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    BELLS BY THE SEA

    Jack in the Green @ Bells Bicycles

    Every year the majority of Hastings (and beyond) dress themselves in green. They decorate their homes and shops in ivy and head to the Old Town where they watch a man dressed as a large bush lead a prosession through Hastings consisting of woodland imps and morris dancers. Then everyone seems to get very drunk. This occasion is called Jack In The Green and represents the start of spring for many south coast dwellers.

    This year at Bells Bicycles we wanted to capture the spirit of Jack In The Green by holding a free portrait studio in the shop. People popped in wearing varying degrees of green finery and then vanished into the crowds for a day of sun, sea and celebrations. 

    This is a glimps into Jack in the Green 2013:









    My Tokyo and I - on the Cuckoo trail

    From the cool streets of Shoreditch my new Tokyo C S set off towards Hastings. Tentatively leaving the big smoke, stick and handkerchief carefully balanced, it made the journey across the Weald and into Sussex. 

    Despite having owned alot of bikes, I've never had a new bike..... so the arrival of my lovely Tokyo C S was an absolute treat! One of the happy perks of shop keepering is showing your support for the products you sell by owning them yourself. I was thinking of this responsibility as I ordered both my Ally Capellino rucksack and my Tokyo CS!

    The 8 speed gears are perfectly ratioed for my daily commute across St Leonards into Hastings Old Town (tackelling some serious hills and bracing sea winds along the way) and the sleek mustard frame with straight bars look great againt any urban back drop. So, having conquered Hastings hills I thought it high time I took this city cycle into the countryside. 

    Cuckoo trail, here we come! 

    The Cuckoo Trail is a really popular local ride which gained its name from an old Sussex tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield Fair. My first observation was how beautiful the Cuckoo trail is at this time of year. The low lying winter sun lit up the surreal landscape beautifully. With the morning dew still present, it was perfect weather for a winter ride. 


    Just to make it clear which way we were headed.

    I'm still not sure if this is country side humour or a genuine road sign?

     

    My Tokyo bike and I putting on a brave face at the top of a really steep climb. The trail runs through a mixture of broadleaf woodland, open grassland, and pasture with verges full of vetch and willowherb. Along the way are dramatic sculptures and carved wooden seats to stop and rest.

    Cuckoo riding chum

     

     

     


    The People Portraits

    For years Bells have admired the beauty of the bicycle. We've snapped more bicycle potraits than we can count and quite frankly we think there is something missing: the owners!

    It's the riders that bring the bikes to life and each bike tells us so much about the person who has chosen it. Their lifestyle, style and priorities. We thought it high time we shone the light on the riders themselves, thus Bells People Portraits is born!

    Here are some of our favourites:

    Andy and his Tokyo Bike.

     

    Martha and her Cheeky Chic.

     

    Martin and his Tokyo Bike.

    Meri and Arthur on their Bobbin Brownie.


    Music to get the wheels spinning!

                                                                            
     

    What do you get if you cross two guitars and a drumkit and some stylish young musicians with bicycles? No, there is no punchline, but on
    Saturday the 6th October, Bells Bicycles hosted some very special guests at their Hastings shop, a St Leonards based trio who go by the name of The Mariners, who play folk, blues and punk and sing about love, loss, society and seafaring. Heavily influenced by folk and indie-punk with a skiffle-ish feel, the band centres around the song writing partnership of Andy and Carl, with Tom providing tight and expressive rhythm. Playing to a lively crowd, the trio entertained their audience with a variety of their own songs and their take on some of our old favourites.


                                                                                 

    Set against a backdrop of our beautiful vintage inspired bicycles, it was a great setting and not only were the band able to showcase their songs, the bicycles stood proud too. A fabulous clash and collaboration of music and bicycles, something not to be missed next time! This hopefully will be the start of Bells branching out into holding more events like this, so if this interests you or you have any ideas, why not drop us a line at hello@bicycleinfo.co.uk?