Swimming Against The Tide  – Tsubasa Frameworks.

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has fallen out of fashion somewhat. We all see this in our everyday lives and, for the most part, we all go along with it; swept up by the ever quickening current that comes with each new turn of the tide. But we also see that some people choose to reject this acceleration of life and try to apply the brakes in some way. They choose to either fight the current or, occasionally, get out of the water altogether.

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Every Bike I Have Ever Owned.. UPDATED

1. Red tricycle with white wheels – Got the front wheel caught in a drainhole on our drive one summer day, flipped over the top and scraped the hell out of my 3 year old bare belly. Ouch. And, yes, that is me below… 

trikes April 1976

2. Purple 2 wheeler – solid wheels. Learnt to ride on that one… My sister is on it here. I’m on my brother’s old blue bike and he is on his new green Raleigh Strika.. Just don’t mention his white wheels – found by my dad as an emergency replacement the day before his birthday (the original ones both punctured) – they were not well received.

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3. Silver Raleigh Strika – Sadly not the back-pedal brake model.. Loved the fake plastic ‘suspension’ parts on the front forks. I eventually outgrew it. The picture shows it on one of it’s last outings: complete with a wired-on shopping basket in an early cycle-touring set-up for a weekend away in November 1985.

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4. Blue Raleigh Viper. 5 speed. Drop Handlebars. Christmas present – 1985. I thought I was the Boss on this. I flipped and chopped the bars and eventually sold it about six years later.

5. Chrome Bomber – bought from the Classifieds in the Hull Daily Mail. First bike I paid for. (Absolutely no idea where this one went.. Possibly into the River Hull for a dare.) This is the only picture of it I can find. My sister is riding the converted Viper 5.

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6. Raleigh Flyer 10 speed. White with Blue Saddle. Did the Coast to Coast and back with my brother on this aged 14. Can still feel the saddle now. (Stolen – Paragon Hotel Hull, Saturday Job)

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7. Raleigh Montage mountain bike. Green. Non-indexed thumb shifters. First Mountain Bike. (Stolen – outside paper shop – walked my  paper round for f***ing months afterwards)

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8. Purple Kuhii Unique. Bloody Heavy – Have never seen this make anywhere else… (Had it for years. Finally stolen – RCA, London, 1999) Not only do I not have a picture of this one – the entire internet doesn’t either…

9. Giant Mountain bike. Replaced the Kuhii. (Stolen after 3 weeks – RCA – not sadly missed – it was shit)

10. Kuhii Unique. (It turned up again at the RCA bike-stands with someone else’s lock on it. Put another lock on it and informed the Police. It was re-stolen the next day – RCA, London)

11. Silver & Purple Raleigh Scorpio. Given by a friend to ride a triathlon. (Given away in the Great Bike Clearance of 2017)


12. Giant OCR 1. Thought I might have a future in triathlons. (Stolen after 2 months outside Shoreditch Electricity Showrooms, London)


13. Langster Alu Single Speed. My first LFGSS forum bike. The “shit brown” one. My first build. Resprayed it grey and loved it (Stolen 2011 – Blackheath)


14. Corvino Road bike. LFGSS frame and a load of parts. Stripped it to bare aluminium. (Was stolen at the same time as the Langster. Saw it being ridden in Greenwich Park and took it back. Mrs TJP rides it now)


15. Specialized Epic Pro 1994 frame  Carbon Tubes, Alu Lugs – Lovely. (LFGSS – still got and cherish – especially now I’ve finally managed to sort out the knee pain it gave me on long rides)

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16. Cinelli Zydeco Cross frame . – Ride this every day, though I have put gears on it now. Entered my one race on this. 7th in the Rapha SuperCross Novice race 2012. (LFGSS – still got)


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17. Continental 1970’s frame- single speed pub bike. (Ebay plus parts bin – Pub bike – still got).


UPDATE: this has now been redone for the Tweed Run and L’Eroica Britannia 2014.

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18. Panasonic 1990’s MTB – A departing neighbour gave me this recently. All steel, all original, all fun. (Given away in the Great Bike Clearance of 2017)

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19. Pashley Unicycle. Bought  on a whim for £20. Haven’t even come close to mastering is yet.

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20. Di Blasi Folding Bike. Saw one of these super cute folders in a second hand shop for £250 and fell in love with it. Not at that price though – found this one on Ebay for an awful lot less.. Plus points: unfolds in less than 3 seconds. Minus points: Handlebars once decided to fold themselves when going to fast over a little speed bump in the road out side my house… The symmetry of this accident with that of the original red tricycle has only just occurred to me…

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21. Riverman. As a treat to myself for my 40th birthday I went on a frame-building course with Mark Reilly. I wanted to build something that had all the things that I didn’t have; robust steel tourer with disc-brakes that could be fitted with either mechanical or Di2..

I’d never held a brazing torch before so I was pretty chuffed with the result. A pair of Death Spray Custom forks completed an otherwise low-key paint job. The name “Riverman” comes from the Nick Drake record.

You can read more about the Riverman build here




Reinventing the Wheel – Loopwheels

On the face of it ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ is the paradigm of a redundant endeavour. Taking a three-thousand year old invention – arguably the most important invention in the entire history of mankind’s development – and making it anew  would be incredibly difficult to be novel or to be seen as worthwhile. But those particular facts haven’t deterred Sam Pearce from having a go, nor from using the famous saying in the marketing for his company Loopwheels. He acknowledges that the phrase is a bit of a joke but he is deadly serious about his new tangential suspension wheels and the benefits that they can bring.

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The Bike Show – Summer Cycling Festivals

I’m on The Bike Show this week, talking to host Jack Thurston about the recent summer cycling festivals including L’Eroica Britannia and The Rapha Tempest. You can listen to the episode here:  http://thebikeshow.net/rapha-at-10-and-leroica-comes-to-britain/

My thoughts on L’Eroica Britannia are here and I’ll be writing about The Rapha Tempest soon.


Weapon of Choice – Pinarello Dogma F8 – Test-riding Team Sky’s superbike

So, just how good is a £12,000 bicycle? How much of a difference does all that money make? Last weekend I was given the opportunity to take the brand new Pinarello Dogma F8 – the very same as Team Sky are currently racing (and unfortunately crashing) across Northern France – out for a test ride in the Yorkshire Dales. Despite having a pretty full schedule planned for the day (there was the small matter of Stage 2 of the Tour going on) it was a no-brainer that I was going to find some time to fit this in. And so at 5.30am last Sunday, having risen scarcely later than locally resident rooks, I could be found – pedals in hand – at the Rapha Tempest Festival HQ on the front lawn of Broughton Hall to meet mechanic Ham and my superbike for the morning.

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