Quoc Pham Derby

Quoc Pham has these white crepe souled Derby shoes available made to order in sizes 42-47. Could these be the ultimate in cycling-chic dandyism? I think so. Curse my size 38’s….

I saw Quoc Pham at the Cycle Show in August and was blown away with the quality of his footwear. Using high quality leathers he has encapsulated the bespoke shoe look perfectly and tweaked it for around-town riding. Now, lets see a ladies fixed shoe please!

RIP Chris Hondros

Not at all cycling related, but last week saw the incredibly sad news that a Getty Images photographer called Chris Hondros passed away after being mortally injured whilst shooting in Misrata, Libya. 
Chris was a true talent, whose passion and dedication to capturing such important visual records in various besieged areas of the world – Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Kashmir, provided the world with pictures that spoke more than thousands of words ever could. 

My heart goes out to Chris’s family and friends. I remember answering a call from him whilst he was in Afghanistan a few years ago, where he was apologising for connection issues and that he was sorry in case we saw corrupted files from him on the picture desk. I could hear from the background noise that he wasn’t exactly filing images from a nice quiet office – and I thought it was almost funny this guy was worried about his images getting through when he was filing from such an incredibly hard environment to work in! He was a true professional and his death has touched many at Getty – Although my dealings with the man were limited to that one phone call – I know he will leave a lasting legacy and his images will provide so much inspiration to many photojournalists – young and old alike.

Mission Malawi

Les Pratt has set up a fantastic charity ride that can only be described as ‘epic’ – a 500km bike ride through Malawi to raise much needed funds for the ongoing AIDS effort in this impoverished country.
Shockingly, in Malawi the population is almost 15% HIV+, with most of these being young people, with 60% infected being women and girls.  Half a million have been orphaned by the Aids pandemic in this area.
On 12-23 May 2012 – you can be part of this incredible journey, raising money to directly support Action Aid in their mission to make a real difference to the suffering of so many in this region.

More information on this fantastic once-in-a-lifetime ride can be found on the Mission Malawi Website or on Action Aid Website

Hell!

There’s not much to say about this years installant of HOTN, our ride was blighted by 5 punctures (myself taking the lions share of the gang with 4 on the front wheel) and not to mention Rowland’s rear derailleur hanger shearing off and snapping just as he descended into the forest section!
The ride was yet again treated to sublime perfect weather conditions, with the sun out and temperatures hovering around 21 degrees for the most part of the day.
The Rowland brothers hit the school track
This year there was a new sector taking in a deserted school yard, bringing back memories as the three of us queued for the water fountain. The ride was great, with 250 riders hammering down all manner of dirt tracks and gravel encrusted bridleways. A bottle of beligian brew and box of frites awaited every rider as we reached the pub in Barnet. For us three merry cyclists, this came a little sooner than anticipated after the derailleur hanger blow out. Cue some ingenious bike modifications and a broken chain and Si was able to TT with us straight to the pub after around mile 35 of the route. Although he had a ‘banana chain’ spirits were high, until my 4th puncture on the way home, due to my rim tape glue melting and the whole tape shifting to expose several holes! Minus points here for schwalbe tape!
Oh dear!
testing mechanicals in the sun
SS ghetto-style

All in all was a fab day in the sun and we chalked up 113k by the time we landed at home, albeit a little frazzled. And what about the race? a cracking result for the journey man Van Summeren, and in particular a bit of a fairytale ending, hammering out 5km on a flat tyre to propose to his girlfriend at the finish. Now thats what I want to see in my racing! fabulous stuff….
Gavin over at the wicked Spinwell blog was shooting the HOTN for rapha, so expect some wicked snaps appearing on their blog soon!