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Lovely

An evening with ABM 01

So…the launch…well, it launched! A petit and bijou affair I have to say but I think it struck the right chord and I hope we can gather momentum over the course of the next two weeks. It seems to be constantly work-in- progress and I like that. We’ve added more speakers to the roster and artwork continues to come in so it can’t be anything but. Friday then, was something of a soft launch and every talk night will be the same, I suppose, building to the climax on the 9th of April. Tim March came and delivered what can only be described as genius. His seated, no-visual monologue was the stuff of legend. Funny, real and passionate…whether he thinks so or not, he set the bar for everyone to come. Thanks mate. Amy and Xanthe from Cyclodelic were there adding a bit of glam to the proceedings delivering an inspirational talk on Cyclodelics beginnings and their take on what NOT to wear for the discerning female rider.

So – it has started. From small things big things grow. The audience is as important as the speakers. There is a message to get across so be part of it. Tuesday evenings talks are an all-female affair with an amazing line-up. You cannot miss it. We obviously want as many ladies there as possible but I think it’ll be interesting for all. Cycling isn’t just for the boys! These girls will show you why!

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 02

Enlightenment – Cycling City Project

The area of Greater Bristol received the UK’s first Cycling City status in June 2008. The status was awarded jointly to the two councils in Greater Bristol – Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

Cycling City is not just an award – it is an opportunity for everyone in the region. The total funding of £22.8 million brings the potential for unprecedented levels of innovation, involvement and creativity.

Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils are looking to double the numbers of regular cyclists in Greater Bristol in a number of areas.

They are doing this by:

  • building new and improved infrastructure
  • running events
  • working with businesses
  • working with schools
  • advertising
  • providing training and
  • funding community projects.

For a summary of the project’s first twelve months, you can watch this short video below.

Something racey…

well…not really. Just some legs. Mine!

Calendar

26.03.10 An evening with A Beautiful Machine 01 (Launch)

Su Lycett – Save The Children

Tim March – howies (ex BMX champion)

Amy Fleuriot (Cyclodelic)

Sponsored by Havana Rum

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 01

30.03.10 An evening with A Beautiful Machine 02 (Ladies night)

Laura Fletcher (Bicycle Film Festival)

Poppy Smith (Cooler Mag)

Dr Lowenna Smith (Cycling Plus)

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 02

02.04.10 An evening with A Beautiful Machine 03

Gav Strange (Aardman)

Ben Hillsdon (Cycling City – Bristol)

Tony Farrally (Road.cc)

The Bristol Bike Project

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 03

28.03.10 Bristol CRITICAL MASS

28.03.10 British Summertime Bicycle Treasure Hunt (organised by Cyclodelic in aid of the Environmental Justice Foundation)

06.04.10 An evening with A Beautiful Machine 04

John Stevenson (Future)

James Fairbank (Carhartt)

Nick Hand (Slowcoast & howies)

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 04

09.04.10 An evening with A Beautiful Machine 05 (closing party)

Rob Lee (Syncros Endurance)

Greame Raeburn (Rapha)

James Bowthorpe (Globecycle – round-the-world record holder)

DJ James Bowthorpe

Sponsored by Bristol Beer & Havana Rum

Buy tickets for An evening with A Beautiful Machine – 05

News

We have another drinks sponsor for tomorrow night and the closing party in the form of Havana Rum.

Because of the terrible weather semi-guaranteed for the weekend we have postponed the Bicycle Treasure Hunt until Sunday 4th. Amy, who is speaking tomorrow night, will be telling us more about it all. Sounds great fun!

James from The Bristol Bike Project called me today. With Nick Hand they have built a bike that we’ll be auctioning off through ‘A Beautiful Machine’ and it’ll be at the store for all to see from tomorrow. They have agreed to be added to the speakers roster for Friday 2nd.

Marmotte 2009. John’s account.

Dave, Chris and Mike arrived in the Doblo late Tuesday evening…and in went the bikes…then out came the bikes…then in went the bikes. Dave, wizard that he is, managed to get the best part of a bike shop in that car. Bags in, bikes in and boys in…off we went to Newhaven to catch the 9.30pm to Dieppe. Then down to Alp D’Huez and Dave’s flat on hairpin 16 – Joop Zoetelmek

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Wonderful place with an equally wonderful bar downstairs. I’m not sure Phillipe, the owner, makes too much of a profit as the delicious food is so damn cheep its ridiculous…and he tends to forget to charge for the drinks as we found out each evening. Lovely guy.

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Possibly the most emotional day I’ve ever had on a bicycle. The Marmotte is tough! Tougher than anything else I’ve done. Whether I was below par on the day due to illness is by the by…this is a serious bit of road which is the stuff of dreams. From Bourg we flew down the valley to the start of the Glandon and the climbing began. We all bunched up at the top with the new timing system and then the true reality of the course dawned as we descended in earnest for the first time…one or two riders being treated at the side of the road and at least one other looking in serious trouble laid on a tight hairpin, bike in pieces. This perhaps is what it takes for us to be a little more vigilant on the way down these monsters. Its a different thing descending in the Alps.

The highlight of the entire day was climbing the Galibier. At 8000 ft it is in every way a monster. All these roads are special, for the riders who have ridden them make them so…but I clearly remember certain TDF stages on Galibier and its a beast I had always dreamt of climbing. Its twice the climb of Alp D’Huez…and a real pig on a bad day…but what it takes from you in pain and suffering it gives back at its peak with the most awe inspiring views and utterly life affirming smugness as you crest the top. Magic! As I climbed I had a major thunder storm brewing at my back – as if this scene couldn’t get any more menacing. The last 3 – 4km are pretty much straight up. The word struggle didn’t do my effort justice.

I had given half my food to a friend who was meeting us half way down Galibier at the top of the Lauteret but there was some confusion and the van wasn’t there. It was the same for the whole group but I think I relied too heavily as I’d eaten everything by then and already hadthe knock as I crested Galibier. Not great with a huge descent into the valley and Bourg then back up the 21 hairpins on Alp D’Huez…

…amazingly I latched on to a good (big) group speeding down the valley and we all worked well…passing a very fit looking Mario Cipollini coming the other way. The few lumps before Bourg didn’t seem to bother any of us even though there wasn’t a thing left in my tank. Feeling freshish I (stupidly) decided not to eat at the last feed in Bourg so I continued up to hairpin 21 ready for an emotional and painful reminder of my own fight between paternal responsibilities, time spent training, health and natural athletic ability…the latter being the only thing that got me up that mountain. I don’t know what went on towards the top but the last 3km had me out of the saddle leaving all the group I’d been with and I have to admit, within the last kilometer I shed one or two tears. Whether they were of joy or pain I do not know but I’d never been to that place before and when I crossed the line I needed a good 10 minutes to sort myself out.

What a fantastic day! I WILL be there next year in better shape. Hopefully it’ll take me to that place again…wherever it is…whatever it is.

To get more insight into The Marmotte look here


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