Sunday, February 24, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We went up to the Albert Hall to see this show as the tickets were a Christmas present from my daughter. What a spectacular show, it was fantastic. Read more about it here.
Whilst the whole show was incredible and its difficult to single one part of the show that I liked best, there are lots of clips on You tube if you're interested.
I have included this clip on the blog as this guy was so impressive, his upper body strength was amazing. Please have a look at it as he is inspirational. Have your speakers on to get the atmosphere.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Thursday February 7 2008
This article appeared in the Guardian on Thursday February 07 2008 on p20 of the G2 features section. It was last updated at 12:04 on February 07 2008.
Not many bicycle mechanics have earned their own Wikipedia entry. But then, not many would claim the writings of Martin Luther King and Bertrand Russell as formative influences, or enjoy performing in Gilbert and Sullivan operas either.
But such was Sheldon Brown, who died this week at the age of 63. Cycling forums the world over have threads mourning his passing. From his native Massachusetts to the English Midlands, memorial rides are being organised. All for a guy who mended bikes in a Boston suburb.
So who was Sheldon Brown? The answer is immediately accessible at sheldonbrown.com. At first, you wonder what kind of weird world you have landed in when you see a picture of a portly New Englander, with shaved head and bushy, red-dyed beard - a kind of punk-Amish look. Sheldon, who worked as a mechanic for Harris Cyclery, was an eccentric genius. Thanks to the web, and his gloriously idiosyncratic presence on it, he became a guru to millions.
Anyone, for instance, researching a fixed-gear bicycle, would find themselves directed to Sheldon's homepage. A good mechanic is hard to find, and those who are brilliant with a wrench are often less talented in the "people-person" department. But Sheldon had an extraordinary gift for communication and a generous impulse to share the incredible accumulation of information he had acquired in his years of pulling apart and putting back together the bikes of Bostonians. Though an expert in all types of gearing, he was an evangelist for single-speed riding. As it turns out, he was years ahead of his time. But he must have enjoyed seeing his mission being heard and taken up by so many in the current "fixie" craze.
His site also includes probably the most comprehensive glossary of bicycle maintenance available anywhere. But check out his online journal and you discover a man who, though increasingly disabled (yet undaunted) by multiple sclerosis, absolutely devoured culture, with a daily commentary on his reading and viewing. And yet, he could describe eloquently the difference between swaging and forging or the mathematics of gain ratios. The phrase "Renaissance man" is hackneyed, but that is what Sheldon was: part-engineer, part-artist, and all human.
As with many communities of interest, the internet has been a huge boon for cyclists. When I first started racing and got placed, I would scan the back pages of Cycling Weekly the following week to see if the results were in, and my name in 8-point type. Nowadays, results go up the same day on a site such as londoncyclesport.com, with a picture gallery a day or two later. These virtual pelotons bring us together as never before; commerce has necessarily become part of it, but for their origins we have the pure- enthusiast pioneers to thank. Of all these great souls, Sheldon was perhaps the greatest.