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Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Well it’s all getting very close now. Gigs are either booked, or close to being finalised. Contact has been made with various companies to beg for parts/spares/food/food vouchers.  We’ve had offers of help with promoting the ride and the cause.
Many thanks to the many good folk out in the twittersphere, of which I’m learning more of as time goes by.  Every friday you can use #followfriday (#FF) to suggest people to follow.  So those of you with twitter accounts it’d be great if you could twitter the following this Friday.
“#FF insert message of support here @buskersonbikes”
I only learn’t his when AcolyteHG twittered the following. So thanks Barbara!
"a late but very special ff# for a really good cause: in a distinctly whacky & uniquely British way: @buskersonbikes have a look at profile!"

If you have a twitter account we'd love you to follow us. we'll be tweeing along the ride too.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Announcing our London Warm Up gig

Big news everyone!
We are going to be playing a warm up gig in London on Monday 18th July at The Abbey Tavern on Kentish Town Road.
It's free entry and there will be music, a raffle and lots of fun as well as an opportunity to wish us good luck and wave us off.

Would be great to see you there

Friday, 24 June 2011

Equipment for the ride

We've paid for the accomodation, booked the van, done the training and practiced the songs. It would be really helpful if anyone or any companies out there can help with spares, cycling gear or vouchers for supermarkets.

We are riding the following bikes

MakeModelYearTyre SizeTyre make 
DanChargeJuicer Mid2011700x23Continental
DominicKonaHonky Tonk2010700x28Specialized
JonnyTrek1.2 Triple2010700x23Botranger
Warren Trek1.2 Compact 2010700x23Botranger

We still need to buy:

Spare tyres, inner tubes, Cable sets, brake pads, chains, Water bottles, Multi tools, puncture repair kits. We are nearly all medium or large in cycling gear. We are still short spare sets of cycling gear, but I'm aware this is pricey stuff.

In return we can mention you or your company on the blog, your logo on our website, and a listing as "with support from" on future press releases. Of course you'll be able to point to us and say "I helped them realise their dream."


"Look I gave them stuff!"

Of course you'd also have our gratitude

On Cycling to Work

Most people in the group cycle to work every day, but I travel between different client sites and often work out of town; meaning I can’t really cycle to work. However, this week I’ve been working all week in one office in the city, 5 miles from home. Also I had already scouted out where the showers and changing rooms are.
One of the most fun things about the journey is that I would secretly race other cyclist in stages. I split the journey into legs - Camden to Kings Cross, Kings Cross to Islington, Islington to Old Street etc. I’d stop at the lights and look at the other cyclists and see if I could complete the leg faster than the others. I also liked racing cars; sure they can go faster but I get through the traffic.
I actually really enjoyed cycling to work this week apart from the really crappy weather. On some days it would be sunny all the time I was in the office and the minute I got on my bike – it would start to rain. Also, to get the millage up, on Wednesday I got up early and went for a few laps of Regent’s Park on the way in. The traffic around Kings Cross and in the City wasn’t so much fun either.
The most important thing is that I proved that I can get on my bike every single day and not feel stiff or sore for it. Bring on LeJoG!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Singing oldies goldies...

Maybe it was the wind and the rain battering against Brian and Jenny's french windows as we all sat snugly inside; or perhaps it was the belly-warming cosiness of a bowl of Brian's fine pasta or the waft of brownies baking in the oven... Either way, yesterday afternoon's rehearsal in Brixton had a wonderfully blissed-out feeling about it that found its way into the latest clutch of songs that we - myself, Dan, Brian and Jonny - primed for the adventure.

Mark Knopfler might not be too happy about it, and I think it probably negates any thought of rawk-star headband-wearing, but one of the highlights was a lilting version of 'Walk of Life'. Be-bop a lula, baby, yeah, in a pair of fur-lined slippers. A couple more classics, too, knocked off fairly quickly on uke, guitar, bass, melodica and clarinet: 'My Girl' by The Temptations and 'Tainted Love', the latter straying nicely from Soft Cell's bombast into a warm, rolling drift of a song. Time, too, to reinvent Coldplay on 'Viva La Vida' and to pick up the tempo a little bit by going over The Libertines' 'Don't Look Back into the Sun'. Last word to a couple of Brian's babies: 'Hang on to Yourself' by Bowie, a tricky song which is starting to take shape; and 'Rambling Rose' by Nat King Cole, which has all the hallmarks of a Buskers on Bikes sing-along-a-classic... Nice.

It's been a bit of a struggle over the months to get the whole group in one place at one time - we were all aware yesterday of the need to fit three more musicians into the mix; doubtless there'll be fluctuating line-ups at the rehearsals from now until the off in five-weeks time (five weeks! five weeks!)... But we'll get there. We've now got a working list of 15 songs and a handful more to throw into the mix either before we go or on the trip itself. As long as we can all get up and play from our hearts and with big stupid grins on our faces, then we're laughing. As the man (nearly) says... 'Yeaaah, the boys can play...'

Got to love a bit of Dire Straits.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Gig booked in Carlisle

Just a quick post, the fantastic guys at the Cranemakers pub in Carlisle are going to be hosting Buskers on Bikes on August the 3rd. Come on down if you can make it, it will be a fun evening

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Website Updated

I've updated the website to use our new logo and a nicer design.
Let me know if you have any comments.


Monday, 6 June 2011

Thrills on the hills

After a (relatively) gentle hoon-about around North London a couple of weekends back, we took to the somewhat more challenging terrain of the South Downs the following day, pushing off from the picturesque environs of Lewisham station and gradually leaving the urban smokiness for dust. Through Mottingham, Chiselhurst and around the bulging belly of Bromley - and out into the green hills.

Four intrepid travellers this time - myself, Dom, Jonny and Brian - muscles rippling, pecks bulging, stomachs growling. And what a route! - picked out by map-man-in-chief, Brian. It really hits home on days like this just how lucky we are (particularly those of us down in South London) to be within easy distance of all this fresh air and green and pleasant land. A beautifully rolling, long road called Pilgrim's Way was the definite highlight: banks of fields on either side, hardly a car in sight and a view of the Downs stretching out in all directions around us.

Man, there were some hills, too: one in particular (Sunbridge Hill? - see photos for immediate post-Sunbridge shots) appeared out of nowhere, hidden behind hedges and a sharp left turn. A bona fide thigh-trembler. But, you know, I would have openly sank to my knees and wept at the sight of it a few months ago - and now it's just another monster to tick off the list.

A quick postscript: great meeting in the glittering offices of Cancer Research last night, kindly organised by Fiz, our wonderful CR representative. Many, many hills to climb before we set off next month (yup, thanks Dan for pointing out that it's actually next month), but you know what? We've got the legs for it.