Author Topic: Nick Crane on BBC2  (Read 7199 times)

Nick Crane on BBC2
« on: March 16, 2013, 12:09:50 pm »
Just watched the first of series covering the old Bartholomew cycling maps featuring Nick on a 70 year old single speed

Fantastic!- Nick makes ecentric look sensible and if enthusiasm was costed he would be a multi millionaire

Dont miss the rest!

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 01:01:20 pm »
I still have a few of those Bartholomew maps. They are very good for cycling.
Bach without a doubt.

Socks

  • Clennel Street on my touring bike
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 01:48:50 pm »
Well spotted, it's a good programme, and a good presenter.  I took a touring bike over Scarth Gap a few years ago.  Even with modern equipment I had to carry the bike most of the time, I wouldn't like to try it with a heavy old roadster.

Fantastic view from the top, then a great ride down to Keswick.  It's also a lovely ride on the approach road (Ennerdale?)

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 02:21:04 pm »
I remember the show from 2005. It gets the occasional outing on BBC4.
Only one episode is about Bart's maps the rest of the two series were interesting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_Man

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 02:42:22 pm »
He first came to public attention through riding up Kilmanjaro with a cousin, and then across the Himalayas to Central Asia, on racing bikes with racks, very lightweight touring.





Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 10:43:44 am »
Didn't he also run the Himalayas?  Whatever, he makes very good programmes.

urban_biker

  • " . . .we all ended up here and like lads in the back of a Nova we sort of egged each other on...."
  • Known in the real world as Dave
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 10:52:56 am »
He first came to public attention through riding up Kilmanjaro with a cousin, and then across the Himalayas to Central Asia, on racing bikes with racks, very lightweight touring.




That picture is of the bike he used for "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". There is a fantastic book describing this adventure which I'm lucky enough to have managed to get a copy of. The idea was a trip to the furthest point from the sea in all directions ie " The centre of the earth" which turned out to be in Central Asia. Its a superb read. 
Owner of a languishing Langster

LEE

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 11:00:06 am »
Didn't he also run the Himalayas?  Whatever, he makes very good programmes.

No, the Himalayan Tourist Board run them.

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 11:01:25 am »
I had honestly never realised that Nicholas Crane was THAT Nicholas Crane.  I read about their exploits (especially their fanatical weigh saving) when I was younger (they inspired myself and my mate Alasdair to take hacksaws and drills to things when we toured the Pyrenees back in 1991).

I really hadn't made the connection!  How dumb is that? 

And I have a connection (friend of a friend kind) to him - now I'd really like to meet him!
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 11:05:00 am »
Didn't he also run the Himalayas?  Whatever, he makes very good programmes.

No, the Himalayan Tourist Board run them.

 ;D  And there was me thinking it was China!

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 11:12:21 am »
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is out of print, but available online. http://web.archive.org/web/20041211045554/http://www.koopmann.lightup.net/crane/
The various adventures were undertaken to raise funds for Intermediate Technology, now Practical Action. http://practicalaction.org/  So a donation to them will salve any remaining pangs of conscience.

Nicholas Crane didn't run the Himalayas, that was his cousins Richard and Adrian.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Himalayas-Richard-Crane/dp/0450060829


Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 11:21:14 am »
The bikes were interesting. The opposite of the 'groupset'.

Quote
Bicycles

The bikes were tailor-made, built to the highest specification by Raleigh. Gerald O'Donovan master-minded the project at his Specialist Bicycle Development Unit at Ilkeston, which has also produced the winning Tour de France team bikes.
Frames. The geometry was based on that used for the toughest professional races, e.g. the Paris-Roubaix, with a lengthened wheelhase, softer angles (74o seat tube, 73o head tube) and increased rake. Together these give a smoother, less ,twitchy' ride. The tubing was TI Reynolds 753 which is much in favour for professional racing because, although it is expensive, it offers the best strength-to-weight ratio; 753 is heat-treated manganese molybdenum steel which on our bikes was double-butted, top tube 24 gauge, down tube 23 gauge, i.e. the tube wall was about 0.5 mm thick in the middle and about 0.8 mm thick at the ends. The tensile strength is an impressive 80 tsi. The lugs, fork crown and bottom bracket were micro-fusion crushed steel (i.e. very fine-grained, precision cast) and all joints were silver-soldered. Each frame contains £20 worth of silver solder! The frames were hand-sprayed and stove-enamelled with five coats of paint in the Raleigh Team colours: pearl, red, blue and yellow. They had long Campagnolo rear dropouts, and bosses for bottle cage and a single (the rear) gear lever.
Wheels. Bob Arnold of F. W. Evans built strong wheels capable of withstanding pounding on dirt roads for several thousand kilometres. They had Mavic M3 CD rims with 36 x 36 stainless-steel single-buttoned spokes on Campagnolo small-flange hubs. We hit numerous rocks and several large pots at high speed, one of them near Amdo catapulting Nick into Outer Space, but the wheels remained true. The tyres were Specialized; one Touring K4 and one Expedition 700 X 35C. Although rated at 75 psi, we rode them at 90 psi on both tarmac and dirt. Because the wheels and tyres had to be highstrength, hard-wearing, they contributed greatly to the overall weight; pushing it up from the 17½ lb which our bikes would have weighed if fitted with sprint wheels and tubes to the 22 lb all-up weight including Blackburn alloy rear carrier and bottle cages.
Equipment. Cinelli bars and stem. Shimano Dura Ace levers for Campagnolo side-pull brakes. Brooks Professional saddle on Dura Ace seatpost. Shimano 600 EX chainset (49/39 teeth for Nick, 52/40 for Dick) with Shimano Uniglide chain to Sun Tour Perfect freewheel (14 to 28). Control was from a cut-down Simplex gear shift to a Shimano 600 EX derailleur. In order to save weight, there was no front derailleur or lever, we used heel kick-down for lower gears and finger lift-up for higher.
Over a quarter of the distance was very rough dirt road, and the bikes had to suffer monsoon rain and humidity, snow and ice, dust and sand and temperatures ranging from -10oC to 46oC. The only breakdown we had was a broken cable caused by Tibetan children playing with the gear lever - easily mended - and only two punctures each. The bikes were impeccably designed and built, comfortable, utterly reliable and as at home in the Himalayas as they were crossing the Gobi Desert.


Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 12:25:04 pm »
Crane is a grade A nutter!  Seriously tough, very well read and totally barking.

He's also written two excellent walking books.

"Clear Waters Rising" details a mammoth mountain trek from the Spanish coast into the Balkans via as many lumpy bits as he could work in.

"Two Degrees West" was a walk down the Greenwich Meridian, only allowing himself to deviate by a short distance either side and bivvying for most of the way.

He used to work for the CTC and published a book "Cycling in Europe" giving information and routes for all of the European countries. Out of date & out of print though.  I do have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it.

Edit - I also have the book he wrote about the big rides described upthread, "The Great Bicycle Adventure"  if anyone wants to borrow it just ask.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 12:43:38 pm »
Watched that the other night.  Takes comedy off-roading on mildly inappropriate bikes to a whole new level.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 02:32:17 pm »
Watched that the other night.  Takes comedy off-roading on mildly inappropriate bikes to a whole new level.

I wonder if we'll ever see such programmes again. At present it would have to be cut up into three segments as part of a multi-presenter magazine show, with Julia Bradbury in it somewhere.

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 04:24:52 pm »
Were these the guys who cut the labels out of their clothes to save weight? I vaguely recall a write-up in a late 80s/early 90s issue of the CTC mag.

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 04:26:55 pm »
That picture is of the bike he used for "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". There is a fantastic book describing this adventure which I'm lucky enough to have managed to get a copy of. The idea was a trip to the furthest point from the sea in all directions ie " The centre of the earth" which turned out to be in Central Asia. Its a superb read.

I lent my copy to someone soon after it came out, and never got it back (they lent it to someone else etc).  So I picked up a copy off ebay last yr.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 07:06:48 pm »
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is out of print, but available online. http://web.archive.org/web/20041211045554/http://www.koopmann.lightup.net/crane/
The various adventures were undertaken to raise funds for Intermediate Technology, now Practical Action. http://practicalaction.org/  So a donation to them will salve any remaining pangs of conscience.

Nicholas Crane didn't run the Himalayas, that was his cousins Richard and Adrian.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Himalayas-Richard-Crane/dp/0450060829

Thanks, D.  I knew it was somebody cra(ne)zy!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 11:57:54 pm »
I thought the Crane brothers rode down Kilimajaro on 80s style, hardtail, MTBs.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 02:30:35 am »
Were these the guys who cut the labels out of their clothes to save weight? I vaguely recall a write-up in a late 80s/early 90s issue of the CTC mag.

Pretty sure they did this on JCE, together with removing the handles from their toothbrushes. I too lent my copy to somebody a long time ago and never got it back, but I'd love to read it for the third time as it's a superb tale. As is Clear Waters Rising (Crane had only just got married when he set off for his eighteen month hike from Finisterre to Istanbul). For some reason I remember somebody telling me how he can be a bit of an oddball - drinks his own urine, sacrifices virgins* - that sort of thing.

*The virgins bit I made up.

'Something....something.... Something about racing bicycles, but really a profound metaphor about life itself.'  Tim Krabbé. Possibly

LEE

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 09:05:11 am »
For some reason I remember somebody telling me how he can be a bit of an oddball - drinks his own urine

That's the only sensible urine to drink surely

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 10:20:16 am »
I had honestly never realised that Nicholas Crane was THAT Nicholas Crane. 

Neither had I! Top bloke!

Just watched on iPlayer. I loved the way he considered his options when faced with a river. Ride a mile to the nearest bridge? Nah, fuck it - just wade through waist deep. His bike seemed to stand up to plenty of abuse...

Edit: I like the way he went to the trouble of taking his trusty unbrella with him  :P
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2013, 01:23:00 pm »
The Umbrella is called 'Que Chova?' meaning 'What rain?' (Not 'What, rain?') 
'Something....something.... Something about racing bicycles, but really a profound metaphor about life itself.'  Tim Krabbé. Possibly

Re: Nick Crane on BBC2
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2020, 10:31:06 pm »
Okay, so it's a 7-year-old thread dredge, still, it's on-topic.

I just watched "Pedalling Dreams: The Raleigh Story" on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPa-oie8xYg) and they interview Nicholas Crane (https://youtu.be/NPa-oie8xYg?t=3071) about Journey to the Centre of the Earth ride in 1986.

It was looking for a copy of their related book that brought me to this thread.

It turns out I'd already found their book on Amazon back in 2018 but I've not grabbed a copy yet. Anyway, carry on.