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The Guardian’s cycling correspondent Matt Seaton plugged bicycles made out of ‘black gold’ in yesterday’s Two Wheels column. Specifically, he plugged an event which I am lucky enough to be chairing, Materials in Bicycles.
He reckons it’s going to be of historical importance:
“Amid the hullabaloo of the Tour de France coming to London, there is one event that will hardly register in most people’s book, but it is conceivable that we will look back on it as the more significant event in cycling’s history. On Friday July 6, the day before the Tour prologue in the Mall, a conference is taking place next door at Carlton House Terrace, at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, entitled Materials in Bicycles.”
The day before this conference, the Royal College of Art is promoting a linked event for design students. It’s significant that an art college is staging the event not a design college. Bicycles are beautiful, art icons.
And carbon fibre bicycles are perhaps some of the most beautiful bikes of all? Here’s a video on how carbon fibre is made. It’s low on tech details, is mostly about aircraft manufacture but it lovingly lingers on close-ups of some Giant bikes.
And if you can bear to ignore the atrocious sound and picture quality on this video, you’ll pick up a few nuggets of carbon fibre wisdom from a lecture to a bike club given by Craig Calfee of Calfree Bicycles, the US company that also makes a bamboo bike. This is a scrummy (to pandas?) road bike that is an update of 19th century bamboo bikes such as this American one from 1896.