I’ve Been Busy!!!


I must apologise for my brief absence over the Christmas and New Year period – it has been particularly hectic for me, but I enjoyed all of the festivities none the less! I spent an awful lot of time commuting between my relatives which are conveniently scattered across the country. Of course, as you will all be wondering, I have taken my new folding bike with me and have been working on various new pieces of art too – Will be updating you all on my progress shortly!

In the meantime I’m going to be listening to the last of the Christmas songs for the year, until next year of course! Here’s a favourite of mine, I’m sure you will all know it well!!! :)

With Love,

Paul x

Choosing the best folding bike – my review

After spending months (literally!) researching folding bike reviews, I finally decided upon purchasing the Dahon Speed P8 – which, by the way, can be a bit of a nightmare to purchase here in the UK, being an American brand. However, I realised that there are so many different viable options out there and that it is extremely difficult to simply pin point the perfect one for you right away. If you didn’t read my earlier article about my new bike, click here and have a short read about why I went for that particular model.

So anyway, after being asked by various friends to help them choose theirs, I decided that the best way to help out would be to write a short article detailing what I think are the better models out there – as there are simply far too many to choose from! Firstly, I believe that you have to stick with the big brands. Fortunately for us, none of the standard models are extortionately priced and you get quite a lot of bang for your buck with them. In the UK the premier folding bike manufacturer is Brompton, whereas in the US there are a few – with Dahon leading the way!

The main reason I chose to go with a Dahon folding bike, rather than Brompton, was that they are moderately cheaper – think of this what you will. However, after reading many folding bike reviews I noticed that the top rated ones were generally all Dahon’s, unless you were willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for them… Simply put, I’m somewhat of a cheapskate!!!

Now, on the other hand we have Brompton – a true British classic folding bicycle icon. Unlike most British products, Brompton have really nailed it and are truly reaping the rewards of the international market. The main issue with them, as I eluded to before, is that they are typically priced somewhat higher than most other manufacturers. I have many friends who highly recommended that I chose to go with one of them, however I decided to do my reading and chose otherwise. Now, when it came to comparing them to these more expensive Bromptons I can say that there was very little difference and in fact I actually preferred them in many aspects.

Now, I’ve compiled a list of things that I consider to be the most important when it comes to choosing your own folding bike – I’ve scaled them in order of importance too…

  • Price

Undoubtedly, for the majority reading this, price will be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to buying a bike. You can read as many reviews as you want, but ultimately the first thing you will consider is whether or not it is affordable – so make sure to set yourself an affordable limit and stick to it, don’t spend more than you have to!

  • Durability

Clearly when you buy something new, for the price of a bicycle, you want it to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, I’ve read various horror stories and heard from friends who say that folding bikes aren’t the most reliable of things and so durability is paramount to any decision here. You don’t want to spend £100 on a bike that will last a month, it makes so much more sense to spend £500 on one that will last years – so long as you take care of it. Ultimately the best folding bikes are made to last, so don’t skimp out on this important consideration.

  • Portability

You wouldn’t find yourself looking to purchase a folding bike if you weren’t looking for a portable one. This aspects encompasses a range of different features and so it’s highly important that you look at all of them individually. I’m talking about weight, folded size, full size, pedal detach-ability, seat stands, wheel dimensions… etc. The list goes on, but you should make all your efforts to ensure that the bike is easily carried around and stored away too.

  • Speed

This one was obviously going to feature at some point, wasn’t it! Clearly speed is a massive consideration that we all want to be paramount, however it is again unfortunately the nature of folding bikes that they can be quite cumbersome and slow. However, this isn’t the case in all of the models – my SPEED P8, quite aptly named – is relatively fast and does not struggle one bit on the road. Ultimately, to avoid disappointment, you want to ensure that your bike is going to fly down the roads and up hills too – make sure it has plenty of gears and efficient ones at that. Most shops will let you test ride bikes before you purchase them so take them up on that offer!

That’s about it when it comes to what you should be looking for in my eyes, obviously you can look in far more details than that, however that should get you all going fairly nicely. I think aesthetics are equally important, however they don’t really impact the functionality of the ride so I chose not to include that in my list – I’m sure you’d all be considering it anyway, nobody wants their first folding bike to be an ugly one!!!

Anyway folks, thanks again for reading – I hope this helps, it would be nice to get some comments on what you all think of this guide and if any of you get a bike after reading this – please let me know!

With love,

Paul x

Interesting Story of the Day

Hello everyone,

Another quick one from me – I came across an awesome blog about folding bikes earlier on this evening and had to post it here to show all of you…


Love the Fold

The guys over at lovethefold have been writing about folding bicycles since way back in 2007 and after spending my evening reading about some of their ventures it has thoroughly inspired me to get myself writing more about what I’ve been up to on the bike. Every post is full of pictures and stories that really do excite me and make me want to get out there myself. They’re going against the grain in the thinking that folding bikes are commuter bikes and little else – something that I once thought myself.

Here’s some of the gorgeous pictures they have from their small folding bike community:

Personally I’m hoping that once I finish my PhD I can get out into the country and start my own little documentation of my travels – unfortunately for the time being I’m relatively hampered by living in the city. For those of you who know me more intimately, you’ll know that I’m extremely excited about travelling the world in the near future and that I plan on taking my new bike with me.

Thanks again for reading folks – Paul x

Abstract Art Demonstration

I just wanted to make a quick additional post today of a cool video (and website) that I found earlier on today – AbstractArtLesson.

Peter from the site regularly produces exceptional painting tutorials showing how to produce various styles of acrylic based abstract painting ideas on canvas and paper. He uses a fairly similar style to me and so it may be of use to some of you, this video provides a particularly adept tutorial onto how best to tackle free style painting concepts.

I couldn’t help but be amazed at the wide variety of different elements that formed this piece, it is somewhat similar to a few pieces that Roberto Matta has produced in the past – I’m sure Peter wouldn’t be offended by that statement whatsoever! I can see why Peter described this piece as being a snapshot within his mind, such a creative piece and certainly one that I am jealous of.

For any of you reading this, put down what you are doing now and get out there and give it a go. After seeing this video myself I decided to take a somewhat rare opportunity and begun painting today, this beautiful piece provided me with ample inspiration and I immediately put brush to canvas and off I went! While I only actually sat down for a couple of hours, the piece is fairly impressive and I’m absolutely thrilled with it.

If you do decide to have a go yourself, make sure that you send me a photo, or even better, a video of it in the comments. It would be nice to see the inspiration that my blog has on my readers – hopefully enough to get you painting at least!

One little update on where I am on the bike front, I’m currently sticking together a list of where I considered purchasing my bike from locally and also what models I decided to look at. I’ve had a few messages from friends who have been interested in a folding bike since I made my last few posts – I will update you all very shortly on what I think.

Many thanks again for reading – up to 30 page views/day on the blog, I’m very happy with that but if you could, please share this link to all of your friends and family… I would love to get a few more hits a day! As always, I will be posting again very soon, make sure you bookmark this page or add yourself to my Facebook group for all of my future updates – cheers!

With Love,

Paul x

Strava – Folding Bikes?

I’m writing today to say my final goodbyes to Strava, while it has been extremely fun to use over the years, my new purchase of a folding bike means that I will not be able to compete on it any more – for obvious reasons! Obviously I did enjoy my time using the app over the years, it was perfectly suited to my natural competitive self (even when only competing versus myself)! Throughout my years of using the platform I was regularly placed within the top 4-5 positions around all of my local routes and in a few I was actually top of the stack…

My issue with Strava is actually entirely unrelated to the typical functioning of the app, nor the fact that I now own a Dahon folding bike (as seen here), but actually because when I found myself riding my bike I would always be thinking about how I was performing on Strava. I’d completely lost the magic of being able to just get on my bike and go for a ride somewhere, I would always find myself resorting back to competing and trying to beat my time, or the bugger who’d pipped me earlier in the week.

So here I am, finally at a stage where I can say that my Strava days are behind me, it saddens me to be leaving a truly warming community of riders behind. However I genuinely feel that it was for the best to do so, after all, nothing beats just getting out there on your bicycle and taking in the beautiful scenery – rather than pedantically pedalling around to set a time.

Anyway, this must sound like somewhat of a ramble – and so it should. This was a particularly spontaneous decision that I made earlier on today, I didn’t really consider it for too long – but it is something that I have been thinking about fairly recently. What I will say is that it’s great to be able to wake up every morning and rather than check the latest times that people have been posting, I’d have a look at the weather forecast and truly consider whether it was worth getting the bike out or not… And ultimately, whether or not I felt like it too!

Regarding the performance of my new folding bicycle, it handles perfectly and was exactly as described on the proverbial tin. I couldn’t have asked for a better bike, it suits my daily route perfects – to and from the University. I’ll be honest and say that it could certainly be a bit quicker, but all in all it is a pretty awesome piece of kit and I won’t be replacing it any time soon. I figured that if I do want to go off-road or for a more distant cycle, I can simply purchase a road/mountain bike on top of this. In all honesty, nothing is going to be able to match the comfort of knowing that your bike is safe and easily transportable.

I’ve found myself riding much more regularly since getting the bike, I can’t say that I’ve gone on a ‘joy ride’ as of yet and so I can’t comment on whether or not I feel that folding bikes are appropriate for it. However, it can certainly do the job and I’ve had no difficulties with it so far.

Thank you all for reading again – I’ll be back very shortly!

With Love,

Paul x

Abstract Art – Love or Hate

I felt like providing somewhat of a history lesson today, I’ve long been a fan of abstract art, as I eluded to in my previous post. However many people are blissfully unaware of its inception and meaning. I believe that abstract art is a revolutionary art-form that is present in much of the natural world and our industrial world today. It is absolutely everywhere, if you look closely enough and so it is absolutely essential to document and elucidate its prevalence throughout the world.

Download 3D Abstract Art Wallpaper HD Photos #t3n1xero2v 1920x1200 px 89.74 KB Abstract 3D Abstract Arts

It is widely acknowledged within the artistic world that abstract paintings and drawings can truly be whatever you make of it. Or, clearly, in the case of many – whatever you do not make of it. Many of us believe that it is a form of visual language that incorporates a range of different components; lines, colours, form and shape – together these can be utilised, with the addition of minimalistic visual references to the real world, to craft wonderfully insightful pieces that are truly open to interpretation.

Abstract art’s first inception was in the early 19th century when artists across the world were searching for a new type of art form that was widely separated from classical and at the time ‘contemporary’ pieces of art. At the time, many words and phrases were circulating within the artistic world to describe these new pieces; non-representational, non-objective and much more. These are now seen as belonging to the same family of abstract art.

Abstract Art Black and White Faces HD Image Download

Ultimately, abstract art is a form of abstraction, as per the name. It typically depicts an illustration of the departure from natural imagery. There are varying levels of this, some pieces are strongly indicative of natural art, with a hint of abstraction. Whereas other pieces are entirely abstract and are therefore not clearly a representation of anything real and are left up to the imagination of the viewer, despite the fact that the image may have initially been incepted as a result of an idea from nature.

As you can see, the concept, while particularly simple – is difficult to coin in a few lines. I believe that this is part of the beauty of the concept however.

Below is another gorgeous piece that I discovered recently, despite it being dated 1936:

This stunning piece was produced by Tobey Mark in 1936, it is titled “Broadway”.

Here we can see extremely strong utilisation of both horizontals and verticals, highlighted beautifully by plain colours and a rough outline. It is an extremely intricate piece that elegantly describes the New York city. Again, making reference to my earlier post, this beautiful painting makes me extremely envious and jealous. While the concept of this painting is particularly basic, it has been put together with such expertise that it truly is a wonderful piece of art.

I loved this piece so much that I have began working on one of my own, I can’t ever imagine it will ever be of the same standard of this masterpiece… However the beauty of art and particularly abstract art is that your own interpretation can be perceived in a number of different ways, entirely dependent on the viewer.

As always, thank you for reading this folks, I will be back shortly updating you on future things I am working on, my thoughts, ideas and generally what I’ve been up to recently.

With Love,

Paul x


Beautiful Pieces of Artistic Majesty

A famous quote that I once read really did outline everything that I’ve always felt about the most impressive pieces of art and artistic passion – it illustrates something that I try to incorporate into any of my more recent pieces;

There is one moment, in the first few seconds, when you look at a piece of art and know that you love it. It’s the moment when, if you’re an artist yourself, you look at it and feel a rush of uplifting inspiration… and total soul-crushing jealousy all at the same time. It’s when you walk away thinking, “Damn, I wish I thought of that.” ~ The Jealous Curator, est. 2009

This ideology is something that I will be explaining in detail throughout my blog in the future – I’m going to be making sure to showcase pieces of art that I find truly impressive, so much so that it makes me truly jealous. I believe that we spend our time in awe, and to an certain extent jealousy, when looking at pieces of incredible art – it will soon lead to inspiration and therefore your own masterpieces.

I also believe that another huge key to producing these pieces is ultimately finding what you are truly interested in. For me, I’m absolutely fascinated by contemporary art, however I’m also really into the self doubt part of art and the inner battles an artist goes through when faced with a creative block… Ultimately, I think that the most impressive pieces come about as a result of the ongoing battle between jealousy and inspiration.

As I continue to grow my blog, I want to bring the artwork in the forefront of my mind to the masses. I’d love to be able to inspire artists, young and old across the world. One day, when I am done with my studies, I would love to pursue my dreams of opening up an art shop – however I realise I am quite a way away from the realisation of that dream just yet.

However, I am a big advocate of the idea that “Everything must start somewhere…” and I hope that in the coming years my blog becomes somewhere that people can come to derive inspiration for their own pieces of work and hopefully submit it here for others to see too!

Anyway, below is the first pieces that captured my imagination recently:

This beautiful piece is aptly called Eden’s Promise and I am absolutely in awe of this gorgeous high contrast piece of art. It is covered in striking deep and sharp dividing lines – leading to a gorgeous piece of organic abstraction. The varied colours of all of the petals makes them stand out beautifully amongst the background of this piece. I can only imagine how these beautiful pieces of pastel on paper would brighten up a dim room. The imagination for these pieces came from thinking about our planet, The Earth, and its true beauty and fragility.

This is my first art-centric post on the blog, I will be posting updates on further pieces very shortly and of course updates on the folding bike front (I’ve just registered up to bikeforums.net, check out my latest post on there for some extra updates!) – please leave any comments or recommendations on anything else that you would like to see here below.

With Love,

Paul x

A New Beginning…

Well, here goes… It truly has been a long time coming, but I’ve felt the need to start writing down all of my daily thoughts and musings for quite some time now. Either way, we’re here now and I’m extremely excited about finally announcing the opening of my website. Welcome everyone!

The main aims that I would like to achieve here is to share the beautiful pieces of artwork that I come across, document my daily (Okay, more than likely weekly!) sporting activities and any other interesting things going on in the world. I’ll also be sharing any upcoming events that I will be attending and so anybody living close to me could come and say hello!

Over the past few years I received encouragement from many of my friends and family to write articles about what I’m interested in, so here I am.

I’d like to start by introducing everybody to my new bike. I’ve always been excited about getting a new bike, however this one is truly special. Truth is, I’ve been looking to find that special bike for me before going ahead and purchasing it – it took me quite a long time to get anywhere with it, however after much deliberation I discovered one that I thought fit the part perfectly.

The Dahon Speed P8 is a gorgeous folding bike (Yes, you heard me correctly – folding bike) that I will be using from now on for all of my daily commutes. I have decided to avoid purchasing any additional components for it as it rides like a beauty as is. I’m intending on taking it out of the city for a few rides and will be publishing my route and times too.

About the bike anyway, while it certainly isn’t the prettiest bike around, nor the coolest or lightest, Dahon have done a fantastic job in producing a really well built piece of kit. I tested it out in a local bike store called Evans Cycles and was extremely impressed right from the go. Dahon is an American brand so it’s quite difficult to find them over here, but if you can get your hands on one I’d highly recommend it.

Here’s a quick video that outlines the features that the bike has:

Everybody in the store were all pretty big fans of folding bikes, however some of them raised concerns about them being awful off-road (Obviously, right?). I’m clearly not intending on using it off-road, but I can’t imagine it will struggle too much anywhere else really – these bikes definitely have many of the advantages of a typical road bike, but they’re so portable too! If you’re looking for a portable model, I’d certainly recommend checking out Dahon or the more expensive British models.

There it is anyway, my first post – thank you for reading, I will be posting again shortly when I finally get around to testing this beauty out – Unfortunately I’m going to be off up to Scotland in the next few days so won’t be able to right away, but I will get back to you all as soon as possible. Thanks for reading everybody!

With Love,

Paul x