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22 October – 1 November 2016
Madagascar Cycle Challenge This exciting cycle challenge takes us to remote Madagascar, where spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife awaits. Our adventurous route takes us east on a mix of roads and dirt tracks, through highland plains and lush forest to the coast. After almost 500km of pedalling, we ﬁnish by the white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean, safe in the knowledge that you are helping Macmillan ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.
visit macmillan.org.uk/madagascar or call 020 7840 7875
rveindicE t Ro me
21-26 September 2016
Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).
Venice to Rome Cycle Challenge Join Team Macmillan for this 620km ride from the canals of Venice to the historic Italian capital of Rome. Our route is hilly, with some long climbs and takes us south through the rolling hills of Tuscany, passing traditional villages and fruit farms. You’ll feel incredible as you ﬁnish in Rome, but most importantly you’ll have done something truly amazing to help people affected by cancer.
visit macmillan.org.uk/venicerome or call 020 7840 7875
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aml Where will you ﬁnish?
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RideLondon-Surrey 100 Sunday 31 July 2016
London to Paris Cycle Challenge 13–17 July 2016
To sign up and for more information visit macmillan.org.uk/ﬁndacycle email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7840 7875
NEWS 2016 Track World Championships Volunteers at World Championships New Women's Hour Record Look Ahead to the 2016 Pro Season
E-BIKE FEATURE - 18 20 24 26 28 30
To Bosch, or not to Bosch? E-bikes: a Dealer’s Insight Illegal Bikes Could Destroy MTB E-Riding New World E-Bike Long Distance Record E-bike Reviews
JERSEY FEATURE 34
The Art of the Jersey: A Celebration of the
Cycling Racing Jersey
Jerseys: Editor’s Choice
REGULARS Product Reviews: Pick of the Bunch
Film Review: Battle Mountain: Graeme
The Bicycle Diaries: Stage 5 Montenegro
Book Review: Bells & Bikes Ask Anita: Shall I Get an E-bike? Training and Nutrition: Effective Training From the Workshop: Customise Your Old
UK CYCLING 44 54
Sustran’s Traffic-free Cycle Ride: Calder
Fat Lads Inspire Riders to Take on Tour
The Peak District
38 57 58 61 62
10 12 13 14
SPRING CLASSICS FEATURE 68
Tour of Flanders 100: A Celebration
Taking on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege
OVERSEAS CYCLING 78 90 94
Snow Bike Festival in Switzerland Serbia: A nirvana of cycling exploration The Danube Cycleway Serbia: Surduk to
ED's LETTER April 2016
am often taken aback by the ridiculous things motorists shout at me when I am on my bike. “Get on path!” by which they mean the pavement, which is illegal to cycle on, and doing so can incur on-the-spot fines in some areas. I am a vehicle and should not be bothering pedestrians, especially children, pushchairs, dogs, those with mobility issues, or anyone for that matter who is negotiating pavements laden with street furniture. “At least I pay road tax!” That’s impressive as it was abolished in 1937. Do you mean Vehicle Excise Duty, a tax on the vehicle, not a pot for collecting monies to be spent on road building or road maintenance? These motorists obviously think ‘road tax’ pays for roads so tax-dodging cyclists shouldn’t really be on “their” roads at all. And hey, I have car too and like you, pay my VED. “Get out the middle of the road.” No, I am in the middle of the lane, the correct position for the current road conditions and/or to do the manoeuvre that I have just indicated I intend to make. I can only conclude that cyclists are the unfortunate targets of general impatience, stress and bad tempers that are directed our way as we are forced to listen, not having the sound protection of car windows around us. It’s very simple: we are slow moving vehicles legally obliged to be on the highway, just like other slow vehicles, namely mobility scooters, horses, tractors, milk floats, none of which seem to get motorists’ pearls of
wisdom hurled at them. I am ranting to the converted. So what can we do about it? Cycling needs to be a normal, everyday activity so motorists are cyclists too, or at least drivers that have ridden a bike, and are understanding. With more bikes on the road traffic will lessen and perhaps the stress on the roads will decrease. The process of normalisation has to start young. Families should be cycling to primary school, children to secondary, students to college and university. This will lead to more people cycling to work if workplaces facilitate this with a cycle to work scheme, storage, showers and lockers. It amazes me that there are many public sector employers, including local authorities and the health sector, that don’t offer this. Surely they should be setting the example for the private sector. Improving all aspects of public transport including the capacity to take bikes would be a real bonus too. I’ve been thinking about improved public transport recently with the announcement of forthcoming tests of “the driverless car.” It allows drivers to read, watch films and phone fiddle while en route. Sounds like public transport to me, but retaining the single occupancy issue that keeps the roads choc-o-block. The only positive I see is no driver to hurl abuse at me. Wishing you all tailwinds
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Wiggins and Cavendish win the Madison at the UCI World Track Championships in London. Photo by Charlie Forgham-Bailey/SWpix.com Free Cycling World App Subscription for British Cycling Members
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The Atlas Mountains, Atlantic Coast, Sahara Desert … Morocco is the ideal place to have an amazing cycling adventure this spring. Hire a bike or bring your own to enjoy the great weather and fantastic landscape of this exotic country on Europe’s doorstep.
CYCLE TOURING FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE
GB TOP THE MEDAL TABLE
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AT 2016 TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
t was one of the most hotly-anticipated international sporting events of the year. The biggest UCI Track World Championships in the modern era certainly didn’t disappoint. With team Great Britain topping the medal table during the five-day adrenaline-fuelled event. Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins took the world Madison title in a thrilling finale to London’s Lee Valley VeloPark 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships after Laura Trott regained her omnium world title as well as Jason Kenny and Jon Dibben scooping gold in the men’s sprint and the men’s points race. Director of British Cycling Jonny Clay said: “This year’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships has undoubtedly been the biggest and best event yet. With more people attending than for London 2012, it is apparent that the appetite for watching live track cycling is greater than ever. "Sunday night’s Madison win by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish capped an amazing five days but everyone who came to every session would have been entertained by some of the best sport you’ll see anywhere. “The support for the Great Britain Cycling Team was phenomenal and undoubtedly played its part in some
great medal successes but I was also thrilled by how riders from every country got great backing from the crowd. “TV viewing figures were equally impressive with over two million people tuning in to see Thursday night’s men’s team pursuit on BBC2. This was just the boost the Great Britain team needed ahead of Rio and we’re excited about another amazing summer for cycling.” In front of a raucous sell-out crowd, cycling heavyweights Cavendish and Wiggins amassed an impressive points tally in the early part of the race but early lap gains from France, Switzerland and Colombia meant that the Great Britain duo lay tantalisingly outside of medal contention. But after 168 laps of the 200-lap event Wiggins launched a searing attack with Spain and the 2008 champion dug deep for an agonising lap gain. Many also believed it was all over after Cavendish fell hard on turn one near the end of the 200 lap race. However, the talented Manxman quickly re-joined and any final doubts were gone. The British pair had rolled back the clock eight years to Manchester’s 2008 Track World Championships, winning gold to the delight of the capacity crowd.
Jason Kenny wins Sprint by Alex Whitehead, SWpix.com
Wiggins and Cavendish win Madison by Charlie Forgham-Bailey, SWpix.com
YOUNG CYCLISTS VOLUNTEER AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FROM THE BLOG OF DAVID REDMOND, THANET ROAD CLUB
hat an experience I had at the London Olympic Velodrome volunteering for the UCI as part of the World Track Championships. It all began with a training day on 28th February when I went with two other club members, both Megans, to the velodrome for some training to learn the tasks that lay ahead of me. I arrived an hour early and immediately saw things in place: the sponsors banners were up and teams were already training. I then met Alison who would be my guide for the day and my mentor throughout my shifts. Later in the day I was issued my kit by Janette who also lead the briefing talk which included the history of the championships and the “dos and don’ts” during the competition. She introduced us to other members of the team and explained to everyone what each role would involve and I learnt I would be on the results team which was vital for the media and the riders. We were then given a brief tour of the venue and taken to where we would be based, in the track centre which was right next to the start/ finish line!
Finally it was Saturday the 5th March, I got out of bed at 5am ready to catch the 6am train to Stratford International with Megan G. Fortunately I managed to get some sleep on the train. We arrived at the
venue and already the place was filled with people going about their jobs. We started work on our results and met various people on the way, including a team GB mechanic, two UCI commissaires and members of the Irish team. The rest of the morning went very well and I was very lucky to have been offered a free spectator ticket for that afternoon to see some of the racing which was exhilarating. Our second day again started early and this time I was teamed up with Megan K to do the results once again. We knew it would be a busy morning as it was the final day of the event and there was lots of pressure to ensure things went smoothly for all who depended on us. During the morning we witnessed two crashes but thankfully the riders involved were not too badly hurt. We also met with the venue commentator and another UCI commissaire who spoke to us about how they deal with replays of foul riding and how they decide what level to punish the rider/riders involved, which was very interesting. The rest of the morning went smoothly before signing out for the last time and wishing good luck to Dan M and Megan G who had to do the last afternoon whilst I once again watched from the stands. I am honoured to have taken part in this event. I learned a great deal and it illustrates the events you can get invited to having put in so many hours as a British Cycling volunteer at my local club, Thanet R.C.
NEW WOMEN'S HOUR RECORD
Evelyn Stevens sets new benchmark of 47.980 kilometres
merican Evelyn Stevens has smashed the women's UCI Hour Record with a new benchmark of 47.980 kilometres at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome. She held a steady 48 km/h throughout, beating Australian Bridie O’Donnell’s previous record of 46.882km set at the Super-Drome in Adelaide in January. Stevens announced her record attempt at the beginning of February, two weeks after O’Donnell set her record. She was the second American to attempt the Hour Record after Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the long-standing record of 46.065km that Leontien van Moorsel set without aerodynamic gear in Mexico City in 2003. Van Houweling rode 46.273km in September 2015 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, only to be beaten by O’Donnell four months later. Van Houweling was present at Stevens’ event and provided viewers with commentary about the event. Stevens started conservatively, riding a 31.4-second opening lap, and then increased the pace to just under 25 seconds per lap, consistently, for the first 15 minutes of her event. She held an on-pace average speed of 48.014 km/h, still maintaining roughly 24 to 25 seconds per lap for the duration of her event. In her post attempt press conference, organised by USA Cycling, Evelyn talked about how deep she had to dig:
“… of course it was a tonne of suffering. In my head I just kept saying ‘you can do one more lap, you can do one more lap. What’s the worst that can happen… I pass out.’ I’m happy that didn’t happen.”
LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2016
by Tudor Tamas
14 Giro 2015, Stage 2 – by ENGIE Italia, Flickr
An incredible rider with great talent and capacity who, save for his modest climbing skills, would be a real contender for the Tour de France. A super-class and super-strong teammate, if he is to be seen through the eyes of Alberto Contador. The rider that all the cycling enthusiasts are most looking forward to seeing perform this year is World Champion, man of the moment and recentlymarried – Peter Sagan. We have seen him perform well in early Classics, placing second in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a top-ten in KuurneBruxelles-Kuurne. Coming up in the series of the most prestigious one-day races will be the cobble-coated Tour of Flanders – at its 100th anniversary edition – on the first Sunday of April, immediately succeeded a week later by its older sister, the mighty Paris-Roubaix. The Ronde van Vlaanderen had initially used the cobbled roads out of necessity but after realising the spectacle it offered, the race organisers decided to stick with the gruesome roads and so it became a tradition. Add a few short steep climbs like the Koppenberg – on which even the legendry Eddy Merckx had to walk up in 1976 – or the Oude Kwaremont, and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for fraying cyclists’ nerves. You would expect the riders to take a break after rolling up and down in such a manner through Flanders, but all the race does is to whet their appetite for a Sunday in Hell. Paris-Roubaix comes up next and inevitably restarts the endless debate of which one of the two races takes pride of place for being the hardest. The 27 dusty pavé sectors, ranked from one star (decent) to five stars (inhuman), quake the riders before they even set off in their quest to earn their place in cycling history. Originally created just as a warm-up and advertisement for the newly-resurrected but still testinglylong Bordeaux-Paris race, ParisRoubaix has managed to earn itself the famous nickname ‘The Queen of the Classics.’ Since 2005, two riders have dominated the cobbled Monuments, registering thirteen victories between them and establishing themselves as the very exponents of the term ‘rouleur’: Tom Boonen (EtixxQuick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo). Besides the great success they’ve had in the Classics, the two riders share another similarity as they are both approaching the end of their careers. But their status of famous veterans means little to the other riders hungry for success, like the last winners of the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, Kristoff and
Degenkolb. The battle for the top places seems to be fiercer than ever before and Cancellara himself feels cycling has changed since he started as a pro: “It is faster and I think there is less respect in the peloton.” Whether or not Spartacus will have a triumphant swansong remains to be seen; early season form with a win in the Spanish one-day race Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana bodes well. Without a doubt the two classics known as Flanders’ Finest and the Hell of the North will give him one last shake-up to remember. April concludes with the last of the spring Monuments, the oldest and perhaps most chaotic of them all, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, on Sunday 24. A thrilling stage where oneday and Grand Tour riders can compete on relatively equal terms, La Doyenne traditionally accommodates a long series of steep but slightly shorter hills like Stockeu, HauteLevée, Saint-Nicolas and the fearsome La Redoute, with tremendous gradients of over 20%, especially in the second half of the race. Basically the Ardennes equivalent of the Tour de Flanders, Liège–Bastogne–Liège loops through scenic woods, being the crown jewel of the Ardennes classics, with Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne completing the trio. A mix of riders including Simon Gerrans, Dan Martin, Maxim Iglinsky, Andy Schleck and Philippe Gilbert have won the race in recent years, but champion en titre and the only still active multiple winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is the man to watch, having triumphed three times in the last ten years. He has shown early season form in stage racing, winning the Vuelta a Andalucia, so we await to see him contest for one-day glory. The last of the Monuments, il Giro di Lombardia, is very similar to the one taking place in the eastern part of the Walloon province. The difference, however, consists in the series of slightly longer and more spread out, sharp climbs, the most famous being the Madonna del Ghisallo. The shrine at the top bears the same name and the legend surrounding it led Pope Pius XII to name Madonna del Ghisallo the patron saint of cyclists. Considered a climbers’ classic, the course of Giro di Lombardia has suffered plenty of adjustments over time, with the finish alternating since 2014 between Bergamo and the traditional end at the shores of Lake Como. This year’s edition takes place on 1 October – easy to see why it is called the Race of the Falling Leaves – with only the World Championships in Doha, which will run later than ever before, following the most important autumn Classic a week later. Il Lombardia tends to gather new faces every year on the podium, with only Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez (Katusha), Alejandro Valverde and Daniel Martin (Etixx) finishing in top three more than once in the last seven years. Champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will find it hard to defend his title giving the current big pool of gifted climbers with exponents like Fabio Aru (Astana), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Mikel Landa (Team Sky) or Esteban Chaves (Orica-Greenedge) to name a few.
Tom Boonen, 2015 Het Nieuwsblad by Enrico Seccatore
Chris Froome, TDF 2015 by Gyrostat
Boonen and Thomas, 2014 Paris-Roubaix by Felouch Kotek
GIRO D’ITALIA La corsa più dura del mondo nel Paese più bello del mondo (The toughest race in the world in the most beautiful country in the world.) Il Giro d’Italia has never shied away in the face of any of the other races and its official tagline captures the raunchy sex appeal oozed by the race, while also sticking to the values it promotes: grinta above everything. Without that true determination, finishing the marvellous but too often hellish mountain stages of the Giro is not possible, let alone winning them. The tifosi, who seem more passionate than in other races, create a human wall along the sharp roads that snake atop famous climbs like Passo di Mortirolo, Monte Zoncolan or Colle delle Finestre. Giro d’Italia in a pistachio nutshell. Having said all that, none of these climbs feature in the 99th edition of Giro d’Italia, as it is going to be one of the most balanced Giro seen for
some time. The Netherlands host the inaugural individual time trial on 6 May together with two flat stages, before the route moves to Italy, vertically traversing Italy from South to North in nine flat or medium mountain sections, as the riders prepare to take on the four high mountain stages in the Dolomites and the French Alps. The Giro ends in the Piedmont capital of Turin on 29 May with a seventh stage for sprinters, who have been so generously awarded quite a few chances to shine. Reigning champion Nibali is expected to make il Giro his primary season objective, trying to become the first rider to successfully defend his title since Miguel Indurain in 1993. Nibali’s teammate Aru, Richie Porte (BMC), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (GiantAlpecin) and Landa (Team Sky) are all likely to target the Italian race as well.
TOUR DE FRANCE Any superlatives describing the oldest and most prestigious stage race are redundant. On 2 July, the whole world will stop and hold its breath for a moment as the peloton departs from Mont Saint-Michel in the 103rd edition of the Tour de France, with Utah Beach – one of the five sectors of the Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy during the Second World War – the first destination. Describing the expected sprint finish of the day as an assault wouldn’t be inappropriate, given the prize that awaits the winner at Utah Beach – donning the maillot jaune for at least a day. The phenomenon that is la Grande Boucle goes way beyond statistics and is so utterly enthralling that wearing the yellow jersey is the childhood dream of any cyclist. And this is what le Tour is all about: passion, pride, drama and the small victories that make the history books and have such a huge significance for every rider.
Indurain’s name is well- associated with the Tour de France, not just for being the only cyclist to win five consecutive editions, but also for holding the same record as in Giro: the last rider to successfully defend his title, in 1995. Chris Froome is hunting that feat for himself and although the two individual time trials should play in his advantage, the one in stage 18 is a 17 km uphill race against the clock that will definitely keep both Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the frame. Six mountain stages that include the fearsome climbs on Col du Tourmalet and Mont Ventoux will ensure some sparks in the peloton. Sagan (Tinkoff), Cavendish (Dimension Data), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and the other sprinters will also get their fair bit of action with eight flat stages potentially the source of super-fast finishes, crowned by the traditional finale on Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The youngest of the three Grand Tours, la Vuelta seems to have found its identity since moving from April to late August and especially after ASO have gained control of it. With a reputation as a race for climbing specialists, it is often overlooked by sprinters who prefer to keep up the level of fitness for the World Championships. After missing out on the Vuelta last year, Galicia – more precisely the province of Ourense – will once again be the starting point of the race on 20 August.
The 2015 edition saw Aru (Astana) pulling off a fantastic performance in the second part of the race to take the lead in the general classification and ruin Rodriguez’s (Katusha) hopes of winning his first ever Vuelta after so many attempts. At 36, el Purito is approaching the end of his career and, unlike his eternal rival Valverde, who snatched the red jersey from el Purito in the final stage is yet to win a Grand Tour. With a victory in the Tour out of discussion, Rodriguez is likely to focus his efforts on the race held in his native Spain.
VUELTA A ESPAÑA
Cycling E - Bike World
Welcome to our quarterly in depth e-bike feature. This month we have some great articles, including a new e-bike world record. We help those looking to buy with a dealerâ€™s insight, the latest Bosch motors and our regular e-bike reviews. Happy e-pedalling.
TO BOSCH, OR NOT TO BOSCH? THAT IS THE QUESTION. by Robert Powell, Senior Sales Advisor, Nationwide eBikes. – www.nationwideebikes.co.uk
s one of the largest e-bike specialists in the UK, we see over a thousand people every year looking for every colour, shape and size electric bike you could imagine. We have even been known to supply the odd electric tandem along the way too. Now, as any e-bike enthusiast knows, there are a plethora of different motor and battery systems, from the old fashioned rear hub motors, to the well-known Yamaha and Panasonic, but one name appears more in conversation with our customers than any other: Bosch. So is Bosch really the King of e-bikes or does that crown belong to someone else? When Bosch launched what is now known as the Classic+ motor and battery system in 2012, they made a big splash in the world of e-bikes and, despite the small complicated display, they sent ripples that knocked Panasonic’s crown from their head. No longer was the e-bike world a choice between Chinese or Panasonic motors, Bosch now offered 36v motors feeding directly onto the crank shaft. This gave a far greater range than the Chinese hub drives. With a removable LCD display (despite having too many power options), this Bosch motor proved popular as it gave accurate information on speed, trip distance and battery charge. Over the next twelve months the only thing that changed for Bosch was the HDI display which they replaced. The Bosch Intuvia did away with the twelve power settings and reduced it to a much more user-friendly four options: Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo.
Jump forward to the present day and e-bike technology has stormed ahead. Notably Yamaha has launched a new system designed for mountain bikes and Panasonic has unveiled their compact NextGeneration system. Bosch have also progressed and now offer three motors which are tailored to each type of e-bike. Their 2012 Bosch Classic Gen1 motors are used on more makes of bike than any other. So this brings us back to our original question, does Bosch wear the crown?
HERE ARE THEIR OPTIONS:
E - Bike World Cycling
e v i t c A h Bosc
The first thing you will notice are the names Bosch give to their systems are fairly self-explanatory. The ‘Activeline’ system is the general purpose system. For those who want to go for a day trip, to commute to work or to just get active, this is the motor for you. It offers assistance between 30% and 225% of the rider’s effort. So how does it compare? Well firstly we can say based on years of experience that you can largely disregard anything with a hub motor. There are so many it can be overwhelming. If you want a serious comparison the best alternative is the Panasonic 36v Next-Gen crank drive motor system. It offers many of the same features as the Bosch and its build quality gives it Honda-level reliability, which explains why it is favoured by some top manufacturers such as the Swiss made Flyer. The down side is the level of engineering and quality comes at a price.
Until late last year this was Bosch’s only motor focused on mountain bike use. It produces increased torque, from 40 to 60Nm to assist the ride. It has been very wellreceived and this has led to it now being used on some on/off road and cross-over models by brands such as Conway and Haibike. The combination of good off road ability coupled with decent mudguards, lights and a rack are very popular.
Luke of Dartmoor Electric Bikes says….. ‘We do guided tours and hire across Dartmoor, and customers love these bikes because of their ability to cope with the very mixed terrain with ease…’
X C e c n er forma
Gepida Asgard 1000-CX with 500Wh Battery
New for 2016, this is rather like Bosch took the Performance motor and put it on a short course of steroids. It now produces a huge 75Nm of torque, is a bit lighter and has great pick-up. This is in addition to all the features of the Active and Performance systems. We think it’s the best motor for mountain bikes around at present. However one must always remember it is about getting the ‘right tool for the job’. While the CX motor is great on a Mountain bike it does draw a lot of energy, so always look to match it with the larger 500Wh battery. It is a motor that would not be very well-suited to a commuting e-bike or lots of road work in traffic, for that you would want the more subtle output of the other two variants. But if it is e-mountain biking fun that you want, the CX motor can for sure power you all the way up and let gravity bring you back down!
SO HOW DO THESE THREE OPTIONS COMPARE WITH OTHERS ON THE MARKET? Firstly we should say, based on our experience, most customers simply want crank mounted systems because they don’t have to disconnect the motor system when removing a wheel for a puncture. Once that’s decided, the excellent range distances, subtle power levels, reputation for reliability and value for money usually push people towards the Bosch option. If not, then this choice of three
motor variants nearly always tips the scales. So… should you go Bosch or not? Well, we would always invite you to come and have a test ride on one or two or more at one of our regional stores and then you decide whether a Bosch-powered bike feels right to you – because they look pretty good on paper.
The motor manufacturer’s competition can be seen within Haibike’s own range. The Yamaha powered e-bikes produce similar levels of torque as the Bosch performance system and are a little cheaper. It could be hard to choose between them, except for Bosch’s drive to help future proof their systems. They allow people to update their bikes with new accessories such as the Bosch Nyon display with GPS and EU mapping for example.
STEREO HYBRID 160
MOVE MOUNTAINS , RIDE CUBE
more power, more durability, more safety
-bikes are increasingly popular. With the latest developments these bikes offer more power, longerlasting batteries and they are safer than ever. More importantly, e-bikes are shaking off their dull image. Todayâ€™s models come in sleek looks and appealing colours for commuters and recreational riders. CUBE also offers e-mountain bikes for adventurous riders. These are the preferred training bikes of our CUBE Action Team. CUBE e-bike frames are especially designed around the Bosch crank drive system, creating an integrated look and low point of gravity for extra stability. The Bosch engine offers long-lasting performance and can be easily controlled via the central interface. This allows for quick switching from extra power on uphill rides with heavy loads to battery saving mode for downhill glides. The battery can be easily recharged inside or out of the frame at any common outlet. As with all of our bikes, we have equipped the e-bikes with unique features, such as an integrated modular carrier for the touring models and a multifunctional central interface, that provides information on the remaining capacity and allows you to control lighting and engine mode.
April E - 2016 Bike
In short, CUBE offers e-bikes for every rider.
E-BIKES A Dealerâ€™s Insight by Ray Wookey, e-bike retailer and advocate
or those who made the journey to Eurobike in Germany last September it would be easy to get caught up in the allure of e-bikes as the scale and choice of offering across most of the major brands was, on one hand exciting, on the other bewildering.
that you will have choice and that it is likely you will have professional and technical understanding. When they arrive they may well have spent hours on the internet consuming all manner of information most of which has confused them and left them in a muddle.
For those retailers thinking about dipping their toe in the e-bike waters a few cautionary words.
You have to spend time with the customers. Sit down and a coffee offered is the norm. First of all to find out what they think they may need and secondly to determine what they actually need. Often they are "lapsed" cyclists who are terrified to try a bike as they may not remember how to ride one. Changing any sort of
Cycling E - Bike World
To start with people have to find you. Often they are pretty confused and need reassurance that if they make a journey (it is likely that you will not be at the bottom of the road)
gears may present problems. Once a bike (or bikes) have been identified then correct sizing is important. If the retailer cannot put a backside on a saddle the bike will not be sold. My outlet, Cycling Made Easy in Surrey, holds nearly 200 e-bikes in stock but this may well be a problem for a standard bike store both from space and capital cost consideration. We take people for accompanied test rides. In fact, we feel that customers must take e-bikes for a test-ride. There are many different e-bike systems and they all have a different sensation and way of operating. The test-rides enable the customer to
obtain a full experience and understand how the bike works and feels. Sometimes a customer wants, or needs to try, five or six different bikes. This is the good part; most times the customer loves the bikes and is genuinely excited and wowed by the e-bike experience. A sale may or may not take place at this point. If it does then a mechanic has to be on hand to accessorize and personalise the bike with saddles, grips, racks, possibly lights and other necessities. This all takes time, experience and knowledge. Sometimes a potential customer needs "time to think". This may involve them, having had the benefit of our advice and a demo on a suitable bike then proceeding to scour the internet to find an equivalent discounted bike being offered by an errant retailer who has discovered that e-bikes may not be the answer and is offloading at cost (or less), with free interest and free carriage (200 miles away from where the customer lives!). They may also need time to consider insurance.
The UK’s Electric Bicycle Specialists
• Stockists of 20 brands • Main Agent for Flyer & Gepida Taunton • London Birmingham • Manchester
We offer a free 30 day bike check and look after our customers with ongoing queries and some TLC. We organise e-bike rides and keep them all in the picture with e-newsletters and mailings. We need quite a bit of expensive test equipment and all the latest software from Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha. Naturally our mechanics attend the technical courses and are fully qualified. The extra componentry - motor, battery, controller – adds an extra layer of complication to warranty work too. The e-bike market is growing and will become more important but currently we lag a long way behind Europe and other countries. In Germany the market is large (over 600,000 per annum) but the bike shop outlets are fit for purpose. They don't have dealers trying a couple and seeing how they get on. They are not sold in caravan parks, garages and large multiples with sixteen-year-olds cobbling an e-bike together on work experience. Their approach is structured, measurable, professional and competent.
www.cyclingmadeeasy.co.uk for reviews, specifications and product details
Flyer C Seriess www.nationwideebikes.co.uk 0800 612 3449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Think before you give e-bikes "a go". You could come a cropper. E-bikes should be sold through specialist qualified retailers. By the same token, we don't sell standard or children's bikes we recommend good local bike shops near to us. They in turn point e-bike enquiries in our direction. This makes for a good partnership.
Could Destroy MTB E-Riding
Open letter from Col Williams, owner at FLi Distribution Dear...... We are writing this open letter in our capacity as the UK sales agents for KTM Bike Industries. We are enjoying our role within the growing eBike industry in the UK and we hope to see the industry continue to flourish, as the positive impact it has on people's lives is something that can't be measured. There is however one thing we'd really like to open up for discussion, and hopefully resolve a potentially serious problem for us all before it happens. We are writing to all of the key suppliers of the premium brands as we hope you will all support our stance, in addition we have passed a copy of this letter to a number of key people and press in the industry as we are keen to open up this discussion for the benefit of everyone involved.
Cycling E - Bike World
Our major concern is the use of dongles on eMTBs. Currently Pedelec electric mountain bikes benefit from the same access rights as normal bicycles, and eBike customers can ride their bikes in the forests and at trail centres all over the UK. As we're sure you'll appreciate "dongl'ing" these bikes removes the speed restriction and in the eyes of the law turns the bicycles into a moped, thus meaning they are not allowed to be used anywhere where there is public access (on or offroad).
The issue we'd like discussed now, is the fact that some dealers are selling bikes with dongles supplied. You must appreciate that there is nowhere in the UK these bikes can be used legally, and therefore any dealers selling them are promoting the illegal use of eBikes, and in many cases miss-selling products to customers who don't know the risks they are taking. The situation we're looking to prevent is one whereby an accident happens on Forestry Commission land, in a National Park or at a Trail Centre involving a dongle'd eBike. The automatic reaction of the decision makers will be to ban all eBikes, because they
can't simply ban the illegal ones, because by definition they are already banned. An eBike ban at these venues would kill the offroad eBike industry before its even really got started, so it’s in all our interest to take a responsible stance to ensure the sustainable future of our industry. Dealers selling dongles in the UK are looking to make a quick buck and we as their suppliers should be doing more to stop this bad practice. The customers do not understand the risks they are taking riding a dongle’d bike, because the retailers do not make it clear, these include, but are not limited to: * Points on license for using an uninsured, untaxed, unMOT'd vehicle. * Liability in the event of any accident, because any insurance will be invalid because of above. * The actions of an individual could result on serious impacts on the whole industry, as a high profile case will result in access being restricted. By dongling the bike it also removes the CE certification so there are issues that Trading Standards could take issue with. Individual's using their illegal bikes on the road take on these risks and having spoken to many, they don't understand or appreciate them because the dealers are too keen to sell the bikes, regardless of the potential impact on the customer in the longer term. However, as I've said above our main concern is that the actions of a small minority of irresponsible dealers will result in eBikes being banned from all Forestry Commission land and Trail Centres. Currently eBikes are having a huge beneficial impact on the cycle trade and the lives of countless individuals who are enjoying the access owning an eBike brings. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
AUSTRALIAN HUSBAND AND WIFE
SET NEW LONG DISTANCE
WORLD E-BIKE RECORD
fter 901 hours of cycling since setting out from London in late April 2015, the Australian husband and wife team of Gary and Rachel Corbett – otherwise known as the E-bike Cycle Tourists – have set a new world e-bike long distance record.
Cycling E - Bike World
The old record of 16,047kms (9971 miles) – which was set by German Maximilian Semsch who circumnavigated Australia in 2012 – was finally passed by the E-bike Cycle Tourists in the Algarve region of Portugal on January 20, 2016 after 220 days of e-biking across twelve countries at an average of 75 kilometres per day.
For the duration of the selfsupported ride Gary and Rachel have been cycling Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bikes that incorporate the Bosch Performance crank drive motor and 400wh battery system and have been towing Tout Terrain Mule single wheel trailers. Since day one of the recordbreaking ride Gary said both
of their Haibike Trekking e-bikes had performed brilliantly while riding through all sorts of terrain in temperatures ranging from below freezing to above 40 degrees. He said that other than a long list of consumable parts such as brake disc pads, brake rotors, tyres, chains, chain cassettes, pedals, a Sram hub and an entire rear hydraulic back brake system that had to be replaced, the Haibike/ Bosch combination had not missed a beat on either e-bike during more than 16,000 kilometres of cycling. Over the past nine months the E-Bike Cycle Tourists have cycled through England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Spain and Portugal and flew to Cyprus in early February to continue cycling while waiting out their Schengen and UK visa exclusion periods. Far from calling it quits now that they have claimed the world record as their own, they have recommitted to continue cycling, with the aim now to have clocked up at least 25,000 kilometres by the time they return to Australia in
August 2016. From there the plan is to continue e-biking in Australia during the 2016/17 Australian summer before hopefully travelling to the USA later in 2017 to continue their recordbreaking ride. With at least two more years of e-biking in front of them, Rachel said there was no knowing what their final kilometre total will be when they eventually call it quits. “Basically the bottom line is to set a record that will take someone else a hell of a lot of cycling to break,” she said. “Also, given that we are enjoying our e-biking adventure so much and have received so much support from so many people from around the world, why would we want to stop pedalling any time soon?” During their time on the road the pair said that the interest in their e-bike long distance record attempt had been overwhelming, with people at times queuing up to talk to them about their trip and their Haibike e-bikes/Tout Terrain trailer combination.
“While we have taken e-biking to the extreme to set a new world e-bike long distance record, e-bikes are just as perfect for people of all ages to ride – even those who just want to ride to the local shops or anyone who currently thinks that riding a bicycle is impractical or impossible because of hills, distance, fitness levels, health reasons, knee problems, ageing or even because of the inconvenience of having to shower and change clothes at work following the morning commute. "They are without a shadow of a doubt the best thing anyone can do to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.” For the vast majority of their journey Gary and Rachel have been living in a small three-man tent and have camped in caravan parks on a nightly basis to ensure they can hook up to mains electricity to charge their bike batteries each night. But when there have been no campgrounds available they have had to opt for other solutions such as charging their batteries at cafes, by asking friendly farmers, e-bike charging stations and even when all else fails from people whose doors they have knocked on. “When you have to get out of your comfort zone to get
your batteries charged it is amazing how many wonderful people you meet who you would otherwise have never spoken to,” Gary said. “On different occasions this led to complete strangers offering us accommodation, meals, showers, coffees, maps, bike servicing and in Ireland a call out was even put out over Facebook for the e-bike community to show us a “real” Irish welcome. The result was a long list of people throughout Ireland who selflessly offered all sorts of assistance.” Above all else the e-Bike Cycle Tourists claim they are delighted to have proven conclusively that it is possible to cycle tour on an e-bike, something many people claimed that could not be done before they set out. Gary said they were told on a number of occasions that an extended long distance tour was not possible due to problems associated with having to charge their e-bike batteries every day and the decision not to carry a back-up solar charging system. “While it is true that we did have reservations before setting out about how easy it would be to find mains electricity outlets on a daily basis to charge our Bosch batteries, the truth of the matter is that we should never have worried,” Gary said. The E-Bike Cycle Tourists’ ongoing e-bike adventure can be followed at www.ebikecycletourists.com
“We absolutely love being able to promote everything that is great about the new generation of e-bikes,” Gary said. “Wherever and whenever we get the opportunity we love to let people know why e-bikes are such a fun, healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport for people of all ages and fitness levels".
THE RIESE AND MULLER ROADSTER £2,289
By Simon Postgate
aving ridden one of Riese and Muller’s hand-built electric bikes before, namely the excellent, but pricey, Delite Mountain, I had high hopes for the Roadster and if first impressions were anything to go by I was not going to be disappointed.
Cycling E - Bike World
The roadster has a distinct presence and style, best described as understated but classy. The paint is thick and lustrous, the frame large and strong-looking while still remaining reasonably svelte. All the items needed for brisk city riding are there including colour matched mudguards, super bright lights front and back (wired into the electrical system and at the touch of a button), a substantial, keyoperated Abus lock and a kick stand. The lock is a nice idea but I would argue that it adds weight to a bike that, in most urban circumstances, would need to be locked to something solid for full peace of mind.
Beautiful is what it is, you find yourself just staring and admiring it. The 28’’ wheels are shod with Shwalbe G-One tubeless tyres with puncture protection. The brakes are Magura MT4 hydraulic discs with lever and caliper adjustment: lovely. Power is handled by the tried and tested Bosch system, in this case with the performance line 250 watt motor which boosts your pedal input by up to 275% leading to a consistent pace of riding that despatches even steep inclines with ease. The assistance is limited to around 15.5 mph, fading away seamlessly beyond this speed leaving you to your own pedal power. The positive and effective Shimano Sora 9 speed gearing obviously allows for greater speeds and I can see the logic of the assistance limitation as it improves safety and gives you the chance for a bit of a workout.
The Roadster handles really well, particularly for spirited riding, with the classical frame geometry tipping the rider forward a little, onto the comfortable Saltplus handgrips, just to let you know what you’re there for. Out on the open road, this bike really flies along, a roadster built for the task! Reise and Muller, in my opinion, have got a hit on their hands with this bike. It looks fantastic and it performs brilliantly. It’s taut and purposeful but can still deal with rough roads due to its 50mm RST Nova ML front forks with lockout, the only slightly budget-oriented items on the bike. Which brings me round to the price, if you look around at what’s on offer for around two grand (and a bit) you’ve got to be tempted by this fabulous machine, it’s just too good to ignore!
SPECIFICATION Weight: 21.9kg Frame: Aluminium Gears: Shimano Sora 9 speed derailler system Forks: RST Nova 50mm Motor: Bosch 400 Performance Line Battery: 36v 11ah Brakes: Magura MT4 Lights: Lumotec LED, intergrated Sizes: 51cm, 56cm, 63cm
By Simon Postgate
ave you ever sat back and thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a bike that you could just jump on and ride without bothering about which gear you’re in or whether you’ve got enough puff to get up that great slope up ahead? A traditional, elegant stylish machine, the proper-looking full size gentleman’s tourer with all the details sorted out and no loose ends, something you can just swing a leg over and head out into the big blue? Well folks, now you can, permit me to introduce you to the all-new, recently-revised, Momentum Electric Upstart. Customer feedback has been carefully listened to and lots of changes have been made. The frame is now aluminium, the chain is rust-proof, a recommendation from Scandinavia and the Samsung battery is now enclosed in a specially designed, fully-sealed and weather-proof case. Power is supplied by a 250watt motor in the front wheel, with a torque sensor at the pedals and a SRAM Automatix 2-gear sealed-hub system at the back wheel. This gives a nicely balanced weight distribution, contributing to the sorted feel of the bike. The spokes in the wheels have been replaced by stronger items and mudguards added. Once aboard the bike pulls away in a lively manner in the first of the two gears and runs up to about 8-10 miles an hour before second gear kicks in with a distinct feeling under the foot to propel you forward effectively up to about 16 mph where, as the law requires for Pedalecs, you are on muscle power alone. The revised gearing is wellchosen and works very well indeed, pedalling above and beyond the power assistance limit presents no problem and proper healthy speeds are easily sustained. The first gear will tackle quite steep gradients without any problem, due to the torque sensor providing the required information. It’s only really on long uphill gradients that the gearing starts to show some limitations but this is soon overcome with a bit of extra input from the rider. The Upstart is primarily designed as a city bike, and as such, it performs its function very well indeed. The ride is taut, with
good feedback from the road but no harshness, the large 28 inch wheels and well-chosen (at least for me at 6’ 2’’) larger geometry of the frame giving urgent, crisp handling. This is a bike that has been put together by someone who understands what is required for spirited riding. All the details are well thought-through. The rim brakes, although fairly budget-looking are effective and from Tektro, a reputable and reliable firm. The lights are linked in to the simple but effective console and come on at the push of a button. There are three power assistance levels and a series of tiny lights to indicate remaining battery level, nothing to excite gadget enthusiasts but perfectly functional. What Momentum Electric and in particular Ying-Tsao Tan the head of development have succeeded in producing is a bicycle that is greater than the sum of its parts. At £1,350 it’s not super-cheap, more of an upmarket budget machine and as such it’s spot on. I really liked it, an excellent bike for the money.
SPECIFICATION Weight: 18.3kg (with battery) Frame: Aluminium Gears: 2 speed SRAM Automatix hub Motor: Front hub 250w with torque sensor (at pedals) Battery: 36v Lithium-ion Brakes: Tektro caliper rim-brakes Lights: LED front and rear Sizes: 54.5cm, 58cm
THE MOMENTUM ELECTRIC £1,350 UPSTART
ll ill ELECTRIC BIKE SPECIALISTS SALES - SERVICE - HIRE
Whichever your riding style, Take Charge Bikes have the electric bike to suit you.
With stores in Bath, Cheltenham, Exeter and Woking.
www.nationwideebikes.co.uk ď€¨ 0800 612 3449 email@example.com To find out more, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flyer Goroc www.nationwideebikes.co.uk ď€¨ 0800 612 3449 email@example.com
CW JULY 50-51 CUBE NENON w NWeBike.indd 53
Based by the beautiful seaside town of Hornsea, East Riding of 16/07/2015 13:08:12 Yorkshire, RooDog is a family owned business who specialise16/07/2015 in high quality, fun, stylish and affordable range of electric bikes. Run by fully experienced and friendly staff, and renown for excellent customer service. RooDog ebikes key features: l Competitively priced. Stylish, light weight and high quality l Lithium batteries with a power assisted (PAS) range of up to 30 miles or more per full charge l 3 riding options: Pedal only; Pedal assist and Throttle controlled l 2 years warranty on battery and motor l Unique! polka dot ebike specially designed for female riders l Nationwide Dealership
Tel: 01964 536570 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Brockholme Farm,Seaton Road, Hornsea, East Riding of Yorskshire, HU18 1BZ
New Francis-Barnett Classic
We regularly visit our factories to ensure high standards are met and we are continually striving to improve our bikes. As a company, we promote green emissions along with health and well-being and wherever and whenever we can, we try to encourage people to test ride electric bikes to let them see the real benefits owning a ebike has to offer. In doing so like at big trade shows such as The Cycle Show at the NEC we are quite often met with saying’s such as “it’s cheating” & “I like to pedal” but once tried people generally quickly change there opinions, smile and consider purchasing a electric bike either for commuting or leisure purposes or for a family member that believes their cycling days are over.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT ROODOG?
The company continues to develop and bring out new products to suit everyone’s taste. Take the Polka Dot bike as an example; we wanted to bring something out just for the female riders, this was not without challenges - there are around 150 spots per bike, and each is individually placed onto the frame by hand, therefore you can imagine the hard work and care that has gone into each bike. This
also makes no two bikes quite the same so effectively every polka dot bike we sell is unique to the customer. RooDog have also brought out New for 2016 The Mayfair, a unisex half step through bike with 40 mile range and also updated the very popular Striker model to a matt red colour with updated disc brakes.
WHERE DOES THE NAME ROODOG COME FROM? Company Founders Scott Voase and Weiwei Wu, came up with the name from the Chinese zodiac. However that’s not the whole story, in the beginning they both liked Rudedog, which turned out to be a cartoon Scott had watched as a child (rudedog & the dweebs), knowing that they could no longer use this the very next thing they looked at was the Chinese Zodiac as Weiwei’s originates from China. Funnily enough as it turned out Weiwei is a Rooster and Scott is a dog and that is how RooDog was born.
RooDog HQ is set by the beautiful seaside town – Hornsea in East Yorkshire. We pride ourselves with friendly customer services and have huge passion and enthusiasm for our bikes and we try to involve ourselves with good causes. For example, we are one of the sponsors to EMpowered People, a lotto funded charity, whose mission is to put fun and excitement back into the lives of people with disabilities through the power of cycling. For more information on our products Please visit our website www.roodog.co.uk. If you are interested in becoming a retailer you can call the office 01964 536570 or email us @ email@example.com Like us on Facebook and/or follow us on twitter.
We aim to offer a range of electric bikes that suite everybody’s tastes lifestyles and needs but whilst remaining stylish and affordable. We offer a two year warranty with every bike sold. As we are a family run business, our aftersales service is second to none as many of our genuine reviews will tell you we care about each individual customer who purchases one of our bikes. We have an ever expanding nationwide dealer network which grows year on year so you always have a local expert to call upon if required.
WHY CHOOSE ROODOG EBIKES?
THE ART OF THE JERSEY A Celebration of the Cycling Racing Jersey Review by David Robert
ith the retro cycling movement accelerating, fuelled by themed sportives and numerous historic publications, a celebration of the jersey was long overdue. Who better to put this book together than Andy Storey, a life-long cycling fan who works for cycling clothing specialist Prendas Ciclismo. Andy has long been carefully curating a collection of cycling’s most noteworthy designs from the past sixty years as a blog (http://cycling-jersey-collection.com). Here’s a well-chosen selection in print celebrating the jersey’s changing styles and trends over history, from the iconic retro designs worn by Tour de France winners to specialist items and hard-to-find collector’s pieces. He explores the gradual evolution of the jersey, from the designs of the 1950s to today’s high-tech, lightweight gear. With more than 200 examples each accompanied by photography and analysis, The Art of the Jersey is the perfect gift for the road-racing enthusiast and the modern style-conscious cyclist.
Author: Andy Storey Publisher: Mitchell Beazley Published: 05 May 2016 Price: £15.99
1972 Molteni Arcore replic
Any tips for clubs and groups designing a new jersey? What could make the jersey “iconic?” I'm not really the best person to ask I'm no designer - although I have a very definite opinion on what I think looks good. I'm a big fan of keeping things bold, simple and understated. Take a look at the wool jerseys of the 1980s - before polyester and sublimation came along the entire production process was harder and it therefore made the designs of jersey more elegant in my opinion. In terms of making your club jersey look iconic, I'm not sure that's possible although I think the Manchester Wheelers kit certainly is one UK club kits that has kept the same timeless look over decades.
1973 Bianchi Campagnolo replic
WE CAUGHT WITH ANDY AND ASKED ABOUT JERSEYS:
Why did you decide to put this book together now? After having spent a bit of time adding various jerseys to my personal blog site I was approached the publishing company who suggested that I should turn the contents of my blog into a book. I was a little cautious at first as I'd never done anything like this before. However, with the blog as a starting point, I went about creating more in-depth text to accompany each jersey photograph. I also managed to add a few special jerseys that are not online but do feature uniquely in the book.
Ian Whittall, the Wheelers’ Press Officer, told us: “At the Annual General Meeting in 1947, World Track Champion Reg Harris successfully proposed a change in the Club’s racing colours and in the strong patriotic atmosphere of the era, especially when English riders were competing with success abroad, the choice was inevitably the national red, white and blue.”
1976 TI-Raleigh Campagnolo
1985 La Vie Claire Radar Wonder wool jersey
2015 Team Sky jersey
1989 ADR Agrigel jersey
2015 Cannondale Garmin Tour De France jersey
1993 Motorola Eddy Merckx jersey
ca wool jersey
1977 Brooklyn Chewing Gum wool jersey
JERSEYS: EDITOR’S CHOICE Vanelli £ - Custom Pricing Cycling World commissioned Vanelli to make a now cherished jersey and spoke to founder, Matt Ellis
ne wintery Weaver Valley CC Sunday club run in 1992, I sat over a pint of tea and met my longstanding friend, team mate and now business partner Hans van Nierop. He planned to start racing in France when he’d finished college and suddenly I was at his family holiday home in Narbonne, South West France. Since then we have raced many seasons together in France, snowboarded the winters in the Alps and are now running a very young, but ambitious, cycle clothing company. Vanelli has two aspects. There’s a range of stylish, limited edition cycling clothes for all weathers. We also produce custom cycle and triathlon clothing for clubs, teams and
charity rides. A vital ingredient is that all team members are cyclists; road testing products in a French road race, a ride in Spain or a British club run. Our business is 100% European. Our fabrics are Italian, inks and manufacturing East European. We enjoyed making the Cycling World jersey. The magazine dates back to 1979 so we incorporated their logo into the most iconic jersey of the decade, that of Raleigh TI. (See P.32) Further info: vanellicycling.com
Wildoo Custom Kit £36 - £150 The standard short sleeve jersey comes in club or race cut with full length, covered zip, silicone waist grippers, and rear pockets. The Aero short sleeve is produced using compression fabrics and a body hugging cutting pattern. We road tested a Racer+ (£43) and found it to be breathable and quick drying. The fabric also offers UPF25+ sun protection, is anti-bacterial and moisture wicking. There are choices of zip length, all covered, silicone waist hem, elasticated sleeves, and three rear pockets. For a small upcharge a rear zip pocket can be fitted. In short- a pleasure to wear.
Fat Lad at the Back (FLAB) Cycle Wear Jerseys £45.00 Bibshorts £60.00
FLAB is a family-run company in Italy who recognise there are bigger cyclists who want stylish kit. The range has grown to include women’s clothing and triathlon and running wear. Cycling World’s larger riders have enjoyed s this cyclewear; the jerseys are breathable and have good wicking properties. Above all they are comfortable, have two good size pockets and come in a range of originally tasteful colours. Matching bibshorts were equally comfortable, especially the all-important pad. We’re told the pad is “a permanent bacteriostatic fabric with Bioceramics and Copper.” Haven’t we come a long way since the shammy.
Thames Bridges Bike Ride
Sunday 26 June 3Routes 2Wheels Great 1Cause
stroke.org.uk/TBBR2016 Tel: 020 7940 1359 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stroke Association is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No 211015) and in Scotland (SC037789). Also registered in Isle of Man (No 945), Jersey (NPO 369) and in Northern Ireland.
All new for 2016 Start and Finish at Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
PRODUCTS: PICK OF THE BUNCH Eco flag flying: the products are biodegradable, skin safe and 100% recycled plastic bottles are used for the 100ml products.
Green Oil Eco-Rider Deluxe Set £34.99
This set comes in recycled plastic tub and a pack of seeds that can be grown within. It contains: - Green Oil Wet Chain lube (100ml) - Clean Chain degreaser jelly (100ml) - Ecogrease (100ml) - Green Clean Low Carbon bike cleaner (1 litre) - EcoSponge - Bicycle Brush - Bike stickers - Salad / Herb seed pack!
Visijax LED City Ace Jacket £125.00 An award winner at The US Consumer Electronics Show, it features 23 LEDs for safety and an outer of polyester with Teflon coating for waterproofness and breathability. A polyester lining gives warmth. The LEDs include amber arm indicators that flash for a few seconds with the motion of an arm signal. All LEDs are powered by a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery which last up to twenty hours. The jacket includes an ICEid Tag allowing emergency details to be accessed with a mobile phone QR reader.
Bollé The One Road Premium Helmet £89 Standard £109 Premium
This helmet stands out due to some noteworthy features. Namely: • Removable aero covers –offering aerodynamic or ventilation (Premium only) • Safety QR Code –pre-record a message with details for use in the event of a crash, read by any QR code reader on a mobile phone. • Rear LED –visible to motorists’ eyeline, built straight in and with a simple tap to use. Removable. • Sunglasses garage –allows them to be stowed away securely and within easy reach, just like the pros. • Winter Lining – comfort and saving on the need to wear awkward layers under the helmet. Classy and functional, this multi tool fits nicely into a leather and recycled inner tube pouch. It is compact and well-made, the full kit weighing just 185g/ 6.5oz.
The Breaker features:
• • • • • • • • •
Breaker Multi Tool £45.00
Chain Breaker with tool hardened stainless steel pin (replaceable) Tool hardened stainless steel body Glass filled nylon tyre lever with a stainless steel core Spoke key 3,4,5,6,8mm hex tool bits Philips head screw driver (PH2) T25 torx bit Tool bit extender Bottle opener Jet black or burnt brown leather and recycled inner tube pouch (able to be attached under saddle or to frame)
REAR VIEW MIRROR The MyKlops rear view mirror is designed to wear conveniently on your wrist. It can be easily conﬁgured to use with ‘straight’ or ‘drop’ handle bars. Ideal for commuters and recreational cyclists wishing to have a better view to the rear.
For more information, please visit: www.myklops.com
As worn by Team Mule Bar Girl â€“ Sigma Sport
PHONE & RIDE PACS
Wildoo is the only UK based supplier that can offer a full range of quality custom cycling products.
www.wildoo.co.uk email@example.com 01908 374555
YORKSHIRE’S HOTTEST CYCLING EXPERIENCE
here are countless reasons to visit York (especially for cyclists!), but don't go limiting yourself to the city walls. A short ride away from the city centre, tucked away on the University of York campus lies Yorkshire’s finest cycling facilities; the York Sport Velodrome and Cycle Circuit. Together they represent a £2.5 million investment in cycling from the University of York, City of York Council and British Cycling. The 1km Cycle Circuit opened in 2012, attracting everyone from families and casual cyclists, to experienced riders and professional racers. Along with their daily ‘Pay & Pedal’ sessions, York Sport organise their own regular activities aimed at inspiring local residents to take up cycling. For the slightly more adventurous the 250m outdoor Velodrome is the ultimate cycling experience. The 30 degree banking can be quite intimidating for a novice cyclist, but the York Sport Accreditation Pathway has made it easier than ever to get into track cycling. There are a host of activities, races and events to look forward to throughout the Summer at York Sport, including YuCycle. Although only in it’s fourth year, the popular sportive attracts large numbers to it’s three spectacular and fully supported routes through the stunning Yorkshire Wolds countryside. This year’s event takes place on Sunday 5th June, starting and finishing at York Sport.
Find out more about York Sports’ cycling facilities at www.york-sport.com - Sign up to YuCycle 2016 at yucycle.org.
SIGN UP TODAY JOIN OUR BIKE RIDE STARTING AT YORK SPORT VILLAGE
RIDE THE YORK SPORT
0 RIDE 25, 50 OR 10
CHARITY OR DO IT FOR FUN, LLENGE! FOR THE CHA
YORKSHIRE’S MOST THRILLING CYCING EXPERIENCE WWW.YORK-SPORT.COM
CAN YOU BEAR TO WAIT? By VeloVixen – Female Specific Retailer of the Year, Total Women’s Cycling Awards 2015
his is the time of year that bears are emerging from their piles of hibernation leaves, yawning, rubbing their eyes and stretching. Cyclists are doing much the same - only (usually) with less fur and smaller teeth.
It’s around now that us lot who love cycling start looking forward to those irresistible months of summer riding ahead and quietly growling with pleasure. It’s nearly here: that time when there’s a fighting chance of getting out on your bike without first having to consider a dozen different meteorological outcomes. Whether you use your bike for commuting, road riding, mountain biking or just getting around town, the warmer air and longer days put an extra burst of energy into each pedal turn. Unless, that is, you’re a dyed-in-the-wool cyclocross devotee who thrives on mud, cold and Belgian beer – in which case you’re probably an exception to quite a few other rules too!
If you’re anything like us at VeloVixen, it’s also time to start planning for holidays involving bikes. And that’s where the research begins. There are innumerable ways to make cycling part of your holiday and it can all seem more complicated than it needs to be.
To help hone your plans, here are our key decisions to bear in mind whilst scanning through Google:
Cycling Trip vs. Cycling as part of a Holiday - do you want the entire trip to revolve around cycling, or would you rather hop on a bike as one part of your break? Or why not mix and match – spend the days cycling gently but throw in plenty of tourism and eat and drink like royalty!
Solo vs. Group - are you happier exploring independently, or would you rather be part of an organised group tour? The options for both are endless.
Road Bikes vs. Touring Bikes - are you in it for the sport of cycling and big climbs, or is it more for the love of going places by bike? Is speed and efficiency important, or do comfort and leisurely durability count for more on your trip?
Holiday or ‘Trip’ – is this your annual two-week break, or might you make it something more substantial? Think about the possibility of extending time away from work and home and creating a real ‘life break’.
Rent a Bike or Take Your Own – can you cope without your own precious steed? Renting a bike when you get there sometimes makes more sense than the stress of moving a bike by public transport.
Near or Far? – we’re often surprised by the extraordinary experiences and beauty on our doorsteps. But sometimes a complete change of geography is worth the effort in getting there.
Prevailing Winds – riding into a headwind for weeks can test the hardiest of cycling fanatics. If you’re going from A to B, make sure you check you’re going the right way.
Self-Sufficient or Porter Services? – are you happy to carry all your luggage and kit on your bike, or would you prefer to find everything waiting for you in your hotel at the end of a day’s riding? For us at VeloVixen, our Top Tips for the seven Most Amazing Places we’ve ever cycled are: • California’s beach paths • Argentine Patagonia • Corsica • The Bolivian Andes
• • •
Scotland’s Rannoch Moor The Pyrenees The Oregon coast
But we’ve equally loved riding round the sunlit lanes of Oxfordshire and pottering down the Thames towpath. However far you go, and however you plan your cycling break, it’s a magical way to make the most of time off.
A cycling trip this summer is surely a bear necessity. Get planning, people!
Cycling World 44
PEAK DISTRICT FEATURE
Peaks and Troughs by Sarah Roe
the Midland Railway line to London. The Duke of Devonshire objected to this new-fangled transport method which would have gone through his grounds, which meant the route was redirected through the Wye Valley. His neighbour, the Duke of Rutland, demanded that the line went through a tunnel so his view was intact.
he challenging gradients, bleak moorlands and fast roads of the Peak District are often associated with the world of competitive cycling. Tea rooms in villages throughout the region cashed in on the crowds lining the streets for last year’s Aviva Tour of Britain and the Tour of Yorkshire in 2014, while gaggles of lycra-clad warriors are a common sight toiling up the dizzying heights of Winnat’s Pass from picturesque Edale, or relaxing in Hathersage or Castleton after a rapid moorland descent.
The railway closed in 1968 and slowly went back to nature. Tunnels through the hills became derelict and four of them were closed to the public. But in 2011 they opened up as part of the route and a new tourist gateway to Bakewell was born. From Miller’s Dale car park near Bixton the eight and a half mile path follows the river Wye and then sweeps up to the old railway at the start of the Monsal Trail. The surfaced path makes for an easy ride, so there’s plenty of scope for relaxing and taking in the view. In spring the trail is peppered with wildflowers including orchids and wild thyme and sunlight shimmers through native trees on the hillside. A towering old limekiln on the side of the track sprouts grasses and flowers and now acts as a home for birds and bats, and the string of tunnels along the trail are a constant reminder of its industrial past. Chee Tor, Rusher Cutting, Litton, Cressbrook, Headstone: their names echo the epic task for Victorian railroad engineers hacking through the hillside. Now eerily quiet they are home to various species of bats, which roost amongst cracks of the brickwork.
In 2015 two of these trails were voted by the charity Sustrans’ supporters as their favourite routes. The Monsal Trail for the best path under 30 miles and the Transpennine Trail (which includes a former railway track in the Peak District) for top long distance route. While most people arrive at these traffic-free paths by car, both trails are close to railway lines between Manchester and Buxton or Manchester and Sheffield, so there are some great opportunities to make linear journeys by bicycle, and get a lift home at the end.
Each of the tunnels are around 400 metres long and have lights activated by sensors which operate during daylight hours. If you're travelling in the afternoon take some lights in case you get caught out.
On a quiet day there is something Tolkienesque and mystical about the Monsal Trail. Imposing limestone cliffs seem to glow in the sunlight, there are sweeping views, colourful wildflowers and monolithic remnants of a bygone industry.
There’s a tea and coffee stall, toilets, and an overgrown platform halfway at the disused Millers Dale station, while the elegant old building that was once Hassop station is now a bustling cafe and bookstore dedicated to the needs of hungry cyclists and walkers. You will need to be a confident road cyclist to brave the four miles on the hairy A6 from Buxton station to the start of the trail at Millers Dale.
The railway caused outrage when it was first built in 1863 as part of
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But the county has gentler charms too. The striking landscape was once a thriving network of train and tram lines serving mills, quarries and mines, most of which now lie as dormant museum relics of railway heritage, fading and crumbling back amongst the wildflowers, rocks and native woodlands. Several former railway lines have been resurrected as walking and cycle tracks, which at weekends buzz with throngs of families and daytrippers, gliding along linear, surfaced pathways.
Cycling World 46
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LONGDENDALE Route Map
Families tend to bring their bikes in the car or take a taxi from the station and hire bikes at Blackwell Bike Hire, a mile’s walk from the car park. www.peakdistrict.gov.uk
The start of the Longdendale Trail is conveniently located close to Hadfield station, so you can take the whole family along for a ride on the train from Manchester without getting out the car, though you will need to turn round and go back again. You’ll cruise past a string of reservoirs and wild open moorland, with magnificent views of the Nine Holes Bridge and Torside reservoir, which once powered cotton and paper mills and now supplies much of Greater Manchester’s water. The surfaced path is an easy, mainly flat cycle to the Woodhead tunnels, with a crossing at the B6105 Glossop road. Three parallel
tunnels, which are closed to the public, are each three miles long and now carry electricity via cables. Famous as the location for filming of ‘League of Gentlemen’ the traditional mill town of Hadfield has shops, toilets, a cafe and bike hire (Longdendale cycles). Real ale fans may want to make a detour to larger Glossop, where Music pub The Globe serves up a fine selection of beers, and is also, unusually, a destination throughout Greater Manchester for vegan food. http://www.transpenninetrail.org.uk/
On the morning of the Tour de Yorkshire this busy former railway track between Manchester and Sheffield buzzed with the whirr of tyres on tarmac as thousands of spectators rushed to Holme Moss to get a prime viewing spot on the moor. The sevenmile Longdendale Trail to the Woodhead Tunnels is a peaceful traffic-free section of the Transpennine Trail linked by road to another off-road path from Dunford Bridge to Penistone, and popular as part of a daytrip to Sheffield.
Monsal Trail, by David Martin Sustrans
Cycling World 48
PEAK DISTRICT FEATURE Family Cycling and Motorhoming in The Peaks The Peak District is a gem in the English landscape, offering invigorating cycling. Easy to get to and with a wealth of places to stay, including Caravan Club sites, Cycling World Editor takes the family there for a cycling holiday.
The National Park was opened in 1951 and with its proximity to the cities of Manchester and Sheffield and easy access by road and rail, it attracts millions of visitors every year. It’s an area of great diversity, split into the northern Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and whose geology is gritstone, and the southern White Peak, where most of the population lives and whose geology is mainly limestone. Booking is recommended at holiday times and weekends throughout the year. Our trip promised a slice of luxury with the loan of a motorhome from The Caravan Club. The sheer size of it installed trepidation; the six-berth for mere three would have taken up four places in the local carpark so had to be dropped off a mile up the coast. But there’s nothing like a giant Wendy house on wheels to get the kids excited about going away, especially those who have spent many a trip catching droplets of rain from flysheets into saucepans. The Caravan Club website provides a comprehensive list a motorhome rental outlets. Our destination is Chatsworth Park Caravan Club Site, Bakewell, Derbyshire. It’s set in the old walled garden on the picturesque Chatsworth Estate, established by the Duchess of Devonshire in 1977. The site caters for the younger visitor with a farmyard and adventure playground. The village of Baslow is a fifteen-minute walk with a couple of good pubs, including the refurbished Devonshire Arms. Bakewell market on Mondays is recommended. One of the first visits should be to the Estate, which includes the grandiose house, where you can escape on one the inevitable rainy days, wandering around the beautifully decorated rooms. There are also the formal gardens, farm shop and café. Scenic strolls and cycling on tarmac roads are a must in the 1,000-acre park laid out by Capability Brown. 2016 is the year to enjoy the landscape designer who changed our countryside and created a style which has shaped people’s picture of quintessentially rural England. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown with a lottery-funded festival, the first ever celebration of Brown’s extensive
works, bringing together a huge range of events, openings and exhibitions. From traffic-free, disused railway lines to climbs that feature in ‘yet another collection of great cycling climbs’, there’s something for everyone when cycling in the Peaks.
TOUR OF THE SOUTHERN PEAK DISTRICT ON THE TISSINGTON TRAIL
Sustrans’ National Cycle Network routes on the old Cromford and High Peak, and Ashbourne and Buxton railways lines provide accessible family routes. Following the route of the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line, the Tissington Trail runs from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay passing through the picturesque village of Tissington and the beautiful countryside of the Derbyshire Dales.
From - to: Station Road, Ashbourne to Mapleton Road, Parsley Hay Distance: 13 miles Terrain: Traffic-free with some easy gradients. Dust surface National Cycle Network: National Route 68
The route follows the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay passing through the village of Tissington. It nears Dovedale, a dramatic limestone ravine with stunning scenery, wildlife, and famous stepping stones which cross the River Dove. Built as part of the London and North Western Railway, the Buxton to Ashbourne railway line opened in 1899 and closed in 1967. Once the track was removed, the route was transformed into a recreational trail and opened to the public in 1971. The traffic-free trail is ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and is mostly flat apart from a relatively steep incline at Mappleton. Ashbourne, where the route starts, is a historic market town, well established in Saxon times and listed in the Domesday survey, where it's called `Esseburne'. Ashbourne's legacy of more than 200 listed buildings, fine coaching inns and mellow-bricked town houses combine to create the town's appealing atmosphere. It’s a steady climb from Ashbourne into the heart of the
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he upland area known as The Peak District offers a patchwork of English culture as it spans across numerous regions: mainly situated in northern Derbyshire it also includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. This makes a cycling holiday rather appealing from the outset; all those café stops each offering local cakes- we’re packing the I-Spy Book of Cakes.
National Park. Arriving in Tissington, Tissington Hall is worth a visit but is only open to the public for 28 days each year so check their website before heading over. If you fancy a spot of lunch on route, The Old Coach House in Tissington is a busy tearoom with outdoor seating. At Parsley Hay, the trail links with the High Peak Trail which runs south east towards Cromford, from High Peak Junction via Middleton Top and Parsley Hay to Sparklow. When the wind is low the trail is ideal for novices as it was originally engineered in the 1820s to canal standards, so mainly runs level through a high limestone landscape. So you get spectacular long views with little climbing. The High Peak Trail is 17.5 miles long and offers the chance to see the old winding engine at Middleton To, a working beam engine built in 1829 using steam to raise and lower wagons on the Middleton incline. Also worth a visit is the nearby National Stone Centre.
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THE MONSAL TRAIL
The Monsal Trail is traffic free route running along the former railway line through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. It stretches for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale, three miles south of Buxton, and Coombs Road in Bakewell. The trail is accessible to cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wheelchair users. Most of the route was opened to the public in 1981 but four former railway tunnels closed in 1968 had to remain closed due to safety reasons, with public footpaths taking people around them. On 25 May 2011 the four railway tunnels - Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel –opened for trail users as part of a major project led by The Peak District National Park Authority. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and are lit during normal daylight hours. Two shorter tunnels - Chee Tor No.2 and Rusher Cutting – already formed part of the Monsal Trail. It is the first time the public have been able to go through the tunnels since the former Midland Railway Line closed in 1968, seeing breathtaking views at places like Water-cum-Jolly Dale that have remained hidden since the railway closed.
CHALLENGING TOUR ROUTES
If desired there are undulating routes with a mixture of long ascents and descents and short, sharp climbs. The landscape is so testing that The Peak District will host this year’s Aviva Women’s Tour. The Tour (June 15-19) is the toughest edition in its three-year history and
A friendly welcome, fresh local food and a comfy bed await you at Barnsdale Lodge. Barnsdale Lodge Hotel is set in a unique rural location in the heart of the glorious Rutland countryside with views of undulating hills and Rutland Water. This delightful, friendly hotel offers a warm welcome, delicious seasonal food, individually styled bedrooms and inviting sitting and dining rooms. • 45 ensuite bedrooms with lovely bathrooms • Delicious food prepared with fresh locally sourced, seasonal ingredients • Why not stay in a luxury self catering Retreat • Local boutique shops in Oakham and Stamford • Activities on and around Rutland Water – cycle and sail
We offer a special rate for a 3 night stay and complimentary cycle hire from Rutland Cycling!
The Avenue, Rutland Water, Nr Oakham, LE15 8AH firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 01572 724678
• GLOW hair salon • Country walks • Cycle trails
Cycle for r a e y s i h t s u
22 May 2016 - Cardiff, Wales
Enter now mariecurie.org.uk/velothon2016 If you have your own place, join Team Marie Curie
52 Charity reg no. 207994 (England & Wales), SC038731 (Scotland) A699h
Caravan Club Site, Staveley The Firs Caravan Club Site, Belper Uttoxeter Racecourse Caravan Club Site Further details at: www.caravanclub.co.uk Monsal Trail by Martin Brent
The Caravan Club has teamed with up Sustrans to develop 35 cycling routes which can be accessed right on the doorstep of many Caravan Club sites. Each route is highlighted with advice on the surfaces, amount of traffic, suitability for children, level of hills, where to stop for refreshments, directions and optional extensions making it simply to plan a trip. For more information on cycling please visit www. caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/be-inspired/cycling
CYCLING EVENT Monsal Head by Karen Frenkel
On 29 May 2016, Experience Freedom from The Caravan Club, in partnership with caravan manufacturer Adria, is encouraging cyclists to join Kilotogo, a weekend of activities based at Weston Park stately home in Shropshire. Cyclists can take on the challenge of one of three routes, 56, 80, 100 miles around the local area, enjoy fun activities and there is also the chance to see a selection of motorhomes and caravans at the start and finish line. www.kilotogo.com hits The Peaks on stage three between Ashbourne and Chesterfield. The stage packs 2,000 metres of climbing into just over 112 kilometres of racing, which is sure to make the day action-packed. To Pennine Bridlewa y Heading from Ashbourne To Buxton (6 miles) riders will head for a To Bakew ell 5 number of tricky climbs in 05 A5 Monyash Hurdlow the region. After reaching Buxton the peloton then head east via Youlgreave and Matlock and out of the Parsley Hay Peaks as they make their Newhaven Tunnel way to the finish line in Chesterfield. Hartington
HIGH PEAK & TISSINGTON R o u t e M a p
Station Friden Newhaven
Cromford High Peak Wharf Junction &
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Chatsworth Park Caravan Club Site, Bakewell. A caravan pitch costs from ÂŁ20.72 based on two adults and two Alsop children per pitch, per night Parwich Blackshaw Moor Caravan ng to n T Trail ra Club Site, near Leek il National cycle route number Buxton Caravan Club Site 547 Routes using minor roads Tissington Carsington Water Caravan Tunnel Steep descent Club Site, Ashbourne Very steep descent To Thorpe Car park with picnic site Ilam Castleton Caravan Club Site Toilet Information point High Onn Caravan Club Site, Tunnel Cycle hire Stafford Mapleton Lane 2.5 Distances shown in miles between black circles A shbourne Poolsbrook Country Park
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CARAVAN CLUB SITES IN AND AROUND THE PEAK DISTRICT
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Finish: The Summit pub, near Littleborough Train stations: Halifax and Walsden
Stay: Holdsworth House, Halifax (01422) 240024 www.holdsworthhouse.co.uk
Eat and drink: Try the real ales at The Puzzle Hall Inn or The Works, both in Sowerby Bridge, or Whistle Stop Takeaway at Sowerby Bridge train station. Milly’s café is at Mytholmroyd, while Park Life Café, The Bicycle Den, Organic House Café and Stubbing Wharf pub are all cyclists’ favourites in Hebden Bridge. In the route’s final miles, try The Bear café bar at Todmorden, Grandma Pollard’s fish and chips at Walsden or The Summit pub at the route’s end near Littleborough.
Terrain, gradients and access: Tarmac path and stony towpath with some short, cobbled sections. Some road crossings and short, on-road sections at Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Luddenden Foot, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden. A gentle ascent throughout, with a steeper climb following Todmorden. Take care passing beneath low bridges that run close to the water’s edge.
TRAFFIC-FREE CYCLE RIDE
Loops, links and longer rides: From Salterhebble, follow the Calder Valley Greenway in the opposite direction for four and a half miles to reach Brighouse, via Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve. At Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley Greenway intersects with NCN 68 Pennine Cycleway, a long-distance route between Derby and Berwick-uponTweed. NCN 66 Spen Valley Greenway (Ride 05).
Cycle hire: Bike and Go at Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden train stations www.bikeandgo.co.uk
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Wider area cycle map: West Yorkshire
CALDER VALLEY GREENWAY B61 41
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Start: Halifax train station 40
Finish: The Summit pub, near Littleborough A 672
Train stations: Halifax and Slaithwaite Walsden
Tarmac path and stony towpath with some short cobbled sections. Some road crossings and short on-road sections at Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Luddendenfoot, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden. A gentle ascent throughout, with a steeper climb following Todmorden. Take care passing beneath low bridges that run close to the water’s edge.
The verdant Calder Valley in the starkly beautiful Pennines is one of the most desirable areas of Yorkshire but is delightfully little-known, making this scenic route a genuine hidden gem. Cobbled streets, former cloth mills and heather clad moorland give a wonderful sense of history along the way and make for a characterful ride. Start at Halifax train station near The Piece Hall, Halifax’s historic cloth trading hall, before rattling over cobbles to join the Calder and Hebble Navigation through the densely wooded Calder Valley. Salterhebble locks and the arches of the magnificent
NCN route number: 66
TERRAIN, GRADIENTS AND ACCESS
Distance: 18.5 miles
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Copley Viaduct all feature in the opening miles, and as you cross the bridge over the River Calder at Sowerby Bridge there is a great view of Wainhouse Tower, one of Calderdale’s most eye-catching landmarks. From here, join the banks of the Rochdale Canal to ride between lush woodland and the steep sides of the valley, with rich green meadows and chapped Pennine hillsides rising up around the trail. At Mytholmroyd, you’ll pass the bottom of Cragg Vale, the longest continuous gradient in England, and hill-lovers won’t be able to resist this climb of almost 1,000 feet over five-and-a-half miles. For a more sedate ride, however, stick to the gentle contours of the greenway and watch the dark, smokestained stone chimneys and old textile mills of Hebden Bridge ‘valley of the rose hips’ come into view. This spirited and independent little town is an absolute delight, and is a great place for a break at around the halfway point. Don’t leave without visiting the wooded river valley of the National Trust’s Hardcastle Crags just outside the town; it’s nicknamed Little Switzerland because of its sensational
Further along the canal, reach Todmorden and stop to glance behind at the imposing Stoodley Pike monument perched high on the Pennines, before passing through the friendly little market place. From here, the landscape becomes craggier and more remote, and you’ll climb steeply past Gauxholme Locks to Walsden. This is a good place to end and make the return journey to Halifax by train, alternatively, continue along the towpath to reach the highest point of the highest broad canal in England and cross the border into Lancashire. It’s worth going these few extra miles as the increasingly wild and dramatic landscape is just breathtaking, and is swathed with purple heather moorland in summertime.
LOOPS, LINKS AND LONGER RIDE
From Salterhebble, follow the Calder Valley Greenway in the opposite direction for 4.5 miles to reach Brighouse, via Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve. At Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley Greenway
intersects with NCN 68 Pennine Cycleway, a long-distance route between Derby and Berwick-upon-Tweed. NCN 66 Spen Valley Greenway.
Holdsworth House, Halifax (01422) 240024 www.holdsworthhouse.co.uk
EAT AND DRINK
Try the real ales at The Puzzle Hall Inn or The Works, both in Sowerby Bridge, or Whistle Stop Café at Sowerby Bridge train station. Milly’s café is at Mytholmroyd, while Park Life Café, The Bicycle Den, Organic House Café and Stubbing Wharf pub are all cyclists’ favourites in Hebden Bridge. In the route’s final miles, try The Bear café bar at Todmorden, Grandma Pollard’s fish and chips at Walsden or The Summit pub at the route’s end near Littleborough.
Bike and Go at Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden train stations www.bikeandgo.co.uk
scenery, steeply winding woodland, rippling streams and waterfalls.
FAT LADS INSPIRE RIDERS
to Take on Tour de Yorkshire
undreds are gearing up for a summer in the saddle after cycling wear brand Fat Lad At The Back (FLAB) has expanded its sportives to make it more accessible to amateur riders. In a bid to further welcome novice cyclists, FLAB has introduced a new 25mile event alongside its 50 and 75-mile distance cycling routes, driving an influx of new riders who will be taking to the Yorkshire roads in May. What’s more, in keeping with the FLAB community spirit, there will be experienced FLAB ambassadors joining the ever growing long-distant rides to encourage and support riders. Since launching in January, the rides have already proved popular, with more than 300 Fat Lads and Lasses expected to sign up to experience the challenging sportives – a significant increase on last year’s.
Bosses at FLAB have carefully constructed the rides, with routes that encompass beautiful scenery, superbly enjoyable cycling and varying levels of challenge, including the best and most iconic climbs in the region such as up Greenhowe Hill, and down Malham Cove. The rides also pass through Postman Pat author’s hometown of Burnsall and the Duke of Devonshire’s Bolton Abbey estate as well as criss-crossing the Tour De France 2014 route, taking in the best views but missing out some of the lung-stinging climbs. Richard added: “We have a real cross range of riders from the very experienced to enthusiastic novices which means no one will be alone and there will be lots of mates to help and support along the way. We also have a BBQ afterwards which went down really well last year at our sportive in Derbyshire. This means people hang about and chat and share rather than just getting in their cars and leaving.” Registration is open for the sportives on May 8.
75m Sportive: - Starting at Ilkley and finishing along the River Wharfe with 1600m of climbing through the beautiful and scenic Yorkshire Dales. 50m Sportive: - Starting in the Wharfe Valley and following the same route as the 75m route for the last 10km. 25m Sportive: -This is an easy 1/5 ride on a pleasant undulating route which criss crosses sections of the Tour De France 2014. A low traffic route which stays on quiet country roads.
About the FLAB sportive
Fat Lad in Charge Richard Bye, who has twenty years’ experience cycling many of Yorkshire’s most recognised routes, insists the reason for the rise in sportive sales is all down to the friendly nature of the event. He said: “This year we have added a 25 miler as we hope to inspire some new riders who may fancy a sportive but have never thought they could! We focus on making the sportives more social based as well as encouraging one another to
push each other further. Our objective is to ensure that you have an ace day out, meet some of the awesome Lads and Lasses in the FLAB community and leave wanting more. Not more to eat, however, our lunch stops are legendary and include black pudding Scotch eggs!”
BELLS & BIKES:
On The Tour De France Big Ring For Yorkshire And Its Churches
Ecclesall's Cycle to Church Sunday
When Rod Ismay first mooted the
West Tanfield's bell-ringers
The prospect of TV coverage on a massive scale was huge incentive, for the promotion of both Yorkshire and campanology. Rod’s personal connections with bell-ringing – being part of an association including many churches overlooking the race route – gave him a distinct advantage. But the experience was not without its moments of personal panic – he confesses to feeling out of his depth at times – it was scary stuff to be associated the world’s greatest bike race and a vast media circus. Finally, in July 2014, thanks to his electrifying zeal, Yorkshire played successful bell-ringing host to what the author sees as the grandest Grand Départ ever and it was achieved with remarkable aplomb. The book is a very enjoyable read and an unusual account of the attractions of Yorkshire.
Review by: Reverend Paul Wilson Publisher: Bells & Bikes ISBN: 978-1-909461-47-5 Published: 7 December 2015 Cover: Paperback Retail price: £12.99
The author writes in a racy and quirky style which conveys with flair his distinctive dual passion for bell-ringing and cycling. I was quickly struck by the vision, determination and energy involved in pulling off such an uplifting project. The level of detail in the book is impressive; moreover, the narrative is enhanced by an eclectic twelve page photographic record. The tongue-incheek sense of humour constitutes one of the greatest delights of the book. For me, as a minister of religion, I like to think that the faith of this church-going writer is the ultimate explanation of his tireless enthusiasm and invincible hope.
idea of bell-ringing along the Tour de France route, it seemed an implausible suggestion occupying in effect a small footnote on an early Welcome to Yorkshire meeting agenda. Nevertheless, it struck a chord, albeit one that needed huge input to sustain and work up the proposal into an achievable plan. With herculean effort the idea of celebrating the cycling race in this very traditional way became tangible. Typically clad in his red polka cycle dot shirt, Rod commended and realised his dream of Yorkshire bell-ringers playing a joyful and head-turning role in welcoming the Tour de France riders along the stages of the highly scenic route.
TdeF in York from St Martins Church
n engaging and sparkling account by Rod Ismay, an accountant by profession, of the Tour de France coursing through the towns and villages of his beloved Yorkshire in 2014 to a panoply of church bells. The reader is hooked from the start by the alluring prospect of the elite of the cycling world descending on ‘God’s own county of Yorkshire ’. Rod sweeps the reader along in a breathtaking two-year personal campaign to enlist the involvement of as many church towers and bell-ringers as possible for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. It seemed a highly improbable aim but was inspired by the assurance that ‘Paris was smitten with Yorkshire’ and by the conviction that the pealing of ‘medieval heavy metal’ would provide a fitting soundtrack.
Ask Anita Dear Anita I’m thinking about getting an electric bike to commute to work on and to go to meetings during the day. Will I be setting a trend on the business park I work on, or will I become the laughing stock of my colleagues?
lectric bikes are just getting more and more popular, as well as more technologically advanced. Once considered only suitable for eccentric oldies to provide a boost up the hill back from the supermarket with the Sunday Times and a pint of milk, they’re now being used by people of all ages and backgrounds for a wide variety of journeys. Businessmen and women like you
everywhere are starting to see that this is a practical and enjoyable way to travel to meetings, or the bank or post office, getting some fresh air but without getting sweaty.
Cycling World Regular
Most electric bikes are pedal – assisted, meaning that you have to pedal a little bit to get a boost. This means that you feel you are doing a bit of work, but you have a constant tailwind, and you can adjust the amount of added oomph you get, to get you up those long hill slogs, or help you to keep up with others. It’s a great feeling, like being pushed by a kind, ghostly presence. If you’ve not experienced this, find your nearest electric bike shop and go for a test ride.
Forward-thinking business people out there like you are starting to see that e-bikes can transform the way people travel for business during the working day. Depending on the nature of your work, you may be constantly out and about, driving short distances which could more efficiently and enjoyably be done by e-bike. Estate agents for example, spend a lot of time driving about within a small radius. You haven’t mentioned what you do on your business park, but you talk about trend-setting and that’s exactly what you are doing by getting an e-bike; being a leading light.
Whilst batteries use to be very heavy and not long lasting, they have progressed a lot in recent years, with more discrete and innovative solutions. You still might not want to carry your e-bike (or anything else!) up sixteen flights of stairs, but there are all kinds of bikes out there, including folding electric bikes which you can fit into small spaces, take on the train, or carry round as a permanent accessory if you are so inclined.
Take the plunge
If you’re thinking about investing in an e-bike, get on and do it, before everyone else does. You’ll be leading the way and soon all your colleagues will be wanting to borrow it at lunchtime to go out on errands, grinning as they feel the push whilst they pedal. E-bikes are the way forward, and the more people can help shake off the last remaining shreds of their fuddy-duddy image, the better. Photos by Cycling Made Easy
nita loves discovering new places by bike, having explored many miles of the National Cycle Network, and taken her trusty Ridgeback to roughly twenty countries so far. She does the occasional sportive, commutes by bike in London and Surrey and dabbles in triathlons, mountain biking and visiting cycling cafes. She currently works for the charity Sustrans as a project officer. Anita’s main area of expertise is surrounding herself with experts, whose knowledge she will extract to answer all of your everyday cycling questions…
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PRESCRIPTION SPORTS EYEWEAR SPECIALISTS Darren Rhymer wears Optilabs MAX frames with photochromic lenses and prescription optical insert. Plus FREE clamshell case & cleaning cloth.
Maximum visibility and maximum vision are the inspiration behind Optilabsâ€™ MAX cycling glasses. On-trend colours including 2 neon shades, superb styling and light-reactive photochromic lenses, mean that the MAX provides all the clarity of vision needed for the challenging riding conditions of winter and early spring. Plus, with lenses that go virtually clear in very low light, MAX provides superb protection for cycling at dawn and PRESCRIPTION dusk. A custom-made optical insert is provided for prescription wearers FROM (bifocal and varifocal inserts also available).
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EFFECTIVE TRAINING By Tim Ramsden. Tim is an Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) Level 3 Coach and owner of www.blackcatcyclecoaching.com
ast time I talked about how to make the most of limited training time… at this time of year the probability is that you may have one day a week where you can start to increase the duration that you ride for. If, like most people who live in the northern hemisphere and who don’t ride for a team and attend warm weather training camps, you have been limited to short commutes or a couple of turbo sessions a week. Now is a great time to start adding volume…and an ideal time to overdo it too!
Working with heart rate has drawbacks, as does working with power (having both is the most effective solution), but if you stick generally to the following advice you should (a) ensure that your 1 x long ride a week is effective in increasing your overall fitness, and (b) ensure that it doesn’t compromise the other training sessions you do; frequency of training, as always, is the key here. Over a 4-week period, take the longest ride you have managed in the last month and aim to add 15-20 mins to it each week, working at 45-50 beats per minute (bpm) below max. If you don’t have a “longest ride” to work from, take your main goal this year and work backwards: a 50 mile ride in June, for example, could take you 4 or 5 hours, so start at 2 hours and work up from there. What type of course/ terrain? Well….at the beginning try and use undulating rather than super hilly roads for this ride, you want to try and get a good, continuous effort in over the time. Worried about hills/
mountains in your event later in the year? Over the 4 weeks, add 1 or 2 hills (shallow and longer are better, but use what you have) towards the end of the ride. In week 4, make this a little circuit where you tackle up to 6 short climbs. Heart rate here can be up to 15bpm below your max, recover on the downhills, 50-60bpm below max on the bits in-between, then back up again. Working with a power meter? On week 1 record your average power (not normalized power, though that gives you another useful metric) and for each week ride with a combination of heart rate and power, but try and maintain the average power over each successive, longer ride. On the hills, work to heart rate in week 1 as previously mentioned, but note the power when you look at the ride data afterwards – aim to top that slightly each week. All of this assumes you have the ride time, of course…. if you haven’t, and a Marmotte or Etape looms then fear not – I have coached riders on only 6-7 indoor hours a week to finish through to silver and gold standard in such events. If anything, for long continental climbs, long intervals (8-15mins) at 75-80rpm on an indoor trainer at 25-30bpm below max heart rate (or the middle to top of Zone 3 power, depending on which zones you use) are actually better than the short, sharp UK hills…...so crack on and don’t panic! Next time: develop a fuelling strategy for your event…and test it in training.
Training & Nutrition
From the Workshop CUSTOMISE YOUR OLD BRAKE CALLIPERS by Martial Prévalet Everyone keeps old bike bits because “one day, it could be useful!” Here are some tips to revamp old brakes.
This month we are improving the aesthetics of old brakes. It is important to say that we are working with brakes that work well; we are just improving the look. Painting, polishing and brushing is simple but avoid working on old, cheap brakes because they don’t like to be disassembled too often. It’s better to work on mid-range brakes.
Begin by disassembling the brake. Throw away and replace any part that is in bad condition (fissuring, twisted, shock marks)
The caliper is now disassembled. There are three stages to customising: brushing, polishing and painting. You may stop at the brushing stage
The brake has some marks on the aluminum which are cleaned with alcohol and a rag
Painting is key to customizing; e.g. caliper can match frame and fork. First sand the part to be painted
Next paint with a definitive colour, e.g. black with a silk finish. The coat must be very thin to obtain a good quality finish
Remove the shields and reassemble the brake. Don’t forget to put grease on the axle to keep the brake in good working order
A complete dismantling is essential to customize the brake. Begin by removing the brake pads
Then disassemble the caliper itself. Note the position of washers
Brushing scratches and roughens; do note down any important inscriptions. Anodized aluminium on callipers can be removed with a brush or sandpaper
You can polish barrel adjusters, quick release levers and brake shoes. You can stop customizing here if you want silver, polished brakes
Paint a first coat of primer as in a car body shop. Then sand smoothly (sandpaper 1000) before a second coat
Last custom touch: put on new brake shoes and multicolour brake pads
Put the brake on the frame. Set the pads and check that the brake is working well
Degrease and clean the part. Shield the axle and thread as these surfaces arenâ€™t painted
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Celebrating Jersey Design This is an original print by artist Alex Cook. He tells us: “The Circle image features cyclists wearing the colours of Team Z, Mapei, La Vie Claire, Molten, ONCE, Cafe de Colombia, Banesto, Fagor and St Raphael. A few classic cars, a Molteni Volvo, a Bianchi Citroen and a Mavic Peugeot, together with a Race Director car, Police and Camara Bikes. Didi the Devil also makes an appearance!
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1. Employees of Cycling World or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition. 2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. 3. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter and the rules of the competition are via cyclingworldmag.co.uk/the-circle-image 4. Closing date for entry will be 31 May 2016. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted. 5. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
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All the Bike Science fitting studios use the same basic fit technique together with the world renowned Retul fitting system. All the fitters are trained by Sexton and they follow a unique process to help fulfil the needs of their clients. Velosport in Putney London which comes under the umbrella of Bike Science, successfully opened its doors in the summer of 2011 by owner and avid road cyclist, Steve James. “Here at Velosport we have a basement bike fitting studio using Retul, a workshop space with two mechanics daily and a retail space. We have a British Cycling Accredited cycling club with a weekly ride, and a fully-fledged men's race team competing in local and national races. In the 2015 season we also became a title sponsor of Team Velosport, our very own elite women's cycling team in partnership with Pasta Montegrappa, Fondriest, Cycho Cycle and Spin wheels. They continue to represent us
Andrew Sedgwick runs Triology in the North East. “Triology exists to help you maximise your potential in sport, from Biomechanics and Precision Bike Fitting to tailor made Wetsuits and Sports Massage. We have a Retul certified fitting studio, Sports Massage, Biomechanics screening facilities”. Andrew Sedgwick In a world where online shopping is becoming ever more popular, Andy Sexton is keen to share his thoughts on the survival of independent shops, like his own, Bike Science. “Independent shops such as the ones in our Bike Science group, are constantly fighting the big online discounters. Most of the time we simply cannot afford to be as cheap as them but we offer many additional services that you just can’t get from an online shop or huge chain. We are keen to get to know our customers personally and are always here to help or advise you with your bike. All of our staff have many years of experience of cycling and we are keen to share both their knowledge and love of cycling. We offer bike fitting on not only bikes sold from our shops, but all bikes. We also offer a bespoke service in our Bristol shop, whereby our mechanics can be booked to teach you to look after your own bikes general care as well as undertaking servicing and repairs themselves.” For more details: http://www.bike-science.com/
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April April 2016 2016
wning and running a bike fit and bike sales service had been a long-time dream of Sexton and since its start, the company has gone from strength to strength. Bike Science now boasts six fitting franchises across the UK and its Bristol headquarters moved to bigger premises in January 2015.
Van Steenbergen after his win in 1946
TOUR OF FLANDERS 100 A Celebration of History Cycling World
Text by - Tudor Tamas Photos thanks to - Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen
Looking back at the period in history preceding the First World War, one would be tempted to say that creating cycling races was the favourite pastime of newspapers in France, Italy and the Low Countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. Races were born in an attempt to promote publications and boost sales that would ensure that extra bit of fame and profit ahead of rival newspapers. Unsurprisingly, they did – and in no time, it became a trend. The Tour de France started as a desperate measure for sports newspaper L’Auto in 1903 to secure supremacy in the printing press ahead of its main rival, Le Vélo. Long-distance cycle races were already a popular means of improving sales, but the idea of a multi-day stage race dreamt up by Géo Lefèvre and Henri Desgrange was something revolutionary and was received with huge acclaim. Tullo Morgani, editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport, followed the example to achieve equal success in Italy. The organisation of the first editions of Giro di Lombardia in 1905 and Milan San-Remo in 1907 had proved to be very lucrative, so Morgani travelled around Italy asking for donations to beat his competitors at the Corriere della Sera in setting up the first cycle stage race in Italy. His efforts paid off and in 1909 the Giro d’Italia was born.
bergen and the
ired van Steen
1946 Curly-ha hotte
De Ronde van Vlaanderen saw the first riders pedalling along its gruelling, cobbled tracks for pretty much the same reason, but due to existing tensions between Flanders and Wallonia, the historical regions of Belgium, it had an extra element of passion to it – Flemish nationalism. In 1913 Karel van Wijnendaele, editor of the Sportwereld, created a race that would become the very exponent of Flemish people, of their patriotism and hard work. It would clearly distinguish itself from the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium and subsequently, from Liège–Bastogne–Liège, which was first organised by L'Expresse in 1892.
THE SHAKY DAWN OF THE RONDE
Through the years, riders have thrown themselves at the mercy of the Tour of Flanders, testing themselves in some of the most arduous conditions that could possibly be faced in the world of cycling. Narrow cobbled roads, some of the steepest short climbs, horrible weather conditions and tremendous resilience shown by the competitors have all played a role in cementing various spectacular episodes into the history of cycling and into the memory of the exuberant supporters. These stories that have been told from father to son have deservedly transformed De Ronde van Vlaanderen into the Monument – in the true sense of the word – that it is today. With almost two million people crammed along the meandering paths of Flanders at every edition, the race is now
among the major phenomena of the two-wheeled world, boasting massive success. However, it wasn’t always the case. The first Ronde organised by van Wijnendaele was dubbed as a newspaper publicity stunt, with only 37 riders showing an interest. The outbreak of the war and a lack of funds thwarted any kind of progress for the race in the following years, but the same Flemish spirit was the catalyst for the emergence of the Ronde as a towering sporting event in the region by the end of the 1920s. And by the time Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, Romain Gijssels became the first rider to win two consecutive editions of the Tour of Flanders, which was becoming a massive cultural event with more than 150 cyclists taking on the cobbles. The chaos caused by the ecstatic Flemish supporters and the hundreds of vehicles in the race caravan in the upcoming years could only be kept under control with the involvement of the gendarmerie, a security measure never seen before at that time.
THE UNFALTERING BELGIAN RULE
Belgians proudly shared the victories among themselves for almost four decades, with the only exception being Heiri Suter, the Swiss who managed the first Tour of Flanders – Paris-Roubaix double in 1923. Rik van Steenbergen emerged as one of the earliest legends of Belgian cycling and inevitably left his mark on the Ronde during the Second World War. The race was actually the only classic held on German-occupied territory during that bleak period. After becoming the youngest rider to win the Tour of Flanders in 1944, van Steenbergen raced again in the memorable edition of 1946 alongside Briek Schotte and Enkel Thiétard. Van Steenbergen was so dominant that the other two were happy enough to help him along the way with only the condition that they would not be dropped until they had reached Kwatrecht. Van Steenbergen agreed the deal and after passing Kwatrecht in the outskirts of Ghent, he left them behind and powered to his second victory in the Tour. The episode is even more remarkable considering Schotte had already recorded a victory in de Ronde in 1942 and was one of the strongest riders in the peloton. He would get another win in 1948, before setting the record for the most consecutive appearances, taking part in the race for an astonishing 20 times. Schotte, dubbed the father of modern-day Belgian cycling, was the point of reference for many great champions, including Flanders-born legend Eddy Merckx. Schotte sadly passed away aged 84 on the day of the 2004 Tour of Flanders, in a rather strange dice roll of destiny. The commentators during the race whimsically remarked "God must have been one of Briek's greatest fans."
THE FIRST FOREIGN INTRUDERS
The first man to puncture the unceasing echelon of Belgian winners was Italian Fiorenzo Magni who triumphed in three consecutive editions between 1949 and 1951, a feat that hasn’t been achieved again since. Magni’s final win was the
THE BIRTH OF A SPORT
Tom Boonen and Filippo Pozzato on the third climb of Oude Kwaremont, 2012 Ronde by Roxanne King
A CELEBRATION OF HISTORY
TOUR OF FLANDERS 100
near miss in 19 87 Van Steenberge n struggling
Louison Bobet had already won two editions of the Tour de France by the time he wrote history in 1955, becoming the first French winner of de Ronde. The win was quickly doubled-up by another Frenchman the following year, when Jean Forestier fooled the peloton and finished nine seconds ahead of the favourites van Steenbergen and Fred de Bruyne. In 1961, Tom Simpson took advantage of Nino Defilipis’ mistake to become the first British rider to win in Flanders. So hostile were the weather conditions during that edition of de Ronde that the strong winds blew down the banner at the arrivée, leaving it unmarked. Defilipis, who was the better sprinter, had the advantage ahead of Simpson but couldn’t spot the finish line and began freewheeling before the end. Simpson spotted his chance and powered past the unaware Italian, who was so bitterly disappointed with his loss that even asked for the race to be declared as a draw. Simpson deservedly kept his win and he still is today the only Brit to taste success in de Ronde.
ro Raas winning
Koppenberg he de Ronde in 19
THE RISE AND FALL OF A LEGEND
By his galactic standards, Merckx didn’t dominate the race in his home Flanders. But even so, de Ronde van Vlaanderen still played a role at both ends of his legendary career. As a young rising star, the Cannibal registered a first triumph in his astonishing 1969 season, defying orders from his Faema manager, soloing to victory for more than 70km and establishing the highest ever margin of 5 minutes and 36 seconds ahead of Felice Gimondi.
d up the Muur
in Chavanel lea
ara and Sylva
Fabian Cancell bergen in the
Merckx prevailed again in 1975 and would play a last, slightly minor role in one of the most peculiar editions of de Ronde in 1977. Already at the dusk of his career, Merckx attacked early on and dealt with the first climbs as the leader of the race. Both Freddy Maertens and Roger De Vlaeminck suffered punctures on the Koppenberg but made up the lost ground and eventually caught up with Merckx. After the Cannibal faltered and was dropped with 70km to go, De Vlaeminck refused to work and stayed in the wheel of Maertens for the remaining of the race, before outsprinting him at the finish line.
Da Ronde 2011 by vid Edgar
Apparently, Maertens had been disqualified an illegal bike change after the Koppenberg, but was asked by the race organisers to continue the race and keep the excitement going. On his part, the Belgian declared that De Vlaeminck
offered 300.000 francs to help him all the way to the arrive, but De Vlaeminck denied the accusations. After the race, Maertens was tested positive for amphetamines and was disqualified – again. At The Tour of Flanders Museum in Oudenaarde there is cobblestone for each year, with the victor’s name upon. For this controversial year, resting on top of the De Vlaeminck stone, sits another with Maerten’s name, claiming him as “The Moral Winner.” Perhaps this is less surprising when we learn Maertens is a patron of the museum.
THE CASUALTIES OF THE KOPPENBERG
“What on earth have we done to send us to hell now?” were the words of arguably the toughest cyclist in history, Bernard Hinault, after his initial ascent on the Koppenberg. First introduced in 1976, the fearsome Koppenberg is less than half a mile long, but its lumps of sharp rock peppered across the hill that reaches 22% at its highest gradient have forced Merckx dismount and shamelessly run up the top, bike in his hands. The scenario was the same in 1985 when only Phil Anderson and Jan Raas were able to ride atop the Koppenberg in a terrible storm that saw just 24 riders finishing the race out of 173 starters. When Jesper Skibby faltered on the apocalyptic climb in 1987 and was almost ran over by an official’s car, his bike entirely ruined by the reckless and idiotic driver, the Koppenberg was banned from the Tour of Flanders and didn’t feature again until its renovation in 2002. In the same 1987 edition, Irish legend Sean Kelly won another of his many bunch sprints but could only finish second in de Ronde, his third such performance. Claude Criquielion had already finished the race with a minute’s advantage, becoming the first and only French-speaking Belgian winner to date. Coincidence or not, but the Flemish riders have well and truly seized control over their local Ronde in its century of existence, just as van Wijnendaele had initially proclaimed, to the detriment of their rivals from Wallonia. Kelly would never again come any closer to winning the Tour of Flanders, the only monument lacking from his palmarès.
THE RACE FOR SUPREMACY
Tom Boonen was still 25 by the time he won de Ronde twice and managed his first Tour of Flanders – ParisRoubaix double. After staying at the front of the race at the end of Bosberg, Boonen attacked inside the last 10km to surprise Andreas Klier, Peter van Petegem and Erik Zabel, securing his first ever classic win. Six more triumphs followed in the Monuments, two of which came in the Ronde in 2006 and 2012, making Boonen one of the greatest ever rouleurs. And the Belgian would have definitely won a few more races already if it wasn’t for a certain Swiss classics specialist. Fabian Cancellara has proved to be at least as determined as Boonen in the war against the cobbles and against that inward desire to quit when the handlebars chew at the flesh of the palms in those arduous conditions. With his imperious attack on the Muur against the Belgian, which paved the way to his first Ronde success in 2010, the Swiss powerhouse launched his own bid for the greatest ever classic specialist. Cancellara won twice more in Flanders in 2013 and 2014, joining Boonen, Magni, Achiel Buysse, Eric Leman and Johan Museeuw on the list of those with three record victories.
capolavoro of them all, as the Italian dropped his rivals imposing a hellish rhythm, before riding the final 75km alone to the finish line. Roger Decock was the rider who interrupted Magni’s victorious streak in the treacherous 1952 edition, when even van Steenbergen had to walk up the Muur van Geraardsbergen. He is now the oldest still living winner of the Ronde and will receive a tribute during this year’s edition when the race passes through the village of Tielt. A moment of praise will honour Decock’s achievements, as well as those of Schotte and other iconic winners.
GUTS, GLORY AND CAMARADERIE Taking on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Sportive By Inge van der Hoek
elgium in springtime is a true playground for those who love cycling. Home to some of the world’s greatest races and riders, you can totally immerse yourself in cycling culture whilst indulging in the best beer and frites. Even if you are not there physically, it comes across on TV; as soon as you see the fans waving their big flags blocking views of the narrow streets as the peloton snakes its way through. Belgium in springtime encompasses what the sport is all about: guts, glory and camaraderie. Liege-Bastogne-Liege, alias ‘La Doyenne’ or ‘The Old Lady’, is one of the Ardennes Classics with a capital C. The race, which has been taking place at the end of April since 1892, is a one-day event in the Ardennes region of Belgium. LBL set the stage for cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who took the victory five times and for the great Bernard Hainault, who claimed the win twice.
eguin rges S by Geo Liege
The race is one of the five prestigious Monuments of European cycling and well-known for its ‘no mercy’ climbs and uphill finish. The long and punchy loop particularly favours the mountain goats of the peloton and serious Grand Tour contenders. This year’s 102nd edition promises to be challenging as the organisers have made some small changes to the route. Among them is the addition of a misleadingly painful climb in the final three kilometers with 550m of cobbles and a 10.5 per cent gradient. It comes after 253 kilometers of riding with more than 4000 meters of climbing along the way. Some of those climbs include gradients of up to 12 percent. It’s going to hurt, and I ‘m going to know about it. It all started last year when I joined a group to tackle the Paris-Roubaix challenge. Hesitant at first, I decided I could at least give it a go. Never had I ridden any cobbled roads on my road bike before and 187 kilometers was a distance I
by Les res Melou
This remained my motto for that day in the saddle and I like to think it helped me power through. Keeping speed over the cobbles and riding in the middle of the road were some of the tactics I tried to use. Nearing one of the final “secteurs pave” out of the 28 in total, a friend exclaimed: “Keep on going. You’ve made it so far, you just need to bring it home!” When I zoomed into the Roubaix Velodrome for the final loop before the finish, I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment and relief. Over celebratory beers, the gang mused over a new challenge the following year, preferably one of the other Monuments. A unanimous decision was made: LBL it is!
My training ahead of the big day mostly compromised of spin sessions, one or two longer rides of 80-100 kilometers and my general running routine. The set-up of my bike was taken care of by one of the group, Graham, who owns his own bike shop in St Albans and another, Colin, a bike mechanic. Reading some tips and watching a few videos about Paris-Roubaix online, I still remember classics specialist Fabian Cancellara say: “I respect the cobbles, but I do not fear them.”
Jä Heinz nthermy-Gü by Jéré
had not taken on in one go either. To be honest with you, I did not really know what I had signed myself up for.
Now, one year further and the sportive looming, it is time to take it up a notch. So far, training has been similar to Roubaix’s, but already with more time spent in the saddle. This is to prep the legs and mind for what is going to be a particularly long day on the bike with a total of 273 hilly kilometers.
s of P
I tend to 'bonk' or ‘run out of fuel’ quite easily on these rides, mainly because the guys keep a good pace. So I’ve learnt to keep a pace that I can sustain over a longer time and eat and drink regularly. Next is a long ride to Brighton, via Ditchling Beacon, to get mileage and elevation in the legs. With spin classes for intensity and running regularly for strengthening, I’ll hopefully be ready to take on the “old dear.”
Epping is a great place to ride with its lumpy stretches. Sunday morning rides with an 8 AM start have occurred three times since the beginning of the year. Strava records an average distance of about 70-80 kilometers and elevation of about 400 meters.
I’ll need to show guts. Somewhere along the way, I’ll feel glory as I realise just how prestigious this race is. As for camaraderie, I don’t think cycling really exists without it; just ask a Belgian.
Liege Start by Liorek
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BATTLE MOUNTAIN Graeme Obree’s Story Review by Helen Hill
The film leads back to his kitchen where only Graeme Obree would cover his table with spanners, hack saws and plumbing tools upon a table cloth of plans for his ‘Beastie.’ There is a reference to the washing machine that formed part of his infamous hour record bike but this time he chooses an old saucepan and some rollerblades from the charity shop as parts for this home-grown record
breaker. There are flash backs to his world champion days on Old Faithful and the rivalry between him and Chris Boardman. It is moving to see the bond between him and his sons as they devise ways to overcome the problems associated with building this machine. There are regular references to his family and how he and his late brother used cycling to escape from bullying by local children. There are shots of him training on his bike showcasing Scotland’s beautiful scenery and of Graeme talking about how he has coped with depression and his realisation that once you have tried to kill yourself you then have to appreciate being alive. There is a real sense that he is now in a much better place than he was in the past. The ‘Beastie’ begins to take shape in both his mind and in practice as he goes out onto the road to try it out. They then have the difficult task of designing the outer shell. The first attempt doesn’t fit properly and has to be held together with duct tape. The film continues to show the progress with a countdown to the day of the record attempt. They are beset with problems, including a severe health setback but the film shows his grit and determination to pull success from the jaws of failure. He is a man obsessed with getting it right, and achieving something not just for himself but for friends and family that put so much faith and effort into his project. This film will appeal to a wide audience, the cyclists amongst us as
Director: David Street Production: Journey Pictures Ltd Released: 01/04/2016 Duration: 104 mins Certificate: No Rating. Suggest 10+
well as engineers, designers and psychologists as it is a fascinating insight into how the mind works and man’s ability to solve and overcome problems. Illuminating for those who know Obree, inspiring for those who want to meet the man.
raeme Obree’s challenge to beat the human powered speed record as well as his own challenge to beat his demons and find contentment. For anybody who is a fan of Obree this film gives a real insight into how his mind works. He is obviously an amazingly talented guy from both a technical and a cycling point of view. The film starts with the journey through Nevada to Battle Mountain, weather somewhat similar to Scotland and Graeme Obree saying “if you are a tiger among animals, you might be a slightly aging tiger, slightly less able tiger, but you are still a tiger among animals, the thing is the stop watch doesn’t care what age you are; the power meter doesn’t care what age you are, that speed trap doesn’t care what age you are and I know that I have still got the ability to do it.” This sets the scene for the forthcoming event. Graeme’s singlemindedness, which carries us through the film, is summed up in his early comment about travelling at 90 mph with your nose just 6cm from the tarmac and it being quite exciting. An understatement to the rest of us but just a normal event the world which he shares with us.
INSPIRING YOUNG ADVENTURERS Interview with Graeme Obree By Helen Hill
raeme Obree is often described as a maverick, but with an exceptional talent for making the extraordinary out of the ordinary! I had the pleasure of interviewing this illustrious man. Battle Mountain: Graeme Obree’s Story went on general release on 1st April. It has already been previewed at the Edinburgh Film Festival and received great acclaim. We talked about the making of the film and life in general. Helen: First of all I’d like to say that my son and I were watching the film and he was very impressed that you had a vice on the kitchen table. Graeme: Yes not something I would recommend, there is still dust everywhere! Helen: When did you get the idea for the film and when did you start filming? Graeme: 2011 I first got the idea. I wanted to use my physical fitness, building stuff and innovation to inspire young people in the modern era rather than do something that’s last century. That was my main remit.
Helen: Inspiring young people; why and how?
Graeme: I live in this small coastal town, there’s not much left for young people to do. I can either hideaway or not. There were some scouts collecting money and I was thinking you need to go and talk to school kids. These kids are living in an area where there is not much hope. I can give them the idea that you can actually do
something for yourself. You can either succeed or fail at this thing of getting a record but it is okay to suggest you can try something and fail, you don’t need to be afraid of doing something in case you fail. It’s a win, win situation, if I didn’t get the record but I gave it my best shot, I did something. I didn’t achieve the target I wanted, but that’s okay so that’s a good measure to kids. There was no losing in this. Helen: I love the fact that you did this in your kitchen, there were no major sponsors. There’s a real homespun feel about it! Graeme: That was the whole remit from the start to show that you can do something on your own, you don’t need to rely on being part of something you just have to make the opportunity. If you get an idea just do it. Young people hold back. Helen: My son loved the fact that you took some items from the kitchen – your saucepan! And you made it into a part for the bike. Graeme: When I was a kid I dreamed of being an explorer but nowadays kids can’t dream anymore because you can get everything on Google Earth. What can kids aspire to when it has all been done and you just become a tiny cog in a huge machine? If you have an idea just do it. We live in a disposable society, somebody makes something for you; you use it and throw it away. We now live in a generation where we don’t fix things, we don’t make things, we just go to the supermarket and get another one. I wanted to show them that there is more than that. Helen: That came across in the film: the whole idea that it is possible to reuse, recycle and reduce our impact on the planet. Graeme: We are the generation that have destroyed the planet. I think young people think more about their impact than we do.
Graeme: It wasn’t an obsession with speed, it was about achievement. It first came about when I was on a bike and seventeen. I didn’t think I was going to amount to anything. I felt my worth and value as a human being was totally based on what I could achieve. My state of mind was conditional on my sense of achievement. Helen: You then went on to achieve great things with your hour records and becoming world champion. You are obviously still very fit. Did you do a lot of training for the human-powered speed record? Graeme: I still train on a regular basis. I use the hills and my race circuits as a measure of my fitness. If I can still go up a hill in a certain gear at a particular speed then I know that I am doing alright. The film doesn’t really show it but I was training and then staying up until 2 o’clock in the morning making the shell for human powered machine so by the time I got on the plane to America I was exhausted. Helen: Quite an achievement! Graeme: Thank you very much. From a starting point of where I was, basically I went and built something on my own, a bit like the person who set the record in the first place. It was proper 1980s – let’s go and build a bike. My
own concept and then go for the prone world record. It was extremely low tech. Helen: Do you think you will go back and try and beat that record? Graeme: Absolutely not. I am done with any kind of record breaking? Helen: Have you got any other project on the go at the moment? Graeme: I have a project of my own which is a design idea. I see things that don’t work very well and I come up with an idea to do it better, design-wise. There are a couple of things that I want to make prototypes for and then go and take them round manufacturers. I am also writing a book called ‘Enough’ about my journey from where I was to where I am now. From the blackest moments to now, when I am not on medication, feeling content and in a good place. I also still enjoy riding my bike; it’s one of the things that is central to me, that feeling of fresh air in my lungs and making the most of the beautiful countryside. Graeme is showcasing the beautiful area he lives in by holding a Sportive called ‘The Flying Scotsman Sportive’ on Saturday 20th August. Many thanks to Graeme for talking to Cycling World
Helen: Where did your first obsession with speed come from?
Photos by Joanna Maskens andto Chris Burn Cycling World sent Chris Burn compete in and report on his first snow bike festival
t’s a weird sensation – pushing hard towards a finish line acutely aware that any untoward movement of the handlebars will see you sliding across the icy ground. Even the vast tyres on this bike gave none of the grip I’d imagined on the slick sheet beneath. But then, this was mountainbiking reimagined, something far removed from my own, and most riders’, experience. Fresh off the train, walking to our hotel (Joanna, my partner, had joined to take photographs) the familiar buzz of knobbly tyres faded in from behind. This was an alien sound too: deeper, more booming and with a faint crackling overtone. I turned – approaching was the first fatbike I’d seen in the flesh, complete with 4.8-inch metal-studded tyres and a suspension fork with stanchions gaping a frankly indecent width apart. It was a fine sight—a little like seeing a hippo or an elephant in the wild, and just as unknown, faintly unsettling.
The village was emblazoned with a familiar light blue logo proclaiming “Snow Bike Festival Gstaad”, an event owed in a great part to one man, Herman Coertze. The story goes that he was riding MTB on the snowy trails when he was spotted by police and told he couldn’t ride there. The natural question was ‘why not’, given the shared nature of trails in the area. So he set out to change that by organising a high-profile new race event with world-class riders and comprehensive media coverage—simple! After this second edition, it looks set to be a regular event on the calendar. We reached the hotel Arc-en-Ciel, a large chalet building. In spite of its modern style and comfort, all we had time for was the customary curt appreciation of the various facilities (“oh look, the room has a coffee machine!”) as we were due at the Sportzentrum, Gstaad’s large and well-equipped indoor arena, for the rider briefing. It was hosted by Dan Nicholl, a regular of the Cape Epic, whose laconic style helped quash the pre-event jitters. The hall was framed by tents emblazoned with big names, especially Rocky Mountain and BIXS, the main sponsors. The briefing itself was thankfully brief, serving mainly to tell me where I’d be most knackered. Suddenly it dawned that hauling 15-plus kilos of metal and rubber up 1000m in one hit was not going to be easy. And I didn’t even have a blasted bike yet! A minor oversight on my part, of course. Some pleasant smiling and
Although fatbikes were new to me, I had experienced Gstaad on a trip biking there in summer and I remembered the intense greenness. This time (not a moment too soon according to relieved organisers), the mountains and traditional chalets were robed in white, ready for our highly un-traditional adventure. It’s how it should be, I thought as we passed the chic shop fronts, our bags’ tiny wheels digging into the rutted snow like the heels of an obstreperous child.
begging to Wynand Jacobs, race officer (who was gunning for most helpful guy in a very stiff field that weekend), and I was told to collect a bike from Fredy’s, the local bike shop, next morning. Easy! On return to the hotel all I could think of was sleep, but fate has a way with things like that. Chatting in the lobby were Matt and Dan, who run a German blog called fat-bike. de. They were exceedingly friendly so the four of us sat down for a drink. It wasn’t long before I was admiring their commitment to the furtherance of fatbiking. They had recently even done enduro events on them and what’s more, had lured sponsorship from none other than Specialized—no mean feat. They’d arrived in a huge red van boasting the eponymous logo, and their rides were probably the pimpest there: S-works full-carbon Fatboys, weighing less than 10kg. But the might of corporate sponsorship did not affect their manner, which was humble and open. Their generosity was to be a great help later on. Eleven o’clock drained away with the last sips of beer and we retired, sank into sheets far deeper than home, ready for a 7am rise. This was no holiday!
Naturally to get as
By that time, the crowd of bikes gathering at the start consoled me a little, like I imagine an AA meeting does. I was pleased to see no consensus
Sanguine, I reasoned I wasn’t here to win and pedalled the bike off to the start line. I couldn’t help grinning as the giant tyre lolloped in front of me, reminiscent of a combine harvester; yet that unsettled feeling crept back. I thought of my enduro bike at home, with its 650b wheels shod in cartwheel-slim 2.3” tyres. Could they ever be enough for me again? Can you cheat on your bike with another one? I felt a little dirty, in honesty.
Amazingly, I caught sight of riders before we reached the first waterpoint and we crept up to be greeted by enthusiastic helpers thrusting tea, bananas, nuts and energy bars towards us. I stopped briefly and found my multitool, having decided that the seatpost mark was just a guide, and probably wouldn’t bend under my meagre weight. The extra legroom paid dividends and I actually felt fit at the summit. There was a shout: “Come on Chris, your lady’s just round the corner!” Bemused, I tipped over the top and there was Joanna, camera raised.
Next morning, the sunlight reflecting off the pistes woke us up long before the alarm – a far cry from the previous morning’s grey-shrouded airport commute. After hotel breakfast (still one of my favourite things ever) I picked my way along frictionless pavements to the bike shop. The friendly owner did have a bike, from Swiss brand BIXS. It was a medium size, with 2x10 gears and the now de-rigeur Rockshox Bluto suspension fork, but the seatpost came to the maximum mark an inch short of my ideal position.
on clothing, with everything from bare racing lycra to puffy thermal jackets sported by the sixty-or-so competitors. I’d gone for double merino with a cheap windproof on top with fluffy bib tights and baggy shorts – it’s still mountain biking after all. With temperatures around -10 at the start, rising to +50 or more later, it was a bit of a guess. A bellowed countdown set us off. Ensconced mid-pack, it was a forest of handlebar ends. Crashing was an intense possibility but everybody made it through the first 5k of flat warmup unscathed. Out of town, on trails framed by branches heavy with snow and trickling mountain streams, I remarked that it was like a movie dream sequence. A laugh from beside me, then a Strong South African accent: “First time on a snow bike?” “Yup”. “Yours?” I’d guessed his answer by the time it came – fatbikes are definitely a niche and most of the riders here were as green as me. I’d like to be able to say they were as unfit as me but not long into the 930m climb that fallacy became plain. I was alone most of the way up, assuming I must be last. It was seriously tough: not being able to stretch my legs had my quads burning. And still it came, hard crunchy snow round hairpin after hairpin. Every rut and bump in the surface was a camouflaged insult to my efforts, less a technical climb over rocks or roots, more a mind game.
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Blissfully unaware of my faux pas, I focused: this was where I could make up places. It was a smooth XC ski track with many hairpins. There wasn’t much grip, but given enough weight on it, the front would bite into turns allowing the back to slide around, with foot out motocross style. It worked and I soon passed two or three more cautious riders, grinning stupidly. The penalty for running wide was high in places but I barely noticed and the descent was over in a flash, flattening out to a not-verysprint finish, my legs beaten. That evening we met other journalists for a magical horseand-carriage ride around the town with fondue (and yodelling) to follow. Of course we all ate far too much, spurred by the cows themselves, in view behind Perspex, as if judging our appreciation of their wares. At the Sportzentrum later, riders gathered for the day’s awards, including ‘crash of the day’, ‘brand pimp’ and ‘stone last’. Sadly I wasn’t close enough to either end of the results as bottles of rather nice Meerendal wine from South Africa were handed out (there is a strong link between the Snow Bike Festival and the Cape Epic). Joanna also pointed me to the mystery voice at the top of the slope that morning: Canadian freerider Brett Tippie, one of the pioneers of that brand of unhinged riding, a Rocky Mountain sponsored rider and still going strong despite starting in the late 80s on barely-recognisable bikes. It was no wonder I’d heard him earlier – his voice and laugh made him one of the sport’s biggest characters. Chatting to him you barely get a question out before a hundred jokes, anecdotes and stories come back at warp speed. Matt from fat-bike.de summed him up perfectly: “So, it’s like everything is in slo-mo for you, right?” “Yeah, pretty much,” Brett conceded. The next morning, I met with the local
Specialized shop mechanic who was preparing a new steed. All notions of chuntering along had been squashed by now and I knew I needed a more suitable bike to be competitive. Matt and Dan offered their swanky 2016 Fatboy Pro Trail, with 1x11 gearing, light wheels and… a frame that fitted me! A quick pedal swap and we were off to the start, realising too late that the brakes were continental style and I’d have to swap my brain hemispheres to match. “Kein problem” I hoped, pulling all the resources of my German vocab to bear. The race start was no less hyped up – today was the longest and highest ride at 35km and over 1000m of up. I managed to keep pace with Laura Turpijn, a multiple Dutch champion and world-class rider. I figured it wasn’t bad going keeping her in view all the way up the Eggli XC ski run. We were riding yesterday’s downhill in reverse and this time there was no halfway respite. How different my legs felt though! They kept spinning in that 42 tooth dinner-plate of a rear cog, even overhauling two or three riders. Summiting, how quickly the pride of my previous downhill prowess evaporated with the first, off camber, turn. Zero grip meant the only option was into the deep, unexplored snow. These bikes, whatever I’d imagined, do not float. They dig deep and stop almost instantly. I picked myself up from my inadvertent snow angel and walked, collecting the contents of my backpack, ten feet or so from the dishevelled bike. Surely the action cam had been rolling? All I could think of was Crash of The Day recognition. I got used to falling off on the steep piste – after the third or fourth I couldn’t even blame the reversed brakes. Somehow I managed to nurse a bike with wonky bars and a jammed shifter into 38th out of 68 finishers. I was a bit worried about returning the bike looking so forlorn; luckily a few minutes with a hex key and all was made good. Less good was the absence of action footage, as the cold played havoc with the batteries! I had to wait until the third day to experience my first snowsingletrack, which most riders had been hoping for. I couldn’t pretend to be on form but the bike and I gelled, stayed upright and skidded down icy tracks and singletrails with effortless speed. Everyone was wearing about half the clothing
close as possible I veered towards her, too close for the telephoto lens. Good photos for a pub quiz ‘guess what’ round, I suppose.
of the first day: we’d all realised you really don’t need much on when riding that hard, even at zero. There was a longish road section which made our little group a very odd looking peloton indeed – conversation was shouted over the hum of rubber. As the finish neared I couldn’t hide my glee when John, a rider from Shrewsbury in front of me, took a wrong turn with 500m to go and I snuck past into 33rd place, hurting but elated. As with these things, as the adrenaline ebbed away, all too soon it was time for goodbyes, to the place and the surprising number of new friends. So would I recommend the Festival to others? Yes, with one or two caveats. The race entry this year was pretty darned expensive at over 1000 Swiss francs (£700) without accommodation and 1500 francs with. That makes it exclusive for the average rider seeking something different. The talk is the price will be reduced significantly in the future; here’s hoping. What you do get is something you’ll be talking about for quite some time and probably return to if you bank balance can take it. Then there’s the bike. Realistically nobody can have a fatbike as their only steed, unless you live in Alaska or a desert, which makes buying one for a few days a year crazy. Renting was pretty easy but of course adds cost. If you’re following the trends, however, you might have spotted the rise in ‘plus’ bikes. With 3” tyres and the corresponding weight loss over a fatbike, as well as handling like a ‘normal’ MTB, they could well offer the magic middle-ground for the foreseeable future, balancing grip, chuckability and hit-soaking squish. There were already some to be seen this year; I strongly suspect there will be more next year and on your local trails. Racing your regular bike on snowy Swiss mountains? Now there’s something worth going back for.
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Cycling World Regular
Rebecca Lowe, a human rights journalist, embarked on a 10,000km 'bummel' through Europe and the Middle East in July 2015. Her aims are threefold: cultivate a pair of shapely calves that will be the envy of all she meets; survive; and shed light on a region long misunderstood in the West. She hopes to reach her final destination, Tehran, by June 2016.
Podgorica, Montenegro to Kosovo (26 Sep â€“ 14 Oct) Total miles cycled: 1,340 (2,157km)
P and I are at Lake Skadar, Montenegro, sampling a few of the local grapes during a week-long, bike-free holiday that my buttocks are already embracing wholeheartedly. Our host invited us in on our way past his winery and is now plying us generously with his wares. He doesn't seem entirely happy, however, either with his country or with the plight of Premiership football. 'Mourinho, problem!' he cries, throwing up his hands. 'Money, big problem!' To avoid adding thankless tourists to his problems, we buy a bottle of strong, creamy Vranac – a dry red unique to Montenegro – and extricate ourselves before the third round of rakija. We are on our way back to Virpazar from a lakeside beach in Murici, 25 km to the south. The road there was breathtaking, snaking high through the lush, luminescent hills. When we arrived we found the place almost deserted, save for a Russian in a provocative pair of speedos, some frisky goats and a tortoise. We could have stayed longer, but sunshine and Slavic tackle is no match for our baser British instincts and we return to watch the England vs Wales rugby World Cup match. After setting up my laptop in a bar, we are joined by a couple from Leeds – and, later, by some locals intrigued by P's unpatriotic roars of support for Wales. 'If it was Serbia vs Montenegro, you'd never get two men at the same table supporting different teams,' one of them says. 'They'd kill each other!'
near G odinje
One of the men tells me he's an investigative journalist. He used to work for one of the private TV channels, he says, but lost his job after producing a series exposing corruption in government. 'This place is a disaster zone,' he slurs tipsily. 'Everyone leaves if they can.' What a shame to be forced out of such a place, I think to myself. The country is tiny, with a population similar to Glasgow (620,000). Yet packed inside is a greedy abundance of natural treasures, including lakes, mountains, gorges, forests and a coastline described by Lord Byron (with just a hint of hyperbole) as the earth's 'most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea'. P is equally enraptured, it seems. 'Bloody hell,' he says as we work
our way through the plush greenery between lake and sea. 'Blood-dee hell.' The problem with having such riches at your disposal, however, is the temptation to dispose of them. And the government's intentions are clear: turn the country into a luxury mecca for the super-rich. Porto Montenegro, an extravagant marina development part-owned by Oleg Deripaska and the Rothschilds, benefits from generous tax breaks, while the country's show-piece hunk of real estate, Sveti Stefan, is now a fivestar resort boasting rooms that would set the average Montenegrin back several months' salary. P and I consider staying at Sveti Stefan, but empty our pockets and realise we only have £15, some Halls spearmint gum and a puncture repair kit between us. So we go instead to Perast in the Bay of Kotor – an achingly charming town deeply influenced by its 380 years under Venetian rule – and from there move onto Tara Canyon, in Durmitor National Park. On our way to the canyon, we are flagged down by police for speeding and hit with a €50 fine. They clocked us doing 78km/h in a 60-zone, the officer says. No arguments. To pay we have to go to the nearest big town, 20km back the way we came. It's clear the guy's a maverick. There's no way we were doing 78km/h, for a start; we were doing at least 100. But what to do? Before starting my trip, I'd made a pact with myself that I wouldn't contribute to the crooked dealings of any country I passed through. I'm a moral person, after all, and I've written about corruption all across the world. I know the terrible impact it can have. 'Can we just pay here?' I say, handing over two €10 notes. 'We're in a bit of a rush.' Minutes later we're zooming along the road again, back on track. I watch the policemen recede in the rear-view mirror, along with the tattered remains of my integrity. Hypothetical ethics are so much easier than real ones, I mull to myself. What great strength it must require to avoid complicity in the system. Or at least a degree of tolerance for moderate inconvenience. At Tara Canyon – the deepest gorge in Europe (1,300m), running for 82km along the Tara River – P and I hit the canyoning trail, and spend a fantastic day scrabbling our way through a magical, craggy underworld of cerulean pools, rivulets and rocks. Our guide is a PE teacher, but tells us he's trying to get a visa for Australia. He's desperate to leave, he says. 'Everyone hates the government, but there's nothing you can do. They control the jobs. You speak out, you lose everything.' After P returns to the UK, I rekindle my
'Politics, problem!' says the man, handing me a spoon of home-made honey. 'Corrupt-zion, problem! Arsenal, problem! Arsene Wenger, catastroph!'
relationship with Maud and hit the road again towards Albania. As I leave Podgorica, I pass protestors calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic – curiously one of the richest leaders in the world, despite his £1,000 monthly salary. I then follow the Civjevna River through the mountains, beside moss, spruce and fir, while the sky burns electric blue overhead. It's a beautiful ride and I feel my mojo slowly returning. Then, after about 30km, the road suddenly stops. I look around in panic. Where the hell has it gone? 'Ah, sorry,' a woman in a nearby house says. 'It hasn't been built yet. The only crossing is down south, by Lake Skadar.'
Cycling World Regular
Oh crap, I think. Lake Skadar? That involves going almost all the way back the way I came. Surely there's another way? Surely there's someone I can bribe or cajole to take me through? But no – the route is completely, irredeemably blocked, and on this occasion it seems no amount of amoral wheeler-dealing will assist me.
So, with a heavy heart, I turn around and go back. I should probably have checked first, I think to myself. That probably would have been the sensible thing to do. Hoping I've learnt my lesson but knowing I almost certainly haven't, I finally make it to Tuzi, near Lake Skadar, where I get chatting to a man in a cafe. I shouldn't attempt to cross today, he tells me, because there's nowhere to stay on the other side and it's inadvisable to camp. 'The place is full of thieves,' he says. 'Even locals don't go out after 10pm.' I'm sceptical – few prejudices are more acute and unfounded than those between neighbouring countries – but he offers to buy me lunch and I'm starving. It's clear his motives are not entirely pure, but that's one of the great advantages of being a woman: the exploitation of randy men. If they want to throw in their chips on the faint off-chance there'll be a payout, that's their gamble. They
'The protests in Podgorica won't come to anything,' the man, L, says over lunch. 'It's just a few thousand people with nothing to lose. But most people have everything to lose. If you don't vote for the government, you're spent.' It's a strategy that seems to be working; the Democratic Party of Socialists has won every vote since the first multi-party elections of 1990. They control the politics and the courts. They control the money. 'It's better not to have kids at all then bring them up here,' L says, a little fiercely. After declining L's sweet offer to find me a motel, I book a cheap room in town and bed down early. The next day, I leave at 8am and finally make it across the border without a hitch. In Albania, everything suddenly seems poorer; the goats scrawnier, the grass scrubbier. I meet an eight-year-old boy with bare feet who is clutching a packet of Marlboro, and a wrinkly old crone on a bicycle who gives me a toothless grin and a carrot. And then I see it: my biggest adversary to date. A gruelling humdinger of a hill that marks the beginning of the Prokletije Mountains. The road zigzags steeply up the side of the valley for about 5km, before disappearing ominously over the top. I feel apprehensive, and stall for twenty minutes to eat my carrot and listen to a man talk unintelligibly about his chickens. Then, finally, I succumb. For the next two hours, the hill and I do battle. It's a true bun-burning thigh-cruncher of a climb and my body is on fire from the start. Every half-mile I stop for a short(ish) rest, but I am determined not to dismount and push. It feels somehow significant, this hill; if I can manage it, I think to myself, I can finally call myself a bummler. I can finally grow some balls and a dram of self-respect. So on I go, slogging, sweating, steaming, swearing, up and up for about 18km. And slowly, very slowly, sometimes almost moving backwards, I manage it. At the top it feels good. Very good. And the reward is magnificent. Opening out before me is a broad, verdant gorge, and – leading down to it – the most fiendish set of hairpins I've ever seen. After a wellearned rest, Maud and I rocket down with joyful abandon, only narrowly
avoiding coming to a calamitous end among a flock of errant goats. We did it, I crow jubilantly to myself! We bloody well did it! About an hour later, however, I'm struggling again. The tarmac has run out, along with my food and water, and my wheels keep spinning hopelessly on the gravelly track. Suddenly I decide I've had enough, and storm into a nearby fish farm to demand a lift in the direction of Vermosh, 25km up the road on the northern Albanian/Montenegrin border. They don't understand me at first, but a round of Pictionary seems to help, and eventually the man agrees. At the next village, after refusing payment, he hands me over to another truck driver who is going all the way to Vermosh. He already has three hitch-hikers in the back, an Albanian man and Israeli couple, but happily adds me to the clan. And thank god he does. It's raining hard now and the road is just rubble, hemmed in tightly by cliffs and plunging ravines. Progress is slow, and we stop regularly to wait for bulldozers to clear the way. After a nail-biting, two-hour drive, we finally arrive at a remote limestone farmhouse in Vermosh, where our kindly driver bids us goodbye. It's now pitch-black and pouring, and the owners greet us warmly with a wonderful meal of homemade beef stew, goats cheese, bread and shopska salad. Then they bring out the obligatory bootleg rakija, which briefly seems to give me the ability to speak fluent Albanian before knocking me out completely for the best part of eight hours. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast and a tour of the century-old farmhouse's charming 'ethnography museum', I hit the road again. Or would if I could find one. The ground seems to comprise of one vast, lumpy, crevasse-laden mud-pit and I find myself half-pushing, halfcarrying Maud for most of the way. Eventually we reach a small stream with no way across and my heart sinks. Sighing deeply, I bend down and remove my socks and sandals (stop that sniggering, please; fashion is a social construct) and wade miserably across. I've just dried myself off on the other side when it starts to rain, first lightly, then like a sheet. It soaks me so thoroughly that my padded underwear (I said stop that) takes
two whole days to dry. For over an hour, I take refuge by a wood-burning stove in a small, grotty cafe in Murino, before venturing back out into the torrent for the final 25km leg. 'Rain three days continue,' one of the men says as I leave, speaking via Google Translate on his phone. 'I take you home, protect you?' I stay just one night in Berane, which seems to have nothing at all to recommend it, and set off the next morning for a very hilly ride to Rozaje, which seems slightly worse than Berane. In Rozaje, I check into Motel Milenium (sic) for a very reasonable £10, for which I get a dynamic fuchsia pink colour scheme, dirty carpet, no curtains and a broken toilet, plus a smattering of blood and hair on the wall for no extra cost. The next day, I tear myself away from this idyll for the final schlepp to Kosovo. It's a lovely, soul-rejuvenating cycle, punctuated by the occasional pitch-black tunnel of doom, and I reach the Serbian border quickly – followed, just an hour later, by the Kosovan. Here, I encounter the cheeriest border guard I've met so far. 'Very good!' he says approvingly, looking at my bike. 'You will love our beautiful country!' And seeing his beaming grin, I suddenly have the feeling I will. Follow Rebecca's journey on her website at thebicyclediaries.co.uk, Twitterfeed at reo_lowe or Facebook at facebook.com/bexbicyclediaries. Rebecca is sponsored by Kona (Kona Sutra 2016 bike), Lightwave (Firelight 250 sleeping bag and G15 Raid tent), Garmin (Edge 1000 satnav), Arkel (Orca panniers), Berghaus (clothes), Lenovo (ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook) and Pedros (ICM Multitool).
should really examine the odds more carefully.
by Scot Christian
A Nirvana of Cycling Exploration
e had been invited by the Serbian Tourist Board to look at the cycling infrastructure and advise them on how best to sell the brand to the obsessed UK cycling market. Our small group consisted of David, a renowned photographer, Chris, a wellknown creative genius, Kev, an adventurer of epic proportions and me, freelance journalist. After an overnight stop in the capital we headed south towards the Montenegro border. Our first ride began in the damp car park of the Hotel & Spa Idlia (www.hotelidlia.com) in Zlatibor. The area is renowned for its health benefits and is rightly considered an â€˜air spaâ€™. It wasn't until the late 19th century that it became recognised as a truly exceptional tourist resort, and it has definitely flourished. It is now the most developed and most visited mountain resort in Serbia.
We continued on, reverting to a rutted grass track at the crest of craggy ridge, the complete scene of isolation was striking, the surface was good, our tyres groaned against the dirt and debris. I love this time of year, the landscape turning from greens and the vibrancy of summer to the beginning of browns/oranges and desolation of autumn and winter. We then negotiated several streams with ease and followed a well-defined track which contoured into the hillside, the views were breathtaking, a backdrop embroidered in green and brown hues with a smattering of stone dwellings. The going was smooth and brisk, what followed was a thrilling descent on a rather bumpy, muddy track and with some heavy braking on loose, bouldery scree and we arrived in a clearing amongst the trees. The light was fading quickly so unfortunately we had to retrace our route back to civilisation. Next up we found ourselves in the municipality of Ivanjica which covers approximately 1,090 sq kilometres and is recognised as one of the largest in Serbia. Over half the area is accounted for by Mt Golija, the pearl among
The ride would take us through the picturesque Mokra Gora Nature Park and Tara National Park, the landscape an isolated mix of simple climbs, off road heaven and a mass of colourful pine forests. The bikes were adequate and as we departed in good spirits, the rain worsened. I was assured that air currents from the Mediterranean and the continent collide in the mountains, creating a fascinating microclimate offering plenty of sunny days throughout the year; not today though. We climbed briefly through a collection of pretty buildings before the landscape opened up before us. The horizon dominated by nothing but wilderness, tarmac was replaced by gravel but unfortunately Kev was languishing behind, his recurring leg problem causing frustration, annoyance and obvious pain. He had to reluctantly accept his short two-wheeled adventure was over as he slowly trudged back to the cosy confines of the hotel and his bottle of antibiotics.
What followed was three hours of unadulterated pleasure and adventure. We pedalled along the plateau of Golija peak for five kilometres, climbing steeply up to 1833 metres to our goal Jankov Kamen, the highest peak and named after Janko Sibinjanin, who, according to legend, placed a stone obelisk at the top during his return from the battle of Kosovo in 1389. ‘What goes up must come down’ was dominating my mind as my aching legs and shortness of breath meant I struggled slowly up the ascent. On reaching the summit, the views would have presumably been magnificent but for the mist and fog, the trees overwhelmed with ice and the temperature not so welcoming. We descended at speed, the track exposed us to total tranquillity, a complete picture of rustic serenity and a sense of real remoteness. The landscape perfect with rolling hills, rocks cloaked in thick, lively moss; grass and earth tracks intersecting dense forest and the surface carpeted haphazardly with an abundance of leaves. The trail was in fairly good condition, there was the odd boulder to keep us concentrated (I managed to tumble rather spectacularly on two occasions) but definitely rideable and great hoopla. As the descent continued the surface became increasingly unpredictable, rough with many ruts and small pools but again loads of fun. It's definitely a wild, untamed and unkempt place. At times I found myself gripping so tightly, creeping along slowly focused on the tracks of the rider in front. After what seemed like only minutes the trail spat us out onto a tarmac road and close by was our van. The plan was to continue onwards and downwards to finally reach the main road but the daylight was fading rapidly so we reluctantly said farewell. In a split second our new friends with their lights barely visible pedalled off into the tree cover: they were gone. We headed north back towards the capital for our next adventure. After a healthy breakfast, the van transported us to the busy town of Cacak and a meeting with Gordana. The town sits near the beautiful eco-environment of the Ovcar-Kablar gorge. A short ride had been organised
along a well-established and well-signed route hugging the contours of the Zapadna Morava River. The area has eleven monasteries in close proximity and we were charmed by elevated views of the water meandering nonchalantly downstream. Once again, Chris, Aleksandar and I were the only riders, David had erected a mass of cameras to catch every pedal turn and our fairly sedate speed was dictated by his artistic direction. We were yearning to let loose but our film dictator had other more pressing plans, every movement felt somehow choreographed. The surroundings characterised by steep, high, limestone walls with a collection of magical caves. After a short pause to explore a simple rustic hostel, we returned at pace, leaving Dave and his abundance of gadgets woefully in our wake, finally no more restricted cycling just unsullied speedy gratification. The weather was closing in as we arrived in Divcibare and the atmospheric setting of Vila Plamenac (www. vilaplamenac.rs) which was unfortunately our final twowheeled outing. As we traipsed from the van, our senses were overpowered by the aromas and sounds of an open air fire, slowly and delicately cooking our lunch. The mist and drizzly rain were inconsequential as we huddled around the pan as it bubbled so effortlessly with chicken and colourful peppers. Lunch was another delicious sharing feast. The Valjevo Mountains are renowned for their clean air which attracts plenty of skiers over the winter period, with the warmer months preoccupied by walkers and cyclists. Only Chris and I were up for the ride, David was still feeling the effects of the cold and Kev had resigned himself to rest and recuperation. Strangely the locals had even recommended bathing his ailed leg in the national tipple rakia, the fruit brandy is believed to have some hidden healing properties. The ride was a serene experience in complete contrast to the adrenalin-fuelled descending of yesterday. In many respects, more enjoyable because of the less frenetic pace, allowing us to chat and visually discover the area (when the mist and sleet allowed). We expected to see the Kraljev Stone peak, Kamencia River, Tometino Field and Paljba Observation Point, however a blanket of low lying fog choked the surroundings and the views, but hey another reason to return: the list is ever expanding. The trail is signed for 136 kilometres and the unspoilt feel is undoubtedly its greatest asset, allowing you to appreciate the area, the people and their proud culture. As the weather worsened, we reluctantly headed back to the warmth of our temporary base and the open arms of our relaxed, sauna and rakia-saturated fellow travellers. So just how good is the cycling? The trip has opened my eyes to the delights of rural Serbia, we had pushed ourselves on occasions but the sense of achievement was immense. My time has somehow ignited a passion within me and the adventure is a constant topic of conversation as Serbia has touched my heart. The road cycling offers an expansive network of well-maintained, winding roads dissecting stunning scenery and the trails unlock a breathtaking portal to unimaginable messy joys. The country has suffered unbelievable hardships and devastation, but this has only reawakened a deeply ingrained passion for their country; to be Serbian is now a proud statement and the inhabitants are not afraid to display to the world that Serbia is on the up and has so much to offer to all travellers, not only cyclists.
mountains. The range is equally mesmerising in the summer and winter months, with the abundance of fresh clean air and provocative panoramic views. It was declared the first National Park and Biosphere Reserve, by Serbia and then UNESCO in 2001. Our focus was the Jankov Kamen (literally Jankov’s Stone). As we arrived at a deserted barren plateau, we were introduced to our local guides. Their appearance was unexpected, a collection of leather jackets, jeans, balaclavas and no helmets, more appropriate for robbing banks than pedalling down trails. The temperature was unbelievably cold – the most memorable bit was David (who in his defence had only just returned from a lengthy trip in the heat of Hawaii) shaking uncontrollably, bringing to mind bizarre images of a penguin on a caffeine high. Our reactions were one of mass hysteria as the group, instead of assisting or displaying some empathy, erupted in a collective raucous mess. It's good to see that camaraderie amongst cyclists is still strong!
THE DANUBE CYCLEWAY
Surduk to Belgrade in Serbia From The Danube Cycleway by Mike Wells, Cicerone Press Maps by Lovell Johns. Contains OpenStreetMap.org data © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA.
ollow road heading south-east from the crossroads between Novi Slankamen and Stari Slankamen, descending steadily past swimming pool complex at Bazeni Horizont L through arable fields to reach Surduk [Сурдук] (9km, 105m) (refreshments). Continue on straight road between fields and turn Rat T-junction on Kralja Petra l [Краља Петра l] to reach St Nicholas church in centre of Belegiš [Белегиш] (15km, 97m) (refreshments).
Pass through village, joining cycle track L which continues through open country into Stari Banovci [Стари Бановци] (refreshments). Soon after beginning of town, turn L on Stevna Tišme [Стевна Тишме] and first R on Grčka [Грчка]. At end, bear R on bridge over small stream to reach main road and turn L on Milenka Pevca [Миленка Певца], past petrol station L, uphill into Banovci Dunav [Бановци Дунав] (23km, 89m) (accommodation, refreshments).
Continue on Svetosavska [Светосавска] through Novi Banovci [Нови Бановци] (accommodation, refreshments). At end of built-up area cross motorway and continue gently downhill through open country with military airfield R to reach beginning of another built-up area. Follow Jovana Brankovića [Јована Бранковића] into Batajnica [Батајница] (30km, 77m) (accommodation, refreshments, cycle shop, station). Batajnica (pop. 38,000) is a fast growing dormitory town for Belgrade. The nearby military airfield, which is now an important base for the Serbian and former Yugoslav air force, was heavily bombed by NATO forces during the Yugoslav Civil War.
Turn L at crossroads beside Archangel Gabriel church on to Majora Zorana Radosavljevića [Maјора Зорана Радосављевића] and continue through town centre. At end of Batajnica, pass under motorway and follow main road for 10km through open country L and a never-ending series of small industrial developments R. Go straight ahead at major
Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra
St Mark’s church Starine Tašmajdan Novaka park
city hall Presidential palace
Gardoš tower in Zemun was built to celebrate 1000 years of Hungarian rule
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Zemun (pop. 168,000) was an independent and ancient city, built on three hills, that has been absorbed into greater Belgrade. As Roman Taurunum it was a harbour for the Roman Danube fleet. During medieval times Zemun was on the Military Frontier between the Hungarian Kingdom (later Habsburg Austria) and the Ottoman Turkish Empire. It remained in Austro-Hungarian hands when nearby Belgrade fell to the Turks in 1813. The opening shots of the First World War were fired here on 29 July 1914, when AustroHungarian forces in Zemun opened fire on Serbian positions in Belgrade across the River Sava. The oldest part of town has narrow cobbled streets and a few ruins of a medieval fortress. The most recognisable symbol of the city, Gardoš tower (1896), an eclectic mix of architectural styles, was built to commemorate 1000 years of Hungarian settlement. There are extensive views of Zemun, Belgrade and the Danube from the tower. Modern Zemun is a prosperous and industrially active part of Belgrade.
road junction (Cara Dušana) [Цара Душана] and after 600 metres turn L onto side road (Ulica Dr Mušickog) [Улица Др Мушиког]. Turn R at T-junction (Ulica Pregrevica) [Улица Прегревица], with Danube behind houses L, and continue ahead into Despota Đurđa [Деспота Ђурђа]. Pass viewpoint over Danube L and follow street bearing R, L and R again to reach T-junction. Turn L
beside cemetery (Sibinjanin Janka) [Сибињанин Јанка] and continue steeply downhill (Ulica Sinđelićeva) [Улица Синђелићева] on very rough cobbles into Zemun [Земун] (43km, 78m) (accommodation, refreshments, YH, camping, cycle shop, station). At bottom of hill, turn L (Njegoševa) [Његошева] to reach Danube
Modern Art museum
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promenade. Turn R on Kej Oslobođenja [Кеј ослобођења], and after 300 metres turn L through car park and R in front of restaurant onto riverside cycle track. Continue through parklands, following branch of Danube past Veliko Ratno Ostrovo island [Велико ратно острво] L into Novi Beograd [Нови Београд] (45.5km, 75m) (accommodation, refreshments, YH, cycle shop, station).
Key information THE DANUBE CYCLEWAY VOLUME 2 From Budapest to the Black Sea
Published Feb 2016 By Mike Wells £16.95 288pp. Paperback Gloss Laminated
ISBN: 9781852847234 • the second of a two-part set covering the Cycleway from source to sea • best cycled between April and October, but open all year round • suitable for all levels of cyclist, on all types of bike
ifth M2 2
Vi z e lj
For further information, or to receive a review copy please contact Hannah firstname.lastname@example.org Zemun 015395 Polje 62069
, Cumbria, LA7 7PY e.co.uk Web: www.cicerone.co.uk
former Hotel Jugoslavia former Yugoslav parliament
St Sava Zvezdara
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Continue past site of previous Hotel Jugoslavija R. Soon after hotel, cycle track branches R from pedestrian footpath and winds its own way through parkland with large concrete Palace of Serbia (formerly the Yugoslavian parliament building) R. Fork L to reach point where Rivers Sava and Danube join. Follow cycle track bearing R now following Sava promenade with view of Kalemegdan fortress across river L. Just before Brankov most bridge [Бранков мост], turn R away from river parallel to bridge approach road, then after 400 metres turn sharply L onto bridge and cross Sava. On far side of bridge (49.5km) a cycle lift L allows you to take your cycle down to river level. The road ahead continues to the city centre through a very busy tunnel with standing traffic and a high level of pollution and is not recommended for cyclists. Take cycle lift down and follow cycle track ahead beside River Sava past cruise boat landing stages L and old warehouses now converted into bars and restaurants R, with Kalemegdan fortress rising behind. Continue round point where Sava and Danube join and past large 25 Maj sports centre with multi-coloured concrete tower R. Immediately after sports centre, turn R away from river and follow road through tunnel under railway into Tadeuša Košćuška [Тадеуша Кошћушка] and continue uphill. Turn L opposite entrance to Kalemegdan, into Uzun Mirkova [Узун Миркова]. Continue past Studentski park [Студентски парк] L to reach Trg Republike square [Трг Републике] in centre of Belgrade [Београд] (53.5km, 121m) (accommodation, refreshments, YH, tourist office, cycle shop, station).
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114 Cycling World
The RSPB is encouraging people to discover the great outdoors as part of a new partnership with Sport England. This joint venture offers the chance for people to find their adventurous side by running, canoeing, climbing and cycling with wildlife on two RSPB nature reserves. RSPB Rainham Marshes in Essex is fully equipped with bikes, running routes, orienteering, yoga and a bouldering course to help visitors experience wildlife from a new perspective. You can set off on a cycle adventure to suit you, with our various sizes of hire bikes to accommodate the family. Explore along the river wall taking in views over the Thames down to London and across the nature reserve â€“ watch out for marsh harriers soaring overhead. Rainham Marshes is perfectly situated for cycling with access to Sustrans route 13 and links to explore further afield. We also offer guided cycle rides where you can see some stunning views and wildlife, all the while learning a bit more about the reserve! You might even discover something new â€“ be it a place, a sighting, or just the joy of watching the murmurations of lapwing swooping over the reserve.
Visit www.rspb.org.uk/active-in-nature or alternatively contact Jennifer.email@example.com or phone 01708 899 847 for more information and events. Photo credit (from top picture down): Rob Andrews - Roy Rookes - Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)
JOIN US THIS YEAR AND GET ACTIVE IN NATURE AT RAINHAM MARSHES!
Additionally, if you would like to learn some basic bike maintenance skills (like puncture repairs, removing wheels, cleaning and tuning gears) you can join our bike maintenance workshops, or leave your bike with our Dr Bike who will check it over and make any simple adjustments needed.
In Depth E-bike Feature