Singletrack Magazine Issue 121: Simon Gallup – There Is No Cure

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Simon Gallup: 

There is no cure.

He plays in a world-famous band and has toured the globe for the last 40 years. And yet, all he really wants to do is ride bikes. And if he can’t, then he likes nothing better than to talk about them.

Words & Photography chipps

The bass guitarist prowls the stage in front of the sold out festival audience. As the band plays one of its many top ten singles, the bass player glares menacingly at the audience, pointing his low-slung black bass at the crowd like a flamethrower. The glossy black body of the bass is plain, apart from some mysterious ancient runes in white. The runes doubtless have some significance to the thousands of black-clad fans and… wait a second… that’s not an ancient rune, that’s an Orange Bikes logo. What the…?

There’s no easy way of saying this, but Simon Gallup, the long-standing bass player in The Cure, yes, that The Cure, is an out-and-out bike geek. Give him the choice between attending a VIP music industry shindig and a cold, wet, muddy ride somewhere over the Ridgeway, and he’ll leap at the latter. And despite being legitimate rock royalty – having played bass with The Cure for 40 years – it turns out that he has more bikes than bass guitars. 

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Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

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