a genuine spectacle, in these tea-stirring times; a giant yellow bird riding up a cobbled street:
i met up with a few other fixed-wheel-fiends in Bristol and we rode halfway across the somerset badlands – an intended 21 miles ended up being nearer 30 for some bizarre reason. we startled a horse, unintentionally. jamesy had no brakes, ed felt a bit sick, jamie had a jersey that said ‘ride it like you stole it’ and a boasted a set of incredibly pale legs.
the event was a total blast; a very narrow street lined with eager crowds; a crazed array of riders desperate to get their grubby track mitts on one of the three charge bikes on offer; several outlandish items of fancy dress and a rider pulling a trailer with a child in it.
i learnt the following things: mountain bikes do have a purpose, even if it is only to ride up the 179 yards of st catherine’s hill in the rain at high speed; riding tubs on pave is a stupid, stupid idea, rendered even more stupid by riding high tyre pressures; a very light hillclimb bike is of no use whatsoever on greasy, lumpy, treacherous, horrible cobbles. there was a fairly heavy rain shower immediately before the fixed race kicked off.
apart from that, it was brilliant. occasionally a stupefying, wondrous roar erupted and rolled up the hill in a crescendo of goodwill, heads turned to catch the source, and inevitably, it was something amazing. all pictures thanks to bex at white duck screenprint:
man on full butcher’s bike, piece of tripe:
phone home, right now, tell your mum you’re riding up some crazy cobbles on a bmx with a fricken’ alien in your front basket:
an unusual shot, insofar as you can see both wheels touching the surface of the cobbles: