Guest Blogger for International Women's Day

The Traditional Cycle Shop owned by Pashley Cycles, Stratford upon Avon invited me to write a blog for International Women's Day 8.3.18.  Here it is and thank you Fran Martin for invited me.  A trip to Stratford upon Avon offers a great buying experience for anyone contemplating a Pashley handbuilt bicycle.  Book an appointment with Fran and you will not be disappointed.  He has a refreshing energy and excitement that really makes you and your love of the bicycle feel validated. 

Liz spent a day with me at The Traditional Cycle Shop teaching me all I know about bike fitting and to this day, each time I adjust a bike for a customer, I can still hear Liz’s calming voice talking about ‘the Goldilocks position’...
Fran Martin.

I cut a hole in my Brooks B17 saddle with a Stanley knife back in 1992.  Admittedly, it wasn’t my idea but I’d seen a woman in Berlin do this to her saddle. “Wow, I’ve gotta try that!” It certainly worked and twenty years later Brooks officially call this pressure relieving feature ‘carved’ and it’s a much neater affair with tricolour bodice-like lacing to boot. The honey Imperial B17s pictured will adorn my latest Beaumont step-through commissioned by a Shropshire-based Breeze champion as she leads her rides, inspiring and encouraging more women into the saddle, I know she’ll be enthused to share what she’s gleaned from having a made to measure bicycle built to her specification. 

...Meanwhile, during the cold snap, I fitted Schwalbe Snow tyres to my winter bike, which is best done wearing gloves. I may have rather alarmed tentative traffic as I flew passed flushed with confidence at being velcroed to the road but they got me to my workplace with a Scandi-style buzz (actually the studs sound like you’re riding through popping candy). Today on International Women’s Day, I will entertain Chris from Swrve with ‘pour over’ coffee as they say in Portland and I shall extol the virtues of my black Skinny fit cycling jeans bought from him last year at Bespoked and thoroughly recommended them for their saddle friendly gusset, stretch factor and reflective turn-ups. Then I will treat my engineering mentor Trevor Jarvis to lunch at the Castle Hotel in honour of the major part he’s played in my continued development as a framebuilder. I’m the same age as his daughter and if I had been his daughter, we would definitely have had a van saying ‘Jarvis and Daughter Ltd.’