A Running Interlude

Apologies for breaking normal wheel-based service here on bianchista, just wanted to give a quick mention to a challenge il be undertaking in March. As some of you know, as well as ramping up my riding these past few months, iv been doing quite a bit of pounding the tarmac with my feet, with the aim of completing the 2012 bath half marathon in aid of a very worthy cause, Parkinsons UK. 

Dad & I shortly after our first 5k parkrun – shattered!
In New Zealand when away on assignment I became the butt of many jokes, after appearing very fit, I was literally in pieces after a tiny 2k run! I walked like John Wayne and could only manage a shuffle along the floor for days after. However, sticking with the suffering and forcing myself to run, i have slowly been able to increase my mileage and hopefully pitch myself to rise to the occasion of a suitably epic challenge for a complete novice runner like myself. 
Never employ the services of your mother as official race photographer
My dad and I have trained religiously (I ran into work on new years day in the pouring rain, rocky eat your heart out!) for what we believe to be a really worthwhile cause, and something very close to our hearts (my grandfather is a parkinsons sufferer). 
Getting to meet & run with Mo Farah recently and get some tips! (avoid fried food mainly!)
If any readers feel like chipping a pound my way to sponsor what I can assure you will be a gruelling physical and mental test (sadly my body is used to years of cycling and it growing to hate me, the pressure im putting on it by taking up running!) then it would mean so much, not only to me and my old man, but to anyone touched by Parkinsons. I also promise that if we reach our really modest target of £200 we will sign up and run a marathon! so think of it as an investment into my pain and discomfort!
Chilling with Mo
Please head over to my just giving page, and throw a loose coin my way. No worries if not, even an encouraging message via twitter would be awesome! Thanks so much and again, apologies for this non cycling interlude… I assure you normal service will now resume!


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Condor Acciaio – Gran Corsa Special Edition

What a triumph, probably the loveliest paintjob on a bike iv seen in donkeys. Condor produced a super small limited run of these special steel Acciaio’s for the Gran Corsa challenge. They currently have a couple on display in their shop for us mere mortals to admire. I particularly love the brazed Italian dot on the top tube and the incorporation of their ‘wave’ fork, not to mention them trying something different with an etched headtube design. Bravo ladies & gents of Grays Inn Road, you have pushed the boat out yet again and produced a stunning frame….. Without a doubt my bike of the year.

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

Tohoku Ride – London

The RCC club is running an open ride in aid of the recent disaster in Japan. 2 rides of 110k & 85k will be lead from the meeting point below. If you plan on attending the ride please visit this link and kindly make a donation, which Rapha will match.

Meeting point: Barnet Cinema EN5 1AB

Date and time: Sunday 20th of March at 9am

Distance: 100km (with a lunch stop around the halfway mark)

Route: Hertfordshire/Essex

Pace: Steady, with a no-drop policy – ie. the group rides to the slowest rider.

Ride leader: Dominique Gabellini

More info here


Rapha Rides for Tohoku

Third charitable installment of the day comes via RaphaRapha is organizing a world wide charity ride in order to help the victims of the worst disaster in Japan since WW2, with a minimum donation of £10 to join, Rapha will match each riders donation. Keep a look out for the upcoming rides on the Rapha Rendezvous app, searching ‘Tohoku‘. I will post up details of any European based rides, as this really is a paryicularly worthwhile cause and a great way to make a meaningful financial difference to the aid of our Japanese friends…. Our thoughts are with you Japan! More info and donations via here

Phil Wood Tsunami Relief

Following on from the charitable auction Rouleur below, Phil Wood & Co is offering the 100 sets of Limited Edition track hubs meant exclusively for Asia for sale to everyone in all global regions starting March 14, 2011, with proceeds being donated to the Tsunami Relief for Japan. More info will be available on these soon and obviously I shall post as soon as that is available.

100 Sets have been made and serialized specifically for the United States
Serial Numbers for hubs made for the United States follow this outline:
S/N # 3.5 – XX/XX S
“S/N#”  = Serial Number
“3.5″ = Measurement of the hub flange, 3.5 Inches
“XX/XX” = What number your hub is out of how many made in that particular finish
“S” = In this case is the Silver or Polished finish, “R” for Red, “B” for Blue, “G” for Green, … 
100 Sets have been made and serialized specifically for Europe
Serial Numbers for hubs made for Europe follow this outline:
S/N: 90EU – XX/XX S
“S/N:”  = Serial Number
“90″ = Measurement of the hub flange, 90 Millimeters
“EU” = Europe
“XX/XX” = What number your hub is out of how many made in that particular finish
“S” = In this case is the Silver or Polished finish, “R” for Red, “B” for Blue, “G” for Green, … 
The 100 sets being completed for the Japan Tsunami Relief will have the following serial number:  S/N: 90JP – XX/XX S
Phil Wood & Co. is currently working on a few changes for this last 100 Limited Edition hub sets.  Thank you all for your support and a special thanks to those who have already purchased a hub set.  If you would like to purchase a set of these hubs please email sales@philwood.com

Rouleur Issue 1 Auction

The guys over at the excellent Rouleur journal found a handful of their hallowed out-of-press Issue one somewhere deep within their vaults. This much sought after edition commands lucrative figures on auction sites for the discerning collector. Rouleur are auctioning off the last 5 remaining copies of this amazing magazine in aid of the John Ibbotson Fund, helping to raise funds in the memory of John Ibbotson to help fund aspiring young talent to race in Europe. A wonderful and worthwhile cause I’m sure readers will agree, simply send a bid to ibbofund@rouleur.cc , and the five highest bidders will receive notification and payment instructions once the auction ends on 21st March 2011. So get bidding – support young racers and acquire a small yet neatly formed piece of cycling history. Good Luck!

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The first issue of Rouleur, published in May of 2006, includes 68 pages with features on the much-debated issue of Campagnolo or Shimano, the fixed-gear bicycle and the Dauphine Liberee, and an interview with legendary rouleur, Magnus Backstedt. The photographs in this issue were taken by Gerard Brown and Ben Ingham.
Full list of contents:

Redoubtable Rouleurs by Rouleur contributors
Pride & Prejudice by Rouleur contributors
Le Tourmalet by Graeme Fife
Dauphine by Gerard Brown
Kraftwerk by Jack Thurston
Obsession by Ben Ingham
Fixed Idea by Matt Seaton
Magnus by Guy Andrews
The cover photograph was taken by Ben Ingham.
Rouleur 1 is out of print. Guide Price circa £150.