Do you live in a cycle-friendly city?

But how to impartially evaluate that? Based on perceived year on year improvement, or worsening? Or by the number of cyclists you see on the roads? 

Here’s another ranking of cities to celebrate those actively promoting cycling. While the FAQs seem to suggest a scientific approach, I am not exactly sure how they capture or evaluate some of the data used to arrive at the rankings. Still, an interesting study nonetheless. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the top 20 are in continental Europe.

I think it would be interesting to see more detail on those that didn’t make the top 20, and get some clues as to what they might improve to climb the rankings. 

A summary video by GCN here

And link to the Copenhagenize list website here

Bianchi Theridion

Now here’s an odd looking mountain bike. 


The jaunty angle of the saddle and the plastic bag make this look like a tired commuter, but given it’s pedigree, original components and bizarre frame design, surely this is a diamond in the rough?

What do you think?

Bangkok, Thailand – full of surprises 

Yesterday I was in Bangkok. Like Mumbai, not a city you might think ideal for cycling, but I was surprised to see it heading in that direction. 


A bicycle can be your shop as well as a means to commute. 

My recollection of Bangkok was more like this. 


Than this


Great to see cycle lanes, and in use too!

I was surprised to see they have an urban bike share system. Great stuff. I wonder how popular it is. 


I walked and walked all day and found myself in Lumpini park, where hundreds of people were jogging in the early evening. 

Then I came across a Bubble Pirate. “What’s one of those??”. The Bubble Pirate turns out to be a man by the name of Sandy with an interesting story and a penchant for spreading joy. Read more here

He traveled to Bangkok from Singapore, where I also once lived, over 3 months, enchanting families with bubbles along the way. 

Just before sunset in the evening light, the colours in the bubbles were so vibrant. 

Sandy’s journey will continue, so who knows where you might find him next. 

​​​

I also spotted a beautiful vintage Thai-made Rama (the name of the Chakri kings of Thailand) bicycle at the Chatuchak weekend market (not for sale). I would guess this dates from the 30-40s. Beautiful condition and apparently complete and original. 

That’s a lot of surprises for one day. Bangkok never fails to amaze. 

Mumbai, India – more traffic than you could shake a stick at

I was in Mumbai yesterday. 


Now there’s a city I wouldn’t dare cycle in, though some brave souls do. 

Given the traffic is so heavy and slow, the commute time by bike is probably equivalent to that by bus or car. 

Life expectancy would be significantly shorter though…

This man deserves a medal. Or even better, a helmet and some lights!

Velobrico Workshop: 1999 Colnago Tecnos Soft Paint

After looking for a number of years, an opportunity presented itself and… I just bought my first Italian bike!

Here’s the photos from the advert, mostly looking complete and in sound condition. 

The Tecnos is a steel framed road bike, made by Colnago in the second half of the 1990s and I understand to be the lightest steel frame they ever built. The tubing is made by Columbus, with a special alloy, made only for this bike. 

I presume this was one of the last frames to be made in Italy before work was outsourced to the far east. The frame is painted in Colnago’s Art Decor style, a somewhat psychedelic, vivid paint scheme, done entirely by hand. It’s really something special. 

On getting it home, for once I managed to contain my excitement and took some close-up photos before I did anything to it, though I was itching to get to work!

Non-original saddle. 

The bell really adds to the look, and the reflective tape on the head tube. 

A little cable housing rub on the head tube. 

Damaged chrome on one fork leg, not good.

Rims are sound and true, no cracks. 

Really nice lug work. 

Lovely brakes. 

The other fork is fine. 

Some pretty spectacular paintwork. You either love it or you hate it!

The paint was a surprise. I expected it to be glossy, but it’s actually a matt, soft, slightly tacky finish. Quite unusual and I have never seen this before. 

Chain rings are good, no shark teeth. 

Quick release put in the wrong way round. 


Cleats that don’t work with my cycling shoes. 

I spent the rest of the day washing it, removing stickers, the bell, the saddle bag, the lock, and various bits of sticky tape. 


…and servicing the gritty and grimy rear derailleur, cleaning the chain, adjusting the saddle, brakes, installing some new Michelin Classic tires and switching out the pedals to Ultegra SPDs for a test ride. 


Some blue grease, to go with the blue frame 😁. 

As there’s still some more to do, I’ll keep the photos for another day, but I took it for a shakedown ride on Sunday and it greatly exceeded expectations. 

My overwhelming first impression was how smooth it is. Very little road vibration, smooth shifting, everything is tight. At speed it just flies with very little effort. Gearing ratios are little odd, and didn’t give us much range as I would’ve expected for a triple chainring, though climbing was no problem. Steering is very precise, without being twitchy and nervous. I had never ridden Campagnolo before, so the shifting took a little getting used to, but it has a good, positive, clicky feel.

It’s amazing how well this 18 year old bike rides, a real cracker. 

https://www.strava.com/activities/1074740028/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1499594298

Watch this space for updates and photos of the finished project!

Oh yeah

Finally the wait is over. I bought my first Italian bike. 

And what a bike! 

Can’t wait to pick it up…

Can you guess the city from its bike lane maps?

I did pretty badly. 6/12. 

Worst of all I got London wrong, where I lived and biked for four years…

See how you fare!

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jun/14/quiz-guess-city-stripped-map-cycle-lanes?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other