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.
During the past two months we’ve been working very hard to create what we describe as the Brooks ‘Cathedral’. We are excited to announce the opening of B1866, our first Brooks Store, situated in the heart of London. The shop is not only a showcase of our product range, but a celebration of the brand’s 150 year history.
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.
The nice folks at Schindelhauer Bikes present Dr. Karunakara with the bike that will take him 4,000km across India
Srinagar, October 12, 2013 – Outgoing International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Dr Unni Karunakara, is taking to the road on a bicycle to travel 5,000 kilometres through ten states beginning in Jammu and Kashmir and ending 100 days later in Kerala to spark a dialogue with the general public, medical students, and healthcare providers on health, healthcare, and humanitarianism. Dr Karunakara will push off and begin his odyssey in Srinagar at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at 1:00 pm.
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.
We introduced readers earlier this year to Bunyan Velo, a new quarterly magazine exploring what can be conjured when people pack a pen and pad, or camera with them on a spin, whether it’s to the corner shop or the other side of the world.
Issue Two is now available, and in it you can learn about the unique charms of winter touring in Alaska, and how to make Forgotten Fire Soup.
There are also at least half a dozen photos in here deserving of extensive individual attention.
Like the souls of those who contribute articles to it, Bunyan Velo is essentially free, but those who wish to see a third edition are nonetheless welcome to make a small donation towards its running costs.
New York’s Bicycle Habitat is the latest, and for the time being, final host of this year’s Brooks Dashing Bicycle Show. Their branch in Manhattan’s SoHo district unveils our collection of fine machinery and cycling sundries this evening, Thursday 25th July, at 6 p.m. local time.
And while the display models from Cooper, Tout Terrain, et al remain in the shop for a fortnight, the free Hendrick’s Gin cocktails will all be gone by close of business today. So get down there.
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.