Archive for the 'At home' Category

Bike School

Tris, Hat, Katie and Jack went to bike school today. Mike from Planet X came over to give them the lowdown on all-things-bike-maintenance, from tweaking gears to greasing bottom brackets, replacing bearings and installing headsets. It was good to see the workshop filled with bikes and stands, to the sound of whirring wheels and (ever smoother) gear shifting.

Interested in learning more about bike maintenance from the comfort of your own home/shed/garage? Get in touch with Mike (mike@planet-x-bikesDOTcom), whose well versed with teaching all levels. If you recognise him, it’s probably because he’s the man who gets stranded, mud-clumped bikes back on the trail at the Merida Marathon series, as well as working for DT Swiss at the World Championships, building wheels for the Atherton clan amongst others. So yes, he knows his stuff.


The Luxury Workshop had never looked so good. The Paduans were working hard – you could almost feel their brains heating up the cold, wintry room.


Kate gives the Stumpjumper some TLCC – Tender Loving Cable Care. Maybe Jack will now let her look after her own bike (-;

Continue reading ‘Bike School’


Tata Bread


My parents gave me a breadmaking machine for Christmas. Cara used to be BreadMaster but now that she’s moved back to the States, I’ve taken over baking duties. It’s seems fitting to have the house filled with the aroma of fresh bread, as the workshop that is now crammed with bikes was once a bakery for the railway workers who lived in this part of Totterdown.

Howard, who joined us on one of our early tours, found what’s apparently a very fancy toaster in a skip. He coaxed it back to life and proffered it as a house warming gift. Clearly traumatized by the Indian Driving Experience, he also laid his hands on a Tata truck badge and soldered it to the toaster, voodoo-style. It works a treat, and can megatoast six thick slides at once, providing perfect quantities for post winter rides. It seems apt to, for as Katie pointed out, six is the average number of locals in every (small) car in India.


Just another Monday night in Totterdown…


It was all happening in Totterdown on Monday. I was awoken by Hat, one of my housemates, calling out: “I think you might want to move your van, the car next to it is on fire!” And it so was. Some joyriders had dumped a Corsa outside the gates to the cemetery, and it was roaring away like a well-stoked bonfire, pumping a spiral of smoke into the night. In fact, I need to move my mum’s car pretty sharpish too as it was also close by. I could feel the heat from inside her Peugeot, and while I fumbled with gear shifter to get it into reverse, a couple of the Corsa’s windows shattered. The air stunk with the smell of melting plastic.

The firebrigade soon came and hosed it it down nonchalantly, and left saying,”Off to the next one now!” with a friendly fireman’s chuckle.

Oh, to live in the city…


Heading Home – and a Merry Christmas too!


It’s in the detail: 50 Cent and the Buddha..


And a rich man.

We’ve begun the first leg of our non-bike-propelled travels to get us home. Not quite in time for Christmas, but close enough to see all the Gilbert Clan. Perhaps that’s the best way to do it (-;

With this in mind, here’s out last post:

After crossing the border from Laos into Thailand, a night train whisked us to Bangkok in relative comfort and luxury. As sunlight shone in fingers across the cityscape, we chugged in fitfully for the last few kilometres, pausing at small stations as we cut through the urban sprawl that rings any Asian metropolis as big as this; under soaring concrete overpasses and glinting high rises, across stagnant canals and past squat, crooked and makeshift wooden homes. Segregated by the narrowest of darkened alleyway-tunnels, these houses opened out directly onto the rails and all the detritus that’s quite literally excreted from the trains. People wandered along the tracks to work, or sifted through garbage to see what new offerings the night had brought. Clothes hung out to dry in the humid air, between the dead-headed leaves of banana trees and under palm trees, combing the air in the breeze. Ladies pushed carts loaded with leaf-wrapped delicacies, plying their wares with drawn out, nasal cries – “Sa-ba-di-kaaaa”. Dogs and men yawned as they awoke. Continue reading ‘Heading Home – and a Merry Christmas too!’

Away till 3rd July.

Just to let you know that we’re heading off in the van tomorrow for the long trip up to Scotland. We’ll be back on the 3rd July. We’ll no doubt get a chance to check the internet here and there, but won’t get a proper chance to reply to emails until we’re back home.The trips are creeping up, so we hope everyone is getting plenty of riding miles in as the days get longer (-:

It’s been a busy one…


The last couple of weeks seem to have been really hectic ones, in the run-up to our season in India. We’ve been working away to get all our work done before we head out to Delhi on the 17th July. Cara’s been putting together two women’s ‘supplements’ for Cycling Plus, which has meant almost as many hours in front of a computer screen as test miles on fancy ti and carbon dream machines, like the Titus Estrella (lucky her!).


Continue reading ‘It’s been a busy one…’


As part of our ongoing exploration into car free living, I’ve been trying out an Xtracycle (thanks to UK importers Loads Better), for a C+ feature on ‘Getting More From Your Bike’. It’s a beautifully simple yet effective contraption, that basically shunts back your bike’s rear wheel to give it a boot. Got a retired mtb in the shed? Breathe new life back into it and transform it into a utility machine.

Mine’s on an old Spesh Rockhopper with an Orange p7 rigid fork, with a Sun Rhyno touring wheel at the back and an Avid BB7 up front. It’s a whole different thing to riding with a trailer. More compact in traffic, but not easily detachable. I can see the pros and cons of the two systems, and so far I’m really enjoying the differences. It’s certainly very user friendly, with a modular loading system that’s proved incredibly versatile.


Continue reading ‘XXXtracycle…’

Please check out our main website for details on our bike trips to the Indian Himalayas.

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