simple man


You may recall me promising a bunch of things a little while ago; we’ve already shocked the world with pink and most of the others are very much in development. Today, we’re breaking out some of the finest grunge we’ve ever had here at lifeinthecyclelane as we discuss one simple man meeting another.

You see, a little while ago, I was invited along to a 2nd birthday party. Now, I know what you’re thinking: balloons, jelly & ice cream, pass the parcel, cake and maybe even a questionable clown.

With the possible exception of a family wedding, I struggle to think of many places I’d rather be less.

Happily, the birthday in question was not for some horrible little sproglet but was the 2nd anniversary of my favourite bike shop, Keep Pedalling, opening up in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

“There’ll be beer. And pizza. And cake. Oh, and some of the guys from Surly are coming too.” they said.

What’s a simple man to do?

Oh, I should probably take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my girlfriend’s cake business, The Baking Room. That way, if you ever need yourself a Krampus cake (non-scary cakes are also available), you’ll know where to go for it. You can check out The Baking Room in these various places:

DSCF5854Right, shameless plug shamelessly plugged, back to business.

So yes, I slunk away from work early, hopped on my Troll and headed over to the shop. Within minutes, I was sipping on an extra cold Corona (with lime, of course!), nomming a slice of rather excellent pizza from the good people over at Slice Pizza Co. down the road and was being introduced to a dude going by the name of Tyler.

Tyler, with his impressive beard and equally impressive ability to drink beer like it’s going out of fashion, just happens to be the marketing manager over at Surly Bikes and a bloody nice bloke too. We spent a little while shooting the breeze (at least I think that’s what the Americans call it) about bikes, touring, beer, why I NEED a Krampus in my life, how awesome the Krampus cake was, beer, bikes, beer and other such nonsense.

DSCF5851As the night wore on, I met some other people from Surly whose names I either rudely didn’t ask or have since forgotten (sorry about that) along with a bunch of like minded people also drinking free beer & nomming free pizza. Oh, and Sylwia took great delight in being mean to me… seems to be her favourite pastime whenever I’m in the shop actually! No doubt she’ll beat me for posting this picture of her!


Yes, a good time was indeed had by all. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Rich & Shona for inviting me along and, without getting all preachy about it, I’d just like to remind you how important it is to support small, local businesses. I buy all my bikes & gear from Keep Pedalling, they buy all their cake from Karen and we all thoroughly enjoyed the handmade pizza from around the corner… what’s not to like?

Oh, and by the way, it turns out the boys from Surly think what I’ve done with my Troll is pretty cool. How about that?


5 thoughts on “simple man

  1. Mmmm…. Caaaake….
    Unfortunately my LBS x 2 aren’t much use, offer very little I need and wouldn’t know a Rohloff if they fell over one, they do have their uses though. Need an inner tube for a town bike, new chain, a bell, random junk? perfect. I do use good shops like SJS cycles from a distance when I need something specialist for my bike, otherwise Ribble cycles or Wiggle tend to get my business.

    • A bell? A BELL? *shudder*

      Shame you don’t have anything decent nearby, although as you say even those shops carry emergency essentials.

      Keep Pedalling do a lot of wheel builds with Rohloffs (I’ll order one if I can ever afford it) and they’ll happily ship stuff so might be worth dropping them a line if you need anything.

      Oh, they know me as Tim, by the way, if you’re going to name drop.

      • Ding, ding lol
        Both my Rohloffs are second hand, one with lots of miles and one with very few, makes no difference. Newer will guarantee low friction seals, but my main one is older and I don’t suffer any for it. Having owned Rohloffs for a while, I wouldn’t buy new
        I’d name drop you as the guy with the funny handlebars on an orange surly, they’ll know you for sure.

      • Second hand Rohloffs are all I’ve got, half the price of a new one and you can get your money back whenever you want to sell one. Sure, gear ring cables, oil and sprockets are consumables, but far cheaper than cassettes and derailleurs etc. A hassle free gearing system for lazy people like me who have never had a good derailleur experience for very long. Like anything, try it, see if you want one. Second hand they aren’t expensive and in the long run should work out a fair bit cheaper than a derailleur setup.

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