Reblog: Froome fashionista


Is he on a trampoline? Chris Froome pictured mid-air with Pinarello Dogma on the cover of Issue 1 of sports magazine UNLTD

Chris Froome, perhaps better known for his steely determination on the bike, has been snapped doing his own version of ‘blue steel(link is external)‘ for a magazine shoot.

As if on a trampoline, Froome appears on the cover of French football magazine Surface’s new title, UNLTD, suspended in mid-air gripping a Pinarello Dogma and wearing some sort of fashion blanket-cape-hoodie. We think it rather suits him.

The Froome cover is one of three images for UNLTD’s first edition featuring pro athletes – all of them seemingly on the UNLTD trampoline – the other two being basketballer Kevin Durant, and French Pole Vaulter, Renaud Lavillenie.

Who said cyclists can’t be fashionable?

Scotland to get money invested into cycling

from – whilst I welcome this it won’t really improve the day to day town and city commutes that cycling really needs….

Cyclists in Scotland will be able to enjoy a radical extension of the country’s walking and cycle routes thanks to a £25 million cash injection that will create 500 miles of new routes over the next five years.
It’s all part of ambitious plans by Scottish Natural Heritage, Sustrans and Scottish Canals to get Scotland more active, and will see 30 new long distance routes created and numerous others updated and resurfaced.
The Dundee Green Circular, along with routes including Crook of Devon and Kinross, Lochearnhead to Crieff and a new Fife Pilgrim Way from Culross and North Queensferry to St Andrews will be among the first to be looked at.
Others include a Great Trossachs Path — between Callander and Inversnaid — a Hebridean Way on Harris and Lewis and the full-length “Pilgrim’s Way” across Scotland between St Andrews and Iona.
All the cycle ways will conform to high European-style standards, and will be funded by a mix of public and private partnership.
Planning Secretary Alex Neil told The Courier: “Scotland’s extensive network of long-distance routes, national cycleways and canal towpaths is already much loved and well used.
“Encouraging more people to enjoy the natural environment is important for the environment, tourism and boosting the economy — that’s why the National Long Distance Cycling and Walking Network is designated as a national development in Scotland’s National Planning Framework.
“The plan will extend the network of connected, accessible paths and tracks for visitors of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle, encouraging even more people and visitors to enjoy the outdoors and to become more active.”
Ian Ross, chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, added: “We want to make sure that the network offers something for everyone, with rural routes offering peace and quiet, great views and the chance to get close to nature; paths between settlements to help local people commute away from traffic; high-spec surfaces in places for people in wheelchairs and cyclists, and more varied paths for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders.
“The most important thing is to give people the chance to access and enjoy the outdoors close to where they live — irrespective of their age or mobility.
“On the back of that, we hope that people will embrace healthier, more active and sustainable lifestyles.”
Earlier this month we reported how a new report from Cycling Scotland shows a 32 per cent increase in cycling in Scotland between 2003 and 2013.
However, with it still only representing 0.75 per cent of total traffic volume, there is a strong belief that much more needs to be done.
The report covers a range of topics, including estimated levels of cycling, cycle commuting, cycling to school and road safety.
The proportion of those cycling to work at least ‘regularly’ is now 5.6 per cent for Scotland as a whole with the highest levels seen in Edinburgh (12.2%), Moray (10.3%) and Argyll & Bute (9.1%).
In 2013, five per cent of children indicated that they normally cycle to primary school with levels highest in Highland (10.7%), East Lothian (9.5%) and Stirling (9.2%). However, just 0.9 per cent of children cycle to secondary school nationwide.
Cycling as a main mode of travel in Scotland was estimated at just one per cent in 2013, while the volume of cycling traffic was 329 million vehicle kilometres travelled, a 32 per cent increase on 2003’s 249 million kilometres.
This represented growth from 0.59 per cent to 0.75 per cent.
Late last year Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown unveiled A Long Term Vision for Active Travel in Scotland 2030 with its aim of encouraging more people to walk and cycle for everyday shorter journeys has been welcomed, critics are questioning whether enough is being done to achieve that.
Brown explained: “This vision sets out how we hope Scotland will look in 2030 if more people are walking and cycling for short, everyday journeys allowing us to reap the benefits of active travel.
“It goes without saying that cycling and walking benefits the individual by improving their physical health, but also their mental health, and keeps their transport costs down whilst also benefiting the environment by reducing greenhouse gases and pollutants.”
The document depicts a future Scotland in which people are walking or cycling for the majority of shorter journeys.
Main roads into town centres all have either segregated cycling provision or high quality direct, safe and pleasant alternatives; pedestrian and cycle paths are in place; and rural and suburban minor roads have low speed limits.
Transport is integrated and there is a culture of active travel.
However, critics have questioned whether enough is being done to make these dreams a reality. Speaking to The Scotsman, Colin Howden, Director of Sustainable transport lobby group Transform Scotland, said:
“A long-term vision for walking and cycling is all very well but what we actually need is action now, not at some vague time off into the future.
“What we do know is the Scottish Government’s investment in active travel falls in this year’s budget despite the overall transport budget again rising. Some short-term action to tackle that situation would be more helpful than platitudes about long-term priorities.”
We’ve also reported on how campaigners have told Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) that there is “no way” that a target of 10 per cent of journeys in the country being made by bicycle by 2020 will be achieved while spending remains at its current levels. They have also called for more transparency over the country’s active travel budget.
MSPs sitting on Holyrood’s transport committee warned the Scottish Government more than four years ago that without adequate funding, the target won’t be met

That 10 per cent target was reiterated in last year’s updated Cycle Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS).

Now, an inquiry into the Scottish Government’s budget by the infrastructure and capital investment committee has been told by campaigners Pedal on Parliament, who want 10 per cent of the country’s £2 billion transport budget dedicated to cycling,  that the target is beyond reach at current levels of spend.

  • double standards again for cyclists when it comes to other vehicles …

    A London cyclist who gave police video footage that showed a moped rider kicking out at his bike as he passed him has been told that no action will be taken against the man in question because there were no independent witnesses to what happened.

    here is the original incident



    The incident happened on the New Kent Road on the evening of 16 January as Chi Yong La rode home to Greenwich from his job in the West End with publisher Conde Nast.

    Riding away from the kerb to avoid potholes, drain grilles and manhole covers, he exchanged words with a man on a moped who was undertaking him to his left.

    As the man sped away, he aimed a kick at Chi’s front wheel, leaving the cyclist struggling to maintain balance on the busy road.

    “I was really shaken up,” he told following the incident. “I was really holding on for dear life, making sure I didn’t topple over.”

    Chi lodged a complaint with the police, and sent them a video of the incident – like many cyclists, he uses a helmet camera so that in the event of an incident involving a motor vehicle or pedestrian, he has something more than just his own word to fall back on.

    The full video he sent to police can be seen here (contains some swearing).

    The letter he received from the Traffic Criminal Justice section of the Metropolitan Policer Service’s Operational Command Unit for the South East Region, reads:

    I am writing concerning your complaint to police regarding the manner in which a motor vehicle bearing the registration mark GJ05FGF was ridden along New Kent Road @ 16:44 hours on the 16/01/2014.

    I would advise you that it is the policy of the Metropolitan Police Service to investigate cases that have a realistic prospect of achieving a successful prosecution at court.

    In view of the lack of independent witnesses to support your claim, we are unable to initiate proceedings on this occasion. However, the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle has been notified of your allegation and a record of the incident will be kept within this office.

    Chi told us that the police response was “disappointing to say the least but I can’t say I expect anything more.”

    One question the incident, and the police’s reaction to it, does raise is just how seriously they take helmet camera footage, and why that should be seen as less acceptable than independent eyewitness testimony, which can be inaccurate depending on the person’s recollection.

    Another is that police regularly appeal to the public for help in catching suspects whose alleged crimes have been caught on CCTV, with no witnesses around, and where the footage is of much lower quality than that typically captured by helmet cameras.

    In January 2012 we reported how motorist Scott Lomas was convicted of a public order offence after he threatened cyclist Martin Porter who was riding to work.

    The Metropolitan Police only referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service after Porter had twice complained about their initial decision not to take action. despite his having provided them with helmet camera footage.

    The fact that Porter is a Queen’s Counsel, making him more suited than most to negotiating the criminal justice system, is likely to have been a factor in the case reaching its eventual conclusion.

    Leather vs Lycra

    This person should be banned …. From

    Mulholland Highway motorbike and cyclist collision (source Rnickeymouse, YouTube)

    A video posted to YouTube has captured the moment a motorbike ploughed into the back of a cyclist in California, sending him crashing to the ground head-first, before going on to knock his riding companion off his bike, too. Amazingly, the first cyclist – reported to be British – is said to have emerged from the incident with no broken bones. It has been reported overnight that it was a doctor, taking part on a group ride including George Hincapie, who adminsitered first aid, and there are suggestions that the motorcyclist may have been looking for a photographer rather than focusing on the road

    The video, shot on the Mulholland Highway near Los Angeles and with more than 600,000 views on YouTube, was uploaded by the site’s user Rnickeymouse, clearly a regular visitor to the road and himself a motorcyclist, who insisted: “The rider was not speeding & riding fine until he hit his foot and stood the bike up causing the bike to go wide. He then target fixated on the cyclist.

    “It is a very common type of crash on this turn,” he added. “Just usually no one is there and the rider falls alone. It is very unfortunate, and a rare case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wish the cyclists a speedy recovery.”

    According to a comment made to the video on YouTube, the first rider who was struck – wearing a black, white and red Brioches La Boulengère jersey dating from around a decade ago – is from the UK and somehow escaped without serious injury.

    “This was my friend visiting from England who was struck first,” said the commenter, who went on: “(I was further back on the hill when the accident happened and am one of the guys who comes in the picture to his assistance). He’s doing ok today, was discharged from the hospital yesterday with no broken bones. Miraculously…”

    In one of the other comments to the video, another motorcyclist argues with Rnickeymouse’s interpretation, saying: “This is 100% the motorcyclists fault. If he is “afraid to lean more” then he is going to fast for the road conditions, end of story.

    “It isn’t a race track,” the commenter adds. “You don’t need to drag knee on public roads. He lost control, most likely target fixated and plowed into the cyclist who was 100% within his rights to share the road.”

    The Biking In LA blog has now provided some more background on the incident in an article published last night.

    It says that the incident took place on a 270-degree hairpin bend called Deadman’s Turn, on a section of the Mulholland Highway known to motorcyclists as the Snake and to cyclists as the Rock Store Climb, and it’s a popular spot for people to shoot photos and video.

    The blog flagged up a second video – since taken down from YouTube by whoever posted it, possibly for legal reasons – and which showed point-of-view footage from a motorcyclist following the one involved in the collision.

    Biking In LA says that according to Byron of the Bike Hugger blog, that footage suggests either that the motorcyclist who struck the cyclist had been looking round for the camera, or that his vision had been impaired by a camera flashgun.

    It adds that one of the cyclists involved in the incident is believed to have been among 20 to 25 riders taking part in an informal group ride which included George Hincapie, who is said to have been further up the climb and unaware of what had happened.

    The other cyclist – the one hit first and more seriously hurt, and reported to be from the UK – was not on that ride, but “happened to fall in with the other riders at the wrong place and time,” says Biking In LA.

    Luckily for him, one member of that group ride was the chief medical officer for the Amgen Tour of Caliornia, riding behind and picked up by the Highway Patrol car that was heading to the scene, and who was able to administer first aid.

    As yet there is no news of any charges being brought against the motorcyclist involved, but the incident, and the video of it, has reportedly been investigated.

    Cyclist – a new magazine worth subscribing to

    Last year on a whim I bought a subscription to cycling+ and I can’t for the life of me think what crappy free gift made me jump in. It seems every month bought the same crappy review of new bikes, reviews of jackets and a relentless comparison upgrade ideology was peddled through its pages.
    When we sold and moved I didn’t even bother notifying them although unfortunately the post redirection kept them dropping in.

    I had also subscribed to Roleur and although every issue was a photographic gem I think the majority of articles were focused on the hardcore road rider racer fan and didn’t always engage me.

    I chance across an American magazine called Paved which seemed to focus less on the equipment and racing but more on the passion. It focused on the bespoke and the strange and the passionate and although had a US focus I think for me it was the passion that got me and kept me engaged in every article.

    I bought cyclist at the airport on my way to Istanbul and finally I think I have found something I want to subscribe to. This first issue had some equipment reviewed and some rides explained. They did a sweet article on hidden routes in Switzerland that made me want to go across the channel and hit the tar and the descents …. But it is the focus of articles that had me engaged. There was a great article explaining power metering and why it has a place in enthusiast fitness and training, there was revelation when I read an article on bike fitting and how I had been following the stereotype of fit all these years. It explained the benefits and gave advice on finding the right fitter for you. Best advice was that it wasn’t the bling fitting equipment but rather the fitter and experience that may be the biggest decision.

    So magazine subscription here I come ……

    Clearing the pipes

    very funny article on the art of bogey barreling or clearing of the pipes …

    When I was but a young Velominatus, my poor mother was often horrified/embarrassed/disgusted by my typical boy’s habit of sucking back the mucous from the back of my throat and swallowing it… yes, I know, now you’re disgusted too. Taking me to seek a cure from the good Dr Edwards, he let her down somewhat with his prognosis that what I was doing was actually a good thing to clear the sinuses, yet suggested that swallowing was actually better replaced by spitting the gunk out. I claimed a moral victory over mum, as much as an eight year old can over their much wiser matriarch. And so I went through my youth and adolescence into my adult years reinforced with the belief that the guttural snorting and consequent ejection of my snot rockets was in fact something to be proud of and even healthy. Not that I flaunted it, but whenever a girlfriend, mate or colleague would roll their eyes and declare what a pig I was, I could confidently refute their assertions with the endorsement of the good doctor. I really should have had him write me out a disclaimer note to produce on cue and validate my excuse, and pinned it to the nearest wall with a sticky green exclamation mark.

    Of course, it’s not the kind of habit that one just practices whenever the need arises, and carefully timed and stealthily executed ejections became the order of the day. But whenever I got on my bike, the need to clear the passages became more evident and necessary, compounded by the deep breathing and extra work the lungs and throat were required to undertake. Riding a bike and spitting seem to go together like fucking and orgasms (I’m speaking for myself here, but you get my drift). It’s a ritual that is inherent in the ranks from the recreational rider through to the pros. But even among my riding peers, there are always those who share my mother’s view that I’m nothing more than a snot riddled pig and that I should just put up with the discomfort of limited oxygen transportation and the inconvenience of a throat/nose full of lung butter.

    So through necessity I’ve been forced to develop over the years a series of methods and moves designed to lessen the impact on my fellow Velominati, and still allow me to keep operating efficiently. Here are some of my top snot tips for the mucously challenged Velominatus.

    • Pick your moment: You don’t want to be cruising through the CBD at lunch hour and fire a mucous missile into a throng of suits and ties and their hot PAs/mistresses. Wait until there is a clear area with little foot traffic, and eject accordingly.
    • Aim carefully: Direct your snot scud towards the traffic side, not the sidewalk. No-one, myself included, wants to step in someone else’s golly, so if it hits the tarmac it will soon be run over by a car or washed into the gutter in the next downpour.
    • Warn your compadrés: If you are riding in the bunch and need to clear the decks, let your cohorts know that you are about to eject the pus pilot.
    • Swing out: After checking behind for your riding buddies and approaching traffic, deviate from the paceline a touch and let ‘er rip. This way the riders behind won’t have to sully their Vittorias with your tread tacks.
    • Aim low: One of the best techniques I’ve developed is the under the arm trajectory; leaving your hands on the bars, tilt your head down between your road-side arm and torso, and let fly directly at the road. This way you are not firing into the air, risking a breeze picking up the projectile and blowing any errant offspray back towards the following riders.
    • Rapid fire: Put some oomph into the ejection, keeping the green globule in a solid mass so it hits the road with a thud. It’s a rather strangely satisfying sound when you get it just right!
    • The Bushman’s Hanky: For clearing the nose. This can be a whole different ball game, and more care is often required when the hooter is in need of clearance. Place a finger over one nostril and really give a quick, forceful blow through the other. This should be done in conjunction with the swing out and while aiming low (see lead photo). Do both nostrils on the same side of your body, so as not to be firing into following riders on both sides of you.
    • Tidy up: After you’re done getting the cavities cleared, use your glove or sleeve to remove any excess that might have clung on. There’s nothing worse than looking over at the rider next to you and seeing a green soldier hanging from their hooter, or dribble flapping in the wind from their chin. It’s enough to make you barf, and that’s a fate even worse than having someone else’s snot stuck to your fi’zi:ks.

    Just don’t let my mum see you.


    CYCLING HERO – Do you think you cycled far? – Tommy Godwin’s ‘unbreakable’ cycling record

    Tommy Godwin

    Tommy Godwin cycled the equivalent of three times around the world in a year. It has been described as an “unbreakable” record. I only just heard about him after some news about him came out saying he was carrying the torch prior to the olympics and at the cyclist reference I had no clue …. luckily wikipedia and some googling came to light. According to Singletrack the chap Dave Bartlett is writing a book which will be good to read … he was also badly quoted in this shoddy BBC article … but you get an idea of the legend that was/is Tommy Godwin.

    In 1939, Tommy Godwin rode 75,065 miles in a single year to set an endurance riding record that some believe will never be beaten.

    In fact, he kept on going until 14 May 1940, setting the record for the time taken to ride 100,000 miles.

    Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1912, Godwin would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. But unfortunately, Godwin’s record is now largely forgotten.

    The Year Record has fallen out of fashion and is no longer the coveted cycling achievement it used to be.

    Imagine spending every day in the saddle for 18 hours, covering over 200 miles, repairing any mechanical failures, picking yourself up after crashes and then riding even further the next day to make up lost time.

    When I tell other cyclists about the record, they simply don’t believe it’s possible”

    Dave Barter – Year Record historian

    The distance is the equivalent of three times around the world in a single year, or riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back every week. 1443 miles per week – for transatlantic readers or those more worldly – that is Boston to Miami EVERY WEEK for a year.

    It was all achieved on a heavy steel bike with only four gears. Yet more than 70 years later, the record still stands.

    ‘Beyond the limit’

    “It’s those statistics that make the record virtually unbreakable,” said Dave Barter, a keen cyclist who is writing a book about the Year Record.

    “I’ve gone through his mileage diaries and painstakingly recreated each day’s mileage into a spreadsheet.

    “Sometimes he survived on four hours’ sleep and there were probably days when he didn’t even bother and just carried on and kipped in a field for an hour.

    Godwin had to learn how to walk normally again when he finished the challenge

    “He pushed it [the record] beyond the limit of any mere mortal.

    “I worked with a guy who tried it again this year – he lasted about a month and a half.

    “The essence of it is that for a year you have to completely give up your whole life.

    “When I tell other cyclists about the record, they simply don’t believe it’s possible.”

    ‘Butcher’s bike’

    Godwin’s daughter, Barbara Ford, described her father as “hard as nails” but also said that he was really “a big softie”.

    “There was nothing he wouldn’t tackle or do, and nothing he wouldn’t do to help anyone.”

    “At 14, he used to ride a bike in a pair of shoes he’d borrowed from the lady next door.

    “He’d get on an iron-framed butcher’s bike and cycle a road race of 25 miles and win it.

    “He never bragged or told anyone. He was so unassuming and didn’t want any fuss.

    “He once saved a woman from a fire, and after checking she was ok, he simply got on his bike and carried on riding.

    “All his cups and trophies, he gave away. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful – he just didn’t need any recognition.

    “When they unveiled a plaque in his honour someone asked me what my dad would have said. I told them he wouldn’t have turned up.

    “Everyone should have had the privilege of meeting Tommy Godwin, because he was just so lovely.

    “I remember asking him why he attempted the record.

    “He just said: ‘Why not? Why did Mallory Hillary climb Everest? Because it’s there.’

    “He did it just because he loved cycling so much.

    “Guinness did say that my dad’s record would always be safe. They won’t accept a challenge because they think it’s too dangerous.”

    ‘Unimaginable constitution’

    Tommy Godwin

    Godwin often slept in a field to get some well-earned rest

    There are also issues over verification: it would be all too easy for a rider these days to swap a tracking unit with other riders.

    Tracking devices did not exist in 1939, so Godwin’s mileage was verified by respected figures such as police officers, and posted daily to Cycling – the magazine that originally set up the challenge.

    Stoke-on-Trent cycling legend Brian Rourke said: “In theory, the record should be breakable because new road surfaces and modern bikes offer a huge advantage.

    “They can do 500 miles in a day now. But to do over 200 miles, every day for a year, on a three-speed bike made of steel, is basically impossible.

    “Nobody could ever match his record. Even if it was broken, the conditions just aren’t comparable.” After the feat, Godwin had to learn to walk normally again and uncurl his hands. Yet within weeks, he was serving his country in the RAF.

    “I honestly don’t know how he did it. His constitution is just unimaginable,” said Mr Rourke.

    “He is totally unique – someone the world will never see the likes of again.”

    Here is a clip of him speaking ( a different tommy see more below) – what a geezer and no mention of his amazing year feat JUST the olympic medals …… (which is why no mention – I am an idiot)

    Not everyday you get punched off your bike by a car driver

    Yesterday I saw a car deliberately block a box junction – I tried to remonstrate that he should keep it clear to no avail. Today on my way to pick up my daughter I saw the same guy parking so I stopped to chat….. ‘excuse me can I chat to you about yesterday …’ next thing I have a hand around my throat and I am punched off the bike …. ‘we will leave it at that’ he said
    Err … No.
    Took a photo of him and car.

    Just gave my statement to officers and hopefully mr angry will get charged with assault …. Difficult with no witnesses but hopefully he has priors so they will take it more seriously.