Slow Slow Slow Sloowerrr Slowwwwwwwwer Sloooooowwwwwer FAST

This may just be our favourite track cycling video ever, and it’s certainly one of the more bizarre events we’ve seen – it’s called the Marymoor Crawl, and is a perennial crowd-pleaser at the July Marymoor Grand Prix track meet in Redmond, Washington State in the Pacific North West of the US.

The idea is simple. Riders have to stay upright – no feet on ground, no interfering with other riders, no holding the rail on the side of the track, no crossing the finish line – for up to four minutes before the bell rings, then the ones left in go hell for leather for a single lap of the velodrome.

Cue plenty of trackstanding … then a desperate dash for the line by the handful of riders left in from the couple of dozen or so who lined up at the start.

We’d LOVE to see this in the Olympics – Brian Cookson, please push for it – but is it just us, or do the riders with the more aero, pro-looking helmets get eliminated earlier than most of the others?

track bike / trial bike

just what every hip coffee shop in shoreditch or hoxton needs – a cool retro time trial fixie bike propped in the window with a krypto lock on the bars and a moustached owner working as a barista whilst waiting for his break as musician/actor/photographer

Joint the Hunt in London

On the 6th May Toyko Fixed are very proud to be hosting the UK’s first ever fixed gear Criterium at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, a closed 0.9 mile race track in West London.

It will be an action packed weekend full of riding and festivities. Make sure you get down for the race and come and party with us afterwards at Look Mum No Hands. We have Roller Racing at Hillingdon and LMNH in the evening so everyone who isn’t competing in ‘The Hunt’ can still get involved and get the blood pumping.

Details Below

CYCLING HERO – Do you think you cycled far? – Tommy Godwin’s ‘unbreakable’ cycling record

Tommy Godwin

Tommy Godwin cycled the equivalent of three times around the world in a year. It has been described as an “unbreakable” record. I only just heard about him after some news about him came out saying he was carrying the torch prior to the olympics and at the cyclist reference I had no clue …. luckily wikipedia and some googling came to light. According to Singletrack the chap Dave Bartlett is writing a book which will be good to read … he was also badly quoted in this shoddy BBC article … but you get an idea of the legend that was/is Tommy Godwin.

In 1939, Tommy Godwin rode 75,065 miles in a single year to set an endurance riding record that some believe will never be beaten.

In fact, he kept on going until 14 May 1940, setting the record for the time taken to ride 100,000 miles.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1912, Godwin would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. But unfortunately, Godwin’s record is now largely forgotten.

The Year Record has fallen out of fashion and is no longer the coveted cycling achievement it used to be.

Imagine spending every day in the saddle for 18 hours, covering over 200 miles, repairing any mechanical failures, picking yourself up after crashes and then riding even further the next day to make up lost time.

When I tell other cyclists about the record, they simply don’t believe it’s possible”

Dave Barter – Year Record historian

The distance is the equivalent of three times around the world in a single year, or riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back every week. 1443 miles per week – for transatlantic readers or those more worldly – that is Boston to Miami EVERY WEEK for a year.

It was all achieved on a heavy steel bike with only four gears. Yet more than 70 years later, the record still stands.

‘Beyond the limit’

“It’s those statistics that make the record virtually unbreakable,” said Dave Barter, a keen cyclist who is writing a book about the Year Record.

“I’ve gone through his mileage diaries and painstakingly recreated each day’s mileage into a spreadsheet.

“Sometimes he survived on four hours’ sleep and there were probably days when he didn’t even bother and just carried on and kipped in a field for an hour.

Godwin had to learn how to walk normally again when he finished the challenge

“He pushed it [the record] beyond the limit of any mere mortal.

“I worked with a guy who tried it again this year – he lasted about a month and a half.

“The essence of it is that for a year you have to completely give up your whole life.

“When I tell other cyclists about the record, they simply don’t believe it’s possible.”

‘Butcher’s bike’

Godwin’s daughter, Barbara Ford, described her father as “hard as nails” but also said that he was really “a big softie”.

“There was nothing he wouldn’t tackle or do, and nothing he wouldn’t do to help anyone.”

“At 14, he used to ride a bike in a pair of shoes he’d borrowed from the lady next door.

“He’d get on an iron-framed butcher’s bike and cycle a road race of 25 miles and win it.

“He never bragged or told anyone. He was so unassuming and didn’t want any fuss.

“He once saved a woman from a fire, and after checking she was ok, he simply got on his bike and carried on riding.

“All his cups and trophies, he gave away. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful – he just didn’t need any recognition.

“When they unveiled a plaque in his honour someone asked me what my dad would have said. I told them he wouldn’t have turned up.

“Everyone should have had the privilege of meeting Tommy Godwin, because he was just so lovely.

“I remember asking him why he attempted the record.

“He just said: ‘Why not? Why did Mallory Hillary climb Everest? Because it’s there.’

“He did it just because he loved cycling so much.

“Guinness did say that my dad’s record would always be safe. They won’t accept a challenge because they think it’s too dangerous.”

‘Unimaginable constitution’

Tommy Godwin

Godwin often slept in a field to get some well-earned rest

There are also issues over verification: it would be all too easy for a rider these days to swap a tracking unit with other riders.

Tracking devices did not exist in 1939, so Godwin’s mileage was verified by respected figures such as police officers, and posted daily to Cycling – the magazine that originally set up the challenge.

Stoke-on-Trent cycling legend Brian Rourke said: “In theory, the record should be breakable because new road surfaces and modern bikes offer a huge advantage.

“They can do 500 miles in a day now. But to do over 200 miles, every day for a year, on a three-speed bike made of steel, is basically impossible.

“Nobody could ever match his record. Even if it was broken, the conditions just aren’t comparable.” After the feat, Godwin had to learn to walk normally again and uncurl his hands. Yet within weeks, he was serving his country in the RAF.

“I honestly don’t know how he did it. His constitution is just unimaginable,” said Mr Rourke.

“He is totally unique – someone the world will never see the likes of again.”

Here is a clip of him speaking ( a different tommy see more below) – what a geezer and no mention of his amazing year feat JUST the olympic medals …… (which is why no mention – I am an idiot)

Bike Porn: not suitable for daytime viewing …. *dream bike*

Made as part of their NAHBS showcase Baum bikes from Ozlandia have created a beast ….

Custom titanium Baum Corretto frame

  • Enve 1.5 Track fork
  • Tune Bobo headset
  • Custom integrated carbon bar/stem combo
  • Campagnolo Pista cranks – custom anodised black
  • Speedplay Track pedals
  • Custom recovered Fizik Arione CX Carbon braided saddle by Busyman Cycles (Mick Peel)
  • Custom leather bar tape by Busyman Cycles
  • Lightweight Track wheels on Vittoria track tyres
feeling moist yet?

New Olympic velopark gets mixed reception

London Olympic Legacy Velopark – the original plan
From today (Monday) potential users of the planned Olympic Velopark can have their say on the designs for the road, mountain bike and BMX facilities that will form part of London’s 2012 Olympic legacy.

Last Thursday in what was billed as a pre-consultation event the new designs for the road and mountain bike areas were unveiled at a public meeting in Stratford Town Hall. The meeting was attended by around 30 people with interested parties from cycling groups across the London boroughs represented, as well as British Cycling and the Eastway Users Group (EUG) representatives from all sides that we spoke to agreed that the meeting was positive and constructive even so reaction to the plans was mixed – essentially it boils down to the thorny matter of access, what needs to be decided before the designs go forward for planning permission later this month is where the balance lies between ‘velo’ and ‘park’ in the proposed Olympiic Velopark.

So what’s changed from the original plan you can see at the top of this story? Well the good news is that the road circuit has actually gotten slightly longer, 1.656Km instead of 1.6Km and the crossing of the River Lea has also been retained from the original design. Both British Cycling and the EUG were very keen to retain such an important element of variation in the circuit from the original design. The eastern third of the circuit around the BMX park is virtually unchanged, the big difference is that the river crossing becomes much more of an out and back affair – freeing up access to more of the riverbank, which is what the OPLC wanted – now, when the circuit comes back over the river after a longish straight it takes in a circuit around the outside of the velodrome.

The Olympic Park road circuit Mk11, slightly longer and now centred on the Olympic Velodrome

The other big advantage claimed for the new road circuit design is it’s flexibility, as well as using it as a full circuit it can be used as either a fast truncated circuit – omitting the loop of the velodrome, or as up to three smaller coaching circuits. The full circuit has 23m of elevation change – the same as the old Eastway.

From what we understand aside from some technical questions about run off areas and fencing around the bailey bridges that take the circuit across and back over the River Lea (oh and slight concerns that the circuit narrows from 6m to 5m on the bridges) people were broadly satisfied.

There was less satisfaction though over the BMX and mountain bike facilities, according to the EUG report on the meeting the point was forcibly made that existing Olympic BMX park is simply too difficult to be left as a legacy provision unchanged. The feeling was that it will need fencing off as a matter of public safety. There were also concerns as to how suitable an Olympic standard course was as a legacy provision for non-Olympic standard riders the point was made that of 400 entrants to the recent SE Championships 120 withdrew when they saw the “gnarliness’ of the course at practice.

Possibly more problematic though are issues surrounding the mountain bike course, this too is bigger than the original plan and now also comes back under the A12 to occupy what appears as an empty rectangle of land to the east of the road and BMX circuits on the original plan – which you can see at the top of this story. The idea from the planners is that the mountain bike circuit ‘reaches out’ from the park to the neighbouring borough of Waltham Forest which is adjacent to the park’s north eastern boundary. The problem is that the boundaries to the MTB area are open and the portion of the circuit that lies south of the A12 is bisected by a diagonal path which to the consternation of the EUG only appeared on the new plan as late as mid-September. While marshalling should prevent problems during actual races the concern is what happens when the circuit is simply being used for training or leisure purposes, that is still a concern for the road circuit too.

“The designers and planners don’t seem to appreciate how disadvantaged any cyclist is by all the things that the general public does in parks. Footballs and dogs are disasters waiting to happen if you get too close,” Michael Humphreys told us and anyone who has used the commuter routes through some of London’s royal parks will know exactly what he means.

While the old Eastway was effectively walled in so riders could race or train secure in the knowledge that a member of the public was not going to wander across their path unexpectedly, or indeed at all accessl to the new Velopark would appear to be largely open. The Velopark itself is a part of the much bigger Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park one of the biggest tasks given to the Olympic planners is integrating the park and all its facilities with the existing local communities to avoid the creation of a gentrified Olympic enclave and spread the benefits of Olympic regeneration out in to the boroughs that border the Olympic site.

The Lea Valley Regional Park Authority intends to have the new cycling facilities up and running by the autumn of 2013, there’s plenty to discuss before then and users, and potential users of the Velopark can have their say this week 7-11 November before the planning application is made on November 30th – once that is done there will be a further statutory period for the public to comment on the planning application.

Rig143 – Glasgow ‘the bike man’

Popped into RIG143 today on what could be the start of an interesting film …. took some photographs as well (many more to come)

Brian holding a beautiful restored Flying Scot (painted at Bob Jackson) – the paint alone was £250 – open to sensible offers for a slice of history.

Rig Bike Shop
143 West Regent St.
G2 2SG
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat 10:30-18:00
Sun 12:00-17:00
07910 453 508

The Giant’s Tooth

I was recently sent a copy of the fine paean to fell running, “Feet in the Clouds”, to review for the Caught By The River website.

Within minutes I found myself reading about the Giant’s Tooth fell race, which is not the most significant rumble in the calendar, it just happens to be where I haul my sorry 49 year old, 15 stone carcass two or three times a week in futile effort to turn the clock to back to my “proper athlete” days. Unfortunately for my poor body, which has suffered some fairly torrid abuse since the halcyon days when I would turn out to run for Birmingham University back in the early 80s, Richard Askwith’s writing on the torture, privation and sheer lunacy of fell running was perversely persuasive. I found myself resolving to get up on New Year’s Day morning 2012 and compete in this winter’s Giant’s Tooth race.

It’s not really a Giant’s Tooth you know. It’s a big lump of millstone grit, painted white and plonked at the summit of an arbitrary path at a Pennine beauty spot called Ogden Water. There’s some yarn attached to the stone, a giant called a Boggart lost his tooth whilst rampaging across the moor…or something. Whatever the tall story, it’s only marginally less plausible than the notion that I’ll be able to run this race in anything like a respectable time….by which lofty heights of ambition, I mean “mid-division”. This will mean a target of 25 minutes, when the winner will stroll home in around 16 minutes and the octogenarian plodder will manage about 35.

The good news is that I don’t weigh 17 stone, as I did about a year ago, before resolving to run a bit and cut down on the wine calories. I actually look and feel reasonably trim at just under 15 stone. However, my racing weight used to be under 11 and my target is to shift as many pounds as I can before the race, whilst improving my VO2 Max and anaerobic fitness. Carrying 15 stones up a naggingly steep incline for 5 minutes is, I promise you skinny readers, no fun at all.

As some sort of treat to myself and knowing that I have that boyish, “have new toy, will play” mentality, I bought some Inov 8 X Talon 212s (a review of those to follow separately). They have done the job in terms of motivating me to get out and run more, as has the Endomondo app on my phone.

So, you can have a peek at the route. It’s short, about 3 miles, not an especially hard climb (though it does feature some smaller slogs to kick you when you are down later in the race). I’ll relay the glorious tale of my progress over the coming weeks as the pounds evaporate, the wings on my heels emerge and the glory of an improbable top half finish beckons. Hollywood will want this story. You watch.


Beers bikes and Berlin

Just popped out on the canal path and saw the new velodrome in build mode … some of the cladding is on so commonwealth games Glasgow 2014 is definitely ramping up ….

Commonwealth 2014 velodrome

Now this is the idea a team track event over a long time …..  this video and these pictures from Fixed Gear (and the photographer here) and YouTube

A good review on the Fixie Inc Peacemaker from

Making me think about it some more – I love the look and the theory of belts – OK will have another think.

a smokin' bike


Fixie Inc Peacemaker   £1149.00

More than just different, but if “different” is what you are after look no further

As you’d expect that directness really comes to the fore when riding fixed. My commute is a fast blast across Bath with a hill at each end and though the gearing is a tad on the high sides for the hills it is really is a blast on the flat especially on a relatively open road.

Geometry could be described as road-track, like the Colanago Super Singlespeed we had in last year, and is pretty much the same across all five sizes (S through to XXL) with 74° seat angles in all sizes. Head angles are 73° in the three smaller sizes shading up in to 73.5° and 74° in the two largest. Chainstays are track standard 400mm across the range with wheelbases going from 94.8cm in the smallest size through to 99.9cm in the largest – our medium came in at 96.4 – nice and tight and another factor in the Peacemaker’s all-round responsiveness. You can add in those ultra-narrow bars too, the downside as TR was quick to point out is that you really need to get your skids sorted out if you want to thread this through tight spaces. I’m not a big one for skids but as pushing back on the pedals gives as instant and smooth a response as pushing forward I didn’t find that a problem.

Experienced urban fixed rider, TR, wasn’t that impressed with the lack of toe clips on the pedals, more like a set of mini downhill pedals, he reckoned that your shins would pay a price. The inexperienced urban fixie rider – me – had no such problems. I’d go so far as to say it was the most enjoyable street fixed I’ve ridden to date.

Flipping it to the freewheel side though made more sense in a place as hilly as Bath, but that comes at the cost of losing the ghostly silence of the Peacemaker in fixed mode – on the other hand hooning up and down hills is a lot easier and more fun. In either mode handling is direct, those narrow bars, that upright geometry, and of course the belt all see to that. Even so this isn’t one of those nervy, jittery bikes that you are constantly fighting, even under pressure the Peacemaker is pleasingly calm. I’d put that down to the combination of the belt and the road buzz absorbing properties of the Peacemaker’s lush 4130 frame.

Aside from the ride the Peacemaker’s other big plus point is the lack of oil so no need to tuck your trouser leg in to your sock, or roll it up, and if your bike shares your living space no need to worry about oily marks or dirty looks from those you share your life with. Before riding the Peacemaker I had those down as fairly minor pluses but they turned out to be far more satisfying than I’d expected… especially the trouser leg bit.

So that’s the ride, as I’ve already said the frame is a lovely piece of work, personally I’m not a fan of white bikes, black is much more slimming and all, but I’ll make an exception for the Peacemaker’s pearlescent Ice White Shut paint job. I particularly like the matching pearlescent finish on the saddle – which I found comfortable. The whole thing is put together with Fixie’s usual attention to detail, although there was some debate between myself and TR as to whether the finish on the welds was quite as good as you’d expect on a bike at this price… well, it’s of a high standard but it’s not totally perfect and that belt does cost a lot of money and TR is well picky.

On detail sets the frame apart from something similar made for a chain drive bike is Fixie’s JigSaw frame coupler a fiendishly simple solution to the problem of the splitting the frame to get the belt out in the unlikely event you’d need to. Essentially it’s a male/female union positioned mid-way up the drive-side seat stay, the guys at Fixie placed it here because they feel that splitting the frame at the dropout introduces the potential for unwanted flex.

Other details of note are that to accommodate the belt the spacing between the rear dropouts is 135mm (the same as a mountain bike) rather than the standard 120mm you’d get on a track bike.

We also liked the JetKit brake pin set – should you want to remove either the front or back brakes Fixie supply a neat ‘pin’ that mimics the Carscratcher handlebar ends to fit in the brake bridge. Interestingly though the bike comes with brazed on cable guides for the back brake so the bike won’t have a totally clean line should you whip it off… much to TR’s chagrin – me, I like brakes.

The cloth-capped one and I both agreed though that the only thing we’d change would be the handlbars, he wanted a wider one-piece bar and stem, I’d just be happy with something a tad wider. Oh, and I’d probably ditch the grips too – just too grippy.

So all great then? Nearly. The one doubt we’d have is the belt not its day to day running or even long term durability – once you’ve got it set up you should have no problem. It’s the getting it set up that could cause a problem, or more likely adjustment in the the field. While the belt doesn’t need to be mega-tensioned (more on that later) it does have to be straight and we mean really straight – if not, as I found out, the belt will pull itself off the bike, not something you want to happen if you are riding up a sharp hill at the time.

That belt popping incident was the result of a tiny mis-alignment in the set up and came at the end of a day of riding it. We don’t think this will be a problem for buyers, their bikes and belts will be set up by more experienced mechanics than ours, and get it up on a workstand and getting the belt straight is relatively easy – careful though! You don’t over-tighten those limit screws… That way disaster lies, the very last thing we did to our bike was snap a limit screw with a bit of last minute “fettling”. Sorry Fixie.

We reckon that most people won’t need to get their bike up on a stand to adjust the belt or switch from fixed to free (easy to go to free, rather harder to get back to fixed without a belt whip of some sort), however bikes do get punctures and getting things adjusted properly in the dark by the side of the road could cause you problems – you’ll have to slacken off those limit screws to get the wheel out. On the plus side you won’t get oily hands sticking the belt back on, and by eye you should get the belt straight enough to get you home – you might need to give it a final tweak when you get there. No doubt with practice you’d be able to sort it out, but ideally some sort of indicator on the limit screws would be good, as would some way of showing that you had the belt tensioned properly – maybe an indicator on the dropout the the axle aligned to with indicators on the limit screw to help you fine tune things.

Coincidentally we’ve just got the very much more expensive Trek District Madone belt drive in on test, which shows an interesting contrast in approach. Of course the District Madone can’t be switched from fixed to free as easily as the Peacemaker, but when it comes to the question of getting the wheel in and out and the belt properly tensioned and aligned Trek have gone for a solution that is more complex from an engineering point of view, but which looks to be simpler for the end user – an eccentric dropout and hub arrangement. Fixie on the other hand have gone for a simple and elegant engineering solution but one which is probably more complicated for the end user – at least to begin with.

If you were in the market for a Peacemaker we wouldn’t let our belt niggles put you off, equally though it’s best to be aware that the belt at the heart of the bike is a fairly close tolerance piece of kit. Because let’s be honest if you are going to buy this bike it’s going to be all about the belt… probably not the low maintenance aspect, because if you’re spending this amount of money it’s unlikely you’d neglect to look after it anyway. You’re not going to be buying it for its low weight either, because you could build or buy plenty of more conventionally driven singlespeeds that would weigh less for the same or less money. No, the only practical reason to buy the Peacemaker is that it won’t get oil on your trousers and the compelling impractical ones are that it’s different and it’s so damn cool. Which are pretty good reasons.


Curse you Fixie Inc this is a hard bike to come to a simple verdict on. On one level it is very expensive for a steel singlespeed. But this is no bog standard steel singlespeed – that belt is expensive and the bike and without it the 2009 Peacemaker was only £100 less. Plus it is a very nice bike to ride and you could pay a lot for a “look at me” steel fixer and get something nowhere near as good. If you are in the market for something different this is a bike whose “difference” is much more than skin deep.

fixie boy goes a bit loopy

Decided to do something for my sponsor.

Camera – Canon 7d
DOP – Firhan Fikrin
Assistant – Firzat Alif , Mohammad Hanis Yahya
Director / Editor – Faz Adhili
Song – Access babylon/Probot

More info here :-​​​dvse010/​index.htm

Track racing – the hard part

It’s a hard game on the track as this video illustrates.

Sir Chris Hoy’s tactic of attacking off the front paid of handsomely yesterday as he powered his way to victory in the men’s keirin final on day two of the Manchester round of the Track World Cup.

Hoy’s move proved doubly shrewd when unknown to him the entire chasing field of five riders crashed in pursuit of the flying Scot. The spectacular crash once again underlined the physical nature of keirin racing and the toughness of those who take part with Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang getting back in the saddle and crossed the line before collapsing on the track apron with a seven inch splinter embedded in his calf. The Malaysian was awarded 3rd place, after the Polish rider, Kamil Kucynsky was demoted to fourth while the Spaniard Peralta was relegated to last for pushing Ed Dawkins of NZ out of the way in the melee following the crash – Awang had already left the velodrome on a stretcher by the time he was promoted to third. Jason Niblett won the silver medal.


A Fixed Philosophy

A documentary on why people ride fixed gear bikes. Music featured: Diego Bernal, Beat Connection and The Suzan.
Special thanks to: Charles Hadrann, Luke Taylor, Matt Swanson, Alex Johnson and Jack Hilton
Directed, Edited and Written by Jason Miller