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BESPOKED 2019 // PANNIER.CC AWARD

Adeline heads to Bespoked Bristol - the UK handmade bike show that supports independent framebuilders - to judge the inaugural Pannier.cc 'Touring & Travel' bike award...

For me, the great irony of the show is that the best vehicle in the world is immobilised – fixed amongst a keen crowd – none of whom can quite get a feel for ride quality. Of all our senses only our eyes can really feast on them, unless, of course, you are a top tube flicker or a tyre squeezer. I am neither, and I set off on my mission not to change that as I stepped in the Old Brunel Station…

The show was full of bikes I’d more than happily swing my leg over and ride out into the sunset on and the choice was kind-of-impossibly hard to make. It is such a luxury, being taken through all these unique bikes and how they came to be, by the individuals who actually built them. When you next find yourself at a bike show, dig for their stories – people with hands this weathered always have more than their share to tell. Stories like Tracey using the residue oil from a tin of mackerel to lube her Ted James bike chain, mid-tour…

Eventually, I narrowed the Pannier.cc Award for Touring and Travel Bikes down to three:

STANFORTH // THE PAMIRA
TED JAMES // TRACEY'S TITANIUM TOURER
DEAR SUSAN // MIKE ROTCH

Examining all of the adventure vessels at Bespoked left me hungry to escape the buzz of the show and feel the fresh air on my face. On Saturday, we eased the pain of ‘celebrations’ with a rag around the woods – something I had wanted to do every time I was exhibiting at the show with Mercredi Bikes, but never could. After an evening of adventure films at Business As Usual, we couldn’t hold back anymore – we left that party as quietly as five giddy, excited riders can – bikes loaded up with snacks and quilts set off to find a camp-spot for the night. In the depth of my bivvy bag, warmed up by two sleeping bags and few gulps of cider, I dozed off thinking that the single-speed-village-bike Katherine lent me for our weekend adventures should receive a special mention in this category…

CREDITS

Words & ‘Pannier.cc Award’ Judging
Adeline O’Moreau

Photos
Ben Broomfield
Alex Turner
Jim Holland

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