In a recording of a live event held as part of the CycleScreen bicycle film festival at the Watershed Cinema in Bristol, Jack Thurston talks with author Herbie Sykes about his highly acclaimed book The Race Against the Stasi. It’s a gripping story, a true story, that took place at the height of the Cold War, a tale of young love and bike racing, of political ideology and state surveillance set in a Europe rebuilding after the catastrophe of the second world war.
Is bikepacking the most exciting new thing in cycling since the invention of the mountain bike or a much needed rebranding of the venerable pastime of cycle touring? Or is just another cynical ruse to get us to buy more stuff, an attempt to commercialise that wonderful thing called adventure. Jack heads to mid-Wales for the Bear Bones Winter Event to find out, and meets up with Beth Barrington of WildCat Gear to hear about the homespun beginnings of a small company that makes some of the best bikepacking gear available.
Tim Dawson has the lowdown on Cycle Revolution, a major new exhibition of bicycles at London’s Design Museum. The show including cargo bikes, city bikes and the bikes used by Merckx, Moser and Wiggins to break the Hour Record. He speaks with the shows curator Donna Loveday and consider the show’s strengths and weaknesses. Tim and host Jack Thurston then wonder if it’s right and proper to fall in love with a bicycle and discuss other great cycle collections in the UK and overseas.
In the first ever rolling bike test on The Bike Show, Jack Thurston takes the Pinnacle Arkose 2 for a spin around the hills above Abergavenny and Blaenavon. The Pinnacle Arkose 2 is an ‘adventure road’ bike featuring a 1×10 drivechain, hyraulic disc brakes and 40mm tyres. The list price is £850 though it’s currently on sale at £765. For more photos of the bike, see Jack’s review for BikesETC magazine.
I’ll be doing some book talk events to mark the launch of Lost Lanes Wales: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Wales and the Borders.
Come along, say hello, buy a book:
Thursday 10th September. The Station Hotel, Abergavenny NP7 5UH. 6.30pm-9pm. Real ale and traditional pub snacks. Free.
Wednesday 16th September. Rossiter’s bookshop, Ross-on-Wye. Bike ride followed by talk and signing. Bike ride leaves Rossiter’s at 5pm and the book talk is from 7pm. Tickets are £3 and refundable against the purchase of a book.
If you’d like me to come and talk about Lost Lanes Wales, and the delights of exploring Wales and the Borders by bike, at your bookshop, bike shop, cycle group meeting, christening, bar mitzvah or funeral wake, please do get in touch.
Bespoked, the UK’s Handmade Bicycle Show is Britain’s biggest annual showcase for custom bike builders. It’s full to the rafters of beautiful bikes but Jack Thurston went in search of the most useful bikes at the show, from an off-road porteur to a separable road bike to a childback tandem in titanium.
Bikes discussed as follows:
George Longstaff: RuffStuff adventure touring bike / tandem trike with integrated wheelchair carrier
Caren Hartley: Demi-porkeur off road cargo bike
Richard Hallett: 650b Adventure
Wheeldan: Childback titanium tandem
Sven Cycles: Roadster
Sword Cycles: Cargo-trike
Teague Bicycles: Separable road bike
Sturdy Cycles: no maintenance audax bike and steel TT bike