Bristol Oktober Bike Fest

This weekend was the Bristol annual Oktober Bike Fest. I was riding as part of a newly assembled all girl single speed team for the first time. Arriving in town Friday morning, I met some people from the Pervasive Media Studios to talk about cyclic's most recent bicycle art project, followed by a visit to Arnolfini Gallery. At the end of the day it was time to start the climb out of city center, over the Clifton suspension bridge and on to Ashton Court where the race was held. Climbing out of town on the stylish Singular Gryphon on loan from Sam, wearing an equally stylish trench coat, looking good for a someone who lost their biking legs over the bridge - it was sooooo high.

Saturday morning our team Captain Jessica named us The Slits for the weekend and we all agreed to it. One lap of the course was 9km and was made up of 70% newly carved out single track. It was disney dirt. Fun lady lumps, tight corners, a neat rock garden and two decent climbs. After 07:30hrs of riding, 13 laps, and various comments on the bike, from 'bet those drop handle bars are fun' to 'well done! you lunatic!'. The Slits came second in the combined womens category, although had there have been a single speed women team category, we were winners! We won buffs, beer tokens and danced victoriously into the night.

Image from www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk


blue sky, blue sea, blue cyclic! blue

10 o'clock this morning cyclic! set out for the beach. A nice 50km round trip. Blue skies and a cool breeze: perfect. Riding next to the red Koga on my 1979 'sit up and beg' dutch city bike, felt like riding alongside a champion in a beaten up Peugeot (1979). Doing my very best to keep up with the koga and feeling very important. Giving water or repairing a flat for the one true champ: a good friend on a racer. We stopped only for the obligatory coffee and apple tart and to admire the grace of a jumbo jet taking off from Amsterdam's airport, slowly rumbling over the nature reserve 'spaarnwoude'. A good day of riding, with a good amount of hanging out at the beach in between. As the afternoon came to an end, a cool mist rolled in, cooling our hot pink legs for the journey home. After perhaps too much sun, we came across a huge 'cyclic blue' building, only one thing to do, an impromptu performance/photoshoot. This reminded us that we still have s few cyclic t-shirts left. Contact us if you would like one.


Bicycle Monologue: Opening Act for Amsterdam Bicycle Film Festival

Vera donned her best wool jersey to take center stage alongside her finest bike 'red koga' at the opening of the Bicycle Film Festival in Amsterdam. Under the spotlight and in front of a huge audience Vera performed the first in a series of Bicycle monologues 'Mid-bike crisis'. The performance was a confession on what we the biking community all have in common: a special love for the bikes in our lives. All this coincided with the Giro Italia speed trials and the start of Sur Place.

Photo credit and thanks to Igor Freek.


Cyclic! at Sur Place

... but in a very different form.

We thoroughly enjoyed last years exhibition in the Chiellerie gallery and were thinking about doing it again this year. Through the winter there was not much thought of cycling but come spring we were thinking and talking Cyclic! again.

As we were getting in gear so were other people: Mediamatic contacted us about their upcoming Sur Place exhibition about fixed gear bicycles. We decided to jump on their bicycle bandwagon and enjoy the benefits of a bigger organisation and platform and a large group of bicycle enthousiasts working together on this 4 month project. So far it's been a lot of fun: joining in the bi-weekly 'doortrappen op dinsdag' brainstorm sessions (we presented Cyclic! there, other people presented their ideas, everybody eating, talking, listening, cycling on eachothers bicycles together) and looking forward to a summer full of bicycle events.

The Sur Place exhibition opens on 8 May, not-so-coincidentally on the day the Giro D'Italia will be racing by the Mediamatic exhibition space on the Vijzelstraat. The opening will also be the start of the Bicycle Film Festival in Tuschinsky.

And, this is were Cyclic! comes into play again: I've been writing more monologues like the 'mid bike crisis' below and will perform them at the opening event on 8 May. Cheryl will make the visuals to go with the performance. We are happy to make another bicycle/art/media production AND to have a chance to share it with a larger audience. It's all very exciting.

Hope you will be there on 8 May at the opening of Sur Place and enjoy the bicycle monologues!


Mid bike crisis

Scene: me and my classy vintage fire engine red Koga Miyata in a narrow Amsterdam stairwell, third floor, just outside my apartment. It's been a long, dark and cold winter so we haven't spent much quality time together of late. I see her everyday when I leave the house or come back home. The Koga has endured the bad weather rather stoically, silently gathering dust in the stairwell, looking out the window at the rain and snow. Somehow she got a flat, she looks neglected but still proud. Patiently waiting for me to fix her and take her out for a spin on the first sunny day. Trusting my love, love for the first bike I ever truly loved.

Me: *sigh* (look at the Koga, feeling sorry for her, apologetically I stroke the still perfectly lacquered bar, red like my fingernails)
I should have gotten a new inner tube when I was in the bike shop today, I forgot.. damn. It would have been a good day for racing today, the first decent day of the year! It's not cold at all, and I got a new rain jacket and gloves, it would've been great.. just a short trip, the Abcoude-Driemond circle to start with.

Koga: ...

Me: We should start training for the hills of Limburgs Finest soon, 150km this year. It's going to be really tough, we need to be in good shape.

Koga: ...

Me: Then again I was rather busy today.. I was at Pristine. It's this new fixed gear shop that opened up a while ago. It's full of shiny rims, crazy coloured saddles, all brand new stuff, beautiful really, in a hipster cool kind of way.

Koga: ...

Me: All high quality stuff, mind you. Cinelli, is one brand they sell. Nice classy old Italian brand. Classy and beautiful like you.

Koga: ...

Me: Maybe you've noticed I've been a bit distracted lately. Any other winter I would've made sure you were ready to race at all times. Maybe you wonder why I didn't take you to this beautiful new bike shop?

Koga: ...

Me: I'm not sure you'd like it there to be honest. You know what they do with vintage bikes like you? They strip them of their gears and brakes and wheels and everything! Until only the frame is left. And then they fix the frame with the coloured rims and grips and maybe a little frog leg brake on the front wheel. Sometimes a nice new spray paint job. They turn vintage bicycles into really sexy naked modern objects of desire, it's fantastic! *exited now*

Koga: ...

Me: I would never do that to you, you understand? I love you just the way you are. I love your gears and I love your brakes. You got me through the hills of Limburg remember? Man that was great.. how we beat some guys on really expensive new carbon frames, aaah... *reminiscing smile*

Koga: ...

Me: You're my first true bicycle love you know that? There have been others before you but they didn't mean anything to me. You were the first one I really wanted to be seen with. I first realized I loved you when I imagined someone had stolen you. It broke my heart just thinking about it. This was when we raced the Classico Boretti. When we came over the finish line, triumphantly, that was our marriage. I've loved you ever since and I love you still.

Koga: ...

Me: I'll always love you. Nothing will change that, you understand?

Koga: ...

Me: This pink Mercier that entered the house is no threat to what we have. You know the one, she arrived about a year ago, I stripped her and put her on the wall, just a pretty thing to look at, nothing more. She's useless to ride anyway, you're a much better racer.

Koga: ...

Me: But she is the perfect candidate for a Pristine make over I realized as soon as I found her.. I thought that if she had some work done she would really shine! Not race long distance, mind you, but really shine when I take her for a spin around Amsterdam. Nothing special, for long rides I would still take you, always.

Koga: ...

Me: So I've been spending some time with the pink Mercier at Pristine. Well it's been such a shitty winter so I couldn't take you for a ride anyway. Sure you don't mind staying inside in weather like this.

Koga: ...

Me: She's been fitted with white rims and tyres, white spokes, white handlebars and, listen to this... a GOLD chain. It's crazy really, completely over the top. But that's what she's like, you understand. A pink frame to start with, she has ditzy bling polo playing trash written all over her. She's starting to look real good now, in a proud ghetto kind of way. Not classy like you but I have to admit it's pretty fucking cool to have a pink bling baby like this to cruise with.

Koga: ...

Me: I think I'll need some practice learning how to ride her properly without getting into horrible accidents but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There's this whole gang that plays bike polo that I like to hang with, they can teach me how to do tricks as well! Also the whole summer long there'll be an exhibition about these fixed gear bikes in Mediamatic, it's super cool, I'll be spending a lot of time there.

Koga: ...

Me: I'll make sure to plan enough time racing with you to prepare for Limburgs Finest but that's not until June.

Koga: ...

Me: I'm going to move you over a bit so there'll be space for the pink Mercier when she comes home from her extreme Pristine make-over on Saturday.

Koga: ...

Me: I hope you don't mind her moving in. Rather, I've been secretly imgagining you two becoming good friends. No need to look at me as if you're the Queen of England now. She has a decent vintage background like you, she's not all vulgarity and not as superficial as first impression would have it. Let's not forget I found you on Ebay as well!

Koga: ...

Me: Please... don't give me the silence treatment. You know you win that one.

Koga: ...

Me: You know sometimes I miss being a world travelling young and free and wild bike messenger. I love my job but it's in an office. I was hoping that the pink Mercier would give me back some of that being free in the mean streets feeling, the feeling of playing outside, the feeling of being so alive you think you'll live forever.

Koga: ...

Me: I'm really sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Koga: ...

Me: I appreciate your wisdom and understanding. Only age and having been together for a long time can build a love like ours.

Koga: ...

Me: I love you too

Track and beer tuesdays at Mediamatic

Last night cyclic! went to the second session of 'doortrappen op dinsdag' at Media-Matic. This summer they are organising a massive fixie exhibition and event to coincide with this years Giro Italia. Great people MAD about bikes coming together, familiar faces showing up after the big winter sleep. Fish talked about his passion for hacking track life. Taking street track bike riders and introducing them to the velodrome, what an awesome initiative.

Cyclic predicts that this will be a summer we will never forget. Lets Play!


Missed cyclic! '09?

If you heard about cyclic after the weekend of events and exhibition, we have started uploading the weekend onto flickr



A huge thank you to everyone that helped out and came out to see what cyclic was all about. We are taking a well earned break right now, but pretty soon we will be back with more photos and news ;-)

Best (bicycle) regards! Vera & Cheryl.


Ode aan de wereldbeker door Vindersloon

Op vierentwintig maart begon seizoen tweeduizendéén,
wie ging er in Milaan-San Remo met de prijzen heen?
Wie begon het jaar het meest capabel?
Een Duitse renner, Erik Zabel.

Op acht april alweer een koers, dit keer door het Vlaamse land,
Dekker werd hier tweede, dit was een teken aan de wand.
Wie won er wel? Gesterkt door Salami?
Een Italiaan, Gianluca Bortolami.

De week daarna, tijd voor de hel van het noorden.
Wie kon het hardste stoempen, wie sprak zijn laatste woorden?
Wie kwam er in Roubaix als held over de kasseien draven?
Een Nederlander, Servais Knaven.

April dat is een zware maand voor wereldbekerrenners,
Van Luik naar Bastenaken, dat weten alle wielrenkenners.
Wie daarna het eerst weer terug is, is hij die de koers wint.
Een Zwitser deze keer, Oscar Camenzind.

Is het nu voorbij? Nee, april kent nóg een race,
gesponsord door een biermerk over Limburgse tracés.
Wie was de gelukkige, wie vindt Amstel Gold nu lekker?
Een Nederlander, onze eigen Erik Dekker.

De wereldbeker maakt nu plaats voor de grote rondes.
Die duren nog veel langer ook al draait het om secondes.
Maar goed, we zijn nu halfweg, en Dekker staat vooraan.
Oh oh wat is dat spannend het wordt tijd om door te gaan.

Dat doen we in augustus weer het diepste uit de kan.
We rijden in de bergen Classica San Sebastian.
Wie wordt hier vainquer, gelooft niet in laisser faire?
Een Franse veteraan, Laurent Jalabert.

Door naar Hamburg om de HEW Classic te verrijden.
Weer dezelfde mensen die hier om de eer gaan strijden.
Hij won ook Milaan-San Remo, het is incroyable,
de Duitse routinier, Erik Zabel.

Ook zesentwintig augustus zijn de heren ongedurig.
Zij rijden dan om het kampioenschap van Zurich.
De rit gereden op twee borden tortellini.
Een Italiaanse winnaar, Paolo Bettini.

Zeven oktober rijden de mannen Parijs-Tours.
De UCI ongelukkig met de winnaar van de koers.
Ooit in een schandaal krijg je altijd stank voor dank.
Het draait hier om een Fransman, Richard Virenque.

Het is zover, nog maar één ronde, die van Lombardije.
Wie mag zich als laatste in de armen van de missen vlijen?
Geen champagne deze keer, maar een heerlijk glas Sambuca.
Doornat won de Italiaan Danilo di Luca.

Tien wedstrijden gereden om de winnaar te bepalen.
Een jaar lang trappen op pedalen om het podium te halen.
Op één na balen ze allen als een stekker
En dat is de eindwinnaar, Erik Dekker.

november 2001
Niet gepakt of niet gepakt
Nu acht jaar later is zo hier en daar de lof gezakt,
want menig rijder werd op stimulantia gepakt.
Hij reed op EPO, en al ben je nog zo aimabel
dat is feitelijk niet de bedoeling, Erik Zabel

In juni 2004 vloog Bortolami uit de bocht.
Kenacort het spul dat werd gevonden in zijn vocht.
Een paar maanden later stond hij weer aan de start.
In 2006 het fietsen over door problemen met zijn hart.

Dan volgt er nu een breekpunt want we komen bij de braven,
dopetechnisch ongeschonden en hij fietst nog, Servais Knaven.
En Laurent Jalabert is kleerscheurvrij gestopt
hij heeft het ondertussen tot het Frans bondscoachschap geschopt.

Paolo Bettini werd jaren later wereldkampioen
dat heeft hij niet op cortisonen hoeven doen.
Nog een vrijgewaarde, al stond hij toch zo stijf als een plank?
Nooit gepakt, nooit toegeven, Richard Virenque.

Danilo di Luca is de laatste uit mijn rij,
ook hij deed escapades dus hij bleef niet schadevrij.
Que cera cera heeft nu een wrange ondertoon,
In de giro van dit jaar nam hij het gewoon.

En Erik dan hoor ik u denken wat deed Erik Dekker?
Dat lijkt me ook geen gemodificeerd hemoglobine-trekker?
Nee, hij won op eigen kracht, de goden zij dank!
Want ik bewaar mijn geld al jaren bij de Rabobank.

Oktober 2009


Oorbeek rocks Cyclic!

Photos © Cafe Velo

Dressed in vintage cycling jerseys Oorbeek performed in brilliant Cyclic style; departing from the Duchamp installation of a bicycle wheel mounted on a bar stool, which was then used as a musical instrument and played with inner tube, bass guitar, tambourine, a balloon and spoke cards. The multi coloured spoke beads were a nice addition to the original Duchamp.
The Tour de France soundscapes (commentators frantically rattling of the names of the coureurs, typical Tour de France sirens, shouting spectators, nostalgia) blended wonderfully with the backdrop of Brent Humpreys work 'Le Tour'. I loved it!

Only one more day of Cyclic left now, see you tomorrow in the gallerie for a last chance to enjoy the works on display, check out the shop and the movie programme put together by Myrte Derks.