Would you be quickerbybike?

Quickerbybike.com is a campaign to promote cycling to non-cyclists
& decent cycling to existing cyclists.

If you commute to work or school but not by bike,
would you consider switching?

It's probably quicker, healthier, more friendly, more independent, cheaper, quieter & brighter.

If you already ride, would you promote cycling via your shorts?

If you ride like a bit of a wally, running red lights & annoying other road users,

would you wear the shorts and ride decently?

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Ortlieb Velocity long term test

I can’t think of many days over the past 5 years when I haven't used my Ortlieb Velocity bag. I bought it after a string of unsatisfactory bags for my cycle commute. I’d had bags from brands I trusted but they either weren't practical (timbuk2 = sweaty back) or their zips fell apart (macpac/camelbak).

It doesn't look brand-new now, after its five years of constant use, but it looks good still and not ragged.

I would happily pay double what I paid for the Ortlieb. It has certainly far outlasted its similarly-priced predecessors.

My commute is now 20 miles each way. I do it throughout the year. I don’t normally have loads to carry but now and then I have extra kit or I pop to the shops on the way home for dinner.

The bag is waterproof. Just forget that aspect. Don’t give it another thought, I never do.

Don't go underwater with it, it isn't a canoe-bag!  But ride 20 miles in the hosing rain, carrying your laptop, your gran's family album and your winning lottery ticket without hesitation.

The bag is durable.  Functionally the bag has not changed despite daily use over 5 years. Crucially, and setting it apart from other bags I’ve had, the channels on the back are unchanged. The foam has not compressed over time and it hasn’t degraded or cut up or even worn down.

The straps are similarly unchanged and have kept their shape. I can’t find a loose thread, I wouldn’t want to try to pull any of the fixings off as I think it would be unrewarding work.  This is the back of a strap.

The rigid plastic internal panel means the bag keeps its shape. Getting stuff in and out is easy.

The little feet keep the bag from being scuffed much, although I think you’d need to drag it behind a car for a couple of hours to scuff it much anyway.

The light-attachments are OK. I usually put a light on the back for commuting through the winter. They’re not perfect because they’re higher up than the point at which the bag starts to slope towards your shoulders, so lights attached here point to the sky.

I’ve never found the waist belt important, so in the early days I chopped off the strap I was never going to need and wrapped the rest around the buckles.

The little pouch press-stud fitted to the inside is really useful. I keep wallet and keys in it and can also slot in phone or Garmin in a different pocket and out of the way of scratchy stuff.

The closest thing to a failing I have found is that if you walk along with the bag nearly empty and with some stuff in the pencil case, it bump-bump-bumps against your back. I am over this failing.

I was concerned about the Velcro at first. I thought it wouldn’t last. It has. I think I’d still rather have a buckle but I can’t in fact fault the Velcro.

The bag isn’t sold as expandable but if you go into the supermarket for a pint of milk and come out with 20 items you hadn’t planned for, the bag can easily take a third more with the top open than you can put in when it’s closed.

It comes with me on the bike every day, it comes to the shops, it comes on weekends away, walks in the hills, It comes to meetings and site visits and it comes to the beach. Really, it’s in service every day.

I’ve carried tools, my best (ok, only) suit, piles of dripping-wet sandy swim stuff, dozens of picnics, laptop and work papers, various sports kit. I wouldn’t use it to carry a bonfire or a horse but otherwise I think it will be fine with most stuff.

I think it’s still cool. People still comment on it. People stare at it.

If you want a bag for commuting by bike in all weathers then just get this.  As with my Brompton, when I see people with the alternatives, I just feel sorry for them.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Super Cycling Man - Inspiring children to ride.

It would be easy, having visited the website http://www.supercyclingman.com/ and watched the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eDhUhsN_Qs to come away with the impression that what Super Cycling Man Will Hodson is doing is a lark.  He's so chirpy and ridiculous, so full of fun that you might not notice 100 miles a day back-to-back, in all manner of conditions, carrying everything, for blocks of 5 weeks is an extraordinary feat.

He's no ordinary cyclist.

He's a familiar figure, nicknamed coincidentally Will Supersocks, in the local chain-gang.  He turns up in knee-length football socks with hairy legs and looking, if we're honest, a bit heavy.  That might not sound an unusual way to look but it stands out amongst the lean, pro-mimicking and very capable, race-winning amateur racers who make up the rest of the group.  And Will is well-up to the pace. 10 riders at the start.  Lap 1: 7 riders left with Will still there.  Lap 2: still 7 riders, though some looking uncomfortable.  Lap three: 5 riders and Supersocks is still there.  Lap 4: it's down to three and Will is still not amongst those shelled.

He's a proper cyclist.

But what's fantastic is that he's almost completely hidden that.  There's no bragging, no banging on about suffering and hardship.  It's such a ridiculous feat and so playfully communicated that it is close to feeling like the unreal comic-book adventure he's kidded us it is.

Instead of drawing attention to the enormity of the physical effort, Will has focused on the more important bid to do something worthwhile.  He's getting children cycling.  And it works.

If that weren't enough, he's raising money, target £100,000 for charities.

Help him if you can.  http://www.supercyclingman.com/

Friday, 14 June 2013

Avanti Inc 3. The dream commute bike?

My Genesis Day Alfine is an exceptionally good commute bike.  It's done great service (3400 kilometres and counting) and I'll be using it a few years yet.

A commute bike needs to be jump-on-and-ride-able.  Low maintenance.  This is less true for me because I'm ok maintaining bikes and happy to do it.  But for a new cyclist who's not up for oiling and cleaning a chain, checking chain wear, replacing chains every few hundred miles, replacing sprockets and chainrings: less maintenance is better.

I've just seen this new Avanti.

 Avanti Inc 3

As in, I've seen it on the website.  I haven't seen one or ridden one.

But it looks so perfect.  It's got everything.  And apart from pumping the tyres up now and then (get a track pump) and checking the tyres for shards as often as you can be bothered (every day if you never want a puncture) there's nothing to maintain on this bike at all.  New brake blocks every two years?  But that's it.

James Bowthorpe rode his belt-drive Santos round the world and never changed the belt.

Disc brakes mean clean wheel-rims that don't wear out.  If this sounds trivial to you, I promise it's not.  It's fantastic.  Rim-braking brakes are one of the most disgusting, messy parts of a bike.  Horrible grey gunk builds up on the pads and forks and rim.  Fixing a puncture = getting covered in crap.

Hub gears need maintaining every 5000km or so.  But with the new Alfines that just means an oil change.  Personally, I don't plan to do squat to mine for a few years yet.  Then I'll think about changing the oil, which I expect to be a 20-minute job.

So there you go.  I've no reason to big-up the Avanti.  I'm sure there are others out there but this is the first I saw.  There's probably even a drop-bar version somewhere.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hoodies and Tees now available.

You can now buy all quickerbybike kit from yourclubshop.  Click the jeresey on the right.

Use code YCS10 to get 10% off until 1st June.

I've still got stock of s/s jerseys, bib-shorts and shorts and it's a lot cheaper from me, while it lasts.  See monday 4th February post, below.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Lycra Kit from YourClubShop.

I've got stock here of bib-shorts, shorts and ss jerseys in most sizes.  See the thread below.

If the size you want is no longer there or if you want full-zip jerseys, skinsuits, gilets, long-sleeve jerseys or the like, then please order from Yourclubshop.

All club kit from yourclubshop.co.uk is made to order.  It can take 4 weeks.  If you need it sooner or have other special requirements, put a note in the "special instructions" box and they'll contact you.

Or just ask me.

Monday, 4 February 2013

All kit now in stock. Lycra and baggies.

The new Lycra kit is here, made by Impsport and much improved.  See images on the right for a look.  Photos will be up later this week.

In the future, quickerbybike.com lycra kit will be supplied via YourClubShop.  This relieves me of the burden of taking orders and payments and posting kit out.  It's brilliant!  They make the kit just-in-time: that's to say they only manufacture when they get an order.

Lycra kit prices will be:
  • Bibshorts £62.40
  • Shorts (non-bib) £52.80
  • Short sleeve, short zip jersey £48
In order to set up this service it was necessary to order an initial batch to be photographed.  This batch is now under my desk and ready to be posted out to whoever wants it.  Because the quantities were greater, the prices are lower. 

Prices (and live (ish) quantities in stock) are:
  • Bibshorts (S-2, M-3, L-1) £48
  • Shorts (non-bib) (XS-2, S-3) £41
  • Short sleeve, short zip jersey (XS-3, S-2, L-1) £37 
  • Postage £3
Email me at martin at quickerbybike dot com with your address and SIZE and I'll post it out to you.  You can pay me by BACS (internet transfer).  I'll email you the details.

If it helps those who know me I'm a Medium short and Small jersey.

Baggy shorts are Endura Singletrack shorts and are £40 posted.  See photos on the right.  Just email me if you'd like a pair.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

New lycra kit is in production.

The new batch of lycra quickerbybike.com kit is now in production, due to be ready for sale 2nd week of February.

The kit is much improved with more and larger logos.

Jersey looks like this:
and shorts look like this:
The kit will be available to buy direct from http://www.yourclubshop.co.uk/ which makes my life far easier and your deliveries far more reliable.

Happy days.  I hope the entire new batch will be out and about on bums on bikes, passing traffic, before the summer comes.