I met with Tom a keen cyclist. He is a real one. Great Trek bikes with all the trimmings.
I always like to question the choice of ride, clothing and destination. This is what he had to say:
Cycling is great. Commuting by bike I can get into the office each morning feeling fresh and wide-awake – before I’ve even had a coffee! I love starting the day by getting some fresh air in and enjoying the sights and sounds around me; it’s really refreshing. Then at the weekends I cycle down to the shops or visit a café, I love how I can catch up with my mates at the same time as getting some exercise in.
The greatest thing about cycling nowadays is that cycling fashion has moved away from all that shiny, tight-fitting lycra. I can wear stylish clothing which doesn’t scream ‘lycra-lout’ but still fits well and performs on the bike. I can go to a meeting or to the pub on my bike and not look ridiculous when I’m not on the bike, which opens up a whole new wardrobe of functional clothing that looks good.
My current favourites are from a British brand called Vulpine (meaning ‘foxy’ or fox-like). They have exceedingly high standards and a tailoring background so you know their products are going to look and feel great. Their Merino Henley top and summer shorts are my go-to wardrobe items whenever I want to throw a leg over my bike.
The Henley short-sleeved top looks like any normal top (although more stylish!) but has the added benefit of being designed with cycling in mind. It’s cut slightly longer at the back to make sure your love handles don’t poke out when you lean forward on the bike! And it’s made from natural merino wool which doesn’t smell even if you get a bit of a sweat on during the commute – I often go straight into the boardroom after getting off the bike – no need for a costume change.
The shorts are also designed for cyclists as they come up quite high on your back, again to make up for when you stretch forward in a riding position. The fabric is slightly stretchy which makes cycling comfortable and means I can move my legs easily. They’re also lightweight so they’re a great clothing choice for a hot day in the office or a sunny weekend ride.
Both of these clothing items are stylish and refined whilst also having all the right technical properties to make them perform just as well on the bike as off.
Now that I’ve been doing more and more cycling, I’m planning on a Spanish cycling holiday to the Costa del Sol. I’ll be flying out in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to enjoying the sun and also riding my bike along the epic scenery from that part of Spain. Costa Cycling Experience (the company I’m going with) take you on rides right into the heart of the mountains so I’m looking forward to testing my legs on some climbs as well as enjoying the beaches and pools. The girlfriend is looking forward to the spa and I’ve also got my eye on the golf courses but I’m keen to ride up some serious mountains and earn my paella!
There is not a lot to say/add about the beauty of riding a fixed gear.
It is only by trying such bicycle that you will understand what is great about it.
Last Saturday (29th November 2014) Exeter saw a rather unusual gathering of bicycles.
It wasn’t for a kind of alleycat race or skidding contest for fixed gear but… something already embedded in the Southwest outdoors activities, as this was the 6th Velo Vintage Occasion and Ride.
About 100 cyclists all smartly dressed for that day out gathered on Exeter Quay. The weather was ideal for such fun day.
There was a retro feel in the air and what a visual treat it was – especially when the penny farthing convoy reached Exeter Cathedral where all traders and buyers from Exeter Christmas Market could actually discover something from another era… A beautiful and peaceful spectacle without any high-tech gadgets…just bicycles well kept and polished for the event.
The dress code wasn’t “smart casual” but just what Velo Vintage is about: “dress with style“.
…All that we ask, is that riders dress in the period from about the 1920’s to the 1950’s. It doesn’t have to be original, far from it... Source
As the cyclists reached Exeter city centre, on a busy Christmas shopping day, all managed to find their way without any incident – which is the main thing.
It was then mince pies stop – supplied by Hidden Treasure Tea Room – in the privately owned Barnfield Crescent (https://www.facebook.com/BarnfieldCrescentExeter), courtesy of Turner Locker Barnfield. The property consultants already hosted something “vintage” back in September 2014 – TLB Revival, a real homage to Goodwood Revival.
All participants followed the movement and it was obvious that everyone had a good time… there was a natural buzz from a spectator point of view too. Pedestrians/shoppers had a smile on their faces and naturally stopped to admire the unusual procession.
Then from there it was off to the final destination: The Exeter Globe-inn located in Newtown… a few pedal rotations away.
There was live music and prizes too.
And if you missed this year’s events… no panic as there are more to come in 2015.