Stop Killing Cyclists – Bank Die in

Last night I (Caspar) and my partner (Cassie) attended the Die In protest at Bank Junction. I have cycled in London for twenty years, ten years as a cycle courier. My partner has been commuting daily by bike for the last two years. I have seen many changes to central London, the biggest was the implementation of the congestion charge. Change is difficult for a lot of people to accept but when there is no choice but to accept it, change happens.

_MG_5854

The last two Die In protests, set up by the Stop Killing Cyclists groups have happened on my route to my workshop, in Camberwell and on Cassie’s route to work. I have been thinking hard about these unnecessary deaths, I would love London to be a safe place for my daughter to cycle and currently it isn’t safe enough. It is, however, safer than it has ever been for cyclists.

The infrastructure as it is for cyclists, will not stop cyclists or other vulnerable road users from being killed as it mixes traffic of different speeds and vulnerability on streets not designed for this mix. Nearly all of the infrastructure in London is designed for motor vehicles, obviously it is build on infrastructure designed for horse and carts and then tarmacked for cyclists briefly before motor vehicles took over._MG_5855

London is a fantastic city, city planners should realise that creating motor free areas will help the economy of the city, like it has in other European cities. Cars take up a lot of room, especially when they are carrying one person. Oxford St is the busiest shopping street in Europe, the most polluted and has three junctions that are statistically very dangerous for people.

There are simple remedies for all of these problems, they lie with not demonising any group of people, but changing the infrastructure and make people realise it is for the better. A traffic free Oxford St would have much lower levels of pollution, more people would visit the shops and fewer people would die from ‘shopping in the West End’. Bank, where the Die In took place last night, would benefit from being pedestrianised, it is in the heart of the richest square mile in the world and at peak times a third of the traffic through the junction is cyclists. If they were in cars it would be even more chaotic than it already is. Bank underground station is having a £500 million refit, above the ground there has been no money spent on the junction to improve it for vulnerable traffic and no-where near that amount for cycling infrastructure in London let alone at one difficult junction. There are roads everywhere around this junction, bypassing it by vehicle is easy, closing it to motor vehicles would allow the workers that run our economy safe passage to work. As it happens their employers are keen on the idea, nine of the ten largest city employers want proper provision made for their staff’s commute.

I think there is a long term solution to travelling around our city, which coincides with a view that there is a lot of our city that is there to be enjoyed, not just travelled through. This solution includes a change of infrastructure to protect vulnerable road users and give them more space. No matter how much training you give drivers, they are human and will make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes will kill people. The best way to deal with this is to segregate traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and motor-vehicles should all have their own ‘roads’. This approach works well in Holland, where they started redesigning their infrastructure to protect the vulnerable in the 1970’s.IMG_3504

In the short term, there needs to be changes to stop cyclists being killed. We all have a right to get to work safely where possible. From what I see the biggest change for the smallest action would be to stop LGV’s (HGV’s) from operating during rush hours. These lorries are primarily designed for carrying large capacities, they are not designed to be driven around vulnerable traffic. Seven of the nine fatalities in London this year have been from LGV’s during rush hour. Restricting their movement during peak commuting hours works in other cities, Paris for example, why won’t it work here. I understand London is different and larger but are these reasons for a restriction not to work? Surely a Nurse has as much right to get to her job alive as a aggregate does to a new build. The reason I pick nurse beacuse recently the NHS has lost more staff to LGV related deaths than any other employer.IMG_3536

It looks like the mainstream press in London has turned a corner, more and more of them are stopping blaming the victims and are starting to portray people who cycle (to work) in a positive way. More cyclists means fewer vehicles, which means more space and less stress for the vehicles that are left.

All photo’s © Selim Korycki

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Need You !

Hi all

Rollapaluza are entering their busy summer period and are looking for casual crew for our events. 

A willingness to engage with members of the public from all backgrounds and enthusiasm for cycling and the event helps! Work varies but is in general is reasonably physical with most events within and around the London area.
20140429-124950.jpg


The events themselves range from corporate events (promo and internal usually) to school and community work. 

Rates start at £8.80/h with a minimum 6 hours per event. If you are 21 or over and have held a full driving licence for more than a year there is potential to earn more in a Team Leader role.

If you are interested, please email: jacob@rollapaluza.com

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Women’s Day

To celebrate ‘International Women’s Day’ we headed down to York Hall, Bethnal Green for an event arranged by Tower Hamlets #forthegirls a women’s and girl’s sports initiative, inspiring women to become involved and play sport.

Jade Johnson

Jade Johnson

We were extremely privileged to have Olympian ‘Jade Johnson’ in attendance, Jade’s specialist event is the long jump,surprisingly she is allergic to sand, which must prove difficult.
Rollapaluza International Womens Week 2015-44

In 2009 Jade partnered Ian Waite on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ unfortunately having to pull out of the competition after injuring her knee.

Great Time 24.30

Great Time 24.30

We did persuade Jade to race on our rigs in York Hall and she recorded a very respectable time 24.30, faster than GB cyclist Lizzie Armitstead.

For The Girls

For The Girls

For more information check out Twitter @forthegirlsLDN

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Laura Trott Matrix-Pro-Cycling At Revolution London

It was Laura Trott’s first outing for the new Matrix-Pro-Cycling team at the 5th Round of the Revolution Series in London and we went along to have a chat with her about her new team.

Laura won the elimination race with relative ease from Emily Kay and Spanish rider Leire Olaberria, to rapturous applause, there is no doubt she is the golden girl of British Cycling.

Good way to start your career with Matrix-Pro-Cycling Laura.

” Yeah not bad also first race on my new Rourke bike as well, it handles a bit differently so took a bit of getting used too, the first few little sprints I was like Wooo! but once I got settled it was nice”

Getting the set up right on the Rourke

Getting the set up right on the Rourke


It was a pretty straight forward win for you ?

” Yes it was nice, good I liked it, the younger girls are coming through now Emily Kay was pretty impressive in that race, she is so strong”
DSC_0109

How do you feel about riding for matrix-Pro-Cycling?

” Oh yeah I really like it, this team are looking to develop women’s cycling in the long term, for a start Matrix sponsor the women’s Tour Series, the biggest series in this country, joining this team gives me a chance to give something back to the sport, I had so many people who influenced my career when I was growing up, I just want to do that for the new kids coming through and for me Matrix are the best team for me that want to achieve that, also being based in the UK helps my track programme. Stefan Wyman just wants British Cycling to grow especially women’s cycling, and I just want to be a part of it with him”
DSC_0100
It must also be a help that Elinor Barker came over as well.

” Yes because I actually made the decision to leave Wiggle/Honda and she was a bit indecisive, but when she made her mind up it was nice because its always good to have a friendly face, someone you know, we train together and travel to lots of meeting so it helps to have a close friend”
DSC_0049
Have you many road races in your calendar?

” No not really, obviously I want to do my bit for the team, I would like to do as much as I can, but it does make me a bit nervous though, I always say I don’t enjoy its but its not that… it just freeks the hell out of me, from 24 people on the track to 240 on the road its completely different, and I just don’t want to put my life in that many peoples hands”

It must be great for Lucy Shaw to have an experienced rider like you in the team.

” Well yes but I’m only 22 myself so I don’t want to call myself a mentor as such, but anything I can do to help her or any of the younger riders then yes I want to help, I had that myself, I was fortunate that I had my sister Emma turn professional before I did so I had the opportunity to speak with her”
Laura2
You say you’re only 22 but thats the sort of age when women riders have to make the decision whether to continue in this career or not.

” I was lucky because I came through the track programme, but in terms of the road girls its a time when you have either made it or you haven’t, and you may decide to give up and pursue another career, but I think its a lot better now there are more teams out there who are bringing on the young girls and funding the people at that age, when they are at their limit and don’t if to quit or not, bit like Lucy Martin she didn’t know where to go, I was so glad she joined Matrix, I done a few races with her when I was younger out in Belgium and she was just so nice and welcoming, it was great to have that so its nice we are back together again”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sports Journalist Association Question Time

SJA Question Time

Clive Efford MP Labour
Helen Grant MP Conservative
John Leech MP Liberal
Chair… David Walker SJA

We were invited to a question time type debate with the above mentioned MP’s in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Rollapaluza did submit a question put forward by Jason Falconer, unfortunately it was the final question and never got answered, apart from in a roundabout way via another question.
Portcullis House is the first addition this century to the Parliamentary Estate, the complex of buildings centred on the Palace of Westminster which provide a working space and facilities for members of both Houses of Parliament and their staff, the building was opened in 2001 by Her majesty the Queen.

L to R Clive Efford, Helen Grant, David Walker, John Leach

L to R Clive Efford, Helen Grant, David Walker, John Leach

As you would expect with politicians never give too much away, but here is a selection of Q&A’s from the evening.

(Q) Will you maintain the same ratio of money invested in grass roots and elite sports in the next government?

JL; “ Its a slightly unfair question before we publish our manifesto, sports funding is incredibly important to us, grass roots and elite, there has to be more commitment from the likes of the Premier League to put money back into grass roots sport. I think too much time is spent on statistics, the main thing is keeping people fit and active, the biggest problem we have is inactivity”

HG; “ I will always,always champion investment in sport because its not just about health and fitness but the confidence and self esteem it can give people, life lessons …team work, leadership, discipline and respect “

CE; “ I think yes from the areas that come from the lottery but I can’t sit here and say or know what money I will get from Ed Balls if he becomes chancellor, but I would commit to fighting for investment because there is a growing concern for inactivity, that needs to be addressed so if your looking long term there will be consequences for the economy and health services. The elite level has a role to play stimulating interest in sport and as the Olympics showed it can be an economic driver as well, but we need to get cross government co-operation to maximise the funding we’ve got”

Portcullis House (Left)

Portcullis House (Left)

DW; Were you alarmed in the post Olympics that we are seeing sports like swimming having fewer people participating at grass roots level?

CE; “ Well yes I think participation has flatlined, there is a lot more we can do I think it was an absolutely dreadful decision by the government to take the 162million out of Schools Sports Partnerships, it sent everything into reverse at a key moment when we should have been building on the momentum , Hugh Robinson said himself that he would build on schools partnerships but his legs were taken out from under him by a non co-ordinated government in my opinion, so it is tragic whats happening in areas like swimming, one in three children leaving primary school unable to swim 25m , there are things we can do around that, for instance a survey by the ASA a few years ago showed that the down time for swimming baths is the period straight after school finish times, so it doesn’t take much to work out if we want more children to swim why don’t we try and fill that time, it just needs better co-ordination and I don’t think this government has shown any will to do that”

HG; “ Two issues there, swimming and participation figures, first of all swimming I have met very recently with the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association ) and Sport England, the ASA Know they need to step things up, I was disappointed with the figures, swimming is a great sport and as a country we are good at it, its affordable for most and there are plenty of pools near where people live, I am confident we will see improvement on the swimming figures. On the point of participation generally I think we have a really good news story to tell here, since the Olympics we have 6million more people doing more sports 650,000 more women 240,000 people with disabilities thats good, but it certainly isn’t flatlining we are also seeing more 16-25 year olds doing sport record numbers, so I don’t accept what Clive has to say”

(Q) Has there been enough to be done to tackle racism in sport football in particular ?

JL: “I think we have made massive in roads and the difference in level of racism from 30 years ago is much improved but we must continue to keep our efforts going,there just a small minority of idiots in and outside grounds ruining things for everyone”
P1070157

CE; “I think there is danger in criticising all chelsea fans for a few, I would say you would be hard pressed to find any other organisation than football that challenge’s racism in our communities I don’t see a time when we can stop challenging it, I don’t think we have enough black football managers/coaches or boardroom members in this country and this needs to change, there are only two black managers at the moment so that needs looking at to reflect the amount of black players on the pitch, Football or any other sport doesn’t make people racist its something society has to challenge and I think football has done an awful lot .The people on the paris metro let us all down, even our country”

HG; “I would echo what Clive said I was disgusted at the images, its inexcusable I can not tell you the damage it does, we need zero tolerance, the seniors from the club were distraught they moved swiftly. We are not there yet, some would say that the lack of black managers/coaches could be seen as racism I think this is really important, I have heard of some good practice in the past years and some black coaches and women intact are coming through the system”

(Q) DW; In America they have the ‘Rooney Rule’ which insists that a percentage of black/ethnic candidates for coaching or management are shortlisted, would you all support that in British sport?

CE; “ I would hope British sport could deal with it themselves if not you would have to look at something like the Rooney Rule if sport is refusing to shift, but I wouldn’t rule it out if there was no progress”

HG; “ I also believe we need balance in society and we need people from all backgrounds knocking at the door for all top jobs, not just in football and actually getting the jobs, but if these programs don’t work then maybe we do need some legislation”

JL; “ Yes I would support it “

(Q) Should the next government criminalise doping in sport

JL ; “They should consider it sport is big business and you have to discourage the cheating that has gone on”

CE; “ Easy said, but hard to apply in law, its how you make it stick and it looks like it could be difficult but the principal is right, we need to be at the cutting edge of catching these people, its how you prove the crime, its a complex thing to get into law”

HG; “ I think the integrity of sport is paramount it goes to the heart of sport , cheats need to know they will be punished ,I don’t think legislation is the best way forward we need a multi agency approach and more athlete information and education”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rollapaluza’s 2014

As usual its been a busy and exciting year, there were too many events in 2014 for us to reflect on them all so here is a small selection.

We started of our year by providing the competition for the Matrix-Vulpine team launch at ‘Pop Up Bikes’ Manchester, it was a fantastic evening with some fierce racing, but it was Harriet Owen “Baz’ who came out on top.

Nick Hussey, Harriet Owen and Stefan Wyman

Nick Hussey, Harriet Owen and Stefan Wyman

Next us for us was the Hartford Schools Finals held in conjunction with Sustrans, where over several weeks we traveled the Cheshire area to find the fastest boys and girls and invited them to St Nicholas School for the finals.

Emma Robinson and Olivia Andrew

Emma Robinson and Olivia Andrew


We were privileged to be at Paris Roubaix this year in the Arenberg Forest with Oakley, where we witnessed Niki Terpstra winning and dancing girls in front of our rigs “Those crazy Belgians”
Roubaix Dancing Girls

Roubaix Dancing Girls


May…and we got to put Guy Martins record breaking Rourke bike on our rigs for a special speed bike challenge at Look Mum No Hands. We had sprinter Craig MacLean push the bike to its limits, Craig cranked the bike up to 225kph on the massive 400inch gear on which one revolution would take you 30m, he then became the fastest man over 500m in a time of 11.30 a massive 158kph.
Craig macLean

Craig MacLean


June saw Grant Young of our long time bike sponsors ‘Condor’ awarded the freedom of the City Of London, a fitting award for such an iconic London bike shop and cycling family.
Grant Young Condor Cycles

Grant Young Condor Cycles


Our Keirin held in Manchester was a great success and was a culmination of a lot of hard work from all involved, we saw a fine display of sprinting in both the women’s and men’s competitions, Sophie Capewell was crowned the women’s winner with Damian Zielinski taking the spoils in the men’s race.
20140629-211534-76534293.jpg
The sun and a new Condor bike saw our top MC ‘Jake’ get back on his bike, and enjoy riding the road again, when he had any spare time, that was!
Jake (left)
It was back to Herne Hill for our second Keirin event of the year, again it was a great success and we were also blessed with fine weather and big crowds, for the first time we used electric dernys, something the UCI have implemented now.
20140805-210058-75658205.jpg
It was a big year for Scotland and we were part of it bringing rollapaluzaracing to the Quay as part of the BBC’s ‘Get Inspired’ at the Commonwealth Games
The Navy 'Get Inspired'

The Navy ‘Get Inspired’


October we were at ‘Parkour Ride’ Tobacco Dock, basically a down hill race in a multistory car park, with road bikes,MTB’s and BMX, it was World Champion Liam Phillips (BMX) and Manon Carpenter (MTB) that came out on top in their respective competitions.
IMG_1553.JPG
We continued with the BMX theme at Peckham BMX where we premiered our new BMX rigs with ‘Haro bikes’
IMG_1786.JPG
These are just a small selection of our events, its safe to say we have had a lot of fun travelling around the country this year making lots of new friends, and catching up with some old ones, we are looking forward to a lot more ‘Rollapaluzaracing’ in 2015.
Happy New Year
Rollapaluza

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in events, people, Rollapaluza, track, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alec Briggs – Bike Test – Malcolm Custom

Rollapaluza DJ Alec ( Pedeler) Briggs has been out and about testing the Malcolm Custom Bike and here is the outcome.

IMG_2140 2

 

Recently I’ve had the honour of riding and racing the Malcolm Custom road frame. I’ve done my best to put it to the test on some of the toughest race circuits and training rides I’m local to, and it’s safe to say, I’m impressed! 

IMG_2141 2

 First impressions…I was amazed by how comfortable it was on the road, even on the bumpy and uneven country tracks, I was enjoying long training rides for the first time in years. Also it may seem strange but the bike felt fast, all the power I was putting out was being directly transferred to the road.    

After getting a feel for the bike on a couple of steady rides, and the fact that Philip Glowinski kept nagging me to start racing again ( Cheers I owe you for the encouragement) I decided it was time to put me and the bike through our paces in competition, where better to do this than in a critirium on a tight circuit with plenty of fast and tight bends.

IMG_2143

I raced the bike at the narrow and technical Hove Park, the sweeping bends of Hillingdon and Velo Park, and pushed it too its limits on the corner riddled Crystal Palace possibly my Favourite circuit. Cornering is my favourite thing to do on a bike, and I would like to think I am one of the quicker riders at cornering in the bunch, and I found the front end very stable although the short wheelbase means the bike is very agile.

Out of the saddle the bike felt really stable, and the power transfer was nothing short of excellent when getting on the power out of corners and at the foot of climbs. The paint job is nothing less than outstanding with the blue paint work shining and sparkling making it very pleasing to the eye, a real head turner. 

IMG_2142 2

The weight of the frame definitely suits a smooth riding style with the bike handling smoothly when put under pressure. All in all I have been more than impressed with the ‘Malcolm Road Frame’ The comfort on long rides is exquisite despite the weight of the steel tubes, it came up to scratch in the crits with its handling and stability.

I’m feeling quiet upset to be giving this test bike back, and I can’t thank Ashley and Ian at ‘Malcolm Custom’ for giving me the opportunity to ride their bike and I hope I can pay them back and notch up a few wins on it in the new year.

Photos; Gavin Peacock

 

http://www.malcolmcustombicycles.com/

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Miscellaneous, Rollapaluza, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BMX Rigs Burgess Park

As you know once we get our heads down at the hub anything can happen, so after MTBs,Bromptons and the original Condor,s the obvious progression in the rig building department had to be BMX, with some of our best times being set by BMX riders like Rob Reed and Liam Phillips.

IMG_1789.JPG
Like Herne Hill Velodrome, you get a real sense of community at the Peckham BMX track in Burgess park and the clubs journey there is one full of inspiration, from their former track on a bit of waste ground, to the purpose built track documented in the film ‘1 Way Up’ well worth looking up and watching. Equally inspirational are the coaches none more so than
‘CK’ and Alastair, also the riders that have come through the ranks of Peckham BMX, including Tre Whyte and Quinlan Isadore just to name two.

IMG_1786.JPG
So there was no better place for us to roll out our brand spanking new, ready for hire BMX rigs, running with some superb bikes from ‘ Haro’ including the Haro Pro & Pro XL.

IMG_1788.JPG

IMG_1787.JPG
It would probably be a bit cruel to race these over the 500m standard distance so we set the bar at 150m

IMG_1790.JPG
The atmosphere at the park was electric with it being the clubs first evening race night, so our rigs got a good work out by the Peckham Pro,s and the racing looked even more spectacular in the dark.

IMG_1791.JPG
Below are some video links to the Rollapaluza BMX Racing

Rollapaluza BMX Rig – 1 from rollapaluza on Vimeo.

Rollapaluza BMX Rig – 2 from rollapaluza on Vimeo.

Rollapaluza BMX Rig – 3 from rollapaluza on Vimeo.

Photos Courtesy Of : Selim

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parkour Ride – Tobbaco Dock

Not sure where the concept of a downhill race in a car park was thought out, but it was a brave decision and exciting concept for bike racing in London.

IMG_1538.JPG
Rollapaluza were proud to be involved in the inaugural Parkour Ride, we occupied the eighth level with our own form of entertainment 500m of full gas racing egged on by our MC Jim. with tunes from our DJ’s Caspar and Alec Briggs.

IMG_1540.JPG
Alec Briggs

The event saw both amateur and professional riders from MTB,BMX and Road go head to head with each other on a specially adapted course in the Tobbaco Dock car park, twenty amateur,s qualified for the evening heats where they got the chance to ride against World Champions, one example of this was a ‘CC London’ rider racing Manon Carpenter World Downhill Champion unfortunately he lost but it was a memorable experience for him.

IMG_1542.JPG

Manon Carpenter and CC London Rider

The course definitely favoured the BMX riders and former professional road man David Millar was promptly knocked out in the first round, the four outstanding riders of the evening were all from the world of BMX Rob Reed, who possibly had the loudest supporters and done the best wheelie down a car park ramp that I have ever seen, ‘ The Fresh Prince’ AKA Tre Whyte who I must say was a joy to talk to, Ryan Stack and World Supercross Champion Liam Phillips.

IMG_1547-0.JPG
Tre Whyte

IMG_1541-0.JPG
Liam Phillips

Phillips had a tough battle to make the best of three final beating Carpenter and Whyte on the way, before coming up against the young and fearless Ryan Stack, but Phillips fast start saw him through to become the first Parkour Ride winner beating Stack and setting a course record of 50.60 seconds a time that had got progressively faster through the evening.

IMG_1550.JPG
Ryan Stack

It was one of our busiest nights of the year with over 150 competitors and some fast times, possibly down to the music having the perfect RPM for spinning, and maybe people enjoying a few beers, the optimum amount by the way is two, but don’t hold us to that.

IMG_1546.JPG
Rob Reed

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jacob Finds Inspiration From Condor

IMG_1176-0.PNG
February 2002 I bought my first road bike from Condor, Grays Inn road London. A Specialized Allez. Not too special, but as I wobbled my way home dodging the rain soaked man hole covers, feeling like I was about to swan dive over the handle bars, but this was a major upgrade in terms of kit compared to the Trek 2000 MTB with skinny tyres I had been using to get around.

Fast forward 12 years I find myself on much the same bike with the addition of new wheels and break pads. Now truth be told most of those 12 years have seen the Allez wheels stationary, travelling more in the boot of my car as I took it with me ready for that ride I would definitely do……..tomorrow.

With my wife now an avid road rider and the miles beginning to pass slowly beneath my wheels again I found myself idly test riding a Giant Defy. Good fit, nice on the road and a lovely blue. But not quite the bike I would feel excited to walk up to and ride. So once again I found myself at the doors of Condor.

Acciaio. Bless you! And bless me, it is AWESOME!!

IMG_1177-1.PNG
I picked it up last Wednesday and it has already covered more miles than my Allez has this year and been cleaned more than my Allez has ever. The difference to the Allez is like that to the Trek. This time however I don’t feel like I am about to swan dive over the front. Whilst out on my maiden ride, marveling at how well the bike fitted, rode, responded, glided across the tarmac, I uttered a line that my wife will forever remind me, followed by her response “Bike Wanker”.

“I feel at one with my bike”

And that sums up how well Condor have come through creating my bike. It is fantastic and I have fallen back in love with riding again.
My wife and I completed the Mendip wiggle this weekend, through rain, mud, wind and many many hills and I smiled the whole way. The furthest I have ridden in one go and the first of many.

IMG_1178-1.PNG

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rollapaluza International Keirin London

After the security of having a roof over our heads at the Manchester Keirin the majority of the week prior to London was taken up by constant weather checks, but even the arrival at Heathrow of Paul (bringer of thunder) Churchill didn’t dampen the day, Herne Hill Velodrome looked resplendent in the sunshine and the Keirin jerseys from Miltag lit up the track, Herne Hill is a tough place to compete with when the weather is kind, you can almost feel its history in the atmosphere.
20140805-210830-76110884.jpg

This was Keirin racing in it purist form but with a twist electric bikes for derny’s, something that would have pleased the residents unlike the drone of the petrol motors, Team Hybrids bikes were well up to the task specially modified to reach speeds of 70kpm, and rider No1 didn’t get a lung full of fumes.

20140805-211042-76242974.jpg
Unlike the Olympic version of Keirin this was Japanese style with the derny only pulling off with 500m remaining, before that the excitement builds with the slow tolling of the bell as the speed is cranked up.

20140805-211210-76330364.jpg
As with all Rollapaluza events we try and involve everyone so as well as the elite race there were women’s and novice’s categories in all, over 70 riders, and some great prizes from Swrve. Not forgetting the selection of beers from the local Brixton Brewery.

20140805-211406-76446315.jpg
The Rollapaluza International Keirin was a real mix with riders from Holland,Czech Republic, Uganda and Brixton, all fighting hard for the points that would see them into the final.
There was a real mix of talent in the final and different tactics were played out, but it was the sheer power of Callum Skinner that triumphed in the end out sprinting Miles Stovold and the Dutchman Michael Veen with local rider Richard St Pierre beating Danish Champion William Rimkratt-Milkowski into fourth place.

20140805-211632-76592938.jpg
The Bon Velo Women’s Keirin was as competitive as the men’s with some exciting heats, the final its self was the closest finish of the day with Henrieta Colbourne just edging it from local rider Lesley Pinder in a photo finish with Kiera Mc Vitty taking third.

20140805-211745-76665005.jpg
The Malcolm Custom Novice’s Keirin was a real battle in every heat and is an important stepping stone to racing in senior Keirin’s, in fact the third place rider Karoly Markos finished last in 2013 so was understandably pleased with his result, but the two outstanding riders were Dutch junior Jeroen Van Goor and Jack Miller with Van Goor powering to victory in the final.

20140805-211857-76737017.jpg

20140805-211856-76736037.jpg

20140805-211856-76736430.jpg

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commonwealth Games & Rollapaluza

It’s been quite a successful games for previous Rollapaluza racers, with three out of the four gold medals won on the road going to riders that have competed on our rigs.
20140803-170820-61700662.jpg
First up it was Alex Dowsett (England) the Movistar rider had everyone holding their breath at the final time check, when he was five seconds down on the leader, but as he turned the corner into the home straight it was apparent that the Time Trial Gold was going to the boy from Essex, It was way back in 2010 when Alex turned up at a Rollalpaluza Winter League meeting and raced over the torturous distance of 1000m in a packed South London bar and put in a respectable time of 47.67

20140803-171455-62095652.jpg
This was Alex final race before crossing the Atlantic to join (Trek Livestrong) to begin his professional career. Alex’s time stood for quite a while that evening until Keirin London 2014 runner up Miles Stovold set a new kilo record of 44.58

20140803-172704-62824743.jpg
The women’s road race was won in a convincing manner by Lizzie Armitstead (England) after some tireless work from an emotional Emma Pooley to weaken the opposition. We met up with Lizzie in Yorkshire at the Movistar Time Trail Challenge at this years Tour de France, where the Boels Doleman rider stepped up and had a spin on our rigs.

20140803-173419-63259845.jpg
Lizzie seemed to enjoy the challenge and stayed around for a long time chatting to her fans after the event, this gold medal will go along way to making up for the disappointment of the Olympic silver and is a fitting reward for her hard work this season.

Finally it was the turn of Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas (Wales) who battled through a gruelling race in the finest of Glasgow weather, even managing to change a front wheel puncture on the final lap and still hold off the two chasers.
Geraint Thomas (You Tube Link to GNC video)
It was a different story when he came up against boy wonder Atiba Quildan in the final at the GNC Store Covent Garden,with the Rollapaluza superstar beating the double Olympic Champion/Commonwealth Champion.

20140803-175408-64448175.jpg
To his credit Geraint was the fastest qualifier, and Atiba is a expert.
We feel extremely proud and privileged to have met and had these three gold medalists race on the Rollapaluza rigs.

BBC Get Inspired at the Quay

While the games were in full swing we were down at the Quay as part of BBC Get Inspired event, and Rollapaluzaracing was on the list of medal requirements

20140805-121921-44361696.jpg
We had all sorts of competitors including Minions and Sailors

20140805-122040-44440404.jpg

20140805-122041-44441963.jpg
We also had a visit from Judo Gold Medalist, and Royal Marine Chris (Tasty) Sherrington

20140805-122319-44599554.jpg
Radio 2 payed us a visit and Lynne even had a little spin on the rollers .

20140805-122649-44809461.jpg
We found ourselves training up the local Glaswegian constabulary , keeping them on their toes.

20140805-123056-45056460.jpg

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rollalpaluza Keirin Manchester

I think we can say the first Keirin inside was a success, not taking anything away from outdoor velodromes but its nice not to have to worry about the great British weather, and to draw a big crowd into the National Cycling Centre makes us very proud.

20140630-111934-40774871.jpg
The colourful Keirin jerseys specially made by Miltag and the Sushi bar just added to the flavour of Japan, the racing also lived up to its name as well, fast and furious from the off, the mens competition was held over three heats with the top six riders from the heats progressing to the final, and for the women semi-finals,minor final and final.

20140630-112107-40867774.jpg
There were some outstanding performances in the heats, everyone being hard fought with different tactics being played out David Daniel trying every trick in the book to outsmart the more fancied riders,veteran Craig McLean( Dolan Bikes) looked confident and smooth in his heats and was probably seen as a real threat by his younger counterparts and a scalp they wanted, as well as being held in high regard by them.

20140630-112226-40946502.jpg
Pete Mitchell (Performance Cycle Coaching) John Paul ( City of Edinburgh RC) and local rider Matt Rotherham (Sport City Velo) all looked strong along with Dutchman Michael Veen ( AR&TV de Adelaar ) but undoubtedly it was the rider from Poland Damian Zielinski who was looking the strongest as the heats progressed.
The women’s race looked like it would be between Lauren Bate-Lowe (Sport City Velo) Sophie Capewell (Lichfield CCC) and Rachel James (Abergavenny RC)

20140630-112346-41026201.jpg
The racing was being soundtracked by none other than Rollapaluza’s resident DJ Alec Briggs, adding to the fantastic atmosphere, the large crowd were giving plenty of encouragement to all riders while enjoying some excellent commentary from Marty MacDonald
The women’s final sponsored by Yellow JerseyUK was a little bit of a shock with Sophie Capewell taking the victory in front of the more fancied Rachel James with Lauren Bate-Lowe in third, it was a well earned cheque for £1000 that Sophie received from Cassie Brady with price money down to eighth place.
Sophie said after ” Its been a fantastic event and I just love racing, we have sprinter leagues but no Keirin and I just love it, It would be great if this was a permanent fixture”

20140630-122233-44553502.jpg
Sophie Capewell
The mens final was a superb line up of sprint stars making it pretty much impossible to pick the winner until the final ten metres where the in form Damian Zielinski just got his wheel in front of the crowds favourite Matt Rotherham with Pete Mitchell in third to claim his £2000 first prize, then to collapse on the floor with exhaustion, once Damian got his breath back he told me ” I really enjoyed this, you have great spectators in England, I think you train them… they love to come to the cycling, I didn’t arrive here till late so I was a little bit surprised that I felt so good because I had very little sleep after travelling from Germany”

20140630-112717-41237338.jpg
Damian Zielinski
Craig McLean’s reflection on the event was ” It been such an enjoyable evening certainly for me anyway, theres a lot of new riders so its quite nice to feel the nerves again, specially leading into the Commonwealth Games and its nice to still be in amongst it. I think the the crowd were fantastic tonight and to get this many people along to watch a Keirin is a good sign, if you would have had this event ten years ago there would have been about ten people in the grandstand as opposed to 1300, so its great to see and lets hope Rollapaluza can host it again up here”

20140630-112933-41373812.jpg
This event wouldn’t have been possible without our presenting sponsors Brake Foods and partners Yellow JerseyUK, Gilby Electrical, Miltag & Marstons.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GRANT YOUNG, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CONDOR, AWARDED FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF LONDON

Grant Young, whose father founded Condor Cycles in the late 1940s, has been awarded Freedom of the City of London. Grant became a partner of the British brand in the 1980s and has steered the brand from strength to strength over the last three decades

20140603-124547-45947942.jpg

The Freedom is the highest honour in the power of the City of London to bestow on someone. It has been awarded to Grant for his services to cycling—more specifically his continual drive to keep the skill and art of building high quality cycle frames by hand alive, and the support he has have provided to young London-based riders in cycle sport; riders that include Sir Bradley Wiggins, Tao Geoghegan Hart (both recent participants in the Amgen Tour of California) and Commonwealth games gold medallist Bob Downs.

“I am very proud to be given the freedom of the City, not least because I can herd sheep and cattle of London’s bridges” quipped Grant. “It is wonderful that, through Condor’s strive to make high quality handmade products, I – and ultimately Condor – has been recognised by the City of London.”

20140603-124708-46028814.jpg
The freeman system is one of the last vestiges of late 19th Century/early 20th Century local government. Once upon a time becoming a Freeman meant you could herd sheep and cattle over London’s bridges. Traders could take their beasts over the bridge to Smithfield market and save themselves the cost of paying the toll. The traditional freeman role died out after changes to the law in 1835 because of Victorian reform of monopolies and cartels.

20140603-124903-46143014.jpg
The Freedom ceremony will take place today on the 3rd June in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall and will be conducted by the Clerk of the Court. Freemen and their guests are escorted to the Court by the Beadle, who wears a top hat and frock coat.

Kristian House, Condor rider and former National Champion, has also been granted Freedom of the City.

We would personally like to add our congratulations and extend our gratitude for Condors long time sponsorship and support of Rollapaluza, and we would love to be part of the first Condor City Of London cattle drive.
Photos; Kristof Ramon & Condor Cycles

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rourke Speed Bike – Rollapaluza Challenge

We were privileged to have Guy Martins record breaking Rourke/Hope bike for our own record attempt, only this time on rollers – and not being towed behind a truck but in London’s premier cycling cafe Look Mum No Hands, Hackney which was a perfect venue for the event.
Our riders would have 90 seconds to try and set the fastest speed and an opportunity to race our normal 500m.

20140526-162433-59073806.jpg
Sam Sullivan

First up was Sam Sullivan a previous National Series winner, it was evident from Sam’s first attempt that just turning over the massive gear was a feat in its self, Sam peaked at 172kpm, next up was Jenny Crouch who who became the fastest women reaching 180kph.

20140526-162618-59178244.jpg
Jenny Crouch

Rollapaluza Racing youngster Atiba reached the dizzy hight’s of 193kph but the old guard Jim Sullivan (Hillbilly) ramped it up to 209kph.

20140526-162949-59389122.jpg
Atiba Quildan

Then the big two BMX rider Rob Reed who got the speed up to 215kph, finally sprint champion Craig Maclean like the Rourke bike Craig was built for speed his calfs being so big duct tape was needed for protection against the outer chain rings.

20140526-164354-60234458.jpg
Craig patiently built up speed before putting his all in to the effort, hitting a massive 225kph, putting it into perspective I doubt the average rider would even manage to turn a pedal stroke while this bike was on our rollers, this was a 400inch gear ( don’t know what that means) but basically one revolution would take you 30m.

20140526-163403-59643409.jpg
Rob Reed

The next test was our conventional 500m race using the Rourke bike, in the women’s race Sam completed the distance in 14.25 but the fastest again was the London Dynamo rider Jenny Crouch becoming the fastest women over 500m with a time of 14.09 that equates to a speed of 127.8kph.

20140526-163616-59776757.jpg
Craig Maclean

In the men’s competition Jim (Hillbilly) time was 12.50 just pipped by Atiba in a time of 12.06.

20140526-164014-60014452.jpg
Jim Sullivan (Hillbilly)

Next up were the big two Rob and Craig as all these efforts were from a standing start this is were the difference was made once the wheel was spinning you would be flying but getting it up to speed looked extremely painful, the times were getting progressively faster Rob doing 11.70 but Craig took the spoils again becoming the fastest man over 500m with a time of 11.34 – 158kph.

20140526-163743-59863059.jpg
Craig Maclean

This bike and the gearing is almost the polar opposite of our normal Condor bikes and obviously suited the powerful rider, the big sprinters,there was no sitting on the saddle and spinning it was more a case of out of the seat getting you weight over the bars and using brute strength to get the bike up to speed, an interesting thought is, how fast could Craig Maclean get this bike up to behind a truck?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • email
  • Technorati
Posted in Rollapaluza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment