What kind of bicycle for Richard Armitage?

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 12.13.42 PM[At right, Richard Armitage photographed with a fan on Sunday, June 2, 2013, outside of Stone Street Studios in Wellington. Source: Facebook. I cropped the fan out because — while I’m grateful to see Mr. Armitage — I’m not sure that people really realize what they’re doing when they put their pics on the Internet like this.]

[I admit this is fluff, as I continue to thrash through harder things underneath.]

Well, we know that slightly-too-tight Belstaff jacket from 2010 is still around! I swear, that man must have a few pieces of luggage that carry only various leather jackets he owns. Not that I’m complaining.

Love you in leather, Mr. Armitage. Windswept hair and rosy cheeks? Fresh from a bike ride?

In the line of odd details I notice in interviews, last year in the press blitz for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in the course of a discussion about how he “protected” Thorin outside of filming, Richard Armitage stated parenthetically that he took a bicycle to work.

[Oh, and yes, for the slang fans among us: he said, “I used to cycle to work,” where a U.S.-ian would say “bike to work” or “ride my bike to work.” In writing this article I learned that in the UK, “On your bike!” is a way to say, “Get lost!” or “Shut up!” I also ran across a very impolite term for a promiscuous woman that I think I’ve only ever encountered on TV or in books. I was looking because I had this vague memory that there’s some other term for bike in the U.K. like “wheel,” but maybe that’s archaic, or maybe I’m confusing it with the German “Rad” for “Fahrrad.” Anyway, I couldn’t verify that one.]

So, yeah, back to the topic.

Cycling-Pants[At right: conventional men’s cycling pants — which definitely show off a powerful upper thigh.]

All of “my guys” have been devoted bikers. Not professionals, certainly, and definitely not to the point that they’d get involved with performance-enhancing drugs, but intense lovers of the bicycle and bicycle riding. I saw on FB yesterday that The Physicist had taken part in a hundred-mile bike race for charity and I remembered the days when he’d go on a really long ride and I’d end up having to drive somewhere to pick him up because he couldn’t fix a flat or something. Anyway, apart from when I was eight, I have only been a bicycle rider when I lived in Germany, where it was never practical for me to own a car, and where traffic in many cities is set up to be at least workable, and often hospitable or even more hospitable, for bikes than for autos.

Unfortunately, nowhere I’ve lived in the U.S. since 1998 has been remotely bike-friendly. But I have a soft spot for bicyclers. I love the build of the hips and thighs of a biker and the look of his tight biking pants; I love witnessing the contemplative tinkering with a bicycle (and talking to someone while he fixes mine. This was one of my favorite things to do with ex-SO — watch him fix bikes).

Richard Armitage has just the right build to look great in biking pants. And being a DIY guy, he’s probably a wonderful bicycle repairman.

We pause for a moment of wonderful British bicycle repairman humor. I’m sure Mr. Armitage knows this sketch.

(And come to think of it, maybe Mr. Armitage is Bicycle Repairman. There are certain similarities.)

In line with my ongoing musings about what kind of person Richard Armitage is, I’ve been wondering what kind of bike he has in Wellington. The sheer number of types of bikes is a bit fatiguing to consider, so I’ve limited my list to the major taxonomies I’ve encountered in my own limited experience.

1. The city bike or utility bike — a sturdy bike designed primarily for practical uses such as running short errands and managing short urban commutes. Unsophisticated in terms of technology, this type of bike sacrifices speed for seated comfort, stability for the rider, and durability, as well as ease of use / repair and protection of the rider. These bikes often lack gears or have less than five; are usually equipped with fenders to prevent mud spatters onto clothing; and have a basket in front and/or a luggage rack in back. Tires are neither as wide/knobby as the mountain bike tire nor as streamlined as the racing bike. Usually delivered with drum brakes. The rider sits in a very upright position. These are easy to pick up cheap from a newspaper ad. When I was doing my doctoral work, the going price for a used city bike you could expect to ride for two or three years was DM 100, and the first bike I had was of this type (albeit a ladies’ bike, without the crossbar).

tumblr_lo5lg403NK1qda0cgo1_500Basic boring old city bike — Type “Hollandrad.” Stable, easy to ride, easy to fix, carries a lot.

Why I can imagine Richard Armitage riding this bike: Cheap to obtain, no huge pain if it’s lost or stolen or crashed, practical for many uses, especially if you also have a car in reserve (which we know he does), easy to get, easy to fix himself with a minimum toolkit, easy to shed when he leaves. The “wash and wear” bicycle.

2. The mountain bike / all-terrain bike. Mountain bikes can get very sophisticated, but their chief features are the very sturdy frame, wider wheels, knobby tires, often some suspension in the fork on the front wheel (called a hardtail) and sometimes under the seat (called a softtail) or both (dual suspension), and many gears, often fifteen or twenty-one, including especially low gears to facilitate climbing steep surfaces. The suspension makes for a smoother ride over long distances, as well as optimizing forward momentum on bumpy terrains. This type of bike usually has disc brakes nowadays. Wheels are slightly further apart to enhance stability.

When my first German bike, a city bike, died in an unfortunate crash with a car, the reimbursement payment from the insurance of the driver at fault went towards a very basic mountain bike that I bought in a warehouse of discontinued models at Zweirad Schlote in Göttingen. It has fifteen gears, I believe, and cost DM 600. I rode it for years whenever I was in Germany and right now it’s parked in my friend Josephine’s garage, waiting for me to get back to it.

02229A very basic mountainbike. Note suspension on the fork (above the front wheel).

Why I can imagine Richard Armitage riding this bike: Interviews about his activities in New Zealand suggest he likes spending time out of doors and in the country. A mountain bike is perfectly appropriate for a city commute and is even a bit more stable and better at encountering rough road terrain than the city bike. You run a slightly greater risk of getting splashed (usually, no fenders), but if you don’t mind that, it could be a great bike both for going to work and exploring the terrain in your free time. It’s also got the sort of boyish image that I associate with him. Could totally see Richard Armitage trying to pop a wheelie!

3. The road (racing) bike. The whole point of this kind of bike is speed, so everything about it is built to minimize weight and cut friction with the road and rider. Very thin tires to cut road friction. Low handlebars to help the rider keep his head down while riding. Wheels close together to allow the rider to steer around surprise obstacles quickly. The frame is made of the lightest material possible — nowadays, the fastest bikes are made of carbon — so often not as sturdy as that of the other bikes. It is also much stiffer so that the energy transfer from the biker’s action to the wheels is more efficient (as opposed to the flexible mountain bike, which tries to minimize jolts to the rider and keep the bike moving forward). Serious bikers even wear shoes that clip onto the pedals in order to make the energy transfer from biker to wheels more efficient. Usually a really good racing bike is not a very comfortable ride and very easy to tip over.

(Can you tell I haven’t liked my experiences with these?)

trek_12_2009_carrerablueA basic men’s racing bike. When we were dating, The Physicist had a blue Trek bike. Ex-SO also has several racing bikes.

Why I can imagine Richard Armitage riding this bike: Speed! If he made any longer road-based bike trips in New Zealand, it would be fun to rush down a mountain on one of these — a less preparation-intensive alternative to skiing?

4. The recumbent bike. This is a specialist taste — people who love these really love them. They are said to be safer, in the sense that if you fall off of one, you’re less likely to fall head first, and you won’t fall very far. Also, they are ergonomically better for the body and more comfortable on back, neck, shoulders, and forearms. These also are the fastest bikes of all, because the rider isn’t tilting his chest right into the wind. I only ever tried one of these once, and I found it really hard to balance and I was scared cars would hit me because they wouldn’t see me. But I’m told people also love them because you have an easier time seeing the scenery while you’re riding.


Why I can imagine Richard Armitage riding this bike: I can’t, actually.

So here’s poll #1:

And then, because I don’t like to discuss bikes without referring to bike safety — the all important question — does Armitage ride with a helmet?

[I hope so, if he’s doing anything beyond the basic short commute on the city bike.]

~ by Servetus on June 4, 2013.

88 Responses to “What kind of bicycle for Richard Armitage?”

  1. Fun post. 😀


    • 🙂 Thanks. I like the thought of picking out a bike for him 🙂


      • Yeah, me, too. I ended up choosing the mountain/all terrain bike because it seemed to me to be the overall best choice–something he could use on city streets and out in the wilds of NZ. 😀


        • I also liked the possibility of dual suspension, given how much stress on his frame comes from this role (and also b/c we know he has been injured in the past).


          • Yes, definitely would be better on his body, I would think.


            • Agreed. And we have seen him with a backpack before, so while it might not hold as much stuff as his briefcase, he might not need as much stuff going to the set for TH. Less strain on his back and no need for paniers or a utility basket.

              Re. the helmet question, as you know, I live in Spain, and here you see racers and mountain cyclists wear helmets routinely, but many people don’t if they’re on paved streets or paths. You often see people on short trips, in street clothes, no helmet. I have seen people forget their helmets, too, in cafes and at the train station.


  2. In regard to the rosy (and slightly puffy) cheeks, my first thought was that I recognize that look from my theatre days as the result of the rather vigorous stage makeup/ appliance removal regimen. The comments on FB from the owners of the photos bear this idea out by saying he had wet hair and seemed to have just showered. Which opens up an entirely different line of speculation (probably best left unspoken.) 😉

    Although I do also enjoy wondering about his bike-riding preferences. I see him as a mountain-biker myself. Sporty, adventurous, versatile.


    • Sure. Why not. Not knowing anything for sure makes speculating fun 🙂

      There was one other pic where he had a skin look like this, and I wonder if anyone else remembers it.


      • I remember seeing photos a few times that made me think of the post-makeup-removal look. *nod*


        • What about that PJ vlog with an interview with RA? His skin was reddened and almost looked sunburned there. I’ve assumed it was due to makeup removal.


          • Mostly this post was an excuse to write about my positive reminiscences about men I love and bicycles. But I was thinking of the 2/11/2011 press conference photos. Didion had asked me if he’d had windburn.


      • There was an early NZ photo with RA looking down and to the side, with beard, that looked like an allergic reaction or sunburn. Now I realize that it was probably in that early stage of the makeup design for Thorin, with more and heavier appliances on his face, including the huge fake beard.


    • I think he was rehearsing the shower scene that will be the first scene of DOS.


  3. This was a wonderful post, because it not only let us think about RA in delicious and spandexy ways, but it also revealed more about you, which is always lovely. Plus the spandex. And the little bit where you talked about his hips and (shudder) his powerful thighs. And the photo of the bike shorts, and then imagining him in the bike shorts.

    Um. Biking is cool. So are leather jackets. And, um, powerful thighs. THUD

    I’ve completely lost the thread, but this I know: good post, Servetus. 😀


  4. Great post! I sure hope that he wears a helmet. I would think that an all-terrain would let him do everything he would want to.

    Over the years my bike riding has gotten less. Maybe I should do more riding again. I know my PT said I should get back on last year it would help my ankle.

    I do have a few bikes at are house to choose from. There is the Hercules from England that I think is maybe a 60’s or so. My late FIL found it for me sometime in the middle 90’s, I would ride it all over the place back then. There also is the Kettler ALU_RAD from Germany that my husband got as a unclaimed bike from are local police department, it is a girls bike but my husband really likes how well it rides. There are a couple other boys bikes we have but I will leave them for the boys.

    I really like the picture of Richard !


    • I had a friend in Germany who had a Hercules. And I think German bikes are great (unsurprisingly) — but seriously, in a country where practically everyone bikes, they are just constructed better. What I loved about Germany was that there was a stage of bike between kids bike / super cheap bike that you ride once a year and leave in your garage and the super professional aerodynamic professional bike. The country is set up to facilitate biking (aside from the mountainous parts, of course).


      • We are not really set up biking to much here. I do know that there is a trail that is used every fall for the “fat tire” race in our area, it might even be the ski trail.

        My husband has said that the German bike is the best bike he has ever rode and the the construction is great, I think he even said something about shock absorbers on it. The first bike picture reminds me of my Hercules a bit.

        I had a classmate in high school who’s mom made bike shorts and I remember that a few of the guys bought them from her.


  5. Great post. Kudos who anyone who can ride a bike around Wellington. It is a smaller version of San Francisco with lots of steep hills. Richard would have to pump his oaken thighs mightily to get around most of the town. Sigh. Maybe it’s relatively flat where the studio is. Also it is cold ( by my standards) and windy as Chicago. You can get chapped cheeks just walking down the block.


    • I learned to ride in San Francisco with a 26-inch 3-speed Schwinn. The hills are steep, but I could do a lot of them back then. From Golden Gate Park up Third Avenue to UCSF defeated me. When it was cold, I wore “granny pants” that were like bike shorts without the Lycra, under my clothes. So if a child could do it, with a heavy bicycle, I don’t think Wellington would be that huge of a challenge for Richard.


      • yeah, people definitely do it. You see old ladies in Tübingen with no-gear bikes pumping up and down the hills …


    • Ah, interesting to know. Then he probably needs the mountain bike!


  6. This was fun reading, serv, although I’m finding it difficult to rid my head of the image of RA in bike shorts. They have to be black though, definitely not fluoro! 😉
    My first thought on seeing the photos was that he had finished filming for the day and the rosy cheeks and damp hair were from having his make up removed and showering.
    I voted for a mountain bike, and helmets are mandatory in New Zealand, as they are in Australia, so I think he would be a law abiding cyclist and wear one.

    It’s always interesting to read about the differences in our English language. Here someone who rides a bike or bicycle is a bike rider or cyclist, to me a “biker” rides a motorbike. “On your bike” means the same here as it does in the UK.


    • Thanks for the info on the law in Australia and NZ — of course, if it’s required, he’ll be doing it.

      I think “biker” also refers to motorcyclists in the U.S. (in addition to bicyclists). Cf. “biker chick,” which refers to the girlfriend of a motorcyclist or a female motorcyclist, but wouldn’t be applied to a bicyclist …

      and yeah. Black. For sure. Maybe with some stripes down the side of the thigh, like his Adidas workout outfit.


  7. This doesn’t have anything to do with bicycles, but

    First thing that came to mind when I saw this picture was the song Brandi, You’re A Fine Girl. I guess because RA’s hair looked wind swept and a little wet, plus the beard, he reminded me of of a sea captain — think Captain Gregg in the Ghost and Ms. Muir. If the sailor in the song looked anything like RA, I understand why Brandi used to watch his eyes when he told his sailor stories and could feel the ocean fall and rise. And loved a man who was not around.

    Anyway that’s the thoughts running through my mind after a hard day of dealing with sibling rivalry.

    Here’s a link to Red Hot Chli Peppers version of Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl): http://youtu.be/fiuqNorKs6w

    And a link to an image of Captain Gregg: http://ro-mashka.ru/mbphoto.php?path=http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/data/760/GAMM007.jpg


    • Men who aren’t around can be the best kind of men. (There’s my cynical comment for the day.) I hope you unraveled the rivalry … 🙂

      I’m glad that you noted the positive aspect of the “sailor” look. I think he looks fantastic here. Normal and dashing all at once. Lots of people ahve been making “Captain Haddock” jokes, but he looks so rough, practical distinguished in these photos.


  8. I voted for the mountain bike with a helmet. I agree that the mountain bike gives him the most riding options and helmet because he seems to be a law-abiding sort of fellow.

    I know most people don’t live in major cities but at least in urban areas cycling is getting to be a viable mode of transportation. In NYC, there’s the new bikesharing system and DC has had one for a two or three years and it’s been a resounding success by all accounts. Bike lanes/sharrows/etc are starting to pop up even out here in the suburbs.


    • I’ll admit that I have lived in major cities in the U.S. for the last thirteen years (am living in one now) and the cities that I live in have been a disaster for bikers. As in, while I’ve been driving, I’ve seen other drivers *aim* to scare them or just ignore bike lanes with impunity. And there’s a whole ring of shrines / memorial to bikers and pedestrians right around the campus I work on now because people have been killed while biking on the margins of campus. I really hope that this new bikeshare system in NYC leads the way to people seeing that things could be different, but I’m not especially hopeful that it will change things either in the city I live in now or the one I used to live in.

      And even in the bikefriendly city in lived in grad school (not a major city, but one of the largest ones in the state), i saw two weeks ago that someone The Physicist had been friends with in grad school and whom I knew slightly was killed in a biking accident.


  9. Oh my Serv, I love that post!
    Now I will imagine RA on a Hollandrad for the rest of the day – without a helmet 😉


    • While I was writing this, I thought, if it’s true that Harry Kennedy is the character he’s played that’s most like RL Armitage, then Armitage would ride a Hollandrad because that’s definitely the bike Harry Kennedy would ride.


  10. On the original FB account where the pics were posted they mentioned that his hair was wet and he looked like he’d just showered. Can’t help wondering if he smelt soapy! 😉

    As for the bike I went with the mountain one because I simply can’t imagine him on the city type one as I’m not sure they’re that common over here…especially for men…I could be completely wrong though 🙂


  11. Great post! I voted for the mountainbike but back home I hope that he rides a vintage bike that perhaps used to belong to his father or grandfather. I hope that he wears a helmet and I would recommend the Hövding airbag helmet, a swedish innovation that has got great test results compared to ordinary helmets. http://www.hovding.com/en/.


  12. Fun Post. I guess he upgraded the Belstaff jacket to too tight leather for personal use because I’m pretty sure the too-tight Spooks jacket Serv analyzed in 2011 was the heavy cotton version at $ 850, not the $ 2250 leather version. He looks so rugged in this candid pic.


    • yeah, this isn’t the one he was wearing in Spooks 8 or 9 — it was the one he wore throughout the fall interview cycle in 2010.


  13. I like my bike as well, though I did not ride it for years. It even got a name. “Thunderbolt”, when I was just starting to learn English (see how old that bike is – and me ;o). My sister crashed it two weeks after I got it, still I loved that bike and though it had no gears at all, it still is my favourite of all, for comfort and enjoyment and just the feel of freedom riding it.
    RA I would say might ride a mixture bike, though I am not sure how common those are outside of Germany. A mixture of city bike with lots of gears, safe and stable form, but still light and fast.
    I inherited one of those racing bikes you mentioned in no.3 from my sister and I hate to ride it. I could carry it with one finger, but I feel like flying directly into the next car. No full armour could protect me enough to feel safe on it. And the real downside is, I got the bike without tears/wheels and had to buy a set to be able to ride it. The amount those tears cost, I would normally spend at most for a bike. And they are unusable after only one year (mostly unused !). I wont buy a replacement now, so just dust settles on this bike in the cellar of my parents.


    • Whenever I tried a racing bike I thought I was going to fall forward on it, off onto my nose. It was an uncomfortable and frightening ride. Actually, I’d have stuck with the city bike but I had the stepthrough frame (Damenrad) and it seemed less stable than the men’s model with the crossbar.

      And yeah, racing bikes are expensive to maintain and hard to fix yourself. Sort of like thoroughbred racehorses, I imagine 🙂


      • They had some tests here and discarded city bikes for women as unsafe and even women should use bikes with the high cross bar.
        Though I think, if you get in contact with a car, where the construction of women’s bikes matters, you are the looser anyway.
        The problem with bikes for me is, that either I ride a childrens bike or I need quite some space to get up and down those safe or racing bikes. If in dense traffic, I need to get up and down fast, that can be extremely uncomfortable ;o)
        Though the range of bikes available expanded exponetially since the time I bought my last bike.
        Thoroughbred racehorse certainly describes the bike I inherited. It even behaves like that in the cellar 😉 I did not give it a name so far, as my sister has the tendency to want things back after a while, though I no longer think she will this time. It just is no longer safe for her and so the dust can settle pleacefully. Fortunately, my nephew has the same ‘Dickschädel’ as I have, so he now uses my helmet 😉


        • I wear a lot of skirts and I preferred the ladies’ bike for that reason, initially, although even there sometimes the skirt got stuck in the chain. I also have that fear of not being able to get off the racing bike fast enough …


  14. hmmm … forget the BIKES. i think this is one of the best piccy i have ever seen.

    this guy is H-O-T. HOT i say. i want to say very un-lady like things, that i will keep to myself …


    • Well, now that he’s not sure his fans are ladies, I think you can say unladylike things … 🙂


  15. Richard Armitage on a bike, it must’ve been SPECTACULAR view… at certain angles 😀
    Thanks for the fun Servetus.


    • Yeah. The *main* reason for a fangirl to vote for the mountain bike or the racing bike is that they position the rider’s rear end up very high so that the rear view of the biker can be earthshattering to the audience.


  16. My hubby is the bicycler in our family. And yes, those stretch spandex shorts are amazing in terms of tush and thigh definition. *wink* And my hubby swears by Treks and Voyageurs, etc. Ha!

    My hubby also repairs bikes he buys and sells them–our garage looks like a bike shop–and he belongs to a bike club that holds race fundraisers funds to buy kids bikes. Hmmmm. I wonder if RA belongs to a bike club in NZ? Ha!

    P.S. Regarding RA and a helmet question, RA once remarked that the gate guards and others didn’t recognize him when he would cycle into the studio in the wee hours of the morning for makeup. Maybe RA had a helmet with chin strap on that obscured what he looked like. Ha! Or he was so low key–more likely–that they didn’t think a soon to be big star–and third lead–like him would travel around like he was one of the blokes. Ha!


    • Well, if his bike helmet is like the helmet he wore for the swordfight rehearsals, it doesn’t really obscure his face. I assume it was because he was low key and quiet. This *is* the guy who drove his BMW to work early and parked it in an unobtrusive place to keep people from teasing him about it. 🙂


  17. Servetus, I squeed when I saw this new pic and your post. Isn’t he the perfect picture of a compelling, although disheveled looking man? OMG! Since RA told in that interview, that he usually rides the bike to the studios in the morning, this idea or picture of him on a bicycle remained in my mind. Time and time again I thought, I so much would like to see a picture of him sitting on his bike. I’m still not sure, which bike I’d choose for him. Initially I’d tend to some sort of city-bike, but as you aptly mentioned, RA is really the sporty type and as he loves a certain speed he probably rides a mountain-bike. But still, it has to be said, I’m really fast with my beloved silver-coloured Kettler-Alurad (city-bike), which I own for 25 years now and I use it more or less on a daily basis, except the water is pouring down like it has the last days (incredible!!) or there is lots of snow on the roads or bike-lanes. It served me truly good over the years. 🙂


    • ah, the Kettler Alurad, another classic city bike.

      It’s also fun to think of going on a bike ride with him, I find 🙂


      • Oh yes, as you say, I find that as well! That’s what I also wanted to write in my comment, but refrained from it, as it is so unlikely to happen. Geez, sometimes my rational-me is really a spoilsport!! I would love to cycle with him and the parts af Bavaria close to the Alps can look pretty much like NZ! 😉


  18. 😀 This was so much fun to read, thanks! Of all the bikes I have to go with the mountain bike, it seems to fit his needs, lol.


  19. Living in a very bike friendly nation, the only people who ever wear bike shorts or other special gear are the amateur racers. Everyone else simply goes about in their regular clothes, so to me it’s just…odd to imagine him in that gear.
    Same with helmets, the only ones who wear them are either kids or tourists, though I’d definitely wear one when it’s off road! So what I imagine is very much skewed by what I see on daily basis.

    And there is something very soothing to be on your bike early in the morning with no one around. It is a great way to clear the mind…or at least that usually what I do and enjoy whatever scenery I may come across.


    • I doubt he would wear them to cycle to work — they’re really only meant for people who are going on long rides. (And I don’t own any.) But he would still look great in them!

      My main insight about commuting by bike was that it was a great “middle space” between work and home (when the traffic wasn’t annoying). It was always an opportunity for me to shed some of the tension from work, and that often happened, not least because it required physical motion.


  20. Given how bad the NZ roads are, how high the road fatality toll is (about twice per capita that of Australia) and how aggressive (or drunk) are so many NZ drivers, a guy of RA’s good sense would have a mountain bike with good suspension, Kevlar gloves and a death-defying helmet.
    The bike need not be new and fancy — remember his comment about wanting to swap his sleek BMW for something more ordinary and “battered”? — but it would be of reliable quality. It would have plentiful twinkling lights fore and aft to give him good vis on those dark winter mornings. He might even look like a Christmas tree on wheels.
    And despite the delightful reveries implicit in “let us think about RA in delicious and spandexy ways” (thank you, Ms GigglePants *smothers grin*), I suspect our down-to-earth RA would at 5am take whatever clothes were on the top of his floordrobe pile, don them in the dark, possibly inside out, and immediately scoot out with no thought other than to arrive at the set on time, whereupon he would be teased about his garb by colleagues who actually know at some deeper level that even the worst clothes or best million-dollar prosthetics can never obscure the profound and overwhelming SEXINESS of the beautiful RA!


    • I think it’s only practical, if you know the second you get to work you have to put on extensive makeup and a costume, that you don’t spend much time thinking about your clothing for “on set.”

      Re shorts, the possibility depends a little to me, as well, on how far he rides and if he’s a really truly sweaty guy. Bikers aren’t wearing them b/c they look sexy, but b/c they actually have a function. When i started associating with bikers, I always made fun of the clothes, I mean, why can’t you just get on the bike and go? Why do you need an outfit? Some of those shorts even have a little padding in the rear to make the ride more comfortable for the skinny of butt. But the fabric in those shorts is specially designed to wick water away from the body. So really, if he’s going to change at work, and he gets really exerted on his bike rides, why wouldn’t he incorporate biking shorts into his wardrobe?


  21. I am wondering how he manages to cycle at all as I remember reading about another actor in a TV series that wasnt allowed under his contract to do anything dangerous (like skiing or sky diving) because of the potential for accidents and delays in production as a result. So if he is allowed (which he must be I’m sure) they (the powers that be) would stipulate some safety measures. Although I’m sure there would be no problem in having anyone around to nurse him better if he fell off!!!


    • Thanks for the comment, Mumbo Jumbo, and welcome!

      I wondered about other stuff he said more, like saying he was skiing whenever he could while making the film. I was like, really?


  22. It’s been the law here in British Columbia, Canada, since 1996 that helmets must be worn when riding a bicycle (or motor cycle). Motor cyclists seem far more diligent at wearing them – good thing – but many cyclists ignore the law and seem to get off with it. Sadly, they don’t seem to stop and think of the consequences of head injuries. As Mezz noted they are mandatory in NZ as they are in Australia and I doubt Richard would be foolhardy enough, especially when under contract, to be injured unnecessarily.

    On a lighter note, I can imagine Richard on a mountain bike (with helmet) but not in the above cycling pants even though he’d look spectacular in them! 😉 Cycling to the studio on a dark morning, and in a hoodie, I think he’d be more likely to wear jeans or sweat/track pants. Do guys still wear clips to keep their pants away from the chain or is that just something that died out with the dinosaur? Aging myself here!!


    • Oh no Teuchter, the clips are still in use here in Germany. They maybe nowadays look a bit more stylishly shaped (silver) and they span nearly around the whole ankle. A couple of my collegues of different age use them regularly. But it mainly depends on how tight the jeans are cut……. And we know RA loves it tight!!! 😉


      • The ones I remember in the UK were indeed silver coloured and did go round almost the whole ankle so maybe they haven’t changed that much! I think you’re right though – those tight jeans would hug his ankles very nicely! And they’re such shapely ankles!! 😉


    • He’s said that he’s very careful.

      In the US you see the clips (or rubber bandy things) as well. I was jealous when I was wearing skirts — keeping the skirt out of the mountainbike chain was always a hassle.


  23. I´ve read a lot of your posts during the last few weeks, enjoyed them all, but this one leaves me lying on the ground breathless with laughter. Okay, I owe you an explanation: I´m German and ride a citybike myself, a modern version, not a “Hollandrad”. The Hollandrad is very comfortable, yet a bit old-fashioned. I never ever saw a man in biker pants and the whole other biker stuff riding a “Hollandrad”, that´s such an anachronism… Even older men or pensioners usually ride more fashioned bikes and wear biker clothes, men are so vain *lol*.

    Now I can´t get the imagination out of my head what RA would look like with very very tight biker pants, shoes, gloves, a helmet, riding a “Hollandrad”. Is there anybody able to phoshop such a pic, please (I´d die for it)?

    You make my day, servetus.


    • Thanks, Ute 🙂

      To me somehow the biker pants fit better with the mountainbike 🙂

      It’s been striking to me that the readers who were most enthusiastic about this post were Europeans or former Europeans. Bike culture is still more developed there, apparently 🙂


      • Yes, and that´s why I voted for the mountain bike.

        I´m not really fit in biking (problems with my back etc), but decided this spring to try it again with a city bike including high safety standard (full shcok absorbance, permanent light etc). It suits with my daily outfit, bikerpants would look really awful on me, and I actually don´t need a padding in the rear…

        Next time when I go out for a ride I´ll look at all the bikers wearing pants with a new point of view, imagining it could be RA. Suppose, it´s inevitable to buy a helmet first.


  24. Slightly OT but still about bicycles!

    I was just looking again – and laughing – at the “bicycle repair man” video and it brought to mind an incident that happened to me when I was a kid. I’d been given a Raleigh bicycle which had belonged to an Aunt of mine and I really wanted to look after it. I’d never had one with gears before and it was such a treat. I’d had it upside down one day to give it a good clean and oil and was in the process of turning it right way up when one of the handle bars caught me on the chin. As usual I had my TOC well out so ended up with deep cuts on either side of it! 😦 It sure hurt! I remember my Mom making me sit with my tongue in a glass of cold water trying to stop the bleeding! I still catch myself with my tongue out when I concentrate but then I’m not cleaning bicycles any more. 😀


  25. […] What kind of bicycle for Richard Armitage? June 4, 2013. A post based on Armitage’s report that he used to bike to work in Wellington. […]


  26. […] We discussed this problem extensively over two years ago — but now we have an answer! Don’t we? […]


  27. […] I actually don’t think of bikes as a spy story trope. When I saw Richard Armitage’s picture of himself bike racing in a Berlin courtyard, I actually thought it was because he got a bike. Life in Berlin is so much easier with a bike. And it’s a fun thing to screw around on. And probably people used them to get to different parts of the set. (And we’d had a discussion back in the Hobbit days, when he said he would bike to the studio, about what kind of b….) […]


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