I'm a graphic designer turned bike mechanic that draws cartoon robots and advocates for lifestyle cycling
I am a Graphic Designer turned Bicycle Mechanic that writes about Lifestyle Cycling and draws a funny robot cartoon strip called Farrbott, publishing on Substack Autumn 2023.
This is my Blog about the stuff I think about a LOT. Mostly Cartoon Robots and Bicycle Advocacy. Also, the things that go with them such as comedy, beer, coffee, camping and photography. I find it hard to stay in a niche you see. As Shakespeare said, ‘A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one’. It was meant as a compliment.
My career for 26 years was as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and occasional Cartoonist. I lived the computerisation of my industry and the implementation of the internet as we know it today. That 'progress' meant it all but removed my need for a car. And I was grateful. Driving into London or to the bureau several times a day grew old fast. Going digital allowed me to design my life so I could do/sleep more rather than join the queues on the motorway. I always had a bicycle but didn't use it because the roads where I lived were way too narrow and dangerous. I almost forgot I had it!!!
During Covid, I was made redundant from the bikeshare I worked so hard for. I had the luxury of not needing to rush out and get a job, so I spent my time writing a site called Lifestyle Cyclist. The desire was to help people discover the delights I had found over the years of setting the car aside, where practical, in favour of the bicycle. My goal was/is more posteriors/butts/derrieres on bicycle saddles. That urbanites primary transport preference be cycling.
I soon realised that the content I created was very 'usual'. Starting with bike reviews I had written for other sites. I have over 200 ideas and roughs in Evernote for articles. But all I wanted to do was tell the everyday stories of cycling. Not environment or health or infrastructure or reviews. Everyone else is doing that. If I can inspire someone to cycle more, THEN they can go and read the plethora of sites out there with all THAT content to their heart's content. I believe stories are how you get people onto a bicycle. So I deleted the site in lieu of a rethink.
After that, I took a break from writing, worked for LIME bike share, then moved back to the UK. Now I have this site where I can dabble, experiment and use it as a portfolio.
I hope this site will facilitate a few things.
Helping me get Farrbott together enough to publish it on Substack and earn sufficient income. What I post here is Farrbott 1.0. The process of building this site has enabled me to clarify and improve Farrbott 2.0 with a new universe, storyline and characters.
Get more bicycle writing done now I have somewhere to put it.
Display some of my cycling 'bona fides' that I may also earn sufficient income from that avenue however it may present itself. I have experience wrenching, building ebikes, running a workshop, training mechanics, organizing and leading group rides, installing bikeshare systems and creating bicycle related content.
Finally, I hope I have entertained, informed and inspired the reader in some measure.
I may have gone for a ride, despite the weather. If you want to get in touch, email me at the address below.
farrbott [at] icloud [dot] com BottsBikesBits on Instagram. Soon the cartoon strip Farrbott will appear on Substack.