Oil stained, tea soaked, biscuit crumbed and day dreaming. Lost in freewheeling thought and doodling with tyre tracks. Flat out, laid out, and broken all the same.
June 8th
20:29 GMT

Ezra Caldwell is dead.

February 17th
20:46 GMT
GET RAD.
Bunyan Velo is an awesome journal about bike touring. It makes sense then, that they would make a pretty awesome patch. I’m sewing this on my bag right now.

GET RAD.

Bunyan Velo is an awesome journal about bike touring. It makes sense then, that they would make a pretty awesome patch. I’m sewing this on my bag right now.

February 11th
20:16 GMT
I watched B.I.K.E a few months ago, in an effort to understand more about that scene in the US. After weeks spent trying to get hold of anyone from Black Label who would speak to me for Boneshaker, I finally abandoned hope of getting any access, and moved on.
B.I.K.E is a deeply troubling, shaky video glimpse into a rebel culture most will never experience. I’ve talked now to many underground bike clubs. I’ve met folk from all sorts of groups across the US and the UK. I’ve been invited in and welcomed. I’m certain of the power of the bicycle to draw folk in and tie fast bonds together.
Black Label are something quite apart from this. Watching B.I.K.E, I saw a dangerous world, fearful. I didn’t feel nearly so much of the joy I felt speaking to other bike clubs.
Watching a Los Angelopes video could maybe lead you to the same sense that bike clubs are violent and nihilist, but I know that’s not how they feel to the people involved. I’m sure the same is true of BLBC; I wonder how accurately it portrays Black Label. 
You should watch B.I.K.E, and wonder at the depth of the bicycle world.

I watched B.I.K.E a few months ago, in an effort to understand more about that scene in the US. After weeks spent trying to get hold of anyone from Black Label who would speak to me for Boneshaker, I finally abandoned hope of getting any access, and moved on.

B.I.K.E is a deeply troubling, shaky video glimpse into a rebel culture most will never experience. I’ve talked now to many underground bike clubs. I’ve met folk from all sorts of groups across the US and the UK. I’ve been invited in and welcomed. I’m certain of the power of the bicycle to draw folk in and tie fast bonds together.

Black Label are something quite apart from this. Watching B.I.K.E, I saw a dangerous world, fearful. I didn’t feel nearly so much of the joy I felt speaking to other bike clubs.

Watching a Los Angelopes video could maybe lead you to the same sense that bike clubs are violent and nihilist, but I know that’s not how they feel to the people involved. I’m sure the same is true of BLBC; I wonder how accurately it portrays Black Label. 

You should watch B.I.K.E, and wonder at the depth of the bicycle world.

January 28th
18:47 GMT

The automobile has changed men’s souls.

Fuck the automobile.

January 26th
16:25 GMT

So, I can’t quite understand why I didn’t post about this. Issue #13 of Boneshaker Magazine is out.

Boneshaker head honcho Mike asked me to do a piece on the cycling underworld, the bicycle gangs and weirdos, the renegade underground of the bike scene.

And so, here it is.

Underbelly.

You should definitely buy a copy here.

January 2nd
20:55 GMT

The UK Bike Gathering

It was one month ago, now, when James Lucas and I attended the 2013 UK Bike Gathering. It’s taken me a while to arrange my feelings about the weekend, and rattle them down clearly. This, finally, is that account.

We pedalled down to Oxford, breezing through the winter lowlands; rolling roads underneath old oak trees, conversation rolling along among us. The bicycle rhythm, that pedalling glide, eases out both conversation and meditation in equal measure, and by the time we arrived in Oxford, in the dark, I felt very alive and peaceful.

The Broken Spoke Bike Co-op welcomed us with open arms. Lentil soup and warm talk, tea and introductions. The Broken Spoke runs from what feels like an underground vault. Off to one side is a half metre thick bank safe door, just like in the movies, and money counting rooms are painted green, pink, yellow, and stuffed with work stands and tool benches, with bikes hanging from the rafters, and filled to the gunnels now with bike folk from all over the country.

And we shared. Sam from the Broken Spoke put James and I up in his cosy brick cottage, visiting riders were spread over the whole of Oxford in members’ homes. We were all fed three beautiful vegan meals a day, from a local food co-op, and we all contributed workshops and discussions. We shared.

Beyond the skill sharing and talks, the Gathering felt like nothing short of consciousness raising. James and I facilitated a discussion on volunteers, sharing our experiences from the Bristol Bike Project. At one point, when I was talking, I felt suddenly overwhelmed. Circled around the room were dozens of people I’d just met, who were engaged and supportive, and connected. I felt the incredible rush of knowing that I could visit co-ops, all over the UK, and be welcomed. And I could offer the same to any of these folk. The Gathering connected the work I do every day at the Project to a wider movement of bike co-ops and community workshops. We don’t work alone, isolated, we are whole.

On Sunday evening, we all pedalled slowly through Oxford, chatting and hooting, and I felt close and cared for. And I realised in turn that I cared for far more than before I’d arrived.

December 3rd
21:22 GMT

Stupid wheel sizes can get tae fuck: with riding this rad, who needs 29ers and 650b?

November 28th
18:54 GMT
This weekend, I will be in Oxford for the UK Bike Gathering. Hosted by the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, the next few days will be filled with critical mass rides, meeting new folk and discussing the grass roots wonders of the UK cycling world.
The organisers have sorted bikes and doss spaces for everyone. It’s gonna be rad. JL and I are cycling out there tomorrow, spending the day wending through the southern flatlands to Oxford. I’m drinking tea and putting off packing my panniers.
I hate packing. I love the UK bike scene.

This weekend, I will be in Oxford for the UK Bike Gathering. Hosted by the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, the next few days will be filled with critical mass rides, meeting new folk and discussing the grass roots wonders of the UK cycling world.

The organisers have sorted bikes and doss spaces for everyone. It’s gonna be rad. JL and I are cycling out there tomorrow, spending the day wending through the southern flatlands to Oxford. I’m drinking tea and putting off packing my panniers.

I hate packing. I love the UK bike scene.

November 14th
21:26 GMT

Desire

Five weeks.

Five weeks.

Five weeks, and head spinning with nothing less than desire. I’ve been pining for circling, wheels, pedals, the joyful clickclickclick of a freewheel glide.

I broke a bone in my hand, and suddenly I was crippled, isolated up the wrong end of Gloucester Road, with a great long walk to get anywhere, unable to hold the bars of my freedombike. I stumbled over the tiniest logistics, found my work day was hours longer with the tedious walking. There is no doubt (was there ever?) that the work that we do at the Bike Project is nothing less than empowering, liberating work, freeing folk from endless walking, opening up the city and closing up distances.

Walking my bike back from the hospital, with the new plaster cast uncomfortable and alien on my arm, I realised I wasn’t going to be able to work. I couldn’t use a fucking fork, let alone a cone spanner. And so it was. I’ve spent weeks trying futilely to hoist bikes into the stand. It was only when I found myself contemplating tensioning a cable by pulling it with my teeth while I used my good hand on the bolt, that I realised that I should just put the tools down and back away to the admin. My cast got grubby and oily, nonetheless.

But I hauled a bike off the stand today, all greased and smooth, clean and tuned by my hands, and felt that I was healing.

So five weeks.

More to go for full strength, to never be defeated by stubborn tyres or stiff BBs, to launch over some rocks on the mountain bike. But I can feel the glide again, on the roads at least. And I’m stoked about that; holler at me if you see me on the roads, share the delight, the desire.

October 9th
10:01 GMT

Via Back Alley Bikes

Commitment. Remember that it is always about commitment.