How to get on top; from 6 leading Female Entrepreneurs

With the Christmas party season well and truly in full swing the "burning the candle effect" is beginning to take it's toll. Now more than ever optimising your working day is essential so you can take advantage of the Christmas lunches (and early pub drinks) without drastically falling behind on your workload. In fact a study published several months ago revealed that most employees average 2 hours and 53 minutes of work in their 8 hour working day! Seriously? That means the majority of us are at work for 5 hours A DAY not actually doing any productive work. So how do you jump ahead from your colleagues and make your day successful?

As a female founder I have recently joined the Allbright Academy - a collective set up to give female founders the skills and confidence to build their business' in a world dominated by men. Being surrounded by some incredible women inspired me to tap into their top tips on how to make every day successful. 

These are their words of wisdom... so take them on board, and enjoy the Christmas festivities whilst being effortlessly successful. 

PIPPA MURRAY. FOUNDER - PIP & NUT.

pippa murray

Pippa Murray is pretty much the poster story for how to be seriously successful in very short space of time. She set up Pip & Nut 5 years ago, selling the delicious nut butters at farmers markets, and now, just a few years later she has won countless entrepreneurial awards and her products are stocked in Sainsbury's, Ocado and Selfridges. This is one of her tips on how to achieve it. 

"We live and work in such a distracting world that sometimes it can be difficult to stay focused on a task; after just one interruption it can take up to twenty minutes to get your head back into whatever you were doing. It sounds so simple but one small change that I made a while ago was to turn off all push notification on my phone. It has made a huge difference and keeps me focused on the task at hand."

DEBBIE WOSKKOW, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR & CO-FOUNDER OF THE ALLBRIGHT ACADEMY

Debbie.jpg

Debbie set up her first company at 15 selling scrunchies and since then has set up an international PR firm and more recently Love Home Swap, the world's leading home sharing platform. She is also one of the co-founders of the Allbright academy. These are her tips on making success happen every day. 

"First, you need to find an outlet for your stress. Mine has always been exercise – I’m not really a yoga person; I like to punch things. My routine is to wake up early and let off some steam. Secondly, you need to have a thick skin – a rhino hide, in fact. My experience with some female founders is that we can get very distracted by wanting to be liked by what’s not worth it. You have to work hard, stick at it and stay graceful under pressure."

LUCY COOKE, AUTHOR & AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY MAKER

Lucy Cooke photo
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Lucy Cooke is a TV presenter, New York times best selling author, award winning documentary maker and Cambridge educated zoologist. Not a bad intro I think you'll agree. This year Lucy published her latest book - The Unexpected Truth about Animals. A book which Bill Bryson described as 'Eye-opening, informative and very funny!' - and THE Richard Dawkins said it was 'Well-informed and downright funny'. Basically a gold award for endorsement. These are her methods of success...  

"First and foremost I think the essential ingredient for success is to do something you are passionate about. If you love what you do then you have no problem devoting so much of your time, focussing intently and going the extra mile for it. Success generally takes a lot of work, so you need to be happy doing what you do. The love you have will be infectious and fuel your business. It is also important I think to make sure that you take time out, away from your mission to switch off. Even facing the worst deadlines, try and make space for a walk in the park - it is always in these moments of 'downtime" that I have my most creative ideas."


SALLY SPENCELEY JONES - HR DIRECTOR BRUNSWICK GROUP

Sally Spenceley Jones is the HR director for the Internationally award winning Financial PR agency Brunswick and she also has an MSC in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck specialising in the psychology of productivity at work, so she knows a thing or two about managing workload.

sally spenceley.jpg

"My top tip for productivity - strong coffee and breakfast are essential. I just don't think you can function efficiently without fuel in the tank. My approach is to identify 3 things I want to achieve each day and try to stick to this as much as possible whilst keeping flexible for changing priorities. I also keep longer weekly and monthly lists. Chatting to different people and sharing as much as possible also really helps my thinking and brings fresh ideas when I've run out of steam. If all else fails - I find taking a walk really improves my productivity. Lots of studies have shown a link between creativity and exercise. I always come up with better solutions to problems when I'm moving." 


ANNA JONES, FORMER CEO OF HEARST MEDIA, AND CO-FOUNDER OF ALLBRIGHT.

anna allbright.jpg

Anna Jones is the other co-founder at Allbright Academy along with Debbie and previously was the CEO of Hearst Magazines, not just one magazine but the entire middle shelf no less. And not to sit on her laurels she has also launched ShareStyle. A treatment app which means you can save time on ShareStyle. These are her tips... 

"Try and start each day with a fresh perspective. Even in the toughest times each day offers the chance to look at your challenges in a new light. Take action (i love the saying ‘swallow the frog’) it means don’t ignore problems, tackle the biggest ones first. Also, know your numbers. You have to be able to tell your story clearly, but numbers help you tell it better. So many people get distracted with a concept or a narrative, but numbers are the lifeblood of business."


Sara Milne Rowe is one of the UK’s leading performance coaches, she founded her award-winning company Coaching Impact in 2008 and works with a variety of organisations throughout the UK and across the world. She has just written her first book "The Shed Method: How To Make Better Choices When It Matters" which focuses on daily success and how to build a framework for habits that lead to achievement.

Sara Milne Rowe

These are her tips:

"Getting my heartbeat going is key.  This could be going for a short run round the block if there’s time, half a dozen press-ups or simply walking up the escalators on the way to work.  Even having a short, cold shower.  These all have an instant rallying effect for me and get me energised for the day ahead. I have learnt that spending time in the previous week identifying the next week’s moments that really matter to me and my business, allows me to conserve my energy and be really clear about where to pay attention that day."

 

All the books are available at all good websites and if you are interested in finding more about Allbright click here for their website. 

Enjoy work and the festivities. 

It's Good Black Friday...

We're not really keen on Black Friday. It seems to take away from the magic of Christmas - forcing us all to think about bargains instead of the joy of the season. 

We maintain that Christmas is about loved ones and charity so for the last two years we have been running Good Black Friday, where we will give you £25 off AND we will also donate £25 of every sale to the bicycle charity Re~cycle.

Re~cycle are a fabulous charity that collect unwanted bikes here in the UK, recondition them and send them out to countries in Africa to help transforms the lives of locals. They also work to train locals on bike maintenance so the bike becomes the gift that genuinely keeps giving.

bicycle charity recycle

If you want to take advantage of our Good Black Friday offer and donate some money to charity along the way - purchase your bag on Friday 24th November with the code GOODBLACKFRIDAY and your discount will be applied at checkout. We will then donate £25 directly to Re~cycle. 

bicycle charity recycle

As well as all their incredible work, helping local communities, Re~cycle have recently launched a couple of projects to help empower women and girls and to get them riding. We caught up with Re~cycle to find out a bit more about their most recent projects.

Cycle to Class in Ghana

Cycle to Class is a great new project with their partner in Ghana, Village Bicycle Project (VBP). Cycle to Class will equip 500 rural Senior High School students, in five schools, with bicycles, training and support to improve their ability to remain in and pass Senior High School. Bicycles play an essential role in keeping children in education, especially as they get older and must travel further afield. A bicycle can cut journey times by as much as 75% and means that students can travel in safety to and from school. Having a bicycle also means that students have more time and energy to focus on their studies.

And this project isn't just giving the bikes, it also works to train 2 Bicycle Repairers in the locality of each school using a curriculum developed by Re-Cycle to ensure they have the skills and tools necessary to repair the bicycles.  

These local Bicycle Repairers will then work alongside VBP’s Trainers to deliver Preventative Maintenance Training to cohorts of 20 students. In each day-long session, three VBP mechanics will work with the local Bike Mechanics to deliver a curriculum developed by Re-Cycle and VBP specifically for rural communities in Ghana.

At the end of the training, students will be able to ride their bicycles safely, perform basic maintenance themselves and be able to diagnose when they need to take their bicycle to a repairer. Many children, especially girls who are not encouraged to ride bikes, will not at this point know how to ride a bike, these children we be given a specific course in bike riding called ‘Learn to Ride.’

 

Women in Uganda

They're also working with a partner organisation in Uganda to establish a bicycle refurbishing facility capable of refurbishing and preparing thousands of imported bicycles in the coming years. The centre will offer training in bicycle repair and maintenance, the first of its kind in Uganda, and can be used to supply farmers and other groups with sustainable transport improving lives and livelihoods. It’s expected that 80% of beneficiaries will be women. The bicycle repair and maintenance course will start with a consignment of 200 bikes, resulting in 200 professionally refurbished bikes ready for delivery to northern Uganda where sustainable transport is vitally needed.

bicycle charity recycle pannier

So all those bikes that might have been left to rust by the roadside here, are travelling for a new life-transforming adventure in Africa. If you want to see their award winning video animation - take a look at their facebook page. And to find out more about their projects or how to donate your old bike visit their website here. 

Remember that all of our bags sold on Black Friday (Friday 24th November) we include a donation of £25 to Re~cycle which is enough to send one bike out to Africa. And you also get £25 off yourself. Use the code GOODBLACKFRIDAY - shop here. 

recycle bicycle charity bags

Perfect pumpkin protein balls...

A pumpkin is not just for Halloween, but as they are currently everywhere we may as well make use of them, and they really are worth the effort. 

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Now admittedly you have to factor in an extra 30 minutes carving the pumpkin but think about it as practice for the elaborate Epstein-esque sculpture you're going to put outside your home come the 31st. 

'Sugar free' Protein balls are great, they are the new kit-kat and the perfect on the go snack to stop the vending machine craving mid afternoon. These pumpkin balls are not only enticingly different but they are delicious and as they are filled with "Pumpkin spice" (as the americans call it) they are the taste of Autumn. (The taste bud equivalent to kicking up leaves on your way to work.)  

pumpkin protein balls recipe

They are quick too - taking just 15 minutes and no cooking required. 

We used natural sugars to avoid processed sugar and used a mix of local honey and natural maple syrup but you can supplement the sugar as you like. Prune syrup and agave also work well. 

cycling protein balls ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 12 big dates. Medjool if you want to invest!
  • 150g of Oats (you can also use gluten free oats if desired)
  • 3 heaped Tablespoons of Oatbran (if you prefer oats you can increase the oats but the texture works nicely with the oatbran and it helps keep you feeling full for longer.)
  • 1 tablespoon of Linseeds
  • 50g of toasted pecans.
  • 50g of the roasted pumpkin - pureed. 
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of pure Almond butter. 
  • Pumpkin spice - 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves. 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence. 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt. (Himalayan if you still have money left over from the dates) 
peanut butter protein balls

Recipe

'Roast' chunks of pumpkin in the oven - sprinkle the baking tray and chunks with water instead of oil. Cook at 185 degrees (fan) for 30 minutes or until soft. 

roasted pumpkin for cycling protein balls

Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl - oats, oatbran, pumpkin spice, salt. 

Rough cut half of the pecans to add in at the end. 

Roughly blend (with the chop tool) - the pecans, dates, & linseeds in a food processor, then stir in the pumpkin puree, vanilla essence, peanut butter and honey/syrup. Finally mix in the dry mixture and the roughly cut pecans until it is mixed up. 

Taste, - and add in more syrup or salt as required. 

Roll into balls (roughly 3cm in diameter), cycle off and eat when desired. Yum! 

Cycling protein balls

ENJOY!

 

Love pumpkin orange? Check out Jasper - our orange satchel bike bag. 

orange satchel bike bag
orange satchel bike bag closeup

Design inspiration at Design Junction

It's design week this week in London and there are not just one but two design festivals in the capital this weekend; Design Junction and the London Design Fair. Design Junction was set up in 2011 by industry experts and seeks out works by the most interesting, design-focused brands in the world.

We love exhibits like these as they are packed full of products that perfectly marry design and function which is something after our own heart. We headed down to Design Junction for some design inspiration and here are some of our favourites products. Like moths we certainly seem to be drawn by the lights... but the lighting was particularly special this year.

Tala Lighting

Tala is a British lighting brand that focuses not only on looks but also environmental responsibility. They design stunning filaments and lights but they are also focusing on forestation. Their lights are built to be sustainable with the latest LED technology but they are also committed to planting ten trees for every 200 units sold and so far that's equated to 9000 trees - which is a pretty impressive orchard!

See more of their products at www.talaled.com

Ham images

Ham is basically our design guilty pleasure. We love the frivolity of their imagery which follows the adventures of one active bunny (which sadly has many more talents than us!)  

Set up by Joanna Ham, a graduate from the prestigious Ruskin College in Oxford, in her own words she is "creating a world where the characters offer social commentary by immortalizing our daily rituals." We love their sense of adventure and their simplicity and have our eye on the superhero bunny - will he fly or will he fall? Let's go with flying. 

Have a look at her collection here: https://hammade.com/

 

lighting...

More lighting... but isn't it beautiful. At Hill & Ellis HQ we are slightly obsessed with copper at the moment as you are likely to find out with our new collection and as it seems are Artifact lighting. These stunning copper lights (they have others but we couldn't see past these beauties) are designed in the industrial hub of Southampton and handmade in the UK. They come in a range of colours and you can see the rest of their work here: 

https://www.artifact-lighting.com/

dashel image

Our friends are Dashel launched their handsome bike helmets at the show. Founder Catherine has been tirelessly developing these unique helmets for years without compromising on her original vision. The helmets are uniquely designed with an original protective padding which offers excellent protection whilst also allowing a sleeker aesthetic. The unique padding design also enables the helmets to be seriously light - just coming in at just 320 grams. The Medium and large are available now and the small will be out soon. 

Have a look at their range here: https://www.dashel.cc/

Wooden lighting design junction

Tamasine Osher designs stunning wooden lighting made from beech wood which allows the beauty of the grain to shine through and we love the texture and detailing in these works. Natural beauty and design at its best. Like all good brands they are also into their bikes and although not exhibited at the show they have a stunning shelving and bike holder unit in their product line. 

https://www.tamasineosher.com/

Tassle

One Nine Eight Five is a homeware brand which supports British manufacturing and we were draw like magpies to their tassel cushions. Hard to put down and stop stroking but we were getting looks. Lovely rich colour combinations as well. 

http://www.onenineeightfive.co.uk/

greenhouse

Don't forget the plants, all the evidence suggests that a happy home or office has greenery and at Design House Stockholm they have designed these chic greeneries for your most adored plants, allowing your most exotic of plants to be happily convinced they are still in the tropics. we might join them in there! 

http://designhousestockholm.com/

These are our highlights but there is so much much more to see. It is still on today for the last day at Granary Square, London and tickets can be purchased online https://thedesignjunction.co.uk/

Beautifully crafted furniture from Ted Wood. 

Beautifully crafted furniture from Ted Wood. 

Whilst we are talking about beautifully crafted wood products we also have our eye on this stunning drinks cabinet (or possibly a book case) by Ted Wood. 

Sustainable and handcrafted to order... and the surface feels like silk. 

 http://www.tedjefferis.co.uk/

Deliciously nutty; The perfect pea-nutty bike ride recipes from the nest at Pip & Nut

Nut butters are everywhere and they really are the cyclists' friend; Delicious, good for you and not pumped full of sugar. One of the latest and coolest butters on the block are Pip & Nut's whose nut butters are not only totally delicious but they are also made without palm oil - the manufacture of which is a big factor in the destruction of the rainforest. Their new cook book is now out and is full of savoury and sweet treats that all worship the mouth watering flavour of the kernel!

We have a slight addiction to their butters at HQ and think that nut butters are the perfect cycling re-fuel. So we've spoken to the team at Pip & Nut to get their best and nuttiest recipes for post or mid cycling treats. (No hot chocolate drinking whilst riding your bike though!) The first recipe is the perfect pea-nutty cycling power cup - for the mid ride pit stop.

We are also running a competition with Pip & Nut to win their cookbook, a nut butter and milk bundle along with one of our Bradley bike bags all worth around £245. To find out how to enter you just have to read all the way to the bottom....

Pip & Nut nut cups

MILK CHOCOLATE MAPLE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS WITH SEA SALT

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Use a third of the melted chocolate to fill mini paper cups or cupcake papers up to a third full. Refrigerate until hard and set the remaining melted chocolate aside. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a low heat then add to the peanut butter in a bowl, with the sea salt. Mix until well combined, then slowly stir in the maple syrup. Put a small amount of the nut butter mixture into each set chocolate case and carefully pour over the remaining melted chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate again to set. Keep the cups refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CASES

• 350g/12¼oz milk chocolate, broken into pieces

FOR THE FILLING

• 1 Tbsp coconut oil

• 200g/scant 1 cup peanut butter

• 1 tsp sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

• 1 Tbsp maple syrup

 

 

PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

Pip & Nut hot chocolate

• 175ml/¾ cup water

• 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra to finish

• 600ml/2½ cups milk

• 100g/3½oz dark chocolate, (at least 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces

• 1½ Tbsp demerara sugar

• 3 Tbsp peanut butter

• Whipped cream, to finish

Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until no lumps remain, then add the milk and bring back to a simmer. Whisk in the chocolate and sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy and the chocolate is melted. It takes about 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir well to mix. Divide the hot chocolate between 2 mugs, top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

Pip & Nut frozen lollies cycling

PIP & NUT'S FRUIT & NUT FROZEN YOGHURT ICE LOLLIES

Purée the banana, yoghurt, lemon juice, honey and nut butter together in food processor until smooth. In a bowl, gently mash the summer berries to release some of their juices, but leaving the berries partially formed. Roughly fold the berries into the puréed mixture, making a ripple effect.

Divide the mixture between ice lolly moulds, stopping about 2.5cm from the top. If you don’t have ice lolly moulds, you can use small paper cups.  Place a sheet of cling film over the top of each cup, cut a slit in the centre and add a wooden ice lolly stick. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours.

To release the ice lollies, dip the moulds briefly in hot water.

Makes 12

Takes 20 minutes (plus freezing time)

You’ll need:

·       1 medium, ripe banana

·       240ml Greek yoghurt

·       1 tsp lemon juice

·       3 tbsp nut butter

·       Fresh summer berries

pip & Nut butters

COCO-NUTTY BANANA PANCAKES

In a food processor, blend the bananas with the egg, almond milk, almond butter, coconut nectar and vanilla, until smooth and well combined. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking together until you have a thick, smooth batter. Working in batches, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a large, non-stick frying pan and heat until melting. Once the pan is nice and hot, drop large tablespoonfuls of the batter into the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned and the pancakes are fluffy. If you’re making a big batch to serve all at once, then keep the cooked pancakes on a heatproof dish, separated with baking parchment, in a low oven, while you cook the rest. To serve, top the pancakes with almond butter, berries, yoghurt and honey. 

• 2 ripe bananas, cut into chunks

• 1 egg

• 100ml/scant ½ cup almond milk

• 2 Tbsp almond butter

• 1 Tbsp coconut nectar

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 110g/¾ cup plus 1½ Tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour

• 50g/6 Tbsp coconut flour

• Pinch of ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp baking powder

• Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

• Pinch of salt

• Coconut oil, for frying

FOR THE TOPPING

• Almond butter

• Fresh berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

• Coconut yoghurt

• Honey


To find out more about their cookbook, their nut butters and their new nut milks have a look at their website here.

Pip and Nut and Bradley bag

We are also running a rather excellent and nutty competition with them to win a prize bundle of their nut butters, cookbook and nut milks along with a delectable Bradley bike bag. This prize bundle is worth £245 so you would be nuts to miss out. (peanut puns are free!) 

All you have to do is follow us AND Pip & Nut on our social channels and like or repost one of our competition posts this week. But hurry the competition closed at midday on the 20th August.

Pip & Nut are @pipandnut and we are @hillandellis - our links are below... Quick. Click.

 

The Perfect Fluffy Paleo Pancakes

Us cyclists need fuel. We pedal around everywhere so we deserve to treat ourselves with some delicious food. Luckily today is pancake day and there is nothing better than pancakes. If you're like us, every pancake day we vow that they taste so good that we will make them again - every weekend. But another year passes and the pancake pan is still at the back of the cupboard. We thought we'd hunt out some pancakes that really are worth battering on with.

This year we decided to test out paleo pancakes. Admittedly we can't imagine that those cavemen were really all standing around an open fire in the Serengeti laughing at each others' tossing action but the idea of flour free protein rich pancakes intrigued us so we thought we would give it a go. 

We have been busy in the kitchen testing out the best paleo pancake recipes and we thought we'd share our favourite so you can try it tonight.. and perhaps every other night for the rest of the year.... 

Paleo pancakes

The recipe is adapted from one from www.civilisedcavemancooking.com. 

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

125ml of full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon organic honey

1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1250 grams of coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

A generous handful of fresh blueberries or chocolate chips

Recipe:

1. Whisk eggs then add in the wet ingredients. 

2. Mix together the dry ingredients. 

3. Gradually whisk in the wet ingredients to the flour mix. 

4. Heat up your pan with a spoon of coconut oil, once hot add a ladle of the batter mix. As these are thicker fluffy pancakes let them cook until they are solid enough to flip. 

5. Serve with some honey or some peanut butter. 

6. Enjoy & vow to cook it again tomorrow! 

 

Going traditional... There is nothing crepe about the classic. Sorry - forgive us...

Here's the ingredients for your shopping basket. 

2 eggs

100g plain flour

300ml of semi skimmed milk

1tbsp of coconut oil. 

You know what to do next. It's as easy as 1,2,3 toss! Enjoy! 

The Five things you should do in Berlin this Berlin Bike Week...

Hooray we hear you cry. It's nearly Berlin Bike Week. The week when the wonderful city of Berlin is taken over by bikes and everything cycling.

So ahead of the festival we wanted to give you the best places to visit in Berlin. We got the lowdown from Berlin aficionados - writer Philip Cowell and BBC culture editor Matt Anderson about their top 5 must do's in Berlin... In perfectly German fashion it's an efficient list... 

1. Visit the Holocaust Memorial, designed by Peter Eisenmann, near Brandenburg Gate. Absolutely extraordinary.

Berlin Halocaust memorial bike

2. Go for a sprint along the old inner city airport runway at Tempelhofer Feld. 

3. Spend a day relaxing at Vabali - the new super spa with saunas, steam room and massage. The Germans love to get naked (it's obligatory inside the saunas) and hourly Aufguss gives you the authentic Berlin sauna experience.

Vabali Spa Berlin

4. Go see the best photography at C/O Galerie. The current exhibition is en vogue - showing the relationship between vinyl releases and photography. 

C/O Galerie

5. Get some food at the wonderful original Cafe Einstein Stammhaus at Kuerfurstenstrasse (it's a chain, so make sure you go to this one - it's very special!)

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And of course if you are there next week for the Berlin Bicycle Festival - the world's largest lifestyle bike show - come along and say hello. We are in stand B20 in Hall 1. It's going to be a wonderful weekend and we will have some new products exclusively at show.... 

Get your tickets here: 

We have arranged discounted tickets for our customers .... use code "HQVXFP" at checkout for 20% off. http://berlinerfahrradschau.de/de/

Bis Später!

Berlin bike Show

Thanks for supporting our Good Black Friday

Thanks to everyone for supporting our Good Black Friday again last year. It was another successful campaign where we gave you 20% off and also donated 20% to charity Re~cycle. Re~cycle is a wonderful charity which collects unwanted bikes here in the UK, fixes them up and sends them out to Africa where they genuinely help change someone's life. 

Re~cycle charity thank you

Thanks to your support we donated enough money to send an impressive 18 bikes out to Africa where they go to help school children get to school, help doctors reach isolated communities, help mums and dads get to work and also helps boost employment by training mechanics to fix the bikes they send out. 

If you have an unwanted bike that needs a new adventure take a look at their website for more information on donating your bike. http://www.re-cycle.org/

Rip up that Resolution list!

Every year we do it - every year. We grab that bar napkin and we vow to make our life really hard by writing a long list of resolutions that even Indiana Jones couldn't achieve in a year. And it's a list which often resembles the same one we wrote the year before.

What if you just made one?

Make it Cycle to work.

leather pannier

Cycling to work saves time, saves money, cheers you up and keeps you fit in the process. Now if those four things weren't on your list already then we will personally ask Indiana Jones to pop round and show you his rolling hat grabbing trick.

Cycling to work also has the advantage of giving you time to practice some of your other goals for the year - singing, telling jokes, improve your public speaking, practicing french. You don't get as many weird looks speaking out loud on your bike as you do on public transport - trust us!

Hill-and-Ellis-10.8.15 739.jpg

There are also many more benefits to cycling to work and you can read them on our journal post here

We have a large variety of bags perfectly made for both work and the bike so they are your ideal chaperone for cycling to work. Shop our collection here.

Good Black Friday 2

All good things return - Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Boomerangs and our "Good Black Friday." After its great success last year we are bringing it back for the second year running to do more good in 2016. 

At Hill & Ellis we know that Christmas is all about giving and we wanted to extend it to Black Friday so we are offering you 20% off all purchases made on Friday 25th November and we will also give 20% directly to our chosen charity - Re~Cycle.

Re~Cycle is a wonderful charity that takes your donated, unwanted bikes, fixes them up and sends them out to communities in Africa where they completely transform peoples lives. So far this year alone they have shipped an impressive 12,013 bikes and since they launched they have shipped 85,138 bikes to people in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, the Gambia and Namibia. These bikes change lives - from helping transport vital water and food to rural communities, to enabling kids to get to school, helping people get to work, and allowing doctors to visit patients in remote villages. It costs £20 to get a bike "Africa ready" and shipped out to where it's needed most, so for every bag you buy on GoodBlackFriday you will get one bike out to Africa. A wonderful Christmas present for all involved - just use code GOODBLACKFRIDAY

We caught up with the team at Re~Cycle to hear the stories of some of the people they helped this year. Remember if you have a bike you don't need any more do have a look on the Re~Cycle website to find out how you can drop it off and send it onto another adventure to Africa. 

recycle 4

Rita Putebil lives in Laabissi, rural Ghana. She's 18 years old and now cycles to school saving her a 6km walk every day. Apart from getting a new bike, Rita now also knows how to fix her bike after she took part in a one-day bike maintenance workshop run by our partners the Village Bicycle Project.

Recycle Bike Charity

 

Re~Cycle’s bikes support bike enterprises in South Africa, not only getting bikes into remote and disadvantaged communities but creating employment for people such as Meshack Nchupetsang.  He has been running a bike enterprise since 2004 in a community where new bikes are beyond people’s financial means. He takes Re~Cycle’s bikes and sells them at modest prices – making them affordable.

recycle bike charity

Harriet is only 14 and still at school.  Although she doesn’t have far to go to school she does have to collect water every morning so that her family has water while she is gone for the day.  She's pictured here on route to the water stand pipe.

Each of those yellow water containers weighs 18kg when full. She can carry two on her bike whereas before she used to carry one by hand.

recycle charity bike

The Best of the Baiku's: Winners revealed

Thanks to everyone who entered our Baiku competition over the last few weeks. 

Inspired by Candlestick Press' adorable book "Ten Poems about Bikes" we asked you all to enter you favourite Baiku - a Haiku poem about bikes! The 10 winners will receive a a copy of this wonderful book for further inspiration. If you want to read our original post by writer and poet Philip Cowell you can click here. 

We had some amazing entries so thank you so much for entering. The winners are:

(Please get in touch with us via twitter/facebook or instagram or email us at hello@hillandellis.com to claim your prize!)

Baiku bike bag poetry 1
Baiku Chris Williams bike bag poetry
Baiku bike bag poetry ralph hayward
Baiku poetry competition Ruth Cook bike bag
Baiku phil cowell bike bag
Baiku Tim Bull Bike Bag poetry
Baiku Mike Humble bike bag competition
Baiku bike bag
Baiku bike bag poetry
Baiku-Em-Morley-Poetry-Image.jpg

 

 

Competition Time - Baiku & The Poetry of Bicycles

This is a guest blog by the eminent author Philip Cowell... 

The bicycle then – the bike: the freedom and the speed, the journey and the destination. No surprise these gears and wheels and valves and pumps have inspired such poets. And, thankfully, a publisher too – the wonderfully intimate Candlestick Press, who collected “Ten Poems about Bicycles” in one of their gorgeous slim tomes (it doubles up as a beautiful piece of post, envelope included). We’ve got copies to give away, competition lovers! Read to the end…

Bike poem competition

As the editor, Jenny Swann, writes: these poems are a testament to “the affection that bicycles have inspired in their riders, and the miraculous and sometimes poignant associations that have gathered around them in poetry”. All bike is here, of course, as is life – the cycles (and the bicycles) of life. It’s the kind of poetry that makes me want to jump back on my bike, that’s for sure.

The highlight for me has to be the Derek Mahon (it starts simply, “There was a bicycle”), with his singing memory of a bike wheel, “bright spokes glittering”. But these are all excellent poems, and we cycle through all kinds of poetic forms. I was very moved by Michael Donaghy’s Machines, which ends with the tightrope condition of all us cyclists: “Who only by moving can balance,/ Only by balancing move.”

Fancy a read?

We have 10 of these lovely books to give away. These books are a perfect gift for yourself or the cyclist in your life. Why not hold onto it until Christmas and sneak it in a Christmas stocking? 

To enter just tweet/facebook/Instagram or message us your Haiku about cycling - a Baiku if you will! A (b)Haiku is a Japanese poem of 17 syllables just like these effervescently eloquent examples:

On and on and on I go 

cycling through the sun

The evening opens

 

I am happiest

When I am at my saddlest

Cycling through the days

 

Falling off my bike

I see the sun, stars and moon

In a different light

by Philip Cowell. 

 

Why not give it a go and send us your 17 syllables? It will take less time than a level on Candy Crush and the best 10 will get a lovely copy of this book!

Byron bike bag

So what is an Indian Summer? It's not what you think!

 

 

The Met Office was right! We actually do have an Indian Summer. Come back Michael Fish all is forgiven.

Isn't it delightful? The sun is shining, it's punching towards 20dC and it's just the perfect weather for cycling around town.

But what exactly is an Indian Summer? Certainly at Hill & Ellis HQ we thought it relates to warm Septembers and Octobers that emulate the weather of India. WRONG! 

Earl bike bag for the Brompton C Frame enjoying the autumn sunshine. 

Earl bike bag for the Brompton C Frame enjoying the autumn sunshine. 

In fact, the most likely explanation for the phrase "Indian Summer" is that it refers to an unseasonably warm spell of weather that allowed the Native American Indians to continue hunting. Therefore coming from the West and not the East. 

The first recorded use of the phrase was in the US and appears in a letter written by a Frenchman called John de Crevecoeur dated 17 January 1778. In his description of the Mohawk country he wrote "Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian summer." The term spread and was first used in the UK in the early 19th century and went on to gain widespread usage.

Where ever the name comes - we are loving it - glorious sunshine and still warm enough just to cycle in one layer. #cycleon 

Perfect. 

The Don satchel bike bag enjoying the Indian Summer in Primrose Hill. 

The Don satchel bike bag enjoying the Indian Summer in Primrose Hill. 

You literally HAVE to visit these top 10 bookshops.

It's Book Shop Day this Saturday and to celebrate we have literally put together this epic list of the most novel book shops in our cities. The word play is for free! 

There is nothing like that heady smell of paper, ink, leather and intelligence that oozes from bookshop doors so why not support the independent bookshops this weekend by grabbing your bike and pedalling down to peruse the prints.

Here are our top 10 bookshops in London, Oxford and Cambridge: 

LONDON

WATKINS BOOKSHOP

Nestled away on the edges of Covent Garden this book shop has the best description - "specialising in books on esoterica, metaphysics, spirituality, magic and the occult." Muggles are also allowed and they have in store tarot readings on Saturday. 

www.watkinsbooks.com

Watkins Book Shop in Soho

 ATLANTIS

Another bookshop selling a wide range of books on the Occult but we just had to mention it as WB Yeats is known to have shopped here. So if you want to ponder symbolism in his footsteps this is the place for you. 

49a Museum St, London WC1A 1LY
020 74052120
www.theatlantisbookshop.com

...We don't want to make a song and dance about the next one but it is on the theatrical side. 

CALDER BOOKSHOP

Calder focuses on performance, theatre, left politics and films and rather brilliantly also has a theatre out the back where they are not afraid to go straight for the big subjects, this October they will tell you how be rich and happy in their new play 'Tax Havens'. Unless of course, it's sarcastic. Joking aside, they have a great collection of talks, performances and film screenings... oh and books. 

http://calderbookshop.com/

Calder theatre bookshop

GAY'S THE WORD

Possibly here for the name alone but this book shop is worth a visit. According to Armistead Maupin it's the "Fountainhead of queer literature in Britain." It is also nestled near Coram Fields a perfect spot for reading what you've purchased. 

www.gaystheword.co.uk

CLAPHAM BOOKS

If you are south of the river, the lovely Clapham Books is the place to procrastinate over which title to purchase. They have a great selection of novels, children's and arts books as well as story time events regularly. 

http://www.claphambooks.com/

Clapham Bookshop

Need a coffee yet? Or something stronger?

...Where else is there than the discerning Society Club in Soho.

THE SOCIETY CLUB

Their tagline is "the best of all possible things." and they don't disappoint with their 'hedonistic' mix of books, coffee, cake and cocktails. 

They also have regular events and talks, including members backgammon evenings. 

http://www.thesocietyclub.com/

The Society Cafe Bookshop

The FRENCH BOOKSHOP

Looking for that Je ne sais quoi? The French bookshop is parfait. Standing chic and in the heart of Kensington this bookshop sells all things French. 

28 Bute Street, SW7 3EX, 020 7584 2840
www.frenchbookshop.com

Our black satchel bike bag - named Byron after the romantic, caddish and handsome poet. 

Our black satchel bike bag - named Byron after the romantic, caddish and handsome poet. 

It's Saturday. Why not head to Broadway Market and visit DONLON BOOKSHOP?

This charming bookshop sells a perfectly curated collection of art, music, counter culture and hard to find books. And the market is the ideal spot for a treat to sit down and read them with. 

75 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
www.donlonbooks.co.uk

Whilst you're near the Canal you have to visit WORD ON THE WATER. A bookshop built on a canal barge. It currently resides near Kings Cross but it's advisable to tweet them to check they haven't travelled up stream. This bookshop has also just avoided closure from the council so do visit and support it not to mention that poetry slams and music on the 'roof deck'. @wordonthewater. 

http://www.canalbookshop.co.uk/

Canal book shop

Our last London bookshop is THE GLOBE

So the focus is definitely Shakespeare! But it is the perfect place to stop book up on the Bard and you get to cycle along the Southbank on route. Pick up a ticket and watch a performance at the same time! 

http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/

CAMBRIDGE

THE HAUNTED BOOK SHOP

Tucked down one of the beautiful Cambridge alleyways, Sarah Key's bookshop has occupied the Haunted bookshop in Cambridge since 1993. The bookshop is named after the local legend of the White Lady,  a ghostly woman swathed all in white and smelling of violets who is said to prowl the stairs. She has been sighted at least twice in the last fifteen years. And while you wait to see her you can also hunt out the shelves for some of the best childrens literature around. 

http://www.sarahkeybooks.co.uk/

Haunted bookshop img_1826.jpg

OXFORD

BEATNIK BOOKSHOP

Books, jazz, and cake - what's not to love? According to the Times this is "the best bookshop in Oxford". Buy a book, tea and some cake and ponder on it. 

http://www.albionbeatnik.co.uk/about/

Beatnik Bookshop

Enjoy #BookshopDay and if you're looking, our bike bags carry at least two proper novels along with your laptop, and other essentials so you can always have a book and everything you need to hand. 

Bicycle Film Festival - Our top 5 bike films.

It's the Bicycle Film Festival this weekend in Amsterdam so we have put together our list of Top 5 films about cycling. Only 5 I hear you cry? I know there are many others we wanted to put down but if it's a five seater, it's a five seater! 

Bicycle Film Festival

In at NUMBER 5:

BMX BANDITS by Brian Trenchard-Smith

Ok, we know there are better films with bikes but let us indulge just for a minute (or 92) in retro 80s BMXing. In the 1980s not only could your BMX show off the most cutting edge of stokey dokeys, but you could perform stunts, jumps and slides and it also helped you defeat criminals and save the day (spoiler alert)! Cooler than KIT and without the need for petrol - it's also one of the earliest films featuring Nicole Kidman. 

BMX Bandits Film

NUMBER 4

THE CYCLIST by Christopher Bryan

This 2014 short film has won a plethora of international awards and is available to view online. It's a tale of fear, death and a final bid for freedom - perfectly evoked by the protagonist's desperate (last) bicycle ride. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0zvQYS9g68

NUMBER 3

RISING FROM THE ASHES by T.C Johnstone. 

A feature length documentary about the first Rwandan national cycling team in their bid to make history and represent their country at the 2012 Olympics. Competing in a white man's sport, reserved for the privileged, a rag tag group of cyclists coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France, are transformed into a powerful symbol of hope for a country recovering from one of the world's most devastating genocides. A wonderful, inspiring documentary that will make you get on your bike immediately. 

If this whets your whistle, The Bicycle Film Festival is showing a film called Baisikeli which follows the determination of one man to create and train the first Kenyan cycling team.  

http://www.bicyclefilmfestival.com/trailers/

Rising from Ashes - cycling film

NUMBER 2

THE CYCLIST by Morgan Kranz. 

This film will be played at the Bicycle Film Festival this weekend and is an endearing, quirky film about an awkward first date made all the worse by the theft of Hannah's bicycle. Together, they hunt for the culprit, finally warming up to each other in the process. But Harry soon realises that the thief is the last person he’d suspect in this love story. 

Watch the trailer here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CosqWuSaKtM

The Cyclist - the film

AND TOP OF THE LIST:

NUMBER 1

The truly delightful and captivating BELLEVILLE RENDEZVUE by Sylvain Chomet.

Belleville rendezvue cycling

This animated classic from 2003 tells the story of a boy named Champion who dreams of becoming a great Tour de France rider but on route gets caught up in the dark side of cycling - this time it's gangsters not doping. Expect to be taken on a magical adventure full of wit, charm and imagination. 

If you haven't seen it yet you must ... and what have you been doing?

Don't agree with our list - what do you think should have featured?

If you are heading to Amsterdam this weekend for the festival, enjoy. More information can be found at http://www.bicyclefilmfestival.com/

Number 1 in the Evening Standard

Have you heard? The London Evening Standard has just placed us Number 1 out of their Top 5 bike panniers. And Vogue is also a fan, hailing that "Hill & Ellis have reinvented the pannier."

Yellow Leather Bike bag

What makes our Bradley bag such a winner? Here are just some of the reasons: 

Crafted in striking "Tour de France" yellow leather with grey leather trim this bag is hand crafted in London by our highly skilled bag makers. The buckles are made from nickel coated brass and it is hand-stamped with our logo in silver embossing. 

This bag is perfect for the commute with it's smaller front pocket and larger main pocket which fits a 15 inch laptop. This bag also boasts an adjustable leather shoulder strap so it can be worn over the shoulder when off the bike.

All our bags also have spring loaded patented pannier clips which seamlessly attach to any pannier rack as well as an extra middle security catch to ensure no one can remove the bag from the back of your bike during your ride. Both discreetly hide away behind a poppered leather pouch for when you are off the bike so it is comfortable to carry and smart enough to walk straight into that meeting.

Don't just take our word for it. This is what some of our customers and stockists think:


"Thank you soooo much. Delivery came on Saturday. Many admiring glances, and many comments on my Facebook page, for the picture of my Bradley pannier aside my new Hoy bike! People are truly stunned by the bag. As am I. Thank you." 

Anthony, Owner of Bradley.


"This has got to be the best looking satchel known to mankind."

Victor & Liberty. On the Bradley.


"It's absolutely beautifully made and competitively priced."

Sarah, Bradley owner.

The uItimate bike guide to Oslo - the Top 5 places to visit on two wheels.

As the first of our World City guides to the very best places to stop by bike we venture over to the Norwegian capital Oslo. Nestled at the soft nuzzley neck of Norway, Oslo is a cultural centre and a perfect weekend destination. According to the Lonely Planet - Oslo "is home to world-class museums and galleries rivalling anywhere else on the European art trail. But even here Mother Nature has managed to make her mark, and Oslo is fringed with forests, hills and lakes awash with opportunities for hiking, cycling, skiing and boating."

Photo by Andris S. Visdal

Rumour has it that you are never more than 15 minutes away from a bush in the city, due to its plethora of parks and as it is sat at the head of a Fjord (Oslofjord no less) the city is also relatively flat making it a mecca for cyclists. Like London, Oslo has a bike hire scheme so you can hire a bike on your weekend away and cycle around the city.

Who better to ask where to visit by bike in this city than the authors of the rather beautiful bike guide book - Bikevibe. A story of cycling in Oslo, featuring some of the leading voices in bikes around the city illustrated with some stunning photography. The authors - Mari & Silje - have also given us one of their handsome Oslo guides to give away to one lucky winner.

To win the copy tweet, facebook or instagram us your favourite place to ride - at home or abroad. Remember to follow us so you find out if you are the winner. The competition closes on the 10th September.

Photo by Even Suseg

Photo by Even Suseg

So here are Bikevibe's top 5 places to visit by bike in Oslo: 

Oslovelo

The best coffee (and drinks), the best people and the best bicycle service in town. Oslovelo recently re-located and expanded their workshop with a daytime café/night time bar. 

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Sørenga

Do as the Bikevibe-team so often does on hot summer night: take your bike down to Søregna for a swim. Bonus: you get to see the impressive Opera without all the tourists.

Swimming post cycling sorenga

Botanisk hage

Bike over to Tøyen and find yourself a bench inside one of the greenhouses at the Botanical gardens. Daydream while you take in the smell and the relaxing atmosphere (or just look at some seriously impressive plats).

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Rouleur

Located on St.Hanshaugen, Rouleur is the perfect place for local beer or cup of coffee while out and about.  During winter there is even a fireplace!

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Photo by Mari Oshaug

Ensemble, Kaibosh, Dapper

Good things come in threes, at least in Nordre Gate 13-15 at Grunerløkka.  Here you’ll find our favourite brand of glasses and sunglasses (Kaibosh), lovely, lovely clothes (Ensemble) and beautiful bikes and other nice looking stuff (Dapper). Because looking good and biking goes hand in hand. 

Photo by Andris S. Visdal

And in the words of one of their featured cyclists Jonas Stromberg: "Let's just say if I don't get to ride, I'm not the easiest person to live with. I get cranky." Quite! 

Photo by Vi Duc Truong

Photo by Vi Duc Truong

Remember, to win a copy of the gorgeous book Bikevibe Oslo, tweet, facebook or instagram us your favourite place to ride - at home or abroad. Remember to follow us so you find out if you are the winner. This competition closes on the 10th September. 

Cycling in Oslo

How to save Money by cycling to work?

Looking to save a few pounds after the #Brexit result? Well cycling to work could just be the perfect way to do it. 

Commuting on the tube & rail is getting expensive, in London - a return trip just in zones 1-3 cost is £7.60 and in Manchester travel on the Tram system is £7 per day. An average of £5,928 over 3 years. Driving to work is more. At the moment the average local driving commute (25 minutes each way) could work out about £6 in petrol and £4-£20 in parking - that's £14,094 over 3 years. But then there's the insurance, MOT and servicing to take into account... 

Luckily there is the perfect answer to keep your Toy Fund well and truly stocked up post #Brexit: Biking to Work.

Cycling just needs you, your bike and your granola to get going. Taking into account the cost of a bike (approximately £550) and servicing over the course of 3 years the average cycling commute could cost around 89p a day, and that assumes you will buy a new bike after the 3 years. Of course the cost of the granola could possibly out do your good work so try not to choose the one hand moulded by artic penguins with nuts picked out by truffle pigs... but if it's your favourite... 

So granola choice aside, that's a saving at the very least of £5,178, an extra 1-2 holidays a year. 

If you want to work out how much exactly you will save by cycling to work here is a handy calculator: http://www.cycletoworkcalculator.com/

Then there is the fun of buying the new kit which is perfectly justified when you're still saving... Here's a few suggestions: www.hillandellis.com/shop

And remember we give you free delivery and £10 off when you sign up to our Member's Club