Quoc Pham Derby

Quoc Pham has these white crepe souled Derby shoes available made to order in sizes 42-47. Could these be the ultimate in cycling-chic dandyism? I think so. Curse my size 38's....

I saw Quoc Pham at the Cycle Show in August and was blown away with the quality of his footwear. Using high quality leathers he has encapsulated the bespoke shoe look perfectly and tweaked it for around-town riding. Now, lets see a ladies fixed shoe please!

Wedding Day?

Those ViCiOUS VELO louts are holding an anarchic anti-establishment roll out on the day of the wedding. Click the poster for more info!

RIP Chris Hondros

Not at all cycling related, but last week saw the incredibly sad news that a Getty Images photographer called Chris Hondros passed away after being mortally injured whilst shooting in Misrata, Libya. 
Chris was a true talent, whose passion and dedication to capturing such important visual records in various besieged areas of the world - Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Kashmir, provided the world with pictures that spoke more than thousands of words ever could. 
My heart goes out to Chris's family and friends. I remember answering a call from him whilst he was in Afghanistan a few years ago, where he was apologising for connection issues and that he was sorry in case we saw corrupted files from him on the picture desk. I could hear from the background noise that he wasn't exactly filing images from a nice quiet office - and I thought it was almost funny this guy was worried about his images getting through when he was filing from such an incredibly hard environment to work in! He was a true professional and his death has touched many at Getty - Although my dealings with the man were limited to that one phone call - I know he will leave a lasting legacy and his images will provide so much inspiration to many photojournalists - young and old alike.

Mission Malawi

Les Pratt has set up a fantastic charity ride that can only be described as 'epic' - a 500km bike ride through Malawi to raise much needed funds for the ongoing AIDS effort in this impoverished country.
Shockingly, in Malawi the population is almost 15% HIV+, with most of these being young people, with 60% infected being women and girls.  Half a million have been orphaned by the Aids pandemic in this area.
On 12-23 May 2012 - you can be part of this incredible journey, raising money to directly support Action Aid in their mission to make a real difference to the suffering of so many in this region.

More information on this fantastic once-in-a-lifetime ride can be found on the Mission Malawi Website or on Action Aid Website

CiCLE Classic

Giro Factor - RCS Issue

New Giro Factor kicks, available in delicious RCS livery, so very fresh for 2011...

Comfort? Pah!

Pip Gilbert Reigns Supreme


There's not much to say about this years installant of HOTN, our ride was blighted by 5 punctures (myself taking the lions share of the gang with 4 on the front wheel) and not to mention Rowland's rear derailleur hanger shearing off and snapping just as he descended into the forest section!
The ride was yet again treated to sublime perfect weather conditions, with the sun out and temperatures hovering around 21 degrees for the most part of the day.
The Rowland brothers hit the school track
This year there was a new sector taking in a deserted school yard, bringing back memories as the three of us queued for the water fountain. The ride was great, with 250 riders hammering down all manner of dirt tracks and gravel encrusted bridleways. A bottle of beligian brew and box of frites awaited every rider as we reached the pub in Barnet. For us three merry cyclists, this came a little sooner than anticipated after the derailleur hanger blow out. Cue some ingenious bike modifications and a broken chain and Si was able to TT with us straight to the pub after around mile 35 of the route. Although he had a 'banana chain' spirits were high, until my 4th puncture on the way home, due to my rim tape glue melting and the whole tape shifting to expose several holes! Minus points here for schwalbe tape!
Oh dear!
testing mechanicals in the sun
SS ghetto-style

All in all was a fab day in the sun and we chalked up 113k by the time we landed at home, albeit a little frazzled. And what about the race? a cracking result for the journey man Van Summeren, and in particular a bit of a fairytale ending, hammering out 5km on a flat tyre to propose to his girlfriend at the finish. Now thats what I want to see in my racing! fabulous stuff....
Gavin over at the wicked Spinwell blog was shooting the HOTN for rapha, so expect some wicked snaps appearing on their blog soon!


Bianchista's HOTN tips

For all those 250 of you to grab a place on rapha's 'Hell of the North' paris-roubaix tribute ride, a 100km rollercoaster of mudded paths, gravel encrusted bridleways and er.... actual fields, I thought I would share some tips that might help after my experience last year on this super fun ride. Whilst its not quite as awesome as tips from Michael Barry its a few pointers that may help...
1) Carry a tube, mini pump patches and CO2!
Its essential you are prepared for a non-stressed flat fix. Ensure that between your group you have enough supplies for a couple of punctures, our group escaped with only one last year, but be prepared for the unknown surfaces.
2) A generous slather of suncream goes a long way.
Last year temps were around 20 degrees, and we came home with gnarly sunburn on our arms. Dont underestimate the power of the suns rays just because its springtime.
3) Wear suitable shoes/cleats.
This year il be wearing my commuter sidi mtb spd's - as last year I had my ride ruined by the fact id worn speedplays and mud had clogged my cleats meaning I couldn't engage the pedal, resulting in my sitting almost in tears trying to dig mud out with a twig, only for it to clog up further down the road. Even though the roads and tracks should be dry, there are some mudded sections completely covered by trees, so they will remain damp whatever the conditions.
4) Ride safe, ride smart!
Its not a race with prizes, so don't ride with undue care causing danger to those fellow riders around you. Also the drag out there takes a fairly main road through and out Barnet. Here you will be sharing roads with weekend traffic. Ride courteously and safely - this isn't part of the ride to show off your 'awesome' overtaking skills and bike based road-rage. Save that for the grave!
5) If you see anyone struggling, offer some words of encouragement or offer a hand in a mechanical situation.
6) Look out for the pink arrows on the road, otherwise be prepared for some hard iphone map reading lessons!
Hell of the North II. Recce. from RAPHA on Vimeo.

START | Pond Square, Highgate N6, 9am GMT
END | Black Horse Pub, Wood St EN5, 1pm GMT onwards
20 – Rectory Farm (sharp right turn at farmhouse)
19 – Crews Hill (Attention! Sharp turn + potholes abound)
Bread and Cheese Lane ~
18 – Paradise Wildlife Park
17 – Highfield Wodd
16 – Ermine St.
15 – Balls Wood
14 – Balls Park
13 – Morgan’s Walk
12 – Clements Farm
11 – Edwards Green
10 – Old Claypits Farm
09 – Ponsbourne Park
08 – Hertfordshire Way
07 – Warrenwood Park (Attention!)
06 – Potwells 
05 – Mymshall/Redwell Wood (Tough)
04 – South Mimms/M25/Dancers Hill
03 – Crossoaks Farm
02 – High Canons
01 – Holmshill (Attention!)


RVV Femme 2011


Ladies Ride

Last night there was a really nice turn out for the ladies ride around Regents Park. Its going to be a regular thing, so next week it will be the same, meeting at 6pm outside the Royal College of Physicians on the outer circle, all riders welcome!
Tracey (L) leads the way 
Laura sets the pace