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22 October – 1 November 2016
Madagascar Cycle Challenge This exciting cycle challenge takes us to remote Madagascar, where spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife awaits. Our adventurous route takes us east on a mix of roads and dirt tracks, through highland plains and lush forest to the coast. After almost 500km of pedalling, we ﬁnish by the white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean, safe in the knowledge that you are helping Macmillan ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.
visit macmillan.org.uk/madagascar or call 020 7840 7875
rveindic E t Ro me
21-26 September 2016
Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).
Venice to Rome Cycle Challenge Join Team Macmillan for this 620km ride from the canals of Venice to the historic Italian capital of Rome. Our route is hilly, with some long climbs and takes us south through the rolling hills of Tuscany, passing traditional villages and fruit farms. You’ll feel incredible as you ﬁnish in Rome, but most importantly you’ll have done something truly amazing to help people affected by cancer.
visit macmillan.org.uk/venicerome or call 020 7840 7875
IC n N o e O E L C g n c
a m l Where will you ﬁnish?
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RideLondon-Surrey 100 Sunday 31 July 2016
London to Paris Cycle Challenge 13–17 July 2016
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Spin – The Urban Cycling Festival Sustrans Rides Interview: Martyn Ashton Cycle Touring Festival 2016 Taipei Cycle d&i Awards
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UK CYCLING 44
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Bikepacking: Fat Tyres and Camp Fires Cycle Insurance
OVERSEAS CYCLING Giro d’Italia Starts in the Netherlands Ride a Giro Stage: Maratona Dles
The Silk Road: 5,000km on a Handmade
Ireland Cycles Against Suicide
ED's LETTER May 2016
Four-deep beats a lock
ith my bike insurance coming up for renewal I got thinking about how not to get my bike stolen. I have always been one of these selfish people who tries to take my bike with me wherever I go. I got away with this when I commuted for work purposes with Sustainable Transport Charity Sustrans; nonchalantly draping my bike upon my shoulder like a bag, swooning through office receptions saying “it’s for a meeting about cycling, the bike comes with me.” This approach has led to uncomfortable feelings of arrogance and certainly yields little success in the public domain; particularly, and understandably, in places that are concerned about cleanliness and safety, namely medical centres, clothes shops and respectable restaurants. In actual fact, when travelling locally my scooter has given more scope within these mopped and hoovered environments. Other tactics have proved useful. I used to think that the sprint to the café stop on group rides was to get the order of a bacon butty in before the other fifteen riders did. Not so; it’s to get your bike safely against
the café wall with three other bikes leaning on top, thus virtually unstealable. When riding solo or in a smaller group, sitting at the café window can work, as long as you have adequately risk assessed the dash to the outside, silly cycling shoes considered. For the more anxious amongst us this can result in the sinful lack of attention to how good a slice of cake that really was. It is akin to that disrupted nap on a train when the only available seat is not within sight of where the bike is placed. Having to open a watchful eye at every stop reminds me of the cat napping once there were babies in the house. Let us not forget the art of “popping in.” Just how quickly can you purchase a supermarket item or pick up a prescription? Faster than it takes to steal a bike apparently, even though rapid movement in lycra resembles the ridiculous Mr. Bean. All of this could be dealt with through a decent lock. That extra weight, taking-up-space, more faffing, “am I the only one with a lock” lock. Oh well, I could argue that all of the above is keeping me fit and on the ball.
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The Atlas Mountains, Atlantic Coast, Sahara Desert … Morocco is the ideal place to have an amazing cycling adventure this spring. Hire a bike or bring your own to enjoy the great weather and fantastic landscape of this exotic country on Europe’s doorstep.
CYCLE TOURING FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE
NEWS BRITISH SUCCESS AT PARIS- ROUBAIX
an Stannard of Team Sky sprinted to third place at this year’s cobbled Monument, the 114th edition of Paris Roubaix, on April 10. Stannard’s podium place equals Barry Hoban’s success in 1972 and Roger Hammond's in 2004, thus breaking a long dearth of a Brit on the podium for the queen of the Classics. The race was won by Matthew Hayman topping a long and dedicated domestique career in a race that he has ridden a recordbreaking fifteen times. At 37, the Orica Greenedge rider upset all the favourites, starting with four-times winner Tom Boonen, who had to be content with second place. The win was all the more remarkable as early escapee Hayman, who had already twice made it in the top ten of the race, had broken his arm only five weeks previously and had hardly raced since. Hayman gives Australia their second win after Stuart O'Grady's in 2007.
A week earlier on Sunday 3 April
history was made at another Monument, The Tour of Flanders. Both the women’s and men’s Road Race World Champions won their respective events. Peter Sagan won the first monument of his career at the 100th Tour of Flanders, and in doing so, became the first world champion since Tom Boonen in 2006 to win in the rainbow stripes. Sagan made his race winning move on the Paterberg, distancing Sep Vanmarcke and riding into the finish 25 seconds ahead of Fabian Cancellara. Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders with the World Champion taking a narrow victory ahead of Emma Johansson with teammate Chantal Blaak in third. The Tour of Flanders is one of the most prestigious races in women's cycling and has been a key target for Armitstead in recent years. Her previous best result had been second in the 2014 edition. Marianne Vos was last wearer of the rainbow stripes to win Flanders, in 2013. Stannard trails Boonen in Arenberg
22 MILLION BRITS CAN CYCLE, BUT NEVER TURN A PEDAL
esearch reveals that 45 per cent of the adult population never cycle, despite knowing how to.
The YouGov poll, commissioned by the ETA, shows that although the majority of Brits can cycle (93%), more than half have not cycled in over a year. Almost one in three has not ridden a bike in a decade or more. The research underscores the disparity between men and women. Men are more likely to have learned to ride, own a bicycle and to cycle more often. Northerners are less likely to have learned how to ride and have less access to a usable bike than those living in the South. The type of person least likely to cycle is a divorced, retired woman with no children, living in the West Midlands. The type of person most likely to cycle is a single, never married, man with two children, 18-24, living in the south east of England. There are many reasons why the uptake of cycling is low, but of these 22 million potential cyclists, 60 per cent have no easy access to a bike. The ETA is aiming to reach out to these potential cyclists with Back on a Bike, a community outreach project that allows people the chance to try a comfortable bike in safe surroundings. www.eta.co.uk/trust/back-on-abike
POLICE TURNING BLIND EYE TO LAW-BREAKING CYCLISTS, CLAIMS NICK “MR LOOPHOLE” FREEMAN
Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, said that despite cycling as a mode of transport rising sharply nationwide in the last decade, only 839 cyclists in the whole of London were fined last year for riding on pavements, compared to 6,423 in 2011. In Manchester, 189 were fined for the same offence in 2011, but last year this had slumped to just 43. Its officers also fined just four cyclists last year for riding at night without lights. Last year in West Yorkshire, its police forced handed out just seventeen fines in total to cyclists breaching a number of laws, including riding at night without lights (two) and failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign (three). In Merseyside last year only twelve cyclists were fined for failing to stop at junctions compared to 35 in 2012. And there were only 222 penalty notices issued to those riding their bikes on footpaths
compared to 1,208 in 2011. These tumbling figures are against a backdrop of the increasing number of cyclists on Britain's roads. In 2014, it was said there were 645,000 cycle journeys a day across London as a whole. Mr Freeman said: “For a number of years now I have been calling for bicycles to have identification plates so those riders who break the law can be caught and prosecuted.” He added “The laws are there for a reason and I don’t believe our police forces are taking them seriously.” Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole
op level, British professional cyclists are among the 150 sportspeople that a London doctor has claimed he has helped take banned performanceenhancing drugs. The Sunday Times investigation of April 3 revealed that Dr Mark Bonar claims to have prescribed banned substances to ‘British Tour de France cyclists’ as well as premiership footballers, tennis players, a boxing champion and a cricketer. A Sunday Times undercover reporter posed as a would-be Olympic runner’ and filmed Bonar prescribing a course of EPO. Bonar works in the Omniya Clinic in Knightsbridge, London where he gives anti-aging treatment. His activities had previously been reported to UK Anti-doping in 2014 by a
sportsman with evidence of Bonar’s prescription of banned drugs, including testosterone and EPO. UKAD reportedly dismissed the evidence as of ‘little or no value’. Bonar commented on the Sunday Times investigation: “Some of these treatments I use are banned on the professional circuit. So you have to be mindful of that. Having said that – I have worked with lots of professional athletes who do use these treatments.” The Sunday Times could not confirm that any of the sportspeople Bonar claimed he treated had any involvement with him, either denying being treated by him or declining to comment, the paper said. UKAD announced that an independent review will now be undertaken relating to the Sunday Times’ claims.
olice are turning an increasingly blind eye to cyclists breaking the law, the country’s top traffic lawyer has claimed.
‘BRITISH TOUR DE FRANCE RIDERS’ AMONG DOPED SPORTSPEOPLE
Spin The Urban Cycling Festival
his May Spin returns to London’s Old Truman Brewery, celebrating the diversity of the cycling world, and arrives in Manchester for the first time.
Over 30,000 visitors will explore Spin Manchester (6th-8th) and Spin London (20th-22nd). The biggest names in the cycling industry are exhibiting alongside the freshest, most innovative and exciting start-ups. Bike brands like Cinelli, Fondriest, Condor, Sarto and Bianchi nestle beside tech brands such as Blaze, Sherlock and Lumo. Spin hosts The Summit this year, collecting the UK’s most prominent speakers, personalities and professionals from across the cycling world, giving visitors the chance to ask the questions they want answered. Q&As, presentations and interviews with Chris Boardman, Martyn Ashton, Patrick Seabase. On the 21st, Spin Women takes place with three headline discussions with the most influential women in cycling, including athletes, entrepreneurs and activists. Spin’s founder Alex Daw says: “It’s fantastic to return to The Old Truman Brewery this May to where Spin started, and we’re so excited to come to Manchester for the first time. Spin’s success is born from two things; our visitors and supporters, who continue to define us as the freshest, most exciting and innovative cycle show. People who have been to Spin know how versatile and fun it is, how much energy there is from everyone involved. This year, Spin is the biggest it’s ever been and with support from Immediate Media we continue to go from strength to strength, building a bike show that people love.” There’s a long list of things to see and do, including visitor favourites The Art Hub and The Frame Lab plus a cinema, performance area and an Authors’ Area. Add to this craft beer, street food and Workshop Coffee; it will be a refreshing weekend. In Manchester Cup North Coffee Festival bring their well-established show to the event.
Spin – focused on providing a consumer-focused festival based on grassroots and community cycling.
Manchester | 6th-8th May | Victoria Warehouse, Old Trafford London | 20th-22nd May | The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
During Deloitte RAB riders will cycle through 23 counties and 3 countries in 9 breathtaking days 800 riders / 150 support crew / 969 miles / 9 days
10th - 18th September, 2016
Enter now at www.rideacrossbritain.com Head to facebook.com/rideacrossbritain to find out 49 other facts about the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest and best supported End to End ride
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Sell out event in 2014 and 2015
ustrans is once again calling on cyclists of all ages and abilities to take on various exciting fundraising events across the UK this summer.
Liverpool at night
The rides cater for cyclists from all different backgrounds to attract a wide-range of participants. This is achieved by the London, Bristol and Liverpool night rides that offer a reasonable challenge, through to the Sea to Sea and Land’s End to John
O’Groats (LEJOG) rides for the more experienced cyclist. Whatever ride people do, they will raise money towards maintaining the National Cycle Network.
of Bow la
Kate Jones, events fundraising manager at Sustrans, said: “As well as the 18-day LEJOG, there are other routes of three, two and one day(s). They are all fantastic events which raise money towards the general upkeep of the Cycle Network.”
Many of the rides use the National Cycle Network which Sustrans first developed in 1995. The Network is now over 14,000 miles long.
RIDES AT A GLANCE
challenge that takes in the luscious scenery of England, Scotland and Wales returns for a second year. The ride takes a whopping 18 days and visits the very best parts of the National Cycling Network. Riders will be supported the whole way, led by experienced Sustrans staff and local volunteers with great knowledge of the route, first aid and bike maintenance. Accommodation at bike friendly B&Bs, breakfast and lunch will also be included and riders will have their luggage transferred. Admission for the trip is £1,800, plus there is a £1,000 fundraising target or upfront donation.
Bristol to Bath Path
LONDON, LIVERPOOL AND BRISTOL NIGHTRIDER
For the more casual cyclist with less time to spare, the night time bike ride offers a unique moonlight cycle through three of Britain’s most iconic cities. Experience the thrill of witnessing London landmarks including Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye in a 100km circular route. The tour starts and finishes at Lee Valley VeloPark on the 4-5 June at 10:45pm. Take in the famous sights of Bristol including the Old City Docks and the Clifton Suspension Bridge as you complete this 100km circular ride by moonlight. The ride starts on the 25-26 June at 10.30pm. The Liverpool Nightride is a 100km circular route designed as three loops, with a 50km loop across the Wirral (subject to permissions to use the tunnel) and two x 25km loops in and around the city. The ride starts at the 16-17 July 10.30pm.
Sea to Sea (Irish Sea to the SEA TO SEA (C2C) North Sea) 140 miles Stretching between the Irish Sea and the 21 May – 23 May London Nightrider North Sea, this 140-mile route proves immensely popular with 15,000 people 62 miles 4 - 5 June riding it each year. Bristol Nightrider 62 miles 25 - 26 June Liverpool Nightrider 62 miles 16 - 17July Land’s End to John O' Groats 1,040 miles 30 July - 16 August For more information, visit www.sustrans.org. uk/2015events.
LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS The epic 1,040-mile
After dipping your back wheel in the sea at Whitehaven, this stunning ride will follow quiet country lanes and paths into the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria and the North Pennines, covering 79 miles of traffic-free paths that meander through heathland, moor, dales and England's historic industrial heartlands. It'll then cross the fabulous Millennium Bridge in Newcastle before finishing at Tynemouth. The trip costs £250, plus there is a £250 minimum sponsorship target or upfront donation.
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INTERVIEW: MARTYN ASHTON
By Helen Hill
artyn Ashton is a former British and World Champion mountain bike trials rider, stunt rider and team manager. Now presenter of YouTube channel Global Mountain Bike Network and producer of You Tube films – Road Bike Party 1, 2 and 3 and Back on Track. He is also an ambassador for the charity Wings for Life having suffered a life changing accident in September 2013 which left him paralysed from the waist down. Last July he rode a modified mountain bike on the trails in Argon Festiniog, North Wales. Helen: Your Facebook page shows you are obviously inspiring a huge number of people. Do you think you have pushed the boundaries of disability mountain bike riding?
Helen: Guys have been riding four-wheeled mountain bikes in the Lake District for a number of years. How important was it to you to get back on two wheels? Martyn: I think the four-wheeled bikes look super fun, there is also a three-wheeled version that looks pretty amazing but for whatever reason two wheels captured my imagination; leaning into a corner, balancing the bike that was what I felt excited about. Helen: Is there a market equivalent of the electric bike I saw you riding around on in the first part of your video? Martyn: I have several bikes and this is the same bike design as I used in the Back On Track video. It is a mountain bike frame with a sit ski seat and an existing mountain bike ego motor – throttle actuated bike – more like an off-road motor bike. There is a fine line between what is mountain biking and what is not, and I am not sure what I think about it but then I love motorcycles. If I was to do a downhill video with an electric bike it would need to be a different style to a traditional mountain bike video. Back On Track was a traditional downhill video. I love it, the slight anxiety of knowing I couldn’t stop is fun and having people around you whose job it is to not let you stop rolling along is hilarious. They
had huge enjoyment out of that and that feeling of ‘OMG’ we’ve got to keep him moving! Going out and riding your bike is something you do with your mates. When I think about going riding I think laughing and banter. Electric bikes are slightly different and I’d be thinking something slightly different than riding a normal mountain bike trail. I like riding motor bikes so I am in both camps. The electric bike is safer because I can choose when to stop. A downhill bike with no motor is a bit like ‘let’s see what happens’. Helen: You also mention your family quite a lot in your writing and videos. Are your family the driving force behind your rehabilitation? I see that your son is becoming a trials rider. Martyn: My son Alfie actually quite likes BMX at the moment. He’s into quite a lot of stuff at the moment. Helen: How old is he? Martyn: He’s fifteen and up for anything. Like any fifteen-year-old he’s pulled in lots of different directions – great person, lots of positive energy, a really happy kid. My injury affected him. Helen: How did it affect him? Martyn: Life changing for all of us, changed all the plans but we’ve been through an experience where we’ve come to a different understanding of how things are and how things work. Definitely they are a huge support for me. Can’t imagine what it would be like without them. They have been amazing. It’s changed all our lives. I think we do a pretty good job sometimes; our matter of factness about it is disarming to some people. I’ve got a really positive view of my situation and have had one from the moment I had my accident. I was lucky enough to realise that I was alive and that gratitude has never gone away. It got me on the right path almost immediately and we’ve got a great understanding of it. Helen: I guess it is easier for them to be positive if you are positive? Martyn: I guess so. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m Mr Cheerful. I definitely have my off days but it’s just normal stuff. Like today it’s not very nice weather wise and that makes me feel, just like
Martyn: Good question. I am really lucky to have support from the cycling industry to get back out on a bike, particularly from close friends who are professional riders themselves, but also the energy from the cycling community. I certainly feel I had a lot of help so I don’t want to take all the credit for it. The way I achieved it was essentially to adapt a sit ski seat (a winter disability sport) onto a mountain bike. I really liked the idea of being on two wheels and the fact no one had made this adaption before captured people’s imagination and we had a really great time, seen in the video. People like to see people having a good time. If that inspires people then great, it’s my job as a professional mountain biker to make mountain biking look good fun.
anyone else, oh I wish it were sunny today. When it’s raining I don’t sit inside and think oh I can’t walk. Helen: Do you think – oh I can’t get out on my bike today? Martyn: The bike and getting back on it has not been the big mission that my FB page would suggest. I didn’t think oh I have got to ride again – I presumed I would which says a lot about the people around me. My accident taught me a lot about life, what is really important. Years ago I would have thought bike riding is what it’s all about and that is what defines me. It doesn’t. Helen: So the accident has almost created a bigger picture? Martyn: I’m very grateful for the situation I’m in. I’ve learnt a lot and I have a lot to learn. I was fortunate to have a long and fun riding career. I’ve got a sad story to tell if I choose but everybody has got a sad tale to tell. It took me until 40 to find it out but the journey I’m on has been a good one and you don’t know where it is going. Helen: Finally, your whole idea behind your concept ‘Try Before July’ is that there are so many things you might want to do but actually you just have to get on and do them. What are you planning next? Martyn: I tried to focus on ‘Try Before July’ as a goal for myself. It feels great to try something new and that’s when you realise it’s great to be alive. I’ve got a list of things people have offered to help me do – one of them is flying! Somebody has said I should try an adapted plane. If it is horrendous I want it to be as horrendous as possible. I hate flying I think because I spent so much time flying so I could compete that it has put me off so I’m not sure if I will do it or not. Another goal is World Run – organised by Wings for Life. Helen: Tell us about that.
Martyn: World Run is a running race that happens all over the world at the same time but instead of having a finishing line, the finishing line chases you. You run off and then 15mins later a car starts off on the same track and chases you down. It is so much fun as you can almost sense the car behind you as the furore builds. The car is usually driven by a celebrity and in the UK in 2015 it was David Coultard. It is in May 2016 in Cambridge – it has been at Silverstone for the last couple of years. Being in Cambridge is going to be really cool because there will be lots of support from the public. My wife Lisa ran alongside me and we got about 10k but there are runners who take it really seriously. The level of runners is from both ends of the scale, from ultra marathon runners to my dad who is 80 years old. You can watch it digitally and it’s all live. The global winner ran 76km. It’s a brilliant event.
The charity Wings for Life organises it and their mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. It’s really important and I feel that in the future they will find a cure and if I can do my bit to help then I will. A big thank you to Martyn Ashton for talking to us at Cycling World. Join Wings for Life on May 8th 2016. Be part of the only global race where the finish line catches you. www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com
MAY 28TH TO
JUNE 5TH 2016
National Go Canoeing Week is our annual celebration of all things paddlesport! Whether you have never picked up a paddle before or you are a seasoned pro there is something for everyone. With hundreds of events and challenges on oďŹ&#x20AC;er across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will ďŹ nd adventure on the water whatever your level!
CYCLE TOURING FESTIVAL 2016
Scott Christian reminisces on 2015, and looks forward to this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe
As a cyclist, you get to visit some glorious places, that most who travel at speed in metallic monsters fail to see or experience. Clitheroe was such a place, historic narrow streets and the trip advisor favourite, a castle! The venue for my inspired weekend was Waddow Hall, just on the outskirts of the town. I was camping and I soon met my neighbour, a grey-haired adonis appearing from a simple canvas shell who I immediately recognised him as Stephen Lord. I immediately liked the guy, he was the epitome of friendly and considering he is ‘Mr Adventure Cycling’ there was not a pretentious bone in his ageing body. After all the introductions and explanations about itineraries etc., it was time for, normally I would say bed but ‘COLD TENT’ was more appropriate. I slept relatively ‘tent-like’ – uncomfortable, cold, damp, but always memorable. The morning and some heat was overdue and as I was wiping the dribble from my face, Mr Adventure Cycling appeared, fresh faced and offering a homemade hot beverage.
Cycle Touring Festival 2016: 27-30 May 2016 A ticket covers the whole weekend, costs £85 and includes: • All talks, workshops and activities • Friday and Saturday night camping • Food from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon Camping on Sunday night costs an extra £4. If you don’t want to camp, B&B accommodation is also available. That subsequent coffee sweetened with honey was an absolute delight, but so was the man himself. The expert barista awoke me the next morning with the same steaming infusion of coffee beans and honey, and it’s something that I will never forget. The Saturday for me personally was extremely chaotic, I had to talk early on about ‘Writing for a Magazine’, and the panel consisted of me and Ruth Jarvis. The atmosphere was relaxed and the questions and interest flowed. I was amazed at how many people had attended, especially this early on a Saturday morning; the obvious draw was Ruth, who is one nice lady and a plethora of information and advice which she has acquired throughout her illustrious career. Next up was UK and Ireland, in the BIG room, on the panel was myself and Anna Hughes, who is a mechanic and cycle instructor, but is most famous for her book ‘Eat, Sleep, Cycle’. The room was full, an eager crowd awaiting our words. Thankfully we both held their concentration, I waffled about Ireland, especially Connemara and specifically the
‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and she explained in detail her trek around the coast of Britain. Then after lunch, it was Europe with Kevin Shannon and Hannah Reynolds. Kev has spent a lot of time walking in Serbia and cycling through Europe and Hannah, as well as being a fitness editor for Cycling Active, is also a minefield of information on France. I love her book ‘France en Velo’ written with John Walsh, the illustrations are wonderful, the feel of it imbues a raw Gallicness. Cyclists are weird, I know because my DNA is overwhelmed by all things two-wheeled, I admit it (crikey I feel like I am in rehab)- we invariably are selfish, committed, resolute but ultimately likeable human beings. There is no pretension, this small group of speakers are well-known authors, successful in their own way but what a great bunch and hopefully they will become great friends and not just the stereotypical acquaintances. Personally I would miss the banter and interactions that the organisers Laura and Tim have nurtured by accident, the success of the festival has even surprised them. It is definitely an addition to the cycle touring calendar. Canada, Taiwan, China, and Clitheroe. I can’t wait for the 2016 event! There are numerous speakers confirmed for 2016. Highlights include: Stephen Lord wrote the first two editions of the Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook. After twenty years of travel and mucking about, he is embarking on a new career as an exercise coach. Kevin Shannon is an adventurer, writer, speaker and entrepreneur from the UK. In 2010 Kevin set off from his home in Cheshire, UK and spent a year and a half cycling almost 10,000kms around Europe – a journey that involved attempted muggings, being hit by a drunk driver and punching a wolf in the face (seriously). Kevin has also walked the length of Serbia (twice) and is currently writing his first book. Harriet and Neil Pike traded backpacks for bikes in 2008 and soon discovered the joy of using pedal power to get high. They’ve sought out mountain routes ever since, exploring Andean mine roads and pushing their Surlys over mountain passes in Ladakh. They are happiest when cycling to and hiking up big volcanoes on the Puna de Atacama. Having settled in Bristol, they are updating Trailblazer’s Adventure CycleTouring Handbook. Kate Rawles cycled from Texas to Alaska in 2006, criss-crossing the Rockies and exploring North American responses to climate change. The Carbon Cycle; Crossing the Great Divide (Two Ravens Press, 2012) was short-listed for the Banff Adventure Travel Book Award. Her next ‘journey with a purpose’ will involve South America, the Andes and biodiversity. Kate lives in Cumbria and is a keen hill-walker, sea-kayaker as well as a lover of cycling, preferably hilly.
arrived, slightly drive fatigued, after crossing from the east coast and the slightly windswept coastline of Scarborough, having just lapped up the Tour of Yorkshire. I had ventured over the border from the rose of Yorkshire to the rose of Lancashire, the perceived hatred is a publicity gimmick which does promote interest but in reality is nothing more than light-hearted banter.
TAIPEI CYCLE d&i AWARDS 2016
aiwan is a key producer of bikes, components and accessories. This year its capital was the chosen location of the Velo-city conference which brings together those involved in policy, promotion and the provision of cycling facilities and programs. The organisers tell us why Taipei: “Bicycles and a burgeoning cycling culture has been the cure to Taipei’s transportation headache— limited available land, dense population, an army of motor vehicles that are commonly seen in many vibrant, organic prominent Asian metropolises.” Taiwan is dubbed the Kingdom of Bicycles and thus hosts its annual Cycle Show, the Tour de Taiwan and the Cycle Design Exhibition, a much-covered event this year as Taipei is the World Design Capital 2016. Cycling World caught up with the Taipei Cycle d&i awards where 47 winners from 182 entries took home prestigious awards in the categories of bicycles, components, accessories and e-bikes. Among them, five outstanding products were granted a supreme honour, the Gold Award. Meanwhile, a special award, “Gold Award – Young Enterprise” has been selected among the start-ups.
NERS RD WIN
M Y’S CO R U J E H
Entry: X-mini Kids Push Bike Category: Bicycles Design office: Chuhn Chuan Corp. The clean, straightforward, no nonsense design makes any kid the coolest kid on the block. Beautifully machined parts and a clever folding mechanism at the pivoting intersections made it a neat package. Every aspect of it was well resolved and a unique alternative to the wooden push-bikes available on the market today.
Entry: Super B Chain Whip Pliers Category: Peripherals and Accessories Design office: Super B Precision Tools Co. Ltd.
The innovative way of using spring tension to fit the pliers to cassette is fantastic. This design eliminates the need of opening up the holding hand thus reducing possible injuries. This simple tool has no frills but is a great innovation that is well-designed. It is so nice to see someone spending time and effort to bring design to one of the unsung heroes of the cycling workshop.
Entry: BESV CF1 e-Bike Category: E-bikes and Pedelecs Design office: BESV Design Team Client/Manufacturer: Darfon Innovation Corp
BESV CF1 has thought through the needs of the city e-bike. It performs particularly well with its built-in features which include lights, sturdy rack, lock and battery contained in a very stylish frame. The geometry is fairly upright for a comfortable ride in the city.
Entry: Inflatable 45 Jacket Category: Peripherals and Accessories Design office: HydraKnight Innovation Co., Ltd. Protanium The product is excellently designed, stylish and practical, but most importantly it addresses the problem well because the insulation can be varied with the seasons. Deflate it to compact dimensions making it easy to carry around.
Entry: Disc Brake Carbon Wheel Category: Components and Parts Design office: Gigantex Composite Technologies Co., Ltd. This state-of-the-art disc brake carbon fibre wheel set with adjustable carbon fibre spokes is light and nicely manufactured. The exaggerate shape of the hub design takes full advantage of the properties of carbon composite. Performance, perfection and elegance are the resulting slick design which make this a niche product.
Entry: Coast Cycles Quinn, Compact Commuting Bicycle Category: Bicycles Design office: Coast Cycles Private Limited This model combines the chunky strength and urban cred of a BMX but gives some practical and additional eyecatching options such as bag carrier and basket. Its threespeed internal-gear hub with belt drive and fat tyres make it an efficient and fun bike to ride around town. This can encourage a target market that is looking for a bike that maintains some BMX values but needs a bit more practicalities for a grown up lifestyle!
HE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; T F O
ARD W A LD
PRODUCTS: EDITOR'S PICK Cycloc Solo Bike Storage £60
This is an elegant and easy way to store bikes of all shapes and sizes. Versatility is the key with a spacer to accommodate wide bars, rotation for angled frames, horizontal or vertical storage, and available in seven bright colours. There is room for accessories in the centre and the facility to lock the bike. No wonder the UK Design Council described it as “a minimalistic triumph of form and function.” www.cycloc.com/ps
Myklpos Mirror £19.99 A much-needed safety item, this mirror is worn like a watch. Usable with straight or drop handle bars and ambidextrous. A convex lens gives a good field of vision. Made of strong, light weight plastic with extending arms and rotating base for good variation of positioning. The neoprene strap fits over winter cloths, and is removable for cleaning. Available online www.myklops.com
Optilabs’ Max Prescription Glasses £160
£20 off Max glasses until 31/5/16. Use voucher code at the online checkout or over the phone.
Once used I thought why haven’t I been using for years. I can read road signs and see potholes! An optical prescription insert clips to the back of the nose bridge. Available in four trendy colours with vents for airflow. Made from lightweight shock-resistant thermoplastic with an anti-slip adjustable bridge. The Max has light-reactive photochromic lenses, that darken and lighten well with changing conditions and go virtually clear in very low light. A life saver!
Sprintech Mirrors £23 for pair
These adjustable mirrors are available for drop and upright handlebars. They are unobtrusive, light (20gr.) and allow easy filtering through the traffic while the chrome coated mirror area gives an excellent view of the road users behind. They do not rattle or vibrate, are available in five colours and come singly or in pairs. In 2012 at the Brussels International Exhibition in Belgium they won a gold medal. email@example.com
SUCCESS FROM A TUMBLE
amais Contente (Never Happy): the name of the car that, way back in 1899, was the first to go at 100 km/h. This name could also describe Carlo Dondo (1942): he is never entirely satisfied with his creations; his first thoughts are how he can improve them and simultaneously invent something new and useful. Being an inventor is not a job but a state of mind, a kind of virus that gets into your bloodstream as a child and that Carlo soon learned to recognize and to take advantage of amid the one thousand and one necessities and surprises of everyday life. Finding in Switzerland a more receptive and productive base than in Italy, which he left when he was just sixteen years old. The idea of the drop bar mirrors came from a traumatic experience of Carlo Dondo after two serious accidents on his custom made racing bike. Two accidents that could have been avoided if only he hadn’t had to turn around to check the traffic behind him. His innate passion for cycling urged him to find a solution suitable for all road bike enthusiasts. The license plate device Carlo invented in 1984, for which he won his first Silver and Gold medals in Geneva and Brussels, was already a consolidated business at the end of the last millennium, so much so that a few years after selling this business to a third party he started to focus on and improve every aspect of the product range that embodies his entrepreneurial philosophy: the Sprintech® Racing drop bar mirror for racing bicycles and the Sprintech® City for MTB were born. Just as had happened for the license plate device, when the drop bar mirrors were presented at the Innovation Exhibition in Martigny in Switzerland in 1996 they won the second prize for Innovation and the Gold medal at the Brussels International Exhibition.
As a result SPRINTECH® VISION 360° was created, uniting reflective power and movement. From tests carried out the perception distance at a speed of 50 km/h at dusk/darkness goes from 25 METRES without Vision 360°, to a staggering 150 METRES with two Vision reflectors affixed to the back wheel’s spokes. This means that the cyclist is visible 9 seconds earlier. This is more than enough time for car drivers to adjust their speed and avoid any danger to the cyclist. Recognition for the innovation and its usefulness again came from the panel at the Brussels International Exhibition in 2012 where SPRINTECH® VISION 360° won the Gold medal. The SPRINTECH® products are made in Switzerland. More information can be found on www.sprintech.eu
May 2016 Feature Promotional
SEEING WELL is only the first half of safety. The second is BEING SEEN. Carlo understood this early on and, between one ride and another, he began to reflect on this. Something that would ALWAYS be visible especially for the biggest threat to cyclists: the car behind them.
Today the Sprintech® mirrors are becoming even more popular globally thanks to the trends on rider safety. Riders value the superior quality of these products thanks to their market leading sleek design, ease of fitting and secure positioning when riding over cobbles or bumps. Once used, you will wonder how you navigated the roads without a mirror!
A Fast Growing Frame Material By James Marr, Founder of Bamboo Bicycle Club Bamboo bikes are growing in popularity and are currently on display at The Design Museum’s Cycle Revolution Exhibition. Interestingly they appeal to the desire for bespoke and selfbuilt. The origin of bamboo bikes in the UK goes back to the 1890s with the Bamboo Cycle Co. who were based in Wolverhampton with a showroom in Holborn, London, from where they delivered bicycles to aristocratic families. These early bamboo bikes were joined using steel lugs and sold as a premium product to the elite classes. The late 19th century simultaneously saw the growth of cheaper steel bicycles, which quickly came to dominate the market. Bamboo bicycles began to re-emerge in the mid-1990s with the recognition of composites as a viable bicycle material in conjunction with an increasingly eco-conscious population, but it was once again a premium product. The biggest growth currently in bamboo bikes is workshop and homebuild kits due to the workable nature of the material. The founders of Bamboo Bicycle Club began building bamboo bikes in 2010 and established the Club in 2012. They quickly realised that bamboo was an accessible material for a person to build his or her own frame from. It also allows the builder to create a unique frame customised to suit their body shape and needs, offering something very different to mass-produced frames. The founders of the club compare their frames to existing bikes on the market and find bamboo to be comparable and in some ways better than traditional frame materials.
The Club has now been running for over three years and runs workshops in London whereby people of all ages and abilities can create their own style of frame; including road bikes, track bikes, fat bikes, tandems, BMXs and they also offer a custom frame design option as well. In 2013 the Club launched a home-build kit allowing people who are unable to travel to London to build their very own bicycle at home. Each kit is supplied with everything needed to build a frame, including a jig and detailed step-by-step instructions with supporting videos. The kit is extremely popular, with exports to over 30 countries. The Club also started an educational programme in 2014, encouraging the next generation of engineering, designers and cyclists.
Every builder creates their own unique bicycle and rides away on something made with their own hands. Testament to the durability of bamboo bicycles includes a London to New Zealand trip crossing the Pamir Highway in winter followed by monsoons in India. Other journeys include the San Marino Etape along with countless sportives and an everyday commute to work. Bamboo is an unconventional material to build with. Unlike steel and timber, it has no certification and choosing the correct bamboo (from over 1,500 species) is key to the build.
However, bamboo is extremely well-suited to bicycles due to its natural shape and excellent tensile strength. Unlike timber, bamboo has a denser cell structure on the outside rather than the inside, giving it a tensile strength three times that of timber. Bamboo is not the only material in a frame, as it is impossible to join together with a conventional dovetail joint. Modern composites following the principles used for carbon bikes (carbon and glue) are used, allowing strong and durable joining methods. Building a bamboo bike is not without its challenges. Although bamboo is the predominant material, a metal shell needs to be inserted into the frame for bearings etc. This can create problems with thermal expansion and the linking of two different materials together. It is therefore vital that the bamboo culms (stem sections) are selected for the right part of the frame, e.g. the denser base of the plant is most suited to the seat-tube to deal with the compressive loads. Another issue is fitting components, which have been designed for conventional materials, most evident in creating wheel clearance for a fat bike with 4.7 inch wheels. With a steel frame you simply bend the chainstays to form an elegant shape to accommodate the wheel whilst also allowing the crank to rotate. However, bamboo cannot be bent and formed easily, so it requires specific treatment. Additionally, most bicycle manufacture will replicate a build thousands of times with the same geometry and components. Conversely, no two bamboo bikes are the alike, each needs to be matched with its own components. Thus, in principle every single one is a prototype. The Club is committed to continued development. The founders are passionate about the advancement of natural composites to complement and even replace existing materials, and believe bamboo bikes are at an elementary level and that much more can be achieved. Bamboo’s properties allow for greater manipulation, creating light-weight, aerodynamic bikes and an improved ride. It offers a sustainable alternative to an industry dominated by carbon with an average life of three years before going to landfill.
Another exciting development is a move into the growing cargo bike production. A recent build with University College London saw the creation of a cargo bike for Africa, highlighting the need for bespoke solutions to serve local communities. The Club have also partnered with other universities in Oxford and Portsmouth to apply their practical knowledge with academic research and testing. The Club’s community is ever-growing and shares a key mission: An open forum where builders can share their knowledge and experience to create a better understanding of potential future challenges and developments. Do join at bamboobicycleclub.org
April saw a weekend event at the London Design Museum exploring a “future bike.” The club 3D-printed the lugs (connections) and joined them using bamboo. The demonstration explored the concept that 3D printing will become mainstream but limited by size. Therefore, printing lugs is feasible, but not a full bike. Bamboo can be easily grown and harvested locally and used as the tubing.
Bamboo Bicycle Club Road Bike Kit £260
By Chris Burn
Yeah, no problem David, I'll build a bamboo bike”, on the phone to the Ed. My geeky radio-controlled aircraft-building youth would see me through. Well yes and no. Yes, because you will need a handy side and no because, well, even then you'll find this an interesting challenge.
First off, the guys at the Bamboo Bicycle Club offer a build workshop (£495) if you want the kudos but think you might create a faceplant trap if left to your own devices. The kit itself is very comprehensive, including extra tubes should you mess up. I was a little disappointed by the initial look of the supplied vertical/horizontal (you choose) dropouts which were rough cut slabs of alloy, but I suppose there is the fun of finishing them how you like. The included instructions are well-presented little booklets full of logical steps, photos, and hints. They stress that you read thoroughly before; there are a few errors: but thankfully mainly grammar, spelling, and formatting so nothing to stuff you up. At worst it resulted in a bit of unnecessary head-scratching, or just a good snigger. The tubes are joined in a supplied jig to which the metal parts (BB, head tube, dropouts) are attached. The process of carving them to butt neatly together is at once time consuming and beautiful. A neat little online program calculates the curves onto flat paper, which wraps around the tubes. It's designed for welded steel so I had to play with the dimensions (and contact the author) to get it right. I guarantee you will feel like a master craftsman: calloused, slashed hands whittling away delicate spirals of bamboo. The satisfaction of the tubes locking together without any glue is immense.
Before gluing, I bulked up the jig with tape as I wasn't happy with the play in the headtube and BB areas – visions of riding down the road with one crank higher than the other haunted me nightly. The tubes were wrapped in paper, scraped back at the ends (glue doesn't stick to the waxy skin) and tacked into place with cute little pouches of resin. I actually got this wrong, letting it set wonky at the BB. Frantic web searches for “debonding epoxy”: a heat gun and then it was re-glued. It's possible, just so you know!
The final stage is wrapping in hemp soaked in two-part epoxy. And it sure is a messy time. No matter how careful you are (and you're working against the epoxy-curing clock) it will get everywhere; just be thankful you don't have to take photos as well! By the time it was done my head was swimming with vapour. It looked rough as guts but the next morning, the tape compressing it together came off to reveal a satisfying smooth satin finish. It cracked satisfyingly off the jig and I ripped the paper off like a five-year-old birthday boy. It was a bike! That I had made! How fitting that it's a bike, that eternal image of freedom and choice. The kit sums up life so well: it ain't easy, but work at it and you'll get something beautiful. I can't wait for the parts to come so I can get on board for the ride review.
Darren Rhymer wears Optilabs MAX frames with photochromic lenses and prescription optical insert. Plus FREE clamshell case & cleaning cloth.
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The Peloton in Miniature A roofing contractor from Hampshire who has a passion for cycling, was looking for an arty hobby. Cycling World Editor meets Rowley Haverly. The creator of exquisitely detailed mini cyclists.
How did you, a roofing contractor, get into the painting of such detailed mini cyclists? I actually work at a roofing merchants and importers. I could never be a contractor as I'm scared of heights! I had been looking for an arty hobby to occupy the winter evenings whilst my wife, who is self-employed, caught up with paperwork. I used to really enjoy drawing as a child but for some reason hadn't done anything remotely art-based since my art O level. I saw a feature on similar figures in a magazine and thought painting them would kill two birds with one stone. Fulfil my artistic urges and satisfy my interests in all things bike. Where do the source the unpainted figures? After a bit of research, I managed to track down the particular forgery in France that made the zinc figures I like the best. Fonderie Roger have been casting these figures at their factory just outside Paris since the 1950s. I originally ordered 30 to paint up for friends and then decided to put a few up on Ebay. They sold quite well so ordered some more. At this stage I was painting well-known cycling stars past and present like Coppi, Merckx and Team Sky etc.
After a while I started putting photos of completed pieces up on Instagram which helped massively in networking with cyclists all over the world. This then led to getting requests for custom figures of the cyclist themselves in their kit on their bike and this has now proved more popular than the pro riders.
I was asked to paint a figure for a gentleman in the USA who turned out to be a contributor for Velo News and he kindly wrote a piece on me and my little riders and that was wonderful in promoting what I do and things really took off from there. Cyclists are a particular bunch and are quite specific in their likes so anyone wanting to buy their partner a cycling related gift can have a tricky task in getting it right, so my figures are often bought as gifts for cycling partners, which is lovely to do.
Colourful jersey of Z Vetements
Rowley Haverly surveys the peloton
Editor in Thanet Road Club kit
Sir Brad of Team Sky
Cycling World 32
Fignon in glasses
The bunch on a climb
The Giro Pink Jersey
The Grim Reaper Puts Down His Scythe
We have been impressed by the level of detail. For example, you asked me for more info about the vents on my helmet. What is the process of creating a custom-made figure? If somebody requests a custom figure I ask that they send photos of the front and back of their kit, driveside of bike, shoes, helmet and sunglasses along with anything else they would like included, such as facial hair, tattoos or how a female cyclistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hair is worn. I like to make the figures as accurate as possible. I am restricted a little by the style in which the figure is cast, but I can make a few alterations to get closer to the subject in question. I make helmets, sunglasses and longer hair out of Milliput Two Part modelling clay which on a number of occasions I have used to make panniers, rucksacks and clothing. More often than not I mount the figures on a slate base and give them a road, pavĂŠ or cyclocross effect finish. It makes them more of an ornament and less likely to fall over and get damaged. What's your favourite/most interesting figure? It's really difficult to pick a favourite, it changes. I like the La Vie Claire figures and the Andy Hampsten Gravia one I did with added snow. The Bradley Wiggins figures came out quite well. As soon as I painted on the beard it looked like the man himself which is probably more to do with Fonderie Rogers sculpting than my painting skills. My current favourite is a Laurent Fignon figure that involved filing off the cap the figure comes moulded with, and then making his trademark ponytail and a tiny pair of glasses out of clear plastic. I think of the few figures I actually own, the ones I am proudest of are the 1971 pro team diorama set I made for the Rouleur Classic show. I hadn't really made a scene like it before so it was a challenge. I was lucky enough to get Eddy Merckx to sign it whilst he was there so that's definitely going to be one to hold onto to. What's been you most challenging commission? I was asked by Specialized last year to create a peloton of the three full teams that they sponsor plus one representative from the other Tour de France teams plus the jerseys to be used as part of their "aero is everything" campaign on their social networking site. I had about two weeks to complete them which was tough but it was fantastic to be asked to do it. At the moment I am working my way through an order of 50 for the Bianchi UK owners club. Sounds like you have been very busy this year. Could the mini figures become a full-time job? It would be amazing if the painting would become my full-time job and that is my ultimate goal. I've always wanted to work within the bike industry but am not technically-minded and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pretty average on the bike, so the painting has made me feel at least somewhat a little bit part of it.
The Bicycle Colouring Book Ed's effort- use pencil and felt tips to get matt and gloss effect
olouring books are for kids, right? Not any more: you will see colouring books aimed at adults populating the bestseller charts, often requiring a high amount of patience and skill to do justice to the intricate drawings. And cyclists are never one to miss out. I am sure that I am not alone in being surprised at the success of such an ‘old school’ past-time, but at the same time is reassuring that not every activity has to revolve around the latest technology.
There have been many different themes to these books (even Mills & Boon got in on the act recently), and this is the latest one dedicated entirely to cycling. Well, I say cycling because there is a bicycle on every page – but apparently there is also a cat on every page as well (although I did miss a few), so maybe Cat World magazine will be interested in it as well?
The drawings on offer here are always surreal, and sometimes even disturbing; if you are a fan of adult comic books or urban art you will be familiar with the style. The book “follows the amazing journey of a riderless bicycle exploring the dystopian, fantastical landscape. The other-worldly scenes offer something weird and wonderful for colouring enthusiasts.” We are invited to “tighten your pedal straps and follow me on a journey across the sky and
under the sea”, and that sets the scene perfectly for what to expect. If you experienced The Ride Journal (2008-16) you will be even more familiar with the style, as the artist Shan Jiang provided the cover image for all ten issues of the critically acclaimed publication – and the same cues are very evident in The Bicycle Colouring Book. Jiang’s normal method is to first produce the picture at A3 size, which leads to some incredible detail on the finished size (which is a little under A4). This is the first time that the artist has published any ‘un-coloured’ work, although if you open up the centre gatefold you will see that Jiang has completed the colouring of a whole spread (with the un-coloured version alongside). Actually, perhaps you should not look at it, because your own efforts might never match the beauty and perfection of the version completed using digital technology. As is usually the case, only one side of the page has a drawing to be coloured in (because of colour ‘show through’), but the other side has not been wasted: each page has a small illustration on the reverse that together form a flip book, featuring that cat again. This is a beautifully presented bicyclethemed colouring book, with a very distinctive style.
Review by: Richard Peploe Publisher: Laurence King Author: Shan Jiang ISBN: 9781780677774 Published: 1/4/16 Cover: Paperback Retail price: £12.95
Is there any better way to holiday than on a bicycle?
Cycling Holidays in Europe
WWI Battlefields of Belgium 1 – 5 August 2016 The Loire Valley Chateau 10-18 September 2016 New Year in Winchester 29 Dec 2016 – 1 Jan 2017
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OXFORD BIKE WORKS
with upgrades (Dynamo hub / Brooks saddle / custom colour)
700c Tourers We are now offering our popular Models 1, 2 and Rohloff Tour in 700c wheel sizes, with either drop (+£80) or flat bar configurations. They can be built with road or mountain bike transmissions. Tyre sizes up to 700x47 can be accommodated. A wide range of upgrades and free options is available. All fitted bikes come with our comfort guarantee*. Step-through frame available on special order (700c only). A 7% second purchase discount is available to customers from the same place of residence. Call for further details. Model 1: £1180
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BESPOKE PRODUCTS: EDITOR'S PICK Beaumont Bicycle Hand-built Steel Frame £1099 Liz Colebrook has worked in the industry for over 30 years taking time out in the nineties to study Occupational Therapy. Her company Beaumont Bicycle offers a bespoke framebuilding service based in Bishop’s Castle, South Shropshire. Her approach to bike fitting and frame design particularly welcomes customers needing or preferring to ‘stepthrough’ the frame, but not exclusively. One of the few women framebuilders in the UK, Liz is someone who understands the body as much as the bike. The frame shown uses high end Reynolds tubing (853 and631) to give lightness and strength. Liz is also working with Trevor Jarvis of TJ Cycles – home of the Flying Gate - as one of his new framebuilders. www.beaumontbicycle.com
Granule Frameworks Hand-built Steel Frame (Frame, forks and bespoke paint option)
£2000 Shaun Wakefield works from a small workshop in Tenterden, Kent, creating hand-made bicycle frames. Each frame is unique, designed and built to the exact specifications and requirements of the rider. His bicycle frames combine engineering and graphic design skills to create a thing of purpose and beauty. The frames are made-to-measure using steel and employing artisan techniques. The frame shown features a lower bottom bracket than most road bikes to improve handling and a tapered head tube to increase stability. This ensures a responsive and precise ride when on the road. www.granuleframeworks.co.uk
Bespoke Spokes: Upcycling to Art £5 for smaller pieces, £200-400 for lamps/lights and up to £1000 for full-sized sculptures. With ‘Upcycling’ becoming ever more popular, designer and artist Joe Goldstein, has used his passion for bicycles to create pieces of original art and sculpture. Entirely hand-crafted using only upcycled parts of bicycles, Joe’s pieces are extremely diverse. The collection includes urban-style household items such as tea lights, side lamps and coasters as well as steel taxidermy; steel plants and robotic sculptures some reaching over six foot. www.bespokespokes.co.uk
A new hand-built wheel specialist based in Bristol. Offering any wheelset from lightweight carbon speed weapons for time triallists, up to the wheels on full suspension rigs offered by Starling Cycles, also of Bristol. Shown are a pair of Shimano XT hubs laced with Sapim Race Spokes to Mavic's A719 Touring Rims. A good, solid, traditional choice for a Sustran’s work bike. The rider says "Surveying cycle routes for a living means my wheels handle a daily hammering. I rely on my bike through forest, farm and fire roads, potholed back lanes and forgotten tracks. The wheels are everything I could have asked for!" www.RyanBuildsWheels.co.uk
April 2016 May 2016
RyanBuildsWheels Prices start at £225
SCOTLAND’S ONLY 100 MILE CLOSED ROAD CYCLE SPORTIVE 65 and 45 mile options.
Pedal Moray’s whisky country, scale The Lecht and descend to Aberdeenshire’s Royal Deeside.
he Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale is the first and only 100 mile Closed Road Cycle Sportive in Scotland. The Royale really is The King of the Road so celebrate the spirit of Scotland’s majestic North East and make the Royale the ultimate finale of your season. Pedal through Moray’s famous Whisky Country before testing your stamina with an alpine climb over one of the highest roads in the UK. Catch your breath at The Lecht Ski Resort before descending into Aberdeenshire’s Royal Deeside.
The Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale featured on ITV’s “The Cycle Show” when Mark Beaumont tested the entire 100 miles on a Penny Farthing. It’s all about the journey with three routes to choose from: the 100 mile circular route (starting in Ballater), the 65 mile linear route (which begins in Rhynie) and the 45 mile linear route, (setting off from Dufftown). The Royale has panoramic views of wild open landscape and all routes finish in Ballater where a warm welcome awaits participants and friends with a festival atmosphere of music and entertainment planned for the whole weekend.
The Royal Burgh of Ballater and the surrounding area has much to offer for new visitors and returning friends alike and David Fox-Pitt of WildFox Events, the challenge events company behind this sportive, is thrilled to be working with Quilter Cheviot once again following the success of last year’s event. September 18th promises to be a spectacular and memorable day so register today for your cycling goal of 2016. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ENTRY: www.etaperoyale.com WildFox Events www.wildfoxevents.com
B-HIDE: HAND-CRAFTED BICYCLE SADDLES £100 for plain to £220 for an intricate design
ONLY THE BEST MATERIALS FOR B-HIDE - The leather used in the process is of the highest quality. It is the same leather used by high-end car manufacturers in their premium interiors. The leather is from bulls in Europe. The reason for choosing bulls and not cows is due to the fact cows produce milk, which makes the leather stretchy, which is not the best for a saddle. The fields the bulls live in don’t even have barbed wire as that could mark the hide. The carefully selected hides are then tanned using a very fine paint, this uses a drum process which ensures the colour goes
into the hair follicles rather than just staying on top. If you rub cheaper leathers together you get a squeak and that’s basically the paints rubbing together, you will not get a squeak with B-Hide leather. They can offer all the colours you would expect and many many more for that truly bespoke service. The colouring and quality is important but it has taken a long time to discover the right thickness for a B-Hide saddle. The hides used are split to the optimum thickness to remain flexible without being too brittle. The leather is the main material for the saddle cover however they can really offer some design flair and contrast with threads. They have access to over 350 colours of threads for you to choose from, in fact they can match the thread to a specific pantone. The threads used are industrial grade polyester which is dyed using a special process to withstand the highest levels of abuse. If you don’t want to use threads as a contrast they can also offer punch work with contrasting colours or appliqué where a separate shape is layered into the saddle cover. www.b-hide.com
-Hide was founded by Barry and Jason some years ago. Both of them have a healthy addiction to riding, racing and collecting a host of bikes. Barry and Jason have been riding together for many years and are members of Blazing Saddles racing team based in West Sussex. The idea for a truly bespoke saddle came from a post-ride coffee and cake. They were frustrated by the fact that none of their bikes had a saddle to perfectly match and compliment the frames.
CUSTOMIZED TOURING BIKE FROM OXFORD BIKE WORKS
by Rod Lupton
’ll start with a little history – my eldest brother died early last year and left us siblings some money. I was of course saddened by his demise, but he had had a full life. I decided that to commemorate his life I needed to buy something special that would remind me of his time and also change my world for the better. Well of course I decided to buy a new touring bike. A bike that might take me around the planet if I felt that brave, or at least on some long distance adventures in Europe and the near East. The internet taught me many things about touring bikes. They are built for longevity and to go far reliably, day after day carrying your kit with you. They must be fixable should you find yourself in a small village in Tamil Nadu with only a backstreet repair man to help you. There are many bikes on the market but not many of them fit this niche bill. Not many of the large bike manufacturers are concerned with touring bikes, and very few bespoke bike builders cater for this market. But I found a man who can. His name is Richard Delacour and he started up Oxford Bike Works three years ago. During this time he has built over 220 touring bikes, built both to his own specs and to order. He partners with a local wheel builder should you require hand built wheels.
Richard runs a totally personalised, customized service to build the bike you need. I opted for the Model 2, with handbuilt wheels and my choice of frame colour. There are many optional upgrades and changes available, so unlike buying a bike off the peg, you get to choose each component if you want to.
The process of getting the bike built was a pleasure. Richard listens to the customer, only starting a bike when he’s sure what the rider wants. He gets the customer to think about what he/ she really needs. Thus he will always try to have a face-to-face meeting and fitting session at his workshop near Oxford. I made the journey and found it very useful as it included a test ride and minor adjustments to make it the most comfortable ride possible. So far the ride has been most pleasing. The bike is strong, reliable and comes with a guarantee. I opted for 26 inch wheels rather than 700c giving me
good stability. I chose the flat Humpert Ergotec handlebars with Ergon GP 5 bar ends, giving me a range of seating positions for comfort during those long days in the saddle. The Model 2 comes with Shimano Deore XT 30 speed transmission as standard, giving the ability to climb the steepest hills fully-loaded, as well as being able to cruise at 40km/h on a club run. Richard also offers a chainset with steel chainrings so that you can cross continents without needing spares. Both the Model 1and 2 can be built in 8, 9, 10 or 11 speed formats depending on the type of touring you are doing. If you’re headed off across the Sahara, 8 speed strength might be preferred. If you’re planning a fast Land’s End to John O’Groats, you might choose the 10 or 11 speed options. I was offered a wide choice of tyres at no extra cost, from 1.25” (32mm) to 2” (50mm), and Richard spends the time finding out what type of terrain you want to use the bike over before making suggestions. All in all, for little more than the cost of an off-the-peg machine I bought a decent steel-framed tourer, properly fitted, with custom gear ratios, tyres and a choice of quality saddles. But perhaps the best thing was that I could go to his studio and see a range of touring bikes in the flesh, when in so many bike shops there might be just one in the shop – and they’d rather you didn’t take it for a test ride.
SPECIFICATION Frame: Model 2 Large with Custom Colour Front/Rear Mech: Shimano RD-T780 Cassette: Shimano CS-HG62 11-34 Shift Levers: Shimano SL-T780 Chainset: Shimano FC-M391 44-32-22 175mm Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-UN55 Chain: Shimano 10speed Wheels (handbuilt): Deore XT hubs Ryde, Sputnik rims, Sapim spokes Brakes: Shimano BR-T780 Saddle: Velo Seat post: Humpert Rear rack and low loader: Axiom Journey Handlebars: Humpert Ergotec Handlebar Grips: Ergon GP1
Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series Mudguards: Axiom MTB Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon 1.5
Bike-inspired Creativity Review by David Robert
Why does the humble bicycle inspire so many creative minds? Why does it have such universal appeal?” A question posed by the author; a translator, an editor and a columnist for a Canadian Bicycle Touring Magazine.
The book’s response is more of a how than a why. Through research and interviews, it is a tribute to the designers, inventors and dreamers whose ingenious bike-inspired creations may have missed the public attention they deserve. Featuring concept bikes, research on materials, recordbreaking attempts, zany designs and projects with a social impact.
Original Title: La Créativité Liée au Vélo' Author: Pascal Mageren Published: 2015 Velosophe Available: €30 at www.velosophe .be/book
Text in English and French
There is a long chapter on bicycles produced by around twenty car manufacturers. It is worthy of consideration as the two industries have always intertwined, originally with bike makers moving onto cars, but now with car manufacturers exploring design and striving for originality on two wheels. One can’t help being curious about what the likes of Lamborghine and Porshe have come up with. The book is fun and inspiring whether flicked through for amusement or read extensively for quirky facts and unlikely tales. It is certainly broad in its coverage. Materials include the expected wood and bamboo, and then moves onto plastics. Frame- shapes range from the mark of Zorro to the fork-free. The bizarre bounces from the sperm bike to the bikebecue (yes, that is a pedalled BBQ). Beyond the rideable there is tyre track art and a twenty-metre high obelisk made from 340 bikes. Even though the text is duplicated in French and English (useful if you are learning French for a cycling Holiday: “Excuse me, where is the nearest Trivex polymer repairer?”) it’s still a book-full. Photos are pleasingly predominant, text is concise and informative. Passion is ever-present, evident in the designers featured and the author who has researched extensively and chosen thoughtfully. Though joyful and amusing there are serious messages in the introductory text about pursuing ideas and the wider benefits of self-propelled transport. There is no shortage of nuggets like: “Slower travel leads to faster encounters” and “creativity is the ability to change the way you see things, and consequently your perception of the world.”
Fred Van Beneden does Ironman Triathlon
8bar Ucon collaboration bike
TRAFFIC-FREE CYCLE RIDE BRIGHTON SEA FRONT TEXT BY WENDY JOHNSON A27
H OLLIN GBU RY
WITH D EAN
A2 02 3
EAST MOUL S ECOOMB
WOOD IN GD EAN BOST LE
20 GOL F COURS E
H OV E LAWNS
B RIGHTO N B 212 2
N AT U R E R ESERV E
HOV E A202 3
H I L L
MOUL S ECOOMB
FA L M E R
H OLLIN GD EAN
3 12 B2
BRIGH TON PIER
VOL KS EL ECTRIC RAILWAY
2 R OT T INGDE AN BRIGHTON MARINA
A25 9 ROTTI NGDE AN WIN DM ILL
E N G L I S H
SALT DE AN PAR K AND LIDO
A259 A25 9
Distance: 7 miles Start: White Cliffs Café, Saltdean Finish: Hove train station NCN route number: 2 Train stations: Brighton and Hove Grade: Easy
TERRAIN, GRADIENTS AND ACCESS
Tarmac path with a short on-road section at Rottingdean
This cliff top and promenade ride offers some wonderful views across the English Channel on its way to Brighton and Hove, one of the south coast’s liveliest cities with a growing cycling culture. Start at White Cliffs Café opposite Saltdean Park and Lido, where there are two options for heading west towards Brighton. NCN 2 follows the cliff top path, where the elevated position offers wonderful views of the chalk cliffs and sea. On this route you’ll ride past the distinctive black Rottingdean Windmill and the colossal building of the world-renowned Roedean School overlooking the water. Alternatively, take a more sheltered ride along Undercliff Walk and closely follow the shoreline beneath the white chalk cliffs, with views stretching across the Channel all the way. It’s a refreshing and easy cycle whichever route you choose, and both paths join together again at Madeira Drive near Brighton Marina. This is the biggest marina in
Europe, so have a wander between the sleek boats and apartments, and around the parasol-covered terraces of the popular bars and restaurants here. Leaving the marina, reach Black Rock and ride alongside the tracks of Volks Electric Railway, passing Brighton’s naturist beach along the way, discretely concealed behind a shingle ridge. The Victorian arches that run alongside the path are incredibly elegant, and you’ll pass the Artists’ Quarter on the lower promenade where little cafes and galleries occupy the space beneath the arches. There’s a real energy and lust for life around this part of Brighton, and the mix of cyclists, skaters and joggers that you’ll meet along the path gives it an almost Californian feel in high summer. Ride past the Brighton Wheel and the famous Brighton Pier, and consider taking a short on-road trip from here into the town to find the ‘extravagant pleasure palace’ of the Royal Pavilion, Prince Regent’s over-the-top bachelor pad. Back on the promenade you can’t miss the sad skeleton of West Pier out in the water but, derelict as it is, it still comes alive every winter at dusk when one of the UK’s most spectacular starling roosts takes place there. In the final mile, ride past the magnificently restored
LOOPS, LINKS AND LONGER RIDE
Downs and Weald route is a 164-mile on-road and trafficfree route from London to Hastings, via Brighton. NCN 2 Shoreham Promenade.
The White House, Brighton (01273) 626266 www.whitehousebrighton.com. YHA Brighton, 0800 0191 700 www.yha.org.uk
EAT AND DRINK
Try White Cliffs Café at Saltdean or Molly’s café and The White Horse pub at Rottingdean. There are lots of waterside restaurants at Brighton Marina Village, or try Pavilion Gardens Café, Bandstand Café or Velo at The Level, a wonderful cycle café. The Upper Crust Bakery at Hove is very popular.
Amsterdammers’, Brighton train station (01273) 571555 www.brightoncyclehire.co.uk
Victorian bandstand and end at the grassy seafront spot of Hove Lawns. There’s a signed on-road route through Hove’s wide streets to the train station, or continue a further mile from the Lawns to Hove Lagoon, where the route joins the road to Shoreham-by-Sea.
CYCLING & CARAVANNING
Dartmoor by Phil Cheatle, Sustrans
IN DEVON by Helen Hill
Jack and I are off to Devon” I declared as we were leaving the Cycling Club’s Youth Christmas party. “Why” my friends asked. “Because we are doing of a review of cycling in the area around Brixham and staying in a caravan.” “Lucky you” they replied, somewhat tongue in cheek. A strange time to go as it was just a few days before Christmas but it was the only time I could fit it in. We had a long journey ahead of us so we set off with our usual supply of snacks and drinks. No hold ups and five hours later we arrive at The Caravan Club’s Hill Head Camp Site where we were met by Tina and Chris, our very amiable hosts. At this point the wind had picked up and it had started to rain. Chris showed us how the caravan worked – a quick introduction to the heating system, the fridge, cooker and bathroom. A health and safety check and then we were left to ourselves. As we slept the wind picked up, rocking the caravan like a tumble drier as heavy rain battered the roof. Not the conditions we were hoping for as we had plans to ride the Devon lanes. We awoke to more rain and because the campsite was on top of the hill, the wind seemed even worse than it had the night before. This was not going to be a day to ride our bikes as we were likely to be blown off and soaked to death. We were lucky as the caravan we stayed in was warm and comfortable with everything in it that you might need. Despite the weather we went off and investigated both the caravan site and surrounding area. The site is extremely clean with a modern toilet and shower block. There is a small, well-stocked shop where you can get anything from dog food to suntan lotion – not something we would be needing! There is a swimming pool – not currently open as it is outdoors but great for the summer. There is also a large games field, a recreation field, a children’s play area for younger kids and a separate area for dogs as they are welcome at the caravan club site. The caravan park is well-placed for bus links into Brixham and you can get the bus to Kingswear, from where there is a passenger Ferry over to Dartmouth. There is plenty to do for non-cycling members of the family and there is an information room on site with maps to show what is available, whether it be visiting Agatha Christie’s House, cruising along the River Dart or shopping in Torquay. A caravan pitch at Hillhead Caravan Club Site costs from £18 based on two adults and two children per pitch, per night. To book contact The Caravan Club on 01342 326 944 or visit www.caravanclub.co.uk
MINNOWS CYCLE ROUTE Okehampton
The route takes in part of the West Country Way Cycle Route, following the towpath of the Grand Western Canal. Travel through Tiverton town centre and along the old railway line. www.caravanclub.co.uk/media/18005770/minnows_cycling_
A30 Sourton Down
5 3 Fernworthy Down
MINNOWS CYCLE ROUTE
I am hoping to return to Devon again with my bike and hopefully next time the weather will be warmer and kinder to me. The Caravan Club has teamed up with Sustrans to develop 35 cycling routes which can be accessed right on the doorstep of many Caravan Club sites. Each route is highlighted with advice on the surfaces, amount of traffic, suitability for children, level of gradients, where to stop for refreshments, directions and optional extensions; making it simple to plan a trip.
Suggested Cycle Route
Alternative Cycle Route
National Cycle Network
Navigation points (Please refer to route description)
NCN 3, Tiverton by Tony Ambrose, Sustrans
LYDFORD CYCLE ROUTE
Suggested Cycle Route Alternative cycle route National Cycle Network
Navigation points (Please refer to route description)
Tiverton Parkway Station
A361 Grand Western Canal
Halberton Grand Western Canal
LYDFORD CYCLE ROUTE
The route takes in part of the Devon Coast to Coast cycle route between Okehampton and Lydford is known as the Granite Way and offers spectacular views of Dartmoor. Enjoy views of Dartmoor and the coast line. www.caravanclub.co.uk/media/18005752/lydford_as_cycling_route_map
The Stover Way is a traffic-free route which connects Newton Abbot to Bovey Tracey. It is only three and a half miles, perfect for the family to enjoy. This flat route passes alongside the beautiful Stover Country Park and will eventually extend towards Lustleigh and Moretonhampstead in Dartmoor National Park. You can pick up signs for the Stover Trail in Newton Abbot off the roundabout on Jetty Marsh Road (near Newton Abbot Hospital). From Bovey Tracey, pick up the route at the bottom of Newton Road.
THE ENGLISH RIVIERA
Families planning their 30 May Bank Holiday day out can join in the fun at ‘CycleFest’ - a 5km bike ride in the grounds of Weston Park in Shropshire, organised by Experience Freedom, an outdoor active campaign from The Caravan Club. Kids of all ages, along with mum and dad, can explore the beautiful surroundings on two wheels from 11am – gates open at 10am. Fun activities, a craft fair and discounted entry to the main house are also on offer for those keen to make a day of it. The event costs £5 for adults and children under 17 years of age go free.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Enjoy some superb coastal views of the self-styled English Riviera on this cycle route between Torquay and Brixham. It is possible to break the trip into smaller chunks of two and half miles or tackle the whole 24 miles in one go – there is plenty to see on the way.
THE DARTMOOR WAY
The Dartmoor Way is a 95-mile circular route which winds its way around the natural beauty of Dartmoor National Park, linking hamlets, villages and towns along its route. The route takes cyclists through the varying landscape surrounding the High Moor. It visits attractive and interesting locations which offer a wide choice of places to eat and drink. The route follows quiet Devon lanes and minor roads, and uses traffic free-cycle trails wherever possible.
GRAND WESTERN CANAL
This route runs alongside a tranquil section of the Grand Western Canal from Tiverton to Holcombe Rogus. The eleven-mile route is family-friendly and offers stunning views across the Blackdown Hills. www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/west-country-way
Cycling World 48
Bridle paths – generally not well-maintained and often poorly signed so always take a map.
If you drive to the moors make sure you park in a well-frequented car park. An empty car park is a little too tempting for car thieves.
When transporting your bike be aware that the Devon Lanes are narrow. If you put the bikes on the back of the car there may be overhang which means that when you pull in to cope with oncoming traffic your bike will inevitably brush the hedge and could end up with a puncture.
Routes – be conservative in order to allow for the weather. Also be aware that out of season the planned pub lunch stop may not be open – some pubs don’t open on Mondays and others won’t be open in the day.
FOR WIDER INSPIRATION VISIT:
Avoid gorse bushes if you don’t want punctures (obvious but not always easy.)
Be mindful of not going away from established tracks on the moors.
nite Wa y
Take wet weather gear – the conditions on the moors are a lot cooler than by the coast and just because it is sunny on the beach doesn’t mean it won’t be raining on the moors.
And finally some things to think about if you do cycle in Devon whether it is on a road bike or a mountain bike:
More than just fantastic cycling, stunning scenery & impeccable support
or over a decade James and Cathy at Marmot Tours have been helping cyclists achieve their goals in Europe’s most famous mountains.
Your passion is cycling; the thrill of the journey through new and changing landscapes, alone or with friends. You love the rhythm of wheel on tarmac and the physical challenge of setting yourself against the elements, the gradient, your mates or your last ‘Strava’ record. Our passion is running exceptional road cycling holidays & challenges: designing routes that showcase the best of an area and providing attentive and complete backup on the road from our highly customised vans. Our carefully selected team of experienced, passionate and ‘all round great’ guides will support you in every way. We offer a range of itineraries including the very popular, time limited Raid Challenges ; set routes that traverse a mountain range over infamous cols of the area. Get your ‘carnet’ stamped in key locations and on reaching your end destination, bask in the glory and incredible sense of achievement.
The reputation and popularity of Marmot Tours ensures you a great group ambiance on your holiday and from the start of the booking process you can be confident that you are in expert hands. Our experience in designing itineraries means that every day you will be blown away by the landscapes & scenery you encounter. Whether in the French Pyrenees, Massif Central, Alps or Corsica, the Dolomites, Sardinia or the Spanish Picos de Europa, - whether you are a novice to cycling in the mountains, or an expert, we are here to make it real, make it fun and make your cycling holiday the best it can be.
Marmot May 2016 Tours
Equally popular are our Classic Cols holidays. With two or more route variants to choose from each day, groups of friends or couples with differing aspirations can tailor the holiday to their own goals.
BIKEPACKING: FAT TYRES AND CAMP FIRES Laurence McJannet, author of new book Bikepacking, offers a beginner’s guide to mountain bike camping on Britain’s wild trails.
by Dan iel Sta rt
Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures on the Wild Trails of Britain by Laurence McJannet (£16.99, Wild Things Publishing) is available from all good bookshops. For 30% off and free P+P visit www.wildthingspublishing.com and enter ‘Cycling World’ as your coupon code
Bikepacking can be a wonderfully exhilarating way to explore the outdoors, whether it’s the countryside around you or the furthest-flung wilderness. It can be a challenge, a step outside your comfort zone, or just a way to add a new dimension to your favourite ride. At heart it’s a fusion of mountain biking and lightweight camping – allowing you to set off on self-supported, overnight forays into Britain’s beautiful wild spaces. Using a vast network of bridleways, forest trails or ancient byways, you can embark on adventures big or small, from short loops to epic journeys. I have ridden the length of Wales on bikepacking adventures, and ventured deep into remote glens in the Scottish Highlands to spend the night in isolated mountain cabins or bothies. I also still grab the chance, when I can, to camp out on my local hills, riding straight to work in the morning. There is a real sense of achievement returning home after a foray into the wild, no matter how brief. With a working bike, some simple kit, determination and an adventurous spirit, your explorations will know no bounds. Bikepacking is in its infancy in the UK, though American riders have been embarking on multiday journeys since mountain biking began in the 1970s. Riders who adapted their old cruiser bikes to tackle off-road terrain were immediately drawn to explore the vast wilderness of America’s Mid-West and beyond and were soon combining old logging trails and disused railroads to carve out cross-country routes hundreds of miles in length. British riders are now discovering that we have all North America has in microcosm – our island is a wonderful distillation of coast, field, lake, valley and mountain, all of which can be experienced in a weekend ride and camp. It’s an island that is almost tailor-made for off-road adventure rides. Though you can spend a night in a pub, B&B, bunkhouse or on a campsite on an off-road journey, for me the epitome of bikepacking is
a wild camp in the heart of the countryside; after all, when you head into really remote terrain it is often the only option. There is nothing more memorable than making your camp for the night on a mountain plateau or by a lake shore, or slinging your hammock between trees at the edge of a silent forest. And there’s something quite special about knowing you are the only soul for miles, lying beneath the clearest of stars, with breathtaking views the last and first things you’ll see. Of course, there are issues surrounding the legitimacy of wild camping. After all, some 90% of English land is in private hands – so the chances are someone will own the land you chose to camp on. Although unpermitted wild camping can be seen as trespass, it is not a criminal offence unless you cause a disturbance or damage or are offensive. Ideally you should ask permission of the landowner, though this is often impractical. Look out for signs asking or ordering you not to camp or light fires and be prepared to move on if asked. However, with a little common sense, consideration and discretion it’s easy to find appropriate places to camp, allowing you to enjoy a wild night without disturbing anyone, or being disturbed yourself. Wherever you decide on, arrive late and leave early, cause no damage and leave no trace, and stay no more than a night. Choose a spot that’s away from paths, roads and houses, and lay a simple bivvy bag in the trees or behind a hedge. Tarp shelters or bashas are useful in bad weather, and can be pulled down in minutes. And although a tent is more obtrusive, the microlight varieties that work best for bikepacking tend to be low and compact, though again use these with discretion. If you are new to sleeping wild the best way to start out is to find a quiet spot not far removed from a town or village where you can remain entirely anonymous. You are not in so wild a spot as to be completely isolated, and the knowledge that civilisation is a few fields away can be comforting at first. I can guarantee that you’ll want to expand your horizons and will be planning a far-flung wilderness escape before long. There are places wild camping is permitted, such as large parts of Dartmoor and Scotland since the 2003 Land Reform Act. The rights of those fishing on the foreshore – the area of shoreline exposed between high and low tides – or navigating rivers and canals to sleep there at night were enshrined under the Magna Carta. And owners of land in mountainous areas tend to be tolerant of wild camping, too, especially if you are above 450m and more than an hour’s walk from the nearest road. If wild camping seems a little too far out of your comfort zone you could join the Backpackers Club, which provides a list of pubs and farms where you can camp free of charge. It’s worth joining the Mountain Bothies Association too. Its 81 maintained but unmanned bothies are in some of the
he discovery of bikepacking was, for me, something of an epiphany. With limited time and opportunity to go riding off-road, I would revisit the same local trails time and again. In need of a liberating night beneath the stars one evening I packed a rucksack, strapped a bedroll under my top tube and headed for the hills. After a short singletrack ride towards the setting sun I hunkered down in a clearing to enjoy the solitude and tranquillity of a place that should have been familiar but in the twilight seemed magically transformed. In spontaneously setting off on this wild camp I had unwitting done what I do each time I go bikepacking now – turning a simple ride into an exploration, an experience, an adventure.
When it comes to gear, it is easy to be seduced by the dedicated bikepacking bikes, kit and microlight camping equipment that is now available, but to begin with you don’t need lots of fancy kit. If you already ride off-road, or go camping, however infrequently, the chances are you already own much of the equipment you’ll require. With as little as an old mountain or hybrid bike, a bed roll, sleeping bag and bivvy bag, you are ready for your first bikepacking adventure. The new breed of bikepacking bikes (often called ‘backcountry’, ‘gravel’, ‘drop-bar adventure’ or ‘dirt racer’ bikes) and ‘fat’ bikes are designed to haul kit and carry a rider in relative comfort over long distances and varying terrain. Each is a variation of a traditional mountain bike or cyclo-cross bike, and tends to have no suspension front or back to make the bike more efficient on longer journeys, while the 'fat' bike (originally developed for riding in snowy or sandy conditions) features balloon-like tyres and reinforced rims for increased stability and traction. The beautiful thing about bikepacking is its pared-back simplicity – embarking on a journey with just what you need to get by. Upgrades may make sense the more you do it: dedicated or better designed or made kit will tend to be lighter or last longer, allowing you to ride further in greater comfort. But as the saying goes, it’s not about the bike. Somehow just the act of slinging a sleeping bag beneath my saddle imbues me with an urge to pedal off into the unknown. Each time I ride now I feel my horizons expanding, literally and metaphorically. By taking the paths less travelled, your tyres can be the first to touch a trail in weeks, months – years even. Spending a night in the woods close to home can lend a whole new perspective to a loop that you ride often, while continuing along a trail you’ve always meant to explore further, camping en route, can lead you into wonderful uncharted territory. With a little planning, you can cover huge distances on multi-day rides, even finding your own food and water
as you go. Putting a little adventure into my riding made me fall in love with mountain biking all over again, it’s opened my eyes to the world around me and helped me reconnect with this island’s beautiful wild places. My bike’s no longer just a bike – it’s become an adventure on wheels.
KIT, TIPS AND LUXURIES THE BIKE The best bike for bikepacking is the one you already own. You don’t need a frame with eyelets or rack mounts for panniers, and even a road bike can be fitted with wider, more robust tyres to cope with canal towpaths and paved bridleways. A hybrid bike can cope with most rides too, though a proper off-road hardtail will give you more scope for planning longer, more technical rides. Upgrade: A full suspension bike will aid comfort on longer rides and cope better with more challenging terrain; the larger 650b or 29in wheels are great for manoeuvrability. The new generation of rugged ‘fat’ bikes will handle anything you can throw at them and are surprisingly agile given how ungainly they can look.
You’ll need a backpack of around 30 litres, ideally with double straps rather than a single-strap messenger bag. Try to keep as much load off your back as possible, and pack only tools, hydration, cameras and other items you might want regular access to. You’ll need at least one bag attached to the frame to carry your overnight kit, though two or three spread evenly across the bike work better. It is best that these are waterproof (drybags are available from most outdoor retailers and come in a variety of sizes, with loops, eyelets or straps to give you loads of mounting options). However, for your first ride a bin bag can work well, attached with bungee cords, Velcro or adjustable straps. Upgrade: Dedicated frame bags from the likes of Alpkit, Apidura and Wildcat Gear are waterproof, hard-wearing and surprisingly voluminous, and fit snugly to almost any bike.
A simple bedroll and sleeping bag will do. Sleeping mats are light but cumbersome – though you can strap them under your bars or saddle if you have room. Spare clothes in a dry bag or bin bag make a luxurious pillow. Upgrade: A compact down or three-seasons sleeping bag with hood is easy to carry and keeps you warmer, and therefore happier. A self-inflating mat improves comfort and takes up little room.
remotest and most beautiful parts of Scotland and the north of England, and your £20 will support the wonderful work the volunteers do to keep them open and habitable throughout the year (see www. mountainbothies.org.uk).
Cycle for r a e y s i h t s u
22 May 2016 - Cardiff, Wales
Enter now mariecurie.org.uk/velothon2016 If you have your own place, join Team Marie Curie
54 Charity reg no. 207994 (England & Wales), SC038731 (Scotland) A699h
Monsal Trail by Martin Brent
by Logan Watts
Monsal Head by Karen Frenkel
by Laurence McJannet
Take food that doesn’t need cooking at first, or eat before you go. If your first adventure rides are near your home, you can have breakfast when you get back. Two 750ml water bottles should be enough for short rides. Upgrade: An all-in-one stove and pan with gas canister will transform your overnight experience (my favourites are Alpkit’s BruKit all-in-one and the MSR Pocket Rocket stove). Packet soups, rice or noodles become a gastronomic delight. Other useful additions include a ceramic mug and ‘spork’ (a combined spoon and fork), a Camelbak or similar water bladder for drinking on the bike, and the ultimate luxury – a hipflask.
A simple multi-tool, pump, tyre levers and spare inner tubes are essential, and a headtorch is useful too. A basic first aid kit and phone with spare battery will let your loved ones sleep a
little easier – remember to tell them where you are going and when you’ll be back. Upgrade: A spare foldable tyre can give peace of mind on longer journeys; failing that a patch of plastic milk bottle can be used to reinforce a split tyre sidewall.
It’s always prudent to take a waterproof jacket, though it needn’t be a cycling-specific cut. Bring extra layers, sleep in your riding gear, and add layers as you need to. Woolly hats are invaluable, as is a spare pair of socks. Upgrade: Merino wool base layers are the cosiest and a down jacket will provide bags of insulation.
Without a tent, an orange survival bag or preferably a breathable bivvy bag are pretty much essential for wild camping in Britain. Upgrade: A tarpaulin shelter with reinforced eyelets, some cord and tent pegs will give you loads of options to help stay dry. Get out there and enjoy the ride.
WIN CYCLE STORAGE CYCLOC SOLO WORTH £60 Win this elegant and easy way to store bikes of all shapes and sizes. Works with all frame shapes, horizontal or vertical storage and available in seven bright colours.
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LETTER OF THE MONTH: HORSES AND BICYCLES
Emily wins a Velo Hinge Home Bicycle Storage
s a horse rider I face many of the challenges that cyclists do. In particular a general lack of understanding from the other traffic on the road. However this does not solely relate to cars or motorised vehicles. I was reading the Editor’s April letter which addressed the relationship between cyclists and motorists, and thought this would be an ideal opportunity to state the same issue from a different perspective. Recently my sister and I were on a hack in the countryside around Bridge in Kent, beautiful and perfect for riding whether on horse or bike. We had just joined a valley road from the bridal path, a one lane road with laybys to allow passing. A little way down the road, a car appeared in front of us and slowed down which allowed us time to pull into a field opening for the car to drive slowly by. We pulled onto the road again and continued our hack. Suddenly from behind us a bike appeared going some considerable speed and whizzed passed us without warning. My sister’s horse did what most horses would do, freaked and tried to bolt. This threw my sister into the hedge which was, amongst other things, made up of barbed wire. Luckily she was not hurt and was able to get back on the horse and calm him down. And herein lies the problem. In some ways having a motor is easier for us riders as we can hear when a vehicle is approaching and move out of the way. Unless the cyclist is in front of us and we can see you, we have no way of being able to detect you. So a request from one rider to another, if you see a horse on the road and they cannot see you, please shout ‘bike’ or alert us in some way to your presence. It would keep everyone safer. Emily, Wingham, Kent
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Please keep sending your thoughts, feelings, ideas and insights about all things cycling. Send letters to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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BIKE INSURANCE: HAVE WE COVERED EVERYTHING?
remember a friend telling me he wasn’t going to insure his new, highly-valuable, carbon road bike as it was so pricey he was taking it everywhere with him. That might offer protection against the half million bike thefts in the UK very year, but what about accident and third party liability I thought. Like all types of insurance there is a wide choice so thinking about values, storage, needs and usage is key. A local commuter has different insurance needs to a sportive rider who is regularly boxing up carbon and flying to mountainous destinations. A cycling family with four bikes in the garage will have a very different policy from a single flat dweller with a bike in communal storage. First thing to ask oneself is “are you covered already?” A house insurance policy may cover bikes, or can be easily extended to do so. Talk to the insurance company, the policy may only cover the bikes when at home with additional cover needed for elsewhere. It may have limits of bike value or only cover theft and not accident. You may be covered by a travel insurance policy, especially if it includes extreme sports. Membership to professional bodies can give some insurance cover or offer good discounts. For example, being a member of British Cycling and CTC (now Cycling UK) provides third party public liability and insurance discounts.
The key is to look at the number and value of bikes in the household and assess how each one is being used. Insurance companies understand variable needs and thus many offer multi-bike policies, overseas extensions and event specific coverage. It is likely that a cycling family will have bikes covered on more than one insurance policy, for example the family jaunt bikes on the house insurance and mum’s triathlon TT bike covered with a specific sports policy when she’s at training camp in Tenerife. Other things to bear in mind are that many policies covering high value bikes will demand that a lock of a certain standard is used, normally with a Sold Secure rating. Accessories and gadgets may need to be included, these can be of high value in themselves. Most important is to shop around, including at the time of renewal, and to talk to insurers about your cycling lifestyle. Look at discounts offered through memberships, though bearing in mind this might not give the cheapest or most appropriate option. In many respects it is more complicated than car insurance; you’re not going to ride the family saloon on a World Tour circuit or put it on a train. So it will take some careful thought. A little bit of investment will give a great deal of peace of mind, so do get covered.
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HOME EXPERT OPINION INSURANCE
PEDALCOVER FOR CYCLISTS PEDALCOVER
WHY A HOME AND BIKE POLICY IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS… Are you struggling to find cover for your bikes under a standard home insurance?
Have you been put off by the cost of specialist bike Insurance? A policy that combines your home and bike insurance under one policy to save you money and the hassle of having separate policies could be the answer. As a keen cyclist, having competed in Ironman France and representing Wales in pro-am cycling events internationally, founder of Pedalcover Darren Thomas had always struggled to find adequate insurance cover for his bikes.
FOR CYCLISTS PEDALCOVER
While there are a number of bicycle only and home insurance providers in the marketplace, if you’re a keen cyclist chances are you’ll have several bikes in your family and you therefore don’t need cover for a single bike, but cover for all of your bikes, clothing and accessories and often if you’re travelling abroad your camera, laptop and other prized possessions.
FOR CYCLISTS PEDALCOVER
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INSURANCE Cycling World
FOR CYCLISTS PEDALCOVER
When you come to insure all of this equipment, you would normally have to take out separate home and bike insurance, because the cover provided within a standard home insurance policy would not give you enough cover for all your bikes. Plus bike-only insurance providers typically charge per bike. You would also have to list all of the bikes that you have, pushing the cost of the insurance premium up, and there is often a limit placed on the value of your bike. Why insure just your bike, when you can get all your bikes, accessories and your home insured at a fraction of the price? If you’ve more than one road bike, under Pedalcover’s policy there’s no need to seek separate insurance for each bike or fork out for costly additional policies because we don’t charge per bike (after all you can only ride one bike at a time). What’s more the policy is designed with an extended value of up to £25,000 away from home, which means you can insure more expensive road bikes, or several road bikes if you wish. Pedalcover’s offering is one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective on the market, developed with additional benefits to suit the needs of cyclists, such as: •
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What’s more all staff at Pedalcover are cyclists themselves. This means that when clients call for a quote they speak to someone that speaks their language, understands their needs and has a genuine interest in their life. Thousands of policies have been taken out with us and we’ve got a 99% renewal retention rate.
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INSURANCE: EXPERT OPINION EIGHT REASONS CYCLISTS SHOULD TAKE OUT CYCLING INSURANCE Cycling insurance is a growing industry, but a number of keen cyclists are still without a policy. Some cycling enthusiasts have a “it won’t happen to me” attitude when it comes to cycling accidents and others are without a policy because they haven’t actually taken the time to think about the costs related to this. In the event of a cycling accident, those with insurance will be in a much better position than those without. Bought By Many have highlighted eight different elements that can be included in a specialist bike or cycling insurance policy. •
Damage to the bike - Any damage would be paid for under ‘accidental damage’ cover. If you race or enter competitions, you will need to ensure your policy has the relevant cover. Most home insurance policies will not pay out when you are out using the bike away from the home. • Damage to wheels - These can be really valuable maybe as much as your frameset. Certain cycling policies will cover them as long as your total sum insured includes their value. • Damage to accessories and clothing - Surprisingly, Garmin, helmets and even lycra can be insured within the ‘accessories’ cover of many policies. Cycling accessories can be incredibly costly to replace if damaged. •
Race fees - If an accident means you need to cancel future races, some cycling policies will refund your race fees as standard.
Broken bone benefit - Certain cycling insurance policies will pay out if you break a bone. Some policies will also pay for out of pocket expenses paid as a direct result of the accident, for example taxi fees home.
Physiotherapy - A number of policies also covers a certain amount of physiotherapy following an injury which can be beneficial if you need to recover quickly.
Liability - If other people are involved in the accident and are hurt or have property damaged they may be tempted to sue. Especially if you were responsible for the accident. Public liability cover is included in a number of cycling policies and is incredibly handy if this happens. •
Dental - Finally certain cycling insurance policies also offer dental cover in the event that the rider required dental work after the accident.
It’s time to check some policies and insurers. Visit https://boughtbymany.com/offers/ cycling-insurance/ for more information.
Ask Anita Dear Anita People tell me I have a lot of baggage I’m not always sure how to take this, but when it comes to riding my bike, I’d like to carry my baggage with me in the most practical way possible. What’s the best way to do this?
once described Ortlieb panniers as bottomless bags of joy on my blog, and I stand by this opinion. They last forever, are completely waterproof, can fit in an amazing amount of stuff, and come in a range of delightful colours. Other panniers are available of course. There are lots of high quality leather and fabric ones, ideal for urban riding, and alternative (often cheaper) brands for touring available. I also sometimes use a backpack, and I covet bikepacking saddle/frame/ handlebar bags. Messenger bags, or a simple handbag can also do the trick. If you ride a Brompton, you get your own special luggage range. The possibilities for luggage really are endless. It largely depends on what type of riding you will be doing, how light you like to pack, and your own personal preferences.
THE STREAMLINED COMMUTER If you’re commuting to work on a road bike, a backpack could do you just fine, giving you more versatility than panniers – easier to carry when off the bike too. You can cover it with a reflective and waterproof cover, and it means you don’t have to worry about putting a rack on your bike, keeping it lighter and ready for weekend spins. Watch out if you don’t have shower facilities at work though – you could arrive with a sweaty back.
They served me fine, and without the availability of low-budget options I would have been put off touring, as I wasn’t willing or able to make the high financial commitment Ortliebs require until I was sure that touring wouldn’t kill me. I now know they are worth saving up for.
THE ADVENTURER Bikepacking is a new term for lightweight off-road bike touring, and there are a whole range of bags to attach to your mountain bike in various places, leaving you free to take any path you wish on your two-wheeled adventures. The closest I have got to bikepacking is sticking everything in a 20 litre rucksack (including bivi bag, sleeping bag and sleeping mat) for a ride and night under the stars in the Forest of Dean. If this is your kind of thing, investing in specialist bags to carry your adventure gear definitely makes sense, and gives you so much freedom. Think carefully about your priorities, your budget and your long-term plans and invest wisely in baggage that will enhance your experience, rather than making do with something that just does the job. You’re more likely to enjoy it and not feel weighed down by the experience.
nita loves discovering new places by bike, having explored many miles of the National Cycle Network, and taken her trusty Ridgeback to roughly twenty countries so far. She does the occasional sportive, commutes by bike in London and Surrey and dabbles in triathlons, mountain biking and visiting cycling cafes. She currently works for the charity Sustrans as a project officer. Anita’s main area of expertise is surrounding herself with experts, whose knowledge she will extract to answer all of your everyday cycling questions… RiutBag
Stnky inner bag
Cycling World Regular
Chances are, if you’re a seasoned tourer you’ve got your luggage sorted and you’re pretty happy with it. If you’re going on your first long distance ride, however, you might find yourself wondering what’s best. I started my touring days with lowbudget panniers from Decathlon, with the contents inside carrier bags to protect from the inevitable rain.
Ortlieb Backroller Classic
LONDON TO PARIS 3 d a y s | 2 c i t i e s | 455 k m 21 J u l y 2016 WATC H T H E TO U R D E F R A N C E F IN A L E O N T H E C H A M P S - É LYS É E S
gosh.org/london2paris Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Registered charity no. 1160024.
ACCOMMODATION | FULL C ATERING | COMPETITION AWARDS
Training & Nutrition
FUELLING YOUR RIDES By Tim Ramsden. Tim is an Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) Level 3 Coach and owner of www.blackcatcyclecoaching.com
ast time I talked about training for a longer event on limited time. But the best training in the world won’t get you through if you neglect to fuel your engine – and we aren’t talking about e-bikes here! I started riding back in the 1970s, and one of the first things you experienced on rides over a couple of hours was that awful feeling when you run out of energy! Known as the “bonk” or the “hunger knock”, I have very vivid memories of a ride in the Yorkshire Dales where I experienced this so badly I thought I would never see my family again….
ograf Sport schek , Planin
Cycling Regular World
Back then there was still a “big miles” culture, and experienced cyclists had learnt from bitter experience that if you didn’t eat, you would spend most of the ride (a) dreaming of 1970s confectionery bars, and (b) going very slowly. A significant proportion of your energy “spend” on a ride is fuelled by glycogen (fat provides the other fuel) – provided by carbohydrate. The glycogen stores are finite – you have enough for around 90:00 straight riding at a brisk pace. On a long ride, even if you are riding sedately, all it takes is for a headwind or a few hills to start tapping into this limited resource – and once it’s gone, it’s time to call your mum and dad… like I had to, all those years ago! Elite level cycle racing is a testing ground for new innovations that eventually trickle down to us, and nutrition is no exception. A decade on from my misadventures in Otley, it was possible to fuel hard training
rides on a glucose polymer solution alone: no need to stuff chocolate bars in the wool (and becoming –popular lycra) jersey pockets. The success of this liquid fuel eventually led to the booming sports nutrition market we see today. Indeed, the problem now may be not that there isn’t enough to fuel you, but that there is too much choice! So – a brief strategy for long (3.5 hours upwards) training rides, because if you don’t try the fuel out in training then you may experience what is euphemistically referred to as “gastro-intestinal distress” in the event itself. Solid food – energy bars, small carb-rich snacks like bread/rice cake etc. Eat the solid food in the first part of the ride – not all at once, half an energy bar every half hour. Liquid food – sip your energy drink once every 20:00 or so, throughout the ride. If possible have two bottles – one energy, one water. Take a sachet of energy food with you so that you can mix up a bottle. Gels – for when it gets tough. Just before a long climb/when you feel you are running out/ for emergencies. Also – save for the later part of the ride, when your body may well not tolerate solid food. Next time – pre-event nutrition and some tips for on the day…
NUTRITION PRODUCTS: EDITOR'S PICK Organic Ginger Zinger (70ml shot) £1.49 With 26% organic ginger juice (the rest is 57% organic apple juice and 17% water) this gives a zing! Guaranteed to revitalise and invigorate the senses with the naturally powerful flavour of ginger, making it a great alternative to caffeine-loaded coffee. Certified organic by The Soil Association. Available at Planet Organic, Amazon, James White
Beet It Sport Products 70ml shot
60g Sports Bar
A blend of concentrated beetroot juice (98%) with concentrated lemon juice (2%) it contains 400mg natural dietary nitrate per shot. This is equivalent to around 400ml of single strength juice, and provides the maximum intake of nitrate in the smallest volume of liquid possible. There is also the 60g sports bar with 50% oats for slow-release energy. Available at Wiggle, Holland and Barrett, Amazon and James White.
Nutrixxion Energy Gel
with Carbohydrates and Vitamins
£1.59 An easy-to-eat food supplement with carbohydrates and vitamins. The special combination of long-and short-chained carbohydrates and amino acids, vitamins and minerals make the gel to a well-digestible power package. Available in various flavours including Lemon Cola with Caffeine and Green Apple. www.nutrixxion-energy.co.uk
A beverage powder with carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and carnitine The carbohydrate-rich sports drink guarantees the intake of fluid and ensures optimal care during exercise. The drink contains a balanced blend of carbohydrates, essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids (BCAAs). Lactose and gluten free it comes in a variety of flavours including Red Fruit, Orange and Lemon. www.nutrixxion-energy.co.uk
April 2016 May 2016
Nutrixxion Endurance Drink Carbohydrate Powder 700g Tub £16.99
From the Workshop HOW TO CHANGE A SPOKE By Isidore PrĂŠvalet
A spoke is normally reliable. Poor assembly can overload it, it can get fatigue and break. It can get hit by a stone or get damaged if the bike falls. Cyclists continue to ride with a broken spoke which modifies the tension of other spokes which can then break, and even distort the wheel rim. The number of spokes can vary from 20-32; the fewer the spokes the more serious it is when one breaks A spoke normally breaks by the nipple or the rim. So this is where to check
Remove old rim tape
Remove the tyre and tube
Remove the spoke, noting its position in relation to other spokes
Cycling Regular World
Screw the spoke into the nipple
Place the spoke on the hub, taking care to place it in front and behind of other spokes, as the original was
Lessen the tension of the surrounding spokes
A spoke can also get twisted
Some hubs need the removal of a spoke cover. You may need to remove cassette on rear hubs
Remove the nipple, best done with this part of wheel at the top
The replacement spoke and nipple could be second hand if the wheel isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too new
Place the nipple in the rim, using the spoke to help
Place the wheel on a truing stand or use the brake pads as a guide
Tension all spokes in line the manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations. Check with a tensiometer and complete wheel re-assembly
GIRO D’ITALIA STARTS IN THE NETHERLANDS By Regional Tourism Office, Arnhem Nijmegen
uring the first weekend of May, Gelderland in the Netherlands will turn pink for three days; the Italian cycling event known as Giro d’Italia will descend on Gelderland’s roads on the 6th, 7th and 8th of May. After the official team presentation and the opening time trial in Apeldoorn, two stages will be held between Arnhem and Nijmegen during the weekend.
Unique for the Giro d’Italia and Gelderland alike: three stages of the cycling event are to be held in Gelderland… and they will be three terrific stages.
Apeldoorn (9.8km Prologue individual time trial) The Giro d’Italia 2016 will get underway on Friday 6 May in the Veluwe from the Velodrome Omnisport in Apeldoorn. Both indoors and outdoors, this venue offers plenty of space for cycling fans, local residents, tourists, media professionals and businesses to watch the start of the 9.8km time trial. The cyclists will race alongside the Apeldoorn Canal and through stunning parks towards the city centre, finishing on Loolaan. This makes it easy for visitors to remain in the city centre afterwards to enjoy some of the numerous activities relating to the Giro Gelderland.
Arnhem – Nijmegen (190 KM) On Saturday 7 May, the second day of the Giro Gelderland will get underway with a neutralised route starting from the Kerkplein square in the centre of Arnhem. The stage will highlight striking features of Gelderland such as the
De Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Rivierenland area with its abundance of flowers, and Hernen Castle. The route will pass through the green rolling countryside of Malden and Berg and Dal before the first sprint climb of the Giro d’Italia 2016 around Groesbeek. The stage finishes in the Netherlands’ oldest city, Nijmegen, on Oranjesingel.
Nijmegen – Arnhem (189 KM) On Sunday 8 May, the third stage starts in Nijmegen and finishes in Arnhem. The neutralised start from
Apeldoorn Market Grote Market Nijmegen
the two stages. Apeldoorn, Arnhem and Nijmegen – plus the eighteen municipalities in Gelderland through which the tour will pass – will be playing host to hundreds of thousands of cycling enthusiasts. For more information, see visitveluwe.nl/giro-ditalia | arnhemnijmegenregion.com/giro
DISCOVER OUR REGION
As soon as it was announced that the Giro d’Italia 2016 would start in Gelderland, the excitement began to build among local businesses, schools, cycling clubs, music clubs, organisations and residents. They enthusiastically set to work on all kinds of initiatives to put their cities and towns on the map, based around the following themes: Giro, cycling, Italy or the striking colour of pink. The Side Events programme includes more than 500 activities in the run-up to the start of the Giro d’Italia on 6 May. Examples of the Side Events programme are cycling lessons/clinics, Bike Art, exhibitions, ‘Mercatos’ (markets) in city parks, and a ‘Giro Gelderland experience’ roadshow. Also along the route several spectacular events are scheduled, as well as the official team presentation, the prologue and
THE RICH HISTORY OF ARNHEM
Besides being a green and creative city, Arnhem also has a rich history. This is evident all over the city with its listed buildings and impressive architecture. The city is famous for the Battle of Arnhem which took place in and around Arnhem from 17 to 25 September 1944 as part of the famous battle, Operation Market Garden. To ensure the success of Operation Market Garden, the Allied forces had to capture the bridge in Arnhem. But the light-armed airborne forces stood no chance against two SS Panzer Divisions that happened to be in the area. After desperate fighting and many casualties the Arnhem Bridge proved to be ‘a bridge too far’. The Battle of Arnhem is part of the Liberation Route Europe, an international remembrance trail, connecting important milestones of modern European history. Nijmegen and surroundings| Spectacular countryside combined with the oldest city of the Netherlands Het Rijk van Nijmegen (Nijmegen and surroundings) has plenty to offer including a saunter through the city centre, shopping till you drop or discovering the rich history of the city and its surroundings. You can have a great night
Arnhem’s Grote Market will once again enable everyone to get a good look at the cyclists. Via a charming part of the historic old town, the stage gets underway for real just after crossing the new ‘De Oversteek’ bridge. After passing Fort Pannerden, part of the New Hollandic Waterline of water-based defences, and Castle Doornenburg the racers can really gather pace from Zelhem on their way through the Achterhoek region. The Giro Gelderland will of course also pass through the Veluwezoom National Park with a sprint climb at the Posbank hill. The finish is back in Arnhem on Velperbuitensingel.
Arnhem| The green and creative capital of the province of Gelderland The bustling city of Arnhem has plenty to offer. You can shop for hours and hours in the city centre and the Fashion Quarter (Modekwartier), enjoy the nightlife or the spectacular natural surroundings in one of the city's parks. There are also all kinds of creative events to visit, such as the Arnhem Fashion Festival. Alternatively, you could spend the day at one of the top attractions, like Royal Burgers’ Zoo or the Netherlands Open Air Museum (Nederlands Openluchtmuseum).
out or enjoy the spectacular countryside in the rugged realms of Het Rijk van Nijmegen. Why not visit one of the many public events like the Four Days Marches or spend the day visiting interesting museums like the Valkhof Museum or the muZIEum. Alternatively you can seek rest and relaxation at the Sanadome Spa. From the centre of Nijmegen you can walk straight into the wilderness where you’ll spot horses, beavers, deer and birds of prey. The area also has many beautiful cycle routes. The wide and largely unspoiled area which makes up the Kingdom of Nijmegen has magnificent routes along winding dikes, through woods and over hills. In short, the Rijk van Nijmegen is the place to be for the ultimate walking and cycling enthusiast. You can plan your route yourself by using the online route planner or follow the directions on theme-based routes, both available on arnhemnijmegenregion.com.
ENJOY THE COUNTRYSIDE
Gelderland’s countryside has something to offer for a large diversity of tourists. If you wish to experience more of culinary Gelderland, the “Land van Maas en Waal” is a region you should definitely visit. This region is an extremely fertile area due to the frequent flooding and the clay soils deposited as a result. There is a good reason why experts claim that the tastiest fruit in the country comes from around here. For that reason you should pay a visit to one of the many fruit stands along the way to put their claims to the test. The Gardens of Appeltern (Tuinen van Appeltern) is the largest and most varied garden-themed park in Europe. This magnificent park houses over 180 show gardens, each has its own style and ambience. Another culinary hotspot is Groesbeek, known for its vineyards and high quality wines. The countryside in the Gelderse Poort fits all the needs of the
Veluwezoom| The perfect region for walking and cycling Perfect for walking and cycling, Veluwezoom is the southern part of Veluwe, where the woody and hilly countryside changes into a river landscape. In May and June this area is at its best because of the many flowering rhododendrons. Veluwezoom, the beautiful area between Renkum and Laag-Soeren, has many tourist attractions and a rich cultural past. One of them is the Hanseatic city of Doesburg, an old, picturesque city where you can visit Stadsbierhuys de Waag, the oldest pub in the Netherlands. Or learn everything about mustard, a product Doesburg is well-known for, in the Doesburgsche Mosterdfabriek (factory annex museum).
The Hoge Veluwe National Park | A unique location of natural beauty De Hoge Veluwe National Park is unique in the world due to its combination of natural beauty and art. It’s the ideal place not only to experience peace and quiet, see exceptional landscapes and wild animals, but also to take part in organised activities such as excursions, guided tours, workshops and events. The awe-inspiring natural beauty of the 5,500-hectare park can also be explored on your own. As you travel through the park, you’ll go through varied woods, across heathland, grassland and exotic shifting
Apeldoorn| A city with allure Apeldoorn has all the allure of a big city, not only thanks to the modern Orpheus theatre, the wide choice of shops and the indoor shopping centre ‘De Oranjerie’, but also in terms of restaurants, pavement cafés and nightlife. There’s even a street where you can try all manner of food and drink: Van Kinsbergenstraat, nicknamed locally ‘Proefstraatje’. Furthermore, Apeldoorn is bursting with art and culture, such as the museum at CODA, a library and resource centre, and Paleis Het Loo. Located on the edge of Apeldoorn, you’ll find this Palace, dating back over 300 years. It is a former summer residence for the Dutch royal family and has been open to the public since 1984 after undergoing major renovation. The varied interiors give you a sense of how the members of the Orange dynasty lived in the Palace for three centuries.
The Veluwe| Enjoy unrivalled countryside The Veluwe has a long history which has given it a very varied and interesting culture. Its illustrious past is still visible in many places in the form of high city walls and impressive fortifications, some of which are still completely intact. Vast estates with grand country houses nostalgically combine scenic beauty with history. Explore delightfully historic Veluwe villages, the centuries-old Hanseatic Towns of Hattem, Elburg and Harderwijk or one of the numerous country estates, castles or museums. One of the best things about cycling in the Veluwe region is the sheer diversity. As you pedal through woodlands and over heaths, fens and rocky ridges, you will wonder at nature’s scale, yet tiny details will also catch your eye. In fact, the Veluwe could possibly be the best region for cyclists in the whole of the Netherlands. It offers terrain to suit all tastes, whether you want to take a leisurely bike ride making use of the network of cycle-routes or if you’re looking to work up a sweat on your mountain bike or road bike. From flat routes to hilly ones and woodland trails to paved cycle paths, the Veluwe has it all. Stunning natural scenery, challenging short climbs, exhilarating descents, dodging obstacles such as a shepherd and his flock of sheep or slaloming around Scottish Highland cattle!
sands. Rent a bicycle or make use of one of the freeto-use white bikes, and let the pedals take you through the continually changing landscapes. For art lovers coming to the National Park, there is the world-famous Kröller-Müller Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Van Gogh’s work as well as masterpieces by Seurat, Picasso, Léger and Mondrian. With almost 400,000 visitors a year, the museum is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands.
MUST DO CYCLE ROUTES Royal route approx. 32km This Royal route is a moderately difficult, signposted route on paved paths with some shallow climbs and descents. The cycle route has recently been restored to its former glory. The new signposts have – what else – a royal theme. The route takes you through the centre of Apeldoorn, past the Oranje Park, through Buurlo and Hoog Soeren, straight across the Veluwe, finally ending up back at Paleis Het Loo. You can start the route at different spots, such as Coda Museum or Paleis Het Loo.
Around the Posbank approx. 41km This bike ride takes you through the municipality of Rheden on the south-eastern outskirts of the Veluwe close to the Ijssel valley. Come and enjoy the vast woods and heathlands bathed in peace and quiet. This route takes in the ‘de Posbank’ vantage point, giving you a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside which is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. The route also takes you past places of interest such as Rosendael Castle, the country estate Hof te Dieren, Veluwetransferium, Posbank and Middachten Castle.
Liberation Route (Nijmegen) approx. 43km This cycle route takes you along part of the Liberation Route around Nijmegen. The Liberation Route traces the path trodden by the allies during the liberation of Europe. The region Arnhem and Nijmegen played a major role at the end of the Second World War. One of the largest airborne landing operations in history took place here during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. You will come across audio spots at many places around the area. At each audio spot, you can listen to eye-witness accounts of the impressive events that happened during 19441945, told by civilians, members of the allied forces and German soldiers. This route takes you past seven of these spots including the National Liberation Museum 1944 – 1945. For the online route planner and more cycling routes visit: arnhemnijmegenregion.com
More info: arnhemnijmegenregion.com and visitveluwe. com
active tourist. With its constantly changing landscape and possibilities of rambling through nature, you can find yourself in the wake of Galloway cattle and Konik horses which roam freely here all year round. Culture enthusiasts will feast their eyes on the magnificent, historic buildings in de Liemers. In Zevenaar, the bustling heart of de Liemers, visitors will love sitting outside at pavement cafés and enjoy the magnificent historic buildings. If you are looking for somewhere to relax after cycling one place great place is the Europakade in Tolkamer. Here you will have a spectacular view of the busiest waterway in Europe. Another region that has something to offer for everyone is the Betuwe. This region’s beautiful scenery, rivers and countless colourful orchards are a sight for sore eyes. Friendliness and a pleasant atmosphere are of paramount importance here. A perfect day in Betuwe starts the moment you wake up in the countryside. Known for its mosaic of orchards, this beautiful area is ideal for walking and/or cycling.
CW: So hello again. I guess the obvious question is what’s been happening since we last met? DD: Well, you might expect Christmas and New Year to be our quiet times but not this year. We have been incredibly busy sorting out a number of new and different tours for clients. We have our Mallorca camps upcoming in March and April and then we are busy with trips to France, Spain and we hope, this year – having just partnered with a local specialist – Italy. Then there are the charity rides and corporate events we increasingly getting asked to do. CW: When we last spoke you were very keen to emphasise that you were primarily a bespoke tour company. Has that objective changed? DD: No, not at all - that is what marks us out from most of the other companies out there. We were recently invited to attend a Cycle Tour Evening organised by the Londonbased cycling and triathlon equipment store Sigma Sports along with Hot Chillee, Ride 25, Italian Velo Tours and La Fuga. It was interesting to see that La Fuga were the only other company who even offered bespoke trips let alone specialised in them. We know people want what we are offering. CW: But it sounds as if you are doing a lot of other stuff too. I guess that’s my point. DD: It makes sense to offer what people want and if that be riding from London to Paris in 24 hours or a Mallorca race camp then we believe that we can add our bespoke touches to those trips too. And when people come with us on trips and camps like that they see who we are and what we can do and why we are different and then they come back for more.
DD: Well quite a lot but I guess the highlight will be a private trip that we are organising for a client’s 50th birthday. The brief was originally for an epic ride from Portugal to Spain but given the likely attendees were not all going to be hardened cyclists we advised against this and devised a punchy little three day route from Malaga to Puerto Banus in the beautiful hills around Ronda. The trip is a complete one off: from the routes, the specification of hotels and I am guessing the party in Puerto Banus when we get there! CW: Sounds fun. Can I come? DD: Sorry that trip is invite only but we still have places on some of our other trips and tours – just check out the website. – or better still come to us with an idea of what would be your perfect trip and we’ll make it happen. CW: I will. I’m sorry I know you wanted to talk about your work with charities and companies but we have run out of time. Maybe we can continue our chat and include it our next issue? DD: Absolutely fine by me . . . More on Viva Velo’s trips and tours can be found at www.vivavelo. uk. And we look forward to seeing the conclusion of this interview with owner and founder Dyll Davies in our next issue.
CW: So what are you doing that is purely bespoke this year?
May 2016 Feature Promotional
VIVA VELO TOURS BESPOKE CYCLING
ack in the autumn you may recall we interviewed Dyll Davies, boss of new kid on the block cycle tour company, Viva Velo. We thought we’d go back and see how things were shaping up for this bespoke cycle tour specialist as spring turned our readers’ heads to what trips they might do for 2016.
Eat Dirt on Exmoor
2 May 2016 Dulverton 14 & 23 mile routes £17 Entry image © Danbury Danglers
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Stars and Watercarriers Merckx 1973 Olympic Stadium by Verhoeff, Bert Anefo
Colour and spectacle is ever-present. With freedom to place his camera both within and without the race, Leth catches what has now become iconic of the time. Elegant, slim-framed, steel bikes not only fill the screen but offer up their musical components to accompany an atmospheric soundtrack. Large blocks of died wool on now-coveted jerseys are replicated on support vehicles which were then watercarriers but are now motor stars. Exuberant fans, so Italian in their passion for racing and their own National Champion Gimondi, that they have brought the word ‘tifosi’ to our contemporary cycling parlance. Leth gets under the skin of the race via his fellow Dane, Ole Ritter of the Bianchi Team. This enables him to share some more intimate moments of a bike race: post stage massage, mechanics working at 5am, carb-loading and tactics at dinner; disappointing time losses. Insights into effort and pain are contrasted with the heights of glory, mainly through the focus of Merckx at the pinnacle of his cannibalism. We feel the effects of his relentless pace which wears down his opponents and blunts the climbers’ edge. It is both the driving force of the race and the through current of the film, never lost as Merckx wears the pink jersey from start to finish. Other protagonists have their moments within stages. Feunte’s frequent early attacks become ever more desperate as a podium place slips out of the pocket the King of the Mountain’s jersey. An aging National Champion Gimondi seeks to
dominate the new rising star Battaglin. The Italian sprinter, Basso, becomes weighed down by the World Champion’s rainbow stripes as he strives to take a stage win. Leth’s skill is to show us that there are as many watercarriers as stars in a Grand Tour. Not only does he take us through the roles of the less-famous riders, serving their team captains, but he introduces us to race officials, the media, the police escorts. We see the race from all angles, through the eyes of its whole cast and in the empathetic handling of the director, everyone gets to shine like a star. Furthermore, it is apparent that all the film crew seek stardom. Cameramen’s ability to catch speed when static, to find repose when on the move, enhances the divergent rhythms of the event. The dimension of sound is orchestra-like in its variety; to the satisfying clicking of a well-greased free wheel a morning bird sings; beneath the roar of a passing peloton shouting children strive to be heard. Music adds to the theatricality of the show, as does the illustrative hand that leafs through the pages of the race book, a finger soothingly outlining climbs that in reality will destroy riders. Stars and Watercarriers is a lesson in documentary film making. How to capture a sport, an era and a threeweek event in ninety minutes, whilst enthralling and holding excitement for a race that we know the result of. For those who didn’t live through this era it can seem dated and somewhat comical at times. However, it is a window into seventies bike racing and film making that is revered as being poetic as much now as it was then. Available with Leth’s documentary The Impossible Hour; which follows Ritter’s attempt to regain the hour record from Merckx. Double delight.
Review by David Robert Director: Jorgen Leth Production: States Film Central 1974 Duration: 90 min Available from: www.bromleyvideo.com, a wealth of cycling videos, books, prints and clothing Priced at: £18.99
his masterful piece of documentary making covers the 1973 Giro d’Italia. In 90 minutes it catches the texture of a rich cycling era, introduces a novice to the many aspects of a three-week Grand Tour and portrays Eddy Merckx at the height of his legendary reign.
email@example.com www.wight-walks.co.uk Tel: 01983281662
Above & Beyond, The Abbot’s House, Blackfriars, Bristol BS1 2NZ Switchboard: 0117 927 7120 Fax: 0117 925 2017 www.aboveandbeyond.org.uk
Wight Wander’s Coastal cycling holidays on the Isle of Wight are the perfect way to discover unspoilt landscapes and secret beaches. Our cycling routes offer the chance to explore at your own pace along well maintained cycle routes. To make it easier we move your luggage leaving you free to explore Registered Charity Number: 229945
CW August 2015.indd 17
Ride a Giro Stage
Maratona Dles Dolomites Text by Helen Summer
Are You Tough Enough? By Helen Summer is out now, published by John Blake Publishing in paperback and priced £9.99
elebrating its 30th year in 2016, the Maratona dles Dolomites started life as a simple club race and has developed into one of the most popular and respected cycling events in the Alta Badia Valley region of Italy, with over 9,000 competitors and, since 2000, an annual theme, which, in 2016 will be ‘journey’.
With all routes starting out from the stunning ski resort of La Villa, this is a race that will be remembered not only for the route’s breathtaking natural beauty, passionate crowd support, and unbelievably tough climbs over Italy’s most famous mountain range, but also for the utter chaos that marks the finish – a uniquely Italian touch! www.maratona.it
Taking place in July, riders may choose to race over 34, 66 or 86 miles, with altitude gains of 1780, 3130 and 4230 metres respectively, although there are minimum and maximum age limits dependent on distance.
THE BICYCLE DIARIES O â&#x20AC;&#x2122; L T : 6 ne woman s solo cycle from
Cycling World Regular
Rebecca Lowe, a human rights journalist, embarked on a 10,000km 'bummel' through Europe and the Middle East in July 2015. Her aims are threefold: cultivate a pair of shapely calves that will be the envy of all she meets; survive; and shed light on a region long misunderstood in the West. She hopes to reach her final destination, Tehran, by June 2016.
Bregovi, Serbia to Tran, Bulgaria (11 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22 Oct) Total miles cycled: 1,650 (2,655km)
Keen to hunker down somewhere warm and dry, I enter the first motel I can find. This transpires to be a half-finished, oddly cavernous place with faint hints of The Shining, run by a gnome-like man with no neck. My room is large, but the bathroom is filthy and I force the man, in the absence of any staff, to clean it himself. If nobody complains then nothing will ever improve, I find myself thinking. Three months on the road and I’ve already turned into my mother. The motel is located in the south of the city, linked to the north via a bridge over the Ibar river. The bridge is closed to traffic, blocked by broken slabs of concrete and a meagre patch of grass known euphemistically as the ‘Peace Park’. At first the significance of this is lost on me. I am aware the city is divided: ethnic Albanians in the south, Serbs in the north. But the nature and intensity of this partition only becomes apparent during a chat with a friendly Albanian waiter over dinner.
Old To wn
‘I’ve lived here for 15 years and only gone across the bridge twice, when my father got sick, as they have better doctors over there,’ he tells me. This is especially surprising because the restaurant is located right beside the bridge on the southern side and his brother works in the north for a Serb construction company. He insists he doesn’t have a personal problem with the Serb population, however. ‘It’s mainly Pristina and Belgrade that have the problem, not the people.’ After dinner I walk outside into a city gone wild. Albania has won 3-0 against Armenia in a UEFA Euro qualifiers match and everyone is celebrating. Car horns screech, fireworks blaze, crowds swarm and chant in the street. It’s primal, tribal, intoxicating in its intensity. What a powerful urge it is to be a cog in a big, baying machine, I think as I squeeze my way through the throng; that deep, primordial instinct to belong and exclude. It all seems harmless at this level. But when does this change? When does the game become reality and beeping horns morph into bombs and blocked bridges? The next day I move to a cheaper, cleaner motel across the road
run by a wiry man with a terrifying Adam’s apple and spend the afternoon chatting to people working for the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX). The mission arrived in February 2008, operating under the UN to provide policing and legal support to the fledgling country. Not everyone is pleased to have them here – including members of government – seeing them as unwelcome and ineffective mediators between the state and Serbia. But without them Kosovo would arguably be in far worse shape. ‘The Kosovo government has really captured the state,’ a senior EULEX officer tells me over coffee. ‘It controls the media, money, privatisation, judicial system, everything. Rolling this back is very difficult.’ Meanwhile, everyone is leaving. Kosovans were the third largest national group seeking asylum in Germany after Syrians and Albanians in 2015, with nearly 40,000 requests. ‘At least there was vision under Yugoslavia,’ my contact says. ‘Now there is no vision – and for a lot of people, no hope. They are asking what tangible benefits independence has brought.’ Kosovo, which is 90% Albanian, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 1998, prompting a brutal crackdown by Belgrade that ended with the intervention of Nato in 1999. Nearly two decades later, relations remain tense. Kosovo has now been recognised by 108 UN member states (56%), but Serbia still refuses to do so. Since April 2013, however, Belgrade has grudgingly accepted Pristina as a ‘legitimate governing authority’, maintaining control only over education and health. Why is Serbia so keen to cling on, I ask? Isn’t it time to cut the cord? ‘There are lots of myths about Kosovo being a key part of its historic national identity,’ the officer tells me. ‘It also has substantial mineral wealth. And there’s the principle, of course, that unilateral declarations of independence are not acceptable.’ Most importantly, he adds, it’s a crucial negotiating tool. ‘They want to keep some leverage with the West. Especially when it comes to EU membership.’ It must be sad being Serbia, I reflect. Once a dominant drill sergeant with an iron fist and flock of pliant minions. Now, one by one they have all fled the coop, leaving it poor, humiliated and alone. It’s the tyrannical father whose kids finally work up the balls to abandon, bounding out to freedom while he screams obscenities and chases them with his battered Kalashnikov, before sinking into a bitter ball of inebriated senility and muttering phrases like ‘after all I did for them!’ and ‘they’ll never last five minutes without me!’ from the folds of his baggy corduroy cardigan. Later that night I walk to the north to meet my friend, another EULEX employee. Crossing
t is miserable and pouring with rain when I arrive in Mitrovica, Kosovo. My first impressions, noted in my diary, are alliteratively unequivocal – ‘grey, grotty, grisly, gloomy’ – with thick furrowed eyebrows etched over the two ‘o’s to iron out any ambiguity. I am clearly in a bad mood.
the bridge feels like entering a new country. Here people speak Serbian, not Albanian, and use the dinar rather than the euro. Changing money isn’t a problem, however; you can do it easily on the black market with no bothersome police interference. In fact, you can do pretty much anything, within reason, according to my friend.
Cycling World Regular
‘You’d be surprised what you can get away with. Changing money, driving without licence plates – nobody cares. The joke in Mitrovica is that you have to shoot three times for the police to turn up.’ It’s not a complete rule of law vacuum, he says – but close. ‘If you’re looking for a terrorist recruitment region then it’s not a bad place to start. Cooperation between intelligence agencies is weak. Education is very shoddy, especially in rural areas. Religion is filling the void that communism filled before.’
Yet there’s ‘lots of resilience against extremism’, he adds. Most people are moderate Muslims, who see no contradiction between their faith and drinking, smoking and sex. ‘It’s more about culture and tradition. The main religion is Albanianism, as ethnic belonging took over from religious during the decades spent fighting against Muslim Ottoman rule.’ The Berlin of the Balkans, Mitrovice is a vibrant but confused and unsettling place. Littered with NGOs and UN agencies, its muddled identity is forged from conflict, chaos and international interference. Plans to open the bridge are constantly postponed, while tensions simmer unchecked. ‘It’s two very different cultures and languages,’ my friend says. ‘It’s difficult to see how the north could become fully integrated.’ After my friend leaves, I’m told my coffee has been paid for by the man at the next table. I assume it’s a come-on – Balkan men are feisty beasts when it comes to preying on weak, vulnerable fillies such as
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PREMIERE VELO ALPINE CYCLING HOLIDAYS
Staying in a luxury 5 star catered chalet, guests will be able to indulge in large ensuite rooms, spacious living areas, a balcony hot tub, private spa with hot tub, sauna and treatment room, and a private gym with Wattbike.
Our centre based holidays offer an incredible variety of terrain and itineraries with support:
• Bike mechanics, available when you are on and off the bike • Bike hire - we have a fleet of top end Scott bikes • Full van support with radio contact • Coaching for cycling • Optional functional threshold power tests • Optional Sports physio & massage
• Nutrition advice • FAQ sessions, ask our cycle coach INTRO TO THE ALPS CYCLE HOLIDAY - 4 OR 7 NIGHTS A great starter or full week of time in the saddle finding your wheels at altitude with coaching, support, tips & tricks. WATCH & RIDE THE TOUR DE FRANCE - 7 NIGHTS Who wouldn’t want to watch the tour go past as well as get some riding in the mountains and enjoy famous Tour de France routes? CYCLE FAMOUS ALPINE COLS - 4 OR 7 NIGHTS Choose from a short sharp few days, or a full week to experience world class Tarentaise cols. SELF GUIDED, HALF BOARD, ROAD CYCLING HOLIDAYS – 3 NIGHTS OR MORE Staying in our luxury chalet The Peak. The perfect choice if you just want to concentrate on riding your own routes. For full details on all holidays, please go to www.premiere-velo.com T: +44 (0)131 510 2525
remiere Velo offer range of summer cycling holidays, tours & itineraries in the French Alps, making the most of some of the most stunning, varied and rewarding cycling terrain in the world. Broad based and flexible, Premiere Velo offer a large variety of holidays for all levels of cyclist.
Cycling World 86
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This thoughtful little journophile is not the only Kosovan youngster I develop a soft spot for during my travels through the country, however. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of kids, who I tend to view as a worryingly feckless bunch of miniature sociopaths. But dozens of them run and wave and shout cheery greetings as I cycle towards Pristina, and one even rescues my pannier after it flies off over a rogue speed-bump. During a rest stop by a school, I tell a teacher – the only person I meet who speaks English – how sweet they all seem. ‘Yes,’ she concedes. ‘They’re our best hope for the future.’ However, in many schools they are poisoned against the Serbs, she says. ‘For me there is no good nationality and bad nationality, just good people and bad people. But if you poison the children then what hope do we have?’
p to Tra
My first impression of Pristina is of an attractive, modern, functional place with few obvious signs of the precarious instability at its core. There are also few obvious signs of its rich history of Ottoman occupation, the city having fallen victim to the Communists’ ruthless modernisation drive. I spend an enjoyable afternoon visiting what remnants of its past remain, however – including four striking mosques, the Great Hammam (bathhouse) and the charming 18th century Emin Gjiku museum containing traditional tools, textiles, furniture, pottery, handicrafts and weaponry. Overall, the city seems something of a muddle. A quick scoot around the centre reveals a clutter of old and new (or new and newer) buildings thrown together like clothes at a jumble sale. This is mainly due to historically lax enforcement of planning laws, I am told – as well as the fact that much of the construction industry
is controlled by the mafia, who use housing to launder their loot. In Pristina, I meet a EULEX prosecutor for dinner near ‘small cafe street’ (roads are known by colloquial, descriptive names here), who tells me that organised crime remains a massive problem in Kosovo. ‘But rule of law is strengthening,’ he stresses. ‘Change is visible with the naked eye. You don’t need a microscope.’ The lawyer is a great fan of the Kosovan people, who he believes have ‘warm hearts and curious minds’. I find myself agreeing with him. Here, I’ve only encountered friendliness and goodwill, and I find myself reluctant to leave. But leave I must, and after just a couple of days of rest and recuperation with my lovely hosts – an American investigative journalist and Irish lawyer – I reluctantly hit the road again. Over the next two days, I work my way across Kosovo and Serbia towards Bulgaria. Despite my intention to keep abreast of it, winter has now caught me in its spindly claws. Wind whips and blusters around me as I pedal up and down the hills towards Gjilan (dreary) and Vranje (marginally less dreary). The usual melee of half-built houses, hopeless mutts, semi-deranged livestock and dusty, ramshackle shopfronts line the road en route, and I find myself itching to reach the border. In Vranje, I chicken out of camping as the temperature is outside my optimum range of 19-22C and instead check into by far the best budget hotel I’ve stayed at yet, boasting both clean sheets and a towel rail. To mark the occasion, I venture into town for dinner, where I am invited to join a chirpy Serb who is celebrating his 36th birthday with his brothers. He is originally from a small, east Kosovan village where Serbs and Albanians ‘live happily side by side’, and now works in a Vranje factory making heating equipment. He chats me up while showing me dozens of pictures of him and his friends feeding ducks in Geneva. ‘Serbia isn’t a good place to live,’ he says ruefully. ‘Everyone is sad. Nobody laughs enough.’ The next day I set off on a tough 110km schlepp towards Bulgaria, along a flat, single-lane road where lorries compete to send me hurtling into the afterlife. At about the
April 2016 May 2016
myself, I’m discovering – but it turns out it was his young son’s idea. ‘He overheard you’re a journalist and he likes journalists,’ the man tells me. Wow, I think. I wonder how long that will last?
halfway point, the road starts wending uphill, following the gentle contours of a stream deep into the mountains. For the next 30km I climb and climb, my skin tingling in the sweet autumnal air. The beauty of my surroundings is invigorating, and soon the cars and houses fall away and it’s just me, the road, the sun and the sky. Then, suddenly, I’m at the top, and off I swoop down down down through the thick, sunkissed forest, the cool breeze wrapping about me like a silk chemise. At the bottom I hit the border – and, I have to admit, it’s a disappointment. I am expecting some glorious Ozymandias-style relic of gnarled, rusty decline; tangled coils of symbolic barb heralding empires’ inevitable decay. But no hint remains of the Iron Curtain now. Instead, I find just a normal, uninspiring checkpoint with a smattering of portly guards, who unsportingly let me through without a second glance. About 18km later, after following a lovely, leafy road through the fields, I arrive in Tran. It suddenly dawns on me that I’ve hit my tenth country out of twenty, and my last fully-fledged European state. I am excited to have made it this far, and feel obliged to crack open a bottle of excellent, earthy Domaine Pesthera 2011 in celebration. What’s in store for the remaining ten countries, I wonder? Will I make it through intact? Will Maud ever truly be tamed? Will I finally be blessed with the firm, shapely calves I've hankered after for so long?
to the an Bord Bulgari er
Follow Rebecca's journey on her website at thebicyclediaries.co.uk, Twitter at reo_lowe or Facebook at facebook.com/bexbicyclediaries. Rebecca is sponsored by Kona (Kona Sutra 2016 bike), Lightwave (Firelight 250 sleeping bag and G15 Raid tent), Garmin (Edge 1000 satnav), Arkel (Orca panniers), Berghaus (clothes), Lenovo (ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook) and Pedros (ICM Multitool).
Cycling World Regular
As I squint with my mind’s eye, however, what lays beyond the horizon remains little more than a grey smudge; a misty morning sky yet to clear. I have absolutely no idea what’s in store. Except that it’s going to be an adventure. And begin with a god-awful hangover tomorrow morning.
Experience freedom 2016’s Motion in Mercia sportive is bigger and better than ever! 29 MAY 2016 • WESTON PARK, SHROPSHIRE
Three new routes and more! This year’s routes have been re-developed and enhanced, so they’re bigger and better than ever. Choose from three amazing routes – 56, 80 and an ultra 100 miles – each designed to showcase the area’s historic industrial landmarks. Sponsored by Adria, the Motion in Mercia sportive forms part of a great weekend of activities. With the start and finish line at Weston Park stately home, riders are treated to a beautiful backdrop for this fabulous event.
Enter today www.kilotogo.com/adria Brought to you by
Riders also enjoy free access to a bank holiday festival of fun, with activities for all the family, food and drink plus a craft fair.
THE SILK ROAD 5,000km on a handmade cargo bike
By Lawrence Brand
Cycling in the mornings and evenings to avoid the midday heat I had already crossed the semideserts of Azerbaijan, spun my way up and down the Pontic mountains in Georgia, embraced the Silk Road trail through Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and was now pedalling on towards the city of Almaty, across the mighty open steppe. The real cause of my joy that evening though, as I dined on noodles and tepid water, was that this very first bicycle I had ever made, this prototype cargo bike I built in the corner of my living room after coming home from my 9-5 each day, was carrying me all this way here without missing a beat. The project of designing and building my own bicycle had begun years previously, whilst studying abroad for a university year in the small Swedish town of Lund. It was my first taste of a culture where parents, businesses, and everyday people viewed bicycles as a practical everyday objects to move themselves, their cargo, and their families, around their towns and cities. For someone from the UK more used to riding road bikes, and competing with cars for space, the approach felt revolutionary.
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I started experimenting with bolting various racks and boxes to my student bicycle,
determined to up its practicality to Scandinavian standards. The joy of being able to do more by bicycle, carrying my weekly food shop home, or hauling a barbeque to the beach, had me completely sold on utility cycling. Wanting to take it even further, I began designing my own take on the classic Dutch two wheeler ‘long-john’ style cargo bike from the ground up. This presented more challenges than just bolting a rack on, most significantly because I had never made or designed a bicycle before, but then, I was never one to let practicalities get in the way of a good project. It wasn’t until 2013 that the endless stream of research, sketching, and design refinements I had started in Sweden really began to pay off. I’d completed a TIG welding course, memorized David Gordon Wilson’s classic ‘Bicycle Science’ book cover to cover, revised my design endlessly in CAD software, and incidentally moved back to London and into a live/work warehouse where I now had that handy workbench in the corner of the living room. It’s from that bench, that my first prototype began to emerge. Built from 4130 steel tubing, and a grab bag of Ebay’d components, it was an obsessive project that I spent months nudging onwards in the evenings and weekends after my day job in a tech start-up was done. Needing a bit of final motivation to get it finished though, early in 2014 I set myself an eight-week deadline, handed in my notice at work, booked a flight for the bike and I from London to Romania, and at the suggestion of my girlfriend stuck a pin into the map in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. It might seem strange to begin the test ride for your first bike in Romania, but it held a special place in my heart. Back in 2011 I’d celebrated the end of university by cycling down the Danube river with six friends to Romania’s Black Sea coast from Munich. It had been a perfect trip, mixing long sunny days, endless ice cream breaks, spontaneous swims in the lakes, and meaningful discussions over a pot of shared pasta before packing ourselves like sardines into the tents. Hoping to recapture some of the joy of that trip for this new journey, I set my start point where we had left off, but headed south for Bulgaria, and then onto to Turkey where I could strike my intended course east. The final weeks of finishing the bike were fraught, with endless delays, and huge question marks still hanging over the whole project. It was not without a great deal of trepidation that just a week before departure, I finally got
n July 2014, when I found myself sitting in my sleeping bag under the endless starry sky of the Kazakh steppe, cooking a packet of instant noodles for dinner with a bit of stale bread on the side, I was truly rather pleased with myself. It had taken me three months to reach this remote corner of the world, travelling with all my gear loaded onto the long deck of my handmade prototype cargo bike.
to pack my equipment into a single 80 litre Ortlieb bag and strap it onto the plywood cargo deck of my long-dreamt of bike, wobble around the car park a few times, then eventually out through the gate, down the road, and with an enormous sense of relief, back to my front door. Regardless of how short this last minute ride had been, the bike worked, and my trip was still on. Arriving in Romania at the start of May 2014, the first few kilometres through the Romanian traffic and out into the rolling green countryside were only slightly less wobbly than my first loop out my front door, and have to count as some of the most nerve wracking of my life. It would be a few days of getting the feel for the bike being loaded up with all my supplies, food and water, before I began to relax more, and could reflect on the ground my journey was going to cover. From Constanta, Romania I would reach the Bulgarian border by the evening, crossing over with a bit of curious encouragement from the guards, spending my first night wrapped in my bivvy bag under a hedge just down the road. From there on my sleeping arrangements became increasingly pleasant, spending nights with hosts from Warm Showers, setting my tent on clifftops, and as I spent more time riding along the coast of the Black Sea, down on hidden grassy banks between the roads and the gently crashing waves. Bulgaria passed quickly, with the bike completing its first climbs up to the Turkish border into dense wet fog that left my clothes dripping wet by the time I slid my passport under the next border control window.
The hills coming down the other side saw the bike work its way up to 60km/h for the first time, through heavy rainstorms that would pursue me all the way into Istanbul, a city where I’d rest for a few days ruminating on my departure from the European and into the Asian continent. My actual trip on the ferry turned out to be less poignant however, as two wrong ferries later I still wound up cycling north through the endless city suburbs seeking out the Black Sea coast that I could then follow east for the next few weeks, heading east towards Georgia. It was at this point however that my whole route to Kazakhstan hit a roadblock.
I’d applied for a visa to take me across Iran from Armenia to Turkmenistan, but a few days into my journey along that Turkish coast the answer came back; no entry. The country had closed to any British or Canadian independent travellers just as I was pedalling my way towards its border. With no alternative route to the north of the Caspian Sea, my only option would be to take one of the famously infrequent and unseaworthy ferries instead. With my new plan guiding me, I made the most of Turkey’s warm hospitality, plentiful wild camping, and beautiful rolling green hills that got me in shape for the Pontic mountains that marked my entry into Georgia. It was the first
Tbilisi by contrast brought a welcome rest break as I waited for an Azerbaijan visa to be granted, so I tried my best to replace my lost touring weight through extensive sampling of the local food and wine. With enough USD handed to various agents I got the official nod and
Porterlight Bicycles Bringley Cargo Bike
crossed into my fifth and most mysterious country. Having originally planned to cycle through its neighbour Armenia, my days cycling towards Azerbaijan’s Caspian port of Baku were intriguing. The Georgian green hills gave way to scrubland, and then soaring temperatures and the semi-desert that covers much of the oil rich country. By now my handmade bike had covered so much ground, that my confidence in it had grown dramatically, and it became a pleasure to see local shopkeepers, kids, and the occasional border guard hop on and figure out how to steer such a long bike. Unlike my bicycle, it was at this midpoint that the logistical wheels of the trip finally began to come off. The diversion around Iran, the wait for the Azeri visa, and then a ferry crossing to Kazakhstan that could take anything from three to fourteen days into the ‘wrong’ bit of the country meant the clock was already ticking on my pre-booked Uzbek visa.
Once in Baku I had to cycle to the port office asking if any of the scheduleless boats would be sailing that day. Through sheer luck, a ferry came in after only two days and so in the early hours I was excited to board the long narrow boat intended for river work that was going to carry myself, six giant mobile cranes and an entire train, across to Aktau, Kazakhstan. Understandably I was less excited when we then spent the next five days trapped just off-shore in Baku port unable to cross until the winds at sea subsided to river boat levels. The delay compounded my visa trouble, so by the time we made land in Kazakhstan I was desperate to get into Uzbekistan and start cycling again. I decided to skip the 400km unmade road that links the Kazakh port with Uzbekistan, a route often described by cycle tourists as ‘the worst road in the world’, and instead boarded a Soviet train that would take me directly in. I felt glad to be back on schedule, excited to now be on the more famous section of the Silk Road, and slightly relieved to have dodged more days in the desert. From the historic trading city of Samarkand I had a final month on the road, riding north into Kazakhstan, then turning east to dip into Kyrgyzstan and loop under the giant lake Issyk-Kul before my final journey back north onto the Kazakh steppe. Reflecting on it now, it was this final month on the road that felt most satisfying. To have built this bicycle by hand, and for it to have performed so well despite the rough roads, heavy loads and long days, was incredibly gratifying. The journey had also given me the confidence to pursue my bicycle dream further, wanting to continue the same sense of adventure and self-determination beyond this three month, 5000km test ride, and into a new journey of starting my own company to manufacture these cargo bikes. For the final few days cycling in Almaty my head was spinning with all the possibilities that lay ahead, enough to even subdue any sadness that my trip was over. After flying back to London, I set to work and spent the next twelve months refining, iterating on my design, and incorporating hundreds of lessons hard-learned on the road. With the last of my savings from my old job I rented a real workshop (to finally escape the living room) and from there I began manufacturing my new design of the Porterlight cargo bike named Bringley. Bringley is the culmination of that five-year dream of making a bicycle that makes people, parents and businesses able to make more journeys by bicycle possible. The original prototype cargo bike from the journey to Kazakhstan is now on display at The Design Museum as part of the Cycle Revolution exhibition. More details about Porterlight can be found at www.porterlight.com or on Twitter @porterlightbike
country on my route I had never visited before, and the decaying remnants of its Soviet past haunted many of the roads that I crisscrossed the country on, heading towards its capital of Tbilisi. These silent factories and crumbling monuments were perhaps at their most otherworldly the night I pitched my tent in the shadow of a 20m high plinthed concrete statue standing in the middle of a disused parks complex, the figure’s sword bearing silhouetted against a stormy sky.
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IRELAND CYCLES AGAINST SUICIDE
The ride takes place in stages with participants able to take part in as much or little as they can while raising awareness of the problem along the way. Up to 1,000 cyclists travel from Dublin around Ireland via Cookstown, Donegal, Tipperary, Wexford and back to Dublin, among many other stops along the way. More than 800 people die by suicide in Ireland each year. Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen said, “That is 800 families and communities devastated; 800 lives cut short. Cycle Against Suicide aims to affect change by beginning a conversation about mental health. "This is the fourth year of the Cycle Against Suicide and we’re blown away with the phenomenal response from the schools involved in the cycle. These schools are critical in helping us spread the message that: "It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.” “Each year, over the two weeks of our annual cycle, we give presentations in schools and communities all around Ireland and we witness how hugely responsive students are to that message. We see the value students place on their own mental wellbeing, and that of their friends and families. Cycle Against Suicide offers a Homestay programme, which sees householders providing a bed and hot meal to participants in the cycle. Mr Breen said: "The number of cyclists registering for Cycle Against Suicide is increasing year on year. As a result, we need more accommodation for cyclists and crew. Of course, we also need many volunteers to help make our time in local towns memorable. Whether it’s sandwich-makers, road marshals, or simply people standing at the side of the road to cheer on the cycle, we can all play our part in breaking the cycle of suicide in Ireland." Homestay Coordinator Jackie Dornan said: "There is always time for people to offer accommodation to participants for a night when the cycle passes through their towns.” Two homestay providers, Kitty and Jackie from Ennis in Co Clare said: "I heard about Cycle Against Suicide through the local Homestay organiser. Opening my door to total strangers was not something I had done in a long time. We hosted two lovely lads, and it was a joy to feed them and hear their tales. Before the evening meal was over, it felt like we were old friends opening up a conversation that was full of fun, and serious topics, in equal measure. The following day, we returned them to the group and said goodbye, feeling as though we were part of a movement of positivity, the like of which we hadn’t seen in ages. "We have become familiar with the slogan "It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help."
By Colin O’Carroll
NE of the biggest and longest rides in the annual cycling calendar, Cycle Against Suicide, takes place through April and May with hundreds of keen cyclists and those affected by suicide taking part.
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PLACES AVAILABLE FOR PRUDENTIAL RIDE 100
Martlets Hospice in Sussex has places available for the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 which takes place on Sunday 31July. Starting in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the course follows a 100 mile route on closed roads through the Capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside; before returning to ﬁnish in the Mall. With leg testing climbs and a route made famous by the London 2012 Olympics, it’s a truly spectacular sponsored ride.
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114 Cycling World
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The RSPB is encouraging people to discover the great outdoors as part of a new partnership with Sport England. This joint venture offers the chance for people to find their adventurous side by running, canoeing, climbing and cycling with wildlife on two RSPB nature reserves. RSPB Rainham Marshes in Essex is fully equipped with bikes, running routes, orienteering, yoga and a bouldering course to help visitors experience wildlife from a new perspective. You can set off on a cycle adventure to suit you, with our various sizes of hire bikes to accommodate the family. Explore along the river wall taking in views over the Thames down to London and across the nature reserve â&#x20AC;&#x201C; watch out for marsh harriers soaring overhead. Rainham Marshes is perfectly situated for cycling with access to Sustrans route 13 and links to explore further afield. We also offer guided cycle rides along the riverside and into neighbouring country parks and valleys.
Active in Nature cycle activity and event information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/activeinnature
Visit www.rspb.org.uk/active-in-nature or alternatively contact Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01708 899 847 for more information and events. For Strumpshaw Fen activities please contact Ed Parnaby on 01603 715191 or email email@example.com Photo credit (from top picture down): Rob Andrews - Roy Rookes - Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)
JOIN US THIS YEAR AND GET ACTIVE IN NATURE AT RAINHAM MARSHES!
At Strumpshaw Fen, just outside Norwich, you can get Active in Nature on one of our guided bike rides throughout the year. RSPB staff and volunteers, who are trained ride leaders, will be your guides as you wind along quiet country lanes and stop to enjoy the fantastic wildlife along the way. Not only is this a fantastic way to see more of the Norfolk Broads landscape, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a fun way to get active with many of the rides being suitable for beginners.