Posts tagged ‘bike’

February 22, 2014

The Weekend Pages #4

This edition of The Weekend Pages is devoted to one thing —The VELOBerlin Film Award, which combines two of my favourite things —film and bicycles, so we’ve spent a lot of this week watching all the short films and then entering into huge debates about what we should rate each one.

I think the film above, Bike, the first time, might be my favourite so far, as it contains shots of Paris, my favourite city, as well as some great looking bikes. But I also loved Experiments in Speed, seen below. I do love a bit of British eccentricity…

There are 18 films to watch and the range is extraordinary, from cartoons to emotional films about litter-picking children in Asia, via a documentary about the Devil. No, not the real one, the chap who follows all the major bike races wearing a Devil costume. If you’ve ever seen the mountain stages of the Tour de France you’ll know exactly who I mean…

The full range of films can be seen HERE. Don’t forget to vote!

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Margot and Barbara is changing! I’d really appreciate your feedback. Click HERE to take part. Thank you 🙂

February 3, 2014

Holstee Lifecycle: a manifesto for life

Monday mornings can be the most challenging time of the week. I invite you to be cheered, find a bit of time to reflect and just enjoy this; the Holstee Lifecycle, based on their well-loved Manifesto but with bikes…

 

 

August 31, 2012

A posy by the bedside.

I’ve not managed to grow many flowers this year on the allotment. My ambitions for great armfuls of dahlias were ruined by the slugs that have had a wonderful time working their way through my plants, and the sweet peas haven’t fared much better. Thankfully, I do still have enough to bring home. The great thing about sweet peas in particular is that the more you pick them, the more flowers you get, as the plant continues to try and produce seeds.

You might remember, a while ago, I decided to try and sort out my bedroom and make it a tranquil, child-free space. Well, that didn’t go exactly to plan. The stacks of books are still there, the laundry regularly overflows and the yin and yang of cycling (aka my Pashley Princess Sovereign and my husband’s Specialized road bike) are currently propped up at the end of the room.

So, despite my beautiful grey walls (Farrow and Ball’s French Grey, which I love) and white bed-linen, it’s not that haven of tranquility I imagined. I’m not giving up though. One of the ways to bring a little beauty into the chaos is by adding flowers to my bedside table. That way, when I wake up, the first thing I see are beautiful flowers and I can imagine for a split second that I’m the kind of person with a bedroom worth featuring in a design magazine. Then reality kicks in, obviously. And that’s if I haven’t been woken up by my three year old son launching himself, elbows first, onto my bed anyway, which is how I’m usually catapulted into each morning!

Thankfully, given my lack of abundance on the cutting patch, a small bedside posy of flowers doesn’t need to be huge to have impact.

The other thing that flowers bring to the room is scent. Even a small handful of jasmine can provide the rich heady fragrance that the flower is famous for, and it’s a wonderful thing to go to sleep with that fragrance swirling around you. In a larger room, the amount of flowers I usually use would get completely lost (especially given my clutter creating tendencies) but by the bed, they’re perfect. I’m really inspired by Sarah Raven who creates beautiful and heavily productive gardens, with the aim of cutting flowers for the house.

In these photos, I’m using a small Emma Bridgewater bottle. I also love to use an empty bottle from REN Rose Otto bath oil, which is little and has a narrow neck, perfect for more delicate flowers and my mum just gave me a vintage half pint milk bottle from Cowes (no pun intended) which will also be put to the same use.

Having flowers in the house  is a gentle reminder to me of my ambition to study horticulture, so I can be more successful at growing flowers in the future. For the time being, these little posies bring me a little bit of joy every day.

June 11, 2012

Pashley Princess Sovereign

Yesterday was test ride day. After consulting the whole world, the bike I have ended up ordering is the Pashley Princess Sovereign, in Buckingham Black.

Before we entered the shop I was having doubts about whether it was the right decision. After all, it’s a bike with a design dating back to the 1930’s and apart from some nice specification upgrades (Sturmey Archer hub brakes and Schwalbe puncture resistant Marathon Plus tyres) it hasn’t changed since. On the one hand, it’s outdated, a bit silly and completely unsuitable for riding around hilly Leeds. On the other hand, I’ve always wanted one. It’s the sheer unadulterated beauty of the machine, coupled with a very strong rose-tinted view of life atop a Pashley that’s done it. I’m basically yearning to be a character in an Enid Blyton book.

My lovely (long suffering) husband said to me that I should stop being practical and just go with my guts. As we went upstairs and I saw ‘my’ bike waiting for me, I grinned a giant grin. That was it. I was in love. One test ride up and down the local roads later and it was completely confirmed. This is the bike I want. Rose-tinted and impractical it may be, riding it was an utter, utter joy. Sitting upright gives you a similar body position as on a horse, rather than sitting forward, which I find really comfortable. There is no getting around the fact that it weighs an absolute ton, but I’m not going anywhere near Alpe d’Huez any time soon. Apart from  using it to cycle to some of my work projects, I will mostly be pootling around after my kids on their little bikes, so that doesn’t matter. The giant basket in the front can hold all manner of baby wipes, soft toys, blankets, sweets and other essentials for a family outing. As for Cycletta, well, I’ll be at the back, sitting upright, and grinning all the way round.

As we left the shop, after reserving the bike and going home to sort out the rest of the paperwork, I did a little bit of happy crying. It’s a rare feeling to have exactly the thing I want, after waiting for years and years for it. I’m still smiling now, just remembering the test ride, and knowing that after a few more weeks of waiting, it will be coming home with me.

May 29, 2012

Choosing a New Bike.

I’m in the process of choosing a new bike, and I need your help!

Although I would really love a stable of bikes, so that I’d have one for every eventuality (wouldn’t we all?) I need to start with one.

Reasons for choosing a traditional bike:

1) I don’t get to ride very often and this is unlikely to change in the future, so I need to think about the kind of riding I do get to do

2) Most of the cycling I’ll get to do will be pottering around on local rides or riding with the kids as they learn. This is likely to be in local parks, trails and quiet areas.

3) Aesthetically, this kind of bike is really pleasing

4) I’ve always wanted one!

5) I still plan to get a more rugged hybrid kind of bike too, for things like trail riding with my husband, when I get the chance.

6) I would have a new bike by the time I go to Cycletta.

7) Cycletta is only one day. This bike would be for life.

Reasons not to get a bike like this:

1) They’re pretty, but how practical are they?

2) I wouldn’t really be able to ride it off-road very much.

3) How will I look at Cycletta on this kind of bike, surrounded by road bikes?

Hmm. Anyway, if we assume that I am going to get a traditional bike, I’m still stuck with indecision and this is where you come in.

Help me choose between these:

Pashley Princess Sovereign: This is the classic Pashley bike.

Pashley Brittania: This is based on a Princess, but it’s red!

Pashley Poppy: This is based on a Princess frame but with a straighter handlebar, no basket. It comes in this pale blue or a pastel pink.

Genesis CDF Cyclocross bike.

Finally, this is a bit of an odd inclusion, but I do love this bike. It’s a cyclocross bike so would be useful for any occasion but I’m not sure if I will like sitting forward in a road bike style. Mostly, I like it because it’s cornflower blue!

So what I want you to do is help me choose. A little disclaimer here, because I might not end up buying the one you pick, but it will help clarify my thoughts. Then I’m going to Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (where the photos are from) to have a test ride and do some shopping!