If your tastes permit and you follow my various online streams of consciousness, you'll know that I was in Bristol at the weekend for riding and socialising with Mr David Perkins. To say that I was wary of the relief of Bristol is an understatement. I haven't been riding too long and, although I enjoy it very much, I'm certainly nowhere near as strong a rider as anyone I was with at the weekend so my pride was very concerned about being dented.
That, however, quickly disappeared as I soon discovered that the warmth and welcoming of the people of the Bristol fixed gear scene (and Bristol in general, really) were in stark contrast to its hills. Wherever I went, I felt completely welcome. I would even go as far as to say that people made me feel like they were glad that I was around which, in a community with quite an elitist reputation, was both shocking and overwhelming. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with people I consider to be pillars of the fixed gear community of Bristol and, indeed, the UK. I was super surprised to end up looking at proofs for the BÖKZMÖIND book and chatting about riding in general with its creator, Gavin Strange (who is just a ridiculously nice guy, even if his bike is a little scary).
In all, a massively enjoyable weekend that I'm still buzzing off. I totally cannot wait to go back to Bristol and ride with my new friends (or just perve over bikes at Bespoked in March).
Thanks go out to Matt at Bristol Dropouts and Gavin Strange for being incredibly welcoming strangers, extra special thanks to Josh Sherwood and Sam Stefan for a sofa to crash on and showing us around and extra extra special thanks to Perkins for the encouragement, advice and getting me back into riding all together. You're all amazing.