Bike designer Mike Burrows will feature in forthcoming feature documentary ‘Bicycle: The Film’ sharing his usual forthright opinions about the conservative state of the bike industry in the years before Chris Boardman’s 1992 Olympic pursuit victory.
That race was won on a bike Burrows designed and that was built by Lotus. In an era when bikes were still almost entirely built from metal tubes welded together, Burrows’ low-slung one-piece frame was a revolution.
It didn’t hurt that Boardman himself was the finest pursuit rider of his generation in the peak of his powers, but it was the carbon fibre bike with the British sports car maker’s logo that got all the attention.
In this video clip, Mike Burrows says: “It was 100 years since anybody had held up a bicycle and said, ‘This goes faster.’ Innovation just didn’t happen in cycling.”
The Burrows-Lotus bike (you can see its predecessor behind Mike in the video) opened the floodgates. In 1992 Miguel Indurain won the Tour de France on a succession of steel-framed bikes. In 1993 he rolled out for the time trials on the one-piece carbon fibre Pinarello Sword.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.