Karl Roche

family, cycling and communications



Road terrorists

You get a few close passes if you ride a bike for more than one day in summer. Riding to work takes the biscuit. Continue reading “Road terrorists”


Join the next Stop Killing Cyclist die-in, Nov 27 #NoMoreCoffins

The third annual die-in and vigil for people killed while riding bikes in London will be held later this month outside the TfL HQ on Blackfriars Road.
Continue reading “Join the next Stop Killing Cyclist die-in, Nov 27 #NoMoreCoffins”

Bike test: Giant Propel, Advanced Pro 2, 2015

Duncan at Wallington Cycles tweeted me a couple of weeks ago, asking if I would I like a test ride on a Propel, as he had one coming in for a few days. Well, it would be rude not to.

Continue reading “Bike test: Giant Propel, Advanced Pro 2, 2015”

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Bike to work more safely – courtesy of analytics

The data is certainly available – this article demonstrates that. The main problem we have now is the one we have always had, political will to make the changes we need in our towns and cities to make them liveable. Otherwise the congestion, pollution and road deaths will continue.

IBM Center for Applied Insights


Cycling is a very good thing. It’s good for us as individuals; it’s good for the environment; and it’s good for the economy.

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Test ride: Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2

I’m certainly a fan of the Giant Defy – I have a couple. So when my local bike shop, Wallington Cycles, said they had one of the new Defy Advanced Pro’s for testing I had to have a go. Continue reading “Test ride: Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2”

Featured post

Cycling Debate: Just more talking and hand waving?

Yesterday was Cycling Debate. Three political parties had a chance to say how much they would do for our towns and cities, to help more people cycle.

Continue reading “Cycling Debate: Just more talking and hand waving?”

Reporting potholes with FixMyStreet

One thing has certainly become easier since getting a Shimano Sports Camera – reporting potholes on FixMyStreet.

Continue reading “Reporting potholes with FixMyStreet”

Shimano bring out wind muffler for sports camera

Still no editing software but Shimano are bringing out more hardware for the Sport Camera.

Continue reading “Shimano bring out wind muffler for sports camera”

YouTube editor, you’re twisting my melons man

Yesterday was a lovely day in Surrey. Took a ride down to Box Hill to do hill repeats and of course strapped on the video camera. Continue reading “YouTube editor, you’re twisting my melons man”

Shimano Sports Cam meets the Garmin Virb Edit software

I got a Shimano Sports Cam for Christmas, something I’ve been thinking about getting for a while. Continue reading “Shimano Sports Cam meets the Garmin Virb Edit software”

Cycling communities on Google+

It’s not the biggest but it is perfectly formed and growing bunch of riders from around the UK sharing news, views and tips of cycling.

Join us at Cycling UK

There are indeed a large number of cycling communities on Google+. Many though have a large contingent from the USA, which while not a problem can mean finding riders with similar experience of UK roads can be difficult Here are a few that I’m a member of and find interesting and useful.

The introduction of communities has been brilliant so far. It seems to have invigorated the platform which does attract a certain type of person but especially seems adept at bringing together people with common interests, even before the formal communities were introduced. The lack of noise, compared to Facebook is another attraction.

Technology communities are another area which seems to be growing well here. You would expect large communities to be found for Google products such as Nexus 7 but there are large Linux, photography, sci-fi, space, maths and many others.

Google+ communities

Bike customisation: “The Inverted Bike Shop”

Here is another film I came across recently on vimeo.  There is a growing trend of niche bike shops that are popping up, to be expected with the growth of cycling in the developed world. Sometimes these are actual bike shops like Tokyo Fixed or as in the example in the film. Sometimes they are cafés or clothes shops related to cycling, such as Look Mum No Hands in London, with bits added on.

The Inverted Bike Shop from Show Love on Vimeo.

What this bike shop offers is something that all local bike shops and mass retailers (you know that one that sells car parts too) really need to learn from. I don’t mean sit down with each person for an hour and carefully draw up the perfect bike, I mean listen to what the customer wants. Don’t try to sell them something they haven’t come to buy. If they don’t fully understand what they need, take them through a simple set of questions to find what would be best. Don’t try to get that old mountain bike out of the shop because it is 2 years old.

Or you could get together with a bike fitter and offer some sort of deal with each bike purchased. Make it easy for people while you have them.

When I got back in to cycling a few years ago I went to 5 local bike shops. Only one listened. I’ve never been back to the others unless the 5th bike shop I bought that bike and all other bikes from is closed or doesn’t stock what I need.

All bike shops can find a niche, a specialty. The internet is everywhere so it’s not good enough for you to be local.

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