Know-BikeitUK, I am a 43 yr bike restoring aficionado, the man behind hundreds of videos created on my Youtube channel BikeitUK
A crazy keen cyclist, inspired to help you in as many ways as possible to fix, pimp and restore that ride. When I am not in my workshop or riding, I am sharing time with my amazing wife Tina & kids or helping my community as full time Firefighter.
Freedom, Fitness and Lycra – My history
As far back as I can remember I have always enjoyed riding a bike. I find cycling fascinating how bike so simply engineered can give you excitement and freedom propelled by your own body power. The feeling of freedom a ride gives you and the ability to explore and to go see places completely free whilst keeping you physically fit never ceases to amaze me. As I grew older I naturally went faster and further and as a young lad would dream of riding in the Tour De France.
Head to toe in Stretchy Fabric
Back in the 1980’s wearing lycra was just not a cool thing to do. I was just 14 years old when I got completely hooked, straight after school on most summer nights I would race home to get changed and get on the bike covered head to toe in the unforgiving stretchy racing lycra outfit.
My style back then was a Z-Peugeot top with some other shorts, nice!
It was whatever you could scrape together. I remember my friends sat on the wall of our street mocking me for the way I looked. At the time getting out on a race bike instead of some cool BMX was square. However 50 miles later and I would be into some stunning Derbyshire scenery, I would return feeling exhilarated and as though I had achieved something a state of wellbeing, meanwhile my friends were still sat on the same wall and had done nothing.
As a boy I knew cycling was for me
As a youngster I realised that cycling was special to me. I joined a local cycling club called Janus Road Club. We would meet up on a Sunday for rides out and around the local pennines. These early rides were always followed by a generous slice of Manchester Tart a traditional English baked tart consisting of a short crust pastry shell, spread with raspberry jam, covered with a custard filling and then topped with coconut and a cherry. They still have this tradition now, mmh delicious and exhilarating fun. I would recommend joining a cycling club to anybody, as you can fast track into new cycle routes, meet great like minded people and discover some awesome spots for tea and cakes!
Finding a way to ride around the Navy
I left School at 16 years of age, I decided to go in search for adventure. I found it by joining the Royal Navy. I used to sneak my bike on board the ships so that I could go for a ride whenever we arrived in some foreign port, it was just amazing to go off and explore. I remember the first port we visited it was Gibraltar, wow, now there is a big hill. What a serious challenge for a young man, that needed riding and exploring.
Riding around the World
Since those days I have traveled the world cycling, in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, UK, and my adult playground the Isle of Man. I owe a lot to my time served with the Navy, and of course the super cycle friendly Isle of Man where as a child I would visit with my parents. Crossing over on the ferry from Liverpool and sailing down to the Isle of Man was part of my inspiration for joining the Navy.
The Isle of Man since I have known it has never had any traffic, the roads are super quiet, they have a cycle friendly culture, wherever you land, you land on your feet, it’s the perfect place to develop your road legs, I like to think I I developed my legs, power and imagination on the Isle.
Getting started on charity and sponsored rides
In addition to sneaking my bike onto ships in the Navy I also did fundraising rides one of them being from Rosyth in Scotland where the ship was based, we cycled all the way down to the beautiful city of York, W.Yorkshire which was the ship’s name and hometown. The ride was 260 miles and we cycled through the night in order to achieve our goal of doing the ride within 24 hours!
I remember arriving in the City of York – W.Yorkshire. It was super early in the morning, nothing was open! Six of us squeezed into a very small Austin Metro Car while we waited for the local cafes and shops to open. My classic English breakfast, sausage, beans, bacon, toast, and tea that morning would be devoured, great times.
After 30 years of riding my bike I still get a huge sense of freedom!
It overwhelms me sometimes the distance you can travel on a bike powered by your own body energy! Which brings me onto the fact that cycling is completely Eco friendly sustainable and green. More and more this is an important factor, and without doubt being green. There’s no end to the benefits of cycling, I have read it keeps you happy, reduces stress, and can even help grow neurons in the brain. That’s right it’s like fertiliser for the brain.
A Bike gets you from A to B for free and keeps you healthy
It´s easy to wonder “why isn’t everyone doing it?” Not only does cycling give you all the above but once bitten and when you have the bug you are also drawn into the whole area of the bikes themselves and their design, and of course the wanting to travel faster!
Bike Design & Memories
I love bike designs – the passion and need to make the bike lighter, faster and more efficient. I love how certain vintage bikes become more desirable than others. It’s not just about the expensive or rare and exclusive bikes, for me it´s about the childhood memories. You cannot put a price on the feeling you get from riding the bike you loved as a kid, for me getting on the ride you know, is like hearing a song from the past it can transport you back and evoke strong emotions and epic stories.
My first Restoration
My first bike I restored was a Raleigh Panasonic Team Corsa. This was also my very first road bike. My original Raleigh got stolen from down the passageway as a kid in the 1980’s I was devastated. I spotted the exact same model bike many years later up for sale on the other side of the country all in its original order, something in me told me I had to have that bike again. The bike looked old and unloved but I knew all the intricate detail of the bike, on this particular bike it was all still their. What a thrill! This was where it all began and from this point I have restored 100’s of bikes from Road Bikes to Fixie’s and beyond. This was a few years ago now, I have worked with the good, bad and ugly and I still love it to this day. See below the videos of my very first Road Bike Restoration. Thanks for taking the time to get to Know-BikeitUK a little better!