The Quickrelease.tv videos on YouTube have broken through the half a million views ceiling. The vids have been watched 505,883 times. Thanks for watching! Four of the top performing vids are embedded below.
More content is coming soon. There’s a nifty little video on bike part names and five pieces rescued from ITV’s deep storage video vault.
In 1994, I was the presenter of a six-part TV series called ‘Chain Gang’, produced by Tyne Tees/Yorkshire TV .
Tyne Tees has now allowed me to publish extracts of this TV series on Quickrelease.tv via YouTube and Vimeo and iTunes.
The video shorts will feature:
* MTB superstar Jason McRoy (RIP)
* A bike tour of Malawi
* Raleigh and Dave Yates factory feature
* York Rally
* An urban race between an Aston Martin bike and an Aston Martin car
Rollapaluza has run 50+ roller-races in the last 12 months with over 3000 competitors. The crew was at the Tour de France prologue and the Single Speed World MTB championships in Aviemore, Scotland.
Later this year Rollapaluza will be at the World Firefighter’s Games, running a roller-race in the 11,000 seat Liverpool Echo Arena.
The video below shows the work Rollapaluza has done ‘on tour’. Caspar Hughes and Paul (Winston) Churchill took their oversize RPM dials and sets of racing rollers on a a 26-date University tour for a corporate client.
“If you didn’t think you wanted to join a club, we could be the club for you!” said Winston.
The China Post reports that the Taiwan Railway Administration yesterday began operating its “environmental protection train service,” with a group of 272 cycling enthusiasts taking their bikes on special trains.
The service is on a three-month trial and takes over whole trains. Cyclists register as “passenger groups” to book the exclusive-to-cyclists trains.
The bikes go in their own carriages, reminiscent of UK group rides in the 1950s. The CTC organised ‘Cyclists’ Specials, as seen in this fascinating video:
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Matthew Parris may be scolded by the Press Complaints Commission - a slapped wrist, at best - but those cyclists asking PC Plod to take a look at his “incitement to hatred” are barking up the wrong tree.
In February some new laws come into operation in the UK. There’s the new incitement to homophobic hatred law (oops, I’ll get knobbled there, then, apparently I’m an American homophobe obsessed with sex), and the linked religious hate law. But cyclists are not all homosexuals (there are some fine gayand lesbian cycling clubs, though - Dykes on Bikes, love it) and nor is cycling a religion.
In order to nail Matthew Parris - to coin a phrase - we therefore need to formalise what we all know to be true. That cycling is a religion.
It’ll help if we agreed to a slight name change. So, it’s not cycling that we worship, it’s cyclism.
Our Founding Father*, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily Shimano.
And forgive us our footpath trespasses,
as we forgive them that force us off the road.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the powermeter, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
T’other day’s mention of ancient bicycle posters elicited an email from Alan Clarke of Sunrace-Sturmey Archer in the Netherlands. I’ve known Alan for yonks. He was a useful background source during the 2000-1 research into the Sturmey Archer vs Lenark saga.
He reminded me about the utterly fantastic heritage website created by Sunrace-Sturmey Archer.
And Alan also pointed me in the direction of an archive of cycle history posters and pamphlets stored electronically by Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. There are 145 images on there, all clickable to make bigger. The copyright restrictions are tight so I’ll just link to my fave images.
This is an advert for a modern-sounding bicycle brand, Psycho Cycles.
For the life of me I can’t figure why the Constra saddle of 1898 is no longer commercially available because “Persons who have condemned every other saddle are loud in its praise.”
I know it’s not yet December but here are two festive images. In 1897 the English Illustrated Magazine put a flying cycling female Santa on the cover.
And there’s this cracking Christmas card featuring a middle class Edwardian family going to visit friends on their bikes. You’ve got to love the two fighting boys. The card is entitled ‘A Jovial Christmas’, and there’s a ditty:
No more good old Christmas by the fire
But mount the “bike” with india rubber tyre
Speed swift away our loving friends to greet
And wish them joy and happiness complete
When I did this story on an Indian cyclist beating off a ravenous tiger with his trusty bicycle I used a Googled pic from a 1930s ad campaign by Raleigh Africa. This featured a smiling African guy outpacing a lion.
I love these old bike ads. They’re so evocative of why cycling is so great. Well, perhaps besting a chasing predator is not exactly why most people get into cycling but many of the 19th and early 20th Century bicycle ad posters were classics.
In fact, many are genuine ‘works of art’ as they were produced by masters such as the much parodied midget artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. If there’s a demand for such imagery (get commenting below!) I’ll do some scans of the great cycling posters.
In the meantime here’s a poster from Raleigh India which, had I realised I had it last week, would have been a better illustration on the ‘man fights off tiger’ story:
I’ve got tons of archive stuff from the early days of cycling. I’m not a collector as such, it’s just that I’ve been the editor of UK bike trade mags for nigh on twenty years and I’ve acquired bike history bits and bobs along the way. The tiger pic is from a Raleigh Centenary calendar produced in 1987. I’ve also got bound copies of bike trade mags going way back when and daft stuff like Sturmey Archer tankards.
When the famous British company went pop in 2000 I was in at the death throes, reporting on the American business guru who sold the company down the river. These stories - 37 of them! - were carried on a primitive version of BikeBiz.com, often almost in real-time. I vividly remember attending a stormy creditors meeting and then reporting on it seconds afterwards by dictating to a colleague over the phone.
At the time, this sorry saga looked like a typical British industry disaster. As it turned out, Sturmey was bought by Sun-Race of Taiwan and now the product line-up is immensely strong and – shock, horror – the quality control has never been better.
Outpacing a predator on a hub-geared bike would now be so much easier thanks to superior Taiwanese engineering tolerances.
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