind of a race or a gathering that exemplifies the independence of spirit associated with packing a small bag, grabbing a couple of spare tubes and pointing that front wheel in the direction of the Unknown, we try to lend a hand in whatever way possible.
One such event is underway as we speak.
On Saturday morning last weekend at Westminster Bridge, the starter’s flag dropped for the Transcontinental Race, a competitive unsupported ride between London and Istanbul.
Anybody who followed last year’s WCR Grand Tour will be interested to know that its winner, Mike Hall, is the organizer.
The field of 30 racers also contains some of those who were vying with Hall to set a new world circumnavigation record, Richard Dunnett and Juliana Buhring to name but two.
They were all smiles last Saturday, but much water has passed under the bridge since then.
Riders are at liberty to choose their own routes, as well as to decide when and where they sleep, eat, update their Twitter pages, that sort of thing.
They are, however, not at liberty to do their eating, sleeping or Tweeting in the back of a support vehicle. Everybody rides alone.
They must also visit two specific locations along the way: the Muur van Geraardsbergen in cobblestone infested Flanders, and the altitude-and-hairpin infested Stelvio Pass in Italy’s eastern Alps.
Belgian Kristof Allegaert is one of the few to have already hit both of them, and judging by ground covered since Saturday, hasn’t been having too many lie-ins or seven-course dinners. Or even been devoting much time to his Social Media commitments, though he did bemoan the absence of ice-cream in Italy via Twitter this morning. He’s obviously not looking hard enough.
Plenty will happen between here and the finish in Turkey. It’s calculated that the fastest might make it there by the 14th, with a finishing party planned for the 19th by which time everybody should have arrived.
The Grand Tour in 2012 had considerably fewer finishers than starters, though, and by the same token the Transcontinental’s demands may result in the original thirty racers dwindling to… 28? 14? 3?
You can keep tabs on all the action via GPS tracking. We’ll also have updates here until we have a winner.
Spoke On The Water? The tyre in the sky? Bear with us…
Regular readers will already have gathered from our recent bulletins on the subject that Lausanne, Switzerland is host of this year’s CMWC. Like Montreux, Lausanne happens to be located on the “Lake Geneva Shoreline”.
Couriers from all over the world have been assembling there with their “mobiles” (Messenger slang for bicycle. Just trust us on this.) since early in the week, some of them doubtless with the intention “to make records”. In the Long Skid contest, for example?
There’s even a “Funky Claude… running in and out” in the shape of our good friend the Yakman, Claude Marthaler, who oversaw a screening of his latest film “Bike For Bread” on Wednesday.
There are possibly further parallels to draw between this fine event and a famous Deep Purple song, especially when we consider that the Lausanne organizers crew is partly comprised of various past and current European and World Champions.
Early arrivals to CMWC at Lausanne have been touring the surrounds.
With so much individual talent in one band, creative tensions are sometimes an obstacle to the end goal, but their last collaborative effort, 2007′s SUICMC, was by universal consent a tour de force, a Ten, five stars… so this weekend’s action should be their metaphorical Machine Head.
And you can watch it live. They plan to stream the Main Race Final on Sunday.
The sight of a Team Pro, B17 or Flyer bolted to the seatpost of a veteran courier’s work bike is one of the most telling tributes that can be paid to a Brooks saddle.
Perhaps no other breed of cyclist puts down as many high pressure, start-stop miles as the group of men and women you see snaking through traffic with a radio and a rucksack in any world city where time matters.
Cyclists tend to be a famously tribal bunch. But in a good way, generally speaking. A pair of unacquainted fixed wheel riders stopped at traffic lights, for example, will often cordially compare gear ratios.
And likewise will cargo-bike-riding readers be familiar with the near-unavoidable impulse to nod, wink or wave at other cargo bike riders they encounter while out and about.
Brooks was “on board” again last weekend when Europe’s elite Hardcourt Bike Polo teams gathered in Krakow to find out which trio is currently the best at scoring more goals than whichever other trio it happens to be playing against.
Clearly, any country with a name like “Poland” cries out to have a major Bike Polo tournament take place in it, and visiting teams found that a veritable Polo-playing-Paradise had been constructed to meet their every need and desire by a hard working, good humoured and well organized Krakow event crew.
Participants from as far away as Japan and the U.S. gathered in Anjou at the weekend for the third edition of the Vélo Vintage retro biking festival.
The towns of Angers and Saumur split the work between them, with Angers hosting events from Wednesday through to Saturday morning, and Saumur setting up their Vintage Village for the rest of the weekend.