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Velorutionaries

  • Velorutionary - Richard Smith

    Richard Smith.

    What do you do for a living?
    I am a hairdresser at John Frieda on New Cavendish Street in the West End. I have been there for over 20 years. I am mainly based in the salon but have worked on countless fashion shows and shoots in London Paris and Milan. It's a great job.

    How long have you been a cyclist?
    Ever since I learnt to ride when I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with bikes.
    I remember getting a BMX when they first came to Britain, after watching ET I had to have one.
    I’ve been commuting on a folder for about 10yrs and competing in sportives and a few triathlons for about the same time.
    For commuting I now ride an 8 speed Airnimal Joey Commute and the guys at Velorution changed a few of the components on it so it rides even more like a road bike. After many years of riding more inferior folding bikes I now have the bike I should have a bought ages ago. I love it.
    Obviously the fitness side is incredible, there is no doubt you can get very strong on the bike quite quickly if your committed enough. I love doing events like the 100 milers they really test you plus you get to see some beautiful countryside.
    There’s nothing better than meeting up with mate’s on a Sunday morning for a ride.

    What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?
    I ride pretty much everyday rain or shine. I live in Kent so I’m spoilt for the most amazing traffic free roads whichever way I go and it’s really hilly so it’s always a tough one!

  • Velorutionary - Sebastian Conran

    Sebastian Conran.

    What do you do for a living?
    As a child I aspired to being an inventor, and I guess I am about as close as I can be to my childhood ambition.

    What's best about cycling?
    The magic moments: my very favourite place to cycle is over Tower Bridge in London.

    What are you currently riding?
    Moultons!

    What was your relationship with Sir Alex Moulton?
    I met him at the V&A, at a launch of the Ford Sierra, and there was an exhibition on at The Boiler House. It was in the early 80’s some time. We got chatting there and he invited me down to Bradford on Avon, where I bought an AM5, which I had for about 20 years before I swapped for a Jubilee.
    Alex was a bit of a mentor to me, and he taught me an awful lot about marketing, and in a way, about engineering, and his approach to design. I found him a really interesting guy, and I tried to soak it all up. You didn’t realise he was telling you stuff until later on, you came across a problem and you’d think, ‘Ah, Alex Moulton told me about this, didn’t he? He anticipated a lot of problems. We had a lot of common interests, we were both interested in cars and motorcycles and bicycles and design.
    Before I got married I used to see him an awful lot him, but then after I had children and you sort of get caught up in all of that. I took my son to see him about three months before he died, and then I went to see him about a month before he died. We had a 90th birthday party for him at Brooks’s Club in St James’s, and we gave him an X-ray photograph of the Mini, which he kept in his dining room.
    He was very generous with his ideas and thoughts, and I found him incredibly encouraging. He was passionate and enthusiastic. He came across as an eccentric inventor, but I guess from my childhood, that was somebody I wanted to be. He reinvented the bicycle! Few people have successfully reinvented the bicycle, as he did. They’re beautifully made, and I get such joy out of riding them.

    Why have you got so many?
    I’ve acquired them over the years, and I love them. I take them on as restoration projects. I felt terribly guilty after buying my last one, but my wife said ‘Darling! Compared to other people’s hobbies, this is a delight!’

  • Velorutionary - Andrew Fortune

    Andrew Fortune Andrew Fortune.

    What do you do for a living?
    I am practising as an architect in London, designing homes for those who don't cycle!

    How long have you been a cyclist?
    I don’t remember a time I didn’t cycle, stabilisers are still a memory. Having experienced competitive cycling in bmx, road racing and mountain biking, there is nothing more rewarding than cycling at your own steam.

    What are you riding now?
    A bespoke Schindelhauer which I have had de-blinged and slicked. Having tested the ingenious engineering of the bike, mulling it over and creating a spec that will put a smile on my face each time I see and cycle it. The bike has massive amounts of control and solid sense from the tires through the frame and in to the saddle and bars.

    What appeals to you about cycling?
    Knowing I will be there when I want to be there. Seeing more of the city with ease.

    How often do you ride?
    Not as often as I'd like. With my new bike things will change.

    What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?
    The one with least cars unless I am in a 'courier' mood which Schindelhauer is well equipped for!

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