Category Archives: Uncategorised

Ups and downs following Stage 8

I was lucky enough to be in position to see the start and finale of Stage 8 of the 2015 Tour de France, which took in 181.5km from Rennes to Mûr-de-Bretagne.

I’m staying with my in-laws very close to the 50km mark at Saint-Méen-Le-Grand and had an ambitious plan to watch here as well as at the start and finish. Unsurprisingly this idea was a bit too much to ask, due to various factors.

Having enjoyed mooching about the start area in 2011 at Dinan I wanted to do this again, and wasn’t disappointed, getting close to team buses, managers, journalists doing their work and a few riders. It is much more interesting for me that the tacky publicity caravan, which wears pretty thin after having seen it once or twice.

As I waded through crowds and headed towards the paddock, a guy wearing a Festina cap caught my eye. The scandal of 1998 must be forgiven, I thought. I tried wearing a retro Festina jersey back home once and the slagging and banter became tedious – even 15 years on, the name is synonymous with heavy-duty endemic doping.

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Scottish Bike Show 2014

The Scottish Bike Show is held on 5th and 6th April at the Glasgow Emirates Arena and I will be going on the Sunday after missing last year.

Event supremo Rowan Mackie explained what is happening at the show this year on a recent Velo Club Don Logan podcast. The family demographic is something that is good for me, because in 2011 and 2012 I dragged my young daughter along only to struggle chat to anyone for any length of time as she scurried this way and that. This time I’m hoping to get her on the kiddimoto track and seek out a few options for her next bike.


New exhibitors come in the form of Brompton Bicycle, Planet X, Hoy Bikes and Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. SBS 2014 will also be bringing back the Bike Track People to create a huge pump track for the kids and big kid visitors. Rollapaluza will be onboard to entertain with 500m or 1km dash, The Clan stunt team, a new bike fit studio sponsored by Bikeradar for anyone who wants the perfect fit on their bike at half the cost and plenty more all located on the SBS 2014 website.

Really interesting, for me are the seminars and talks in the SBS Theatre, despite the fact I probably won’t be able to see them. It will play host to Sir Chris Hoy, Craig McLean, Finlay Pretsell (Director of being David Millar and Standing Start), James McCallum, Brian Smith and a few more names to be revealed shortly.
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’tis the season to help good ventures

A child seat built specifically for trails. This makes two kickstarter posts in one day, but the idea behind Macride was conceived in Scotland (I suspect) and it has been tested in the Ochil hills of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire over the past few months, so I wanted to give this one a shout too.

You can contribute to this kickstarter fund – there are only a few hours to go on this one.

Competition! WTF?

This blog is not normally known for reviews, product tests / promotion or prizes, but it just so happens I have a fetching T-Shirt from WTF Kits to give away.

The WTF Kits logo is modelled on the classic Team Z-Peugeot kit that Robert Millar wore for 1989–1991.

British fans may know this team as GAN, who Chris Boardman rode for in the mid 90s, and later as Credit Agricole.

To enter, post a comment below with a link to your favourite all-time post on this blog. You need to link to one of my posts or mention it in your comment – maybe it was one of my early, corny ‘Scottish Cycling rules‘, one of the historical pieces, or one of the interviews, such as Steve McCaw’s hour record, Jen Taylor’s women’s champs win or one of the Scottish climbs.

Check out WTF Kits tumblr blog.

I am giving away 1 T-Shirt only, in size medium.
Entry closes 12:00 noon this Sunday November.
Winner picked at random from comments on this blog post.
Eligible only to UK residents.
I’ll contact the lucky winner privately for your name and address and post it out to you.

@wtfkits got it muddy already!

WTF is this weird t-shirt that arrived from Washington DC? Ha @CXHairs on the packet

Scottish Bike Show 2013 news

The Scottish Bike Show is back for its 3rd year at the brand new Emirates Arena & Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, home to The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. “Next year is going to be special” said Rowan Mackie, Magdala Media. “The recent success of the ‘Thunderdrome’ event and ‘Track Cycling World Cup’ has already put this new venue on the map as a world leading facility and I am sure this is only start of things to come.”

Confirmed exhibitors to date, Madison, Upgrade Bikes, Condor, Alpine Bikes, Ronde Bicycle Outfitters, Eurobike, Keela, Cycling Scotland, Scottish Cycling, Schwalbe, C4C and a host more will be attending the 2013 show.

The recently launched SBS website boasts many new features for the 2013 show. A larger exhibition hall @ 6,000 sq metres, full use of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for the visiting general public to enjoy taster sessions throughout the weekend of 27th – 28th April and a 1 kilometre outside test track as a demo area to test ride a multitude of road, commuter and mountain bikes. To compliment this, SBS 2013 will be providing a presentation area for cycling stars past and present, free spinning classes, kids play area, a huge BMX display from Scottish outfit BSD Forever, with Mackie promising even more features still to be confirmed.

On the following Sunday, 5th May – the 2nd annual SBS Sportive will take place around Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, starting at Balloch Castle with a choice of either 65 or 100 mile routes. Over 870 entrants completed the inaugural event in April and next year both entries offer excellent value at under £30.00 per rider. Nutritional sponsor High 5 & Hydration sponsor Gatorade will provide all riders with plenty of options at the 5 feed stations to keep their electrolytes buzzing to the finish line. Additional sponsors and partners confirmed, Cyclosport, Kinesis, Ronde, Braveheart and Loch Lomond National Park Authority.

A night with Graeme Obree at Ronde 24 Nov

Here is some info about an appearance by the great Graeme Obree that readers may be interested in.

On Saturday 24th November, Magdala Media (organisers of the Scottish Bike Show) & Ronde Bicycle Outfitters will be hosting ‘A Night with Graeme OBree’ celebrating the Scottish legend’s achievements in cycling and the upcoming cycling land speed record. Taking place in Edinburgh at Ronde, this special evening will be open to the public to attend, including an interview session with Graeme to be lead by the Founders of the ‘Velo Club Don Logan‘ podcast, followed by Q & A from the audience.

Neil Dryden, Ronde Bicycle Outfitters commented, “To have such a prestigious ambassador for Scottish Cycling coming to our premises is amazing. We often host in-house evenings showcasing various new brands and niche designers, but to have one of my hero’s at the store is really quite exciting.”

Graeme will discuss his amateur and professional cycling career including becoming the World Hour record holder, his brushes with the UCI, rivalry with Chris Boardman, Drugs in cycling and coming right up to date with his world land speed record attempt aboard The Beastie – his latest and most radical bike design.

‘Beastie’ will be on show during the evening and will provide all attendees with an up close and detailed view of the ingenious and revolutionary design the Flying Scotsman built from nothing.

There are a small number of tickets available for ‘A Night with Graeme Obree’ at £18.00 per person. From 7pm – 10pm, the entry price will include complimentary wine, cheese and nibbles.

To pre-register your tickets, contact or Tickets will also be available to buy at the Ronde Store this Friday 9th November:

66-68 Hamilton Place Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AZ

Tickets sold are on a first come, first served basis – we look forward to celebrating the evening with everyone.

Rich Mitch at Ronde

I’m home alone this week and you may have noticed blog output increasing proportionately.

One thing I’m hoping to do with my spare time is see illustrator Richard Mitchelson, who is showing his work and appearing at Ronde Cafe in Edinburgh on Saturday night, 31st March.

Rich created the legends series of portraits that were used in print, on mugs and on T Shirts by Rouleur. He also illustrated the 1989 tour for Rouleur edition 16. You can hear more about his work in this podcast interview with the Velo Club Don Logan.

I’ve been invited by the lovely people at Ronde in Edinburgh to frame up some work and show it in their fantastic store. I’ll be showing pieces I’ve created for Rouleur magazine and a whole array of portraits of famous riders. I can’t wait and I’m hoping lots of people come along and say hello on the Saturday evening, I’m sure there’ll be beer!

So if you’re in Edinburgh? or know a cycling fan who might like to check it out? Come along. The prints will be for sale and we are hoping to auction off a couple for charity on the night. So See you at Ronde on the 31st. Thanks for reading!

RONDE is found at 66-68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh…

Return of the Flying Scotsman

Most of you should have heard of Graeme Obree’s upcoming attempt on the World human-powered vehicle land-speed record. If you haven’t, watch this video. And if you have, also watch this video, because Graeme is brilliant.

[edit 2015: Humans Invent seems to have vanished but the video is still available on youtube.]

It’s like time trialling but without the UCI regulations on bike dimensions. Without restrictions, the type of bike that you tend towards is a recumbent with full aerodynamic faring, an ideal outlet for Obree’s design innovation and creativity. Speeds of up to 80mph can be reached and if conditions are right he hopes to hit 100mph.

If you’ve got time for a more in-depth listen, check out this audio from Jack Thurston of The Bike Show, during Graeme’s visit to Look Mum No Hands cafe in London. Graeme goes into detail about the land speed record as well as topics like motivation, training, nutrition and more.

And you can see Graeme speak in person at Stirling University this Wednesday, 28th March at the Pathfoot Building. It’s free, followed by a screening of Chasing Legends at the Macrobert cinema.

Velodrome progress

After reading about wood flooring being installed in the Velodrome, I have been digging around for progress updates on the project. These can be difficult to find, as generally the architects, contractors and clients on such high profile projects tend to keep things under wraps until construction is complete. For the 2012 Olympics, some companies are not even allowed to publicise their involvement with a stadium or arena until after the Games have finished.

2012 Olympics velodrome (Oct 2011)
Image by Alexander Kachkaev

After reading the sumptuous Architects’ Journal Building Study special about the 2012 velodrome by Hopkins Architects (above), I have been digging for information about Glasgow’s forthcoming track. I read a short piece in Scottish architecture magazine Urban Realm, which mainly covered the fire and thermal performance of the cladding of the building, which houses both the velodrome in its 2000 seat arena, as well as the National Indoor Sports Arena, a 5000 seat venue.
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Scottish Cycling T Shirts

I’m rediscovering my mojo for blogging a bit by getting back to short pieces. It’s not hard to be inspired with designs like these around.

Bathgate Alps – by Matt Ball/West Lothian Clarion
A nice minimal design, with some nice typefaces and a list of the many West Lothian climbs. There’s a map on the WLC website.

The Robert T Shirt – by Rich Mitchelson/Rouleur
Robert Millar rouleur t-shirtI blogged this one before, but it’s worth doing again- again, I like Rich’s minimal 2D style. Also available as a mug.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – by Scott O’Raw/Velocast
OK, so the Tour of Flanders isn’t anything to do with Scotland, but this T is designed by Scott from the Velocast, of which I am a big fan. Check out this and other designs and support the show.

I’ve got other ideas for Scottish Cycling T Shirts but unfortunately not the creative flair, time or knowhow to see them through. If you have any suggestions for things I’ve missed, post in the comments or send me a message.

On a tangent- some other design work from this year that I really liked was for the Tro Bro Leon race – a ‘mini Paris Roubaix’ held in Brittany. It’s held in mid-April and was raced by Endura last season. There’s a sportive too, which I’d love to try.

I’m not much of a designer myself, but I loved the illustrated style, which nods to the graphic novels (or ‘BDs’ – Bandes Dessinées) that are highly popular in France. The theme was integrated throughout the event website and would be cool on a T Shirt. I’m not sure who the designer was so unfortunately can’t credit.