Bike music (and not just by Queen)

Back in 2006 I ran this ‘name that bike tune’ comp:

The prize has long since been awarded but, today, David Bernstein of the Fredcast, twittered about the lack of good bicycle music, compared to tunes about cars and driving. I replied with the YouTube video above. The comp was pre- so there’s no URL for the answers.

Which is why I’m listing them here:

1 Queen, I want to ride my bicycle
2 Katie Melua, Nine Million Bicycles
3 Jerry Mungo, Pushbike Song
4 Attila Horvath, Singletrack Seduction
5 Dipsomaniacs, Get off my bike
6 Ballboy, Olympic cyclist
7 Kraftwerk, Aero Dynamik
8 Darryl Purpose, Traveler’s Code
9 Amy Correia, The Bike
10 Benoit Charest, Tour de France (from Triplets of Belleville/Belleville Rendezvous)
11 Moonlight Drive, Cycling through France
12 Ugly Kid Joe, Bicycle Wheels
13 Pink Floyd, Bike
14 Mixtures, Pushbike song
15 Bob Gaddy and his Alleycats, Bicycle Boogie

Riding with the Cannibal

Coppi Bartoli races passes old guy on a Bartoli bike
The 2009 edition of Giro warm-up race Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali kicked off yesterday. Grand Tour riders Cadel Evans and Damiano Cunego are on the five-day race, which takes place in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.

I watched this race in 2005, staying at the bike-luxe Perla Hotel in Riccione, start town of the race known locally as just ‘Coppi e Bartali’, named for Italy’s favourite road champions.

I took the pic above of an old guy watching the race pass. I love the fact he’s astride a beat-up Bartoli.

The 2005 event was also memorable for me because I rode with the Cannibal. Eddy Merckx was getting back on the bike after a period of tubbiness. He was still fast.

Eddy Merckx with Robin Barton

I was on the ride with fellow travel writer, Robin Barton. Great writer, rubbish action photographer: he never managed to grab a shot of me with Eddy. So here’s one of me descending a Tuscan hill on the same trip. It was a press trip organised by Italy Bike Hotels, a group of roadie-friendly hotels, mostly on the Adriatic coast.

Me on a Tuscan descent

Christmas caption competition


It’s December 1st and now safe to mention the C word. That’s right, Xmas.

A Montreal bike club held a Santa ride at the weekend and the 25 riders made it into local newspaper, La Presse. It was staged for a good cause, a children’s charity in Lima, Peru.

I happen to know the joker not wearing a Santa suit, but won’t name names. It’s a pic that’s screaming for a caption competition. So, send in a funny for a chance to win a big pile of bike books. I get sent loads for review. It’ll be a mixed bunch: from Tour de France tomes to bike maintenance books.

Add your caption to the comments section below or email me at The closing date for entries is December 8th (now gone, and no funnies materialised). With a fair wind, the winner could receive the books in time for Christmas.

Design a bike to win one


Cannondale will gift a Bad Boy commuter bike to the person who submits the best designed commuter bike to a competition which closes December 5th.

The comp is on the Bicycle Design blog run by James Thomas. He said:

“Do you have an idea for a bicycle that might persuade the average person, with no prior interest in cycling, to park the car and pedal to work? That is the main idea behind this competition. The scope is up to you- choose to come up with a whole new form factor for a pedal powered machine, or focus on specific details that you consider key to accomplishing the goal of getting the average non-cyclist to consider riding a bike for transportation. Don’t be constrained by products that are currently on the market, but do make sure that your concepts are based in reality (don’t break the laws of physics, etc) and that they are manufacturable using existing technology.”

I’m one of the seven judges for the competition. The other judges are James Thomas; Torgny Fjeldskaar, Director of Industrial Design & Advanced Products Division at Cannondale Bicycle Corporation; Mark Sanders, principal of MAS Design Products, designer of the Strida and IF Bikes; Steve Zwonitzer, principal of Propane Creative, a strategic brand and product design consultancy; Agnete Enga, Senior Industrial Designer, Smart Design/ Femme Den, NYC; and Michael Illukiewicz, an automotive designer.

As the editor of BikeBiz magazine I’ve been on judging panels for all sorts of bicycle-related products and services. It’s fun to sift through entries, weeding out the ‘you can’t be serious’ from the ‘that’s interesting.’

I wonder how many of the entries will plump for traditional chain driven bicycles and how many for polychain drives , internal hub gears or NuVinci-style variable transmissions?

I don’t yet know the thought processes of the other judges but I’ll be looking for simplicity, ease of mass production and cost-awareness (not everybody could afford the $8500 Moots Comooter). I’ll also be looking to place the winning entries in later editions of the Bike to Work Book, of which here’s the very latest cover:

BiketoWorkBlueCoverV11 through to judging process in digital awards

Thanks to all those who voted for in the North East Digital Awards. is now through to the next stage of the competition, judging by experts.

The award scheme had a big response. There were 240 nominees from across the NE of England, a hotbed of digital creativity. The self-selected nominations came from 139 businesses across the region.

Short listing was based on the number of votes achieved in each category.

The winners will be announced at a posh – and free – awards ceremony on Thursday 15th May. The heavily-sponsored awards bash will be hosted by North East comedian Brendan Healy.


Best use of blogging
Graphicus Ltd
Latimer Hinks Solicitors

Best use of online film and video
Northern Film and Media

Vegan race team signs with bamboo bike maker

OrganicAthlete of the US has signed a bike deal with Calfee Design, manufacturer of the Calfee Bamboo Bike.

“The result is a team whose message of personal health and social change now manifests in the form of a green, renewable bicycle,” said a statement from OrganicAthlete.

OrganicAthlete is a nonprofit membership organisation which promotes elite level sport powered by whole, plant foods rather than animal products. An elite cycling team was formed last year and now has five team members on bamboo bikes.

Bradley Saul, founder of OrganicAthlete and a category 1 racer, said: “I’ve been riding a bamboo bike for over a year now. I can honestly say it’s the best riding bike I’ve ever had.”

With finely mitered bamboo tubing, Calfee Design binds the frame together with a hemp-fibre wrap.

“Bamboo is the darling of the sustainability movement – it is strong and renewable and beautiful. Also, since bicycle rely on people power, not petrol-power, the combination of green materials and green transport is irresistible. Add in the further multiplier of plant-based athletes and you have three layers of goodness for the planet rolling down the street,” said Saul.

Vote in North East England comp!

Hello, Friends of Fatty. Here’s one of the voting links mentioned by Fatty. Thanks for your time.

Best podcast

The original article now continues…

My home city may not be getting 12 two-wheeler superhighways and the local campaign group may be in a state of suspended animation but Newcastle is still a fine place to bicycle. Newcastle cyclists generally don’t cut through red lights like Londoners and aside from a few ugly pile ups here and there, Newcastle doesn’t have quite the same them-and-us, bike-v-car problems.

Newcastle also has the stunning, and bike friendly, Town Moor, the country’s biggest HomeZone and a load of scenic cycle paths on former waggonways thanks to the city’s industrial heritage.

The city has hosted top class MTB events such as the Nissan Qashqai Urban Challenge:

The race and ride scene is pretty lively, too. Of course, there’s Newcastle Phoenix, the utterly fantastic youth cycling club for which I’m a coach; August’s Great North Bike Ride, and there’s the Northern Rock Cyclone sportive, now one of the UCI’s Golden Wheel events. On 11th September Newcastle is hosting a stage of this year’s Tour of Britain pro bicycle race.

“On its first visit to the North East, [the Tour] will begin in Darlington and wend its way northwards past key iconic locations in the North East, with a planned stage finish in NewcastleGateshead.”

In 2002, Newsweek nominated Newcastle as one of the world’s top eight creative cities. No other British city was listed.

And it’s also a thriving digital city. In recognition of this, regional development agency One NorthEast (ONE) and The North East Regional Portal (TNERP) have created the North East Digital Awards 2007. These awards are “designed to recognise and celebrate digital advancement within the region in a unique and practical way. The Digital Awards will showcase the best of the region’s talent, and will help inspire those who haven’t yet joined the digital age to embrace the significant opportunities it offers.”

Which neatly brings me to the shameless plug. is up for three of the awards. The site will be judged by an independent panel but you – pretty please – can help influence the judges by voting for the site in the following categories:

Best blog

Best podcast

Best use of video

£1m up for grabs in Big Green Challenge

Could you clad a boiler with reclaimed fleece, while boosting a youth club’s roof-top wind-turbine with a bit of your own pedal power? If so, apply for some of the £1m being put up by NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

The organisation has today opened entries for its Big Green Challenge. Businesses need not apply, unless you’re a not-for-profit scheme.

“Our latest survey shows that eight of ten people think they’ve had an idea that would have a positive impact on people’s lives, but few people follow up on their idea beyond that initial moment of inspired thinking.

“The Big Green Challenge is all about unleashing new ideas for reducing carbon emissions in communities. If you’ve already got an idea at the back of your mind, sharing it with other people in your group or community could be the first step to making it a reality.

“The Big Green Challenge from NESTA is an active competition. It’s not just about ideas, although good ideas will obviously help. It’s about putting ideas into practice. The Challenge will take place over two years – from October 2007 to October 2009 – and will require you to engage and involve your community.”

The deadline for entries is 29th February. OK, I admit it, I altered the logo a little. The bikes should be on top, not falling off the bottom.