A surfeit of tubes or The Great Briztreadley Tour De Free-ance Giveaway!!!!!

So buffed.

So buffed.

I don’t know what you do about your ears in winter. Even in beautiful Brisbane’s balmy winter (ha!), first thing in the morning on the bike, my ears just freeze.

Unless I wear a Buff.

I’ve had the same three Buffs in rotation for at least five years now. These things really don’t wear out, but they eventually do start to look a bit ratty. I did have to throw one away, after an unfortunate trailside mishap which really doesn’t bear discussing here.

If you don’t know what a Buff is, well it’s just a tube of woven synthetic fabric, usually made of Coolmax or similar. It’s a soft-feel and stretchy fabric. I wear a Buff as a helmet liner, as an ear-warmer, and as a neck-warmer as well.

So it seemed to me like it was finally time to buy a couple of new Buffs. Checked at my favourite bike shop, checked online, and yes they are somewhere north of $30 EACH.

And it’s true that five years or more ago when I bought each of the Buffs that I currently own, I paid about that. So it’s not like they are poor value. But it’s a lot of money for a tube of fabric.

Maybe I’m just in a stingy mood. So I looked around a bit on eBay and such-like. Wow, there’s a lot of these things available. I actually ended up somehow on Ali Express, which is a place where you can buy buckets of very cheap stuff (mostly from China I assume).

Long story short, I seem to have 10 items of tubular headwear (not Buffs). They cost me $15. Not each, but in total.

I don’t need 10 imitation buffs. Maybe two is all I want.

The quality is probably less good than a brand-name Buff. But equally I am certain they will do the job that the brand-name versions does, quite adequately.

So, for the first eight (8) people who fill in the Competition Form below and correctly answer the super-hard Competition Question, you have the chance to WIN AN ITEM OF TUBULAR HEADWEAR!!!!!

Greenish-blueish ones.

Greenish-blueish ones.

Here are the Terms and Conditions of this Briztreadley Contest.

1. This is not a game of skill.
2. The prize carries no obligation and is 100% free. However, it sure wouldn’t hurt to buy Andrew a coffee sometime if he’s giving you an item of synthetic tubular headwear.
3. Pirates are better than ninjas.
4. The judges decision is final. Correspondence maybe entered into, but that won’t mean much.

Some with blobs on them.

Some with blobs on them.

OK, get to it, I don’t know why you’re still reading this, when you could be WINNING FREE STUFF.

Purpley stripey sorts too.

Purpley blackish stripey sorts too. Woohoo.

Nobody does it bester

I interrupt the inexorable schedule of posts about riding in Europe (believe it or not there are two drafts of the Berlin post in my WordPress back-end system here, but neither are anywhere near finished) with some wonderful news.

Bike Bestie had a launch party last night. (Website design by Michael McMahon, photos by Nick O’Donnell and others, words by Emma with some contributions from me).

Some of the bikes Emma has worked on, which were the 'stars' of the launch party.

Some of the bikes Emma has worked on, were the ‘stars’ of the launch party. Here they are hanging out in the green room before the event (i.e. the garage at Emma’s place).

Which must mean that it is now in orbit.

Here is the video (shot and edited by the super-talented Thomas Day), which gives the vibe of what Bike Bestie is all about.

Couple of things that I like a lot about this video. The first is the subtle and gradual way that Thomas introduces Emma … just as a voiceover to start with, and with the workshop space and tools as the early ‘stars’, but then gradually we see her working on the bike.

And the second one is how the bike goes from basically just a frame to very nearly a completed bike which is ready to ride, in just a couple of minutes! Wow, that woman must know how to build a bike!


Emma has worked so hard to get to this point, and deserves immense congratulations. But mostly, it was just so much fun to be at the launch, with lots of Emma’s friends and family, to celebrate both her efforts in setting up Bike Bestie, and the support and collaborations involved in getting this far. A really great night, and thanks to all those who shared it!

So, do you have a bike in need of a tweak or a service? Or is there a custom bike build that is percolating in the back of your mind, but you’re not sure how to make it happen? Or are you a woman who wants to get out on your bike more often, but find your lack of skills (riding or mechanical) are holding you back?

I think you know who to contact!


Get yourself a memento

Nick O’Donnell was at Bowl-o-cross, as you certainly were as well.

And he took some photos, as is his wont. The gallery is on the Photostore on Roadie.net.au (anyone else slightly amused that some of Nick’s best work on Roadie shows off-road cycling?).

I like this one.

EB and AD dicing in the 'Barefoot' category at Bowl-o-cross. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Nicholas O'Donnell photo.

EB and AD dicing in the ‘Barefoot’ category at Bowl-o-cross. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Nicholas O’Donnell photo.

Get over there and find one you like, to have and hold and keep forever. To remind you of the day that cyclocross in Queensland went to the next level.

Branding out the wazoo


Some people just talk about getting site-based merch. And timidly just get their site name embroidered on a bag they occasionally wear while riding.

Others just jump right into it. This is going to be amazing.

UPDATE: It is gorgeous.

Today’s bonus cycling content: me blathering on, terrifically earnest, about a bikeway or somesuch. Oh, and the acting Premier Andrew Fraser, and BCC councillor Julian Simmonds have a go too. But you’re clicking to see me, right?


Capped for your safety

The cycling cap is simultaneously the dorkiest piece of sporting equipment ever, and (sometimes) the absolute coolest.

I can’t really pull it off myself. But I know some people who can.

We organised for the 2011 South Bank kit to have a cap, but it turned out to be a bit too large for me. Bummer.

I bought some pants recently, and a cap came along for free. Nice.

A website that I read regularly has caps as merch. Better than getting a jersey, I would say. And now you can get a Richard Sachs, without waiting for years. That’s got to be worth at least $20 of those American dollars. Plus postage. So maybe $40 then.

But here’s the cap that’s top of my wishlist. Susan makes the coolest stuff, including both caps and capes. Of course I want a Brisbane one. A cap. As far capes go, I think we’re back in the “Don’t Think I Could Pull That Off” department.

And Susan does custom stuff too. First five people in the comments to say that they would wear a briztreadley.com cap (or to hit ‘Like’ on Facebook) will get a super-special discount in the unlikely event that I get myself organised into the whole merchandising thing. (I’ve been waiting for months to buy a helmetsarehot.net t-shirt. It’s the only thing I want for Christmas.)

Some folks even wear their cycling caps while cycling. For under-helmet-wear I favour a Buff in winter and a CoolCap in summer.

The cap is apré velo.

UPDATE: Looks like AnnaB, Ernesto & Floody are the recipients of the super-special on some imaginary merchandise. Well done!