This autumn I have been to the “Rapha cc” cycling cafe in Manchester, “Pedalling Ideas,” a hive of cycling conversation in Leeds and “Magazine Brighton,” an ace indie magazine shop in, you guessed it, Brighton.
Magazine Brighton – photo by Stuart Langridge
As a result of all this touring, and with your support, “Mind is the Ride” is nearly seventy per cent funded. The blog below is a journal of these Autumn talks and a call to get your loudhailers out and roll the project past the seventy per cent mark. Here is a link where people can pledge https://unbound.com/books/mind-is-the-ride
Rock n Roll Tour (Part 3)
When I was shown into the high windowed room on the third floor of the Manchester Rapha cycling club I hadn’t expected to find an original Eddie Merckx bicycle propped up behind me, an original Tour de France winner, complete with parts hand drilled out by Eddie Merckx to make it that bit faster..
My beast, “Bertle,” looked like a tank floating above it. A clear case of tortoise and hare. Eddie’s bike would definitely get past the finish line first but I like to think the tortoise tank would have pondered its own slowness with philosophical clarity and set up a crowdfunding campaign…
Thanks to everyone at Rapha for the opportunity to talk in such a noble setting and the staff who lugged the bike and gear up three floors into the Manchester sunshine. Thanks also to my friend Graham, who I met in the Peak District, at one of the very first events, went on to pledge for one of the “Mind is the Ride” bike rides and who put me up that night in Manchester. We both have a similar number of bikes and no space to keep them.
Graham and I went on to meet at…
“Pedalling Ideas,” which is, essentially, a brilliant Idea. Set up by all round “ideas man,” Ian Street, it’s a place to ferment discussions about bikes and bike culture. The sheer variety of speakers was particularly refreshing; from Mini Pips, an eleven year old cyclist who has probably pedalled more miles than I’ve nudged in my entire adult life, and Peter Yates, a rider in his eighties, who is still cycling two hundred km audax rides.
You only realise the deficit of women speakers at cycling events when someone, like Ian, takes the initiative to put an equal number of men and women speakers on the roster. Then it feels like there’s LOTS of women speakers, when in fact it’s just the balance being redressed. I particularly enjoyed seeing Joolze Dymond’s talk on cycling photography, Laura Moss on the alliance of status-quo-challenging women that is “The Adventure Syndicate” and Caren Hartley on bike framebuilding. Caren was talking just after Brant Richards…;
Designer Brandt Richards creating a bike, online, from audience “instructions.”
My most recent talk was at Magazine Brighton, a superb indie magazine shop in Brighton’s lanes. Set up by entrepreneur, thinker and “yes” man (in a world of “maybes”) Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton is a homage to the written word, paper and fresh ink. Boneshaker magazine sits on its shelves like a pal amongst good friends. Thanks to Martin for inviting me. And to Roxy Rock, Martin’s accomplice at Magazine Brighton, for helping to make it a memorable night and for undeniably having the coolest name in the South East.
Now a clarion call…
Friends, cyclists, people with an interest in philosophy, random strangers I have bullied on off-peak train journeys, your time has come. Wrest your bike bells from your cupboards and ring them from the windows, the web and whatever porch or stoop or bike path you’re sitting on. We’re very nearly at seventy per cent funded. We can get this book rolling onto the presses and across the hemisphere. Please recommend “Mind is the Ride” to all your friends and colleagues and get them to pledge at
The finish line is in sight.
The tortoise nibbles the hare’s tail.