Saturday 11th July 2015 was the day that the Red Hook Crit paid its first visit to London. The race series has built up quite a following over the years and it is with pride that we had several Brooks sponsored riders taking part.
Long before the festivals of Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Ramadan or Thanksgiving came along human kind measured its progress through the year by observing the sun and the stars. The solstices are the pair of celestial bookends that mark the longest day of summer and the deepest depths of winter. Unlike religious and cultural festivals, which are ultimately products of the human imagination, the solstices are firmly rooted in the reality of our cosmic situation. Sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we live on a spherical rock hurtling around a gigantic nuclear explosion, spinning as it goes.
There are all sorts of reasons to go for a ride. Sometimes you want to explore, and to mark the world with your tires like your bike is a cat and the road is someone’s pant leg. Sometimes you want to challenge yourself on that big climb–or, even more pathetically, to challenge complete strangers via some social networking app like Strava. And sometimes you just wanna get naked.
On March 28, the Brooks distributor for Netherlands culminated their month-long instagram contest featuring our #enjoyeverymile hashtag by putting together an afternoon exploring the beautiful, bleak, and weathered landscapes surrounding Amsterdam. By bike, of course, despite the ever-present rain and wind of that day. The theme of the tour was to connect south Amsterdam parks and green zones into one ride. Peter Gijam of Buzzworks.nl was invaluable in uncovering some great examples of Dutch architecture and scenery and providing us with a course map. With Peter’s help we saw many scenic corners within a stone’s throw of Amsterdam’s city center. Here are some impressions of the ride. Our route began at the Blauwe Theehuis, a modernist pavilion built in 1937 in Amsterdam’s the largest city park first opened in 1865: Vondelpark. Starting with a spin past the Bosbaan, oldest artificial rowing course in the world, we covered some gravel through the Amsterdamse Bos, which is three times the size of New York’s Central Park, the Amsterdam Forest is among the largest city parks in Europe.
While I ride along the serpentine in Hyde Park, the mood is mellowed to the sound of 70’s disco. ‘Ring my bell’ by Anita Ward, plays from a makeshift stereo; crudely strapped to the back of a bicycle in front of me. I glance back, and I’m confronted by a sea of tweed; with faces beaming in the glorious spring sunshine. My stead for the tweed run this year was equally mellow; it was the latest offering from Pashley Cycles in Stratford-upon-Avon.
This Saturday saw the Tweed Run take place around London. As with years gone by, we were again a sponsor of this marvellous celebration of cycling. Here we share our favourite pictures from the day. Enjoy!
When you’re a responsible (or at least not criminally negligent) adult it can be tough to make time to ride. That’s why the secret to maintaining a healthy cycling life is sneaking in those rides when you can–which in turn means knowing when to dispense with the formalities.
Sure, it’s nice to wear the special clothes and brew the special coffee and apply the special unguents to your crotch and limbs in preparation for your time in the saddle, but sometimes doing so can be the difference between taking advantage of an open riding window and having the sash come crashing down on your head while you’re still applying your chamois cream.
On a recent afternoon I had just such a window. Birds were singing, the sun was shining, and a pie was cooling on the windowsill. I knew I had to get out there while I had the chance. So I skipped the riding attire, hastily stuffed a vegan man-purse from Rivendell with some essentials, and decided to take a spin out to City Island, which bills itself as the “Seaport of the Bronx.”
The Cambium-clad bikes of Red Hook Crit contenders Team Desgenà
The world is constantly changing, everything is evolving, new technology is created, old trends fade and new emerge. Track bicycles have been around for years and whilst the materials, construction processes and designs have evolved the essence has remained the same. The track bike has a humble and firm place in the bicycle hall of fame and as cyclists it is our duty to keep some of this heritage alive.