|Music & Bikes|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 10:36|
Music & Bikes, The Stranglers, Raleigh Grifter, Raleigh Olympus, Specialized, Merida, P-Bike....................
Music and Bikes….
One of favourite rant topics is the rampant pigeon-holing which seems all pervasive in our tabloid ridden society!! People have a natural tendency to typecast, & put people in boxes, whether those people like the box or not! When I left my academic career behind, to open Mikes Bikes, most of my colleagues urged caution. When the shop opened and we targeted the mainstream/ affordable market, people urged against it! When we started selling Race Bikes people urged caution! When we started to focus on 29ers caution was again urged! There is a pattern developing here??!! We went with our gut feeling (something one of my previous college principals (my boss!!) urged against!!) I personally urge against listening to nay-sayers, there are always more of them than supporters!!!
Returning to pigeon holing. Many of you will be aware that many musicians own bike shops, and that many proper (i.e. famous musicians! are bike nuts). Mike falls into the not famous guitarist, never has- been keyboard player, & bedroom (now lounge based)based Jeff Beck (he hates Jeff Beck!). His big musical influence is JJ Burnel (The Stranglers), who rides a bike, a Triumph Bonneville! Often Mikes Bikes is referred to as a Road Bike shop, it is not! It is a bike shop, and it hopes to meet the needs of most cyclists who pop in. We sell more full suss Mountain Bikes than Road Bikes, and more mountain bikes than any other type of bike! So what do the staff ride:
Saracen Clever Mike- Shimano Alfine Hub, 700c wheels Urban Cool bike for going to café Bleu. (£900)
Merida XT Edition 29er This full XT 29er hardtail has covered every trail in Strathspey, including the High Burnside and Badaguish runs, and has proven the equal of any full suss. (£1500+)
Raleigh Team Race Full carbon road bike, award winning team bike, full Ultegra, super stiff with Carbon RS 80 wheels. Superlight, stiff and fast (£3000 ish) Check out the 4.5 stars in Cycling Plus (Britains best selling cycle mag)
Ridley Crosswind Cross bike, Kinesis frame, Ultegra, Stronglight, Mavic Ksyrium, carbon monocoque fork, V – brakes (yes, mini ones! And they work) Deda etc (£N/A a lot, you cant buy it!)
Specialized Amira, - Full carbon race bike, Fulcrum wheels, full 105.etc (£2000)
Specialized Jett 29er – Yes a wee 29er!! And it works as a 15”, with a female specific frame/fork and Body geometry points of contact. Available for demo (£1000)
Merida 0ne-twenty XT, 120mm travel all mountain bike with XT everything, Rock-shox revelations, Monarch 4.2, WTB bits (£2500+)
Specialized P-Bike Reynolds frame, 26” wheeled trials/urban bike (From £450)
Merida Road Ride, Alloy frame, basic bike costs from £459.99, 2 years old and as reliable as ever.
Merida Road Ride 94 Lite, Light sportif female specific race bike, full 105 with awesome Shimano RS30’s (£1200)
Raleigh AT 30, great value , fab looks and still all the original parts after 3 years of regular use!!
Saracen Mantra Expert Awesome looks, SLX gears, Shimano hydraulics, Rockshox Recon this big has been a massive hit Sold Out already for 2012! It sports ridiculously wide Specialized DH tyres (fitted by Bruce) (£850)
Onza Trials Originally from Mikes Bikes, this bike has been around! Before Bruce bought it had been repaired regularly!!
Any way back to the title of this blog….
Around the early 80’s mike played in a not very famous band (which had an unsuccessful reunion in 2011 (Brothers wedding, not Shea Stadium). Around the same time there existed a band on the scene at the same time were the DELGADOS (named after Pedro a cycling superstar at the time), they even named an album Domestiques!! Honest its true.
More recently one of the most influential music groupings of all time, KRAFTWERK, released and album called Tour De France, which even used a campag freehub as a sound effect) (well a silent shimano would not do much for sales, even if you were John Lennon). This band became so obsessive with regard to race bikes, that Karl Bartos resigned, citing the fact that every time they met to record, he found a note saying back soon, out cycling! Makes a change from musical differences.
Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), has a collection of Pinarellos, and a penchant for Rapha clothing, Paul Weller likes the Rapha clothing but does not bother with the bike!
Mike has more guitars than bikes, and importantly more than Dougie (erstwhile employee) who critically owns drums and a PA and is married to a drummer. (these are up there with carbon fibre bikes in the music world, as no one has them when you try to start a band!).
So in the spirit of Top of the pops, here is the Mikes Bikes bike charts from 2012, and from 1978 (1st yr at Secondary for Mike)
Continuing with the cycling/music theme, now that I have started, many cycling runs/events can be compared to music pieces.
The Burma Road. Many years ago a famous NME journo described the quintessential prog rock album “A lamb lies down on broadway” by Genesis thus: “Akin to bursting for a crap whilst crossing a very large field, only to reach a hedge on the other side!” Doing the Burma road is a very similar feeling, long, hard, endless with relief only when you get back to Aviemore.
Time Trials I have had a lifelong love affair with time trials, I love to hate them! They recall Stravinskys, the Rite of Spring, a tortuous piece of music, yet everyone (as in students, pretentious academics etc) insists its worth a listen and everytime I listen I am reminded of the acute misery. What was going on in that guys mind at the time!?
The Cairngorm Hill Climb My favourite road ride, and this needs a great piece of music, my choice is Down in the Sewer by The Stranglers, a long Doors like epic, which ends in at a frenzied pace with 4 musicians all soloing simultaneously. Always tough, and always an achievement, to finish.
That’s enough blogging I am away to practice for the O2 arena gig…………