Pashley People - Antony Bridge
The second in a regular series of profiles of riders of Pashley and Moulton bicycles.
Tell us a little about yourself
I live on the Malvern Hills and have done pretty much my whole life. I live with my beautiful wife and my two amazing daughters who all keep me in check!
I met Fran from The Traditional Cycle Shop on a journey to buy a Van to use for my work as my painting vehicle. I left the house wanting to buy a small van to carry all my painting gear but deep down the expense of owning a van was putting me off. Then I saw a dry stone wall builder in the Cotswolds using a Pashley as his work horse and carrier of all his tools, inspiring! To me, carrying things on a bike instead of a car couldn’t be more ideal. Driving a car or van you don’t experience the journey as much as you do when cycling: the weather, the climb of the roads and descents. Entering the Traditional Cycle shop was a happy relief and inspiring.
What do you do for a living?
I am a landscape painter predominantly working from life 'en plein air'. I am the official artist for the National Trust at Croome with whom I’ll be having yearly shows and I also show work from my Malvern studio (by appointment). You can view my work at www.antonybridge.co.uk or follow my social media feeds. I have shown in many top UK galleries, sold globally to collectors and featured in books and monthly art publications.
I am soon to cycle the Elgar route around the Malvern/Worcestershire area and produce a collection of paintings of the best views Elgar would have seen from his bike. I’ll be using the Pashley for this.
What are you passionate about?
My main two passions are cycling and painting. I am lucky to be able to earn a living from these two things and hope the love comes across in my work with energy and colour.
What is your earliest memory of riding a bike?
My first memory of riding a bike was learning to ride. We had a sloped path in the house I grew up in, there were rose bushes all the way down on both sides - maybe the worst place to learn to ride a bike. I fell into the roses many times but it certainly made me learn fast!
What was your first bike?
My first bike was a small trike at the age of 1. Then a Raleigh Chopper which I sat on most of the time watching the world go by, then I had a few Raleigh road bikes. In the 90s I had GT mountain bikes and I entered one race at the Malvern Classic. I also broke my leg on a unicycle in six places leaving me out of action for a year.
How long have you been a cyclist?
I’ve been cyclist for 36 years - since the arrival of my first bike!
What bike are you riding?
I have a small selection of bikes to suit either how I feel or where I am riding to. I am obsessed with my single speed bike and amazed how fast you can ride just one gear even on the Malvern hills. The simplicity of having one gear makes riding even more pleasurable and there isn’t much to go wrong. The achievements of cyclist Patrick Seabase inspired me to get a single speed bike.
How many bikes do you own?
The number changes lots, I did have eleven at one point but I'm down to the minimum currently. My Pashley Roadster which is my workhorse, a simple single speed bike which I love the simplicity of and a rigid mountain bike which I am getting into bikepacking with.
What is your dream bike?
I’ll be honest, my dream bike changes week to week. Currently my dream bike would have to be a Cinelli Supercorsa road bike, vintage styling with the most latest components and that Italian love of detail and design. Second to that would be a Moulton, possible just the TSR 27 in yellow.
What appeals to you about cycling?
Cycling has always focused my mind. If I haven’t been on my bike for a while I feel focus slipping. Its a place I love to be to come up with ideas, to relax (even though I may be pushing hard) and also something I love doing with good friends.
What do you dislike about cycling?
The only thing I dislike about cycling is cleaning the bike after a muddy ride.
How often do you ride your bike, and for what purpose?
I ride my bikes always for pleasure, even if it's raining. I try and get out at least twice a week. I meet with friends once a month where we either do a road ride or venture into the forests with our hammocks and Trangias for the day to chat bikes and relax.
What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?
Recently I’ve cycled to the top of Pen y Fan, cycled the Bath to Bristol cycle route, got lost in the Forest of Dean on the fire trails but my favourite ride for the last twenty years has always been to cycle over the Malvern Hills or around them. I know the roads so well now and as a painter I love to watch the seasons and light change on each ride.