Friday, 22 April 2011

Staff Rides: Jim's Golden Crosstrail

Most of you will know Jim as the charming red haired gentleman in the front shop. Those lucky enough to become acquainted with him may have been fortunate enough to hear a story or two about his years as a courier in the Big Smoke.

I remember he would ride these beaten-up looking beauties; his favourites being a classic Pearson steel mummified by inner tubes, and an Ambrosio covered in stickers. It seems as though his years riding these dirty rags have taken there toll on our Jim; his unhealthy obsession with the Specialized Crosstrail has led to the creation – with the aid of Michael – of this rather ‘gangster’ looking bicycle:

Name - Jim

Perceived age - 28

Real age - 43 (cycling keeps you youthful)

Best thing about Pearson’s?

Fresh blood to listen to my endless catalogue of exciting stories.

Worst thing about Pearson's?

Having your work mates ask you every second: ‘Did you used to be a courier?’.

What about making the tea?

I don’t make tea so it doesn’t matter.

Is it really true that you were a London courier?


What were your call signs?

It was P65, then P40 and then Wee Jimmy Krankie!

Can you tell me one of your famous stories?

Had a job to do, an urgent Friday double rush – good money – from the West End all the way down to Wapping. It was the end of the day and I wasn’t too pleased about it; the package I was asked to deliver was a film contract along with a small bag full of snowdrops.

Got to the property and knocked on the door as you do, and out comes Dame Helen Mirren; so I handed her these crushed up flowers and say ‘here ya’ar love’. She took it like a champ. When returning to the West End, I told my boss about it and he asked me what she looked like. Well, I said she was alright for an old bird - and she was.

Once when delivering jewellery to Christina Aguilera at the Mandarin Hotel…

Enough now. What’s cycling for you?

Adrenaline. Action. Buzz… Survival (laughs).

Why did you cover your Ambrosio in stickers?

I didn’t want people to think I was sponsored by a rice pudding company.

Why a gold Crosstrail?

Why not? It looks like my old favourite Scalextric, The John Player Edition.

Frame – Specialized Crosstrail M4
Fork – Locked Out NRX
Bar – Truvatic Stylo WC
Bar ends – KCNU (gold)
Grips – ODI LO (gold)
Stem – Hope (gold)
Headset – Cane Creek
Wheels – Velocity Aero rims in gold laced onto gold Hope Pro II hubs.
Tyres – Specialized All Condition Armadillo x2
Brakes – Avid Elixir 5’s
Shifters – Sram X-7
Front Mech – Shimano LX
Rear Mech – Sram X-9 w/ gold jockey wheels!
Chainset – Gold bolted shimano.
Pedals – Specialized Magnisium… Gold
Saddle – Charge Spoon
Post – Pearson carbon

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Pearson Puncheur Partnership

We are pleased to announce that Pearson will be collaborating with PUNCHEUR - the south coast based sportive group run by Morgan Lewis - to drive logistics for the Pearson 150 Sportive on May 22nd, 2011.

In 2010, together we raised over £40,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity; this year we’re aiming to build upon this whilst organising a challenging and exciting event for all.

Always dedicated in bringing exemplary service to every aspect of our business, we are keen to generate an even bigger buzz around this year’s event. In an increasingly impersonal retail industry, we feel events like this reinforce our commitment to cycling and bring us into close contact with our customers and friends – after all companionship is what’s so fantastic about the British cycling community.

William had been pouring over our contacts, searching for the right group to drive the 150; people who share our vision and our ambition… Roll in PUNCHEUR:

“The boys from PUNCHEUR have a wealth of experience and great attention to detail, which has earned them the popularity to sell out their last 3 sportives. We are delighted that Morgan and Dave will now add these touches to the Pearson 150 and 75 and encourage riders to join up, raise some much needed cash for the Marsden and most importantly, really enjoy the ride. Please sign up and ask your friends too - it’s for a great cause! " - Will Pearson

PUNCHEUR will be adding on extras such as increased signage, a broad selection of food, a support vehicle, an extra feed stop for the 150 route (due to popular demand) and perhaps even a victory dip in the pool at the Marsden.

If you haven’t already, sign up and join us for the Pearson 150 on the 22nd May; you can sign up for either the full 150 route to Brighton or the shorter 75km route. Both routes will take you through the beautiful, winding lanes of Surrey and West Sussex. You’ll be in fantastic company and the safe hands of the Pearson-Puncheur collaboration, whilst your £25 donation will go even further in enhancing the lives of those affected.

You can sign up for the Sportive here... Now get training.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Guy Pearson & The Paris-Roubaix

This weekend Guy is heading off once more to the land of France for the annual Paris-Roubaix sportive; having cycled back to Sutton from Bracklesham Bay to sort his bike out, we can tell he’s on it.

First ridden in 1896, the Paris-Roubaix is one of cycling’s oldest races and gains its fierce reputation from the various cobbled sections that punctuate the route. To stop his bones being shaken to dust, Guy has been making special alterations to his Pearson Carbon Audax.

First and foremost are a good set of wheels; strong enough to endure a beating from the rough terrain without compromising performance – Guy will be rolling on a set of Ambrosio Excellence rims laced onto Zenith hubs. Sitting upon these fine wheels are a pair of Vittoria Open PavĂ© tyres, a strong, light tyre developed with classic races like the Paris-Roubaix in mind with a tough 320TPI casing.

To prevent his hands resonating like a tuning fork, Guy has double wrapped his Fizik’ Microtex bar tape with Fizik Bar Gel in between the two layers. Gel pads help dissipate large shocks and vibrations as well as offering a wide, comfortable grip.

Whether you’re riding one of the classics this year, exploring the cobbled streets of Edinburgh or navigating the pothole strewn roads of Surrey, hopefully these tips will help take the edge off things.

Best of luck to Guy... Watch this space for a full report on the Paris-Roubaix, once his fingers have regained enough feeling to type.

Friday, 1 April 2011

A Bicycle Ride To Africa: Part Deux

Rolling off the ferry into Brittany and getting almost instantaneously lost, we realised just how ill prepared we were. Fortunately, it was not long until Andy - a school teacher we had met on the crossing - took us under his wing for the morning; to be honest, I think he was quite shocked at our lack of preparation, but he hid it well with inspiring tales of his previous tours in the land of France.

Despite Edwards’ day being plagued with punctures, we were eased into our saddles along the various tow paths that followed on from the beautiful renaissance town, Dinan in all of its quaint beauty… Andy soon took his leave and we continued on the road to Rennes; after several hours and an unfortunate collision with a group of youths, we arrived looking for food and soft ground. Settling down in a beautiful wooded campsite on the edge of town, we tucked in to a few bottles of local cider and an XL pizza each – a real source of sustenance.

Situated at the confluence of the Vilaine and Ille rivers, Rennes is steeped in history; its heritage is particularly evident in the historical downtown, where the cobbled streets lined with their crooked, timber framed houses made for a turbulent ride.

We eventually managed to find a rather large bike shop in the commercial center and bought Edward some lovely new puncture proof 23’s; he fitted them to his Motobecane in a dirty garage with a croissant in hand and we set out on our way.

We somehow ended up on the auto-route, but it may have something to do with our inadequate navigation tools…

Once safe from a field of screaming artics and broken glass and suitably impressed with our tyres, we finally entered the rolling hills of Brittany we had all dreamed of. We pedalled through one quaint village to the next, occasionally stopping to sample the delights of an artisan patisserie or cool our heads using the village pumps.

We followed the route of the river through this idyllic rural dream for several days; the life of a tourer seemed insouciant, with the gentle gradient and the kindness of the local, independent campsites in the area; on one occasion we were treated to a night of criminally cheap bathtub wine! We were eventually spat out across the Loire River and briefly into the industrial city of Nantes, which we spent several hours trying to escape as the sun set behind us.

It was on the following day that the bohemian dream ended... After an early lunch in La Roche we were subject to miles of stretched, open road along the Western coast. The headwind whipped dust into our eyes and nearly battered us into submission, as we were already competing with holiday makers hurling past us; probably with the hope of getting in on some afternoon heat.

We finally rolled into La Rochelle; which, I must say; is the one of the most beautiful urban environments I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Upon arriving, we wondered the various stone corridors, weaving our laden steeds through the busy crowds that inundated streets. Charmed by its winsomeness, we decided to unload our bicycles for the first time and treat ourselves to a night of fun and games about town.

Feeling deflated lately? Try rolling on some puncture proof tyres...