Inner city commuting by bike requires a very special machine. not so much a cycle, more an urban assault vehicle. If you live in London riding to work can save you a minimum of £27 per week in Oyster card charges and you no longer have to spend hours gazing into other people’s armpits. Conventional racing bikes are simply not rugged enough for city roads and mountain bikes are over-engineered, with suspension, caliper brakes and knobbly tyres.
Trek Soho 8 speed
Trek bikes have thought hard about the problem. Realising that many of the popular hybrid machines with their all terrain capability are not ideal in the town, they have come up with the all new Soho model which could well become a design classic. With a lightweight aluminium frame, belt drive, eight enclosed gears and hub brakes the Soho is clean, quiet and comfortable. It even has a thermal bottle to keep your coffee warm untill you get to the office. Full mudguards provide lots of protection for winter commuting and the bike feels assured and safe on canal paths, on cobbles, in parks, and on pretty much any other surface you care to mention.The Soho is a really relaxing ride, with the wide handlebars giving you plenty of control, whilst the rubber bumpers on the crossbar make stop-start journeys in traffic more comfortable. Strong and durable, the Soho is the best city commuter bike ever.
Alarm systems often seem more trouble than they are worth and your MX5 already has an excellent anti-theft system built in, however if you have to keep your car on the drive or in a detached garage then an extra early warning device might be a very worthwhile investment.
This new gadget from Digiteck is very well designed. It comprises a waterproof passive infra-red sensor with adjustable sensitivity and a wireless link to a mains powered alarm. The sensor has a range of 18 metres and the receiver can be placed up to 100 metres away, you just plug it into any available mains socket.
I would not be without my soft top but it is vulnerable to vandalism and this gadget really gives me some extra peace of mind as it goes off before your car is attacked! You can get one from Amazon for only £24.99.
Mazda continue to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the world’s best roadster by introducing a new ‘summer special edition’ version of its iconic sportscar named the Mazda MX5 Miyako. The name ‘Miyako’ is taken from the Japanese holiday island of Miyako-jima, which is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful spots in Japan:
The new Mazda MX5 Miyako is available in two versions, the 1.8i Miyako soft top priced at £18,385 and the more powerful 2.0i Miyako roadster coupe with the world’s fastest folding roof priced at £20,885. This new model is generously equipped with the interior benefitting from unique Medici premium perforated black leather trim with a red underlay and stitching, special badging, floor mats and climate control.
The exterior includes front fog lamps, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, a front suspension strut brace (for improved steering response) and free metallic paint.
There will be only five hundred of each version of the Mazda MX5 Miyako manufactured for the UK. Both versions of the Mazda MX5 Miyako will be available in Aluminium Silver Metallic, while the soft-top will also be available in Velocity Red Mica. To see the brochure just click on the interior photo above (PDF).
Roland Dyens is one of the greatest living guitarists. Born in 1955 of French and Tunisian parents, he grew up in Paris and became a student at the Ecole Normale de Musique when he was only fourteen. He went on to win countless awards for performance and composition and is now Professor of guitar at the Paris Conservatoire. However, his greatest skill lies in his ability to improvise and there is a lovely story that perfectly illustrates both his talent and his vibrant personality.
In 1975, aged 20, Roland was invited to a lively Parisian party and was soon asked to play. He instantly improvised a note perfect piece which has become one of the most loved guitar compositions of all time, he named it “Tango En Skaï”. Skaï is a french slang term for imitation leather and Dyans is referring wryly to the Gauchos of Argentina, home of the tango, who are known for their distinctive leather outfits. So this is a humorous, gaudy take on the tango. Here Roland is playing it as only he can:
Tango En Skaï by Roland Dyens
For many years Dyens did not write down the melody because he didn’t think it was good enough and he only played the piece as an encore at concerts; but in 1985 he was finally persuaded to publish the tango and it has since become every guitarist’s dream to master the spirit of this wonderful music.