What Did You Do During Lockdown, Sir?

When I woke up this morning I noticed a report on the BBC website titled ‘I’ve been listening to 300 vinyl records to get me through lockdown’. That’s an impressive achievement, I’m sure, and probably a very enjoyable one. On Monday March 8th I return to work after having spent most of the last twelve months on lockdown. It’s been a mixture of furlough from my job at a local arts centre combined with on-off periods of working in local schools as a teacher but that has only amounted to three months out of the twelve. So basically, like many others across the world, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. Lots of walking, a fair bit of cycling (including the trip around the UK of course and a few days up in the Yorkshire Dales), reading, TV, films… the usual stuff. Ah yes! There’s also been The Cycling Europe Podcast. On that score, it has been a very productive year…

6 Bike Customisation Options To Enhance Your Cycling

If you’re an avid biker who is looking to give your ride a little upgrade or makeover, this is the article for you. Whether you’ve got a shiny brand new bike that you’re looking to accessorize or simply looking to give your beloved old bike a stylish new makeover, accessorizing your bike is one of the most fun ways to add a personal touch to your ride. In today’s article, we have a look at 6 bike customisation options to enhance your cycling — because bikes don’t have to be boring!

street vehicle vintage design

Bicycle Frames: Alloy 6061, Titanium, Wood And… Grass?

Wanda’s frame is made out of, err… an alloy! Sexy 6061. According to Wikipedia, “… is a precipitation-hardened aluminium alloy, containing magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements. Originally called “Alloy 61S”, it was developed in 1935. It has good mechanical properties, exhibits good weldability, and is very commonly extruded (second in popularity only to 6063). It is one of the most common alloys of aluminium for general-purpose use.” So there you go. (I now need to work out what ‘extruded’ means in this context but moving on…).

Coming Soon: Wanda Reviewed!

Wanda, my Koga WorldTraveller Signature bike, purchased in 2019, is currently back at the bike shop for a service; new tyres (Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour to replace the Schwalbe Almotion tyres she came with), new bottom bracket, brake pads, Rohloff oil change… that kind of thing. But since purchasing the bike back in 2019, I’ve never formally reviewed it. So, after 20 months of riding the Koga, I thought it was about time I did. I’m off to Tadcaster later in the week to pick her up and cycle her back to Pennine Yorkshire at which point I’ll crack on with a review – probably posted to YouTube although I’ll no doubt write something here as well. It won’t come as a spoiler to say that my comments will be overwhelmingly positive, but there are few things that are worth pointing out should you be thinking of investing in one of bikes yourself…

The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 029 – Markus Stitz / Bikepacking The World

Markus Stitz is a German-born, Edinburgh-based cyclist, writer and filmmaker. In 2015 he set off to cycle the world on a single-speed bicycle, travelling 34,000km through 26 countries. Since his return to the UK, he has been involved in a series of Scottish-based projects promoting both on- and off-road riding. However, in the autumn of 2020 he returned to his roots and embarked upon a 700km cycle along the strip of land that, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, was home to the border fence between East and West German. He talks about all his journeys, near and far…