Category Archives: Cycling culture

Scottish Bike Show 2013 news

The Scottish Bike Show is back for its 3rd year at the brand new Emirates Arena & Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, home to The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. “Next year is going to be special” said Rowan Mackie, Magdala Media. “The recent success of the ‘Thunderdrome’ event and ‘Track Cycling World Cup’ has already put this new venue on the map as a world leading facility and I am sure this is only start of things to come.”

Confirmed exhibitors to date, Madison, Upgrade Bikes, Condor, Alpine Bikes, Ronde Bicycle Outfitters, Eurobike, Keela, Cycling Scotland, Scottish Cycling, Schwalbe, C4C and a host more will be attending the 2013 show.

The recently launched SBS website boasts many new features for the 2013 show. A larger exhibition hall @ 6,000 sq metres, full use of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for the visiting general public to enjoy taster sessions throughout the weekend of 27th – 28th April and a 1 kilometre outside test track as a demo area to test ride a multitude of road, commuter and mountain bikes. To compliment this, SBS 2013 will be providing a presentation area for cycling stars past and present, free spinning classes, kids play area, a huge BMX display from Scottish outfit BSD Forever, with Mackie promising even more features still to be confirmed.

On the following Sunday, 5th May – the 2nd annual SBS Sportive will take place around Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, starting at Balloch Castle with a choice of either 65 or 100 mile routes. Over 870 entrants completed the inaugural event in April and next year both entries offer excellent value at under £30.00 per rider. Nutritional sponsor High 5 & Hydration sponsor Gatorade will provide all riders with plenty of options at the 5 feed stations to keep their electrolytes buzzing to the finish line. Additional sponsors and partners confirmed, Cyclosport, Kinesis, Ronde, Braveheart and Loch Lomond National Park Authority.

Rich Mitch at Ronde

I’m home alone this week and you may have noticed blog output increasing proportionately.

One thing I’m hoping to do with my spare time is see illustrator Richard Mitchelson, who is showing his work and appearing at Ronde Cafe in Edinburgh on Saturday night, 31st March.

Rich created the legends series of portraits that were used in print, on mugs and on T Shirts by Rouleur. He also illustrated the 1989 tour for Rouleur edition 16. You can hear more about his work in this podcast interview with the Velo Club Don Logan.

I’ve been invited by the lovely people at Ronde in Edinburgh to frame up some work and show it in their fantastic store. I’ll be showing pieces I’ve created for Rouleur magazine and a whole array of portraits of famous riders. I can’t wait and I’m hoping lots of people come along and say hello on the Saturday evening, I’m sure there’ll be beer!

So if you’re in Edinburgh? or know a cycling fan who might like to check it out? Come along. The prints will be for sale and we are hoping to auction off a couple for charity on the night. So See you at Ronde on the 31st. Thanks for reading!

RONDE is found at 66-68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh…

Scottish cycling foods III: Tunnocks

Nicked from the Inner Ring, the idea of theming food around cycling and a region is one I will stretch a little further to breaking point in this post.

Tunnocks- a great Scottish brand, which has the requisite energy to sustain a cyclist for an hour. It’s something I have packed into my pocket on occasion but not routinely.

But the real question is: Teacake or Wafer? I’d go for a wafer, but not in summer, where it would certainly melt.

Teacake-head manvia ilike

Scottish Cycling foods II: Irn Bru
Scottish Cycling foods I: Oatcakes

Great Scottish CX jersey

VC Moulin encompass all cycling disciplines (I believe) but they are known for cyclocross. There’s something great about their jersey with its nod to the Belgian national colours and the powerful logo.

Pic by Brian McArdle on flickr.

We’re almost at the end of the cross season in Scotland and there has been lots going on, some great races, but alas I have too been strapped for time to do the scene justice. The final two races at Mull are coming up next weekend.

Check out Dave Hamill and John McComisky’s Dig In Mate series of videos for a typically Scottish, light-hearted (and sometimes rude) look at some of the races. These also really deserve a separate post… they are great.

French club cycling vocab

There are lots of guides to French cycling vocab out there, with the familiar phrases such as grimpeur, rouleur, pédaler avec les oreilles, etc. There are lots of guides to vocab that you see relating to the Tour or racing, but less that is used in everyday situations. I’ve been trying to infiltrate the local club scene in Brittany, where I spend my summer holidays every year, and even with good French it can be tricky.

I’ve found that local road clubs tend to fall into one of two types, the ‘Vélo Club’ type, which seems to be more race oriented, and the ‘Cyclo Club’, a touring/road riding club more oriented to sportives and leisure riding. I haven’t got in with any race clubs as yet but I’ll post a bit more in due course.

Cyclo Club St Méen club hut
Continue reading

Scottish Cycling foods 2: Irn Bru

Irn Bru is high in energy and a garish colour- what’s not to like for a Scottish roadie?

Irn-Bru jersey by Foksa

It’s also Made in Scotland, from Girrrders, and unpronouncable, too. Steel is real man! (and cheap)

To those that don’t know, Barr’s Irn-Bru “has long been the most popular soft drink in Scotland, with Coca-Cola second, although recent fierce competition between the two brands has brought their sales to roughly equal levels.[2]” more fascinating facts on wikipedia

Scottish Cycling foods 1: oatcakes

Scottish Cycling Foods I: Oatcakes

Inspired by The Inner Ring’s Euro Foods series, I have been meaning to do some lighthearted posts on Scottish Cycling Foods.

We all know cyclists love cake during a cafe stop or at the end of a run. But they can also be obsessive about weight, and this healthier type of cake is a Scottish speciality that can help in that regard.

I was first introduced to oatcakes as a snack by a couple of junior racers – Jack Barrett and William Bowers. They have low-GI carbs, helping to fill you up, and low fat. Unless you put a slab of cheese on top that is. I now scoff about five or six of the things every day.

Nairn’s are my default choice for the Scottish oatcake, and they can be enjoyed with cheese, like a mature Mull cheddar, and a dram of whisky. If I’m going for something a little nicer I’ll pick up Stockan and Gardens.

Picture from Stag Bakeries Hebridean oatcakes

An modern drum-up

Jez Hastings’ picture of a snowy drum-up on snowy Islay.

What’s this all about? What is a drum-up? you may be asking. Brian Palmer has written a piece on the Washing Machine Post comprehensively reviewing the mkettle device, above. A modern alternative to the traditional open fire and billy can.

Although used as the title for my blog, it took me a year to get round to make proper reference to drum ups. Old school Scottish road cyclists won’t need to read this post for explanation, or need to have a look at some more drum-ups here.