Riding through the lens

Jack Thurston compiles some top tips for photography on the move

19 Mar 2015  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

“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

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Chased Around the World by Dogs

Tim Moss tells us cycling around the world is not what you expect

16 Mar 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Travel & Adventure Cycling
Life rarely brings what you expect of it. And cycling around the world is no different. How could it be?

From our desks in London, how could we have imagined the places we’d see and the people we’d meet?

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Sven Cycles of Weymouth. A Breath of Fresh Air

Touring in your fathers footsteps with a modern twist

12 Feb 2015  |  Posted by Tim Gunn  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Heritage, Monthly highlights, Saddles, Bags, Etc., Style & Fashion, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Every once in a while the cycle industry re-invents itself to follow fashions which come and go. Meanwhile, the ancient spirits of quality and style sit on the fence and watch, lending a helping hand to those who allow them through their doors. The recent resurgence in the hand-built British bicycle is a fashion that was once an epidemic. Almost every town had a cycle shop, with an often rudimentary building attached where a skilled craftsman would be building frames for local cyclists.  

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From London to Belfast, via The Rest of The World

Kevin Downey joins the blog to recount his epic journey

27 Jan 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Travel & Adventure Cycling

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.

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Adventures in the Egyptian Sinai

The Brooks Blog welcomes Julian Wong to recount one of his adventures

20 Jan 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

In the spring of 2013 I set off from California carrying my father’s ashes to his hometown in China.  By the end of the year I had cycled across the United States, flown to Norway from Florida and cycled Scandinavia, the Baltics, Central Europe and most of the Balkans. It was early 2014 when I decided to escape the winter doldrums of Europe and fly to the warm and exotic land of Egypt.

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My Top Rides Of 2014

Juliet Elliott's top rides of 2014

12 Jan 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Correspondence, Events, Friends, Heritage, Stories, Travel & Adventure Cycling

I must be getting old. Just like that, 2014 is over. I remember when I was a kid, the summer holidays lasted forever and Christmas always seemed an eternity away. I always hoped that those who told me ‘school days are the best of your life’ were far off the mark. Endless hours of maths, PE in sub zero temperatures wearing gym knickers and an airtex shirt; how could that be the best life had to offer? PE even made me think I wasn’t ‘sporty,’ but that’s another story for another time. Now I’m free from the horrors of netball, drinking at bus stops and GCSEs, I’m having more fun that ever and life seems to fly by.  So they were wrong. I bloody knew it. School sucks and being a grown up rules.

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Ride, Eat, Sleep. Repeat x 365

Jack Thurston visits a man planning to spend 2015 just riding his bike

29 Dec 2014  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Steve's bike room - might need a tidy-up

It’s the longest standing record in cycling. Some say it can’t be broken and few have even tried. But on 1 January 2015, a little known British cyclist will begin a year of cycling with the intention of surpassing the 75,065 miles that Tommy Godwin rode way back in 1939.

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Looking for the Perfect Ride

From deep in the gloom of November, Jack Thurston looks back over the year's most memorable rides

26 Nov 2014  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Stories, Travel & Adventure Cycling

November murk in the Black Mountains

If there’s a month for armchair cycling it’s November. Emily Dickinson described it as ‘the Norway of the year’, which is a bit hard on Norway. November really is the gloomiest month. Dreary skies above, mud below – and not much in between. As an embalmer removes the blood from a corpse, the landscape is drained of its autumn colour. Spring seems inconceivable and we’ve not yet reached the frost-spangled glamour of midwinter. November promises little and delivers less. Even professional bike racers – men and women whose job it is to ride their bikes – take the month off.

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Drafting Le Corbusier

Four Architects and Designers from New York City cycle through Le Corbusier’s Architecture

7 Nov 2014  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Curiosities, Travel & Adventure Cycling

We arrived in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the last day of our voyage, earlier than expected. With both excitement and melancholy, we rode up and down the town’s steep streets gathering cheeses, saucisson, champagne, bread, and cornichons for the birthday celebration.

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The Next Crazy Venture Beneath The Skies

Jack Thurston joins the Brooks Blog to share his love of The Transcontinental Race

27 Oct 2014  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Events, Sports Cycling, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Cycle sport loves its history. There’s a romance to the historic races that date back to the time when bicycles really were the fastest things on the roads, races that have been contested by the greats of the sport in every generation. But how are new races born, new legends made?

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