Oliver O'Brien's presentation from cycling@tea-time seminar on the impact of the lockdown on bikeshare in London, the UK, and the world in general: https://
Moved once again, this time to Deptford. So far it feels like a jewel in South London, and I look forward to exploring the area more. I'll have a 30% longer commute, but that simply translates into more time in the saddle every day, which can't be bad.
Top photo is from Dirty Apron in the Deptford Market Yard, they serve a great breakfast and good coffee. Later we had coffee and cake at London Velo, a coffee/bicycle workshop place. Bought a bell for my bike there, nice people.
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I mentioned that my bike got stolen before Xmas, and it thoroughly pissed me off. My stolen steed was a Trek District single speed hybrid bike. In my experience the most perfect commuter bike I've ever had.
The bike had a carbon belt from Gates instead of a chain, and this means zero grease, and very low maintenance. I had driven my bike, according to Strava, for ~11500km in its lifetime. Mind you, I don't really do longer bike runs, I go to work, and I come back from work. I bike an average of 15-16km pr. day on weekdays. It's not much, but it keeps me happy and out of the tube. It's also a nice time where you are just transporting yourself, and you can clear your mind a little.
Anyway. Trek doesn't make the same bike any longer, so I immediately setup alerts on eBay to try to see if I could find the same one, or a worthy replacement. I don't really like to buy new bikes. They look too shiny and inviting for thiefs. 2nd hand it is.
I was in luck! On the 24th of December a gentleman from Gloucestershire put his belt driven Trek District for sale. I had a few exchanges with him, and bought it. On the first weekend of the year I went West to pick it up, and here it is in all its glory!
The frame is a bit smaller than what I had before, but it's otherwise entirely same bike, which is great. I'm still on the lookout for a Trek District with a 54cm frame, but until then, this is now my steed.
The astute observer would notice that it has no mudguards, which is not good for a commuter that is supposed to get you somewhat dry between locations in London, so on Sunday I fitted it with mudguards from SKS, and I also swapped the pedals. It had flat pedals with toestraps, which also aren't great for a lot of start-stopping on your commute, so I swapped the pedals for some simple flat metal pedals that will hopefully last a while.
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One of my top music discoveries of 2019 was the soul singer Laville from North London. He performed at a concert I went to that also featured Carlton Jumel Smith, and The Soul Steppers of Brighton. I had bought the tickets based on Songkick's supreme concert notification service telling me that Carlton Jumel Smith was playing. His debut album, 1634 Lexington Avenue, is worth checking out if you are into the R&B/soul sound of Daptone Records. I thought Carlton Jumel Smith was appearing as the headline, but it was of a showcase of soul performers put together by Global:Soul, and it was Laville who closed out the night.
I know absolutely nothing about Laville, except that he had great stage presence, was really friendly, and you could tell he loved what he was doing, and that he felt at home at the Camden venue where he performed, The Jazz Café. His voice and lyrical qualities speak for themselves when you listen to his music.
His debut album "The Wanderer" came out earlier this year on the Acid Jazz label (Thirty One is the single), and it's an album well worth a listen. Besides his own original songs, it features a great rendition of Bobby Caldwell's "What you won't do for love".
Some bastards stole my bike from within our property last weekend. I'm now perusing eBay and Gumtree for bike listings to see if my bike comes for sale there.
Reported it to the police, but not much to do about it. No witnesses, no CCTV footage, nothing left behind.
If you are in London and you see a Trek District bicycle with a carbon belt drive, please let me know. I'm hoping to be reunited with my bike
Yes: Planning on showing up at the HWC London on the 10th!