The Velo House, Tunbridge Wells

We’ve been hearing great things about a place called the The Velo House in Tunbridge Wells for a while now. It’s a cycling café, bike shop and workshop that’s been getting some rave reviews so we had to check it out. I got there not a little bit dishevelled, extremely hot and in need of some sustenance having tackled some hilly Kentish lanes that can sure be tough when they want to be. Note to self: check out the elevation profile before attempting a new route.

Velo House was a welcome sight indeed as was the enticing menu. It’s a lovely airy, open space, housed in a former Nat West bank building. These guys have clearly thought hard about how to cater for the passing cyclist. You can park your bike in an outside area with a complementary bike lock, the tables are all covered with maps of the local area marked with popular cycling routes. Then there’s a bookshelf with essential cycling reading - back issues of Rouleur, books on cycling climbs and biographies of riders. Yep, I felt at home here!

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The Most Desirable Christmas Gifts for Cyclists

I'm going to start with the most awesome cycling products I've ever seen although some of you Generation X musos will already know about these. Kraftwerk are, of course, a German electronic pop group who are also keen cyclists. They released "Tour de France" back in 1983 and actually performed at the Grand Depart in Utrecht this summer, having done lots of cycling in between. What better credentials to release their own brand of cycling gear (from €30 for a T-shirt)? I should warn you that their online shop is paused until December 14th as the band are on tour. How rock and roll is that?? Just look at these and feel the love:

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Smoother than Chamois Cream - the Rouleur Classic

Thursday night saw Vinopolis open its doors for the Rouleur Classic event and the suited and booted cognoscenti of the affluent London cycling community, most of whom appeared to have come straight from their desks across the river in the Square Mile, or wherever it is that hedge fund managers, bankers and corporate lawyers park their tailored but trim derrieres on weekdays. Eager to get their cycling fix before donning the Rapha and deserting their loved ones for their Sunday morning rides with their top-of-the-range carbon machines, this well-to-do crowd queued round the block before the 6pm start.

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