Tag Archives: bicycle

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010 on Saturday!

Here are a few tips from the locals, to all the people who will be descending upon Blackheath over the weekend, for the Bike and Kite Festival.

Take an umbrella. If it rains, you’ll need it, and if it’s sunny there’s next to no shade on the heath, so you can hide under it when you get too hot. The pubs will be packed, so best to come with supplies. (Nicholas, the off license in the village does a very nice dry cider).

Take a bike. Don’t drive – there’s almost no parking in Blackheath at the best of times, and over the weekend it will be even worse than usual. Plus, if you take your bike, there’s usually a free Bike Doctor at the festival who will check your tyres, gears, brakes, etc.

Take a kite! Just don’t take a good one! Loads of people will be flying them, and there’s a good chance you’ll get tangled up (happened to me last year)…

There are usually a few really good plant stalls, if you feel like stocking up. Other stalls include advice from the council about recycling, bike & kite sales etc.

Make sure you know what to look out for! There’s an expert’s guide to the kite performers here at The Kite Society.

Finally, if you know anything about Kite Aerial Photography, bring your rig, so that you can improve on my hopeless effort!

Below are links to my pages from the event for the last two years:




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Filed under blackheath, events, things to do

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010

With the weather feeling sunnier, here’s something to cheer you up! The Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival is approaching (12th & 13th June), and Lewisham Council have made a video to promote it on their youtube channel (did you know they had a youtube channel?!).

If you fancy a stall, you can download the form and request one, if you’ve got between £100-£250 to spare. Looking forward to seeing SouthEastern’s stall….

Here are some photos and a video from the 2009 Bike and Kite Festival, in case you’d forgotten what it was like.


Filed under blackheath, things to do

To cycle or not to cycle?

TfL cycle map from Blackheath to Covent Garden
Is it realistic to think about cycling from Blackheath to Central London (near Covent Garden)?  I only wondered, because I really should find a good source of exercise, and TfL’s site appears to suggest a route, but it looks like it might take ages… Also, I’m a bit rusty and slightly concerned about getting knocked off my bike!

But I like the idea of going through the tunnel under the Thames to get to work.  Does anyone else do this?  Is there a quiet route – please send me a Google Map!


Filed under blackheath, transport

Buying a bike in Blackheath

The Bike Shop, Lewisham

The time came to buy Mrs Bugle a bicycle.  The Bugle knows very little about bikes, but enjoys cycling his from time to time on the heath, and agreed that it would make a perfect birthday present, so we went scouring the nearby neighbourhood for a suitable bike.  Neither of us are going to be ascending Everest by bike, we just needed something for occasional use on sunny days.

First of all, we went to Halfords in Charlton.  Don’t.  I don’t know where to begin on this one.  When we eventually managed to find someone to speak to, he proceeded to kick and bash the bicycles around so much, it felt like we should be phoning the RSPCA (RSPB maybe…)  Eventually he managed to drag one kicking and screaming from the rack, and showed it to us.  I noticed that one of the pedals was mounted back to front, making it impossible to actually ride the bike.   When I asked about this, he explained that “we weren’t allowed to ride the bike in the shop, as people might steal them”.  Great.  All the bikes at reasonable prices used plasticky rotary gear changer thingies (that switch gears by twisting the handlebars, a bit like revving a motor-bike).  They looked really nasty, like they would fall to pieces in no time.  Also, he explained, we couldn’t actually buy a bike there and then, as they had to be built (the bikes you see on the racks aren’t actually the bikes you buy, which is probably a good thing).  This process would take about a week…

So we said thanks, and wondered where on earth we could find a bike.  Then we found The Bike Shop in Lewisham.  I say Lewisham, but really it is only about 10 minutes walk from Blackheath Village, straight down Lee Park road, and turn right at the end.

It was like chalk and cheese.  The first time I went in there on my own, and a very helpful girl showed me the women’s bikes, which all cost slightly more than the Halfords bikes (£200 for a starting price compared with £170), but they looked like much much better bikes – better built, with proper “clicky” gears (can you tell I’m no bike expert?), and more importantly, you could try the bikes out on a little road next to the shop, and take away the bike you tested!

The New Bike

So I took away a couple of brochures, and a few weeks later we went back together, and Mrs Bugle is now the proud owner of a pastel blue Ridgeback Motion bike.  We can take it back in 6-8 weeks time for a free service, but it doesn’t look like it will need one… As the guy in the shop said:

“One less car”.

The Bike Shop, 288-290 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London, SE13 5PJ.

Opening Hours:   Mon-Fri:  9am-5.30pm.  Saturday 9am-5pm.

Phone: 020 8852 6680

Google Map here.


Filed under Not Blackheath but nearby, shops