London Bike Show

The Cycling Mayor is not a happy bunny.  She’s also talking about herself in the third person, which is deeply worrying, so I’ll be stopping that at once!  Anyway…

Today is a gloriously sunny but breezy winter’s day.  I should be out in the Cotswolds somewhere with GB doing one of a series of winter mini-sportives.  I missed the last one because I wasn’t that well and as a result I over-slept.  Now I’m missing this one because I’m ill again.  Actually, looking back at that entry, I think it’s the same ill, just a different bout.  Marvellous.  I’m getting a nasty sense of déja vu!… I’m also starting to think that me doing that series of sportives just wasn’t meant to be.  This time whatever it is, t’is worse and at least for today, if you want me, I’ll be on the sofa :(.

So, instead of telling you about my ride, I’ll tell you about the London Bike Show instead.  Usually I attend such things as part of my Bike Shepherd work, but this time I was networking me.   I think it’s fair to say that having done Eurobike last year I have been spoiled for all other bike shows…so you’ll forgive me if I wasn’t as impressed with it as some.  Maybe I’m getting a bit blasé about such things in my old age? 😉  It wasn’t massive, and a lot of the very big bike names, the Treks and Specialized types, weren’t there.  It just felt a bit lacklustre somehow but, as I said, maybe that’s just me.

Nonetheless I had a pretty good, and constructive, day out.  I went to see Nuun as planned, and picked up some more of their lovely lemon tea hydration tablets as well as a couple of new bottles which are, oh so importantly, blue to match my bike ;).  I wanted to see WattBike but they were so busy with people trying out their indoor training bikes that I had to give them a miss – clearly a very popular stand!  I had a chat with Torq about their bars and how I wish they had more flavours in their range as sadly after years of eating them, I now have flavour fatigue :(.  I was going to buy some more of their Pink Grapefruit energy drink but then I’d have had to lug it around all day so I’ll have to get that online instead.  Moving along I bought myself some energy bars from the very lovely friendly guys on the ZipVit Sport stand, and chatted about the failings of last year’s Etape Cymru which they sponsored.  I then had a long discussion with Justin from Participate Sport who have taken over both that event and the Dragon, from which I came away reassured that it will be a greatly improved event this year so I’m considering adding that to this year’s event list.  Well, everyone deserves a second chance, right?  Clearly after my review of the 2011 Dragon I can’t do that one again without tattooing “hypocrite” on my forehead…*grin*.

I then wandered around the rest of the stalls, chatted to a few people, avoided buying more Oakleys, and admired various bikes and kit.  Having had a Cube for coming up three years now, I was quite keen to get a look at their current range, but I’m afraid they get a black mark – lots of shiny bikes, including their Di2 offering – and not one of their ladies bikes.  Not one.  I know space was limited, but still…  OK, so being female at the show did put me in the minority, but I wasn’t the only one!

shiny Cube bikes

Considering the amount of fuss being made about Di2 bikes, and the Cube version having a pretty awesome spec for the money, you’d think they’d have been making more a feature of it, rather than hiding it away here.

can you see what it is yet?

all that for only £2499!

In the meantime, amongst the sea of shiny things, I’m still a sucker for the matt black stealth type bikes.

isn't she pretty?

I know someone who races for the Hope team, so this one’s just for her.  It looks better on her than on the wall though 🙂 :

Hope team kit

Having done the “business” part of my trip I then met up with various friends in the Guinness bar round the corner amongst the boats, friends ranging from those I’ve known for ages to those I’ve never met before other than on twitter, which was all very sociable.  Gotta love social media :).  The show may not really cater for women, but apparently my being female makes it a lot easier to find me in the bar *grin*.  Shall I continue to moan about the general gender bias at the show?  The lack of scantily dressed males strutting around looking pretty?  Because the bikini clad girls weren’t really doing it for me… 😉  Alright, alright, I’ll drop it *grin*.

The show, though interesting, wasn’t all that large, and I didn’t really fancy doing the Outdoor Show or the Boat Show on a just because they’re there basis.  I’m not really in the market for a new bike either, since there’s hopefully one in the pipeline, so I ran out of things to look at after a while.  It was also rather too warm!  Besides which, there was somewhere else I really wanted to be, so I headed off to my next destination – seeing Belinda at Condor Cycles :).  Twitter is all very well, but it is nice to see people in person from time to time :).  And what a very lovely shiny shop!  There was lots to see and drool over, especially if you’re me…  I came up with my plan for when I win the lottery.  I shall buy this:

Rapha Condor team bike

I shall buy all the matching kit:

Rapha heaven

And I shall ride happily off into the sunset *grin*.  Of course they don’t just sell Rapha stuff – they sell everything!  And if you were thinking my tastes are expensive you should see the cost of some of the Assos kit they had.  O. M. G. !  Incidentally I can see at least one reason folding bikes are so popular.  From a retailer’s point of view you can stock a lot of them in not a lot of space! *grin*

serried ranks of folding bikes

There you go.  One Bike Show done.  Two bike Meccas visited.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday :).