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Cycling World October 2015

October 2015 Cycling World


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Cycling World October 2015

October 2015 Cycling World




INTERVIEW WITH presenter of The Cycle Show



BIKE REVIEW Spa Cycles steel tourer



Cycling World October 2015


BOOK REVIEW P is for Peloton




MARRAKECH Atlas Etape 2015


CONTENTS 7 Editor’s Letter



12 Interview with Matt Barbet,

presenter of The Cycle Show

16 Barn-find bikes 25 Ask Anita: never hibernate UK CYCLING

30 A cycling weekend in… Guildford 40 Slow wheel around Morecambe Bay




56 Which is the best e-bike on the market?

60 Rotwild review: An e-bike that runs in the wild


66 Review: Spa Cycles steel tourer 75 Bike wear 80 OS maps off-road sat-nav 86 Book Review: P is for Peloton OVERSEAS CYCLING



90 Marrakech Atlas Etape 2015 100 Cycling the heel of the boot: slow moving travel in Puglia

106 The best unknown climb in the Alps

October 2015 Cycling World


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Cycling World October 2015

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Editor’s letter October 2015 As Cycling World prepare to head for the NEC Cycle Show in Birmingham it got me thinking: there’s an awful lot of bike stuff out there. We really are spoilt for choice, it can even seem a bit overwhelming at times. However, there is no doubt that early autumn is a great time for buying. We are at the transition of seasons, and I’m talking sales seasons predominantly. For those who want the latest, the upgrade, the make-buddy-envious, the 2016 Aladdin’s Den is wide open. For those hunting a bargain, treating themselves to a long-coveted item, 2015 stock is on sale. An online peruse around the big stockists is formulaic: click clearance, sort by savings and hey presto! save 65%. High street bargains are to be had. Bike shops are doing sales and European supermarkets are starting their cycle ranges, and believe me some of their kit does the job well. There is also a vibrant second hand market, not just online but wherever you find cyclists. Being associated with a club or riding group is a great source of used kit and bikes that come well-cared-for and with a wealth of advice. And I am pleased to see a resurgence of bike jumbles; you can’t miss the purple haze of eighties Lycra trackside on a Saturday morning. Let us not forget the Bike to Work Scheme. The upper limit of £1000 includes any accessory or item of clothing so if you’re not going for an entry level carbon bike there are funds to really stock up. Your bike dealer will advise you and help keep you within budget. So how about something old, some new, something second hand and something for the winter blues. Any money spent on cycling is money well-spent.

Happy shopping,

David Robert (Editor)


Cycling World Limited Myrtle Oast Kemsdale Road, Fostall Faversham, Kent ME13 9JL Tel: 01227 750153 Publisher: Colin Woolley


Editor: David Robert Production Manager: Alice Allwright Senior Designer: Ivan Boyanov


Sales Manager: Simon White Sales Executive: Joe Nardone Sales Executive: Ben Emery


Charlie Pittock, Julia White, Anita Powell, Steve Shrubsall, Sarah Roe, Jim Duncan, Simon Postgate, Colin Innett, Richard Peploe, Keith Gilks, Leon McCarron, Angus Parker.


COMAG Tavistock Road, West Drayton Middlesex UB7 7QE Front cover R is for Rainbow Stripes by Mark Fairhurst from P is for Peloton Although every effort is made to ensure the content of features in Cycling World is accurate and correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors, manufacturers or advertisers. No guarantees can be made upon the safe return of any unsolicited copy of photographic images. Thepublisher reserves the right to alter or amend any submitted material that is printed in Cycling World. All material in Cycling World is the copyright of the publisher and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. ©Cycling World Limited 2015 ISSN: 0143-0238

October 2015 Cycling World



Westminster City Council have released four new bike tours in the city, which take in some of London’s most iconic and unusual sights. The themed routes, led by qualified instructors, cater to a variety of tastes, allowing everyone from celeb spotters to chocolate lovers to indulge their passions from the saddle. The four new bike tours are: Wealthy and Celebrity Westminster lets you discover where the super-rich, live, socialise, shop and spend their money. Westminster’s finest chocolate tasting is a chocolate lover’s heaven. A five mile route talking in chocolatiers like Rococo and Charbonnel et Walker. Nairn’s London offers an inspiring and elegantly written insight on London’s buildings, first published in 1966. On this route expect to find yourself looking at London in a more enquiring way.

Westminster antiques and auction houses tour will take you along a five mile route of some of the best antique shopping in the world, including visits to auction houses including Christies. Westminster City Council has partnered with Cycle Confident to deliver a total of ten theme-led rides for free. The family-friendly rides have been designed by experienced cycle instructors to allow all abilities to enjoy London by bike. The led rides are part of Westminster City Council’s 2014 Cycling Strategy,

a £40million investment on improvements to create a better and safer pedestrian and cycling environment. This includes creating a Central London Cycle Grid road network, free City Cycle courses, increasing the amount of cycle parking, encouraging businesses to become cycle friendly and free monthly mechanical repairs with Dr Bike. For cyclists wanting to go it alone or arrange their own trips, Westminster’s led cycle rides are available to download.

LIZZIE ARMISTEAD RETAINS WORLD CUP TITLE Lizzie Armistead (BoelsDolmans) secured her second successive, overall victory of the Women’s World Cup on the road by winning the GP Plouay at the end of August. The British champion attacked in the final kilometres of the race,


Cycling World October 2015

but her competitors came back onto her wheel. In the sprint however, she showed she was the fastest of the front group including the world Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot and got herself and the team a double victory. In was a tense race as Armistead took to the start twenty-one points behind her main rival Anna van der Breggen

(Rabo-Liv). Had the Dutch rider finished second she’d have taken the trophy, but she finished sixth. In winning Armistead, an Olympic silver medallist, equals Nicole Cooke in becoming the only the second British Woman to win the trophy twice. Cycling World wishes Lizzie success at the forthcoming UCI World Championships in Virginia.

Michał Kwiatkowski photo by Wei Yuet Wong

UCI ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015 These 82nd World Championships take place in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Surprisingly it’s only the second time the USA have hosted, the last time being Colorado Springs in 1986. The event spans across nine days, from 19th-27th September. There are three disciplines, at three levels for both men and women: the Team Time Trial, the Individual Time Trial and the Road Race, at Elite, Under 23 and Junior Level. Last year BMC Racing Team claimed top spot in the Men’s Team Time Trial and will be aiming to defend their title, but will no doubt have stiff competition by the likes of Orica GreenEdge. Velocio-SRAM, formerly Specialized-lululemon, will also be aiming to maintain their crown in the Women’s Team Time Trial having won by more than a minute last year. With Bradley Wiggins getting back on track, the Individual Time Trial crown requires a new winner, and a predominantly flat course will be particularly suitable for Germany’s Tony Martin, the runner up last time around and winner on four previous occasions. In the Women’s Individual Time Trial, Germany’s Lisa Brennauer prevailed last year, and looks to have a strong chance at repeating the victory.

The finale of the Championships sees the Road Races, with Elite Women on the Saturday and Elite Men taking centre stage on Sunday 27th. Michal Kwiatowski (Poland) claimed last year’s title due to a blistering solo attack on the last lap. This year Peter Sagan (Slovakia) is a firm favourite, looking very strong before he pulled out of the Vuelta a España. The Belgian trio of Tom Boonen, Phillipe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet will be a formidable force if they work well together. Spanish favourites Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez may have lost their edge after such a taxing Vuelta. If the sprinters make it over Libby Hill, the ones to watch are Michael Matthews (Australia), Alexander Kristoff (Norway), and Nacer Bouhanni (France). John Degenkolb (Germany) should feature but looks to have lost his edge late season. The women’s race was just as exciting with eleven women contesting a sprint finish, including Lizzie Armitstead, but won by Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France. Armitstead has made it clear that her main goal for this year is to win out in Richmond, so expect a strong performance from her and the British team.


SAFE STREETS, NOT ENCOURAGEMENT Concerns that telling new cyclists to protect themselves with helmets and hi-viz might make cycling look more dangerous than it is, and thereby inadvertently put people off cycling rather than get them started, appear to be groundless.

on non-cyclists’ perceptions of danger or intentions to start riding, they found that health-focused campaigns made cycling seem more beneficial, specifically among non-cyclists.

This is according to new research from psychologists at the University of Bath which is likely to reassure local authorities and charities who have often made safety a key part of their pro-cycling messages. But the new study also suggests that, if we really want to get more people cycling and improve public health, it’s going to take more than words to make any difference.

Dr Ian Walker, of the University’s Department of Psychology, explained: “The fears some people had about mentioning safety to prospective new cyclists look to be groundless. But at the same time, although our study shows health information is useful for non-cyclists, it also shows that information alone isn’t going to be enough to make people take up cycling. Safe streets are what will most make the difference if we want to see more cycling.”

With cycling levels in the UK, like in many parts of the world, stagnating or even declining according to latest official statistics, the authors of the new study wanted to assess ways to encourage more cycling among all in society, in particular those going about their daily business. In their study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Transport & Health, they point to the ‘massive health benefits’ more cycling would bring. Whilst they conclude that safety-focused campaigns are unlikely to have any obvious or immediate effect

Although a handful of UK cities are bucking the trend, most notably London, the overall picture for the UK is gloomier. According to the ONS, the figure for those cycling in their early 30s has remained unchanged over the past decade and for those in their late 20s it has actually dropped. In recent years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that more cycling would dramatically improve public health, speculating that an increase in the number of trips by bike could be ‘the single best thing’ a society could do for public health.

October 2015 Cycling World


Georgia in Dublin Let Style Rain


mbrace the rain with Georgia in Dublin! Ireland has a wonderful but very changeable climate and it is this unpredictability that Georgia in Dublin sought to address when they launched their fashionable, waterproof, reflective range to bring women from bike to boardroom, puddle to some cosy Irish pub in style and comfort. Wishing to elevate and celebrate the bike as a means of transport they have developed  fun, colourful products that help people feel stylish on and off the bike, even when it's pouring down, and that helps to boost morale in the depths of winter! Their range ticks the "versatility" box - a Georgia in Dublin design commandment is that each garment works on and off the bike. This is important because, “when you have gear for this, gear for that, gear for the other, if you forget it, then you're often stuck.” The range of products is ideal for urban cycling and touring, women who walk to work or do the school run and generally those who love the outdoors and enjoy innovative design. Georgia in Dublin is the brainchild of mother and daughter team Nicola and Georgia. Both are lovers of the urban outdoors and regularly cycle and walk to work as well as to social occasions. They also enjoy taking a spin out to Wicklow on the weekends where there are stunning cycling routes, though on the very hilly side sometimes. The two arrived on the scene with a solution to the wet weather at the perfect time, just as a "cycling revolution" was getting underway in Dublin. Similar to our European counterparts, Dublin has seen an increase in cycling over the past number of years. Bicycle use in Dublin is up 82% in five years, with smaller but increasing growth levels in cities outside the capital. There were more than five million rentals of the Dublin bikes since its launch in September 2009. This increase in cycling is due to a number of factors, namely, the success of the Dublin Bikes scheme, the Cycle-to-work scheme and new bicycle paths in the city. Having started in December 2009 GinD looked forward to this increase! The wide Georgia in Dublin range includes jackets (the Dublette, the Hustle & Bustle and the Bronte), the Rainwrap (wrap around rain skirt), Leggits (overshoes with style), basket and crate covers and cuffs and gloves. Georgia in Dublin is changing how we feel about the getting out in the rain. Instead of looking outside and thinking you'll get wet, put on your


Cycling World October 2015

GinD clothes and just get out there! “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.” In the range of jackets, the Dublette is a timeless and functional waterproof jacket designed to expand over a backpack or bulky clothing. When the bungees on the back and down the sleeves are tightened the Dublette takes on its most stylish form with a cinched waist and fishtail swing at the back. The Hustle & Bustle is a beautifully tailored and comfortable jacket. The soft wearable fabric is light, functional and fashionable. The Bronte jacket is Georgia in Dublin’s newest addition to the range. Anchored at the waist and wrists with a black elasticated band and cuffs the Bronte is incredibly comfortable and stylish. All of the jackets are 100% waterproof, are made from a soft noiseless fabric is and have reflective details. These Irish designed jackets are the perfect combination of function and fashion. Also in the range is the highly functional Rainwrap, the GinD wrap around rain skirt. A practical and flattering alternative to waterproof trousers, the light weight Rainwrap is supremely easy to take on and off and keeps your clothes dry while cycling. This timeless Irish design is extremely wearable with its high waist to avoid gaping and conveniently folds away quickly. For spring it can be used as a picnic or festival blanket. Their Leggits are overshoes with style. Simply pop the Leggits over your shoes or boots for complete protection from the elements.  Say hello to visibility and goodbye to sodden jeans and spoiled shoes. Interestingly the toe soles are made from recycled inner bike tubes that are filleted by Georgia in Dublin. For the urban cyclist even the builder’s vest gets the chic Georgia in Dublin treatment. The D1 high visibility vest will get you noticed in style, with its inspiration coming from the Dutch artist Mondrian. With an eye on protection the Dorothy Basket Cover shelters the contents of your bike basket from rain, wind and theft. Other accessories include the gotcha bag, gloves, cuffs, hats, saddle covers and bells. Lots of thought has gone into making this range of practical elegance for the cycle chic and rain shy lady. Keep up to date with Georgia in Dublin news and view our full range on our website and on

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October 2015 Cycling World


Interview with the Presenter of the Cycle Show Our Editor, David, caught up with Matt Barbet at Prudential Ride London

David: So Matt, how was the ride today?

Matt Barbet

Matt: It was great; it’s the third time I’ve done it and the third time it’s been run; it’s the best one so far. It’s been better every year and I don’t think anyone can fail to be inspired by seeing all these people bother to get up so early, ride on these roads, and the fact that the roads are closed to traffic – it just doesn’t get better than that. It’s an absolute joy, I’ve been looking forward to it for months, and actually yesterday for the first time I took my 6 year old out for the Free Cycle around the city. She only managed 3 miles, her bike’s probably a little bit too small for her these days. But the whole weekend, and the Pro Racing as well, it’s just brilliant and I think it puts London head and shoulders above other cities when it comes to provision for amateur cycling. You don’t get this in Paris despite the Tour de France finishing there. You have Gran Fondos in New York, but this is just next level stuff. David: Do you think this is a model for other cities in the UK? Matt: I don’t see why not. I remember the first closed road event in the UK, I think it was the Étape Caledonia if I’m not mistaken, which was a bit of a breakthrough, and now there are so many of them: the Étape Cymru; the Velothon is on closed roads I think. But the fact that authorities can agree and there’s always so many stakeholders involved to close the roads for a weekend, certainly in a city as busy as London and in a county like Surrey, it means anyone can do it. David: Why do you think cycling has had such a sudden surge in popularity? Matt: I think the tipping point for cycling’s popularity has been reached because of a number of things. First people like me in the news and media kept talking about the obesity crisis, people are becoming more and more aware of their own personal fitness. It’s started to sink in that it is your own personal responsibility to look after yourself. I think the other thing is that our success in cycling in all disciplines,


Cycling World October 2015

not just on the road with Wiggins and Cavendish, on the track with Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, and numerous others – BMX with Shanaze Reade. I think all those things combine to make people think “you know what, I should just get out on my bike”, and I was the same. I used to run a lot, I did the London Marathon, I enjoyed it but it was pretty painful. I got back on a bike and thought “why did it take me so long?” It’s just great fun riding a bicycle. I’ve seen so many other people do it, remembering to get back on a bike and remembering that feeling they had when they were a child. Getting it back when you have perhaps got a few more responsibilities and worries on your shoulders, they all disappear when you’re riding a bike. For me, it’s just a way of life to ride a bicycle. David: So Matt, you’ve mentioned children quite a lot; do you think changes need to be made to make it become a daily thing for young people to commute to school, for parents to commute to primary school? Do we need changes to make it become a daily activity? Matt: Yeah, I talked about tipping points and again I think the tipping point for more children riding to school like they used to, is not far off being reached. Sustrans, for example, are doing fantastic work in encouraging kids at schools to get on their bikes and do it responsibly, and not be scared. I have a young neighbour who is 13, she goes to school 3 miles away and her parents trust her enough to let her ride her bike there. I hope that when my children are old enough to go to secondary school they will do the same thing. It involves trust, it involves a bit of a leap of faith with the way our roads are at the moment – they are far too clogged in some areas, but there’s no reason why educating kids, and educating drivers better that there will be more cyclists around as years go on. If that is done, there is no reason why more of us can’t just do that, it will become a way of life for kids here, in the same way that it is in the likes of the Netherlands and Denmark.

David: What about the workplace, meaning big employers, what can they do? Matt: I think a lot of workplaces are improving their facilities. Nobody wants to ride to work, put in that effort of getting on their bike, and then have nowhere to dry their kit, or nowhere nice to have a shower. Those kind of things should just be a basic for any sizeable employer to include those facilities. I used to be an employee of Sky. Sky, of course, are big on cycling, so they got it straight away. It wasn’t just putting money towards the Pro Team, it wasn’t just things like SkyRide, it was investing in cycling from top to bottom. They have showers, they have lockers, they have places to lock your bike etc. Everyone else should do that too, if you want to attract decent talent, you’re going to have to provide those kind of facilities anyway, aren’t you? David: One final question, what’s your next challenge on two wheels? Matt: There’s always something bubbling under on two wheels and I can’t really get through a year without having something to aim for. I rode the Trois Étapes Dolomites a few weeks ago and I filmed it for the Cycle Show. I felt like I’d trained enough, clearly I hadn’t; I underestimated how difficult the Dolomites are. They just felt significantly steeper than any other mountains I’d ridden in the Alps. Challenge wise, I don’t know yet. I wouldn’t mind doing the Maratona, but that’s gone for this year – I wouldn’t mind doing that at some point. I’ve done the Étape du Tour once before, maybe again next year would be nice. I’m thinking of getting back on Shanks’ Pony and doing the London Marathon next April. I’ve done it before, it was painful, I’m being strong-armed into doing it by a charity that I’m patron for, so I might have to put the bike to one side for the winter and get back running again, but we’ll see. David: Brilliant, thank you very much.

October 2015 Cycling World



Cycling World October 2015

October 2015 Cycling World


Barn-Find Bikes Words and pictures by Julia White


Cycling World October 2015

Old things seem to be attracted to me,” says a bemused Dan. There seems to be a truth in what he says as we look around his tumbling 300 year old farmhouse in Northern France and his daily driver, a 1969 VW Beetle which he has fully restored. “I kind of feel as though they are reaching out to me saying, ‘Save me!’” he laughs. It was in a similar sort of manner that he acquired two German retro bicycles from the 1960s. When Dan and his wife were short of furniture after relocating to France, Heidrun Heintz, a local German holiday home owner offered them her old sofa bed. “Whilst at her house, I got chatting to her, “ Dan said, “We ended up with an enormous lamp, a clothes horse, a hat stand, and best of all the two bikes. Heidrun kept asking us what else we needed and Floss, my wife, mentioned we were looking for some old bikes. She just meant some old bangers that we could share with visiting friends to cycle to the beach together.”

October 2015 Cycling World



n the dark and gloom of Heidrun’s garage, Dan and Floss helped to shift ancient furniture and rugs, until, amongst the cobwebs and the dust, they uncovered the bikes. Heidrun recalled that she had been given the NSU Streamlight for her 10th birthday in 1964. Similarly, her late husband had received the Gritzner when he turned 10 years old, also in 1964 - their birthdays just a week apart. She explained that it was quite a common practice in West Germany at the time for children to receive a bicycle for their 10th birthday if their parents could afford it. By that age it was deemed that the child would be big enough to ride an adult frame, and so could make use of their bicycle long into their adult life. The German engineering has clearly stood the test of time, and the NSU even has the original 10 year warranty in a little plastic box under the saddle. “To think that she has been riding around with a warranty, now over forty years out of date, just blows my mind,” says Dan.

It was quite dark in the garage so Dan admitted that he couldn’t really see the bikes properly at the time. He also owns up that he had never heard of the Gritzner, although he thought the company NSU seemed vaguely familiar. At the time he and Floss just loved the look of the bikes – the vintage style, curved handlebars and the big comfortable saddles. However, as they carried the bikes into the courtyard, Heidrun looked wistful, reminiscing about childhood adventures and the incredible sense of freedom she had felt to have her own bike. Therefore, the couple felt a little uncertain about whether they should accept them. “She was


Cycling World October 2015

resolute though,” Dan recalls, “She really wanted us to have them, and for them to continue to take people on adventures.” Uncovering the history of the bikes When Dan returned home, he researched the histories of the Gritzner and NSU manufacturing companies on-line. He found that the origins of the two companies were very similar. Gritzner, founded in 1872, originally produced high quality sewing machines. Meanwhile NSU, founded in 1873, began by manufacturing knitting machines. Both companies then went on to make bicycles, with NSU producing bicycles from 1886 and Gritzner a year later in 1887, despite the setback of a devastating factory fire in 1881. Shortly afterwards, both companies also added motorcycles to their production lines, before NSU then expanded to produce

cars. The interesting coincidence for Dan has been that, according to the VW Museum, in 1933 Ferdinand Porsche commissioned NSU to build 3 prototypes of the car ‘Type 32.’ This is considered a precursor to the first VW Beetle. “Suddenly I realised why NSU sounded familiar,” recalls Dan. In fact later, in 1969, when NSU’s second car division ran into difficulties, the company was bought over by the Volkswagen Group. So far, Dan has struggled to find the model of the Gritzner bicycle. The paintwork with the model name has rusted away, with only a few letters – possibly more – faintly discernible. Compared to NSU, there is much less information available on-line in English about Gritzner bicycles, so he has been unable to find any model names that contain these letters. By contrast, he has been able to verify the exact year of manufacture of the NSU Streamlight from on-line

Find your Funkier stockist at- or contact us, TEL01772459887 October 2015 Cycling World 19

guides that explain the date coding system of the original Torpedo gear hub. The hub is stamped with the letter F, which suggests the bicycle was likely manufactured in 1963, just in time for Heidrun’s parents to purchase it for her birthday in 1964. It is reported that around the early 1960s NSU ceased making bicycles, so he and Heidrun surmise that her Steamlight is perhaps amongst some of the last the company produced. Heidrun recalls that her father was a fan of NSU engineering, hence why he probably chose an NSU bicycle for her. She thinks her late husband’s parents probably plumped for a Gritzner bicycle for their son because it was locally produced in Kaiserslautern where he grew up. With so many high quality bicycles produced in Germany at the time, children used to tease on another about the engineering superiority of their different bikes. Heidrun recalls that as she would ride past on her NSU Streamlight, her friends would cry out, “NSU kaput im nu!” (NSU broken in no time!).

Reviving the Bikes

Despite her friends’ teasing, Heidrun has had the last laugh, as her old NSU still fully functions with all of the original fittings. The Torpedo 3 Gang (3-gear) hub system, the wellsprung saddle (which Floss confirms is exceptionally comfortable), the pedalpowered ‘Schmitt’s Original’ front and rear lights (powered by a dynamo bottle on the front wheel), the brakes, and even the NSU-branded bell are all original and still work - the only part that has been changed over the years are the tyres. The Gritzner was in a similar condition, although Dan points out that more of the bike’s parts have been changed at some point: the gears, the tyres, and possibly the saddle. However, the pedal-powered Lohmann lights, and the Swiss manufactured Weinmann Junior front brake remain and still function. Stored in Heidrun’s barn near the French Atlantic coast, the bikes are obviously quite rusty. Rust aside, Dan admits there was little to do to get the bikes up and running again, “Mainly it was just a case of changing the inner tubes and checking everything over.”


Cycling World October 2015

Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat. It’s good to get away and see somewhere new. And when you’ve finished a long ride, exploring new places, it’s good to have a little bit of comfort; a cold drink, a hot drink, a microwave, gas hobs, running water, a sofa, double beds with mattresses. The things we take for granted in our own homes. The 6-berth OPUS Camper Trailer can offer you all of those comforts, plus a whole lot more, including the ability to carry up to 6 cycles on it’s roof. OPUS takes care of the simple things, leaving you more time to concentrate on your routes. Start planning your next route today with OPUS

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October 2015 Cycling World


However, he hopes one-day to fully restore them. “I’ve made a small start on the Lohmann light and handlebars on the Gritzner, just to see whether the Coca-Cola and aluminium foil trick really does work,” he says, “It looks a lot better than it did, but I need to find out more about restoring painted frames before I really get underway. The NSU has so much of the original painted artwork it would be a shame to damage it.” The Maiden Outing Dan and Floss describe feeling eager to get the bikes functioning so that they could give them a go. For the maiden outing they decided to aim for their local beach where they regularly walk their dog. The beach doesn’t have an official name, although it is known locally as Hatainville Plage, taking the name from the huge dune system behind, which is designated as a Natural Site of European Interest. A paved road winds down through the dunes, with spectacular views across the rolling scrubland to the cape at


Cycling World October 2015

Carteret. The beach itself is a sevenkilometre stretch of golden sand, and deserted for most of the year. “Even in the summer it could never feel crowded,” explains Dan, “As when the tide goes out there is at least another kilometre of sand to reach the water’s edge.” Hatainville Beach is just 1.5km from the couple’s house, but there is a steep, sustained hill for much of the way. Both bikes have just one brake attached to the handle bar – the front brake. To operate what is effectively the back brake, the rider has to reverse the pedals. “If you accidently do this with too much force on the flat you can cause the bike to ‘hiccup,’ or find yourself coming to a much more abrupt stop then you expected!” laughs Dan. Floss found the system useful on the steep downhill though, “You can basically just rest your feet on the pedals, and you are feathering the brakes all the way.” However, nearing the bottom of the hill, she soon discovered that the brakes currently only work to

slow you down. Even with the front brake pulled on as hard as she could, the bike wouldn’t come to a complete stop. Luckily, Floss reacted by quickly turning the bike up onto a grassy slope and stopping with her feet, “It was a bit of a scary moment, but all I kept thinking was that after all these years I didn’t want to be the one to break the bike!” It was quite a tough ascent on the way back up the hill, so after rounding the top the couple stopped to admire the sunset over the British Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. From here, it is easy to see why the views from Hatainville Beach are often judged to be the some of most beautiful in Europe. As they cruised back through their timeless old village of Hatainville, Floss commented that she felt as though she had stepped back in time a few decades. However, the smooth roads belie the year as they have been newly upgraded in preparation for the Tour de France 2016, which will pass right in front of the barn where Dan

and Floss keep the bikes. Reflecting on their first adventure on the bikes, the couple conclude, “It is pretty cool to think these old bikes are still up and running and that we have cycled them on a tiny section of the Tour.“ -> Dan welcomes any tips or advice from Cycling World readers on restoring the bikes. You can contact the couple through their blog: www.

October 2015 Cycling World


For every nasty in the road, there’s the new Durano Double Defense. 24

Cycling World October 2015

Advanced cut resistant SnakeSkin sidewalls and RaceGuard puncture protection. More than a match for your city’s streets.

Ask Anita Photos by Alex Loucaides


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… The leaves are falling off the trees and getting under my wheels, the sun goes to bed much earlier than it did just a few weeks ago, and I’m thinking about digging out my earmuffs. Autumn is in the air. When is a good time to put the bike into hibernation? Never! With a bit of preparation and open-mindedness, cycling all year round can be amazing. Granted, you may not wish to cover quite so many miles during the off season but there’s no reason to lock your beloved away to gather dust at the back of the shed. I actually find autumn/winter riding really enjoyable. Think about it - no weird tan lines, no wasps in your water bottle. No hordes of other cyclists overtaking you on that hill where you love the view so much you just have to slow right down to enjoy it. Autumn brings some of nature’s most beautiful sights and sounds, and cycling in the dusk and dark can be magical and awaken your senses.

Of course, preparation is key. Here are some tips from the experts:

Dressed to (not) chill

Light up your life

If you’re prone to disorganisation, battery-powered lights can be a safer bet than USB ones, although you really should try and be a better person and remember your charger. Get the best front light you can afford if you’re cycling in more rural places and stick multiple flashing red lights on the back of you and your bike. If you like to glow, Volvo’s Life Paint is definitely worth a try too.

Feed the steed

There are a few wardrobe essentials you need to consider: something to keep your neck warm (a buff or a scarf), something to keep your ears warm (a hat, headband or ear warmers), something to keep your feet dry (waterproof socks or overshoes), and most importantly toasty, waterproof gloves to wipe your runny nose on.

Safety with a smile

Bad weather turns humans into bad people. We all know this. Be extra careful, assume more than ever that all road users and pedestrians are about to do something stupid, and keep smiling no matter how much skin the hail is taking off your face. If you have any cycling questions for Anita do send to our Letter Page, details on p.53

Make sure your bike is happy and healthy just like you – try to keep it as warm and dry as possible, make sure it is clean and supple, and feed it regularly with adventures.

October 2015 Cycling World


Scenic Charity ride through Northants, Rutland and Cambridgeshire


national children’s charity is calling on cyclists to join them on a mass bike ride that passes through parts of Northants, Rutland and Cambridgeshire. Caudwell Children, who provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, say that participants in the fundraising event will raise vital cash for the charity, enabling them to supply disabled children with equipment, therapies, treatments and short breaks that they can’t access through statutory measures. The charity has teamed up with leading cycling sportive providers Kilo to Go to create the event, and are inviting riders to join them on their charity cycle ride on Saturday 24th October, 2015.


Cycling World October 2015

Kirsten Greaves, Challenge Events Coordinator for Caudwell Children, says that the event is suitable for riders with a range of abilities. As she explained: “There will be three routes featuring 57, 75 and 109 mile options and riders will have the choice of testing themselves against the Laund Abbey climb and the famous Harringworth Viaduct climb, the longest masonry viaduct in Britain. Kirsten describes the event: “The race starts and finishes on the stunning Eton Hall Estate, near Peterborough. Eton Hall has been in the Proby family since 1660. The race HQ is located at the fantastic Gothic house, set in 3,800 acres of unspoilt, landscaped, parkland. The on-site parking and catering will make for a convivial atmosphere before and after

the race.” Simon Thomson, Director at Kilo to Go, said: “This race, known as The Rut, is an amazing ride and one of the highlights of the cycling calendar. We cycle in some of England’s most breathtaking scenery. Riding for the charity is a vastly rewarding thing to do and will help to change the lives of disabled children.” The ride includes Kilo to Go’s renowned support package. As Kirsten explained: “Kilo To Go leave nothing to chance.

on-course rider photography, personalised rider finish line videos and, of course, our finishers medal. We’re even providing a post-ride massage for a small donation.” Fully trained Paramedic and First Aid personnel are available around the routes, riders can access mechanical support, full route markings are placed around each course and there are feed stations supplying saviour snacks and HIGH 5 sports nutrition goods. Riders will enjoy an extremely professional event. They will enjoy the event centre facilities, with onsite catering and refreshments, and times will be recorded through UHF electronic chip to enable SMS and web rider time publication. But what riders will particularly like will be our

Caudwell Children’s fundraising team will also be available, in the build up to the race, to help riders raise funds. The fundraising target is £50 but for those who raise £200 or more the charity will give them a Caudwell Children Pro Cycle race fit jersey to wear on the day! The top is made from high quality aerolite wicking fabric, and incorporates the professional features needed to get riders through their challenge. To register for the event visit: kilotogo or ring Kirsten Greaves on 01782 600435 October 2015 Cycling World


UK Cycle Routes in Europe Top Ten GoEuro names 3 UK cycle routes in its European Top Ten GoEuro is a travel search website that allows you to compare and combine flights, trains and buses throughout Europe. It is bicycle friendly and got in touch with people from the UK biking community to share some of their top bike trails in Europe this summer. Here are 3 in the UK: Source:




ROUTE 3 28

Cycling World October 2015


evon is a truly stunning part of the UK and has a number of spectacular trails. However, there’s nothing quite like a Great British pint to finish of your journey. “The route crosses unspoilt North Devon countryside and follows the magical TawTorridge Estuary. Starting in Barnstaple, it’s just three miles to Femington where the estuary scenery is sensational. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to go; the route comes


to an end in the small village of Meeth where you can enjoy a well-earned pint in The Bull and Dragon”  – Joanna Corfield, officer at Sustrans Getting to Devon is simple with either bus or train from most major UK cities, including; Plymouth, Manchester and London

or a route that combines history and nature in one, then one of the many canal routes throughout England is the answer.

discover, as well as beautiful scenery all round. You can ride almost the entire length traffic free.” – Andreas Kambanis, Founder of London Cyclist

“For a cycling trip with a difference in the UK, I recommend a two day cycle along the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London. You’ll need to set off early and you’ll need a hybrid bike as the quality of the path varies. There’s a fascinating history to

Whether starting in Birmingham or London, you will find a wealth of bus and train connections from all major cities. Both cities also have international airports if you are travelling from further afield.


n 18 mile trek through glorious countryside on a well paved road, The Camel Trail in Cornwall is suitable for cyclists of all levels. A perfect choice for a family day out, the route can be as relaxed or demanding as you make it. However, if you’re a little more adventurous, you can take in two separate, spectacular coastlines that span some of the most beautiful landscapes found anywhere in the UK.

“A route dear to my heart is the Camel Trail. It can be extended from coast to coast but this 18 mile section is the best and easy for anyone to ride”. – Steve Donohue CoFounder at Headset Press You can get to this part of Cornwall via Bodmin. Coach and train travel are your best options with international flights serving London

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October 2015 Cycling World


A Cycling Weekend in Guildford

Steve Shrubsall arrives in Guildford for the start of our ‘cycling weekend’ series and takes to the lanes of leafy


he cyclists of Surrey are generally a genial bunch. Sprightly repeats of Leith Hill will invariably precede a visit to a quaint country boozer where intermittent sips of lemonade shandy quickly become flavour of the day. Upon slaking thirsts, bicycles will then be remounted and a subsequent blitz through the rural southeast will transpire - and tish and pish to the blasted leg pain - before heading home for a nice cup of tea and an episode of Countryfile. I liked the sound of this; especially the tea and Countryfile part. The Leith Hill repeats, though - I wasn’t so sure about. Isn’t it supposed to 30

Cycling World October 2015

Seven reasons you should cycle in Guildford: 1. The Tour of Britain regularly passes through town. Former world champion and 26 time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory on the high street cobbles in 2012. 2. Box Hill: arguably the most celebrated ascent in the United Kingdom. Brought to notoriety during London 2012 when the Olympic Road Race traversed its famous switchbacks no less than nine times. With just 15 miles separating the ‘Zig-Zags’ and Guildford city centre, it’s a worthy addition to the itinerary. 3. Prefer off-roading? The Downs Link, a 37-mile footpath and bridleway, runs from Guildford due south to Shoreham on Sea in Sussex - with nary an exhaust pipe in sight. 4. The Yates twins have a penchant for pinching local Strava segments, giving you the perfect opportunity to pit your power against the new British Grand Tour hopefuls. 5. Leith Hill: The highest of all the Surrey Hills. Sure, it doesn’t brag the romance of the Col du Tourmalet or the dystopian wonder of Fleet Moss, but Leith Hill offers up its own unique brand of pleasure… and pain. 6. It’s only 27 miles from London. The city’s proximity to the capital makes Guildford easily accessible from any part of the country - or indeed the continent. 7. It’s always sunny in Surrey. Although the competition is far from formidable, Surrey is one of the warmest counties in the UK, so don’t forget your sun cream - but bring your leg warmers too, just in case

October 2015 Cycling World


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Cycling World October 2015

be the highest point in Surrey? If this was true - which it is, I asked Google, and Google only lies about my medical ailments; apparently I should’ve died 17.5 times during 2014 - I should surely incorporate it into my ride. The map suggested that in order to reach this much fabled peak from Guildford, I would have to take in a section of A road from the city towards Shalford, an entry point of the Surrey Hills. I’m sure, however, that if you were to covertly hop on a train that we’d all turn a blind eye and pretend it had never happened. But for the sake of good cycling journalism, I arrived in Shalford after a fairly unremarkable three miles and continued on toward the chocolate box settlements of Chilworth and Albury, which both boast the twin idylls of charming architecture and bucolic allure by the boat load. It is shortly after Albury that we happen upon our first noteworthy climb. With an average gradient of six per cent at just under half a mile in length you certainly wouldn’t describe it as alpine fare, but it preps the legs nicely as we head further into the Hills. By now the roads are gloriously empty, with the jarring tones of impatient engines and whining brakes confined to the larger roads below us, and the terrain flat enough for an appreciative amble or a head-down, eyeballs-out offensive through to Peaslake. The hub of mountain biking in the southeast; Peaslake is where cyclists October 2015 Cycling World


with full-suspension and full-face helmets amass and subsequently hurl themselves off sheer drops. Our route, which has now set into a steady ascent, bisects their playground and continues for several miles under canopy cover until the foliage unfurls and a sweeping view over to Sussex is unveiled. This is a spot well worth savouring, so unhouse the water bottle, hydrate, and bask in the completion of a solid 15 miles of cycling. An exhilarating descent - aren’t they all - takes us to the threshold of Ewhurst where we bear left at the mini-roundabout and begin an undulating tack towards Forest Green. The sound of carbon fibre slicing through the air becomes almost omnipresent, as cyclists make sortees to or from Leith Hill - which, by now, consumes our route under its shadow. As you’d expect, being the highest peak in the county, there is more than one way to the summit - in fact, there are no fewer than eight threads to choose from. I opted for the quietest approach which passes Birkett’s Farm - this, it transpired, was an error. The narrow lane, submerged under dense greenery on this mid-summer’s day, started innocuously - the gradient from the outset was a very civilised, a very Surrey-esque, four per cent. After a few hundred metres of wondering what all the fuss was about, I rounded a sweeping corner and was confronted by what could best be described as a wall. What? What the…?! How the…?! You’d need a harness and a 34

Cycling World October 2015

Take a brake: breakfast, lunch and dinner in Guildford Breakfast:

Pre-ride sustenance was partaken of in Coffee Culture just off Guildford High Street. The scrambled eggs on thick wholemeal slices melted in the mouth and a large cappuccino bolstered the fuel reserves sufficiently for a morning in the saddle. To stave off an untimely bonk I dropped a couple of energy bars in the cycling jersey pockets and filled one of my water bottles with an energy drink.

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October 2015 Cycling World


bunch of ropes to get up that... Because I’d forgone packing the mountaineering equipment for this ride, I engaged the lowest gear and I ground… and I ground… and I ground. I ground so much I felt like Mr. Homepride. My heart thumped hard in my chest, a deluge of free-flowing sweat stung my eyes, and my legs… my legs now bled molten lava. The road continued to rise - a consistent doublefigured gradient with occasional respite where breath could be caught, brow could be mopped, and lactic acid removed. At the summit though, as always, that unparalleled sensation of a job well done, the feeling of having grabbed a challenge by the lapels and, ahem, ground it into submission, is there to 36

Cycling World October 2015

be basked in. Of course, you could also plump for one of the slightly friendlier roads to the top, but they all comprise a certain amount of venom. It’s time to break out the energy bars - we’re at the halfway stage. What goes up - and we certainly went up - inevitably comes down. And sometimes, just sometimes, at the bottom of that down lies a delightful little watering hole which hosts a marvellous range of cask ales and a full menu including a selection of British pub grub classics. How handy, then, that at the foot of our decent we meet the Abinger Hatch which does pretty much all of the above - the perfect venue for a spot of lunch or a pint or two.

Take a brake: breakfast, lunch and dinner in Guildford Lunch::

Lunch at the Abinger Hatch consisted of the Fish Pie, served with bashed carrots and seasonal greens - as tasty as it was, upon seeing mein host brandish a tray of freshly prepared Sunday roasts, bursting at the seams with all the trimmings, I couldn’t help muse that I’d plumped for the wrong option. Next time…



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October 2015 Cycling World


After replenishing the depleting glycogen stores, we meet a stretch of the A25 for a few hundred metres before dipping into Shere, which as well as being downright pretty is home to a plethora of antiquated eateries and pubs. Retracing our steps now, we roll back down the first ascent and into Albury before tackling the last climb of the day, St Martha’s Hill - a 1.2 mile ascent which, although averages out at just four per cent, comprises some seriously testing ramps. In fact, on one such incline during my ride, a young couple out walking inquired into whether I needed a push - I said yes, that I’d love a push, but they just continued on with their hike, leaving me to toil in solitude to the top, hopes of assistance shot down in flames. Drats! 38

Cycling World October 2015

Once at the peak, Guildford’s sprawling roof tops can now just about be seen, and swooping into the city you can now start planning the recovery process, which, this evening will probably come in the form of a few pints of TEA, a speciality from the local Hog’s Back brewery.

Take a brake: breakfast, lunch and dinner in Guildford Dinner::

Dinner after a long day a-wheel is one of life’s great pleasures, and eating at the Rum Wong, a long-established Thai restaurant, heightened the experience. Replacing diminished carb supplies is effortless with their Pad Kang Kiew Wan, green curry stir-fried with noodles, and an eclectic array of proteins are available and served with traditional siamese spices and condiments.

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October 2015 Cycling World


Slow Wheel Around Morecambe Bay Article by Sarah Roe, Sustrans North West Photos by Sustrans North West Jon Sparks Steven Barber


Cycling World October 2015


t is 10am on a Thursday morning at Sandy Gap on Walney Island, a narrow strip of land which hangs by a thread from the North West tip of Morecambe Bay. Usually this pretty beach with a view out to the offshore windfarm is a peaceful haven where if you sit quietly you might spot oystercatchers searching for worms, or a grey seal basking on a rock, but today there is a full-scale party going on. There is a DJ on a bicycle blasting out tunes celebrating two wheels and a colourful gazebo stall serving shortbread in the shape of bicycles alongside bagels and coffee. An excited gaggle of local school children are amongst a crowd of over 150 people preparing to get on their bikes for the inaugural ride of the Bay Cycle Way, a new 80 mile route around Morecambe Bay.

Some of the group wheel their bikes onto the beach for the ceremonial dip in the sea to start the route. There are speeches, the DJ cranks up the tunes and we’re off, cruising down the hill towards Barrow Docks and turn off onto a peaceful, trafficfree track at a shiny new Route 700 sign.

As we pass the classic outline of Piel Castle, glowing in the morning sun, Nikki Wingfield, Cumbria area manager for Sustrans explains that although there are already cycle paths in the area this is the first time that there has been a full cycle route around Morecambe Bay.

Bay Cycle Way was developed by Sustrans with the Morecambe Bay Partnership, and aims to attract people who are new to cycling and want to try out short trips at a leisurely pace, as well as the long distance pros. The subtler charms of Morecambe Bay are often overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of the big mountains of the Lake District and the new cycle route aims to raise its profile amongst families looking for a new holiday experience as well as seasoned cycle tourers.

“Route 700 is all about making the links to existing cycle paths and promoting them as a whole, cohesive, signed route. We hope that it will encourage people to explore the Morecambe Bay area by bike, or to do it in small sections.” Ultimately there will be over 100 miles of on and off-road cycle paths linked to route 700, which connect with various heritage attractions, villages and eateries around the Bay.”

She adds: “The route is generally

October 2015 Cycling World


quite easy so we think it will appeal to families and to people who may not usually think about doing a long distance cycle ride as there are lots of opportunities to rest and refuel. We designed it with the idea that people will stop often and enjoy exploring off the path a bit, and spread it out over several days. In fact there is a loo, a brew and a view every 10 miles! ” It’s not long before we have a chance to test this principle. Around six miles out of Walney Island, the breakfast bagels have kept us pedalling but Gleaston Water Mill has a treat in store for us. This 18th century working water mill has a tearoom attached which is quietly gathering a reputation amongst the cycling community as a delicious place to refuel. The spread is abundant enough to power us around the whole of Morecambe Bay, never mind the short one-day trip we planned. Sustrans and Morecambe Bay Partnership are working with local businesses around the Bay to help them appeal to two wheel travellers. B&Bs and hotels in the area are also developing packages to appeal to cyclists and their families. Cafes in particular welcome the new business that Route 700 has unlocked and are responding with hearty treats to keep their clients stocked up and bike parking. “A cake and a drink are a mainstay for cyclists, it helps the legs pedal faster,” smiles Vicky Brereton, the owner of Gleaston Water Mill. As well as providing a fine line in classic English


Cycling World October 2015

cakes the mill has invested in cycle parking outside. We are considerably heavier when we get back on the bikes an hour or so later, but the peaceful atmosphere of the Bay pervades the group. The wide expansive views of sea, sky and salt marsh means no one is inclined to rush. On the top of Birkrigg Common we park our bikes in the layby and make a group pilgrimage the short walk from the road to the Bronze Age Stone Circle, where the whole bay yawns before us. On this clear balmy day it’s easy to understand why our ancestors chose this spot for their place of worship, and why painters such as Turner were inspired by the light, and muted colours of the area. A few miles later there is another reminder of Morecambe Bay’s historic role in spiritual sustenance. Conishead Priory, an imposing gothic country house, which stands on the site of a 12th century Augustinian Priory and is now home to a Buddhist community. The monks also do accommodation and a nice line in vegetarian food and they give a warm welcome to cyclists, so this is our last stop for the day. You even get to park your bike in a crumbling, disused wing of the monastery. The next day the group prepares for a little extra work. Bigland Hill is the main climb of a gently undulating route, but the reward afterwards is Cartmel: home of sticky toffee pudding and a number of


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Cycling World October 2015

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prestigious food outlets. We start at the pretty market town of Ulverston, home of the Laurel and Hardy Museum. Throughout the year the town hosts festivals and outdoor events and it’s worth a longer stop to explore the cobbled streets with colourfully rendered houses, specialist shops and thriving pub lie. But the hill mission is looming and our group pedals out of the centre, ceremoniously accompanied by timeless calls of the town crier. We pass through the little village of Greenodd before crossing the Leven Estuary and on through Roudsea Woods. The four-mile hill is a steady climb through shaded woodland banked by mellow dry

stone walls. Then it’s a long coast down the hill to Cartmel, where David Unsworth of Unsworth’s Yard has prepared a spread of wine, beer, bread and cheese to welcome us to the village. Since Simon Rogan set up the Michelin-starred L’Enclume in Cartmel, serving up food from his own neighbouring organic farm, the village is on the map for Britain’s gourmets. But you don’t have to bring your fancy clothes. The smell of good coffee pervades the village, and the historic Unsworth’s Yard includes a deli, a cheese shop and a microbrewery, so it’s a bit of a mecca for a hungry cyclist. The next stop is the elegant Edwardian seaside resort of Grangeover-Sands via the village of Flookburgh, where you can buy Morecambe Bay

October 2015 Cycling World


Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort

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Cycling World October 2015

shrimps direct from the fishermen. Nearby Humphrey Head, a nature reserve on a limestone promontory on the end of the Cartmel peninsula, is a short walk away from the path and a great viewing point for the Bay. Rare green-winged orchid and rock rose thrives amongst the grassland, and you might spot a peregrine falcon flying overhead. That night we camp at Low Fellgate Campsite in Grange over Sands. The weather is still warm and the sun sets over Morecambe bay in vivid stripes of orange, pink and blue. On the third day of the Bay Cycle Way we leave Grange and wind our way along the lovely quiet wooded lanes alongside Meathop Mosses towards Witherslack. There’s a provisions stop at the community run village store, then we are back in the saddle along the quiet old

road adjacent to the A590, towards Levens village and Levens Hall, which dates back to the 14th century. The topiary gardens are in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest in the world. The stretch of the route at Sandside runs alongside the vast expanse of sands (or estuary, depending on where the tide is). Time it just right and you might even see the tidal bore as the seawater rushes in – it moves faster than a galloping horse. We then arrive in Arnside, a seaside village with expansive views and the accolade of Britain’s smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Queen’s Guide, Cedric Robinson MBE, leads guided walks over the sands from here during the summer. The Bay is notorious for dangerous sea currents and quicksand,

which inspired writers like Jane Austen, and only adds to the area’s other-worldly mystique. The town is in festive mood to celebrate the new Bay Cycle Way and there are decorated bikes and bunting tied to railings. We refuel on fish and chips by the sea. Then it’s back on the lanes, pedalling past Arnside Knott (a short walk to the top brings rewards of beautiful views) and Far Arnside towards Silverdale, where we stop at RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve. This is the largest reed bed in Northwest England and it’s teeming with life - elusive otters lurk amongst the foliage and marsh harriers hunt overhead. In early summer you may even hear the booming call of the rare Bittern. We set up camp at the Silver Sapling campsite, and get in a party mood

October 2015 Cycling World


for the final leg of the journey. Next day we take the road towards Warton village, past beautiful views of the Bay at Warton Crag (an Iron Age hillfort) and on to the canal towpath at Carnforth. Fans of the film Brief Encounter make a quick pilgrimage to the station at Carnforth, where there is an authentic ‘refreshment room’ on the platform, next to the famous clock from the 1945 romantic movie. The classic English seaside town of Morecambe is our next destination. The town is increasingly gaining a reputation as a destination for lovers of vintage clothes and dance, based around its recently renovated 1930s Midland Hotel. The glass-fronted bar and restaurant, with balcony, looks straight out to sea and would be a perfect spot for an evening drink to watch the sunset. We strike the obligatory pose with Eric Morecambe and relax on the beach.


Cycling World October 2015

But we’re on a mission to reach Glasson Dock, Lancaster’s historic port, where a mini festival is assembling to welcome us in to the end of our tour. The final leg of the journey follows the dedicated cycle super highway to the Millennium Bridge at Lancaster, where local families have been busy blinging their bikes in preparation for our final celebration ride. We are greeted with more bunting and flags and DJ Dan is back with his Boom Box Bike. We turn south down the Millennium Trail with our colourful escort parade, following the Lune Estuary via a traffic-free greenway. A few miles of easy riding takes us to Glasson, which is home to a famous smokehouse, and an enthusiastic crowd cheers us to the finish. After exuberant photos, speeches and samba music some of us take our bikes for a final wheel dipping, and gaze back across the Bay to our starting point at Walney.

Lakeland House Stylish Boutique Accommodation in Coniston


akeland House is a distinctive, redbrick, Victorian property nestling between the slate and render of the traditional Lake District buildings in the centre of Coniston village in the heart of the English Lake District.

Lakeland House

Founded on metal mining from the surrounding fells as far back as Roman times, Coniston village now boasts one of the busiest tourist trades in the Lake District and is popular with hikers, cyclists, kayakers and holiday makers eager to make the most of the diverse scenery and wide range of activities on offer. It is ideally placed to explore the beautiful English Lake District, with Tarn Hows, Ambleside, Windermere, Keswick and Grasmere all in easy reach.

double bedroom with feature bath, separate twin-bedded room and bathroom (shower). Coniston is an excellent area for road cycling and there are great off-road routes. After a day cycling, return to Lakeland House where you will find secure inside cycle storage facilities. All rooms have flat screen TVs, free WiFi access, tea and coffee making facilities and ensuite bathrooms (showers). The room rates include breakfast. Hollands Café Our sister company Hollands Café is located in the same building as Lakeland House guest house, where we offer boutique style bed and breakfast accommodation. Hollands Café serves a fine range of teas, coffees, cakes, snacks, meals and our famous all-day breakfasts in a relaxed, stylish setting. Café customers can keep in touch or catch up with our free Wi-Fi.

Lakeland House offers beautifully designed boutique style bed and breakfast guest accommodation in the heart of the English Lake District in the delightful village of Coniston. Coniston Water and the Old Man of Coniston are just a few minutes walk away. In the same building, our Hollands Cafe serves a fine range of teas, coffees, cakes, snacks, meals and our famous all-day breakfasts in a relaxed, stylish setting. All with secure cycle storage and free WiFi”

Lakeland House won a trip advisor certificate of excellence for 5 consecutive years, and in 2015 were granted the prestigious “Hall of Fame Award”. The business is owned and run by the Holland family, and Michael, Sue and John look forward to welcoming you. We acquired the B&B in 1996 and have redesigned, renovated and refurbished all of the guest rooms and public area since 2014. All of our rooms on the first floor are individually decorated in a boutique style and, depending on aspect, have stunning views of the village, fells and of one of the Lake District's most famous peaks, Coniston Old Man. There is a luxury suite on the second floor comprising a

Come Stay Lakeland House & Hollands Cafe, Tilberthwaite Avenue, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8ED Tel: 015394 41303 Email:

At the end of a day exploring the Coniston hills, lake and attractions why not stop off on your way back to the B&B and indulge with a fresh coffee and cake, or try something from our exciting menu.

Bloomfield Camping luxurious base for cycling I

f you are looking for somewhere to base yourself for days out on the bike or somewhere to come to purely to relax then Bloomfield Camping is the perfect place. This is an ideal location for rides around the stunning North Dorset countryside and for venturing further afield into the Purbecks. Loops of varying distances through typical Dorset villages and countryside, longer rides up some testing hills, North Dorset Cycleway rides, Wessex Ridgeway rides or

an off road ride with the children along the North Dorset Trailway are all available. With just 4 pitches set in in 7 acres of stunning countryside you are guaranteed the space and tranquility to unwind after a day in the saddle as you sit around a campfire enjoying a well earned drink. There’s no compromise either as each tent has a king size bed with memory foam mattress and 2 single futons so the R&R aspect of your break is well and truly covered.

Just 4 pitches in 7 acres of stunning field and ponds Ideal base for cycling in North Dorset and the Purbecks 3 night weekend or 4 night midweek breaks. NO PRICE RISES FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. Website - e-mail - Tel - 07766 292732

October 2015 Cycling World


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October 2015 Cycling World


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Cycling World October 2015

䌀夀䌀䰀䔀 吀䠀䔀 䈀䔀匀吀 刀伀唀吀䔀匀 䤀一 䤀刀䔀䰀䄀一䐀

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䘀漀爀 昀甀爀琀栀攀爀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 漀渀 琀栀攀猀攀 愀渀搀 漀甀爀 漀琀栀攀爀 ㈀  栀漀琀攀氀猀  愀挀爀漀猀猀 䤀爀攀氀愀渀搀  䌀愀氀氀㨀 ⬀ ㌀㔀㌀ ⠀ ⤀ ㈀㄀ 㐀㌀㤀㄀㤀㤀㠀  嘀椀猀椀琀㨀 眀眀眀⸀猀攀氀攀挀琀栀漀琀攀氀猀⸀椀攀 October 2015 Cycling World


Cycling World Magazine 40th Anniversary Cycling World started in 1976 as a newspaper so we’ll be marking 40 years next year. There will be special features in 2016 in which we’ll celebrate some of the achievements of the bike industry and cyclists during this time. We need your help. The earliest issue we have is August 1979 so if anyone has any earlier issues do get in touch We’re looking forward to celebrating with you. Editor

Cycling World Letter Page We are starting a Letter Page so please send your thoughts, feelings, ideas and insights about all things cycling. Letter of the month wins: A Velo Hinge Home Bicycle Storage. It is a foldaway hook that fits most standard road, mountain and kids’ bikes Send letters to: Email: Post: Editor, Cycling World Magazine, Myrtle Oast, Kemsdale Road, Fostal, Faversham, Kent ME13 9JL We may edit your letter for brevity and/or clarity. We look forward to hearing from you. Editor


Cycling World October 2015

TRIATHLON ZONE CUSTOM BIKE CUSTOM FIT Our 10 point anatomical measuring system ensures that your bike will be fitted to your exact specifications

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Gentle cycling holidays since 1991 Suffolk & Norfolk France, Austria, Germany, Italy & Spain Use our bikes or bring your own Please call to find out more: 01449 721555

Flyer C Series  0800 612 3449 October 2015 Cycling World


Which is the best E-Bike on the market? is the one that is right for you. writes Jim Duncan Nationwide eBikes’ founder


ith dozens of models of electric bikes on the market, making a decision about which one to buy can be a little daunting without some professional help. So, we at Nationwide eBikes have created this guide to help you smoothly through the process so you get to know your crank drive from your low step. The end result will greatly narrow down the number of models to choose from to get the right bike for you. Firstly, what type of frame do you need? A low step frame makes getting on and off the saddle easy. It suits men and women equally and is ideal for making journeys that involve frequent stops, where hopping on or off with ease is paramount. A frame with a crossbar looks similar to a manual bicycle. It is great for the road and light trails, suitable for long distance riding or every day use. Crossbar bikes used to be regarded as only for men but they are now unisex and are known as a continental touring or trekking frame. Electric mountain bikes are great fun. MTB frames have always come with chunky tyres and partial suspension but they 56

Cycling World October 2015

are now equipped with full suspension and serious off road tyres, suitable for a variety of terrain including mud, grass and rocky paths. Folders are perfect for carrying on motorhomes or camper vans because of their compact size when folded. They are easy to store at home or work where space is tight or they can fit into a car boot to be taken anywhere. These bikes enable you to park up your vehicle and explore on two wheels.

the wheel’s hub. Crank drive motors are located around the bottom bracket in a purposebuilt casing. Crank drives are generally a later technology and benefit from driving through the chain, thus using the bike’s own gears and subsequently feeling more natural. What is your budget: under £1k, around £1.5k or more like £2k and above?

How much to spend on your eBike depends on what you will use it for and how Where has the electric bike long you want it to last. If you been made? will be mostly riding around town and stopping at shops The majority of eBikes then an entry level eBike such are manufactured in either as a Chinese model could be Europe or China. European just right. Chinese bikes can be brands tend to be at the high picked up for around £1,000 end, are of good quality and and are regarded as entry level are less mass produced than products. If you are planning their lower priced Chinese on touring or holidaying, you counterparts. Cyclists in both may want to look at a European China and Germany, The brand. A European crank Netherlands and Austria have system bike costs in the region been enjoying the benefits of of £1,500 to £2,000. However, eBikes for decades already. if you plan to use your eBike regularly for commuting to Where on your bike would you work or longer trips and it like the motor to be? might well replace your second car, then it is worth spending Motors can be more for a top European touring positioned either at the front, at brand which retail at around the back or be a crank mounted £2,000+. system. Front and back motors have been most common and are normally fitted within

So, here are three eBikes and three common scenarios (but most definitely not exhaustive).


The occasional 'pop into town' rider, low step meaning it’s easy on and off, basket on the front, suits young and old alike. An entry-level eBike of Chinese or Taiwanese origin maybe perfectly sufficient and give four or five seasons of pleasant use. Try brands such as Freego, Ebco, Fast4ward, Juicy Bike and Batribike.


The sport orientated, regular commuter, wanting an urban cool bike. This rider might like to consider a Swiss or German higher specification road/ touring type eBike. Have a look at the models from Haibike, KTM, Ave and BH Emotion.


Day tripping couple, who have a place in Spain and regularly go away in the motorhome. This couple should buy with quality in mind if they want their eBikes to be reliable over a number of seasons and whenever they want to use it. Try out models by Flyer, Raleigh and Gepida.

What’s left to do? Test ride and have some fun. Once you have an idea about what type of bike you would like, the best way to know if it is the one for you is to give it a test ride. So find a good, professional eBike shop, try multiple models and have some fun. During a test ride you can

experience how the bike feels and realise the power behind the pedals. In each of our stores across the country, we have between 15 and 50 eBikes ready to ride. We’d love you to come and find the right one for you. And whatever you choose, happy pedaling! 0800 612 3449

October 2015 Cycling World


CUBE E-BIKES more power, longer-lasting and safer than ever


-bikes are on the rise. With the latest developments they have become more powerful, longerlasting and safer than ever. More importantly, e-bikes are shedding their chunky image and now come in sleek designs and fashionable colours. CUBE e-bikes are innovative, safe and fit for all types of riders. The especially developed frame construction features a down tube specifically formed for the Bosch mid-range engine—known for its safety and reliability. The frame allows for a very low position of the engine, creating an extremely low center of gravity whilst achieving a super rigid bottom bracket area. Ideal for commuters, who need confident and agile riding within unpredictable city traffic. The Bosch engine boasts a long battery life making it fit for touring cyclists. The support from the engine will help you carry heavy loads and face tiring conditions, such as uphill climbs or strong headwinds. When the battery does finally run low, charging it is simple, all it takes is


Cycling World October 2015

plugging the battery into a mains socket. For the touring and travelling models CUBE has developed an integrated carrier that is one with the frame, as opposed to traditional carriers that are mounted on. This makes the carrier stronger and more reliable. In addition to the wide range of commuter and touring e-bikes, CUBE offers fun and adventurous hybrid mountain bikes. The full-suspension bikes will take any thrill seeker uphill before testing their technical skills downhill, whereas the hard tail e-mountain bikes enable fun loving trail riders to ride as far as the trails take them. For each rider, man or woman, CUBE has developed different frame geometries for optimal riding positions and a number of programs, to adjust the mode of the Bosch Drive unit. In combination with above mentioned details every rider will find a CUBE e-bike to match their preference.














October 2015 Cycling World


An E-bike that runs in the wild ÂŁ5.199 E-bike reviewer Simon Postgate goes a-hunting


aking my way up to Justebikes in Portobello Road to collect a bike named after the red deer, I reflected on the days of my misspent youth, spent riding off-road motorcycles along fire trails and (gasp!) the occasional woodland trail. Those days are long gone and probably just as well, but for a man of advancing years, hoping to recapture some of the joys of off-road riding without falling foul of the law or ending up dog-faced with exhaustion, the new Rotwild e1+ FS 27.5 Performance, should be just the ticket. I was shown around the bike by the shop owner James Fitzgerald, an ex-engineer and enthusiastic fan of these machines, who made a point of explaining the superior nature of the Rotwild breed, particularly, in terms of the toughness of the motor and the greater availability of useful low-down torque. I must say it certainly looked every inch the serious off-road tool, with super tough-looking, fully adjustable Fox Float 36 RC2 170 Kashima factory forks at the front and a Fox Float XCTD shock at the rear and, impressively


large 2.4 Continental Trail King Performance tyres. The pedal-assisted power unit is produced by Brose and is the result of much dedication by a group of highly-skilled engineers at Dieburg, Germany. The Brose motor, they claim, out-performs both the Yamaha and Bosch equivalents in terms of weight and power, James also informed me that, in his opinion, the Brose is a tougher motor than the Bosch. The bike itself weighs 20.5kg, which, for a full-suspension ebike is excellent; this is achieved partly through the use of carbon fibre in the section of the frame that incorporates the battery, there is also the option to add a second battery to extend the range. Ground clearance is demonstrably better than the nearest competition, an important consideration for a serious off-road machine. As I pulled out into the, at times, rather formidable London traffic I immediately felt the distinct push of the torquey Brose motor, capable of propelling the bike away from stand still, even in the higher gears. A smiling young commuter cruised past on a GLC bike, wearing bright orange

Cycling World October 2015




















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headphones, such nonchalance! I wished him luck. This is a bike that is set up for off-road use, nonetheless it performed well on the tarmac once you get used to the quicker steering and voluminous tyres. One thing that made itself apparent was the assistance, limited, by law, to around 15 MPH which means that above that speed you’re on your own powerwise. On a Bosh powered bike the assistance fades away fairly seamlessly whereas the Brose is a little less subtle and it’s best to pedal firmly through the power cut -off point rather than cruise, to avoid that slightly annoying, hello/goodbye feeling from the power. This, of course, can all be avoided if the bike is to be used exclusively for offroad use and therefore adapted to have a raised power assistance threshold. The first chance I got I tried the bike out on rough ground to see what it could really do. It was immediately obvious that this is a bike that rewards focussed and aggressive riding, the faster you go, the more the quality components demonstrate their abilities, this includes the gearing, which is positive and precise and the powerful but progressive braking system supplied by Shimano XT Ice Tech. Where the bike really shines, however, is in its ability to help you power up steep inclines that would normally defeat you, this, of course, opens up a style and pace of riding that would previously be unthinkable for anyone but an athlete. I can also report

that the bike copes well with a tumble, the low crossbar allowing you to step away from the bike as it goes down. The Rotwild is a machine that allows you to be ambitious but also requires skill and confidence to get the best response, this is not a bike for the blushing debutant. I found a steep, winding incline and rode up it several times until I got the line just right, by the fourth ascent I was breathing heavily but elated, the idea that off-road electric bikes totally alleviate physical demands is a fallacy, it’s just a question of ambition. The bike allows you to hone and develop your skills in all directions, with

the sky literally the limit as can be seen on video footage of the bike being jumped on the Rotwild website. The hydraulic dropper post (new for 2015) allows for confident descents, and the supple progressive suspension gives a reliable platform for downhill antics. Basically this is a bike that fulfils the demands of the most dedicated and discerning off-road electric cyclist, whether it’s for competition or just to jump on after work and give it some stick! I liked it, seriously impressed, now where’s my wallet?

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October 2015 Cycling World


Where does the name RooDog come from?



he founders of the company Scott Voase and Weiwei Wu, came up with the name from the Chinese zodiac. However that’s not the whole story, in the beginning they both liked Rudedog, which turned out to be a cartoon Scott had watched as a child (rudedog & the dweebs), knowing that they could no longer use this the very next thing they looked at was the Chinese Zodiac as Weiwei’s originally from China. Funnily enough as it turned out Weiwei is a rooster and Scott is a dog in the Chinese Zodiac signs and that is how RooDog was born. Why Choose RooDog Ebikes? Here at RooDog, we aim to offer a range of electric bikes that could meet everyone’s needs. We consider our range is great to look at, are excellent quality and most importantly affordable. Prior setting up the company several years ago we carried out extensive market research. Through this research we found out what people would be prepared to pay for an electric bike; what style of bikes would potentially be in demand and what really matters in customers’ buying experiences. Well we guess ‘The proof is in the pudding’ – as our current range is going from


Cycling World October 2015

strength to strength in terms of sales in the UK market and our dealer network is expanding year on year. We also visit our factories regularly to ensure high standards are met and we are continually striving to improve our bikes. We offer 2 years warranty with our bikes and have many excellent reviews from our existing customers. As a company, we promote green emissions along with health well-being. Wherever and whenever we can, we try to encourage people to test ride electric bikes to let them see the real benefits by owning an ebike has to offer. In doing so we often participating in major trade shows such as The NEC Cycle Show. Quite often we hear the saying’s such as “it’s cheating”; “still can pedal, not at the age needing an electric bike yet”; however once tried, people generally would change their opinions, smile like a Cheshire cat and genuinely consider purchasing an electric bike either for commuting or leisure purposes. What else can you tell me about RooDog: our company continues to develop and bring out new products to suit everyone’s taste. Take the Polka Dot bike as an example, we wanted to bring

something out just for the female riders, but this was not without challenges - there are around 150 spots per bike, and each spot is individually placed onto the frame by hand, therefore you can imagine the hard work and care that has gone into each bike. This also makes no two bikes quite the same so effectively every polka dot bike we sell is unique to the customer. RooDog is a family run business, set by the beautiful seaside town – Hornsea in East Yorkshire. We pride ourselves with friendly customer services and have huge passion and enthusiasm for our bikes. We also have a fast growing nationwide dealership and we try to involve ourselves with good causes. For example, we are one of the sponsors to EMpowered People, a lotto funded charity, whose mission is to put fun and excitement back into the lives of people with disabilities through the power of cycling. For more information on our products Please visit our website www.roodog. l If you are interested in becoming a retailer please call 01964 536570 or email us Like us on Facebook and/or follow us on twitter.

Based by the beautiful seaside town of Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire, RooDog is a family owned business who specialise in high quality, fun, stylish and affordable range of electric bikes. Run by fully experienced and friendly staff, and renown for excellent customer service. RooDog ebikes key features: l Competitively priced. Stylish, light weight and high quality l Lithium batteries with a power assisted (PAS) range of up to 30 miles or more per full charge l 3 riding options: Pedal only; Pedal assist and Throttle controlled l 2 years warranty on battery and motor l Unique! polka dot ebike specially designed for female riders l Nationwide Dealership


Tel: 01964 536570 Email: Brockholme Farm,Seaton Road, Hornsea, East Riding of Yorskshire, HU18 1BZ

New Francis-Barnett Classic Electric Bicycles available now from Batribike


atribike is exclusively licensed to manufacture the exciting new Francis-Barnett Electric and has worked closely with the brand to get the right look and styling that befits a “Classic machine from Yesteryear, reimagined for the 21st Century”. The dark green glossy paintwork with gold logos and lines show the heritage styling that is very much in-vogue at the moment, with many high tech products going for the retro look. The vintage-styled bicycles have the distinctive Francis-Barnett livery and are equipped with electric bike technology. The step-through and crossbar style bikes feature a 7 speed Shimano Nexus hub gear in the rear

wheel and a 250W brushless motor in the front wheel. The motor is powered by a 36v 10Ah, Samsung, lithium battery sited below the rear rack. The bikes are styled with a full range of accessories to complete the vintage look. Colour matched mudguards, skirt guard and sturdy front rack, sprung saddle with matching leather look grips, vintage style bell and front light all come fitted as standard. These new bikes, whilst not motorcycles, still follow the ethos of the original founders. They are a quality, handbuilt, mode of transport for the modern era.

& Working in partnership to fight cycle crime Market leaders Batribike first and only UK electric bike company to fit Datatag to every model in it’s range

Batribike are a Lincolnshire based Family business producing specialist electric bikes exclusively designed and built for the UK market. Model range: folders, step-through Dutch, classic vintage & hand built MTB. Network of professional dealers giving first class service and support.

See Batribike on stand K190 and in the electric bike test ride area of the Cycle Show at the NEC in September.

Cycle Security & Registration System Protects your bike - not just your frame

‘Stealth’ UV Etch

Datadots® mark cycle components and accessories

Unique Tamper Evident Label with QR code

| Ask your local Batribike dealer for more details or visit

October 2015 Cycling World



We take E-bikes seriously, and so should you

The UK’s Electric Bicycle Specialists

Take Charge and have a positive commute!

• Stockists of 20 brands • UK importer and distributor of Flyer and Gepida


y name is David Tod and I started Take Charge Bikes over five years ago in Bath. I’ve always been a cyclist and it took just one demonstration ride to understand the potential of electric bikes and how they will allow more people to take to two wheels for health, pleasure and financial benefits.Five happy years on and after forming a collaboration with another ebike specialist we will shortly be opening our 4th location. No one would argue with the fact that switching your commute from a car ride to a bike ride creates a host of benefits for both you and your surrounding environment. Governments warn the public about heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity; all of these can be combated by getting on your bike in the morning and commuting to work on two wheels instead of four. Exercise, even at moderate levels, helps to reduce stress and depression as well as improve mood and selfesteem. But could it be the small drawbacks that are preventing the majority of people from making the switch to cycling from other modes of transport? This is where the electric bike comes in. It provides all of the benefits of a regular bicycle, but with the added bonus of not arriving at work needing a shower since it helps to reduce the effort of pedalling uphill and into headwinds. You can still take exercise, you are still lowering your carbon footprint, and saving money. The electric bike compared to the traditional bicycle saves even more time because even though top assisted speed is capped, electric bikes are able to keep a more constant speed, rather than slowing down on the tough or uphill stretches.. With electric bikes, you can get the whole family out for a bike-ride!


Whichever your riding style, Take Charge Bikes have the electric bike to suit you. With stores in Bath, Cheltenham, Exeter and Woking.

Flyer Goroc






JCCOOKCYCLES.CO.UK l Contact details: and


Cycling World October 2015  0800 612 3449 To find out more, email:



here are millions of ways to make you smile and riding an electric bike is certainly one of them... All the enjoyment of cycling with less effort. Our bikes are quiet, efficient and get you from A to B very quickly while being lots of fun as well. How is it to ride the Oxygen electric bike? Your experience will be unforgettable - and you won’t be out of breath again. We can assure our handmade alloy magnesium frames are of the highest quality and the latest technology used on our electric bikes ensure your ride is smooth, reliable and enjoyable. Whichever model you choose, we promise not to let you down. Now the choice is yours: so enjoy Company Background

everybody, regardless of their age or style of riding. Whether you prefer an off-road bike ride in the mountains or a tourer for sightseeing, we promise to always have a bike that would suit your needs.

Be active, be green, be happy… and enjoy your ride on an Oxygen bike! Oxygen Bicycles is under the management of Oxygen Electric Bikes Ltd.

At Oxygen, we aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and the most effective and eco-friendly form of transport.

Any terrain without the strain

The aim of the company is to introduce a new range of electric bicycles to the market as an alternative and eco-friendly form of transport. We believe that, in these times of rising fuel costs and public transport fares, electric bicycles provide a fantastic solution for many commuters. But it’s not just commuters we thought of when designing our bikes – OXYGEN bicycles are for everybody who loves to cycle. They can get you from one place to another very quickly, while still giving you some decent exercise and a lot of fun. The OXYGEN bicycles range has been designed to be comfortable and suitable for

Introducing the new

EmateMTB 13AH

Winner of the 2014 Atmosphere World Championship

Tel: 01709 886677 October 2015 Cycling World


Spa Cycles Steel Tourer - Editor’s Review and Interview £985


pa Cycles is situated in Harrogate, just round the corner from my mum’s. I have been riding one of their Titanium Audax bikes for the last four years. It’s a great light tourer and a comfy sportive ride. I revelled in the prospect of test riding a steel tourer.

Talking to the bike designer, Colin Thompson, he commented that “a touring bike doesn’t need to be flashy, or cutting edge, or surprising in any way; in fact the best sort of touring bikes are the ones you can simply forget about, and get on with the ride.” The frame certainly needs to be stiff enough to steer properly when loaded, and flexible enough to be reasonably comfortable unloaded; a challenging balance to strike. Reynolds 725 is an unsurprising choice of tubing for a quality touring frame, and Spa attempt to give the frame stiffness by having bigger diameter top and down tubes for the bigger bikes. The steering geometry is designed for stability, and (with the exception of the smallest sized bike that has a 26” wheel) is the same across all sizes; front centre is increased to provide a longer reach in the bigger bikes, chainstay length increases


with size, as does bottom bracket height. There is clearance for 35mm tyres and a 10mm gap under the mudguards, with the mini-vee brake wire just clear of the mudguard. The end result is the pleasingly minimal risk of striking the mudguard with your toe, or the pannier with your heel. The rear dropouts have separate eyelets for mudguard and carrier. The fork has low-rider fittings, in addition there are separate mudguard eyelets, and if you don’t want your headlight on the handlebars (for example with a bar bag) then there are fittings for a light on the fork above the low-rider. The bikes are all built to the customer’s order, so for cycle parts there are choices to be made. Spa’s general philosophy is to recommend tried and tested, long-lasting, workmanlike parts. You can see the spec we tested, which we thought was really good value for the price. Cantilever brakes are offered but we highly recommend the mini-vees which can be testridden. Most customers choose to have Shimano STIs, although bar-end levers permit the use of full-size Vee brakes and mountain bike front mechs to match small chainrings.

Cycling World October 2015

Chainsets are generally

Sizes/Colours Weight

48-60cm in Black, Red, Green


Reynold 725 butted tubing.


Reynolds Cro-Mo

Rear Derailleur

Shimano Sora

Front Derailleur



Shimano Sora 9spd STI


XD-2 Spa Zicral 170mm 48/38/28

Bottom Bracket

Stronglight JP400


KMC X9-93


Shimano HG50 9spd 11-32


FSA wing or Deda RHM02 compact


Tektro RX-


Exal LX17 36h rear / 32h front (other choices available)


Shimano Deore


Sapim Race, Sapim Strong on drive side


Schwalbe Marathon HS420 Greenguard 700x32


Spa Cycles Nidd




SKS Chromoplastic mudguards Tubus Cargo Rack

12.8kg (54 cm)

Spa’s own touring chainsets on reliable square taper bottom bracket units. The version I tested upgraded to machined Zicral with stronger aluminium which would cost only an additional £30. The gearing is chosen to suit the customer, while the chainline and large to middle chainring difference is chosen to match the front mech, which has to be a road front mech if the customer chooses road STIs. Wheels are all handbuilt on site with a choice of rims depending on the tyre width to be used, on the rear wheels thicker gauge spokes are used on the driveside. Riding position is tailored to the customer, things like the saddle type, handlebar width and stem length can either be worked out by trial and error, riding the test bikes at the shop, or by the customer measuring up a favourite bike if the bike is bought remotely.

Tailor-made is the key to this comfy, smooth rider. As the bikes are all built to order customers can have the bike built how they want and even on a standard build there are quite a few options such as crank length, bar width, stem length, tyre width, lighting systems, different tyres, chainsets and rims. The bike I tested came with the SP PV-8 Dynohub and B&M Lumotec Luxos U lamp with USB charging port and rear lamp, both with standby function. The lamp allows users to charge their phones, GPS etc. whilst on the move. The PV-8 dynohub is light and efficient. Spa normally sell this “light bundle” for £250, but it is available as an upgrade if bought with the bike for £180 and they also offer a cheaper option with the Cyo IQ Senso Plus for £130 if bought with the bike (usually £215).

We caught up with John Pocklington, Proprietor of Spa Cycles, and Sam “I do everything” Huby to find the passion behind the bikes. Editor: Tell us a bit about the history of Spa Cycles.

John: The business is essentially, run by cyclists for cyclists, as it always has been.

John: The business was started in 1981 by my dad, Alan Pocklington, a passionate lifelong Cycle Tourist and early member of the Rough Stuff Fellowship, one of the first pioneering off road cycling clubs, where he held many voluntary posts. He also ran the local CTC, and was almost evangelical in his quest to encourage all whom he met to go cycling. Sam: I joined the company about 12 years. Back then there were three or four of us working from a corner shop. Now we have a dozen staff in much larger premises. The biggest development was three or four years ago when we launched our own range of bikes.

Sam: We’ve had or have devotees of all aspects; downhill racers, time trialists, triathletes, enduro racers, tricycle enthusiasts, cyclocrossers and fixed gear freaks. We even have a recumbent rider on the staff. Our youngest guys are in their early twenties, the oldest past retirement age. One of us has a first class degree in maths, another is a philosophy graduate; some barely scraped a handful of GCSEs. But we all ride bikes to get us to where we want to go.

Editor: What makes Spa a touring bike specialist? Sam: Touring has never been at the “fashionable” end of cycling but there have always been a few people who have appreciated the bicycle as the ideal vehicle from which to see the world whether it’s the Yorkshire Coast or the Hindu Kush. Over the years we’ve tried to provide good quality kit which works well, doesn’t break too often, doesn’t cost too much and will serve the ‘touring cyclist’ on whatever adventures they choose to embark on. We only sell stuff we like and we’ve used ourselves. Not coincidentally these priorities also align with other types of bike rider; all weather commuters, family cyclists, old school club riders and people who just like things that work. Editor: Would you call your staff “passionate cyclists, passionate professionals?”

Editor: If you could make one change in the UK for the benefit of cyclists, what would it be? John: Perhaps as an EU member country, it would be nice to see UK motorists showing more respect and tolerance of cyclists on our roads, as seen on the continent. Over there, a man on a bike is seen as a hero, whilst here in the UK he is merely a clearly visible target. So it's OK to hit a cyclist as long as you remember to say "Sorry, I didn't see him" (despite being lit up like a Xmas tree and dressed like a canary). Sam: For cycling to be something you don’t feel the need to wear special clothes for. For there to be sufficient space and safety for the majority of children to ride to school (which will also help clear the road of rushed and distracted parents in SUVs). For a nice bike to be a bigger status symbol than a nice car. For the New Bike Republic to be a place with the cycling culture of Holland but the scenery and climbs of Yorkshire.

October 2015 Cycling World


Spa Tourer Designed by hugely experienced cycle tourists the ride is everything you want from a touring bike with assured and stable handling whether loaded or unloaded. Equipped with handbuilt wheels, wide range touring gearing and quality components including a Tubus rack, leather saddle, Schwalbe Marathon tyres and SKS mudguards. "This is probably the best touring bike you can get for under a grand." Chris Juden, Cycle Magazine

In Reynolds 725 £985 or in 3Al 2.5V Titanium £1580 matt £1680 bright brushed

Riva Stealth Turbo Trainers

Winter Special Dynamo Bundles

Sophisticated and quiet magnetic turbo trainer with seven resistance levels

Unbeatable value dynamo lighting bundle based on the light and efficient SP dynamo handbuilt with a choice of rim and top quality Busch & Müller lamps.

RRP £139 Bundle - Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U with USB Sale Price £50 Delux charging port & Toplight Line Brake Plus £250

Standard Bundle - Cyo IQ Senso Plus & Selectra Plus £215 Disc versions also available

Schwalbe Clearance Sale Huge savings on top quality tyres Touring


Spa Price

Marathon Mondial folding



Marathon Mondial


Marathon Winter



Spa Price

Durano Plus folding




Durano Plus





Durano folding



Marathon Racer folding






Marathon Supreme folding



Lugano kevlar folding



Marathon Plus Tour



Lugano kevlar



Marathon Plus



Blizzard folding



Marathon Plus London






Marathon Dureme



Blizzard Sport folding



Marathon Greenguard HS420



Marathon HS368 kevlar



Off Road


Fast Fred folding



Big Ben



Marathon Plus MTB



City Jet



Smart Sam Plus



Delta Cruiser



Smart Sam



CX Comp



Land Cruiser



To order phone 01423 887003 or visit 68

Cycling World October 2015

JD Tandems’ Folding Sausage Dog


D Tandems, based in the North of England, introduce yet more new products into their store. They have become synonymous with all things tandeming for many years, but never complacent they have added yet more products into their range. This summer has seen the addition of a titanium tandem under the Orbit Tandems umbrella, priced at under £5,000, this brings the very high end within reach of many more people. An electric tandem made in Hungary, the Rodanus features the increasingly popular Bosch system and now an affordable folding tandem at £1,500. All of these new products are available to test ride.

The specification is great value for money, it has a frame made from Reynolds Cromoly tubing with a Cromoly fork to match. The gearing is 27 speed Shimano, and it comes with mudguards, pannier racks a prop stand and even a neat rack pack, perfect for trips to the shops.

This month we look in more detail at the T20 folding tandem it’s made by KHS and is also referred to as the “sausage dog”, when folded it measures just 110cm x 75cm x 50cm. Co-owner of JD Tandems Ruth Hargreaves said “the sausage dog is a great choice for couples wanting a tandem for leisure riding, it fits easily into the back of a car or onto the rear of a camper van and takes just a couple of minutes to fold.”

folds down easily

Have bike, will travel... Take a tandem anywhere in the world with the KHS Sausage Dog Tel: 01756 748400 JD Tandems LLP, Asquith Industrial Estate, Gargrave, North Yorkshire BD23 3SE

ready to go in seconds! October 2015 Cycling World


Top Quality Steel-Framed Touring Bikes


t John St Cycles (SJSC) have been trading for over 30 years. Located in Bridgwater, between the Somerset Levels and the magnificent Quantock Hills, the shop and warehousing are massive. Unlike some online vendors, literally millions of £££s of items are actually held in stock. SJSC have over 23,000 different product lines, many of which are unique, or difficult to find items. Practically every permutation of Brompton, including 4 test bikes are on display.

The mail order service is fast and efficient and you can still phone and talk to a real person for advice. Customer feedback and loyalty is impressive – it’s not a perfect world and complaints and


Cycling World October 2015

returns are dealt with courteously, efficiently and promptly. Checkout the SJSC website, details below. Thorn Cycles have been producing top quality steelframed touring bikes for over 20 years. Thorn are fanatical about steel and have never been tempted to use any other material for their machines. Whenever they have been reviewed, whatever the model, Thorn bikes have always had glowing reviews and come out on top. Thorn make 3 completely different derailleur equipped touring bikes and 3 different Rohloff equipped touring solos plus a superb Rohloff tandem.

Each model is available in many sizes and in a variety of different specifications. Within the Thorn range is the perfect bike for any particular style of touring - whether it’s “credit card and toothbrush” or a full on, selfsupported expedition through remote and challenging terrain - or anything between these extremes. Thorn’s excellent brochures can be found on their website they are packed with information. (Printed copies are available). It’s recommended that you look at their Overview brochure first. So confident are Thorn about the quality of their bikes, that they offer a unique “money back if not delighted” guarantee of satisfaction, with no small print!

cycling world 190x130 september 2015 highres.pdf




A new range of Sports ID Bands Pure Silicone. Soft, Stretchy and Comfortable. Waterproof. For Cycling. For Running. For Sports. CLUB BULK DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE

0800 999 3669 October 2015 Cycling World


A shop that has evolved from pedigree


n the late 1980s, Mark Willmore had talks with the Forestry Commission about bringing mountain biking onto Forestry Commission land at Coed Y Brenin. Willmore ran the first trail center at Coed-y-Brenin with his then business partner Sophie Rebord of France. Mark and Sophie brought the French MBK brand of MTB to Wales after seeing the potential of this then fledgling sport in the French ski resorts and it was there that the trial centre as we know it was born. Dafydd Davis took up the baton the following season as Mark went back to France with Sophie as a Ski instructor. An opportunity missed maybe but Mark’s involvement in cycling wouldn't end there.

Follow us on Twitter @breninbikes

Many years later, through Mark’s mechanical role in Motorcycle racing, he met TT star Ben Wylie. Through their mutual interest in cycling Ben and Mark struck up a friendship that in late 2009 resulted in the pair starting Brenin Bikes in Market Drayton Shropshire, using the Brenin name as homage to Mark’s earlier foray into the cycling world. The bike shop was an instant hit in the local area and it was a breath of fresh air to have a high performance cycle shop in the region. Brenin Bikes soon acquired a list of very high end and desirable bike brands and then in 2012 they acquired an old Public House in the centre of the town which is now their home, boasting a built in Coffee shop and onsite parking.


79 Cheshire Street, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 1PN

Tel: 01630 656614 Email: Web:

See us on Stand A 56 Cycle Show NEC 24-27 Sept


Cycling World October 2015

The unique PediBal 3 in ONE range are the best value childrens bikes - GUARANTEED

Pitsford Cycles – The Cyclists’ favourite place in the Midlands


itsford Cycles opened its doors in 1999. Owner, Jeff Webb, has been in the industry for over 30 years in total and makes a point of being up on all the mechanisms, bike styles and options available in the world of cycling. He shares his vast knowledge and will lose a sale rather than disappoint a customer – he believes strongly in customer relations, which is why people come back to Pitsford Cycles over and over again throughout their cycling years.

Pitsford Cycles sell adult road, hybrid and mountain bikes as well as children’s bikes. You can also find clothing and accessories,

for recreational, professional and racing cyclists alike, plus they have fully trained and qualified cycle repair professionals onsite 7 days a week. For the serious enthusiast, a number of staff are fully qualified in Body Measuring to ensure the perfect fit for your recommended bike. Based in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside at Brixworth Country Park, Pitsford Cycles is a fantastic place to visit as there is a fabulous 7.5 mile (10km) path to cycle around the reservoir at the centre of the park. There is also a great café and a Running Shop for people who prefer their feet to wheels.

If your bike is in for a service or repair, you don’t need to be without a bike as Pitsford Cycles hires Giant, Trek and Specialized bikes out too. Again, only the best is good enough for their customers! To contact Pitsford Cycles, phone 01604 881 777 or visit their website or their Facebook page https://



Brixworth Country Park NN6 9DG Cycle hire, sales & bike accessories for adults and children Road, Hybrid & Mountain bikes for all ages and sizes Whether you are a recreational, professional or racing cyclist on mountain or road, we have everything you need from accessories and bike sales, to a professional onsite repair service Tel: 01604 881777


October 2015 Cycling World



High-quality and ultra-reliable bicycle tyres and tubes, made in Europe


he Rubena GAADI is an innovative easy-change tube which enables cyclists on the go to change a tyre without the hassle of removing the wheel. GAADI bicycle tubes are part of the Czech Republic brand Mitas by Rubena cycle tyre product line-up and available from stock, in the most popular sizes. The product features an open-loop system that allows you to simply remove the sidewall of the tyre from the rim, remove the

old tube and insert the open-loop tube into the tyre. The wheel is then rotated all the way around until the ends meet.

Rubena by Mitas has a tyre suitable for all disciplines covering road to MTB and everything in between, including the new and revolutionary GAADI open-loop tube. Don’t just take our word for how good they are, even the press agree!

The Rubena Syrinx Racing Pro is a superb all-round tyre Cycling Weekly June 2014.

The Phoenix Racing Pro is ‘best on a budget’

Whilst made primarily for E-bikes, GAADI can be used on any bike with a size range from 20” to 29er. For more information on Mitas by Rubena products and to find your nearest stockist, visit or www.

Cycling Active July 2014.

The Syrinx Racing Pro is best on a budget winter tyre

R01 Phoenix

Cycling Active February 2015.

Visit or to find your nearest stockist or call Freephone 0800 281413 for details.

Stand A7 NEC Birmingham EXPO

Cycling Active 1_4 page advert.indd 1



aceSkin don’t just make the best apparel, they make the club. From club logo and website to new training and racing kit, we will enhance your club’s identity and help you attract new members. Behind every great club is a look of success and a masterplan that’s got champion written all over it. The mission is to supply you with the very best products, designs and customer service you have ever experienced. Your total satisfaction is our objective.

technologies. Bioceramic fabrics and Lycra Sport Technology protects the body and reduces muscle fatigue. The more comfortable your skin, the longer you ride, the harder you train, the quicker you race. This is the RaceSkin way. The Process RaceSkin work with clubs, event organisers and companies. RaceSkin prides itself in designing and delivering to the highest standards. You will be assigned a personal Account Manager to take you through the process one step at a time.

RaceSkin - Technology RaceSkin is the combination of the most technically advanced fabrics, foams and


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Cycling World October 2015

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V80 Syrinx

20/03/2015 11:24

Le Col Jackets: Review Le Col E-Vent rain jacket- Editor’s review

Colin comfortable in Sport Winter

Editor calm after the storm in Race Event Jacket

I have survived the wettest August on record and some chilly September mornings with the Le Col E-Vent rain jacket. It has certainly kept me dry during some torrential downpours on warm August days, and I’m also referring to keeping dry on the inside, sweat-wise. I’m pleased to find truth in the USA’s Backpacker Magazine claim that Event Waterproof Fabric “is the most breathable waterproof material we’ve ever worn.” This waterproof and windproof fabric is the main body of the jacket and has a breathable PTFE membrane. With fully taped seams and a waterproof front zipper it really does lock out the water. At £250 I demand top-notch waterproofing and breathability- I wanted more for my money and I got it. It’s a smart, snug fit suitable for fast riding and yet smart enough to wear après-ride. From a ride perspective I appreciated the low tail with gripper for extra protection from road spray. The rear reflective stripe and logos on the elastic waist-band are a nice touch for extra low-light visibility. Even the claim “folds small enough to fit into a rear pocket” turned out to be true. In summary- this is certainly one to spoil yourself with. Le Col Sports Winter Jacket ReviewVet Rider’s review Cycling World got vet rider and time trialist Colin Innett to try this for size

Fiona appreciated fit of Women’s Winter

This jacket by prestigious Italian manufacturer Le Col has a wind stopper water resistant front panel for reliable wind and rain protection. However I did notice the back panel of the jacket is not fully waterproof. With internal breast zip

pocket, three large rear pockets and a waterproof security zip pocket for cards, wallet etc., it certainly gives carrying capacity. A reflective stripe down the middle rear pocket is also useful for night riding. The jacket itself is very comfortable to wear and a good fit with no extra material to flap about. Comfort and warmth is enhanced through a high, soft-lined collar with zip guard. I particularly liked the long sleeves which don`t ride up if you are stretching for the bars, as well as the tight fit at the wrists to keep the cold out. Size L fitted me perfectly at 6ft tall, but I suspect that anyone with broad shoulders would need a bigger size. You’d be wise to make use of a very comprehensive size guide provided on the website. The jacket is recommended for use in temperatures of 5°-18°C which makes it a good autumnal garment, but I reckon you could ride in lower temperatures with a good base layer. It is also machine washable at 30°C. The jacket exudes quality and the quoted retail £170 is about an average price for a garment at this level. Cheaper jackets are readily available, but I suspect most of them will be in the recycle bin when this one is still going strong. Pros Well made, comfortable and warm, plenty of pocket space. Cons Rear panel not waterproof. Neither of the zip pockets big enough for a smart phone. Women’s Winter Jacket Le Col have designed a female specific fit as part of their ladies’ range. The spec is the same as men’s Sport Winter Jacket. We asked Fiona, our product tester, to try out this tailored fit. “Smart look and comfortable for riding. Nice to see a jacket that really considers the female form.” October 2015 Cycling World


United Colours of Pedalling Velovixen: No Shame in Colour Coordination ‘It’s got to match my bike!’ Three years ago when we launched, we hadn’t expected to hear this line much. We’d anticipated that in this age of strong, independent female cyclists blazing a trail, that old-fashioned priority of colour coordination would play second fiddle to practicality, technical quality and individual feminine style. In truth, we desperately didn’t want to fall into the trap of assuming that women on bikes would place such importance on matching. Not that they wouldn’t want to look good, just not necessarily in a traditionally ‘girly’ way. The reality has been very different. Yes, our female cyclists insist on their kit being resilient, hard-wearing and well designed. And they love brands and products that are creative and stylish. But that they also want it to look fantastic as a complete outfit – and that includes the bike. In fact, the bike is usually the starting point. Let’s face it, an ice cool blue carbon fibre road frame, or a dazzling orange Brompton are just asking for clothing and accessories to match. Bolder riders will often aim for a complete look, with top and bottom halves directly matching their bike’s hues, and accessories like helmets, socks, gloves and glasses coordinated too. More modest riders can opt for more neutral gear with details offering an understated nod to the colour of their steed. We know what you’re thinking: surely these are the beginners, the cyclists just getting into a new game and misprioritising? Not so. It’s become increasingly clear that colour coordination is equally important whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned competitor. In fact, our experience suggests that the pros are vainer than most when it comes to getting a look just right! You only have to look at any pro peloton… And it’s not exclusive to women. Not by a long shot. Spend any time out on Britain’s roads on a Saturday morning, and you’ll see how many members of the cycling brotherhood seem to spend as much time in front of the mirror as on their turbo trainer.


Cycling World October 2015

Why not, we say! Like many passions, feeling good about yourself whilst you’re doing it and having pride in your appearance is an integral part of the pleasure you get from it. If you can be proud of whatever shape, size, age or colour you are when you’re out there on your bike, then surely that’s part of the

joy and liberation that are so integral to cycling? So don’t be shy! If your ride’s radiant red, dare to go for an equally red top half. If your fixie’s fuchsia, put a dash of matching pink in your outfit. And if your Time Trial bike’s terracotta – well, get creative!

October 2015 Cycling World


Protect yourself with



erfect for cyclists of all levels, our lightweight range of protective cycle wear will help to minimise impact, abrasion and friction in the event of a crash or fall. Silicon Inserts Reduce Impact and Friction Silicon inserts absorb the impact and trauma of a crash, reducing the kinetic energy from being transmitted along the femur and into the joints of the hip and knee. Pro Bump Wear reduces friction as the silicon insert gives rigidity and prevents the shorts from riding up and exposing the lateral surface of the Vastus Lateralis and Iliotibial Band. This reduces the likelihood of skin lacerations and abrasions reducing the long term healing process and reducing infection.


Cycling World October 2015

Come and say hello at The Cycle Show on the 24th – 27th September! We will be at Stand J35!

ProBumpWear Men’s Cycling Bib Shorts

ProBumpWear Men’s Cycling Jersey

Aimed at professional and amateur cyclists, our protective cycling bib shorts are a must. Our men’s cycling shorts have an eight panel design for a close and comfortable fit whilst still giving you complete mobility. Made from lycra, they can help with vibration absorption. The shorts also boast silicone grippers which stop them from bunching and have a reflective trim, which is great when you are cycling in those lower light conditions.

Aimed at professional and amateur cyclists, our protective cycling jerseys are a must buy for anyone wishing to enjoy their passion safely. The ProBumpWear Men’s Cycling Jersey has a four panel design for a close and comfortable fit whilst still giving you complete mobility. Made from lycra, they can help with vibration absorption. The jersey also boasts PGE tape in the sleeve endings to hold the sleeve comfortably in place as well as reflective detail in the pocket seams. In addition to this there is silicone gripper elastic at the bottom of the mesh back to keep the jersey in place.



love merino wool. I don’t just wear it on the bike from autumn through to spring, I wear it lounging around at home throughout the winter and save a fortune on my heating bill. EDZ has been a valued addition to my collection, though standing out thanks to the original and pleasing shade called Seaport.

Product Spec 100% merino wool Superfine grade 200g/ms (good for hot or cold conditions) Sizes XS to XXXL inc. ladies’ sizes Colours: Graphite, Black, Claret, Olive and Seaport £50 for men's long sleeve crew tested

Intuitively one thinks of wool for it thermal properties but wool is very effective at regulating the body at various temperatures. In hot conditions EDZ merino provides UV protection and helps you stay cool. After a day’s worth of sweat merino still smells sweet thanks to its impressive anti-odour properties. EDZ’s merino wool is a superfine grade

so is perfect for base layers. It is soft next to the skin, absorbent, and wicks away sweat and dries fast. This works well for me; unlike other base layers I’m not throwing it in the wash after every ride. Hanging it to dry and to air is sufficient. Then after a few outings washing is worry-free. The merino is easy care; machine washable at 30C and is surprisingly durable. EDZ are a small, family-owned business of twenty years. The Cumbrian Clothing Brand specialise in active clothing, with a retail shop in Keswick in the Lake District. They also sell on-line through www.EDZdirect. com or by phone 01900 810260. They will be at the NEC Cycle Show in September.

October 2015 Cycling World


OS Maps off-road sat-nav


rdnance Survey has produced a new offroad sat-nav style router in its OS Maps application that covers Britain’s 15 National Parks. Using Ordnance Survey’s unrivalled outdoors mapping allows users to plot routes along public rights of way and footpaths. It is hoped the simple-to-use navigating tool will encourage even more people to explore the parks. The intelligent software also lets users select their exercise type, walking, running or cycling, and will provide relevant routes depending on the activity entered. This is the first time an entire nation’s national parks have been made accessible in this way. Nick Giles, Managing Director for Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “This sophisticated routing tool will benefit anyone visiting our wonderful national parks. What has been created in OS Maps is the first move towards a full off-road sat-nav, and this first step will help visitors to national parks get from A to B successfully and safely on recognised footpaths. We are also looking at introducing wheel80

Cycling World October 2015

chair friendly routes, horse trails and difficulty ratings.” The routing tool comes as part of a £17.95 subscription bundle that also includes digital versions of all 607 OS Landranger and OS Explorer maps, which if you were to buy the paper versions would cost £4887.96. It will be available on the iOS and Android app very soon. Nick continues: “To be able to access all our maps online and use them to plan, save and print routes for less than £18 represents a significant saving. However, tablets and mobile phones run out of power or can be damaged, so to ensure safety we always advise people to carry the paper version of the place they are exploring or use OS Maps to print out the area they need.”

October 2015 Cycling World


Stress free triathlon transition Triathlonbox- a solution to race day box juggling

Triathlonbox is a frame-mounted solution for all your kit. With transitions stress free, you are organised and ready to race. After doing a great deal of research, and speaking to numerous triathletes at races where the triathlonbox was used, a popular product has been developed. It is now fully lockable with coded locks so you don’t need to carry keys and phones

while racing. Why have we developed Triathlonbox? Triathletes are frequently frustrated by not being able to get their kit organised. As keen triathletes themselves, the designers have worked to eliminate race frustration. Triathlonbox is something that can help you, the triathlete, prepare for your race.

So much more than just a re-styled caravan, with stunning, head-turning looks Tripbuddy™ is described by its designers as an “enabler” and differs from others. It’s not just a pretty shape - it is a full sized van, styled and engineered to be a “very clever space”. It is strong and is capable of being towed over rough terrain. It’s class leading carrying capacity of up to 400kg is very impressive and all access is through the large back door and secured on the built in tie-downs. No need to worry about the mess - the yacht inspired interior is fully waterproof and so easily washed out. But there is no skimping on luxury; teak flooring, leather lined, heating and air conditioning are all standard as is the toilet and shower-room, built in alarm and infotainment system. Expandable: Once set up Tripbuddy™ reveals its built in awning system which expands the space to sleep up to 6 and boasts a secure garage / porch facility.


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More cost effective than a Motorhome Tripbuddy™ packs all the gear you need for that sports & leisure getaway. Hand built in Hampshire this all British icon is becoming a firm favourite with the active getaway crowd. Call 0844 8709306 or email

TripBuddy Cycling World October 2015

Hiplok - Win Gold


ith 10mm hardened steel chain and 12mm hardened steel shackle, the new Hiplok GOLD Sold Secure Gold rated bike lock is one of the toughest on the market. With top level security a given, it’s the practicality of this wearable lock that makes it one of our favourites. The speed buckle belt fastening adjusts to fit the riders waist without ever being locked to them, making carrying around a high security chain a breeze and with coded keys and reflective detailing, it’s the ultimate choice for the everyday urban cyclist.





We’ve got 2 Hiplok GOLDs to give away. To go into our prize draw email your name and phone number to by 23 October 2015. Competition terms and conditions Open to UK residents only. Closing date 23.10.15. Two winners will be selected at random and notified via email/phone by 26.10.15. Prize is one Hiplok GOLD in colour of winner’s choice and based on availability. Prize is non-transferable.













October 2015 Cycling World


VeloCharger The smartphone charger for bicycles


ore and more has used their smartphone for cyclists today are this purpose knows, using GPS using GPS devicconstantly drains the phone's battery quite quickly, and limits es for navigation its use to a couple of hours rather than paper maps. A modern smartphone, togethenough for a short ride but not er with one of the many apps enough for a whole day out. available now, can be an ide We at Adept Electronics al device for this purpose. A course can be pre-programmed have recognised this limitation, and have produced the at home on a PC and downVeloCharger, a sophisticated loaded to the phone for use on charging device for use with the road. Detailed maps can also be pre-loaded, ensuring bicycle dynamos. The raw AC output from a standard dynathat a mobile signal or Wi-Fi ® is unsuitable for charging is not required while navigat-For mo VeloCharger – Now Hub Dynamos! electronic devices, so the job of ing. However as anyone who

the VeloCharger is to convert this output to a steady 5 volt DC supply, and maximise the limited power available. Last year we introduced the VeloCharger Classic for use with 'bottle' or rim dynamos, which are easy for the average user to fit and give a reasonable output. The latest addition to the range is the VeloCharger Hub. This version is designed to work with hub dynamos, which provide a higher output and require little or no attention once fitted. The VeloCharger Hub can give an output of up to 1.5 amps, and uses microprocessor technology to ensure stability and maximum efficiency. Your local bike store can advise about choosing and fitting a hub dynamo if you do not already have one on your bike. VeloCharger Hub comes as a kit and is easily fitted to the frame of the bike. No technical knowledge is required – simply fit your phone into a suitable handlebar mount and plug in the phone's charger cable to VeloCharger USB socket. Charging will start automatically at about 10mph.

VeloCharger® – the bicycle smartphone charging system • VeloCharger® – the bicycle smartphone charging system

• For Hub Dynamos – ‘bottle’ dynamo model also available

Keep your phone charged – even when using GPS • Keep your phone charged – even when using GPS

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Microprocessor controlled for maximum • Comes complete with dynamo cable and tie-wraps • Microprocessor controlled for maximum efficiency efficiency • Charges phones at 1 Amp – maximum output 1.5 Amp to install – – quick to fit for security for security Easy• Easy to install quick toand fitremove and remove

More details at For Hub Dynamos – 'bottle' dynamo model also available 84

Cycling World October 2015

USB socket for most phone charge cables

YHA Digital Bike Maintenance and a warm welcome


he YHA have always been passionate about cycling and many of their hostels have been awarded the ‘Visit England Cyclists Welcome’ badge in recognition of their excellent cycling facilities. Recently they have invested £269,500 in additional cycling facilities at hostels across England and Wales in order to ensure visiting cyclists are catered for they need when exploring the UK’s most iconic cycle routes.

Additionally they have created a new digital content piece which aims to help amateur cyclists and those who are new to cycling take care of their bikes and complete basic repairs and adjustments. The piece is entitled ‘The Smart Cyclist: Beginner’s Maintenance Guide’ and contains a variety of useful cycling maintenance tips for anyone looking to brush up on their mechanical knowledge and make quick fixes to their ride.

You can view the piece here:

October 2015 Cycling World



Cycling World October 2015

P is for Peloton T Review by Richard Peploe

his is an unusual type of book, where both the writing and the pictures deserve (and receive) equal billing. This is fitting, as both author and artist have wellproven form in their respective areas.

You might have come across the work of Suze Clemitson in the Guardian’s Sport section, or on the ‘100 Tours 100 Tales’ website (https://100tours100tales. Mark Fairhurst’s pictures found fame during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and since then he has used his striking Art Deco style on many other cycling-related pictures ( It was an inspired decision to bring them together. The format of the book is that 166 words or phrases have been chosen (ranging from Abandon to Zoncolan), and their use within cycling explained. As the title would suggest, there is at least one word for every letter of the alphabet. I was interested to see what was chosen for the letter X, which is often problematic for books of this nature: 52 x 11 is the answer, which is cheating a bit but does provide a good opportunity to explain about gearing. I tried hard to think of some ‘missing topics’ that I would like to have seen covered – but I have not managed so far. You know that coverage is going to be comprehensive when the words chosen include ‘Chasse patate’which I discovered is used to describe a rider caught in the noman’s land between a breakaway October 2015 Cycling World


and the peloton in a race. With only 153 pages to work with, some words will have more coverage than others, but I felt that the balance was well judged: I felt it was entirely appropriate that Eddy Merckx has three pages (and a picture) allocated to him, while other words are covered in three lines. The book helps to explain some of the unwritten (or gentlemen’s) rules of cycling, such as the etiquette (and even technique) surrounding the moment when cyclists in a race stop for a natural break; perhaps surprisingly, this is also one of the topics chosen for an illustration. The pictures are as important as the text, but with 72 on offer not every topic benefits from their presence. Some of the pictures are already visible on the artist’s website, but the majority were specially commissioned for this book. Sometimes the connection between picture and prose is


Cycling World October 2015

clear and relevant, and sometimes it is a little more obscure: Bernard Hinault’s nick-name was the Badger (blaireau), so the accompanying picture is of a shaving brush - a reference to fact it’s the same word in French due to the use of badger bristle in brush production. Occasionally I failed to find the connection: a picture called ‘White Roads’ on the artist’s website seems to have tenuous relevance to any of the P words surrounding it – but it is still an inspiring image. The language of cycling has more than its fair share of words that can be difficult to pronounce properly, from the common ‘derailleur’ to the less common ‘flahute’, so phonetic guides to pronunciation appear frequently. Equally frequent and informative are extra bits of trivia under the heading of ‘Bluff it’: the story of how the great Beryl Burton beat Mike McNamara in a 12-hour time trial in 1967 is incredible, especially considering he was

setting the men’s record at the time. The women’s record of 277.2 miles that she set stands to this day. Chapeau (see page 25). Newcomers to the sport can fast-track their way to greater cycling knowledge with this book, and even the most knowledgeable will surely learn something – but whatever your level, the pictures alone are worth the cover price.

Title: P is for Peloton Author: Suze Clemitson & Mark Fairhurst Publisher: Bloomsbury Date: 08/10/15 Format: Hardback Pages: 160 ISBN: 9781472912855 Price: £12.99

October 2015 Cycling World


Marrakech Atlas


Cycling World October 2015

Etape 2015 Words Keith Gilks Photos Marrakech Atlas Etape, Pete Henebury, Keith Gilks

October 2015 Cycling World



he taxi driver didn’t take any notice of our sharp intakes of breath or our nervous flinches. We were en route from the airport to the Riad Aguerzame, which was to be our base for the weekend, in the ancient Medina of Marrakech. It was late evening and already dark, as we sped past mopeds and bicycles without any lights-Moroccan law states if your vehicle is travelling less than 20 mph lights are not required. As we tried to enter the Medina through an archway our vehicle battled for the same piece of road with cars, bicycles, carts pulled by donkeys, pedestrians, a disabled woman on an adapted trike and mopeds with whole families on board. We all had our hearts in our mouths expecting the inevitable collision, but somehow it didn’t happen. No horns were blown, no shouting, no dedicated lanes, no traffic police, yet somehow in the chaos the traffic managed itself, albeit getting as close to one another as racing cars in a round of the British Touring Car Series. If it hadn’t initially dawned on us that we were out of Europe and in a country with a totally different culture, it had now. Five of us were on our annual cycling pilgrimage abroad and had entered the Marrakech Atlas Etape (MAE). However this time we were joined by three noncycling wives who had had enough of being left behind playing the role of cycling widows. The MAE is an ideal event to keep all parties happy; cyclists have


Cycling World October 2015

two challenging rides to choose from: 140 km, and 60 km, and non-cyclists have the exotic city of Marrakech to explore. It is a perfect long weekend destination with cheap flights available from the UK. Our journey through the narrow roads and streets of the Medina continued to be eventful. The ancient carriageways dating back to the eleventh century appeared at times to be only wide enough for one car, however our driver and the other road users of the city were determined to prove it otherwise. Appearing to play a near lethal game of ‘chicken’, cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles didn’t give up an inch as we

drove towards them, yet somehow we all squeezed by. Thankfully our transfer soon came to an end and we were shown the ancient, dusty and narrow side ‘street’ where the Riad Aguerzame was located. Standing outside the small black and studded door in this unassuming alleyway, we all wondered if David, who had volunteered to book the accommodation had got it right. It was hard to imagine what actually lay behind the windowless wall in front of us. Laurent, the French owner opened the door to the guesthouse and welcomed us to Marrakech. Entering the Riad we were amazed to discover a wonderful open courtyard complete with orange trees and flowers. The Riad had been completely renovated and all the magnificent original features were still in place giving a unique ambience. Laurent offered us a glass of Moroccan can Gris, just what was needed after a long day travelling and a frantic taxi ride. The following day we were woken by the mystical call to prayer and after a truly delicious Moroccan breakfast that included cake(!) we set off to explore the souk, having received tips and guidance from Laurent. Laurent had given as a detailed map of the 3000 alleyways known as ‘derbs’. Luckily for us though, we met up with an old friend who lives in Marrakech. Julie was a godsend, as without her we would surely have been lost within

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Cycling World October 2015

minutes of entering the busy bustling souk. (Official Guides can be hired via your Riad or are available from the Tourist Office). In the palm-leaf-covered derbs we wandered aimlessly around through a myriad of different trade areas with sellers flaunting their wares: rugs, spices, leather goods, clothes, sweets, you name it and somewhere in the souk someone would be selling it. Somehow we emerged back into the market square known as the DkjemoaEl-Fna to witness snake charmers, a stall selling real replacement teeth, and acrobats – all performing whilst dodging the perpetual carts pulled by donkeys, bicycles and mopeds. The Medina and all that it contains is a sight and experience to behold. All that was missing was Indiana Jones! It is no wonder that Trip Advisor has voted Marrakech as the world’s best destination. It is also a Unesco World Heritage site. Anyway back to the cycling. After lunch we left Julie, Linda, Sue and Nicole to explore some more, which apparently included sampling afternoon cocktails in the Palais Sebban. David, Pete, Leigh, Larry and myself took off to sign on for the event and to set up our hired bikes from Argan Xtreme Sports. At the Grand Prix circuit in Ourika, just outside the modern city, we met up with Mike McHugo and Saif Kovach who together with Gareth Westacott are the original founders of the MAE. We apologized to Siaf for missing the warm-up ride that he had organized that afternoon, but he fully understood that at times sacrifices have to be made to keep non-cycling partners happy. Saif and Timothy Madden set up Argan Xtreme Sports in 2010 with a vision to provide a sustainable and eco - friendly way to experience Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains by being the best biking company with the best products and best

customer service. Saif, his wife and their team couldn’t have been more helpful or friendly. They helped us set up our bikes and gave advice on how to attack the route to the ski resort of Oukaimeden 2624 m above sea level, which makes the MAE one of the highest cycling events in the world. To put the climb in perspective the MAE is twice as high and twice as long as the famous Tour de France stage on the Alpe d’Huez albeit with a lower average gradient of 5.5% compared to the French beast of 8.1%. We were all given Giant Defy Advanced 2 carbon bikes, kitted out with Shimano 105 components throughout, with a compact gear set. The bikes looked great in white and gold and were great value at 30 euros each. I left Saif to help other customers and went over to chat to Mike. He informed me how he first set foot in the country in the early 1970s and fell in love with the mix of cultures, the geography and most of all the people. He set up Discover Ltd to run educational field study trips in Morocco and France, which lead to the purchase of the ruined Kasbah du Toubkal which Mike re-opened to customers in 1995 after a 5 year rebuild. Mike is also a founder member of the charity Education for All (EFA) which gives young girls in Morocco the chance of college education. Generally, college education is not available to girls in Morocco due to their parents not affording lodgings or for the fact the accommodation is so far from where they live it is deemed inappropriate. This is particularly the case in rural communities where girls finish their education after primary school. EFA raise monies to run boarding houses for the girls from rural families giving parents the confidence that their daughters will be cared for and hence education can be continued.

Mike has always been a keen cyclist and has travelled across the country on bike from the Mediterranean coast to the Rif Mountains, through Marrakech and up the Atlas Mountains. With the popularity of cycling increasing in Morocco, Mike came up with the idea of running an etape from Marrakech to Oukaimeden. Mike teamed up with Saif and the MAE was born, with proceeds going to EFA. The 2015 edition is remarkably only the third year this excellent event has been running, but the brute of a climb has already grown in reputation. This year ‘The Telegraph’ reported the event as one of the best top six cyclosportives of 2015. From what we experienced we can whole heartily agree. Taking our preparation seriously we ate a carbohydrate-enriched meal at our Riad, prepared by Laurent’s staff to traditional recipes. We demolished a massive chicken tagine followed by a chocolate sweet to die for, and retired to bed. After creeping out of the Riad early the next morning, fueled by another delicious breakfast, we arrived back at the start point at Ourika. An almost festival atmosphere greeted us with a traditional band playing and crowds of cyclists preparing for the start. Amongst the throng of teams and individuals I met James Tuffs. James has become somewhat

October 2015 Cycling World


of a legend in the short history of the event, due to his success in completing both the previous two etapes on a Brompton folding bicycle. However I noticed this year he was sporting a different folding bike, one with more gears. James stated “On my return home after last year’s event, I was hit by a taxi and broke my pelvis in three places. I endured three months on crutches and a further three months learning to walk again. I had every intention to complete this year’s event on the Brompton. Unfortunately it was stolen when I got it out of storage to begin training after my recovery, hence the new wheels.” The legend grows! At 8 am the clock started ticking as we set off, watched by motorists that had been stopped by Police to allow all


Cycling World October 2015

of the riders safe passage onto the road to Oukaimeden. One couldn’t help have a feeling of excitement as we cycled towards the snow-capped mountains, being cheered on by people going about their daily routines. We comfortably spun up the gentle gradient of about 2% to the first food stop, (one of four), which was comprehensively stacked with dried fruit, bananas, oranges, and bread and honey. The stop was obviously strategically placed as shortly after being refueled we really started climbing. We passed through small towns until directed to turn right at a fork in the road. From here the work to overcome the increasing gradient began in earnest. It wasn’t long until we left the towns behind and entered the remote rural landscape typical of the Atlas Mountains. The views were sublime and I

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for one had plenty of time to admire them as my pace dropped along with my gears.

setting nonetheless, on a lush green meadow framed by snow-dusted peaks.

Up to this point we were cycling as a group but as the gradient increased we splintered off and rode at our own pace. Pete and Leigh imitated climbers on the pro tours and disappeared into the distance, leaving David, Larry and myself to appreciate life in the slow lane. Through our sweat stained cycling glasses we experienced the real Morocco; in sleepy villages we came across women washing rugs in the road- side stream, a woman herding cows and children playing in the road. Some of the children were excited to see us and ran alongside akin to ‘Tour de France fanatic fans’ shouting encouragement, and holding out their hands for ‘high fives’. We climbed higher and higher, passing terraced fields as the views became more and more striking. The vista and landscape were just as awe inspiring, if not more so, than any found in the Alps or Pyrenees.

Over lunch we chatted with fellow hill climbers and to Gareth Westacott. Gareth informed me how pleased he and the team were in the way the event is growing. “The word is spreading, we have seen more entrants from across the world this year as well as more local cyclists wanting to ride it, including riders from the national team. In fact even though it isn’t a race the best time has been broken this year by a Moroccan.” Later it was confirmed there were over 200 entrants with more riders entering the full distance. Of which 92 made it to the top.

As it turned out, our wives were experiencing Morocco too, although they were doing it in style; mostly by enjoying an excellent lunch at Kasbah bab Ourika located high on a neighbouring mountain. Our lunch was some way off, but our appetite was kept at bay by the food and water stops. (The mint tea is highly recommended). After 4 hours 35 minutes the three of us reached the summit, and met up with Pete and Leigh who had conquered the mountain a few minutes earlier. A hearty hot lunch was provided by the MAE team which was soon devoured with gusto. It may not have been in a fabulous Kasbah but it was a beautiful


Cycling World October 2015

After our leisurely lunch we were waved off with a cautionary warning not to take risks on the way down, just as James Tuffs rode over the summit. James had yet again made it to the top on a folding bike, powered by his dogged determination. Surely his achievement should be recorded in the Guinness book of records. The ride down was exhilarating although not for the faint hearted, especially on parts with no barriers on the side of the road. Care had to be taken on a small section that had been damaged by winter weather and also when passing through the small villages where children played. Otherwise it was virtually pedal-free until we reached the lower slopes and the main road leading back into Ourika. We proudly collected our well-earned medals and finally kicked off our shoes under the shelter of an authentic Moroccan tent.

The weekend was topped

off by attending the optional charity evening dinner. It was a lovely occasion attended by the British Ambassador for Morocco who gave an after dinner speech applauding the work of all involved in the MAE and EFA. However, the star of the evening was a girl who gave a humbling speech about her experiences and where education has lead her, made possible by the work of the EFA charity. Two girls who were also currently benefitting from EFA joined our table. Their language skills were remarkable and as well as informing us about the traditional food on offer, they each talked about their modest ambitions to become a teacher and a nurse. Opportunities that my children take for granted. It was a great way to round off the weekend, to chat to fellow cyclists, to celebrate our cycling efforts and to hear firsthand the work of the EFA and its inspiring achievements. Registration is open for next year’s MAE on 24th April 2016. See you there!

Project1_Layout 1 10/04/2015 10:24 Page 1

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services. The study will require you to complete 4 weeks of prescribed Taggisar ICE Stickers are in •The who should contacted in an you emergency studybewill require to complete 4fitness weeks of available prescribed Participants receive and feedback on their and nutrition endurancewill training to adhere to our diet plans packs of either two (£4.99) or five •The any medical conditions, allergies and study will require you to complete 4toweeks of prescribed endurance training and to adhere our diet plans (£9.99) unique stickers which can medications be registered endurance training and to adhere toindividually our dietorplans Time is of the essence in an emergency

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Stay in Thornhall Chalet for your base when you visit beautiful Moray, with its abundance of cycling. Located close to Brodie castle and minutes from Culbin forest you’ll have all the home comforts you could want. Sleeps up to 6 people. 吀栀攀 䤀爀椀猀栀 䌀攀渀琀爀攀 昀漀爀 䌀礀挀氀椀渀最 挀愀渀 漀昀昀攀爀 礀漀甀 挀礀挀氀椀渀最 栀漀氀椀搀愀礀  A large garage provides safe storage and drying 眀椀琀栀 愀 搀椀昀昀攀爀攀渀挀攀⸀ 䈀愀猀攀搀 椀渀 䴀愀氀愀栀椀搀攀Ⰰ 䐀甀戀氀椀渀Ⰰ 䤀爀攀氀愀渀搀⸀ 吀栀攀礀  space in a quiet location with a private garden, add a 愀爀攀 戀愀猀攀搀 樀甀猀琀 ㄀  洀椀渀甀琀攀猀 昀爀漀洀 䐀甀戀氀椀渀 愀椀爀瀀漀爀琀Ⰰ 洀攀愀渀椀渀最  hottub to sooth the exertions of the day. 礀漀甀 挀愀渀 爀攀愀挀栀 琀栀攀洀 椀渀 愀 挀漀甀瀀氀攀 漀昀 栀漀甀爀猀 昀爀漀洀 琀栀攀 唀䬀℀ꀀ National cycle paths, coastal routes, rugged mountain biking and fabulous forest trails, there is something for everyone.


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October 2015 Cycling World


CYCLING THE HEEL OF THE BOOT slow moving travel in Puglia

Article and photos by Leon McCarron


ver the last ten years I’ve ridden close to 20,000 miles on bike tours, including an eighteenmonth hiatus from ‘real life’ when I pedalled most of the way around the world. It was then that cycling first became an intrinsic part of my lifestyle. Now however – older, wiser and less flighty- my approach to touring has changed somewhat– these days I have to balance trips with my work as a writer, and the even more precarious circumstance of being a relative newly-wed.

We settled on a trade-off for the summer – we could travel by bike (my choice) as long as we went to Italy and ate lots of ice cream (Clare’s choice.) Italy, of course, has it all; pizza, pasta, seafood; gelato, coffee, wine. Towering mountains, Alpine lakes and 5000 miles of coastline. More UNESCO world-heritage sites than any other country on the planet – the only difficulty with the country is deciding which of its many assets to explore given just one month.

My wife and I tend to disagree terribly over holidays. To me there should be no distinction between that and an adventure (and an adventure should be unplanned, challenging and mostly miserable.) To Clare, a holiday is something that should be enjoyable at the time, not just in retrospect.

We Googled various provinces until we found what we were looking for; coastline, sunshine and a lack of major mountains (a dealbreaker for Clare.) The result was Puglia- the heel of the distinctive boot shape. At first glance there are few standout tourist hotspots, and I doubt any of the cities would be recognizable to

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a non-Italian (unless you’re a particular aficionado of Serie B football clubs.) Yet I’ve always been a fan of places that are slightly off the beaten track, and the unknown element was appealing to us both. Our plan was relatively simple. Flying into (and out of) Bari, we’d keep briefly to the northern Adriatic coast and then head inland, cutting across the region. Once we hit the Ionian coast on the south we’d follow the shoreline counter-clockwise, rounding the tip of the Salento (the given name for the southernmost part of Puglia) and back along the Adriatic to our starting point. So long as the ocean was on our left for the first 30 miles, nowhere to be seen for the next few days, and then on our right for the rest of the trip, we couldn’t go wrong.

Bari is a typical coastal Italian city, where sublimely beautiful constructs intersect with the most functional blocks of residential high rises. Ten years ago it became saddled with a bad reputation and the labyrinthine cobblestones of the Old City were said to be a no-go zone after dark. Nowadays however it’s markedly safer, I was told by café-owner Massimo. The catalyst for change was the increased number of tourists; partly due to budget airlines opening routes, but even more so with the development of Puglia as a destination for local tourism. “When Europe goes to the North of our country, the Italians come here to the South,” smiled Massimo. I was riding my trusty Santos Travelmaster – a bike that has taken me many thousands of miles, and is by far the most comfortable bicycle I’ve ever

owned. It’s also capable of carrying a lot of gear, so I loaded up some luxuries; a spacious 3-man tent, an extensive portable kitchen (including 3 types of knife and a chopping board) and, last but not least, a healthy amount of Single Malt whisky for the evenings. Clare’s bike was new – the highly regarded Revolution Country Traveller from the Edinburgh Bike Co-Op. In transit a brake cable had snapped, and while finding a cycle shop in Bari was relatively easy; finding one that was open was another task altogether. In Puglia most places close for the afternoon. The only thing more pointless than trying to find an open store between 11.30am and 4pm on a weekday, is trying to do anything on a Sunday.

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Once sorted, we wiggled our way through a maze of one-way streets and then out into the dusty suburbs. We reached the expressway and found a quiet service road running alongside. To our left the glittering ocean reached out to meet the sky. To our right a hundred cars a minute blasted along at 80 miles per hour, so we mainly focused on the view to the left. Clare had requested that we start easy, so our first destination was only four hours away, in the town of Polignano à Mare. Here the settlement sits atop a dramatically rugged section of coast with houses teetering over sheer drops into crashing waves below. There is one beach in particular that attract the crowds – a cove cut from the rock giving a picture postcard

shot of sand, sea, cliffs and balancing houses, all of which can be enjoyed whilst reclining with an ice cream. The obvious appeal of Puglia is the close proximity of the sea from almost anywhere that you might find yourself, yet the interior offers delights of its own. From Polignano à Mare we headed inland towards the Valle d’Itria; a high fertile plain that dominates the centre of the region. Narrow ribbons of tarmac wound their way through seemingly endless olive groves, punctuated occasionally only by a long driveway to a sun bleached farmhouse. We had made a rookie error by dallying over coffee and croissants at the coast, meaning that we hit the climb up onto the plateau in the hottest part of the day. The heat is probably the biggest danger for touring in Southern Italy; in July and August the temperature would regularly reach 35C by 10am. On the hills we sought refuge in the shade of a driveway, where the local farmer found us and insisted on bringing water and fresh fruit. A distinctive feature of the valley is the iconic trullo – unique conically shaped constructions that dot the countryside. Nowhere are they more famous than in the town of Alberbello (perhaps Puglia’s only A-lister of a tourist destination.) The town is indeed striking – approaching from

a distance one can see the white pointed roofs, some dating back to the sixteenth century, peppering the skyline like a field of oversized beehives. Yet I found the commercialism off-putting, and we were quickly driven out by tour buses and aggressive hard-selling vendors on the street. The irony of course is that the trulli are much more impressive in their natural settings in the countryside. For most people arriving on buses, or dashing down to Puglia to spend one night seeing the famous town, there will be no chance to potter slowly through the olive groves. But this is where the beauty lies. Outside Alberbello Clare and I rolled gently down smooth tarmac lanes, onto rough gravel paths, and through narrow dirt tracks that ran past endless traditional trulli. This is a microcosm of the joy of cycle touring – it is rarely any particular destination that provides the major rewards of the journey; rather it is the pure, unadulterated freedom that comes from moving slowly through a landscape, setting eyes upon all those things that get missed when one travels at high-speed in trains, planes and automobiles. Other towns in the valley were humbler, and there was much to admire; the panoramas from hilltop Locorotondo, the renaissance and baroque gates of Martina Franca and, my favourite of all, the Gothic Cathedral that sits proudly atop the tumbling mass of white-washed houses in Ostuni. With so many places to enjoy we travelled only 30-40 miles a day, often on winding circular routes through the carpets of olive groves for hours just to arrive back close to where we started. We

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would start early to bag some miles before the heat descended, and we’d often be on the road by 6am. By 11am we’d find a café in a cobble-stoned piazza and sit, read, eat or sleep until the sun dropped in the sky. By 3pm it was manageable again, and we’d remount and pedal off out of town. We eventually reached the Ionian Sea at the end of our first week, popping out onto the silver sands of Porto Cesareo. The road along this coast is busier than its counterpart on the other side of Puglia, but still very manageable for bikes. Italian driving is famously erratic, but we only rarely felt in any danger, which is more than I can say for some of my regular routes in the UK.

many official campsites near to the beach, or we’d just find a quiet section of sand and pitch up. When we fancied some airconditioned sleep, we’d use ‘AirBNB’ – an online platform for finding local lodging, often at a fraction of the price of hotels. Our second week saw us round the tip of the Salento. This is where the two seas meet, and as soon as we turned north, we found ourselves once more climbing up, down and over dramatic, jagged rock faces. It was also a regular occurrence now to see pelotons of lycra-clad roadies speeding past us, almost always with a friendly wave and a ‘Ciao!’

As we pedalled southeast through the fishing villages of Santa Maria al Bagno and Sant’ Isidoro, we marked progress by counting the ancient watchtowers that jut out into the sea. The coastline here is riddled with these torres, part of an extensive defence system built in the 1500s to keep out marauding pirates. Some lie in uninhabited, wild stretches of coast, while others form the centrepoint of new, bustling holiday towns.

The road to Otranto, Italy’s easternmost town, was perhaps my favourite of the whole journey for its dynamism and diversity in scenery. We took a couple of days off here in an cheap holiday apartment overlooking a piazza in the old city, and while Clare rested weary thighs I took the opportunity to head off on an unloaded bike back into the hills of the interior. Within ten minutes I could be clear of the suburbs and back onto the dusty, empty backroads of agricultural Puglia.

The towers took us down to Gallipoli – the largest town in the area, and no relation to its famous Turkish namesake – and beyond along the narrow white sands that stick religiously to the shoulder of the road. Whenever we felt too hot we’d hop off our bikes and straight into the sea. The novelty of being able to do that never got dull. At night we would either look for one of the

Finally we reached Lecce, a city that regardless of your interest in architecture is a masterpiece of design. Intricate Baroque facades, ancient Roman columns and towering castle towers are all to be found via the spider-web of alleyways, and the food was perhaps even better there than anywhere else in the region. Food is, of course, central to any bicycle tour, and

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I’ve tried hard not to dwell upon it too much in this article. However…the gelato was divine, and the seafood as fresh as can be. The local olive oil is said to be among the best in the world, and the wine isn’t half bad either. In particular, it was the cyclist-friendly carbs that won our hearts orecchiette (ear shaped pasta shells) with a meat ragu that I still find myself thinking about. We finished our journey with a rather nondescript pedal to the port city of Brindisi (a place not without charm, but with too much industry to be truly enjoyable on bike) and then alongside a motorway service road once more to arrive back in Bari. In three and a half weeks, we covered a mere 400 miles. We rarely travelled more than 50 in a day, and took a lot more days off than even Clare could have hoped for. Yet that approach is exactly what Puglia demands. It is not a big region – those seeking longer daily distances would soon run out of land. The lack of mountains will put some off, and I can report that the road surfaces are only mediocre. It is, however, extremely relaxed. It offers unparalleled coastline, and food you’ll never forget. You’ll hear very little English (though you can get by with almost no Italian) and above all, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered a wonderful secret. I happened upon Puglia by accident, and I’m delighted that I did. @leonmccarron



ur cyclists’ haven is situated on the outskirts of the tranquil village of Portol, five minutes from the epicenter of Mallorca, the market town of Santa Maria. Only fifteen minutes from Palma International Airport and central Palma, and with easy access to beaches all over the island. With its numerous cycling focused bars and a good sized rental bike shop, you are always well-catered for.

Las Palmeras is a stunning property set in beautifully idyllic grounds. The property consists of three separate accommodation buildings, two pools, two BBQs, a steam room and a double garage – perfect for storing a large amount of bikes safely. Las Palmeras is close to the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, offering some of Europe´s best climbing and mountain passes that can be accessed all year round.

For a taster, there is a comfortable 50km ride from Santa Maria up through Orient. This scenic road takes you up the Col d’Honer (550m) and Col d’Órient (500m) right into the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana National Park. For something more challenging, then head for the 8km climb up the Col de sa Batalla, with a choice of a fast descent to the Port de Pollensa, or the stunning mountain pass leading across the entire Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.


Is a luxury holiday property near Santa Maria, Mallorca. Ideal for cyclists, sleeps 9, secure bike garage, steam room, 2 pools, 2 BBQ’s, beautiful gardens. From 2000 euros a week.

There are also flatter, quiet, rural roads which crisscross the Island as well as excellent roads that are perfect for any time trialist or triathlete. At the end of a hard day in the saddle, Las Palmeras has the choice of either a heated or unheated pool, a steam room and a large outside dining area to unwind and enjoy the company of friends and fellow cyclists. Author: Guy Lether

Contact: 00 34 628 894 575 October 2015 Cycling World


The best unknown climb in the Alps Have you ever heard of Mont Colombis (1734m)…? Not many people have, but it has earned the reputation in the French cycling world of being one of the toughest road climbs in France, if not ‘THE’ toughest. With 12km at an average gradient of 9% this is the perfect challenge for hill climbers with a magnificent reward of a panoramic view over the Ecrins National Park, the Durance Valley and the beautiful turquoise waters of the Serre Poncon lake. It is a relentless climb, starting in Remollon at around 674m of altitude. The first section takes you

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through the vines and orchards and is straight in at 8%. You then arrive at the quaint and very alpine, perched village of Theus (910m) where it steepens to about 10% gradient. You can stop for some fresh mountain water at the fountain here. As you continue you will pass the famous geological site of the ‘desmoiselles coiffées’ with it’s array of large boulders balanced precariously on thin pillars of rock. A welcome distraction from the pain! The road gets gradually steeper reaching up to

16% gradient through a shaded forest and just when you think you can’t possibly continue any longer the final 1km sign appears. Enough to motivate you to reach the summit and appreciate your well earned reward of some of the best views in the Alps! So, why hasn’t it ever featured in the Tour de France? The only reason there is a road winding it’s way up to the top of Mont Colombis is to service the telecommunications masts situated on it’s summit. It is a

no through route – it’s just up and down the same way. For a huge event like the Tour de France, there is not enough space at the top to host an arrival and it is too dangerous to organize a route that goes up and down on the same road. You can test out the Mont Colombis for yourself as part of a guided road cycling trip, Ride the Alps, with Undiscovered Alps taking in the famous as well as the not so famous road climbs of the French Alps or let them tailor make you a road cycling trip to suit you.

With its close proximity to the Serre Poncon lake and the popular Tour de France host town of Gap, you can include the Mont Colombis as a final challenge at the end of your tour of the lake or from the mountains surrounding Gap. There are several possibilities of cycling routes in and around the area, including several famous Tour de France cols and routes, such as the Col de Noyer, Col de Manse and the 100th anniversary time trial route overlooking the Serre Poncon lake.

For more info on cycling trips in the Southern French Alps have a look at Tel: 0345 009 8501 Email:

October 2015 Cycling World


Cycle Tours to meet your every need In last month’s issue we interviewed Dyll Davies, Director of new cycle tour and event management company, Viva Velo. This month we have asked Dyll to tell us a little more about the ideas behind the company. CW: Last time we spoke you told us that one of the key differences with Viva Velo was the customers you were aiming at – could you tell us a bit more about this? DD: We feel there are a lot of people out there who cycle for fun but who feel intimidated by the idea of joining a cycle tour – feeling it will be full of hardcore racers. We aim to fill that gap and show them that they CAN push their boundaries but in a friendly, non-competitive environment. CW: So what do you offer those customers? DD: Of course we offer our clients all those things that people enjoy – Mallorca training camps, major event visits and trips to the Grand Tours – these are all very popular, and for good reason. But we aim to tailor the experience to people’s own level and needs, and beyond the more standard packages, we can also develop ‘bespoke’ trips. CW: Bespoke normally means expensive, surely? DD: Look, we can organise a cycle tour to the moon if that is what someone wants – and that might not be within most people’s budgets! - but our driving principle is to give value

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for money. If you have an idea for a trip you can contact us and we will give you a feel for the cost, talk to you about your budget and put together a tour that fits your needs exactly. If you are already a group, then so much the better; but you could just be a couple or an individual with an idea. The point is: if you come to us, we can build it. Our aim is to try to help people expand their horizons. Do something different. Push the boundaries. CW: So pushing the boundaries seems to be something that applies to Viva Velo and its customers alike? DD: Absolutely! And it seems to be generating a lot of interest

– and not just from individuals. We are also talking to companies and charities who seem to like what we can do. We have started organising rides for charities – so for example we’re currently partnering with Beating Bowel Cancer, and that is another area we are very keen to develop . . . but I guess that is a whole other interview! Viva Velo is currently offering an all-expenses trip to join one of their Mallorca pre-season camps in April 2016. For more details see their website at, or simply scan the QR code below.

Bespoke Cycle Tours 020 7598 9273

October 2015 Cycling World


Paralympian Launches Cycling Camp Cyclist Mark Colbourne MBE won Gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Determined to share his experience, the multi-medallist has launched Global Cycling Camps. Mark explains what cyclists can expect in the Algarve Cycling in the Algarve is a unique experience. The Algarve has possibly the finest smooth roads in Europe, picturesque scenery and fast but safe descents. Coupled with traditional cuisine, a region steeped in history and a welcoming atmosphere, it is by far as good as any top cycling environment. Picture standing on the hotel balcony with the warm Mediterranean sunshine on your face, viewing the stunning grounds of the 5* Star Tivoli Victoria Hotel. Designed with relaxation in mind, the hotel boasts a golf course, outdoor swimming pools, a spa, and beautifully landscaped private gardens. All rooms are exceptional, light and airy with luxury fittings and very spacious to relax in after a long day in the saddle.

Colbourne MBE, Darren Kenny OBE and British Cycling mechanic Stephen Edwards. Focus, motivation and world class support Our daily morning briefing gets everyone sharing the excitement of rolling out onto smooth roads and sets the tone for the day ahead. Days are typically structured with five hours in the saddle, with an hour for lunch at a restaurant half way around each route. Pre-planned routes help to maintain people’s attention, relieving the stress and allowing everyone to focus on the skills at hand. We cycle as one unit keeping a pace that suits everyone, which allows the camaraderie to flow. Our experienced staff members help to ensure nobody is dropped or left behind. Challenge yourself in beautiful scenery

What we offer is the opportunity for male and female riders to experience a relaxed, supportive environment that enables riders to focus on taking their cycling to the next level. Learning from our elite staff is second to none. Three evening seminars are included to improve cycling knowledge, covering physiology, nutrition, planning, biomechanics, preparation and bike maintenance. Preparation and planning Preparing for the day ahead is important and it is vital to eat and drink properly. The Tivoli Victoria Hotel has a spacious restaurant, which provides delicious, and a wideranging selection of breakfast, from porridge and omelettes to mouth-watering smoked salmon and vegetarian options, ready to fuel everyone for the exciting day ahead. There’s even chance to socialise with athletes and staff like Mark

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Cycling treats guests to unseen views of the Algarve. One fantastic opportunity is the

In association with

45 minutes of steady cycling up Foia, a 900-metre mountain that gives all round breath-taking views. Another two hours cycling back in the warm afternoon heat to the Tivoli Hotel, a range of delicious evening foods to meet nutritional and specific needs is served. It is a chance to share stories, build friendships that ultimately make Global Cycling Camps an experience to remember. April 2016 sees the launch of our “women’s” only camps in the Algarve Book today Visit for more information or to book email You can also follow Global Cycling Camps on Twitter @cyclingcamps or Facebook at Global Cycling Camps.




9th - 16th April 2016



16th - 23rd April 2016

To book:

Price: £745.00 Flights not included

• All inclusive • 5 star luxury accomodation • Marginal gain seminars provided


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Global Cycling Camps





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Cycling World Ireland October 2015  
Cycling World Ireland October 2015