The Fat is Out of the Bag

Guest Blogger Bike Snob NYC battles the snow

2 Feb 2016  |  Posted by Bike Snob NYC  |  Categories: Bicycles, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling, Urban Cycling

New York City.  The Capital of the World.  A great financial and cultural dynamo hub illuminating the rest of America and beyond.  Birthplace of the skyscraper, hip hip, and the “New York minute,” which is just a regular minute with extra cheese.

When it comes to cycling, however, one could argue our heyday is well behind us.  Madison Square Garden was a Mecca of six-day racing…like a hundred years ago.  New York City’s bike messengers were once iconic…though the style’s been appropriated worldwide, and “Quicksilver” to “Premium Rush” represents a precipitous decline.  Alas, we used to set the pace, but now it comes to “bike culture” we’re playing catch-up.

Consider the whole fat bike thing.  They’ve been riding fat bikes for years out there in “Fargo” country, but New York City’s first-ever fat bike race wasn’t until January 23rd, 2016 in Cunningham Park, Queens:

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A Life in the Year

Long thought unsurpassable, 2015 saw two exceptional mile-eaters take on cycling's Year Record. Jack Thurston looks back at how the oldest and toughest record in cycling was finally broken.

25 Jan 2016  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling

In Ancient Greek mythology, Zeus punishes Sisyphus for his avarice and cunning by condemning him to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The notion of punishment by arduous, never-ending and ultimately meaningless toil is not confined to Ancient Greece. In traditional Chinese folklore a miscreant named Wu Gang faces the divine punishment of forever chopping down a self-regenerating osmanthus tree that grows on the moon. The cycling equivalent of these mythical tortures is the Year Record. The thought of getting on a bike, riding for more than twelve hours only to get up the next day and do it all again, and again and again for a whole year makes me shudder. I’d rather fly to the moon with my felling axe.

Sisyphus by Titian

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Koppenberg has lost it’s voice

Angus tackles a famous challenge

11 Jan 2016  |  Posted by Angus Edmond  |  Categories: Events, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling

The Koppenberg, a legendary cobbled climb famous in the road cycling world is also home to the Koppenberg Cross, one of the hardest on the circuit and also one of my favourite races.

I raced the new Niels Albert cross race in Boom the day before, an impressive little course that uses the same area as the famed Tomorrowland, the worlds largest EDM festival. The landscape wasn’t amazing but they still managed to make a great course out of it. With the Elite men and U23 thrown together we were still only 27 riders on the start grid, giving me a rare spot at the start of the 3rd row. But this was not the important race of the weekend and energy needed to be saved for the Koppenberg.

Having a little fun in Boom :)

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When Cross Makes You Cry

Juliet explores the pain of the race

8 Dec 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling

“I just don’t understand. That’s the pure definition of masochism if it only feels good once it’s over.”

I’m on the phone to my Mum, telling her how I spent my Sunday afternoon and her suspicions that I’m just a little bit barmy have been ramped up a level. The activity we’re discussing is cyclocross and I’m just done explaining how the day’s race was so hard that I nearly puked and cried. “It just sounds horrid,” she continues. “I don’t know why you would do such a thing.” Rewind a few hours and I was asking myself the same thing.

Cyclocross is a form of bike racing that takes place in the winter months on a variety of predominantly natural surfaces, participants racing as many laps as they can of an incredibly slippery, muddy course with obstacles that might mean you have to dismount and carry your bike. Good bike handling skills are essential and unlike road and crit racing, there’s no drafting or hiding behind your opponents for some brief respite; cyclocross is an all-out solo effort that puts you in the red from the minute you begin pedaling. It’s a brutal, roughly hour-long assault on your body and mind, and one that I wasn’t even sure I was up for.

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Cycle Revolution at the Design Museum in London

We find out more about a special cycling exhibition

17 Nov 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Events, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling, Urban Cycling

We here at Brooks England are proud to be taking part in a new exhibition that is taking part at the Design Museum in London. Cycle Revolution celebrates the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition and looks at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future.

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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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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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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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Stefania Baldi Interview

We catch up with Stefania as she prepares for RHC in London

7 Jul 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling

This weekend sees the Red Hook Criterium arrive in London for the first time.  The women’s event will see the Brooks sponsored Dësgenà Team, from Turin, competing.  So we decided to catch up with Stefania Baldi from the team to find out what makes her tick. 

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Eroica Britannia 2015 – The Interview

We catch up with the guys to find out what has changed for the Second Edition

1 Jun 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Heritage, Monthly highlights, Sports Cycling

With Eroica Britannia rapidly approaching, we decided it was a fitting time to catch up with Tim, one of the organisers, and find out what is new for 2015 and what to expect for the weekend.  From what he told us it seems we are in for one fantastic weekend and a very enjoyable fathers’ day. 

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