Somme Cycle Adventure
Mike Johnson recently commented on one of our facebook posts with a link to his Flikr account and mentioned that he went on an adventure on classic bikes around the Somme, France. We had to learn more about this adventure as he took a classic Carradice saddlebag and panniers along for the ride. He has written about his adventure and you can read more below.
Mark Jones recently sent us copies of these marvellous images that he has just finished creating. Mark is a Carradice saddlebag fan and also lived in Lancashire during the 90’s so he knows our landscape well. Mark’s inspiration is semi-autobiographical and his style in these three pictures is inspired by the late great Frank Patterson, the father of mid-century cycling line drawings.
Mark has used his own bikes (a Mercian or Gunnar) in the pictures along with a Harris Tweed Barley Carradice saddlebag.
As some of you may already know, Carradice has been handcrafting quality bicycle saddlebags and pannier bags since the 1930's. We have been sent in an old catalogue and price list by Gary Essex, a book dealer and Carradice fan who found these in a clearance of old books. You can see which products we were selling back then and compare them to our current range. We even had the Camper Longllap back in the 50’s!
At Carradice, we're all bicycle nuts and although attending Bespoked is meant to be about promoting our products, we just can't help being drawn to all those beautiful handmade bicycles. And so, last year David commissioned a bespoke bicycle hand-crafted by Sven Cycles - the winner of the 2014 Bespoked "Best Touring Bicycle Award"
The Original British Bike Bag Geek: It’s clear to most people who own Carradice bags that there is a whole lot of biking passion that goes into their design and manufacture. We pride ourselves on having a bag for every bike and every use – and David has every bike to go with the bags, from folding bikes, through touring and road bikes, to full-suss mountain bikes and his latest addition a rigid 29er mountain bike with Alfine hub gears.
Carradice have been making saddlebags and panniers for more than 80 years. In the early 1930's Wilf Carradice first made a saddlebag for himself and discovered it was far better than anything else available. Friends soon asked for copies. By the end of the 30's Carradice were making tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and jackets too. Throughout the 40's and 50's our bags were the choice of every hard riding tourist or clubman.
Cotton Duck Fabric properties: "Duck" is the name given to the specific weave of our cotton fabric. It's rugged and tough and can withstand plenty of knocks. The fabric is pressure impregnated with Parrafin Wax to make it waterproof. This means there is no coating that could get rubbed off. It also allows the fabric to breathe, so your belongings don't "sweat". We source our 100% waterproof Cotton Duck from Halley Stephensons - they've been making it for 150 years, but their factory is state of the art to ensure perfect quality.
John Bell isn’t exactly typical of Carradice customers, but he’s an inspiration to us. We can’t wait to retire too! Here’s his story so far:
“I decided to take up touring on my bicycle after I retired as I was looking for something more challenging than golf. So in 2005 I purchased a bicycle and a pair of Carradice Super C panniers and set off across Ireland.
We received a letter from Paul Wagner, questioning whether the signature in each bag is a real person...
“While out on a ride recently, someone mentioned that all of your bags are signed on the label, by the person who made the bag. As all four of us were using Carradice products at the time we stopped and looked, and sure enough there were the names. I was gob-smacked – I have an assortment of your stuff and never noticed.
On the Road to India: David Clilverd and Sue Barlow
Sue and David rode from UK to India raising funds for Oxfam way back in 1988 and Carradice were very happy to sponsor their great effort, and of course kit them out with Super C panniers for intensive product testing.
Ian was the original and greatest cycle tourist. He achieved many records in cycling including the first to cycle from the south of South America to the north of North America - Cape Horn to Alaska – completed in 1973. On this epic journey he also became the first to cycle the Darien Gap in Panama, which is the missing link in the Pan-American Highway, 100 miles of swamp with no roads.