Cycling World December 2016 | Christmas Edition

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Cycling Road World Championships

Enjoy Beer

December 2016 | 1 Explore Staffordshire






DECEMBER 2016 - £4.75


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December 2016 | 3


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CONTENTS December 2016


Road World Championships



Book Reviews: Editor’s

Christmas Pick

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Products: Gifts for Cyclists Ask Anita: A Bike for


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Film Review: Bicycle Thieves

Your Crankset


Training and Nutrition:

Festive Fun


The Bicycle Diaries

From the Workshop: Replace


Top Six Bikes for the Super


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Top Cycling Gadgets Cycling Board Games Beer: the Post Ride Choice

UK 36

Explore Staffordshire in the



Sustrans’ Traffic-free Cycle

Ride: Stratford Greenway


Austria: Kufsteinerland

Cycle Marathon


Austria: Cutting the

Mountain Air in Salzburg


Russia and the Baltics

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December 2016


hristmas is one of the calendar’s landmarks that makes you think “where did this year go!” Hopefully you have a year full of wonderful cycling memories to dwell upon as you doze on the sofa, in new cycling-motiffed socks or a merino wool base layer. We at Cycling World have some fond memories of cycle tours in top European destinations; weekends away at newlydiscovered UK cycling gems; club runs peppered with gossip and bacon sarnies, and wheeled challenges overcome by young family members. One of my most poignant moments was when my four-year-old son rode his first BMX event. He even won a race when everyone in front of him wiped out.

David Robert

The crisp December days, when everyone one is on holiday, are a wonderful opportunity for some quality riding. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as a young rider’s first go on a new bike on Christmas Day morning. When the weather is not so kind, hopefully you can snuggle up to one of the many cycling books or films we have reviewed over the year. Some favourites are included in this edition along with some rather novel gift suggestions. So, it just leaves us to wish all our readers a happy and healthy festive season. Recharge that inner dynamo for a cracking year of cycling in 2017.

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CYCLE TOURING FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE 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.


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PUBLISHED BY Cycling World Limited Myrtle Oast Kemsdale Road, Fostall Faversham, Kent

PRODUCTION Editor David Robert Senior Designer Matthew Head Junior Designer Tim O'Dea

ME13 9JL Tel: 01227 750153 Publisher Colin Woolley

ADVERTISING Sales Manager Simon White Sales Executive Alice Allwright

DISTRIBUTED BY COMAG Tavistock Road, West Drayton Middlesex UB7 7QE

Sales Executive Declan Wale Sales Executive Ryan Graves Sales Executive Tom Thorman


Anita Powell, Chris Burn, Keith Gilks, Jane Peyton, Fiona Hunter, Jimmy Doherty, Fiona Houghton, David Robert, Jennifer Tough, Sue Shields, Rebecca Lowe, Anki Toner, Wendy Johnson, Martin Bailey, Martial Prévalet, Tim Ramsden, Alex Howard.

Cycling World


Snow Bike Festival Gstaad by Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus



Although every effort is made to ensure the content of features in Cycling World is accurate and correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors, manufacturers or advertisers. No guarantees can be made upon the safe return of any unsolicited copy of photographic images. Thepublisher reserves the right to alter or amend any submitted material that is printed in Cycling World. All material in Cycling World is the copyright of the publisher and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. ©Cycling World Limited 2015 ISSN: 0143-0238

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the Karbon

+44 (0)1749 871175

C o m i n g


S o o n


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ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS REPORT Men’s Elite Road Race Sagan outsprints dominating Belgians Peter Sagan will wear the rainbow jersey for at least one more year. The 2015 Champion defended his title in style when he beat Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen in a sprint. Cavendish, the 2011 winner, grabbed silver and Boonen, the 2005 World Champion, took bronze. Sagan took advantage of the Belgians, who tore the race to pieces at a long cross wind stretch in the desert on the way back to Doha. The Slovak was one of the last riders to make it in the first echelon in the decisive battle after about 75 kilometres into the race. “I’m very happy,” Sagan said, “Because at the decisive point I was the last one to make it into the first group. Then I thought for me, it was just going to be the sprint. I was really lucky because (Giacomo) Nizzolo did not close the gap at the fence. If he would have done that we surely would have crashed because I would not have braked.” Sagan now is one of six riders to have won back-to-back world titles after Belgians Georges Ronsse (1928-1929), Rik Van Steenbergen (1956-1957), Rik Van Looy (1960-1961) and Italians Gianni Bugno (1991-1992) and Paolo Bettini (20062007).

Women’s Elite Road Race Dideriksen spoils Dutch birthday party Amalie Dideriksen spoiled Kirsten Wild’s birthday party in the women’s Road Race. The twenty-year-old Danish prodigy came from behind to edge out Wild on the line for the world title. Wild, who was perfectly piloted by the dominating Dutch train, seemed to be on her way to the title, but the line was just ten metres to far. Wild had to settle for silver and Finnish Lotta Lepisto took the bronze. “It’s crazy,” Dideriksen said. “I had dreamed of a top-ten finish. My team mates fought so hard for me, I had a small crash and they brought me back.” Dideriksen already won the juniors world title twice and she is only the sixth woman to win the senior world Road Race title after also having won junior gold (France's Catherien Marsal and Pauline FerrandPrévot, Lithuania's Diana Žiliūtė, Briton Nicole Cooke and Dutchwoman Marianne Vos the other five). Dideriksen took advantage of the Dutch train. With three-time world champion Marianne Vos as lead-out women for Wild, the Orange women were the major force in the final five kilometres. “I knew the Dutch girls were going to lead out Kirsten Wild, and I wanted to be in that wheel so badly. It was a hard fight for that wheel with the other girls,” the newly minted world champion said. Wild, record winner in the Ladies Tour of Qatar, went full pace when Vos gave way, but the sprint was just a little too long. "It would've been good if there were more breakaways. But I'm not really disappointed," she explained and added that despite losing the gold medal, her birthday party will definitely occur: "It's my birthday today and I'm going to have a party tonight."

Road World Championships Report - 2016

- Sagan retains the stripes

- Dideriksen spolis the Dutch party

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Road World Championships Report - 2016

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Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial Indomitable Martin nails ITT gold Tony Martin grabbed his fourth Individual Time Trial gold medal finishing far ahead his opponents in 44:42.99. The 31-year-old German equalled Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara's record with four time trial World Titles. Defending champion Vasil Kiryienka bagged the silver medal and Jonathan Castroviejo grabbed the bronze. Martin was indomitable on a course that suited him well. “The course was really made for me,” he said. “The only thing I was really afraid of, was the heat. But I already prepared for it at home and we had a good week here with the team. I learned a lot from the Team Time Trial.” On top of the world Martin added a second gold to his Doha tally after already having won the Team Time Trial on Sunday with Etixx-Quick Step. - Martin gets 4th ITT gold The German now has a total of four golds, one silver and two bronze world championships medals, a sum which elevates him on the top spot of the all-time medal table, since Cancellara owns three bronzes but not a single silver medal. The Swiss time trial machine hung up his bike after winning the Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro. Numbers do not mean much though for Martin: “I always say that I don’t count medals. I’m just proud to ride in the rainbow jersey next year.” Martin will continue his career with Team Katusha - Alpecin, after a five-year-span with EtixxQuick Step.

Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial Neben edges out Van Dijk in ITT Amber Neben won the women’s Individual Time Trial. The 41-year-old American edged out Dutch Ellen van Dijk and Australia’s Katrin Garfoot, who took the silver and the bronze respectively. The top three finished within a ten second-margin. After two laps in The Pearl totalling 28.9 kilometres, Neben crossed the finish line in 36:37.04, averaging more than 47 kilometres per hour. At age 41 she became the second oldest Women Elite ITT World Champion, after Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who claimed the title aged 42 in 2001. With Neben’s medal, the USA have collected a record six gold medals in the women’s ITT. France and Germany have four, while the Netherlands could not add to their total of three. For Neben, it was her second career - Neben's emotional ITT victory World Title in the ITT. After her victory on a hilly course in Varese, Italy, in 2008, her title on the pan-flat Doha course proved her versatility as a time triallist. “This one is more special, because of everything that happened in between,” Neben said comparing her 2016 title to the 2008 one.


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LikeBike presents an impressive range of bikes for the super rich, varying from road to urban, lifestyle and even electric ones. Below are some of the most luxurious bikes money can buy, all displayed at LikeBike, Monte Carlo this June

TOP for Super BIKES the

Brand: Veloboo Model: Gold Price: £30,000 Special Features: The Hungarian cycling brand Veloboo is one of the most unique cycling brands in the world, with a bamboo frame and 24 carat gold plating on most of the bike. This is one of the world’s priciest bikes with a limited edition of only 30.

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Brand: Lacroix Model: Velo Price: £13,260 Special Features: This is the next generation of carbon fibre superstructures, and is the stepping stone to a supreme level of engineered bikes. It features a highlytechnical carbon strand woven rid structure frame, which uses an aerospace high performance multi fibre strand. The super fibres are woven to create a stronger overall structure, better than any other known carbon shape.

Brand: Sarto Model: 18k Gold Price: £18,000 Special Features: Handmade to aerospace-quality, in high-modulus carbon fibre, 18-carat gold and Zimbabwean crocodile skin, this slick and streamline road warrior was designed by Karim Kalaf and Enrico Sarto. Built in Italy, only 25 have been made, each individually tailored and custom-built to suit its rider’s exact dimensions and ensure the perfect fit.

Brand: Audi / Lightweight Model: Audi Sport Racing Bike Price: £14,000 Special Features: The German company responsible for some of the lightest and most expensive carbon fibre wheels and frames around. To create this beautiful machine, they have collaborated with Audi’s Quattro department - that responsible for the four-wheel drive system on some of its cars. Only 50 of these are available world-wide and weigh just above the the 5kg mark.

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Brand: Trefecta Model: DRT Price: £17,900 Special Features: This might be the most ambitious e-bike ever built. Being built with a military use in mind, it blurs the lines between e-bike and electric motorcycle, built for road and trails and almost everything in between. Automatic gear shifting, integrated computer with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, 45mph / 72kmh top speed, 62-mile range and top of the line design. The Trefecta DRT is the e-bike of the future.

Brand: Düsenspeed Special Features: Nicknamed the 007, for obvious reasons; though ‘M’ has Model: Broadtracker been so secretive about it we have very little information. We know it is an exceptionally fast e-bike, for hot pursuits, Model 2 (Café Racer) and light with its carbon fibre frame. The vital statistics are Price: £16,400 attractive: power 1 kW, energy 21 Ah, voltage 43.2 V with a weight of 24 kg. Equipped with the latest electrical gear change XTR Di2, and no doubt a machine gun.


TOP Super BIKES for the

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Book Reviews

Editor’s Christmas Pick The Bicycle Book £20


he Bicycle Book is a wonderful celebration of the history of cycling, showcasing classic and cutting-edge bicycles as well as tracing the evolution of cycling throughout the decades. From BMX and mountain biking, to track and road racing, take a ride through the sport's history.

performance bikes and cycling technology, along with profiles of famous cyclists, and iconic manufacturers and brands. With upclose images, maps, and histories of key races and competitions, The Bicycle Book is a stylish and fascinating addition to any cycling fan, both young and old.

Perfect for anyone with a love for cycling, it features the latest high-

Epic Bike Rides of the World £24.99


his beautifully illustrated book by Lonely Planet includes tales of 50 cycling adventures in 30 countries - from Australia to Bhutan – plus 200 ideas for bike rides, from family-friendly jaunts to backcountry expeditions via city tours, classic circuits and meandering adventures. The rides vary in length from a couple of hours through to rides that take a month or more. Almost 30 bike and travel enthusiasts from Lonely Planet’s community and beyond share their

first-hand accounts of their most memorable trips. Each account includes a toolkit, enabling you to plan your own adventure, outlining the best time to go, how to get there and where to stay. Epic Bike Rides of the World reflects the diversity and passion of the world's cycling community. It features experiences from some of the world’s most remote places such as Mongolia and the Outer Hebrides, to its hippest cities – such as an arty cycle trail in Copenhagen.

The Splendid Book of the Bicycle £20


he Splendid Book of the Bicycle is a spectacular celebration of the bike in all its glory, from the early days of the ‘Pedestrian Hobby Horse’ and the (surprisingly nippy) Penny Farthing to today’s super-stylish fixies. Meet the intrepid adventurers who travelled the world on their rickety old steeds, amazing Victorian trick cycling teams, and the sporting greats of the Tour, velodrome and BMX track. Explore the science of balance and

aerodynamics, what a bike looks like in bits, and, most importantly, find out how to fall off safely! Recommended for the younger reader who’s getting into cycling.


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Cyclists are fussy bleeders and not the easiest of people to buy Christmas presents for. You wouldn’t dare buy a bike component as it would inevitably be the wrong size or spec. So here are some more classical ideas that should go down a treat

Jura Merino Cycling Jersey £80-£90 Jura’s stylish jerseys are made with 100% merino wool that undergoes a technical treatment that makes the yarn more breathable, elastic and uncrushable, all of which is perfect for cycling. These jerseys are also machine washable. Merino wool allows the skin to breathe and wicks away any body moisture so is perfect for temperature regulating. Available in both long and short sleeves, full and half zips, and various classic designs with three rear cargo button pockets. So stylish we use for après-ride; preferable to the Christmas jumper.

Bicycle Socks in a Box £14.95 Socks might be a bit of a cliché, but we find we need some more by the end of the year, so why not go with the bike theme. Made from super soft 75% bamboo, 17% organic cotton and 8% stretchy elastane they are very comfortable. Three pairs in a box, all with the bicycle pattern in red, mustard and navy.

Hackney GT Alpine Bobble Hat £26.00 Knitted in Derbyshire using 100% Merino wool. The wool is spun by Italian company Miroglio and has a TEC (Total Easy Care) treatment allowing the hat to be machine washed on a delicate cycle. Hackney GT is the brainchild of DJ, cycle racer and two wheels obsessive Russ Jones. Born out of a passion for cycling and fashion with a quirky edge the designs are unashamedly bold, vibrant, and alternative; thus not too be ignored.

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Dark Chocolate Protein Pop Shots £2.50 Christmas must include chocolate. Keep the cyclist happy with these high protein chocolates in two dark varieties, chili and salted caramel. They have been developed by a chocolatier and are packed with 20g of protein per 100g. Each chocolate contains just 68 kcal and 0.4g of sugar. A pack contains six chocolates.

Pendant £29-£45 Madonna del Ghisallo, Patron of Cyclists Who better than the patron saint of cyclists to ensure a safe ride. Medieval Count Ghisallo was being attacked by bandits when he saw the Virgin Mary. He ran to her and was saved from the robbers. The apparition became known as the Madonna del Ghisallo, and she became a patroness of local travellers. In later times, the hill of Madonna del Ghisallo was made part of the Giro di Lombardia bicycle race. So, a local priest, Father Ermelindo Vigano, proposed that the Madonna be declared the patroness of cyclists. This was confirmed by Pope Pius XII. Nowadays the shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo contains a small cycling museum. There also burns an eternal flame for cyclists who have died. This pendant is hand-engraved, solid sterling silver with a stainless steel chain in a lined, velvet covered gift box. Price range reflects pendent sizes of 9/16”, 7/8” or 1-1/8”.

Silver FLAB Cog Logo Cufflinks £74.99 Handmade silver cufflinks from Fat Lad at the Back. Each pair is unique as they are individually handmade by Ilkley Silversmith Tara Binns. They have a solid silver front and a silver plated back and come in a presentation box. www.

Top Cycling Gadgets

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Top Cycling Gadgets On a glorious day there’s nothing better than to jump on a bike and catch some sun. However, the cyclist’s journey is not always a smooth one, but technology is here to resolve life’s little problems. Martin Bailey, author of The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos & Apps shares his top cycling gadgets


If you’ve spent a small fortune on your bike, your first priority will be to hang onto it. In addition to investing in a good quality lock, consider the Spybike Spylamp (£82.50 It looks like a conventional rear red lamp but it also contains a GPS tracker. Arm the tracker by holding down the on-switch, and if prolonged motion is detected it’ll send you an SMS to let you know your bike is moving and begin providing you with updates. The 3.7v lithium battery is good for months between charges.


It’s useful to track your journeys – whether you want to know where you went or how fast you got there – and RunKeeper (iOS/Android, free with in-App purchases) is a great app for tracking any outdoor activity. It syncs with smart watches such as Apple, Android Wear and Pebble and provides great statistics, building up a log of your performance progress over time. During your journey it can provide map and routing information and delivers audio updates while you ride. You can also access your music straight from the app.


Having your phone on while you ride is going to sap the battery and of course can be dangerous for both you and the phone. EStem (Indiegogo. com, around £75) is a replacement handlebar stem with an integrated phone holder, front light and removable battery to keep your phone topped up and position it front centre of the handlebars for easy access. Just clip your phone into the holder, plug it into the 5400mAh battery and it’s good to go for up to 42 hours.




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Martin Bailey’s book: The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos & Apps is available from Amazon for £9.99

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When your bike is your main mode of transport the journey to and from work can be arduous, especially if the terrain is not that flat. Invest in the FlyKly Smart Wheel (around £850,, which is a replacement rear wheel with a built in 250w electric motor and a respectable range of 25 miles. However, that can be stretched significantly as the regenerative braking system can also recharge the battery on the go. It uses your smartphone to control the amount of assistance the wheel can give, and it can even lock the wheel when not in use – useful if someone attempts to steal the bike as they’ll have to carry it away.


Storage for bikes is often an afterthought, with the car taking pride of place in the garage. The Flat Bike Lift (, around £180) allows you to utilise the space above the car to store one or two bikes horizontally against the ceiling. Simply slide the bike into place on the mounting rack and push the gasspring assisted handle to raise or lower the mechanism. It’s a great way to keep your bike out of harm’s way and maximise space.

Top Cycling Gadgets

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If you like to listen to music while you ride but still want to hear the world around you then make a move to bone conducting headphones such as the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Bluetooth headset (£110, Amazon). They sit just in front of your ears touching the edge of your cheekbones and run behind your head, resting near the base of your skull. The design won’t interfere with a helmet and as your ears are not covered you’ll still be able to hear traffic, which is far safer than listening to music with traditional in-ear headphones. As they use Bluetooth there’s no wires to worry about, and the battery is good for around six hours.

Martin Bailey’s book: The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos & Apps is available from Amazon for £9.99


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With traffic and road-rage an evergrowing risk safety should always be taken seriously. Australian manufacturers Cycle Vision (, price TBC) are launching a cycle helmet with built-in front and rear cameras giving an impressive 320 degrees’ coverage at 1080p. Video is saved onto a microSD card, with the on-board battery giving five hours of recording time. It also connects to your phone, offering video previews via Bluetooth.


If you’re not the helmet-wearing kind then take a look at the Hovding Cycle Helmet (£249, It’s actually a collar that utilises airbag technology, inflating in a fraction of a second if it detects a fall based on analysis of thousands of different accident types. Available in a variety of colours, the Hovding is designed to blend in with whatever you’re wearing and is a novel approach to ending the scourge of ‘helmet hair’.

With cycling seeing an increase in popularity and more dedicated cycle lanes appearing in our cities there’s never been a better time to invest in a little tech to make your ride safer, secure and more enjoyable.

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Cycling Board Games Anki Toner was born in Barcelona in 1964. He describes himself as a musician, collector, lecturer and analyst of the relation between music and intellectual property. In his leisure time, he collects (and sometimes designs) board games. He keeps a website specialising in cycling board games. You are an eclectic man. Tell us where cycling fits into your life and how you got interested in board games?


Anki by Alexia Arruebo

am interested in cycling races out of nostalgia. My grandfather (who died when I was eight) took me to see the Volta a Catalunya a couple of times; my father also took me to see some races. I remember the World Championship of 1973 in Barcelona. When I was a kid I knew the names of all the riders and I played with cycling figurines.

rewriting of an older Dutch game, "Homas Tour".

Many years later, I bought a board game which represented a cycling race. When I played it I thought: "interesting rules... but maybe I can do better". That game was "Um Reifenbreite", which I later found out to be a

Since I was not really playing (most of) the games and the whole thing was getting a little out of hand, I thought it would be interesting to share my findings and I started the website.

Before writing my own set of rules, I did my homework. I discovered that there were some more cycling games out there. I read a few reviews, and decided to purchase some other games to compare the rules. After a while I was buying games even if I was not interested in the rules.

- Homas Tour (Rob Bontenbal-Homas, Netherlands, 1970s)

- Velo-Flash (Comireix, France, late 1950s)

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When did you launch the website? In 2003.

Does your collection of games go beyond cycling?

I have always liked games, though I generally do not have much time to play them. Being a musician, I also collect games that have records in them, and/or records that have a game ("play the record" for example.) I even have a couple of games which represent cycling races AND have a record in them: "Velo Flash" and "Les 45 Tours de France"

What’s the oldest game featured on your site?

Some games are easy to date (or have been dated by Gaming Historians) and some are not. The oldest game in my collection that I can date accurately is McLoughlin Brothers' "The Cycling Race", from 1891.

How many games feature on your site? Is the Tour de France the most common theme?

My site features almost 400 published games, and the list keeps growing. If I had known there were so many games that represented cycling races I would never have started collecting them! Of course, the Tour de France is the most common theme by far, the site features more than 50.

Why do you think so many have been produced?

I am not really sure why so many people make cycling games. I guess there are a lot of people who like both games and cycling. I even have a section in my site for unpublished games: sometimes people send me rules or pictures of games they have devised, sometimes I find the information in many other ways, including descriptions of what people played in their childhood. By the way, when I said “published games� above, I mean games that have been made public. This does not only include regular commercial boxed games, but also promotional games, games featured in magazines, and even games that you can download, print, and play for free. There are almost 30 of those featured on my site, and some of them are worth trying!

Where do you get them all from? Do people send them to you?

Naturally, when I started I had to buy all the games, but now I receive many of the games that are made, or at least they are offered to me with a discount and/or some goodies. As for the older games, sometimes I buy them, sometimes I trade them with other collectors.

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- The Bicycle Race (McLoughlin Brothers, USA, 1891)

What makes a good cycling game?

A good cycling game (not exactly the same thing as "a good game") is one that has a distinct "cycling" flavour. I mean, if a game can be converted into a racing car, motorbike or horse game, then it is not a good cycling game, no matter how good the game is. Some features are dependent on the specific kind of race (you do not expect to have climbs in a Keirin race, do you?). There are a couple of elements that are essential in cycling games, and that distinguishes them from other racing games: energy management (cyclists cannot ride at full speed all the time) and protection from the wind (riding in a pack, or behind other riders, is an advantage). If anyone is interested, there are a couple of texts on my site which develop these ideas.

Have you ever designed a cycling board game? Of course I have; quite a few in fact. Some of them can be downloaded from my site: "Pistard" (a track cycling game, as you would have guessed), "Keirin" (an experiment in probability, actually) and "Criterium de Figueres" (a collaboration with game designer Oriol Comas for the Cycling Games exhibition at the Catalan Toy Museum of Figueres in 2007).

I also made a game called "Maillot Arcen-Ciel" which is not yet offered as a free download, but it will be as soon as I find the time to make the files. The original version was a hand-made limited edition of 50 copies, which of course has sold out. However, I have never tried to have any of my games commercially released.

What game would you recommend to UK readers that is currently available?

I do not like recommending games, since every player has their own preferences. Besides, the availability of most cycling games is irregular (to put it mildly). Most games are only available for a limited amount of time in some small, dedicated games stores. Of course, there is the internet. You have to suffer shipping costs, but it is probably the best way to buy games these days. This said, if I had to choose a game to offer for Christmas this year, it would probably be "Flamme Rouge". It is a game designed by a Dane and released by an independent Finnish company which was presented at the Essen Spielmesse (International Gaming Festival) this year, and which represents the last few kilometres of a race. I know that it will be available online at Boardgame Guru and Gamesquest. Both Cycling World and ourselves are due to review the game. Thanks Anki- happy game playing. Photos by

- Maillot Arc-En-Ciel (Anki Toner, 2006)

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- Flamme Rouge (Asger Sams Granerud Lautapelit, 2016)

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There’s nothing more refreshing than a post cycle, ice cold beer. How pleasing to know that it can also be part of a healthy diet. Cycling World gets the expert opinions of a beer sommelier, a nutritionist and a chef on the joys and benefits of the brew. No wonder the professional peloton has always attracted sponsorship from brewers

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Beer: A Cyclist’s Favourite Post Ride Refreshment Jane Peyton, beer sommelier, looks at why beer is the perfect complement to a post ride meal

Jimmy Doherty (creator of the beer taster menu), Jane Peyton (Beer Sommelier) and Fiona Hunter (nutritionist)

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Barley: The Magic Ingredient The definition of beer is: An alcoholic drink made from fermented barley


tarch in the barley converts to sugar during a process called malting. The barley is now known as ‘malt’. Those sugars are then fermented by yeast and converted to alcohol. Beer is very low in sugar and in terms of calories it is much lower than people perceive. A pint of 4% beer contains around 190 calories. So in moderate quantities no need to worry about gaining weight and struggling on climbs. During the malting process the barley is toasted, sometimes roasted, sometimes burned. The colour of beer comes from the colour of the malt and that colour depends on how much heat the barley was subject to during malting. Those malts also give flavour to beer – and these flavours depend on the intensity of the heat during malting. There is a big range of flavours from malt – for instance, bread, biscuits, honey, toast, caramel, nuts, toffee, coffee, chocolate, charcoal. These flavours are very good at complementing the flavours in food.

When choosing a beer to pair with food this is a useful mantra - Cut, Complement, or Contrast. Cut: choose a beer that cuts through the flavour or body of the food. For instance, fish and chips with a crisp refreshing beer such as pilsner lager or India pale ale to cut through the fat, and citrus flavoured hops to complement the fish. Complement: Choose a beer that will complement the flavours of the food. For instance, meat that has been caramelized during cooking matches well with classic British bitters that display malty caramel flavours. Contrast: choose a beer that is a complete contrast to the food. For example, a full flavoured chocolatey porter or stout with a salty Stilton cheese. These are simple tips to help decide which beer goes with which food. •

Match flavour intensity - delicate with delicate, big with big. Consider the food’s texture - fish with lighter bodied beers, hearty pies need bigger bodied beers. Match the main part of the dish rather than the trimmings - so with a Sunday roast pair the meat not the vegetables.

Consider how the food is cooked because that affects the flavour and texture and then choose a beer to match. For example, barbequed food is usually charred and the burnt malts of stout are complementary. If in doubt match the colour of the food. For instance, chicken with pale coloured beer such as wheat, or golden ale.

Don’t forget dessert and cheese! Beer can be bitter, sweet, sour or savoury – so can dessert. Beer and cheese are made for each other and together can create alchemy. Consider the shape of the glass because it can influence the aroma, texture and drinking experience of the beer. For example, a glass with a narrow rim will keep the aromas in the beer and it also promotes sipping so the liquid will hit the front of the tongue first where the sweetness of the malted barley will register.

Beer: Perfect With Any Meal

Beer can play an important role in rehydration and appetite stimulation, aiding the intake of calories for multiday riding. It is equally at home with pub grub or with fine dining – savoury or sweet. It is versatile and diverse and has several physical properties that make it such a good for match for food. Water: Beer consists of up to 95% water which is why cyclists crave it for post ride rehydration. It also refreshes the mouth, ready for another mouthful of food. Hops: Most bitterness in beer comes from hops. Bitter compounds stimulate the appetite and kickstart digestion by rousing digestive enzymes in saliva. Bitterness also balances the richness of food and the hops act like knives cutting through flavour and texture. Carbon Dioxide: Beer contains CO2 and this is an efficient palate scrubber. The brain registers most flavour through aromas emitted from food and drink and these stimulate olfactory cells in the nose via the mouth. CO2 helps to release those all-important aromas so we get the most out of our food and drink. CO2 adds a note of invigorating acidity and so lightens up the richness of food. Carbon dioxide, along with hops, cut through the texture of food.

Jane Peyton is an accredited beer sommelier, founder of the School of Booze (www. and is currently Imbibe Magazine’s Drinks Educator of the Year. She is the instigator and driving force of the UK’s national beer day - Beer Day Britain.

32 | Cycling World

Beer: A Nutritionist’s View Nutritionist Fiona Hunter considers the health benefits of beer

Can beer be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet?

Yes, absolutely. It’s obviously important to stay within the CMO alcohol guidelines, but as long as beer is enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet there is absolutely no reason to worry about drinking beer. In fact, studies show that, like red wine and other types of alcohol, beer has a cardio-protective effect which means that it can help reduce the risk of heart disease¹. Beer also provides a selection of B vitamins and phytochemicals.

Are certain types of beer healthier than others?

Darker beers tend to have higher levels of phytochemicals and B vitamins but at the end of the day you should drink the beer you like.

What's so special about barley?

Barley has a low GI providing slow release carbs, which means it doesn’t cause a big spike in blood sugar after its consumption, so the body doesn’t need to respond by producing so much insulin. For cyclists this is helpful because it provides a steady supply of energy. It is a useful source of fibre – and contains a mix of soluble fibre (betaglucan, the same type you find in oats) which can help reduce high blood cholesterol levels, and insoluble fibre which helps to keep the digestive system healthy. It is also a good source of several important vitamins, minerals especially vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium. Nutritionist Fiona Hunter has a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and a postgraduate in Dietetics. She began her career working as a dietitian in the NHS. ¹ source:

December 2016 | 33

Vanilla Yogurt Panacotta with Goose Island IPA Strawberry Soup and Barley Flapjack


tasty dessert made with natural ingredients like barley found in Goose Island IPA. This is an interesting twist on a traditional classic, blending the taste of fruit with the IPA to create a showstopping sauce. Prep Notes: For ease, each part of this recipe can be prepared in advance, with the final dish

Cooking with Beer

assembled on the night it is to be served. The panacotta can be prepared 2-3 days in advance, the Goose Island IPA strawberry soup 2 days in advance, and the barley flapjack 5 days in advance (if it is stored in an airtight container). Tip: The barley flapjack will keep well in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

Ingredients For the Panacotta 70g caster sugar 70g water 2 vanilla pods 2 leaves of gelatine 300ml full fat yogurt 200ml double cream

Method 1. Add the gelatine to a small bowl with a little cold water to soften. 2. Split the vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and pods to a small saucepan with the caster sugar and water. Gently heat until all of the sugar has melted. Set aside to infuse. 3. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze off the excess water. Add to the vanilla syrup and heat gently until the gelatine has melted. Leave to cool.

have released all of their juice. 3. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer, into a small bowl. Do not push the fruit through the sieve; allow the juice to drain freely. For the barley flapjack 1. Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. 2. Mix the flour, barley flakes and sugar together in a bowl.

For Barley Flapjack 125g barley flour 100g barley flakes 125g light soft brown sugar 100g unsalted butter 1 tbsp barley molasses or golden syrup To Decorate 100g fresh strawberries

3. Heat the remaining ingredients in a small pan, for 2-3 minutes until the butter has melted.

4. Mix the yoghurt and cream together in a bowl.

4. Pour the liquid mix on to the dry ingredients, mix well.

5. Add the cooled vanilla syrup to the yoghurt and cream and mix well.

5. Spread the mix onto a parchment paper lined 22cm x 22cm baking tray.

6. Spoon the mixture into serving glasses and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the strawberry Goose Island IPA sauce 1. Place all of the ingredients into a zip lock bag and seal.

To Serve

2. Place the bag into a pan of simmering water for 15-20 minutes until the strawberries

For the Strawberry Soup 450g strawberries, frozen 100ml Goose Island IPA 50g caster sugar

Remove the set panacottas from the fridge. Decorate with sliced fresh strawberries and barley flapjack, finish with Goose Island IPA strawberry soup. Serve with a cold bottle of Goose Island IPA.


34 | Cycling World

Cycling and the Professional Peloton by Fiona Houghton


pril’s Amstel Gold Race is annual proof that cycling is linked to beer. The sponsor is Heineken International, the world’s third largest brewer. Races in Belgium have been sponsored by Kwaremont, a brand of beer that is named after a cobbled climb that features regularly in The Tour of Flanders. It’s alcohol by volume, 6.6%, is the same as the gradient of the climb and it is served in a glass with a cobbled base. Beer and wine companies have the opportunity to dominate the alcoholfuelled sponsorship of races and teams as brands of spirits are not permitted. The UCI rulebook states: “no brand of tobacco, spirits, pornographic products or any other products that might damage the image of the UCI or the sport of cycling in general shall be associated directly or indirectly with a licenceholder, a UCI team or a national or international cycling competition. As defined in the present article, a spirit is a beverage with a content in alcohol of 15% or more.” Just this year we saw the Tour of Britain Yellow Jersey sponsored by Eisberg Wine, though alcohol free. In Australia, The Tour Down Under used to be sponsored by Jacob’s Creek, a brand belonging to French company Pernod Richard and the Orica-Bike Exchange Team presently has a deal with Michelton Wines. Exploiting its links to Belgium, the US brand New Belgium Brewing is a long term cycling sponsor and the US Pro Cycling Challenge is sponsored by Sierra Nevada Brewing. Oleg Tinkoff’s restaurants sell their own label beers. Buckler Beer, another non-alcoholic brew, sponsored a team in the early 1990s, which several sponsors later, is the Team Lotto NL-Jumbo of today. Without a doubt, the most wellknown beer-supplied team was the Pelforth Team of France in the 1960s with classy riders such as Raymond Poulidor and Henri Anglade. Pelforth, still very popular today, like Amstel Gold, is owned by Heineken International.

© Kwaremont-6.6% ABV and ascent in a cobbled glass


Burma 27 October – 5 November 2017

December 2016 | 35

Burma Cycle Challenge This exciting cycle challenge takes us across the diverse landscapes of Burma, where beautiful jungles, mountains and graceful pagodas dotted across the fertile plains await. Our adventurous route takes us from Mandalay heading for Bagan’s ancient temples, before passing small villages, teak plantations and rice paddies. After almost 445km a great descent brings us to the shores of Lake Inle, where we have time to relax and see the oating gardens. Your sense of achievement will be enormous as you reach the ďŹ nish, safe in the knowledge that you are helping Macmillan ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.

visit or call 020 7840 7875

Carc ASsoNne O B El a


19 – 24 September 2017

Carcassonne to Barcelona Cycle Challenge Join Team Macmillan for this spectacular 435km ride from the ancient fortiďŹ ed town of Carcassonne in the South of France to the iconic city of Barcelona. Our route takes us through the rolling hills of Cathar country before reaching the mighty Pyrenees. We continue through Andorra, where our main challenge lies in the long twisting climb of the Port d’Envalira (2408m), which has featured in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain. You’ll feel incredible as you ďŹ nish in Barcelona, but most importantly you’ll have done something truly amazing to help people affected by cancer.

visit or call 020 7840 7875

Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

36 | Cycling World

Explore Staffordshire in the Saddle Whether it’s the rolling hills of the Staffordshire Moorlands, extreme climbs on Cannock Chase or miles of canal side tow paths, Staffordshire continues to be a great county for cycling

December 2016 | 37


ith over 100 miles of national cycle ways and over £4m improvements to popular routes, the county is fast becoming a haven for cyclists of all abilities. Cannock Chase, Staffordshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has miles of mountain biking trails that anyone can ride. Built entirely by volunteers, the forest features routes for all skills and abilities, from the “severe” graded Stile Cop downhill expert trails, to the intermediate “Follow the Dog” route, to the smooth flat leisure cycling trails. All of the routes run through Cannock Chase’s beautiful scenery and take in Staffordshire’s own part of the national forest. Fourteen kilometres of new cycleway linking Staffordshire with the Peak District was completed in 2015 in a multimillion-pound project by Staffordshire County Council. The Pedal Peak Project transformed the paths alongside the historic Caldon Canal towpath creating a modern flat pathway for both cyclists and walkers. Most Staffordshire towns have seen improvements to their cycleways with many now linking into the national cycle

recreational cyclists. In Lichfield District, phase 1 of the National Memorial Arboretum cycle link has been delivered providing the first section of a walk/cycle link between Alrewas and the NMA as well as a link to the National Cycle Network. Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at Staffordshire County Council said: “There’s huge passion for cycling here in Staffordshire and as a county we have something for everyone. Whether it’s relaxing rides along our canal network, extreme rides through the beautiful Cannock Chase or safer cycleways for people to get to and from work we will have something for everyone. “The County Council has invested around £4 million in cycling infrastructure improvements in the last year alone, making us a much more connected county, giving people alternative travel options and encouraging people to become more active. We’re also complementing this through a range of programmes and training to introduce people to cycling or give them more confidence to use their bikes regularly. “Staffordshire is truly a wonderful county for cycling.  There are lots of great things about cycling too, not to mention keeping fit and healthy, getting fresh air and saving money by not using the car. And, it’s not just for leisure - we are also making it easier and safer for people using the bike to get to and from work.”

network. In Stafford, the NCN55 Millennium Way cycleway now links the town with Newport in Shropshire with a modern 15-mile cycleway for both cyclists and walkers.  In Stafford town, an investment of £1.5m also funded the new Two Rivers Way cycle bridge across the River Sow. This now offers a safe cycle and walking route for the first time, providing access to schools, employment and services for local residents and a leisure route for

The county has also played host to the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire triathlon, giving thousands of cyclists the opportunity to take in some of the county’s breath-taking scenery, while the stage 4 of the Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain also passed through the county this year in June. The annual cycling festival gets bigger and better each year welcoming professional teams in the Grand Prix and Kermesse, along with the public on three sportive routes each year. 2017 dates have been confirmed for the first weekend in July. Cycle improvements are also being backed by a range of programmes across the county which are encouraging more people to get on their bikes to get more active and as an alternative travel option.

38 | Cycling World Safety is key with Bikeability delivering training to around 10,000 pupils each year, getting them into cycling at a much younger age with training for secondary school pupils encouraging a younger generation to keep cycling into adulthood.   Cyclists who want to explore Staffordshire on their bike can use the Staffordshire County Council’s cycle route planner to map out routes across the county. Not only does it plot the different routes between any two Staffordshire postcodes, it will calculate how many calories the trip should burn and can adjust the route to avoid busy sections of road. Visit www.cyclemap. Individual cycling maps for all districts, which show both traffic free and quieter routes suitable for cycling and on the road, are also available from local libraries or can be downloaded at

Staffordshire Ironman

December 2016 | 39



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40 | Cycling World



40 A3 0

Distance: 4.5 miles Start: Seven Meadows car park, Stratfordupon-Avon




Finish: Long Marston


Stratford-Upon-Avon Parkway

NCN route number: 5

6 08 B4


Train station: Stratford-upon-Avon Grade: Easy


5 A422





Thatched houses in Warwickshire with St Peter's Church in the background © Visit Britain Lee Beel











v Ri ve r A

A4 39 0


22 A4





R i v e r St o u









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December 2016 | 41

TERRAIN, GRADIENTS AND ACCESS Flat, fine gravel trail with some narrow gates and road crossings. A short, on-road section at Long Marston.

rugged trail to join the short, quiet road into the little village centre. The country pub with its skittles alley is a cosy and traditional ending that entirely befits the route.



To visit the beautiful town centre, take a short, on-road ride along NCN 41 from Seven Meadows Road near the car park at the start of the greenway. Alternatively, simply join the trail and head towards Stratford Racecourse. You’ll cross the Avon on the steel Stannals Bridge, before crossing the River Stour and following a long, straight route into deep and peaceful countryside.


This short ride manages to capture the essence of Olde England, from the timber-fronted Tudor buildings at Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, to the chocolate box villages of romantically rural Warwickshire.

Milcote picnic area is a great halfway stop, with a railway carriage café on the trackside and benches offering mellow views over the surrounding meadows and farmland. Or, take a short, on-road detour into Welford-on-Avon, a pretty village of thatched cottages tucked into a loop of the River Avon, where the lovely St Peter’s church and 17th Century Bell Inn are worth a visit. Leave the greenway at Long Marston and follow a

From Stratford-upon-Avon, follow NCN 5 for around three and a half miles on a traffic-free route along the canal towpath to Wilmcote and Mary Arden’s Farm, one of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties (closed in winter).

YHA Stratford 0800 019 1700 |


HR Coffee Bar, McKechnies, The Garrick Inn and The Dirty Duck are all popular in Stratford-uponAvon. Carriages Café can be found on the route at Stratford Racecourse and at Milcote picnic area, or try The Bell Inn at Welford-on-Avon. The Mason’s Arms country pub is at the route’s end at Long Marston.


Stratford Bike Hire 07711 776340 |

42 | Cycling World


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Ask Anita

December 2016 | 43

A Bike for Christmas Anita 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…

Dear Anita;


y son’s grandparents would like to buy him a new bike for Christmas, and have asked me what sort of bike they should get. Can you help please? He’s six years old, and likes pretending to be a helicopter. Aren’t grandparents wonderful? Want to buy all the gear, but have no idea. Buying bikes for children can be tricky. Unlike their grandparents, they are growing taller all the time, and it can feel wasteful buying a bike that they’ll grow out of in just a couple of years. However, when it comes to buying bikes for children, nothing is more wasteful than buying them a heavy, badly made, cumbersome bike that is impossible to enjoy riding (no matter how glittery or superhero-like it is). They’ll get the wrong impression of what cycling feels like.

Go where you know

Advise them to go to a local bike shop with a good reputation, where the bikes sold are specially chosen to be the best designs for children to ride. Isla bikes and Frog bikes are both youngster-specific brands – they aren’t cheap but if you are keen for your little one to continue to cycle as they grow, and grow up, it’s well worth it. They’re much less likely to break or have mechanical faults than cheap bikes found online or in generic shops that aren’t run by cycling nerds. They also fetch a good price second hand when sold on.

Know your audience

That being said, make sure you get the right bike for your particular child. Despite what

I’ve just said, I’ve seen some incredibly happy kids riding on awful heavy bikes but because they are designed to look like police motorbikes, glittery unicorns, or the Batmobile it really doesn’t matter. They lose themselves in the aesthetics and as long as they have already learnt the art of pedalling, and they are on a flat surface, that’s fine. If your child thinks he’s a helicopter, maybe a bike with rotor blades is right for him. Challenge the grandparents to find one of those.

- Isla Bikes are a good choice

Feed the habit

Once the bike is bought, you can help to make it the best present ever with some stocking fillers to get your child to really make it his own. You can find frame stickers of helicopters, spoke accessories, funky bells, a helmet in the shape of a zebra, a police siren. If he customises the bike, he’s more likely to want to ride it, and for it not to gather dust in the garage.

You are part of the present

Although the grandparents are buying the bike, it’s going to be you that’s the catalyst for riding it. Make sure your own bike is ready, so you can go out for cycle rides together, and plan in some time to go down to the park, along the local routes, or to a play area with a cycling bit – make it a part of the playtime routine and see how it goes. A bike is after all a classic Christmas gift, and one to love and cherish. Shame they’re such a nightmare to wrap up!


44 | Cycling World

December 2016 | 45

Film Review

Bicycle Thieves H Directed by: Vittorio De Sica Year: 1948 Distributed by: Arrow Classics Certificate: U Running Time: 89 mins Language: Italian with English subtitles Available: £14.99 (Blue Ray) Reviewed by: Alex Howard

ere’s a Christmas Classic to snuggle up in front of. Heralded as the greatest film ever made, winning an Oscar in 1949 and topping the Sight & Sound film poll in 1952, De Sica’s seminal work of Italian neorealism has had an impact on cinema worldwide.

full and compelling as any plot-laden drama you’ve ever seen. Every detail of the frantic and futile hunt is a taut and exciting adventure, in which hope is balanced against despair. Every expression on every face is a striking illumination of some implicit passion or mood.

Bicycle Thieves tells the story of Antonio, a long-unemployed man who finally finds employment putting up cinema posters for which he needs a bicycle. His wife pawns all the family linen to redeem the already pawned bicycle and for Antonio salvation has come, until the bicycle is stolen. Antonio and his son take to the streets in a desperate search to find the bicycle. Bicycle Thieves is as much about the position of Italians in Post-War, post-Fascist Italy as the relationship between father and son, told through the labyrinth of the cinematic city with De Sica’s arresting visual poetry. Defining neorealism, a small period of filmmaking that focused on simple, humanist stories, Bicycle Thieves is one of the most captivating and moving of the genre.

The film was largely shot in actual settings through the palpably wounded, post-war Rome; leading us through churches, markets, dosshouses and apartments. Roles are played by a non-professional cast; notably the anguished workman, Lamberto Maggiorani, is superb, expressing the subtle mood transitions of a man in turmoil. And Enzo Staiola plays his small son with a latent sensitivity. His round, earnest face suggests wisdom far beyond his years. One of the most over-powering incidents in the film occurs when the father, in desperation, thoughtlessly slaps the anxious boy. It is a moving moment: his search for the bicycle is so obsessive that he risks losing the most valued item in his care: his own son.

The story is lean and literal, without the burden of plot. But, throughout the course of the film’s unfolding, it is as

It is a film that will tear your heart, but which should fill you with warmth and compassion. It will also remind you to always lock your bike.

46 | Cycling World

From the Workshop

Replace Your Crankset

First remove the chain. This is an old Italian crankset. Use hex keys to remove the nuts on the centre of the crankset

You may need to use an extractor, though normally not with modern parts

Grease the thread to aid the new fitting

Hand tighten the new bottom bracket

Before inserting the second arm, check the finger is loosened

Put the second arm on the axle at 180° opposition

December 2016 | 47 by Martial Prévalet - Martial is a mechanical engineer who has produced articles for car and bike magazines, including Le Sport Vélo, Bike Magazine and Cyclosport

Before replacing your crankset you’ll need to have the specialist tools

Use a BB (Bottom Bracket) tool, a specific tool for each make. You work on both sides

After removing the bottom bracket clean the thread. The old grease is often hard

Use the specific BB tool to tighten the bottom bracket

Oil the crankset axle and insert into the bottom bracket

Put the specific nut on the axle of the bottom bracket and tighten with the specific tool

Tighten the finger at the two nuts

48 | Cycling World

Training and Nutrition:

Festive Fun by Tim Ramsden. Tim is an Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) Level 3 Coach and owner of


ll too soon the festive season is upon us once again… and the temptation to “blow out” over 3-4 days is a strong one. Well, why not, if you haven’t been doing so on a regular basis?? A little of what you fancy does you good, as they say, and overindulging in roast turkey with all the trimmings, plus pudding, plus a few glasses of the stuff that cheers is all part of what most people enjoy come the 25th. However, it is also desirable in the Yin and Yang sense to have a balance of input: output…...and that’s where those of us who ride and train regularly can help to offset the inevitable by shoehorning some good fitness-based bike sessions into Yuletide, and therefore burning some of those excess Kcals before they take hold! Often the thing that is lacking at this traditional holiday period is time to actually get out on the bike. Hours spent wrapping presents…then unwrapping them can seriously impede time available for wrapping up against the chill and getting some miles in. So – in the interest of accumulating kilometres rather than kilogrammes, here are two Xmas indoor workouts, both of which can be done on a turbo or home trainer/gym bike, and are designed to give you the best return for a limited duration. Just be sure to remove your Santa hat, lest you overheat…. all of these can be done on heart rate/feel, or using watts with a power meter.

Spin up but don’t spill the Sherry:

Warm up to around 35 beats per minute (bpm) below your max heart rate – take 13:00 and note the speed/power you get to. Easy 2:00 then do 2:00 at the speed/power you reached at the end of the warm up, but in the final 30s of the 2:00 add more rpms in the same gear – around 25-30 – and hold to 2:00. Have 1:00 very easy and repeat to a max of 5 x 2:00. Then have 5:00 at 60bpm below max and repeat. Effort level out of 10 by the end of the 3rd rep will be 9/10. If you do 2 sets, you will find that it may reach 10/10 by the final rep…...

That last Mince Pie was a Bad Mistake:

Warm up to around 35 beats per minute (bpm) below your max heart rate – take 13:00 and note the speed/power you get to. Easy 2:00 then do 3:00 starting at the speed/power you reached at the end of the warm up, but after 1:00 pushing hard so that by the end of the 3:00 you are around 15bpm lower than your max heart rate. Note the speed/power in the final 1:00. Now it's onto the “Easy 90s.” Return to the speed/power BUT in your biggest gear – small sprocket at the back/big one at the front, and hold the speed/power for 20s, then increase RPMs by 5-10 for the final 10s. Easy 30s…just 30s (hence the “Easy 90s”) …...then go again up to 7 times in total. And want to go again? OK…5:00 easy at 60-70bpm below…then try 5-7 more. Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas, and a fitter/ faster New Year!

December 2016 | 49

50 | Cycling World

THIS MONTH'S COMPETITION WINNER Helen Stanley of Welwyn Garden City wins the Wheels in Wheels Competition. She will enjoy 2 Entries to the Costa Almeria Gran Fondo with 4 nights at the luxury Valle Del Este hotel.

by Davy

Share your thoughts...

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Letter of the month wins a Velo Hinge Home Bicycle Storage.

Please keep sending your thoughts, feelings, ideas and insights about all things cycling. Send letters to: Email: Post: Editor, Cycling World Magazine, Myrtle Oast, Kemsdale Road, Fostall, Faversham, Kent ME13 9JL We may edit your letter for brevity and/or clarity. We look forward to hearing from you. Editor

December 2016 | 51

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52 | Cycling World

December 2016 | 53





Half board accommodation for one person | Fully supported rides with our expert Ride Captains A support vehicle full of water and electrolytes | Bike hire | Return airport transfers for Palma Airport You can choose any week between the 4th February and the 31st March 2017. The prize doesn’t include flights to/from Palma airport or transport to/from your home airport. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, just email your answer to the question below. Email to with your answer and full name and address before 15th January 2017. Question: In what year did Stephen Roche win the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and World Championships? A: 1977 B: 1987 C: 1997

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54 | Cycling World



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December 2016 | 1 Explore Staffordshire



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December 2016 | 1 Explore Staffordshire




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56 | Cycling World

Austria: Kufsteinerland Cycle Marathon Keith Gilks immerses himself in the beautiful, though challenging, routes of Salzburg and Innsbruck

- Ebbs

December 2016 | 57

“I hope I’ve done the right thing!”


- Keith Gilks and Daniel Federspiel

he first annual Kuftsteinerland Cycle Marathon in the beautiful Austrian region between Salzburg and Innsbruck, had started just a few moments ago to the music of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Large crowds had gathered in the warm late summer sunshine, to support the riders and meet cross country eliminator world champion (twice over) Daniel Federspiel and local professional riders Daniel Pintarelli, Andy Traxi and Michael Mayer- hereby known as “the pros.” I was in the company of top riders and doubting my sporting ability. And with good reason. As I pedalled out of Ebbs, a picturesque town nestled in the Alps, about one hundred club cyclists shot past me left and right, with approximately another four hundred already up the road. Perhaps I should have entered the more relaxed 62 km ‘pleasure route’ rather than the classic Marathon route consisting of 131 km and over 1600m of climbing. The pace from the start was impressive, a pace I knew I would not be able to hold. If ever I needed a strategy to complete a sportive without making an idiot of myself this was it. David Millar’s words from his Vuelta commentary about Chris Froome’s tactics on hill finishes flashed into my mind. “Chris Froome bravely rides within himself ensuring he doesn’t ‘go into the red’, in the knowledge that his competitors will tire, allowing him to catch and pass them.” I would use the same tactic (not that I had a choice). When the event ambulance passes you to follow the last main group you know you are in trouble. I gave a little sigh but held my nerve. After a worrying 6.5 km I reached Kuftstein, and the road turned skyward onto a road I recognised. I and a few others had cycled the climb to Theirsee the day before in the illustrious company of “the pros.” The short ride was

to introduce us to the gorgeous area and act as a little warm up for the Marathon. Therefore, I knew what to expect; 2.9 km at an average of 7%. Much to my relief I immediately saw riders struggling. With ever-increasing confidence, I slowly picked off groups of riders as I judged my pace perfectly. Even the ambulance had pulled over to the side of the road. I crested over the top and freewheeled into the valley and once more feasted my eyes on the wonderful vista of Theirsee and its lake, framed by the impressive Pendling Alp, one of the mountains in the range known as The Kaisers. However, to my right I could see a new challenge; the road to Hintertheirsee, a climb with an 11% average. Again I managed to pass a few riders before catching up with a group that I essentially stayed with for the first half of the ride. At the top, an Austrian cyclist remarked in perfect English (after I had apologised for not speaking German), on how we had only covered 15 km yet climbed over 400 m. It certainly was going to be a challenging route and the organisers were in no danger of being sued for giving false impressions. Not before time, the first real satisfying descent was enjoyed as we headed for Brelton. The road was steep with tight turns so care had to be taken. Then the route looped back to Theirsee and descended back down towards Kuftstein, affording magnificent views of the Kaiser range. It was now time to try out my rouleur skills as the road was almost perfectly flat to Mariastein. If only the wind had been behind me. At about 45 km the route branched off and up a short 12% climb opening out into a beautiful meadow landscape on the road to Breitenbach. This was a lovely rolling countryside section that gave me time to reflect on the weekend and appreciate the unspoilt views including quintessential Austrian alpine cottages covered with flowers. This was my first trip to Austria and if you had asked me my thoughts on the country before my visit, then I would have told you all about winter sports (mainly based on my memories of Ski Sunday and watching Franz Klammer in the 1980s), mountain and hill trekking and of course mountain biking. Road biking would not have naturally come to mind. However, I now have a totally different perspective.

58 | Cycling World As the Marathon route was about to show me, there are routes, roads and tracks to suit all levels and abilities of cyclists. These range from the testing climbs described above (more to follow) to perfectly flat routes in the valley, some following the River Inn. Without a doubt this less well known area of the Tyrol is perfect for cycling. Additionally, the hotels and bike shops are perfectly set up to fully support cyclists as well as providing a very enjoyable stay for partners and friends. Helpfully for those of us who have non-cycling companions, the area is awash with culture, activities, first class restaurants and hotels to keep ‘cycling widows’ or ‘widowers’ happy. The natural environment is worth coming to the region for alone, making Kuftersteinerland an ideal location for a long weekend or longer break for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. And to cap it all, it is just a short flight from the UK. The organisers of the Radamarathon have recognised this and provide packages including accommodation in hotels, guesthouses or holiday apartments, with options for breakfasts and dinners appropriate for participants. Bike storage is also catered for and all entrants receive a coupon for the pasta party on completion of the ride. Information on attractions and guides to restaurants are readily available from hotels and guesthouses. One attraction not to be missed is the Kaiserlift to the nature reserve on top of the mountain range. This chair lift is specifically designed to ensure a tranquil and serene journey to the top, so visitors are in a relaxed frame of mind to enjoy the mountain environment. The lift takes 30 minutes to reach 1273m as the single chairs slowly ascend through the treetops. As you get higher and higher the noise of the town and traffic diminishes and you ascend in almost complete silence with just the sound of bird song to keep you company. I cannot remember when I last sat for half an hour and just cleared my mind. I felt the mountain air brushing across my face and the early morning sun on my skin. It was a truly relaxing experience and put me in the perfect state of mind for my first ever yoga session that was taking place on a wooden platform near the top of the mountain. As my Garmin digitally tripped over to 66 km, I had to admit I was struggling to maintain a sufficient pace to

- Approaching first climb

December 2016 | 59

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60 | Cycling World

complete the ride in under six hours. A new strategy was required. I had been dropped by the small group and fighting against a slight headwind, my energy was beginning to sap. Also, one of my weaknesses is taking extreme caution on downhill sections. If you ever need eggs transporting down a mountain by bike without any being cracked, then I’m your man. Therefore, the new strategy was pretty obvious; drop on someone’s wheel whenever possible and ‘man up’ on the downhill sections. However, before I had a chance of putting my plan into action the Brandenberg ascent emerged. A monster of a climb; 3.8 km rising over 400 m. On paper it has an average gradient of 10% but that nowhere near tells the full story. On what feels like a never ending climb there are nasty little ramps ranging from 14 to 18%. I normally enjoy grinding out the gears on climbs but this one beat me. After just over 3 km stomping on the pedals in the heat, the temptation to pull over and swill my face with mountain water that was pouring into a roadside trough was too much. For the first time in many years I put my foot down on a climb and swilled my face and neck with refreshing cool water. Riders made of stronger stuff slowly pedalled past, but I had gone beyond caring. Hoping I hadn’t picked up a zoonosis or stomach bug from the unprocessed water, that would make the evening flight home more interesting than normal, I sluggishly climbed back on the bike, selected the 32-toothed gear and started grinding away again. The sight of the summit came as a great relief both to mind and body, and I joyfully changed to a higher gear. Something I hadn’t done for over 34 minutes. Thankfully a couple of kilometres later, an oasis in the form of a blue gazebo covering a table full of plastic glasses filled with coke and hydration drinks together with a selection of bananas, cake, nuts and bars came into view. For the second time in the space of ten minutes my feet touched the ground as I filled

both stomach and water bottles with fuel. A lovely descent followed and I put my new strategy into practice. I sped down the hill and I’m sure I cracked a couple of hypothetical eggs. The valley into which I entered alone (even with cracked eggs I was still the slowest) was stunning, yet I didn’t have long to enjoy the scenic view before the ascending started all over again. The sign at Aschau confirmed the worse, the gradient of the 1.5 km hill was 15%, just what I needed. I ground my teeth as well as my gears and astonishingly began to catch up with the riders that had just breezed past me. This was to be the last big climb and hence the last long descent followed. Two smaller climbs lay in wait with the second refreshment stop at 100 km, before a flat run into the Postwirt Hotel, Ebbs, where all my struggles had started five and half hours earlier. I crossed the line, ignored all the relaxation training I had received the day before and headed straight to the bar. Cold beer never tasted so good. A big ‘chapeau’ must go to all the volunteers who managed each and every junction, stopping traffic whenever cyclists approached, even for lone wolves like me. Most had hand-held radios so they could warn other marshals up ahead of our approach and also keep the organisers informed waiting at the finish. Indeed, the organisation was beyond reproach, the people notably friendly, patient and helpful. All impressive facts for the very first edition of the sportive. It had been one of the most arduous 131 km and 1600 m of climbing that turned out (according to Garmin) to be 133.5 m and 1900 m of altitude that I had cycled. Yet with fantastic roads, spectacular scenery and faultless organisation, it was one of the most rewarding. Start and finish of next year’s edition will be in the fortress city of Kufstein on10th September 2017, and I promise you, if you enter you will not be disappointed.

- Warm up from the River Inn

December 2016 | 61




Getting there

Aschinger Alm – alpine cheese dairy Kaiserlift, Kuftstein – direct lift to Brentenjoch

Hotel Postwirt Hotel Der Unterwirt / Beim Dresch


I used a Benotti Fuoco carbon race bike. Compact gearing with a 32 tooth cassette. Provided by Postwirt Hotel (owner George Horhager had the inspiration for the event). Their chief bike mechanic, Hans, set up the bike perfectly. Race bike €25 per day E-bike €25 per day

Hotel Postwirt Hotel Der Unterwirt

I flew into Munich airport, however Salzburg and Innsbruck are also convenient Approximate prices for transfer from Munich airport to Kuftstein: Taxi: About € 80 (one way) Approximately one and half hour journey. Train: About € 30 (one way)

General information

Other bike outlets

Schuler Sport Radsport – Stogeger Inn bike

- Cheese from Aschinger Alm Dairy

- Hotel Der Unterwirt

62 | Cycling World


Photos by

SalzburgerLand Tourismus

Cutting the Mountain Air in Salzburg Chris Burn rides the Eddy Merckx Classic Radmarathon, riding and eating like a pro


t's always an odd feeling, arriving in a new place when you're seemingly the only person there who hasn't quite worked out your game plan yet, and everybody else is either scurrying about or lounging in an aura of relaxed self-confidence. As my taxi pulled into Fuchslam-See, this was pretty much the situation. Directed into

- Fuschlseeregion

the garden of the Mohrenwirt Hotel, a bustle of bright coloured riders and the smell of hot lunch dazed me a little – I'd arrived just after the finish of a 25-mile Charity Ride, supporting Wings for Life, which began this year's Eddy Merckx Classic event. It didn't help acclimatisation that the first table I took stock of (and the one doing best

December 2016 | 63

at “relaxed self-confidence”) was occupied by some of the finest riders ever, with tens of Grand Tour wins, World Championships and scores of other victories between them. There was Moser; there was Zoetemelk, Fondriest, Gimondi... I had expected them to be there, but it was still amazing to see them chatting and joking with everybody around. There was a purpose to all of this – It's been ten years since Merckx decided to put his name and expertise to this event, and to celebrate there was the opportunity to ride in the tyre-tracks of ten of these great cyclists and of course, Merckx himself. But why Fuchsl, in the heart of Austria's lake district, and not his homeland? The answer is either touching or prosaic, depending on how much of a romantic you are. After the 2006 World Championships came to Salzburg, he fell in love with the region. Local organisers were quick to see the potential of Eddy's name and he was only too happy to oblige. He's attended every year since then, making it unique amongst similar events. It's grown considerably in those ten years, but then people here love their bikes. Salzburgerland (what the locals call the region around Salzburg) now boasts 4500 miles of cycle paths and MTB trails. Even a casual web search will bring up a plethora of accommodation options geared towards riders, with bike stores, tools, maps and other amenities guaranteed. The Mohenwirt was one of these, as was the GMACHL where we stayed – both even boasted their own riding kit! However, the next day 1600 of us would eschew the cycle lanes for the alpine roads, and a good deal of them at that. Three distances were offered; I'd already decided if I was going to don the Cycling World jersey, only the longest 169km (105-mile) course would do. Two things helped boost the confidence: the organisers had been keen for us to borrow bikes and I could see why. Airstreeem (yes, three Es) based in Salzburg make some rather tasty rides. My EEE Race was full of nice touches and, at 6.6kg it had stayed away from the food, unlike me. The other was, well, the food. Not only were we fed well 'al fresco' in the midday sun, but that evening the ubiquitous phrase was taken to the next level at Weyringer Wallersee, a fine dining establishment on the shore of the eponymous lake, not far from Fuchsl. Emanuel Weyringer and his wife Susanne run it together, and his exciting and slightly left-field creations have to be experienced if you're in the area; they were without exception, exceedingly good. Al fresco galore- from our table I saw the mountains over the lake absorb the sun's last rays, blued as if by the intense heat. I wondered how many of them would roll under our wheels the next day. Sunday morning was already warm at 6:30am. I'd actually slept which is a first

64 | Cycling World

for me before a big ride. The start area hummed with riders by 7:30 and there was an air of good-humoured expectation. Gathered with some fellow journos, our idle chat was burst by a full-throated cannon shot, which sent a perfect smoke-ring into the still air and set off, like some enormous clockwork machine, a brass band. The first group was off. The second shot was no less startling and with the third, we rolled away, soon climbing steeply away from the village to a place marked 'egg' on the map. It turns out it just means 'corner', or 'hill crest'; many small lanes are marked as such. It was certainly a challenging start, although I seem to do OK on climbs and had jumped a couple of groups as the smooth road levelled and turned south towards the Hintersee. This was the second of eleven lakes we would pass and the little peloton I'd settled into nearly didn't make it that far: for some reason the route markers were orange, proclaiming “Alpen Cup�, not the blue and yellow event branding. I must have missed a briefing, because someone spotted one and darted down a right fork. Brakes hissed at our reactionary turn-in, leaving leaders to teeter around a U-turn and follow, bible-verse style, at the back. More often junctions were marked by police or locals on scooters! Immediately the morning sun disseminated through the thickening canopy of Alpine forest and the road became rougher and narrow, dropping off disconcertingly on one side. The group didn't slow, so I soon found myself alone, the only moving thing. Once the fear of losing my way went, it was utterly fresh and peaceful. I was descending at 20mph but even the air seemed reluctant to rush past my ears; instead there was a tingling noiselessness. This is at least half why you'd come here to ride, I thought. The road edged west to within a mile of Salzburg, and I never knew until we crossed the A1 autobahn on our way to Obertrumer See. That blessed tree cover gave way to vast blue skies and wider, fast roads. There was not as much relief as I'd expected, in spite of the course having a hefty 2600m of gain. Or maybe it was that it came in long, gentle wodges, steadily testing mental resilience, the bright pastures and distant peaks ruining distance perception and helplessly diverting from the urgent task of using every muscle to the full. The long descents were rip-roaring. Sweeping around corners blinded by rock faces, tucked in for 40mph+ straights on velvety tarmac. At 6ft and 10st, I'm a terrible descender, with neither heft nor

The great Eddy Merckx

December 2016 | 65

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66 | Cycling World

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- Fuschlsee

December 2016 | 67 power at my disposal, but folding up behind the braver riders and gritting the teeth gave an adrenaline rush I've only ever had from black MTB runs, or missing print deadlines. By the time I was skirting Mondsee to the last pitstop, both up and down were tough going. You know that point where you've packed in energy bars, cake and the rest and all you want is something else? This was it. Most of a watermelon and a litre of water (kein electrolyte!) later, even being assured of six miles and 800m of climbing didn't put me off. (Turns out it was barely 400m, looking at the route profile after!) Either way, it was the last bit my legs could give. Rolling into Fuchsl after 6 hours and 18 minutes, I leaned the bike up and lay under a tree, the general merriment washing around the air all but unnoticed. So what would bring you here, when most people have a sportive of some kind on their doorstep? Pragmatically, well it's superbly organised, as you might expect. As well as the support of big brands, there's the air of a real community event for the locality, with the mayor in his finery, local musicians, homemade cakes at pitstops manned by eager townsfolk. Salzburg is only a short drive away: a cultural centre whose diminutive size for a major city only makes it more attractive, and not just for Mozart fans. The Classic is very reasonably priced, at €69 for the Marathon or €250 including a charitable donation and participation in the short tour with Merckx himself (signed jersey et al).

But for me, just riding here with so many people, chatting to strangers in broken German whilst the spectacular lakes and hills roll by, was enough to heartily recommend this goes on any seasoned sportive rider's list. Next year's event isn't set in stone yet, but the organisers told me 9th/10th September 2017 is likely, so pencil it in! Local information – Tourism Office – 4* bike friendly hotel in Elixhausen. Even has a bike workshop. – Bike friendly hotel in Fuchsl. Has a private beach and landing jetty. - Restaurant

68 | Cycling World

Russia and the Baltics In the summer of 2015, Jennifer Tough set out to circumnavigate the Baltic Sea coastline, covering 3800km and all nine countries in just 35 days. The trip was a solo, self-supported journey taken on a steel touring bike with just two panniers

December 2016 | 69


squeeze tight every muscle and bone in my body in a desperate attempt to shrink as another rusty, grumbling public bus skims the air inches away from my elbow. In Russia, the buses drive in the shoulder of the motorway so that passengers can leap on and off while faster traffic passes on the outside - and today the bus drivers are clearly unwilling to share their shoulder with a foreign cyclist. I departed from my hotel in Saint Petersburg several hours ago, but my map suggests I’m only now

reaching the outer limits of the city. I duck my head down and hammer the pedals; I need to get away from this suicidal motorway. Shiny new black sports cars intermit giant lorries carrying household goods to the EU. A farmer’s truck loaded with hay leaves me blinded as the wind carries the majority of his load down to the shoulder where I am fighting for space and oxygen. I am miserable, and cursing myself for being the only cyclist in the world stupid enough to cycle through Saint Petersburg, when at that exact moment I lift my head to see an old man wearing sandals and no helmet, casually teetering on a single-speed Soviet-era bicycle on the other side of the motorway. He’s not even on the dirt shoulder, unlike me in my helmet, brightest visibility attire, flashing lights, and clinging to the railing with fear. It is a universal truth of cycle touring that there is always someone older and crazier to make you realise it’s all going to be okay. My trip had begun 1500km ago in Copenhagen, from where I cycled through Sweden, Finland, and Russia, following the Baltic Sea coastline. Three weeks’ hence, I intended to arrive back in Copenhagen with a complete circumnavigation of the Baltic Sea under my belt. The dream of cycling into the finish line in Denmark was now the proverbial carrot on a stick in front of me. A land where cyclists are welcomed and provided paved bike lanes was a fantasy. The Russian border and the three Baltic nations lay between me and western Europe, and I couldn’t shake the realisation that a speeding lorry could take that dream from me at any moment. Visions of YouTube videos depicting the infamous maniacal (and often drunken) Russian drivers and their high-speed motorway accidents plagued my thoughts. I pedalled faster. 150km later with almost no breaks - largely due to the complete lack of fuel stations or roadside services - I arrived, famished, at the Estonian border. Families piling out of their air-conditioned vehicles to load up with dutyfree shopping stared in horror at the obviously poverty-stricken woman on a bicycle, dripping in sweat, inhaling a Clif bar; bike and rider both covered in a thick layer of highway dust and grime. My putrid condition was not lost on me as I joined the long and crowded line to cross the border

into the EU. Border guards glared without amusement as I attempted to push my loaded bicycle through the turnstiles, after the officials had demanded that I pass through the pedestrian crossing rather than the slightly more orderly (and spacious) traffic crossing. Nearly an hour later and with paperwork I didn’t understand at all, I emerged into Estonia. With glee, I fished out my phone to check that I would now have reception after the Russian service blackout, and I could finally update my mother (and Facebook friends) that I was, indeed, still alive. If only that. At the border between Ivangorod, Russia, and Narva, Estonia, two fortresses on opposing banks of the Narva river have faced each other for over six centuries, and the crossing point now exists on a bridge between them. The two cities have survived a shared history through conquests, trade, friendship, and, most recently, the Soviet era. Today though, Narva has embraced its return to a democratic Estonian government and recent investment from the European Union, and it is due to the latter that the transition over the border has probably never seen a more palpable contrast since the erection of both fortresses. After leaving the border office, the tarmac underneath my wheels instantly smoothed, and to my greatest delight I immediately happened upon a EuroVelo network sign. Estonia boasts a country-wide network of cycle tour routes, some of which are on segregated cycle paths, including the road out of Narva. I was safe. Despite my exhaustion from my long cycle from Saint Petersburg, my legs found new life as I set off to find a place to camp. Estonia is one of Europe’s lesserknown cycling gems. The national cycle networks go both around and through the country, offering several attractive one- or two-week cycle holiday itineraries, coupled with relatively easy terrain and inexpensive hospitality services. My aim remained to follow the coastline, which after another long day led me to the pristine Laheema National Park where I camped for once in a campsite, at the incredible low cost of €4 - luxuriously hot shower included. The long day in the sun had reaped devastating effects on my back despite multiple applications of sunscreen, and I spent an uncomfortable night avoiding lying on my back. The nearest tent probably heard a few whimpers when I daintily tried to pull on my tight sports bra

70 | Cycling World

- Long Road to Tallinn

at 5am the next morning, the elastic band scraping my tender, red skin. I vowed not to take it off again until the burns had healed - it was the only solution. From Laheema a short, flat and straight morning ride took me into Tallinn, the capital city and main port for the region, and also a significant milestone for me as the halfway point on my Baltic circumnavigation. The Old Town of Tallinn is incredibly preserved and magical, so I used my now exhausted legs and the celebratory achievement for an excuse to take a rest day, and booked my hotel room for another night and continued exploring - and healing. From Tallinn the coastal route took me directly west, to the outer islands of Estonia, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, and Muhu, my attempted pronunciations of which entertained many locals during my tour. Short ferry rides and the impressive 3.5km long 1896 Väinatamm causeway took me between the tiny islands where life seems to have stood still, predating the Soviet era save for a few solemn relics of more troubled times. After a few days of laidback island cycling, it was time to return to the mainland, and head south towards Latvia. Latvia struck with me with shocking contrast from easy-going Estonia, with a construction zone starting exactly at the point of crossing the border - a major case of start-as-you-mean-to-go-on. In fact, nearly every road I experienced in Latvia was either potholed, unpaved, or under construction. If you are in the road construction business, now is a good time to move to Latvia. The constant construction zones with no pedestrian or cyclist access rattled me and the bike so hard that my handlebars eventually dropped loose as I suffered an incredible headache. The generously termed ‘cycle routes’ were often pleasantly next to the Baltic shoreline, however usually consisted of a narrow sandy path. I pushed, pulled, and hauled my sunken, overloaded bike

through the deep sand for hours in the beating sun, losing fast my appreciation for the beautiful surroundings. The capital city Riga, dubbed the ‘Paris of the Baltics', was eventually worth the suffering and small countryside villages beyond made for extremely pleasant riding - in between the frustrating road conditions. The grand finale of Latvian construction zones - I stopped counting after twelve sets of one-way, loose gravel sections came in the last 10km up to the Lithuanian border. Every zone was a race against the green light. Once the light changed red and traffic started coming from the other direction, I had to dodge ruthless oncoming lorries motoring me down on the thin lane of accessible earth. I can say with complete shameless honesty that this was my first time doing sprint intervals outside of a spin studio. It became a bit of a game - Race the Lights. The construction zones were incredibly dusty and dirty, and the traffic kicked up dust everywhere. Dust in my eyes, in my nostrils, in my teeth, and a coating layer on my skin and

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- The Curonian Lagoon

72 | Cycling World the bike, so thick that I could draw a line in my legs with my fingertips. When it eventually came, I could have kissed the green, red, and white post indicating the start of Lithuania - and the end of Latvia. Like my entry into Latvia five days ago, crossing the border into Lithuania was an immediate transition to a completely different place. While the three nations that make up the Baltics may continue to be grouped together due to a shared history, they couldn’t be more different. Language, food, architecture, and culture all differ widely and touring the three consecutively - especially coming directly from Russia - at the pace of bicycle was undoubtedly the best way to experience the changes between borders. One common factor between the three, however, was that they have clearly shaken and almost entirely erased Soviet evidence, and have openly embraced the EU and international tourism. Lithuania meant the start of the 98km section of the Baltic Sea route that I had most looked forward to: the Curonian Spit. A natural sand dune separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon, this heavily protected park is shared in half between Lithuania and Russia. The Lithuanian side features a bike lane through the forest and sand dunes, leaving the civilised world far behind for a day of the most blissful riding I can recall in recent memory. When the sun got too hot, I stored the bike under a tree and raced down the steep sand dunes and into the glittering but awfully freezing Baltic for a cool down. I spent an afternoon in Nida, a historic seaside resort village where Lithuanians were enjoying their last week of summer holidays by fishing, sailing, cycling, swimming, or, as I was, enjoying a pint in an armchair looking out onto the waves. Just 5km past Nida, however, was the Russian border again. Kaliningrad, a strategic Russian exclave claimed from Germany in 1945, which, to my astonishment, transported me right back to the scenes I had experienced over a week ago in Russia. Everything from the sights, sounds, and smells, to the quality of the roads, was exactly as it had been back in the Motherland. They even run on the same time zone as Saint Petersburg, to avoid any question that you have definitely now left Europe, if only for a bit. The quiet border on the Curonian Spit is probably the least

popular entry point to Russia, being so complicated to get to, and my jaw must have hit the floor when the border guard not only smiled at me, but actually helped me fill out the complicated paperwork that I had certainly done entirely wrong the last time (in a file desk somewhere in Russia is my paperwork with intentionally illegible scrawling, my workaround not understanding Cyrillic text, knowing that no one actually intended to read it). She wished me luck - hardly comforting - and I started on my way, nostalgic for the week just recently spent in Russia. The last 80km leading into the city of Kaliningrad benefit from a brandnew motorway, with a large enough shoulder to feel comfortable, however guarded by high steel barriers that were not broken for any service stations. I warned my bladder that it would need to hold itself for a few hours - no chance I could jump that barrier for any emergencies. After a few hours of navigating terrifying city traffic, I found my hotel for the night - an odd ‘business hotel’ (not many tourists end up in Kaliningrad) where all the features of my single room appeared to be incredibly oversized, including two double beds pushed together to make the largest bed I have ever slept in. I explored this curious city for a few hours and then vowed to start my day out of the city at the crack of dawn in order to prevent a repeat of the traumatic ride I had had out of Saint Petersburg just over a week previously. Leaving Russia and the Baltics behind, I almost felt that I was home free only Poland, Germany, and Denmark were now left and surely each day the cycling would become easier (on a scale of road surface, safety, and navigation, at least). My body was weakening from the three weeks of relentless cycling, my face had developed an unrecognisable tanned colour, and I could no longer feed myself enough to offset the caloric burn - although the upcoming Polish cuisine would certainly try. I had only two weeks to get to my finish line in Copenhagen, and I wondered if I was excited to see the end of the physically punishing riding and the unforgiving plastic saddle that was falling out of favour with me fast. The pedalling was meditative, the scenery was stunning, and the perspective of exploring a part of the world from the saddle was so much more intense and incredible than any other mode of transit. I never wanted it to end.

December 2016 | 73

Kit List:

The bike: 2009 Rocky Mountain Sherpa with Shwabe Marathon tyres and Slime tubes. Capacity for 3L of water Handlebar bag: iPhone (doubles as a gps, library, notepad, and camera) Portable charger Passport Sunglasses Emergency Haribo

Top Tips

Don’t miss: The Curonian Spit in Lithuania Bring: A cyclocross or mountain bike Tours from: City Bike in Tallinn Old Town Try: Wine from Sabile, Latvia. It claims to be the most northerly winery in the world

Pannier 1: Ultralite 2-man tent Exped sleeping mat Ultralite 3-season sleeping bag Food (no cooking!) Sunscreen, mosquito repellant, chamois cream

Bike tools:

(inc Pannier 1)

-Hand pump -Patch kit -Multi tool -2x tubes -Lube -Cable ties

Pannier 2: Laptop (I can’t actually take five weeks off work!)

Clothes contained in two drybags: (inc Pannier 2)

-Cycling shorts/tights -Cycling t-shirts and sports bras -Waterproof trousers -Cycling jacket -Light raincoat -Fleece hoodie -Wool hat -Flip-flops -Toiletries

74 | Cycling World

ENERGY IN AN INSTANT NEW Kick-Start your performance with this great-tasting caffeine gum. Effective in under 15 minutes, each piece delivers 100mg of fast-release caffeine to boost energy and concentration. Packed in handy pocket size blisters, Kick-Start Gum is a kit bag essential.

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December 2016 | 75

Book Review

Keep The Sea To The Right


any book reviews start with “I could not put it down”, however, in the case of the above “I could not put it down” and finished reading it in just two days.

Staring at a map and daydreaming of adventure, Jennifer's eyes landed on the Baltic Sea. With nine countries lining the shore of this fascinating body of water, she quickly became captivated by the idea of a journey by bicycle all the way around it. A few weeks later, she landed in Copenhagen with her trusty steel bicycle, two loaded panniers, and a mission to ride a complete circumnavigation of the shore, not stopping until she arrived back in Copenhagen. Keep The Sea To The Right is the tale of Jennifer Tough’s 3,800-kilometre journey to circumnavigate the entire Baltic Sea coastline by bicycle, solo. In this book, she shares the triumphs and trials of her journey, from wild camping, enchanting history, Russian drivers, perfect beaches, challenging roads, heartache, and exhaustion, all while consuming quite a lot of coffee to complete her challenge. Folded in with her story is advice and experience from years of traveling the world by bicycle that will inspire you to go find an adventure too... I knew as soon as I got to the paragraph were she says “hello to the horses in a field”, she was a woman after my own heart. She describes each country she passes through with wit and personal opinions on all sorts of “unusual” encounters. All nine countries should thank her for the free tourist recommendations as she describes very vividly the scenery and the culture. It felt as though I was riding alongside her, but in reality I was sitting in my back garden. She was a very brave woman to have travelled so far by herself, camping most nights, leaving her family in Canada and her boyfriend in England, where she now resides. As a cyclist who has only recently gone on my first overseas trip, I have great admiration for this young woman who decided to take on such an epic challenge on her own. Maybe young is the main point, as I am retired and only recently hooked on cycling. She also mentions the fact that if you have an idea or a dream go for it, or you may well regret it later – I know what she means with all the “what ifs” through life. Forget that a young woman wrote this book as it will appeal to all who love travel and all who love cycling and, perhaps, act as catalyst to take up your own ambitions and strike out to places far afield.

by Jennifer Tough ISBN: 9781326660772 Published:, 07 June 2016 Price £9.99 from Review by: Sue Shields


76 | Cycling World

December 2016 Stage

Hamzabeyli, Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey (26 Nov – 12 Dec)

Total miles cycled: 2,740 (4,410km)

July 20

15 - De



Bicycle Diaries

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an’s s olo cy from L cle ondon to Teh ran

Rebecc a Lowe a 10,00 0km ‘b embarked on umm Europe and the el’ through Middle in July E threefo 2015. Her aim ast ld s are : c ultivate shapely a pair o calves f that wil envy of l be the and sh all she meets; ed ligh survive ; misund t on a region lon erstood in the W g est


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December 2016 | 77 December 2016 Stage


spend nearly a month in Istanbul. This wasn't the plan, but it turns out to be a very difficult city to leave. Gastronomically, there's almost no reason not to stay forever. And physically, it's a nightmare. The roads are ten lanes wide. The hills are practically vertical. Every time I imagine leaving I have visions of the film Labyrinth, with Maud and I clambering up Escher-like staircases and plunging head first into the Bog of Eternal Stench, while David Bowie the Goblin King looks on in contempt. This may be an exaggeration, but it's not far off. It also doesn't help that I'm having such a good time. My hosts are a lovely bunch, for a start. After a few nights with a Couchsurfing contact in Şişli, a pleasant commercial district, I move in with my new cycling BFFs, M and M, who are staying in the grungechic neighbourhood of Beyoğlu. I then impose myself on a lovely American couple, K and B, who have a stunning apartment with panoramic views of the Bosphorus, before catching a ferry to the Anatolian side of the city, where most people live, to spend my final few days with a friendly young cyclist from Warmshowers. From these friends and other contacts, I make during my stay in Istanbul – a medley of lawyers, activists, journalists and NGO workers – I start to piece together my fragmented understanding of Turkish culture and politics. The majority of this involves food, and can be summarised as follows: •

The street snacks are phenomenal and should be eaten at every opportunity. Pay special attention to the börek (cheesy pastry), midye dolma (rice-stuffed mussels), cig köfte (raw meat with spices) and the counter-intuitively delicious kokoreç (fried sheep intestines and offal). The chocolate baklava is a wanton orgy of the senses and should be bought solely from Sakarya Tatlicisi. Once there, it is unforgivable not to taste the kaymakl lokum too (Turkish Delight filled with cream). You can probably miss the tavuk göğsü, however: a milk pudding made from chicken, which would be fairly

scrummy if it weren't for the fact it tastes quite distinctly of chicken. •

The traditional Turkish breakfast is obscene and needs about four hours to do it justice. K and B treat me to a real humdinger, comprising bread, egg, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, dips (spinach, cheese, tahini, chilli), Nutella, honey, clotted cream and endless refills of tea. It is 'imperative' to get the ratio of honey and cream correct, B tells me, or the entire endeavour's been a waste.

I learn a few things that are not foodrelated too. I learn that everyone is born a Muslim and needs a court order to change this. I learn that weddings are immense and everyone gives gifts made from gold. I learn that Turks fear catching a chill so wear enormous coats even when it's warm, but are equally obsessed with smoking so are forced to sit outside miserably huddled against heaters in the winter. I learn that tea is not just a drink, but the lifeblood of social cohesion. I learn sex pests are common, in all shapes and sizes. And that women outside the cities rarely socialise in public. (How would men react if a woman walked into a café, I ask? 'They'd be delighted,' I am told. And if it was their wife? 'They'd be horrified.') I learn that Gezi Park, the proposed development of which sparked mammoth countrywide protests in May 2013, is a feeble scrap of turf by Taksim Square, recalling the disappointment I felt when seeing the pitiable grassy knoll in Dallas, Texas, for the first time in 1999. I learn that Turkey has responded extremely well to the refugee crisis, dealing effectively with 2.5 million migrants and putting Europe to shame. I learn that Erdogan has gone power mad but there is nobody even close to competing with him. I learn the media is heavily controlled and the police are all but untouchable. I learn the courts are in the pocket of the state, and human rights a chimera. I learn first-hand the fear and danger



78 | Cycling World

December 2016 Stage

Hamzabeyli, Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey (26 Nov – 12 Dec)

Total miles cycled: 2,740 (4,410km)

of living in a lawless autocracy when a leading proKurdish lawyer – Tahir Elci – is shockingly killed by an unknown gunman just two days after we meet. I learn all these things. And the upshot is an impression, deep and abiding, that Turkey is a country in turmoil. Split irreconcilably down the middle – like so many others – the schism is clearly growing: prostate factions on the one hand, crying religion, stability and security; pro-liberal factions on the other, crying secularism, justice and freedom. And never the twain shall meet. I swiftly become both fascinated and disturbed by this conflicted, desperate mess of a country. Even the weather unnerves me. During my time in Istanbul, the city seems to have skipped a season, shifting straight from summer to winter. Despite the strides I've made as a trailblazer of cycle fashion, I realise reluctantly it's time to put the socks-and-sandals aside. In their stead, I purchase a pair of trainers and ski socks, alongside thermal leggings, long-fingered gloves and a fleecy top. The Turkish tundra will not take me down without a fight. My exit from Istanbul is far more civilised than my entry. The Sea of Marmara separates me and Bursa, so a 1.5hr ferry helps me evade the urban maelstrom blocking my escape. When I reach the other side, I remount Maud for the final 45km schlepp. It is hilly and cold, the sharp, sunny air coated in a frosty glaze, and my limbs feel thick and heavy, like hunks of raw brisket. When I arrive in Bursa, a woman immediately dashes over to say hello. She's studying for a PhD in 'medical English' at Sheffield University, she says – and is no fan of Turkey. 'There are no rules here,' she says. 'Not for traffic, politics, business, education, anything.' Everything is based on corruption and nepotism, she tells me. She doesn't even have a room at university, as she 'doesn't know the right people'. She warns me to 'be careful of men and thieves', and tells me that 'Turks hate other Turks', as opposed to the Brits, 'who are very kind'. It makes me wonder about the impulse to romanticise cultures other than our own. Do we view them more favourably due to their unfamiliarity, just as we might prefer a passing acquaintance to a live-in relative whose bad habits and bodily functions have long destroyed any residue of respect? Bursa is unusually both a university town and one of Turkey's most religious cities. Most women are dressed in black abayas and colourful headscarves, and look rather old. My Couchsurfing host, O, doesn't seem to fit in well here: an aggressively anti-Erdogan atheist who (like many) sees the government as a bunch of mercenary crooks. Over an Iskender kebab – Bursa's traditional dish: a döner with tomato sauce, yoghurt and chopped up pita bread, and maybe one of the most glorious things


- Eskisehir old town


December 2016 | 79 December 2016 Stage

I've ever eaten – O gives me his take on his country. If there was just a semblance of justice here, that would be enough, he says. But there isn't. Wouldn't there be chaos without Erdogan, though, I ask? 'Yes,' he replies. 'I choose chaos.' I hit the road the next day. It's an unpleasant ride along a six-lane highway, and bitterly cold. After a nasty 10km hill, I stop outside a shop and am invited in for tea, bread and olives. The owner gabbles away pleasantly and incomprehensibly as I eat, a slight shadow momentarily flicking across her face when I explain I don't have children. As I leave, she gives me a kiss and an armful of apples. I arrive in Inegol in early afternoon. It's busy and grotty, but is redeemed by a lovely middle-aged man who insists on buying me lunch: a feast of lamb stew, chickpeas, yoghurt and rice pudding. He then finds me a discounted room in a new apartment block – and, his duty done, slips away. 'Beware of men and thieves', I remind myself; yet curiously, neither has proved a problem, as yet. The next morning I discover my bike has developed a puncture overnight. I spend half an hour peevishly fixing it, casting accusing eyes on the suspiciously sweet old lady hoovering nearby, before hitting the road to Eskisehir. It's a long 110km slog, and I spend the entirety of it grumpy and numb in the extremities. Why did nobody warn me Turkey was a cold country, I mutter to myself. How the hell was I to know? I like Eskisehir immediately. A thriving university town, it is a haven of liberalism in a largely conservative region. The old Ottoman district of Odunpazari is a beautifully preserved Technicolor palette of autumnal reds, greens and yellows, and also the centre of the Meerschaum trade: a soft white stone used to make pipes and jewellery. Bikes are clearly a big part of the culture here too. My Warmshowers host, A, goes out every Monday with a local cycling group. 'A few years ago you wouldn't see anyone on a bike here,' she says. 'Now there are loads.' A is a 30-year-old university English teacher, married to a private maths tutor. Both are atheists. She used to be religious, she tells me, until Erdogan 'turned it into something hateful'. The 2013 protests were huge, she says. 'Fear was broken. Gay people and minorities mingled with the crowds and were accepted. It changed attitudes forever.' After buying an array of Meerschaum Christmas gifts and posting them home, Maud and I take to the road once more. The highway is stale and tiresome, with a chunky hard shoulder carpeted by a perplexing amount of string and broken glass. Lorries thunder to my left, while forlorn brown fields unfurl to my right. Despite my multiple layers, a chill settles deep into my bones. - Lovely woman who feeds me



80 | Cycling World

December 2016 Stage

Hamzabeyli, Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey (26 Nov – 12 Dec)

Total miles cycled: 2,740 (4,410km)

After about 100km, I turn off into a small town called Sivrihisar. A hotel doesn't look hopeful as I trawl the deserted streets with their bleak tenements and corroded dumpsters – but help is at hand, it seems. Moments after I sit on the curb to ponder my meagre options, a young policeman approaches me and (speaking via Google Translate) offers to find me a place. He then, wonderfully, buys me a köfte in the local café before darting off. I wait in the café for his return. It's cosy and simmers with the dull murmur of young men playing cards. Everything seems muted somehow; monochrome. There's a sensation of blood stilled in the vein. Later, two girls with uncovered hair and platform boots arrive to play backgammon. The atmosphere remains subdued, and I am thankfully left alone. After my policeman returns, I am taken to his colleague's small apartment nearby. The colleague is a polite, earnest 28-year-old man who gives me tea and a pair of lion slippers. He then cooks a feast of chicken, rice, beef stew, stuffed vine leaves and pida (lamb pizza). As we eat, my policeman calls. At first I'm touched he's checking how I am – and then, suddenly, he asks my age. 'Why?' I ask. There's a pause as he taps into Google Translate. 'You like spend night with me?' he says hesitantly. I bark a few unrepeatables and hang up. Afterwards I'm unsure if I'm more angry or amused. Here's Turkish culture in a nutshell, I think: the warmth and hospitality on the one hand; the untempered male libido on the other. But he is a small town 20-something in a repressed Islamic state; I can probably forgive his errant hormones and opportunism. Over dinner, I grill my host over Google Translate. Is he Muslim? 'Of course.' Does he pray? 'Once a day.' Does he like Erdogan? 'He's ok. I don't like politics.' Are you married? 'No. I'm picky.' And your friends? 'Most were married by 22.' When I get on to ISIS, he livens up. 'They are murderers. Terrorism has no race, religion or language.' After a few more ISIS-related questions, he bristles slightly. 'Your questions show you have no idea about the real Turkey,' he tells me. He's right, of course. Is there even such a thing? Adele's quest to find the 'real India' in A Passage to India results in a nervous breakdown and ceaseless echo that drives everyone deranged. But I am keen to learn what I can – and just hope I can stop thinking about kebabs and chocolate baklava for long enough to focus on the task at hand. Follow Rebecca's journey at, on Twitter at reo_lowe, on Instagram at bexio8 or on Facebook at bexbicyclediaries. She is sponsored by Kona, Lightwave, Garmin, Arkel, Berghaus, Lenovo and Pedros.


- Galata tower, Istanbul

December 2016 | 81

Stumps and Cranks An Introduction to Amputee Cycling

About the Book

Many amputees want to know how it feels to be able to cycle. Some even want to be professional amputee cyclists. The disability market offers many options for amputee cycling, but how do you get started? How do you take those exciting first steps on your way to a higher level of mobility and independence?

Publication Date: September 26, 2016 Full-color print Pages: 376 Photos & Illustrations: 260 Binding: Paperback Size: 6.5” x 9.25” ISBN: 9781782550884 Price: £ 23.95 UK/€ 32.95 Category: SPORTS & RECREATION / Disability Sports SPO076000

The texts in this collection are written by some of the bestknown amputee cyclists in the world, including Margaret Biggs, Rajesh Durbal, Mark Inglis, and Kiera Roche. Their achievements are nothing short of remarkable—whether cycling around a velodrome at the Paralympics or around the world raising funds for charity. This guide offers great advice from experts and ordinary cyclists alike on all matters of amputee cycling. The book includes tips not only on the vast arrangement of two wheelers, but also tricycles, recumbents, handbikes, tandems, unicycles, electric bikes, and more specialized cycling forms designed for the disability market. Explore the world of cycling and enjoy an exciting choice of mobility. You will soon be forming your very own cycling dreams!

About the Author

Stumps and Cranks website

For further information and readers comments visit

Reviews Please visit the Amazon website for full reviews of the book.

Sonia Sanghani will tell you quite frankly that she has been a rather boring non-cyclist amputee for over 10 years. As a fairly enthusiastic beginner, she decided she wanted to read a book about amputees who cycle. Sometimes, if you want something you have to go out and get it and that is exactly what she did. A lot of emails, phone calls, and typing later, here is the result: a cycling book for amputees. It is a compilation of cycling experiences from around 50 amputees of all backgrounds at various stages of their cycling ability. Some are absolute beginners and others are Paralympians; all share a deep passion for cycling and can’t wait to share that enjoyment with others. These stories are sourced from all over the globe.

Distributed by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd. To place an order call +44 (0) 16 28 77 0 5 42 or E-mail:

82 | Cycling World


We are a family run business based near Bridlington operating 5 custom built cycle trailers catering for your cycle transfer needs across the UK. We are proud to work with Way of the Roses offering a comfortable, professional transport service for passengers and their bicycles from Bridlington to Morecambe and all other destinations including UK airports.

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Expect a warm welcome Beds from £15 per night

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In the heart of fantastic cycling country on Route 66 and midway in the northern stages of 'Le Tour '14' more quality off-road routes than you can shake a stick at... Hebden Bridge (5 minutes walk) has a thriving cafe and pub culture. Comfortable, cosy, secluded, accommodation (breakfast inc.) at budget prices.

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114 Cycling World

February 2016

Cycle insurance wherever your trail leads

December 2016 | 83

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E&L is a trading name of The Equine and Livestock Insurance Company Limited (registered in England and Wales no: 294940) Thorpe Underwood Hall, Ouseburn, York, YO26 9SS. ◆Maximum discount applicable on Cycle Insurance for new policies. *Premium based on minimum insurable value with all available discounts for new policies.

84 | Cycling World

Showing Cycling Mode

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