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John is my favourite sparring partner on Twitter. He is a lunatic. And a cyclist. The best kind of person then.

If you make any sense of this blog, let me know.

John is my favourite sparring partner on Twitter. He is a lunatic. And a cyclist. The best kind of person then.

If you make any sense of this blog, let me know.

Hello, Readers. COME WITH ME on an journey through the World of Cycling.



The pressed steel tools that you get with cheap "Bike in a Box" bikes are made at the same factory as Curly Wurlys. To produce the tools, the factory simply cuts fewer holes, and uses softer material than is used in Curly Wurlys.

The first Allen keys to be used in cycle repair were the house keys of a man called Alan. He was terribly cross about the whole business, and went into manufacturing them as tools so that people would stop borrowing his keys. Whilst the name stuck, its misspelling is deliberate, so that people can’t find his house and let themselves in for a brew using a multitool. You can feel something of his frustration every time you want to use your own 5mm allen key, which has always been borrowed by someone else, especially if it’s one of those nice T handled ones[1].
Prior to the widespread use of the "allen bolt", most fastenings on bicycles were achieved using either strongly knotted twine, delightfully patterned ribbon, or nuts[2].

The words "brake" and "pedal" are frequently misspelled "break" and "peddle"[3]. Many psychiatrists see this as a cry for help.

An energy gel

Just the thing to get you up that last 5km of Alpe D’huez.

Energy gels are made by feeding a particular species of slug on a solution of 87% sucrose, and 13% food colouring. The slugs may be steeped in strong coffee if the gel formulation calls for caffeine as well. The slugs are then wrapped in an easy to open[4] plastic sleeve for on the go nutrition, and that.

The football men in teams named "Dynamo <PLACE NAME HERE>" from football cannot be used to generate power for lighting on your bicycle, at least, not like that. Nor can their SONs[5].

foxy stoat Vulpine

Early Foxy Stoat Apparel board meeting. In the far distance you can see founder @aslongasicycle frolicking in the surf.

Noted cycling clothes manufacturer and mine host Vulpine has its origins in a small specialist manufacturer called "Foxy Stoat Apparel". It wasn’t possible to keep this name because of another company in cycling also called FSA (which, in that case, stands for "Fast Stoat Accoutrements"[6], as everyone knows).

The practice of Wheel Truing gets its name from the very earliest days of cycling. Scared yokels would wonder whether the breathtaking alacrity of the cyclist was bestowed by God, or the Devil. They would test the "truthe" of the cycle’s wheels, and those with excessive wobble were held to be propelling the cyclist "uponne the Devil’s worke".
The modern newspaper columnist simply dispenses with testing the wheels before reaching an often HILARIOUSLY contraversial verdict.

Thirty eight geese, one fixie. There'll be hell to pay.

Thirty eight geese, 1 fixie, and an embittered coot. There are few more combustible scenarios.

Geese love cycling, but in nature’s cruellest irony[7], are poorly adapted to it due to their tiny goose legs, and unaerodynamic webbed feet[8].

[1] I know, observational comedy, right? A few more of these, and I’m on Michael Mackintyre’s roadshow, you wait and see.
The story of the Allen key is an interesting one, not least as it relates to early industrial safety movements (a hex socketed bolt can be fastened so it doesn’t protrude, lessening the chance of a fastener catching a worker’s clothing and pulling them into dangerous machinery, for example). I can’t help feeling that my making a silly joke of it diminishes us all.
[2] This term having a far more worrying derivation.
[3] In the worlds of wooden board hating martial art Tae Kwon Do, and itinerant small scale mercantislism, the obverse misspelling occurs; indicating, perhaps, that many of our fellow humans are subconsciously searching for our hobby, even as some of our fellow cyclists search for theirs. It’s cruel world at times, readers.
[4] Easy to open if you are sat at a table, reasonably alert, with an assortment of scissors and craft knives close to hand. And as long as it’s a Tuesday, with relative humidity around the average value for 4pm on the 21st of June in Gretna Green.
[5] Hahahaha! DON’T JUDGE ME.
[6] Competition in the lucrative Stoat clothing/accessory market is sursprisingly intense, and trademarks are guarded jealously. Sometimes by fierce dogs, or annoyed pine martens.
[7] A verse on this topic was originally included in music’s Alanis Morrissette’s instructional song about the concept of irony. Depending on who you listen to, it was cut either for time,
or for being too stupid. A short run of 12" extended versions of the song was issued (and recalled) that did include this verse. This rare pressing has a B side of grimestep remixes of Bucks Fizz’ "Land of Make Believe", on which Ms. Morrissette provides percussion by means of "human beatboxing", a bit like the man on Police Academy, (but not Steve Guttenberg). These are now highly sought after by record collectors who like music’s Alanis Morrissette, and
do not understand irony or geese.
[8] They’d make brilliant swimmers though, wouldn’t they? If only they could see past cycling, those poor, vain geese.

[*] I say facts, you could read this as a selection of stupid ideas and weak puns too. IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.

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