Take A Technological Detox

Juliet switches off and finds the purity of cycling

8 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights

I’m terribly easily distracted. Between sitting down to write this piece and actually typing the first words, I found myself tidying the living room, brushing one of my cats, going to the shop to buy coffee, watering my plants, looking at Facebook and Twitter and replying to all my emails, and all this before I’d even changed out of my pajamas.

I sometimes kid myself that by doing millions of things all at the same time I’m being super efficient, plowing through stuff on my to-do list at lightning speed. The reality is I’m flitting between so many things that I’m never really concentrating on one or truly immersing myself in anything at all; there are so many distractions when working at home that I’m all over the place yet never really anywhere.

Cycling is usually a break from all this faffing – it’s just me and my bike rolling through the countryside; a pure, simple, uncomplicated time to sooth the neural pathways. It’s a time to disconnect from life’s worries, untether from technology and just focus on the here and now, a time to notice the small things. Or at least it used to be.


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Racing Cross in China: Part 1

Angus looks for success in the Qiansen Trophy

1 Oct 2015  |  Posted by Angus Edmond  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling

An all expenses paid trip to China is hard to say no to. This would be the 2nd time that I had been unable to say no to the Qiansen Trophy, though this trip would be without my faithful mechanic Anders. As nice as a free trip is, I did find myself asking what I was doing already in Dubai. I had just another 9 hours of flying ahead of me. People would ask me about my trip when I got home and to be honest it was mixed. Chinese culture can be pretty full on and flying doesn’t bring out the best in anyone. So boarding the flight to Beijing I was already taking a deep breath.


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From Hinckley to Covent Garden

Julian Sayarer follows in the footsteps of John Boultbee Brooks 150 years on

28 Sep 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Travel & Adventure Cycling

That I have a Brooks saddle on my touring bicycle is scarcely worth mentioning. Since the company was taken over and rejuvenated by the current Italian owners in the early 2000s, Brooks’ saddles have been restored as go-to for both touring and commuter cyclists.


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2015 Dirty Kanza Race Report + Video

Brooks X Axletree take to the road in search of the real Kansas

21 Sep 2015  |  Posted by BREGAN  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling

l. to r. Paul, Aaron, Dean, and Tony. 4/6 of Team Brooks X Axletree.

I first learned of DK200 from Paul Errington who rode the event in 2012, one of the first foreigners to do so. Paul wrote about his experience on this blog and is now organzing his own UK gravel event in 2016, the Dirty Reiver, which will be held in Northumberland in April. More on that forthcoming.


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Honesty Box Dinners

Juliet heads out to see what Devon can deliver

2 Sep 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Curiosities, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Roughly three years ago when I announced my departure from London, people couldn’t have been more surprised. “But you’re so very London, with your fixed gear bike, your tattoos and your job in the media,” they exclaimed. “Just how will you survive without being able to buy pomegranates at 3am and extremely tiny lukewarm coffee for the best part of a fiver?”


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Climbing the 21 Hairpins of Bureaucracy

Guest Blogger BSNYC Is Not A Puffin

7 Aug 2015  |  Posted by Bike Snob NYC  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Urban Cycling

Fundamentally there are two kinds of cycling.  There’s the escapist kind where you head out into the countryside in pursuit of some contrived goal, like covering a formidable distance or climbing a looming mountain.  Then there’s the realist kind where you bravely point your bike towards the heart of the city, and instead of doing battle with the landscape and the elements you confront traffic and potholes and the very forces of bureaucracy itself.  While the former may inform the bulk of stylized Internet cycling narratives it’s the latter style of cycling which truly tests both the mind and body of the cyclist, and is the stuff of which true “epics” and champions are made.

I am one of those champions, and this is the tale of one such “epic.”

All great rides start with a challenge, and mine was perhaps the greatest challenge of all: to get money back from the City of New York.  This is a near-impossibility, and it makes climbing the Tourmalet on a fixie look like, well, riding around Brooklyn on a fixie.  Nevertheless, having already filled out various online forms, I resolved to visit the actual offices of a city agency in search of restitution.

This would be no doddle, and equipment selection was crucial, so after much deliberation this was the bike I chose:

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The Riddle of the Sands Adventure Club – Taking a Classic Book for a Very Long Cycle Ride

Tim Wright joins the Brooks Blog to lift the lid on his epic adventure

4 Aug 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Boat - Holland

‘The Riddle of the Sands’ is one of those classic old adventure books that your dad (or grandad!) probably thrust upon you at an early age, but which you haven’t much thought about since. It tends to sit on the shelf alongside books like ‘The 39 Steps’, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ and ‘Treasure Island’.


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The Challenge of Training

Juliet reflects on her mission to get race ready

31 Jul 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling, Stories, Urban Cycling

Several months ago I wrote a piece for this blog describing my battle with training. I’ve always struggled to commit to a strict and structured regime, preferring to simply ride hard and fast and randomly challenge myself by sprinting for signs and pegging it up hills. In some ways, what I wind up doing on a bike is my own peculiar and haphazard version of training, only I prefer to just call it cycling.


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En Corse – Cycle Travel with Bikecation

Rob Penn joins the Brooks Blog to recount a trip to Corsica

30 Jul 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Travel & Adventure Cycling

The day started humbly – on a flat cycle path between a lagoon and the sea, with Bastia-Poretta airport as the backdrop. There was no sense then of the grandeur and the glory that awaited us. There was not even a hint of the beauty of Corsica – a level of pulchritude that I have seldom experienced in a single day on a bicycle. Nor, in the cool air of the young day was there any suggestion of the cauldron of heat we would encounter in the canyons ahead.


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Before the Fall (and After)

Jack reveals the objects of his cycling desires...and how he curbs his appetite

22 Jul 2015  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Saddles, Bags, Etc., Travel & Adventure Cycling

The other day, I was idly window-shopping for secondhand bikes on the web. All of a sudden transported to a moment more than twenty years ago, on a dusty country road in the middle of Transylvania. A friend and I were cycle-camping around Romania and we’d stopped to greet the one and only other foreign cyclist we encountered on our entire trip. We began swapping stories about roads and campsites and soon learned that he was on a six month journey across the European continent, from Portugal to Istanbul. I was impressed but what made an even greater impression was his bike.


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