The first EVER L’Eroica Britannia is mere weeks away (calm down, calm down, it’s not Erotica , we hasten to add, as one of our team here disappointedly found out).
But disappointment it will be NOT. Yours truly will be there showing our sterling steeds, and other fine wares, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg (although some might say an historic cycling road race spanning the majestic hills and valleys of the Peak District, Derbyshire is a close contender).
Here’s our guide to the weekend – and hope very much we’ll see you there!
First of all, it’s going to be an almighty festival topped off by a road race in the very best vintage tradition. L’Eroica literally translates as ‘the heroes’. L’Eroica Britannia embraces the idea of heroic cycling and the romance of cycling as it once was, recognising the age old ideals of valour and courage. The l’Eroica hails from Tuscany and is described by The Guardian as ‘Run on gravel roads with 80s bikes, woollen jerseys and fuelled by rich Italian food and wine, the gloroius L’Eroica race captures the golden era of cycling’.
The pinnacle of the festival is on Sunday 22 June, with a three route bike tour of some of the most spectacular and uncharted landscape of The Peak District, including the private lands of the Chatsworth Estate. Come on the day and marvel at the unique spectacle of nearly 2000 riders taking on the challenge of the mighty Peak District on pre-1987 vintage bikes dressed to the nines in glorious vintage apparel. Have a look at the routes HERE http://www.eroicabritannia.co.uk/route
But it’s not all about the ride. An entire family festival has been planned around the cycling, celebrating ‘Best of British. Experience three jam packed days of live music, shopping and fun fair magic. There’ll be more than 100 brilliant brands including fascinating vintage sales, lifestyle finds, bike brands (including yours truly), a Bike Jumble and amazing street food trucks and drinking experiences. The style mavens over at Elle Decoration have even included the event in their compilation of the most amazing events happening this summer in the UK.
And furthermore, the entire event is FREE! What’s not to love…
Find out all about it on the event’s fabulous website L’Eroica Britannia.
We’re exhibiting at the Norfolk Game and County Fair this weekend (26th – 27th April 2014) at the Norfolk Showround, Norwich and really hope we’ll see you there!
We’ll be loading up our very nicest van with a little bit of everything including a bevy of Bettys, an a-bundance of Berties and all sorts of cycling loveliness for you to test ride, try on, ding dong and generally enjoy!
You can buy tickets, download your map and generally get excited at what promises to be a lovely event here.
British Country Fete by Robert Duckworth Greenham. Beautiful.
… to all our customers, suppliers and friends! Anyone got any good rides planned over the bank holiday?
Lets hope the weather warms up a tad, and that all our new customers receiving their bicycles this weekend will be able to get our there and enjoy a ride. If the Easter bunny brings what we are hoping for, a bike ride and some furious pedalling will certainly be in order.
We’re open tomorrow (Good Friday), Saturday 30th March and then all back to normal from Tuesday 2nd April, but do send us an email… and chances are we’ll get back to you.
After being properly scuppered by the snowy conditions in January, we’re going to give it a go again with the Beg Bicycles February Joy Ride. January’s cancelled ride was such a good one, we’re running it again (or rather riding it) and we hope you’ll come along too for some great cycling company, super-tasty pit-stops (coffee and cake is always a pre-requisite!) and generally a good time.
The February ride is on Sunday 17 February. We’ll be meeting at Shepreth train station car park at 10.30am. To fortify us prior to setting off, we’ll have tea and cake at Teacake, a lovely little tea room in Shepreth, which we went to last January and is well worth a return visit for its warm welcome and the owners’ impressive knowledge of aromatic teas!
From there, we’ll cycle to Fowlmere, Newton, Haslingfield and Barrington (yes, we’re going up Barrington Hill, gulp!) and then have another well-deserved pit stop at the Royal Oak pub in Barrington. Keeping it informal, I won’t be booking a table for us all for this stop, so if you’d like to eat please do, or just stop for a drink, the choice is yours!
From Barrington, we’ll continue back to Shepreth. The cycle route is a round trip of 11 miles.
Look forward to seeing you on 17 February! Any queries, as ever, please do drop us an email here or call Esther on 07910 487 856. If you can let us know if you are coming along, that would be REALLY great!
By the way – the image above is, of course, a joke. We look a whole lot more sporty than that – and naturally go a lot faster.
Esther’s kicking off a brand spanking new year of our wonderful Joy Rides with a real treat for January! Yes, another year bites the dust, but the Beg Bicycles January Joy Ride proposes to blow away the cobwebs, while still retaining some festive cheer! We have not one but TWO potential foodie stops on the way. Well, we have to ease ourselves back in gently, don’t we?
The January ride is on Sunday 20 January. We’ll be meeting at Shepreth train station car park at 10.30am. To fortify us prior to setting off, we’ll have tea and cake at Teacake, a lovely little tea room in Shepreth, which we went to last January and is well worth a return visit for its warm welcome and the owners’ impressive knowledge of aromatic teas!
From there, we’ll cycle to Fowlmere, Newton, Haslingfield and Barrington (yes, we’re going up Barrington Hill, gulp!) and then have another well-deserved pit stop at the Royal Oak pub in Barrington. Keeping it informal, Esther won’t be booking a table for us all for this stop, so if you’d like to eat please do, or just stop for a drink, the choice is yours!
From Barrington, we’ll continue back to Shepreth. The cycle route is a round trip of 11 miles.
Really hope you can join us on 20 January! Any queries, as ever, please do drop Esther a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The October Beg Bicycles Joy Ride was one of those lovely scenic bike rides that clears the cobwebs and makes you glad to be alive! It really was a day of mists and mellow fruitfulness and yet again, a dry day! Our Joy Rides have certainly been smiled on by the weather gods this year!
We met at Newnham Road car park and then cycled through the centre of Cambridge (avoiding dogs, tourists, pedestrians!) and then alongside the river, admiring the hustle and bustle of rowing activity on and around the riverside.
From there, we swished through the autumn leaves out to Milton Country Park where we stopped for tea and cake. I enjoyed a large steaming mug of coffee and the gooiest chocolate muffin you have ever seen! Well, we’d cycled six miles, so needed refuelling! The conversation quickly turned to the merits of different cake and quite a debate ensued! We were delighted to welcome to the ride Miss Sue Flay of The Secluded Tea Party so we definitely had an expert on hand for our baking and caking questions!
Following a lovely pitstop in the fresh air and a good chinwag, we made our way back from Milton Country Park to the centre of Cambridge and said our farewells.
The last Beg Bicycles Joy Ride for 2012 will be on Sunday 25 November. Further details to follow – and hope we’ll see you!
Thanks to Sue and Esther for the images.
Someone switched on Autumn all of a sudden, but there is still time for some lovely seasonal bike rides before the weather turns wintery! We’ve got lots of great rides lined up in the coming months, including our regular Cambridge ride this Sunday (21st October). Joy Rides also crossed the channel this month (Le Joy Ride Paris?) for a very scenic ride along the Seine, and we’ll be doing another one in November. Details to follow for any Parisians who would like to come along. Chapeau!
For the Beg Bicycles Joy Ride on Sunday 21 October, we’ll be meeting at 10.30am at the Newnham Road Car Park in Cambridge
From there we’ll be cycling through Cambridge and out to Milton Country Park, where we’ll enjoy a cuppa at the country park cafe before completing a circular route back to Newnham Road. The ride is approximately 8 miles. Really hope you can join us!
Don’t forget, you can find out more information about Beg Bicycles at www.begbicycles.com and can read all about our previous Joy Riding exploits here!
… And Other Areas:
A Guide to Cosy Winter Cycling
Your Nether Regions
We’ve been thinking long and hard about cycling in the colder months here at BEG, and considering ways to make your ride all the more pleasurable, whilst being practical and useful. Autumn and winter cycling has many charms but a chilly backside on an icy cold saddle certainly isn’t one of them!
So one of the new products we’ve come up is the BEG Sheepskin Saddle Cover. Be kind to your behind, with these luxurious, beautifully-made covers that give a really toasty, very soft and comfortable ride. They also work a treat if you are breaking your new Brooks saddle in, and finding it rather hard-going!
Our natural sheepskin saddle covers are made in Great Britain from 20mm pile sheepskin, so are very sumptuous, soft and certainly a treat for your derriere! They are designed to perfectly fit Brooks B66 and 67 saddles, but because of their drawstring and toggle construction, they nicely fit many other saddles we have tried them on.
There is but one danger.
Once on, you may never want to get off. Could be a long ride.
We’ve been wanting to write a blogpost for ages about our friend Tiffany. We first met Tiffany when we spied some of our BEG collection on her lovely foodie + cycling blog, www.tifamade.tumblr.com, and then we found out that we had two things in common… pink bicycles (sigh!), and a love of Paris (it was living in Paris that inspired us in the first place to start BEG – as have probably said 67, 000 times!).
So please allow us to introduce Tiffany of Tifamade, urban cyclist, creator of Tifamade (delectably handmade lunches and beautifully styled catering brought to you by bicycle), doyenne of the gourmet Parisian sandwich, calligrapher (Tiffany did our ‘Glorious Summer of Cycling‘ lettering), photographer, cyclechic designer and general uber-cool girl about town (and not just any town. Sorry. Forgot, we’d mentioned Paris already. It is lovely though)…
Hello, Tiffany! Tell us a bit about how you got into cycling your gorgeous pink bicycle all over Paris selling such delectable goodies from your vintage suitcase?
Hi BEGsters! So the long story is that I was living in Pantin at the time, and used the Canal Hoche/St. Martin to commute to Paris centre. I saw a triporteur for rent at a bike shop on the canal and couldn’t help thinking there should be some use for it. And I happened to stumble upon (ride upon?) the suitcase at just the same time. I was dating a coursier à velo (bike courier) so cycling was kind of a household thing.
Where did your love of cycling come from?
My dad is a huge cyclist who comes to France each year from the States for one of the big races. I grew up looking for a way to spend time with him, and that necessitated loving bikes too.
What gave you the inspiration to start Tifamade.
I thought about all the great food trucks in the United States, and then thought that I’d never be able to do that in Paris. So I decided to use my bike instead.
What’s your best-sellling sandwich?
Maybe I’m projecting because I love it so much, but anytime I make sandwiches with beet hummus, I get a lot of love. Beet hummus is a nice mellow way to eat beets if you aren’t already a huge fan of them.
How do you find cycling in Paris?
I started wearing a helmet religiously last year because my mom was getting an ulcer worrying about me. I say a lot of bad words under my breath because, to be honest, it can be a little sketchy sometimes. For the most part, I really enjoy the universal bike lane and Sundays when cyclists have a lot of freedom throughout the city.
We hear you also design a mean line of cycling accessories..?
Thanks, I try! I’m always trying to solve some design problem because I don’t necessarily want to roll up looking like a hard-core cyclist. Hence the cute bike lock sock and the pant guard. I’m still waiting for my millions, however.
What’s next in the Tifamade empire?
I’m dying for a cargo bike. But like with other bike-related designs, I’m looking for something that isn’t too cargo-y.
…and for once we’re not talking about our bicycles!
The fabulous Laura Wright, classical soprano and classical music chart topper, is riding our very own Bella in this week’s Hello magazine (and our 100% lambswool picnic blanket makes an appearance too!). We love Laura so this is all rather exciting!
Laura’s having an incredible year. Having been top of the classical album charts in 2011 with her album The Last Rose, Laura became the first soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium in March and has been selected to record the new Diamond Jubilee song, ‘Stronger As One’, which HM The Queen mentioned in her Commonwealth Day Message at Westminster Abbey in March where the song was premiered. She’s also just sung at the FA Cup final – and at our favourite – The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Her new album, ‘Glorious’, was released yesterday – a unique collection of great British songs, old and new, which will celebrate and commemorate the Diamond Jubilee – where she will fly the flag for Britain!
Anyway, we think Laura looks just beautiful - and Bella isn’t bad either!
Many thanks to the team at Hello, Laura Wright and our friend, Selina Lake.