Bristol Cycle Festival 2013

Due to mechanical difficulties, I wasn’t able to particpate in as many of the festival events as I’d planned. I did manage the first and last days though, and took a few photos while I was out.

Click on any picture to see the full sized version.


Les Velobici held a fringe event at the Easton roundabout on the evening before the festival proper. For the part I was able to stay for, this mostly consisted of bike skittles. Players ride a ludicrously small kid’s bike into a giant stack of soft barrels, in an attempt to knock as many down as possible. It was surprisingly difficult to get all ten to fall. I couldn’t stay for very long, so I didn’t see what else they got up to, but I’m guessing it was all pretty silly.

Bike Skittles

Even with two riders, it’s hard to knock them all down

The Dundry Drubber

A daft thing to do on a bike, especially on a very hot day like last Saturday. This consists of 4 different ascents of Dundry Hill, all of which are steep, long, or both. Naturally, I attempted it on my unicycle. I managed OK last year, but the recent problems I’d been having with my crank came to a head at the top of the first climb. It was feeling a bit loose, so I tried to tighten the bolt. Unfortunately, although the crank was still fairly loose, it was actually impossible to push it any further onto the spindle. All I succeeded in doing was shearing off the head of the bolt, making any further hill climbing extremely unwise. I did gingerly ride the short flatish road to the pub though, where the crank came off in my hand with no effort when I tried to show how wobbly it was.

Broken crank bolt

This turned my 35 mile unicycle ride into an 8 mile ride, and a very slow 8 mile unicycle push

Peter Haworth completed as much of the Drubber as he could before his unicycle broke!

George did send me a custom certificate, so the pain was all worthwhile in the end


I finally had enough time to rebuild my wheel on Saturday (replacing only the cranks wouldn’t have been enough), just in time to take part in the UK’s only cycling carnival. The rebuild took the whole day, so I didn’t have time to make a fancy costume, but other people were obviously more committed than I was.


My feeble attempt to show how many people were in the parade. It seemed like hundreds

Carnivelo held up by Make Sundays Special

The parade (with dinosoar tandem back for the fourth time) was forced to pause when we hit Baldwin Street, which was closed for Make Sundays Special. It did look pretty special, even in the second month, with bands, food stands and street performance in the brilliant sunshine.

Indiana Jones

This was one of two runners-up in the costume contest. Indy has the Ark, but is being chased by a huge cardboard boulder. I must think of something silly to wear next year

Last lap of Carnivelo

Riding round the roundabout on the final straight of the parade


The main focus of the Big Bike Spectacular in Castle Park was The Ministry of Bicycles‘s Bomberdrome, a slightly milder form of a motorbike wall of death. I’d signed up for a ride in the “Bowl Of Harm”, but the surface at the bottom of the bowl was a sandy lumpy mess, which was sadly not worth trying on a unicycle. However, after several abortive attempts, I did manage to ride the wall on two wheels, albeit for only a few circuits before crashing back to Earth.

4 in the Bomberdrome

4 bikers riding the Bomberdrome

Almost 5 in the Bomberdrome

They didn’t quite manage 5 simultaneous riders, due to the horrible sandy surface at the base

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