Beauty and the Bike

This is an eight minute trailer of Darlington’s inspirational ‘Beauty and the Bike’ documentary, a 55 minute exploration of how to get more British teen girls on bikes.

The first screenings will Thursday 3rd December, in Kino Atlantis, Bremen, Germany; and Wednesday 9th December in Darlington Arts centre. Contact for ticket details. There’s also to be book and an accompanying DVD.

I’m proud to say the Bike Hub levy fund committee – of which I’m a member – has pledged a ton of cash to DarLOVElo. This is Darlington’s Dutch bike loan scheme. Funding was granted via the New Ideas Fund, an annual £100,000 pot which is awarded to pro-cycling projects with the potential to go national.

World-beaters ride blue-muscle kit


Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jamie Staff model the new Sky+HD cycling skinsuits to be unveiled at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester from 31 October.

London cycle chic: with added lorries

Lorry doesn't faze her

I was in London yesterday, visiting the Cycle show at Earl’s Court. I had a bike to deliver, a Cannondale Bad Boy single speed, the one with the new Lefty fork. It was a great day to cycle in London, the sun was out and so were the cyclists.

I had an hour to kill before being allowed in the show so I took my time getting from Kings Cross to the other side of Kensington High Street. In the best furtive style of Mikael Colville-Anderson over at the utterly brilliant, I slung a camera around my neck and captured as many non-Lycra cyclists as I could.

Leather jacket Ridgeback rider

It was easy pickings. The place was awash with what Colville-Anderson flags as “Normal people in normal clothes on normal bikes.”

This made a visit to the Cycle show a bit like flipping over into a different universe. There was a token town bike on many stands – and stand-out urban brands such as Brompton, Pashley and Velorbis were there – but, as to be expected really, much of the rest of the show was dripping with high-end road and mountain bikes. Personally, I drool over these kind of machines but I do wonder what a ‘credit crunch commuter’ would make of all the carbon on offer.

Don’t get me wrong, aspirational bikes are good and a show stuffed with stealth black hybrids and Dutch roadsters would turn off the techies, but if Joe Breeze is right, ‘transportation bikes’ will become a bigger category than the mountain bike was in the ’80s and ’90s. If so, the bike trade is in the pre-MTB phase of largely ignoring what’s staring them in the face.

In another post I’ll talk about the show, and what was on offer for the urban commuter. I was especially taken by the Bspoke clothing range, which has been designed by rag trade specialists but has the added benefit of subtle, you-don’t-know-they’re-there cycle-specific design features. Simon Mottram of Rapha told me there’s huge scope for cycling-to-work togs to become a major category. It’s in its infancy at the moment.

Right-o, back to the pix, more of which can be seen on this Flickr set. I didn’t deliberately take pix of folks without helmets, most people just weren’t wearing them. And this is why I’m a strident opponent of cycle helmet compulsion: it would force many of these kind of cyclists to ditch their bikes.

Driving while distracted with cellphone

Bastard motorist. Has he even seen the cyclist?

Suit, nearly riding with heel

Top marks for cycling in a suit, sir, but you might want to modify that pedal position. Cannondale has sponsored a bunch of Bike to Work Book video quickies which will identify and fix these little cycling errors.

London Cycle Chic 2

Ancient bike, short shorts

Dreamy British cyclist demonstrates what to wear when it gets hot and steamy in China

Nicole Cooke may have won Olympic Gold in a downpour but she did so smothered in wet-look Lycra. This can get rather stifling in the hot and humid conditions in Beijing.

Thankfully, fellow Team GB rider Victoria Pendleton has a secret weapon up her sleeve. No sleeve. In fact, no togs at all. She plans to rule the roost at the 2008 Olympics by cycling in the nude, as this magazine cover reveals:

Want more pix of Victoria ‘pin-up’ Pendleton? There’s a photo set here. 12 fetching shots of Ms Pendleton in Jimmy Choo high heels and Amanda Wakeley designer dresses. Yet another reason China installed cold showers for Beijing’s blokes.

Watch skinny cyclist with dodgy shades

No, it’s not the Tour de France just yet, click through to a rather fabulous video featuring a stick-thin model riding a Pashley bike.

It’s full of summer fun and there are some great images of cycling in parks, on the road, and along canal towpaths. Naturally, the beautiful model filmed in a variety of outfits, including some flowery short dresses, buys a bouquet to put in her bike basket. There are non-pervy close-ups of her legs and bum.

The video is called ‘Pedal Power’ and is a Top Shop promotion based around ‘Top Shop wants your Rubbish’ a link-up with new-and-expensive style mag, Rubbish Magazine.

“This season with allotments crowned the new hotspots, Pashley bicycles have become the only wheels to rock up in. So why not dust off your saddle, ditch the Lycra and watch out video to see how you can free-wheel round the streets in style.”

The site also puffs PDFs of suggested bike rides in London, Glasgow, Dublin and Manchester.

‘Top Shop Fashionable Bike Route No.2 London’ takes the rider from the Columbia Road flower market (“What better way to while away a Sunday than buying a bloom or five from this famous flower market”) via Richmond Park (“the best place in London to cycle all the way round with a kite attached to your mudguard”) to Top Shop of Oxford Street.

Über-chic London bike shop Velorution gets a tasty fat plug.

The Pedal Power site is also the place to enter a competition to win a Pashley Sonnet Bliss bicycle.