Tag Archives: Bikeminded

Films and Food In Wonderland | BeingBikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

It has been an exciting month in terms of cycling this past month. If you caught the Tour de France, then you would have heard that Bradley Wiggins has become the first Briton to win the world’s most challenging road race.  And the icing on the case was  that fellow Briton Chris Froome took second place. Congrats to both of them and here’s hoping their success becomes the catalyst to make the UK a truly great cycling nation.

Closer to home,  I’m now the social media guru for Sustrans, the UK charity responsible for creating the  National Cycle Network and encouraging people to get on their bikes or walking shoes.  Great place to work because the office isn’t about suits, ties and paperwork. More like bikes, e-mails, calls and more bikes. There’s a collection of Brompton folding bikes near the entrance which are used whenever an employee needs to get to meetings in other parts of the city. Cool, huh? If you’re on Twitter, follow both @Sustrans & @GetActiveTravel.

Ahem,  the Olympics: am I allowed to type this out without fear of a squadron storming into my office or desk, accessing my files and delete anything I have that has something to do with the Games such as this?

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BIKEMINDED.ORG: CYCLE SHORTS 

Bikeminded Cycle Shorts Competition

Last Monday, Bikeminded treated us to a screening of Cycle Shorts, a collection of 1m 30 sec videos with the theme of encouraging people to cycle submitted by members of the public.

The director of the acclaimed 2010 film The Special Relationship judged the entries and deemed Cycle of Life the worthy film for its narrative.

Personally I found Made For 2 and Learning To Cycle excellent due to the former’s comedy and getting hold of SW6′s legendary blue parrot man and the latter’s heartwarming story. Nevertheless, congratulations to all entrants, directors, producers and other team members for their hard work. Believe me, it takes ages to make a film, even a one and half minute clip!

By the way, if anyone at the screening wondered what happened to the meatballs and chicken at the buffet, I apologise for me and my friend’s food raid. Haven’t eaten anything since noon at the time!

For the Cycle Shorts shortlist, click here.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

This tour is probably a perfect example of the phrase never judge a book by its cover. I had an eyebrow raised when I first saw this crop up on the website. But when I arrived at the meeting point (several minutes late. Apologies) at Cremorne Gardens, I felt the need to slap my forehead.

Alice In Wonderland was an interactive play on two wheels, effortlessly incorporating the Royal Borough’s back streets and parks with wonderful acting…..and cake. From Cremorne Gardens – located at the corner of the borough, we cycled to the ever popular Brompton Cemetery, Cromwell Road, High Street Kensington before finishing up at Holland Park.https://twitter.com/_Nielsen/status/225701633840005120It was also nice to catch a few familiar faces as well as new ones. Good to see bike mechanics and marshals Phil and Peter – the latter donning a strange hat. Pretty sure I saw Fiona Wood aka Kensington Doll but a bit uncertain if it was her so apologies if I didn’t say hi!

Finally, thanks for the bike lights. Actually needed them since my current set died!

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Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign.

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Bikes, camera, action! Film Tour with Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

Yup, that was my first thought when I was invited to Bikeminded’s Film Tour.  But knowing Bikeminded, I knew they weren’t going to pull a fast one. Instead, they took us cyclists on a revealing journey of film locations in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

Starting from the beautiful Albert Bridge (my favourite bridge in London), Jamie, our guide, revealed that the scene where tramps get their revenge on protagonist Alex from the acclaimed A Clockwork Orange was filmed there. For those unaware of the plot, A Clockwork Orange centres around Alex and his gang of friends who cause chaos in the city through their hunger for violence. A must see film, if you haven’t seen it.

Weaving through the backstreets of SW3 and King’s Road, we arrived at another local fav of mine, Brompton Cemetery. The latest Sherlock Holmes and Johnny English are just a few films that were recorded here. The latter wasn’t mentioned on the tour but I found this particular scene quite amusing:

Jamie also informed us that the many characters from Peter Rabbit are named after people who were buried in Brompton Cemetery.

Whilst heading north of RBKC we cycled up Notting Hill. The steep climb was much needed after consuming these little treats (thanks to the person who brought them!). Once the hill was tackled, we bumped into the hordes of tourists. Not particularly a great idea considering it was market day on Portobello Road.

We finished up near Latimer Road and learnt about how the borough isn’t just filled with your Made In Chelsea posh types. The borough is mixed with people from different backgrounds, cultures and countries – symbolised by the film Kidulthood, directed by Ladbroke Grove’s very own Noel Clarke (also known as Doctor Who’s Mickey Smith).

RBKC is a joyous borough to cycle through and oozes in history. It certainly one of the most beautiful areas to cycle through whether or not you tag along with one of the tours.

But if you do want to book for one of the tours, visit their website.

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#CYCLINGONTWITTER

Fiona Wood, one of the cyclists on the Film Tour, blogs about her experience too.

Popcorn cake. Treats post cycling. That’s new.

 

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ON BEINGBIKEMINDED.ORG: FILM COMPETITON

Bikeminded Cycle Shorts Competition

 

 

 

 

If Bikeminded’s tours aren’t enough to reel you in, then why not enter their film competition, Cycle Shorts. All you have to do is produce a 90 second film of any genre as long as you feature cycling and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in a creative way. Upload it onto Youtube or Vimeo along with the online application form. Simples!

Need inspiration? Here’s a lovely little clip from Bikeminded themselves.

Happy and safe cycling!

 

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Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Christmas with Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

The brilliant folks at Bikeminded are certainly in a festive mood this December as they reveal their Christmas advent calendar on their website for readers got a special festive surprise for readers to win everyday over the Christmas period.

All you have to do is visit bikeminded.org and see the advent calendar pop up. Click on the current date and see what you have to do to win a one-of-a-kind present from the folks of Kensington and Chelsea. People have already won themselves a snazzy bike cover and exquisite macarons from Belgravia’s Pierre Herme – who knows what you’ll win tomorrow? Just be sure to enter everyday!

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Councillor, Paget-Brown, encouraged cycling over the holidays and added: “We want all cyclists in the borough to have a safe festive season, and hopefully our top tips will help them to just that. We want to encourage more local residents to get on their bikes this festive season; to beat the traffic when doing their Christmas shopping, as well as to help burn off some calories from festive over-indulgence.

“Cycling is a great way to boost your well-being, improve the local environment and a fast, efficient and cost-effective way of getting around the borough. So whether you’re off to a carol service, doing your last minute shopping, taking presents to a friend, we want you to cycle there!”

With the Olympics on the horizon next year, be sure to keep your eyes  peeled on Bikeminded in the 2012!

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Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

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OUT FOR A SPIN

Hello, hello and hello there and thanks for reading my Being Bikeminded despite the lack of posts. Just the one announcement before I recount my cycling tales: Being Bikeminded posts will be moved to a monthly feature until the end of my first academic year of uni. Quite annoyed since I enjoy the weekly posts but I guess I needed to sacrifice something so I can attempt to balance my life out.

So yes with that out of the way, there hasn’t been any change of destinations for me and my bike. However, the surroundings and atmosphere has changed. Portobello Road, King’s Road, Oxford Street, Fulham Broadway, Hyde Park: all these places have been given the Christmas makeover. Christmas trees, lights, ornaments have been scattered across the city whilst restaurants and stores have started to spin their Christmas playlists.

And now has never been a better time to get on your bike, bring out the camera and see the sights. With those nifty lights Bikeminded gave me, I too, looked like a glowing ornament that wouldn’t look out of place on a Christmas tree.

Also seeing the mix of traffic and festive lights, for example, while cycling make it seem like you’re in some psychedelic happy-land or travelling on the Millennium Falcon going into hyperspace.

Of course the one draw back about cycling at this time of year is that you carry more weight in order to keep yourself warm from the biting temperatures. Ok, so those biting temperatures haven’t arrived but when they do come, do make sure to get the correct gear which I’ll get to in a tick.

A word of advise: don’t actually taken any hallucinogens.

Stay safe, stay warm and keep cycling!

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FEATURED PIC FROM BEINGBIKEMINDED.TUMBLR.COM

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#CYCLINGONTWITTER

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ON BIKEMINDED.ORG: DRESSING FOR THE COLD AND RAIN

Just because its been the mildest November since records began doesn’t mean the cold and rain (and snow!) won’t arriving to buffet and subdue us back into the tempting safety and warmth of our beds. When they do come, clothing will be an important factor: is it waterproof? Will it hinder my movement? Do I look like a hideous ogre in this raincoat? Bikeminded have kindly posted some tips that could potentially save your arse, look and feel graceful and keep you safe this season.

Want a tip from me?  FirstlyWear your pyjamas underneath*. My word…the warmth I feel. Secondly, keep all electronics in your bag, not in your pocket. My friend Robbin, who accompanied me on this year’s London Skyride, nearly broke his iPhone’s speakers.

Correction: I nearly broke his iPhone’s speakers.

Finally, don’t forget your lights. It’s against the law to cycle in the evening without any lights. Red lights at the back, white lights at the front.

*Not recommended for all. May not work if you want some freedom in the general leg and groin area.

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Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

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OUT FOR A SPIN

Hai again and I’m bringing you an autumn themed blog post this week, so bring out your lights, grab your gloves and for the love of God wrap up warm!

I haven’t been on my bike as much as I would like to this week but I was reminded of how different cycling is during the autumn period. The load I’ve been carrying has increased because of the amount of layers I have to put on in an attempt to keep the biting chill at bay, and despite wearing glasses, my eyes cannot stop watering because they feel like they’ve pinched by someone who hasn’t cut their fingernails in 5 months.

I think I may need some tips on how to wrap up warm and remain comfortable whilst on my bike (some tips and tricks needed if you’re reading, Bikeminded!)

Today [Sunday], I discovered a weird back route to get to High Street Kensington. My neighbour and fellow cyclist, kingsroadrocks, showed me a quiet route to bypass the sometimes unforgiving nature of RBKC’s roads. But in typical fashion, I got lost for the first time in more than a decade. Mews, dead ends, roads I thought didn’t exist – at some point, consulting my iPhone for directions would have been a sensible idea. But where’s the fun in that? Cycling gives you a perspective that you wouldn’t get when you’re in a car and I ended up cycling and visiting cafés that I’ve never seen before in the 14+ years I’ve been in and around High Street Ken.

Bypassed mob-like traffic, found new cafés, stayed warm – yup, a good week!

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ON BIKEMINDED.ORG: LIGHT MY WAY

When the days are dark as the nights are long, bike lights are a must and required by law. Fortunately, Bikeminded has provided me with their own branded set of lights to cover that problem. Yet I somehow managed to miss this as part of their awesome autumn tips:

2. The safest combination of lights would be to use 2 front lights ( one flashing and one constant beam to light your way ) and 2 rear lights ( flashing and constant ). But as a minimum you need a front white light and a rear red light. You should also have a rear reflector.

But in typical Nielsen style:

Back of bike

Front of bike

Here’s a top tip: don’t mix up where you’re supposed to place your lights. You’ll look like a fool.

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Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

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TAKING THE BIKE OUT FOR A SPIN

First week back with Murray and I’ve got to say, I did miss that rattling, single geared….blue – who am I kidding? It’s not the same as the Brompton!

At least the bike is still rideable and can get me from A to B in Chelsea town but is still in need of some repairs. I should just purchase a new bike altogether. If you know any place where I can get a good bike for about £100 then tweet or drop me a comment.

Or you can donate some cash? No? Worth a shot.

In other news, I returned to the King’s Road’s Bluebird Epecerie and it got me thinking, “why haven’t I visited this place more often?” There is a large bike park literally outside the café where you can keep an eye on it whilst working or having some tea. I highly recommended their hot chocolate but Le Pain Quotidien’s one is still the one to beat.

Unless another café has anything to say about it…..

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ON BIKEMINDED.ORG: I WONDER IF THEY SELL HAIRMETS?

Hair and helmets aren’t really great friends. You pop a helmet on, cycle, collect sweat, park your bike, take it off and viola: anime hair or hair looks like its been flattened by an encyclopaedia for several days. Kell Skott, hair stylist from Notting Hill’s Kell Skott’s Haircare, has provided some awesome tips to keep the helmet hair at bay.

However, if you want a simple solution…..

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Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

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JUST TAKING THE BIKE OUT FOR A SPIN

I didn’t have the best of weeks: caught man-flu, missed my friends and still feeling…meh with university. Cycling, however, always provides me with a burst of short term sanity and stability (thank you endorphins). Like how some people who own cars just go out for a drive, I used some of my free time just to cycle Chelsea town.

And I’m glad I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to capture moments like this:

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‘ARE YOU SELLING [MOULTON MARTINIS] IN BOTTLES?’

On Wednesday, I was still feeling groggy and I was invited to attend the Bike Heroes party at the Kensington Hotel’s Aubrey restaurant. As you know – or not – Bike Heroes are locals who have been given a Brompton, Moulton or Electra for 2 months to cycle RBKC and beyond and the party marks the end of it. I was the first one there – I cycled there, of course – and had the Moulton martini.

Now if you do have a burning throat, a hoarse cough and stuffy nose, paracetamol or cough syrup would be the more appropriate thing to take. But no, I decided to have 11 Moulton martinis and a few glasses of Berries On Brompton (ingredients include Plymouth gin and fresh rasberries and blackberries). Would I recommend doing that if you need to cycle home afterwards? No. If you’re ill? Yes.

A hundred times yes.

Oh yeeh, a huge thank you to the folks at The Aubrey – top notch service as always! And great meeting other Bike Heroes and bike enthusiasts too.

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DO YOU WANT A GAME OF BADMINTON? NO!!!11!

Yeah, I think after about 15+ miles of cycling and hiking up the hills of Richmond Park, that was a pretty silly thing to ask. But hey, it’s me.

I fully understand why a lot of cyclists go up to Richmond: the terrain varies and the ground is never level for too long. It is also not a place for folding bikes, even with the Brompton.

And, of course, if your friend hasn’t cycled in a while, a 20+ mile cycle is inadvisable. Ho hum. Still, great views:

Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

Sorry but allow me some time to compose myself.

A little more time, please.

…and a little more.

OK, never mind. I can’t anymore. This is my last week with Dorothy, my Brompton. Over the past 2 months, it has climbed the hills of Richmond Park, strolled around Imperial Wharf, circulated around Kensington, enjoyed many stops and breaks at various cafés in Chelsea and always left me a sadistic smile on my face every time I weaved through London’s traffic.

What more can I add to my brilliant bike? It has already got a starring role on my Bikeminded blog and has relegated my other bike, Murray, to second fiddle. Instead, here’s a breakdown of the numbers during the my time with my bike.

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My 2 Months of Cycling In Facts & Statistics

Name: Dorothy

Average fold-up time: 13 seconds

Can

Number of people who have ridden my bike: 8

Someone

Most common route: Home to Notting Hill/Westbourne Grove and back.

Cafés visited: 32 approx

Times when I cycled in the dark: 2

Spare

Miles cycled: 80 

Road I hate the most: Fulham Road. It loves the kill.

£600

Days when I cycled in the rain: 1

Number of Borough’s cycled to: 3

Haircuts during the two months: 1

Please?

Cost of bike: £600 after discount

Will be updating on Wednesday when I send my bike back!

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Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

A very short update this week since I’ve just started uni and all. You could say travelling there by bike cycle would be a good idea but really? Really?!

HAHAHAHA.

Yeah, not doing that. Unless someone payed me £100,000 to do that for a year which I’ll use to pay off my debt and go on a long arse holiday.

But anyway, the real reason why I won’t post more because I’m sorting out a short video for Bikeminded which I won’t reveal until it’s done. Let’s just say that involves a lot of sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

Like always, you can follow all my cycling shenanigans on Tumblr, beingbikeminded.

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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Being Bikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

This is more or less a very brief update because I use my Brompton everyday since I got it. Cycling around RBKC whether visiting my friend or getting a random bout of fresh air, so apologies for the uninteresting nature. But anywho, after 2 weeks I’ve finally gotten used to that thin Brooks saddle on my green Brompton. My other folding bike, Murray, has a typical black foam saddle, so the transition from a seat with a normal surface area to a sleek but at-times uncomfortable leather one has been quite the challenge.

Saddle observations aside, my bike journeys around RBKC have become much, much quicker. The gears and the bike’s light weight make all the difference for me and can turn a 10 mile struggle around Notting Hill seem like one of my aimless Sunday strolls. What’s more, my folding movement has become almost second nature. It’s as if I was just making the bed after I wake up.

So I’ve got the bike. But there’s a little something that could limit my bike usage over the coming weeks. Tomorrow morning, I’m starting university which is all the way in North West London – a different and – I would like to stress this part – far world from south-west London. Will I attempt to cycle there? Let’s just say the bike has to contend with a Travelcard.

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks indeed….

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For my previous entry, click here

Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign and other Bike Heroes.

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