Nick Crane's Great British Journeys

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bipedal
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Nick Crane's Great British Journeys

Postby bipedal » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:26 am

Did anyone else see Nick going up very big hills on a 3-speed shopping bike? Bravo!

He sure likes to do things the hard way...

Ashley_R
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Postby Ashley_R » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:33 am

Watched about the first 10 minutes so far, recorded teh rest, looks impressive, don't blame him for the bits it showed him walking up at the start either, I'd be in the 32 tooth sprocket and still struggling I reckon!!
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Cunobelin
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Nick Crane

Postby Cunobelin » Wed Aug 29, 2007 21:04 pm

Nick crane is a real cyclist - weel known to us oldies for his feats.

He and his cousin Dick were pioneers in mountain bikes.

They cycled Kilimanjaro and journeyed from the centre of the earth to Bangladesh inthe early 80's and published a couple of books.

bicycles up Kilimanjaro is a good read.

He was a "weight weenie" and not only removed straps from watches, but even drilled out his chopsticks!


A young "Nicholas" Crane with his road bike
Image

ash68
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Postby ash68 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 21:26 pm

yeh, Cunobelin I'll 2nd that. Got copies of both those books.As you say, great reads. Seems strange seeing him ontv. Enjoyed his Coast series last year as well.. The Scottish bloke seems to have takenover more this year, does a good job as well mind.

ASC1951
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Re: Nick Crane

Postby ASC1951 » Sun Sep 02, 2007 08:31 am

Cunobelin wrote:Nick crane is a real cyclist

He was a "weight weenie" and not only removed straps from watches, but even drilled out his chopsticks!
As you say, as tough as they come. If it was anyone else walkiing and cycling all over my telly with an umbrella, I would say it was a particularly daft gimmick. Given that it's him, I just think, "Why?"

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adifiddler
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Postby adifiddler » Sun Sep 02, 2007 09:06 am

I am a huge fan of Nick, I interest in mapping matches Nicks and its great he is promoting the humble map and its importance to our history on TV.

Nick has done some amazing walks/rides in his time and he writes about them with such stile.

ASC1951, Nick walks and cycles all over your telly wearing a Ventile jacket :lol:
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bike_the_planet
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Postby bike_the_planet » Wed Sep 05, 2007 01:03 am

A young "Nicholas" Crane with his road bike


Good reminder, Cunnobelin,

If my memory serves, the bike Nick's pictured with is the actual one he rode on the Journey to the Centre of the Earth expedition, accompanied by his cousin, Dick, riding a similar machine,.

It weighed less than 20 lbs, was put together using silver brazed Reynolds 753 steel tubing by Raleigh's Gerry O'Donovan (who says steel has to be heavy???). It ran a 2 x 5 gear train (pre click-shift SIS gears) with no front changer to save yet more weight. The rider had to 'kick-shift' between the large and smaller chainrings using his right heel.

They rode those bikes from somewhere on the coast of China right through to the point on the earth's surface furthest from the sea, crossing the Himalayan foothills and thGobi desert. Most of the roads were dirt and boulder-strewn. They carried no tent, just a sleeping bag and a spare pair of smalls, some basic spares.

This was in the days before mountain bikes and front suspension, the internet, GPS and DHL!

The bikes were supremely strong, light, simple and elegant, yet apparently very comfortable.

I can't help thinking that, despite all the modern technology and hoo-ha surrounding cycling, bikes have become less reliable and yet have few advantages over these original machines.

I would be very surprised if a modern pair of Mavic rims and a Shimano 3 x 9 geartrain would be up to that trip these days - I suspect not.

Cheers

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Postby Horizon » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:37 pm

The bikes they used to ride up and down Kilimanjaro were Saracen Conquests. I subsequently bought one on the basis that I was unlikely to require it do more than that! It cost me a massive £700 at the time (20ish years ago) and I still have the bike. Its built with 531 'All Terrain' tubing with a 531 fork and was fitted with XT throughout, which is all still going strong (inc the original Biopace chainwheels). I understand, but was never able to confirm, that these frames were built for Saracen by Bob Jackson and they're finished with an ultra tough powder coat. The Kilimanjaro book was inspiring but I have to say I find Nick's presentation on tv to be flat and boring. He was the dead-spot on the first series of 'Coast' and sensibly was largely kept off the second series. Now that Dr Alice is another matter altogether ...

ASC1951
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Postby ASC1951 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 18:59 pm

adifiddler wrote:ASC1951, Nick walks and cycles all over your telly wearing a Ventile jacket :lol:
Does he, the little rascal? That will be why he needs a brolly as well.

On my telly he is often in some red Goretex from Berghaus.

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Postby Cunobelin » Sun Sep 09, 2007 18:25 pm

Have you noticed that ALL BBC reporters and crew wear Berghaus.

Now I "know" that it cannot be sponsorship, product placement or advertising, but bulk purchase?

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Postby priory » Mon Sep 10, 2007 16:47 pm

[nd Nick's presentation on tv to be flat and boring. He was the dead-spot on the first series of 'Coast' and sensibly was largely kept off the second series. Now that Dr Alice is another matter altogether ...[/quote]

I must say I absolutely disagree.I think he is a top presenter of the Attenborough type: a really hard guy with a CV to prove it, modest and straight -talking, not much pouting and showing off and knows his stuff.
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Horizon
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Postby Horizon » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:05 am

Fair enough, each to their own, but Dr Alice is far from being a 'bimbo', she's intelligent and attractive and comes over really well on tv. Some of her other programmes have shown her to be a first class presenter who knows what she's talking about, an increasingly rare commodity on tv these days.

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Postby mangaman » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:25 am

Each to their own as you say

I like Dr Alice and Nick Crane but I'm less keen on the Scottish guy

I liked him in "Two men in a trench" if anyone remembers that but find him a bit annoying on Coast

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Re: Nick Crane

Postby Lightbox » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:57 pm

ASC1951 wrote: If it was anyone else walkiing and cycling all over my telly with an umbrella, I would say it was a particularly daft gimmick. Given that it's him, I just think, "Why?"


Nicholas Crane has been a personal hero of mine since reading Clear Waters Rising, an account of his 10,000km 17 month solo walk across the mountain ranges of Europe, starting at Cape Finisterre on the western tip of Spain, finishing at Istanbul, having traversed the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, Tatras and Balkan mountain ranges en route.

Just before setting off, he purchased an umbrella, called "Que Chova?", which means "What rain?", and carried it throughout his journey, during which time it saw service as a walking stick and anti-dog defence system. I suspect this has become his trademark, and explains why there is always an umbrella poking somewhat incongruously from his rucksack.

Here's what he said in an interview with Wanderlust magazine:

"The umbrella has become your trademark, hasn’t it?

Yes, though I don’t understand why it’s so surprising. I first started using one when I was walking across Europe and noticed the Spanish shepherds carrying them. It looked a bit strange, but I found out that – apart from the obvious – they use them for shade during siesta. And they’re also good at fending off wild dogs. What’s more, as a writer taking notes, you can have the most expensive Gore-Tex jacket in the world, but it won’t keep your notebook dry. An umbrella will. "

http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/features/feat74a.html

I believe he almost personally invented mountain-biking in the UK, I have another of his books, The Great Bicycle Adventure, the cover of which which shows him riding around the Snowdon horse-shoe with his brother, a scrambling route many walkers would think twice about!

http://www.blissonwheels.com/inspiratio ... ations.htm

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jibi
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Re: Nick Crane

Postby jibi » Mon Sep 17, 2007 15:42 pm

Lightbox wrote:The Great Bicycle Adventure, the cover of which which shows him riding around the Snowdon horse-shoe with his brother, a scrambling route many walkers would think twice about!



Most people make this mistake. Richard and Nick are cousins

I believe he may have popularised Mountain Biking, rather than invented it.

No offence intended

I have done many of his routes too, and like his style.

If only I could write as well as ride, who knows??

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hammerite
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Postby hammerite » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:36 pm

Good programme. Even though I've only seen one. It was made even better by the fact it mesmerised our 6 year old so much that he fell asleep and we had a rather quiet night! :D

np@cyclingplus
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Interview in the next issue

Postby np@cyclingplus » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:15 am

Glad to hear Mr Crane is being talked about here.

I'm starting a series of cycling celebs in Cycling Plus this month, and since he's got a book out he was happy to speak to us.

I have to admit I knew very little about his cycling past, and was blown away by what I found with a little research.

The mountain biking on Snowdon mentioned here must be part of a challenge they were doing - riding the 14 highest peaks in Wales in one day, I think - previously a walking challenge. They blew the record away.

In person he's great to talk to, very modest, not an ounce of fat on him, perfectly capable of ripping my legs off at will (though that's not saying much) on a quick ride over Hampstead Heath - don't laugh.

His agenda is pretty hard line environmental now - and that took up most of our chat. That and him singing the praises of Richard Ballantine, who he insisted I interview straight after, as he lives round the corner in Primrose Hill.

It'll be tricky to do him justice in a short interview at the front of the mag.

Neil
Deputy Editor
Cycling Plus
Last edited by np@cyclingplus on Mon Oct 08, 2007 14:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby pbp3975 » Fri Sep 28, 2007 22:41 pm

Nick's exploits were condensed into a single book entitled something like 'Favourite bike rides'

He worked at one time for the CTC, and led an E2E group on an especially hilly route. The book is an inspirational read.

Mr Crane is a true British hero

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Postby AV2010 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 18:34 pm

I first encountered Nick when he took a Cleland up Snowdon in 1981. He's a link to the subsequent report in the International Cycling Guide 1982. http://ben.uk.net/archives/Range%20Rider.pdf
You have to scroll down what appears to be a blank page to read the text.
What a nice chap, he even apologised for damaging the bike, slightly!


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