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. 

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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: SRAM X4 rear derailleur 

A while back I picked up a trashed Specialized Hotrock kids bike. The frame looked sound but everything else was pretty far gone. 

This bike would need far more workshop time than it’s replacement value, so it’s owners rightly binned it and moved on. But it’s a decent size for my son’s next bike, giving me enough time to fix it up before he can ride it.

Among numerous other issues, the derailleur hanger was bent, chain broken and derailleur was in a sorry looking state. 


Looking past first appearances, a number of components, including the derailleur, looked salvageable. 

I straightened the derailleur hanger with a pipe wrench plier and then set to the derailleur itself. 

It’s pretty straightforward to service a derailleur, remove, clean, degrease and regrease jockey wheels then reinstall. But it’s a bit of a dirty job, so rarely gets to the top of the DIY service list. 


Like with most things, putting it back together again is considerably less intuitive than taking it apart!

After getting it completely wrong, I removed the jockey wheels again and correctly rerouted the chain, using the smallest cog and chainring to give enough slack to work with. 


Some adjustment to the derailleur cable and a liberal dose of WD-40 on a rusty chain and cassette later, and we’re good to go!

Total bench time, maybe 40mins on a rainy Sunday afternoon?

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