Archive | January, 2013

Roll for the Soul

We’re really excited about the prospect of having such a wonderful bike cafe so close to The Bicycle Academy. Roll for the Soul is the real deal, run by great people with the right ideas. We gave them some hints and tips for their crowdfunding campaign last year and it’s great to see that they’re going from strength to strength since successfully raising the funds.

They’ve just launched their new website and are making great progress, so check them out and see what they’re up to…

Roll for the Soul will be a community-focused bike café for Bristol. Its vision is to become the focal point for cycling in the city, celebrating and supporting our unique cycling culture. It’ll be for Bristol cyclists, by Bristol cyclists, which also means attracting non-cyclists to show them what they’re missing.

Roll for the Soul will have a cafe and workshop side by side. It’ll provide quality food and drink; cycle-related events; information; sales, repairs and servicing; workshop space; and will advocate for cycling. It’s a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and will use any surplus revenue to support and promote cycling in Bristol, in partnership with other social enterprises. In particular, that means working closely with our friends at The Bristol Bike Project.

Roll for the Soul has grown out of Bristol Cycle Festival. For a week every year the Festival brings Bristol’s cyclists together: roadies; fixed gear riders; trails riders and trailer pullers; commuters and cargo bike riders; people who’ve ridden around the world and people who’ve ridden around the park. But what about the other 51 weeks? It’s good to get together. Roll for the Soul will let us do that in a place that every one of Bristol’s cyclists can call their own.

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The Ride Journal – Issue 7

With so many different facets to cycling, and so many magazines on the market, it’s hard to imagine any single magazine appealing to everyone. Well there are two that do, and we love them both. Boneshaker Magazine and The Ride Journal are both fantastic and have pride of place in our workshop library of magazines and books. Well we’re pleased to say that it’s now only a matter of weeks until the next issue of The Ride is out, and they’ll be celebrating with a party at Look Mum No Hands. Don’t worry if you can’t make it though, we’ll be stocking the new issue as soon as it’s out along with a few back issues that we have in stock already.

Here’s what they’ve got to say …

With so many readers happy with our secret formula issue seven is a case of “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.”

Combining the usual selection of personal tales, original illustration and amazing photography we have (hopefully) created the ideal antidote to the winter blues. Any type of bike, any location and any story: Inspiring people either to get out and ride, or to get a cup of tea and escape into other cyclists lives. We leap across the globe with tales from Laos, Nevis, New Zealand and Bhutan (amongst others). We follow the full path from children learning, people commuting, weekend racing all the way up to competing in the Olympics and winning the Tour de France.

If you have even the smallest interest in anything cycling then you should be able to find something to enjoy in Issue VII of The Ride Journal.

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Photo Essay – Adam Gasson

A few weeks before Christmas we were lucky enough to be visited by Adam Gasson a bristol based Photographer and fan of The Bicycle Academy. Adam spent the week with us, taking photos and eating our biscuits. You can see the full set of photo here:

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2013 courses now available!

People have been coming from all over the world to learn at our frame building workshop in Frome – Slovenia, Italy, Germany and Norway already and there are people on the waiting list from Australia, Brazil, India and Singapore. 2013 courses are available now and we’re offering a 10% discount on courses taken in January.

Want to know what people think of our courses? Have a look here

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TBA Jerseys – out and about…

Meet Chris Davey, one of our previous Frame Building course students.

Chris spent Christmas in El Teide, Tenerife.

We think that’s the highest point that one of our jerseys has been worn yet.

Lucky Chris.

The TBA Jerseys are on sale here and if you use our New Year discount code “UNLUCKY4SOME” you’ll get 13% off any order until the end of January.

Read full story · Comments { 0 } Dave at The Bicycle Academy

A few weeks ago Dave Atkinson, one half of  Farrelly Atkinson Ltd, although better known for his role as “the web guy” at , came to The Bicycle Academy to take a Frame Building course with us. Dave was one of the awesome people who pledged for a course as part of our crowdfunding campaign so was pretty excited to get started and he had a great time:

“It’s been a fantastic four days. Intense and tiring and fun and brilliant. I’d recommend it to anyone, whether they think they need to know how to build a bike or not. It’s rare in adult life to learn a genuinely new skill. Best four days I’ve had in ages, go and learn how to make bikes in Frome. That’s an order, not a suggestion.”

He even kept a blog about the whole thing which you can read here:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:


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What people are saying

Since July we’ve taught over 80 people on our Frame Building Courses and Brazing Masterclasses, and we’ve had lots of amazing feedback. We’re very proud of what we do and work hard to make sure that every student gets the most from their time with us.

“I really enjoyed every second of the course, and it seems to me that the thing that you’ve achieved above all else (and I know its at the core of what you want to achieve) is something much more valuable than just skilling-up your students! You’ve managed to generate a level of self-belief and de-mystification which makes me KNOW that I am capable of building something for my self. I don’t just have the skills (although I’m in awe of how much of them I seem to have accumulated) but I also have the belief, enthusiasm and confidence to go ahead and use them.

I’m nothing to do with the bike trade these days, but I know teaching.  I know excellent teaching when I see it, and the true test is the ability to make people travel through something difficult without letting them see how difficult.  I arrived at the end of today having built a frame.  At no point during those four days did I doubt that I was capable.  At no point did I come close to giving up on something.  At no point did I stop and realise quite how far I’d come until I sat down with a beer and looked at the photos of the brazes on the frame I made! 

I would be very surprised if you don’t manage to have this effect on all your students: you’ve achieved something very impressive!

Tom Walker – Frame Building student

“I turned up to learn a bit, achieve a personal ambition and hopefully do something to improve someone else’s life a little, the fact was I left with my life being improved a lot.

I clearly remember Andrew telling me to “enjoy it” during my last few minutes of brazing, just as the whole process came to a climax, the fact was I enjoyed every second, and stepping back from the frame with the torch still in my hand I felt pretty emotional.

There’s a great balance in the team you have there, I hope you get to share yours and their time with as many people as possible.”

Andrew Grace – Frame Building student

Our Masterclasses have been very popular, and we’ve got some great results from some complete novices through to highly acclaimed builders:

“You always want to stay on top of your game and keep your skills in check so I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend the day with the Grand Master of the oxy/acetylene torch Brian Curtis. Brian is a brazing hero, having worked at Rickmans Honda and Curtis bikes with his very distinctive unfiled fillet brazing. To be able to pick his brain frame builder to frame builder was a great day and I felt very lucky to share a bench with him! If you would like to get your hands dirty and fancy having a go at frame building check out The Bicycle Academy”

Tom Donhou – Brazing Masterclass student

We’ve also been lucky enough to help some well known frame-builders to develop their brazing with a few words of advice:

“Tried a different technique for this fillet, I will be sticking with it and improving on. A few wise words from @thebicycleacademy helped a lot.”

 Ricky Feather (@feathercycles) – Instagram.

For more feedback have a look here

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