fiets cyclery

by Kyle Andries

Depressed Sur Mer! 2/2

Following on from my last post…. What have I been doing this summer then? Well…

I’ve come to the understanding that I’ve got Depression, “medically diagnosed” as of 24 September. I suppose it makes sense cus how else will you explain being angry all the time, making a series of shit decisions, including selling the Langster and more importantly, ending the 5 year relationship with my now ex-girlfriend? Obviously that’s not what caused it, there are other things but definitely quite a chunk to swallow all in one go. Not to mention making endless plans to do things but not actually doing ANY of them. At the time though, in my mind, I was adamant that I was making the right decisions, completely unaware of how these things were really affecting me, and more importantly those around me.

Now I’m not expecting you to feel sorry for me as you read this. There are far worse things that could have happened, but it has made me realise that Depression is a real thing. I like to think I’m quite strong minded and didnt actually give people who suffered with it alot of time of day, unless I got the impression that they were genuinely trying to overcome what they spoke about. I mean I know people who, in my opinion, use it as an excuse to just be shit but having realised this about myself, it’s made me take a few steps back and think that, actually, I have no idea what the next person is going through or experiencing. So who am I to judge the next man? That’s what life’s about I suppose, what you feel and experience is all relevant to your situation!

So do I have regrets? Yep.. I would definitely have done things differently. But at the same time I’m grateful to have learnt this lesson and need to move on.

What have I been up to biek related?

It’s weird, I always thought I would like to have one of each bike to add a bit of variation to what I do i.e. use the peogeot for leisurly beach/bbq runs with (now ex) legf and have a dedicated fast fixed bike for when I’m out with the lads leaving Cardboard George in the distance. You know? I’ve actually finished the peugeot and dont get me wrong it’s pretty damn awesome but not having the quick bike means that I’ve been feeling a bit lost lately (All making sense? haha).

Thinking about it now, the lost feeling is probably more deeply rooted… but that’s what I thought it was. Almost like a realisation, you know?

Right before selling, I got the Lengster to a pretty much perfect stage where the fit was just right and I was more than happy to use it for anything be it ruining my legs up the Purbecks or going slow for ponies through the Forest. So why did I sell it? I dont know, probably cus I’m an idiot and that deeply rooted feeling of lostness was misconstrued for being a desire for variety – all bike focused happiness!

It made me think that finding a steel version of the Lengster was the way forward. I was wrong.

Suppose it ties in with everything I said earlier. I thought I was making the right decisions based on what would make me happy, but that wasn’t really dealing with the issue now was it? Obviously (or maybe not so obviously?) this “persuit of happiness” was all in vain. By focussing on bikes I inadvertently pushed legf (and even some friends) away,  not realising that I should have probably tackled the issues that got me to that state in the first place!

That’s another story altogether though and I won’t bother writing about it too much.

The 6 points on my licence, being kicked out of my original living situation unexpectedly, and other family issues… Bikes is what I turned to to get me out of that patch.

Like I said though, dont feel sorry for me. I know people who have gone through much worse, but it’s this realisation that made me realise that I need to appreciate what I have because there’s always someone out there who has even less!

Back on topic though, I have dabbled and given a few bikes on ebay a punt as I get my Graham Weigh built up, and I’ve got rid of all of them already lol. So as you can imagine, and as some of you know, the struggle for my ultimate fixeh continues.

I had a mare though cus I sold the Langster frame on it’s own for a fairly respectable sum and put all the parts up for sale separately on lfgss to make more ‘dollar dollar bills ya’ll’. Thing is, I was so impatient and thought that eBay was probably my next best bet after they’d been for sell for a few weeks. Well… I started them all on .99p auctions and guess what?! Most of them sold for that fucking price. The worst though was my Stronlight Chainring and crankset which sold for £18 including postage.

Wounded.

In hindsight then I probably should have kept the parts to get my Graham pls built up but hey ho. I usually find good bragains on the bay so I guess it was just somebody else’s turn.

Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot more iPhone photography than before. I’ll do a little write up asking your opinions on things and I’ll also be sure to include more happy / vibrant pictures ha. (I just thought the b&w theme was quite fitting with the content. Apologies if you think otherwise.)

As for this post, what have I learnt?

We’re people, and people are vulnerable and weak and have flaws. Pretending that you’re not will most probably cause more harm than good. Communication is important too!  But I’m sure most people know this amiright? I’m the only dumbass to only have learnt it now. The hard way!

Oh well.

So that’s what I’ve been up to.

Kyle

P.s. I hope by now you picked up on my genius titles? Being a two part post, if you swap the titles round it reads “Velo Sur Mer” and “Depressed Summer”, that’s basically what 2014 has been for me.

Onwards and upwards!

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

RIP

Velo Summer! 1/2

 

So it’s nearly over then, Summer!

Weird cus usually it only lasts about a week here in England, around Easter irrc, but the last two years have actually been pretty decent. I even got back some of my Africa tan! lol, actually funny I mention that cus I did a charity ride earlier in June, around 100 miles through the Purbecks and it was so hot I decided to take off my jersey and ride only in my bib shorts. I actually still have a tan line which makes it look like I’ve been donning a Borat mankini all year.

 

But yeah it’s been really good and all, main highlight being the monthly Velo Sur Mer (summer, get it? haha) alleycat races! Stretch Armstrong (or Dan) has been super awesome at organising these things on top of graduating from Uni so massive thanks to him (and all those involved) for taking the time to arrange us all to get together, race some bikes, and have a good laugh/beers (or a Jimmy’s Iced Coffee) at the same time.

Slump has continued and we’ve still not been doing many group free roams as regularly as we used to back between Jan and April. Probably cus I dont have a fixie anymore and I’m usually the one who arranges them, not to be big headed or anything eh ;). Ha, no but yeah I think we’re all just having a bit of a lul at the moment being active doing other things. I know Alius has been kite surfing quite a bit, George has been lazy and grown his hair a bit more and Mikey’s been sticker bombing his shitty VW Lupo and fighting with his crazy ex (or maybe not ex) girlfriend. I’m sure when the depression of the winter months come though that’ll we’ll probably head out a bit more for some winter laps – they’re always good fun.

What have I been doing personally then? Well, good question.

Find out in the next instalment of Dragon Ba… Oh wait, wrong TV programme… Fuck!

Kyle

 

 

 

Save The Track Bike

So I always wanted to take up Track Cycling since getting into Fixed Geared bikes, you know Chris Hoy style on the velodrome etc, and now the perfect opportunity has arisen..

As part of some initiative to get more people involved in cycling, Bournemouth Council are subsidising a free 6 week Track Cycle Training for those aged between 18-25. The sessions started last week and it’s pretty awesome to be honest…!

I’m sure you’ve seen it on TV, but trust me the Velodrome is spectacular in person – the bankings are SO steep! How can a bike move so fluently at that kind of angle? Crazy!

Anyway, myself, Jacob and Stretch went along to the first session which was last week and it was really good fun. Jason Falconer ran us through the basics of the different lines on the track and what they’re for, riding in tandem and swapping positions and even cycling three abreast on the banking. Basic Track Bike control was kind of missed off as we’re all already used to riding fixed bikes, but that can be covered too if you’re a beginner!

I was quite nervous to begin with tbh as I’ve previously come off, on more than one occasion, on the banking when I tried it out on my Langster but was assured that the bikes we hired (Dolan Pre Cursa’s, available on site) were designed purely for using round the track. The cranks are measured at 165mm and will never hit the floor as you go round, plus the Bottom Bracket is placed higher on these, whereas I’m not so sure they are on the ol’ Langster.  Want to know something cool? I came off on my bike due to the cranks being measured at 170mm. So that 5mm difference was all it took. Madness!

Once we got the hang of things it was pretty good going, such a good workout considering all you’re doing is cycling round an oval but it really can be brutal – my legs were literally burning so bad at one point that I nearly stopped.  I just love how precise everything is though… I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but here’s a few things I noticed… Last time I came, amongst skidding on my face, I had bad flat spots on my rear tyre (TOO MANY RADICAL SKIDS YO) which I would never have noticed riding on the streets. But come here and all of a sudden, I was bobbing up and down every few meters like a mad man. And the Wind!! There was none, seemingly, when sat on the grass having a quick briefing on what the training will entail, however after a few laps you hit the home stretch and BAM, headwind in your face which feels like your father strangling you as you try to run away. I honestly have a new found respect for the sport and really encourage you to come along, if you’re local, and experience it for yourself.

As said this is one off free training sessions which lasts up to 6 weeks and the more people that get involved, the more the Council will endorse these types of things so it’s a win win really. At the end I’m pretty sure you get a Velo license too!

Slades Farm Velodrome

Thursdays (Running 21 August to 25 September – subject to change though, weather pending and also if you start in week 3 perhaps?!)

6pm meet for 6:30pm start!

http://www.bournemouth.cc/

Massive thanks to Jason Falconer who does the coaching, Bournemouth Cycling Centre  and also those who made it possible.

See you Thursday hopefully!

 

 

 

Let me tell you a story of my situation. Part 5

Cars!

So yeah they’re pretty awesome! Amazingly convenient and as an invention arguably the most important… Shame they cost the earth quite a bit! Epitome of personal transport in modern day society though and I probably love them equally as much as I love bikes, to be honest… If it didnt take me 20 minutes to cycle to work compared to 30 minutes driving, I would probably still drive every day. But I’m really impatient you see, and sitting in traffic around idiots is not my ideal way of spending half hour of my morning. Plus people are so angry in rush hour. Like fuck… chill out! We’re all going to get where we need to go… Overtaking that bus that’s halfway pulling out of the lay-by is not going to shorten your journey by 30 minutes ffs!!

Sorry, but that impatientness (is that even a word?) and road rage is quite funny though.. We will always feel safe in our little metal box thing so we shout at others or beep our horns when we feel someone has wronged us, yet if you walked somewhere and someone perhaps walked in front of you, you’d think twice about shouting or waving your fists at them wouldn’t you? Think about it… Anyway, I do like cars. I like them alot. Jeremy Clarkson is quite possibly my favourite celebrity!

I remember as a kid my parents owned a Toyota Cressida and as soon as I found out it was a 2.0 litre, 24 valve engine with a Straight 6 engine, I was obsessed and had to find out more about other cars. I even looked down on lesser Toyota Cressida’s if they were anything below ours but I guess that’s just my snobbery coming into play. My family and where I grew up were quite car orientated though. Every weekend the neighbours would throw a braai and there would turn up a bright yellow Ford Capri, a 1964 Ford Mustang in red and a beige Ford Sierra XR8. My dad owned a Seirra too.. Now it’s all well and good liking cars, but I dont know if you noticed but all the pictures I’m posting are of cars atleast 20 years old bar one. There’s just something else in me that makes an older car more desirable, more attractive even. Like you know your original Golf GTI’s, your Open Astra GTE’s, and especially your E28/E30 BMW’s. I dont know why, it’s probably the old square shapes, and the fact that they are just so mcuh cooler than the stuff being churned out of the factories today. I mean take the difference between VW’s 1990 Scirroco and compare it to Vauxhall’s Astra of the same era, completely different cars. Yet the similarity between the two 2012 models is fucking crazy. They’re pretty much teh same car… Fuck off Vauxhall, Fuck off VW!!! Laziness to be honest. Corporate culture has kicked in and now everyone is driving around in the same thing but it must be amazing cus it has 10 airbags no?

So that being said, it’s only natural that I own an old Ford of some sort right? Wrong! Think more 1990 VW Golf GTI. In my opinion the best Golf VW ever made (but I would say that wouldnt I?!) and 24 years old as I type this, in fact I’m only older than it by a month… After I received my 6 points  on my license Diane always asked why I didnt sell it.. bitch be cra\y! I mean thats like me asking her to sell our dog, Freddy, who I’m 100% certain she loves him more than me, pffft! But yeah to give you an idea thats how it makes me feel when she asks that and I’m sure she’ll ask it again… I spent a good 2 years saving up for it, plus lets not mention how hard it is to find a good solid example these days. I even put a £50 deposit on one local in Ringwood but didnt return as I wasnt 100% happy.. that’s £50 I’ll never see again!!

In the end a 8 hour round trek to Derby was where we headed to pick up His Hurbertness, or Hurbert the Pervert!

This is probably a car I’ll own for life, so in the first four years of ownership not much has happened really. Mainly because I couldnt afford to do anything as adulthood quickly made use of all my disposable income. But I’m sure as I get older it’ll get more attention as I snap necks and cash cheques! Besides, I’m more than self sufficient for every day on my bike and tend to get most things done like food shops, seeing m8s etc plus Diane drives anyway if I need to go far places.

 

I’ll probably post regular updates here as if it were a “build thread”. I do frequent the forum Edition38 but dont really want to post a thread on there as I really dont like the idea of guys commenting “nice car m8” for 24 pages just because I lowered my car and bought some BBS RS or them telling me their opinionz. That’s just my 2p though!

Dont worry though, as I get older and have more disposable income (or does it not work that way?!) I’m sure I’ll still make time for cycling. I noticed that Michael 2 Pints has probably only been on 3/4 proper rides since his return from Paris as he recently passed his test and got his dad to buy him a VW Lupo. I wonder when the last time he cycled to work was eh Michael?! Also he sticker bombs so probably best not to have him hanging around with us, thats so 2009…

 

Anyways, bike post soon, I’m still on the lookout for a fixie…

 

Kyle

Death before Derailleur?

I’ve had a massive slump recently. I think everyone has. Perhaps it’s because here in Britain we’re not used to having decent summers so when we do decide to go out on the bieks it can be quite draining. What I’m trying to say is it’s been super hot and we (read: I) have not really been doing anything. More enjoying the weather on picnics, parks, dog walks, bbq’s etc. All without my bike friends…

Anyway, I digress. I did actually start this post with an intention…

Every summer, for the past 3 years, I find myself in possession of a road bicycle. You know the type with actual gears for people with weak legs…. No, that’s a joke! I’m sure I’ve mentioned before though that I’m the type of cyclist that wants in on every genre going, if you can call them genre’s. It just so happens that I fancy gears during the summer.. Actually I say that, but really I always think gears would be ideal for winter training.. I think what it really is, is that I find these geared vintage beauties for quite good prices that it’s stupid not to have a punt. Perhaps people are all out (like I mentioned above) enjoying the hot weather that nobody has time for checking eBay auctions or Gumtree sites. **insert Aint Nobody Got Time fo Dat meme here**

Here’s the story so far:

2012 – Falcon – Reynolds 453

Suspected frame builder Ernie Clements (dont hold me to that) – *Pictured above*

Bought this from Vintage Clobber, for those of you local, which is a shop not too far from where I live. Pretty fresh faced into the whole “fixie” fad having ridden my first ever conversion for just over a year and loving it. The first build was always just meant to get my foot in the door and see what all the hype was about. I was hooked. Really regret what happened after owning this for just a few months though. Was such a clean, mint condition frame and I completely ruined it. It got stolen in December 2012, a few days before a visit to South Africa. Someone contacted me half hour before I had to board the plane. Fuck sake. But oh well, it was never seen again! I started slowly by removing the gears, running it single speed on the big chainring (twat) then finally using the rear wheel from my first ever build, an old Weinemman faithful, and it got abused in that guise for a while. Even bodging a mudgard on as it was at this point I came to realise the effort it took to cycle during British pre-2013 “Summer”. It was stolen shortly after forking out on a Brooks saddle and some new, decent wheels! Apologies for the Instagram quality photos…

May it rest in peace – or may the thief die on it!!!!

2013 – Raleigh Corsa – Reynolds 531

Moving up in the world.. This was my first time using Indexed Shifting. Awesome awesome bike. Would probably have kept it cus like above it was absolutely mint and super quick. Only problem was the sizing! It was a fairly large frame.. Seat tubing wasn’t much of a problem as I didn’t have the seat post protruding much. The Top tube was the problem though. Over long distances I would be too outstretched which wasn’t all that comfortable. Sadly I had to sell it, along with the best saddle in the world – Brooks B17.

 

2014 – Ribble – Columbus SL

Well, this is my first foray into Columbus tubing – to be honest, feels no different to the above frames. Albeit this one and the Raleigh feel way smoother to use compared to the Falcon. I suppose cus they’re way more refined re tubing and components. It’s got full Shimano 105 groupset, Mavic Open Pro 4CD rims, Selle Rolls saddle, Cinelli cockpit – I could go on… The fit is more or less the same as the Raleigh. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I suffer from what is known at “T-rex syndrome”. So basically I have really short arms and every respectable stem which comes in 110mm means that the reach is too far for me unless I buy a 54cm frame…

 

Oh well, it just means that next summer I’ll have to try harder at finding the perfect vintage road bike for me. I did win 3rd place at the last Velo Sur Mer alley cat on the Ribble though but I’m just not drawn to it as much as I think you should be with a bike.

So all in all these bikes have been good. I grew up after owning the Falcon and reaslised that some of these mint road bikes are way too nice to convert to single speed / fixed gear.  Deeply regret converting that one, however would I have learned from it if I havent? Who knows. Who cares even… I wonder what 2015 will bring…

Kyle

Bike Portraiture

    

Had an idea to take photographs of the guys I ride with regularly and their bikes.

One of the reasons I love cycling is that, like people, each bike is as different as the individual that’s riding them. Even off-the-peg ones like my Lengster. The thing was stolen but because I made those subtle changes like 46t Stronglight chainring, 17t Surly cog and pink bar ends (only God can judge me!!) etc etc, I was able to identify it when the police called me up to say they had found it…

Take my mate ‘Mikey 2 Pints’ for example, if his bike is ever stolen, there’s no way he wont be able to identify that thing. Who else has a silver Charge Plague (lol) with a seat tube that’s been cut and welded back in place? Nobody!

My point is that your bike ultimately becomes an extension of you!

So this is where the bike portrait will come in. It’ll be a few snaps of you and your bike in hopefully a location that matches your personality and bike. Taking the snaps will be the easy part, I think. The hard part will be matching the photo set so it’s fitting with the person, their bike and their riding style. I was even thinking that after, I could print some and give to you all as a present, that’d be cool. Kinda sentimental lol.

I’ve kind of done one already, of Justin. The funny thing is that it wasn’t his bike that he was riding that day. In fact, I’m pretty sure he said he hated riding it and that he would never buy a lopro haha. He rides a Leader 735 now and I’m sure we can always reschedule for another time. However to give you an idea, it’s located at the very top.

I’ll post the pics on my tumblr, as I use this mainly as a portfolio (lol) for photography work and ultimately see this ‘bike portraiture’ as a photography project! I’ll try and tag them so it’s unique to this project! You know, something a bit different from #fixiegirls #fixiefolyf etc etc. That way if you follow the link to tumblr you only find portraits that I’ve taken.

The idea (I’ve got more idea’s than time to actually implement ANY of them) stemmed from a couple of guy’s I follow on the net. One of them from Bristol, aptly named his project as “Bristol By Cyclist” which like I mentioned above, is a series of snaps of individuals and their steeds. I’m pretty sure his is on a bigger scale than I would wish to take on, but it’s so cool nonetheless! The other is a guy from the States that shoots regularly for companies such as Chrome Industries & State Bicycle Co. (I think).. He goes by the name Matt Lingo! Both of their work are awesome and I would highly recommend you check it out!

Below are just some I’ve messed around with, more abstract but hey perhaps that’s the direction we can take this project. But we’ll see.. and fingers crossed I’ll contact you (those of you I know) soon!

Kyle

    

 

Teaching Cancer To Cry

 

Why did I start this post with a video?

Well today, 27 May 2014, I found out that one of the main people to inspire me to write this very blog and do what I do, has passed away! It would therefore be rude not to share this with you guys seeing as I probably wouldnt even be writing this had it not been for his blog which I stumbled across one summer evening in 2012.

His work is so so so inspirational..

Everything from bike’s built, photography, and even the witty cooking video’s. If the work I do is even inspire’s one person the way I have been by his then I’ll be very satisfied!

Sadly Ezra lost his battle with Ass Cancer (as he dubbed it – I’m not being disrespectful) after a very long time. I would highly recomend if you’re a regular reader to have a look at his work, even briefly.

The world lost a true artisan.

RIP Ezra Caldwell.

x

“Bike Friends” Volume 2

 

Not much has happened round here… Well I say not much but actually quite a lot of little things have happened. Although nothing along the scales of…

“I’m cycling to Paris M8”

The guys have come back from their trip though – which was pretty successful bar Loz’s broken knee and Mikey’s imploded rear hub, both issues happening on the return leg. Unbelievably gutted that I missed this, although there is talks of cycling to Gibraltar lol… … (better make sure I get married for that UK passport err) Not seen an awful lot of them either, I mean Loz lives in Northern land but I’m pretty sure they all pretty much hate the site of their bikes, or did straight after their return anyway.

There has been one interesting thing though… A guy named Dan, who’s a student at Arts University Bournemouth, has set up a page where himself and a few others will be arranging Alley Cat races in and around Bournemouth – set around the last Friday of the month. Wicked idea.

The page is called Velo Sur Mer, which I’m not sure what it means but it sounds cool as fuck.

The inaugural race took place at the end of April, The South Coast Shuffle, and was really good fun. I came off my bike twice, lead the race for like 2ish checkpoints, got lost and ended up 9th with bloody hands! (Actually I think I’ve properly sprained them, they still hurt really bad a month later!!!) Was so good to meet new faces though – just pretty much guys (and girls) who are into cycling really! The next one is this Friday I think? lol. There are some wicked prizes too as they’ve managed to get a few local companies and enthusiasts involved and sponsoring/providing for the items up for grabs. Lets hope I can get my hands on one next time without so much blood.

Other than that really just been out on a few rides with the usual bruh’s. Also met this crazy cool guy Ludvick! He’s cycling to Berlin with 2 others in aid of Coffee Kids as he’s a Barista and all. He’s the tall German looking guy below with the seriously sick tourer! Waaaaay more sensible than we were when planning our little trek. His bike is a Charge Mixer of some sort with internal gearing like those old school Sturmey Archer hubs and I am actually quite jealous of him lol. Managed to bag that as well as most of his touring gear for absolute bargains. My favourite being the spoon fork..

They actually left on Monday (26 May) which I’m gutted about as we were hopefully planning to meet up on the day for a little photoshoot. However I was pretty much hanging out of my arse due to a hectic weekend and rain and other factors pretty much made it impossible to arrange. Wish him and his buddy’s all the best though and hopefully we can cross paths again at some point!

Check out his page for updates!

I SHOULD GET PAID FOR ALL THESE LINKS SURELY??? Ha!

Here’s to the Pier to Pier relay this friday though! I wont be posting all the pics I take here, however as usual you can find them at the Fiets and Velo Ser Mur Facebook pages, and also my Flickr account!

Fuck more links. I should really update this more often.

Kyle

 

Tour De Radskids™ – Interlude

Well then.

It’s all gone tits up I’m afraid. For me anyway!

You may have read, if you read this blog Jasmin ;), at the end of The Prelude that my Langster was stolen on 31 March. Obviously this was a massive ballache seeing as I spent my hard earned cash on getting the damn thing ready for the trip and I got to a stage where I was finally really really enjoying riding it.

I wont bother going into the details of how this was taken as most of you speak to me on a semi daily basis and prolly already know. Anyway, my replacement? It was between the Peugeot and the below…

The Pug you already know about, but the Allez.. This was lent to me by Ben Haines. Good friend whom I work with and who does a lot of cycling himself – only recently has he finished a trek to Holland, Amsterdam I think. I’ll try find a link and post it hurrr. Anyway, was a very nice gesture of him so I was set on taking it, as to be honest the Pug rode like pony. No way could I do 70+ miles a day on that thing. The Allez however is next level, level not-quite-rapha-maybe-castelli-clad roadie. Full Shimano Tiagra groupset and its quick, really quick. This and The Langster pretty much share the same frame except for the obvious extra’s such as gearing/brakes/comfort… but I digress.

Besides, I needed to be cool and do a sick skid under the Eifel Tower right? How am I gonna do that on a road bike?

Whilst I was still pondering on that, I made a trip up to London to pick up my visa. Yes, I’m foreign! Turned up at the place where my appointment was (note, not the French consulate but some third party intermediary!) and got told that they would be unable to process my application as my UK Visa and my South African Passport were two separate documents! Basically they could not accept two valid legal documents as this was not included as a single piece, my UK visa being included as its own page on my passport… … …

Couldn’t believe my luck!

That same day I also received a fine of £50 for cycling a Boris Bike on the pavement… Fuck.

It was only on that note that I decided to pull out altogether.

I was pretty gutted to be honest, however my girlfriend reassured me and said that it was probably not meant to be. She’s pretty wise that girl, although she did say things like “what if you die on the trip if you did go”, etc etc. She’s prolly right though. I mean I’m not really superstitious but there must be some underlying reason for everything throwing their toys out the pram like they have.

With this in mind, I’ve decided that as I’ve set up a Just Giving page, it would be quite rude not to do something for the money people have donated/sponsored so far. I will therefore be signing up for the Dorset 100 instead which takes place in June. Not quite 430 miles in French fields however it’ll have to do for now.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, there will not be a Postlude from myself. Instead, head over to my good friend Michael “2 Pints” Davies’ blog for updates and to see how things went.

I apologise for his 5 year old grammar!

Kyle

Twat.

Tour De Radskids™ – Prelude

I mentioned this briefly in one on my posts that a few of us will be cycling to France this year…

Well that’s happening on the 19th of April.

Now I apologise for such short notice however lots going on as usual.

Myself, Loz, Mikey and Jake (confirmed) will be doing this. Oringinally there was going to be more of us however due to certain circumstances only the four of us are currently definitely (read defiantly) booked and going.

None of us have ever taken part in something like this before so it really will be tough going I reckon. We plan to average around 70/80 miles a day across 3 days consecutively. 2 days will then be spent tearing it up resting in Paris with another 3 days cycling back to Bournemouth! Now on our group rides I tend to fatigue around 30 miles out of the usual 40ish which we cover so I reckon I’m gonna be ripped a new one if I’m honest…

Initially there was going to be around 6/7 of us and the mileage thing didn’t bother me as much when a few “weaker” (haha, sorry guys) cyclists were going to be joining. Now there’s only 4 of us and it being pretty closely matched between 3 of us (Loz being king dick) I’m actually scared haha. But it’s all good though and we’re all up for a challenge and a bit of a race because we’re crazy.

On a serious note though, our route will consist of…

Route/Parcours – Bournemouth Paris Bournemouth

By Mikey Davies on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 21:04

Saturday 19th April – Grand Départ, Bournemouth – Portsmouth Ferry Terminal. 51.4 Miles
Sunday 20th April – Caen – Évreux. 80 Miles
Monday 21st April – Évreux – Paris Champs Élysees. 63.4 Miles
Tuesday 22nd April – DAY OFF – Paris
Wednesday 23rd April – DAY OFF – Paris
Thursday 24th April – Paris – Évreux. 63.4 Miles
Friday 25th April – Évreux – Caen. 80 Miles
Saturday 26th April – Portsmouth – Bournemouth. 51.4 Miles

Total: 390.4 Miles.
Maximum Altitude: 589ft. ”

As you can see, its pretty strong although not impossible. We’ll all probably just have to pace ourselves on the first few days and not be too silly.

One of the main issues about this trip was knowing what we need to pack and how we intended on surviving, for want of a better word, when out there. We initially thought that taking sleeping bags, tents, bbq’s etc and being one with nature was the way forward however none of our bikes are suited to that so we decided against it. We could have just bought suitable bikes and all the relevant gear however money is not something we currently have in abundance and doing things that way is too sensible surely?!

We decided then that hotels/hostels were the way forward and managed to find accommodation for cheaps and went with that. This ofcourse means we carry way less in terms of luggage apart from the essentials like clothes, spare tubes/tools etc and we can just focus mainly on the riding and actually enjoy it. (enjoy lol)

That left for us to get our bikes ready…

We’ll all be running pretty similar setups geared towards slight comfort i.e. bullhorn bars, 25/28c tyres, front brake (I even opted for two although will probably only use one), huge DIY saddle bags to store all our stuff. No panniers or racks here!! I’ve taken pictures of everyone’s bikes, excluding Lozenger (as he moved up to Leeds so he can train in the hills of Yorkshire and become the strongest cyclist in the world) but will probably not get a chance to take proper pictures of the full setups till the trip as there’s just not enough time to have a few practice runs, which we were thinking of doing initially.

My setup is slightly different though and quite meek in comparison really as The Lengster is the most road bike-esque. You can read all about it in that link because I like to spread myself out and post about my life on this internet thing.

All in all though, we’re all pretty buzzing for it. Will be such a great experience cycling through the fields of Le Francias with good friends, doing what we love. Also, if you’re so inclined, myself and Loz have set up Just Giving pages. We thought we may as well raise much needed cash (and awareness) for charities which mean alot to us. Your donations and support will be much appreciated however small.

Mind

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

https://www.justgiving.com/bournemouthtoparisfixed/

https://www.justgiving.com/bournemouthtoparisandback

Did I mention all of this will be on Fixed Gear Bikes? Ha!

I’ll write soon with an update.

Kyle

**EDIT 31 MARCH**

The Langster has been stolen… Ay, there’s a rub!

Looks like The Peugeot will need to make an appearance – it is French after all.

So sad :(. Watch this space though.

RIP.