The American Bicycle

Before World War II, tobacco companies included trading cards in their cigarette packaging, similar to baseball cards included in some modern packages of bubble gum.

In 1939, Player Cigarettes in Great Britain released a series of 50 cycling cards with the help of Mr “Harry” England, the editor of Cycling (today’s Cycling Weekly).

The series briefly covers the history of cycling, describing early and (then) modern bikes, such as this Light Roadster Bicycle, described as “admirably suitable for the young and middle-aged for riding to work, to the allotment, or to school.”

Player Cigarette Cards: Light Roadster Bicycle

Continue reading The American Bicycle

Jeremy Clarkson rides a bicycle

The famously anti-bike motorhead and co-host of BBC car show “Top Gear” says he’s bought a bicycle!

There’s only one way they [i.e. avid, lycra clad cyclists] can be defeated. And that’s for normal people to start riding bicycles. We need to swell their ranks with moderates, people who ride a bike because they’ve had a drink and because taxis are too expensive. Ordinary people who ride in jeans and T-shirts and with no stupid helmet.

More at Bike Biz by Carlton Reid: Jeremy Clarkson buys bike, urges “normal people” to follow his example.

H/T to Simon.

Ride Across Britain 2013

John O’Groats to Lands End is the traditional traversal across the length of Great Britain — from John O’Groats at the extreme northeast in Scotland to Lands End in the southwest of Cornwall, England. The Deloitte Ride Across Britain is a 9 day, fully supported bike tour in which you and hundreds of other cyclists can participate in the challenge of riding Britain from end to end.

More info right here.

Google bike directions coming soon to UK?

I’ve noticed that the Google Maps team has been quietly building up their database of cycle tracks, cycle lanes and bike routes throughout the United Kingdom. Google is now augmenting that with a complete map of British Waterways’ bridges, locks and 2,000 miles of towpaths.

Continue reading Google bike directions coming soon to UK?

Boris bike for Royal couple

London Mayor Boris Johnson gave a specially made tandem Boris bike as a wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Middleton and released this video for them on YouTube.

“I look forward to seeing the newly-weds on tandem wheels as they start their new life in Anglesey,” said Johnson when he unveiled the gift.

Photos of the bike and Bixi bike build details from Carlton Reid in the UK.