Whack it – not the best way to hit the boards

Last Lap of the 1958 Tour de France Original caption: Editor’s notes: Paris, July 19, 1958. 45th “Tour de France” (Brussels-Paris). Dramatic fall of the French rider Andre Darrigade (who’d already won 5 laps) on the Parc des Princes track, at the arrival of the 24th and last lap disputed between Dijon and Paris. He slams into a track official who was too close to the track.

But the accident pictured above was severe. On 19 July 1958 the Tour finished at the Parc des Princes in western Paris. The 70-year-old sécrétaire-général of the stadium, Constant Wouters ran across the grass in the centre of the ground to prevent photographers encroaching on the track. The journalists hid the riders and Wouters from each other and Darrigade rode into Wouters as he stepped on to the track. Darrigade was lifted from his bike and turned round and Wouters thrown into the air. Both fell heavily and were taken to hospital.

Wouters was treated at the nearby Boucicaut medical centre but died on 31 July.

Darrigade cracked his skull and broke ribs. He was able to return before the end of the meeting to take a lap of honour.

Friday bike poster: pantani

Read yesterday that the mafia have been implicated in pantani being thrown out of giro. Doctored a medical as they needed hi. Out as they had put large bets on him not completing the race …. So this Friday I celebrate him as the magical, lonely, manic and magical man he was.

Sport and your chances of dying ….

Infographics! Man they’re cool (even if this one is more US centric). This one is wild, illustrating your chances of dying from doing anything from skiing to playing football to smoking to driving. Which activity do you think is the most deadly? Scroll down…

Eeeeek Dublin is a scary place to cycle when bus drivers are this idiotic

After one if its drivers was caught on video encroaching in a bike lane and then telling a cyclist he’d run him over, an Irish bus company has launched an investigation into the incident.

Dublin Bus has said it is investigating a complaint after a cyclist uploaded a video to YouTube that showed the bus entering a mandatory cycle lane. After rier Liam Phelan comes alongside the bus, the driver can be seen saying: “Just go in front of me, I’ll run you over, no problem.”

The incident allegedly happened on the morning of May 28 on Arran Quay, the busy one-way street that passes through Dublin’s centre on the North bank of the River Liffey.

“I’m not ashamed to admit i was a bit shaken by this encounter,” Phelan said in the captions on his video.

In a statement to theJournal.ie, Dublin Bus said it had recieved a complaint about an incident on May 28 involving a cyclist.

The company said: “All incidents or accidents are investigated fully and if any breaches are found, appropriate action is taken internally.”

Dublin Bus also said that all of its drivers are “trained to the highest standard”, with refresher courses every two years.

“All training undertaken by Dublin Bus includes a strong emphasis on cyclist safety, and in particular how drivers should at all times be aware of cyclists moving in and around their vehicles,” it said.

“This includes the importance of maintaining proper road position to afford adequate space to cyclists and raising awareness around the checking of blind spots where cyclists might suddenly appear.”

29er’s no longer going to be made – The Web Monkey Speaks: Please Don’t Kill The 29er

i love my Lynskey 29er – it is the most versatile and fastest hard tail I have owned ….

this from DIRT

I’ll just cut to the chase here: If you are a product manager in the bike industry, I’m begging you, don’t kill off the 29ers in your line-up.

I understand that 26 is dead. I know that you could make the greatest mountain bike in the world and not sell a single one of them if they were equipped with “old” 26er wheels because 650b/”27.5” is now Jesus Chris’s Official wheelset of choice. I get that. I’m not really happy about it, but I’m a realist and I understand that the battle for the hearts of the masses has been won. 650b has effectively kicked sand in the face of 26 and strolled off with his girlfriend.


But let’s not also kill off 29ers. Not yet. Please.

I’d never have predicted that I’d one day defend the 29-inch wheel size. For years, I was not a fan. Or, to be more accurate, I hated the things. I’d ridden 29ers since 1999 and had never been impressed by their sluggardly handling. Most of them simultaneously annoyed and bored the hell out of me—riding one was the cycling equivalent of being trapped in a supermarket and being forced to listen to James Taylor butcher Marvin Gaye’s How Sweet It is for an eternity.

Wagon wheelers rolled over rocks with greater ease, sure, but for many years, they seemed to suck the soul out of riding. and while there are plenty of other reasons to ride a bike, I’ve never really given a damn about anything other than fun. Riding for fitness? If I wanted to be healthy I’d just stop eating bacon and drinking beer.

So 29ers and I were not a match made in heaven. But about five years ago the bike industry got serious about the wheel size and a much larger group of engineers and designers began fiddling with the larger wheels; in doing so, they wound up creating legitimately fun 29ers—bikes that not only monster-trucked over obstructions, but which also possessed some of the liveliness of the 26-inch wheel. The Santa Cruz Tallboy is the model that immediately comes to mind as the first 29er that rocked my world, but there have since been plenty of others and that’s because the market matured.

It takes years of product development for any technology to come into its own. Those first suspension forks sucked by today’s standards. Early disc brakes were nothing shy of scary. But after enough years of trial and error, you wind up with products that truly deliver on their potential. Cue the image of monkeys cranking out copies of Romeo and Juliet—it’s just a matter of numbers and time.

And that’s right where we stand with 29ers. This segment of the mountain biking universe is just growing out of its overweight, acne-riddled, 8-sided-dice-rolling ugly adolescence and is coming into its own. Frame geometry is largely dialed now. Single-ring drivetrains are enabling manufacturers to shorten chainstays and accommodate big tires. You may not have liked the 29ers of the past. I understand why—I didn’t either—but have you ridden the Yeti SB95 or the Santa Cruz Tallboy or the Specialized Enduro 29er? These are just a few of the big-wheel bikes that blow conventional wisdom about 29ers right out of the water.

In short, we are on the verge of bringing 29ers into their own and, yet, I’ve heard product managers asking themselves whether they should cut 29ers out of their lines altogether and simply replace them with 650b.

Seriously? Now? We’re going to toss the 29er onto the funeral pyre right when its come into its own?

There are a few companies (Giant comes to mind) who have struggled to make their suspension designs really mesh with the largest wheels. I understand why those companies are embracing 650b, but those companies are vastly outnumbered by the ones who are considering shelving 29 because it’s suddenly no longer hip.

This bums me out to no end. I understand the logic. This is business after all. Those companies keep the lights on by selling bikes—not unicorns, rainbows or beer-soaked high fives. If no one wants to buy your 29ers, you’d be a fool to keep cranking out the big wheelers while ignoring 650b. And, yes, I like a lot of the new 650b bikes. Giant Trance Advanced SX? Brilliant. Kona Process? Fantastic. GT Force? Damned good.

So, fine, make some 650b bikes. They’re, to paraphrase Mugatu, so hot right now. But when it comes to 29ers, take a stand. Be bold. You don’t have to stock one in every model and size, but let’s not give up on the breed altogether. Twenty-niners aren’t for everybody and every style of trail, but in some applications, they have no equal. And, dammit, after all these years, we’ve finally gotten a good crop of the damn things. It’d be a shame to see them packed off to the glue factory simply because something slightly cooler just happened to show up.

US judge throws out case against Strava

A judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit against Strava brought by the family of William ‘Kim’ Flint, killed when he collided with a car on a downhill stretch of road while apparently trying to reclaim his King of the Mountain (KOM) status on the social networking and ride-tracking site.

Judge Marla Miller said: “Mr. Flint assumed the risks of bicycling and that the defendant [Strava] has shown that bicycling is an inherent risky activity,” reports Bicycle Retailer

Flint’s parents had claimed that the 41-year-old was using Strava at the time and that Strava’s app encourages dangerous behaviour and fails to warn users vying for KOM status that the road conditions are unsuitable for racing.

Strava had denied all liability, and in a statement issued yesterday, company spokesman Mark Riedy said: “The death of Kim Flint was a tragic accident and we reiterate our sincere condolences to the family.

“We are extremely gratified by the judge’s ruling, which demonstrates there was no case against the company.

“Every cyclist is responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

“We ask all athletes to exercise common sense when they are running and riding and to encourage good behaviour within the community.”

Strava had maintained that when Flint became a member of the site on 7 October 2009, the terms and conditions he agreed to electronically included a clause absolving Strava from liability for claims arising from a member’s use of the site.

While many Strava users log their rides to gauge their own personal progress against their training goals, it’s the competitive element introduced by the KOM leader boards that has seen the company attract criticism.