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A potted history of the humble bicycle 1885 1817 The Safety Bicycle
The Draisine The first commercially successful 2-wheeled human-propelled machine, commonly called a velocipede, and nicknamed hobby-horse or dandy horse.
1842 First cycling offence An accident in which an anonymous “gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design” knocked over a pedestrian and was fined five British shillings.
Notable for the introduction of pedals and for its lack of comfort!
The “Rover” was the first successful “safety bicycle”. It featured a steerable front wheel, equally sized wheels and a chain. Widely imitated, this style heralded the ‘Golden Age of Bicycles’. Bicycles during this time are also credited with having a significant impact on female participation.
1890s 1869 THe Penny-Farthing Eugene Meyer invented the classic high bicycle design. The phrases ‘breakneck speed’ and ‘taking a header’ derive from the tendency to fall head-first from the unstable frame.
The Folding Bike The French army and others are known to have deployed folding bikes for bicycle infantry use.
1970 1902 3-speed gear hub Invented by Sturmey-Archer, the gear hub lead to the ‘English Roadster’ bike style, which remained popular until WW2. The female version, with a drop crossbar also became known as the Dutch bike.
A 70’s icon, the Chopper is a child’s bike. Produced by the Raleigh Bicycle Company, its design was influenced by the Chopper motorbike and films such as Easy Rider.
Originally called ‘klunkers’, the rise of the mountain bike was partially spurred on by the increasing desire of urban dwellers to escape their surroundings. By the year 2000 sales of MBs outstripped any other type of bike.
1910 Bike popularity gives way to the automobile.
1970s The Tandem
Patents related to tandem bicycles date from the late 19th century.
BMX BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California, drawing inspiration from the motocross superstars of the time. The F-Frame
A symbol of the Swinging 60s, Moulton’s development of the ‘utility bike’ was the first major innovation in bicycle design since the “safety bicycle”.
Attributed to the introduction of a cheaper, lighter 10-speed racer, bikes reached new levels of popularity in the 1980s. Bike mechanics have remained fairly unchanged over the last 30 years; the most significant changes being in manufacturing materials with the introduction of aluminum and carbonfibre frames, and advances in aerodynamics.
Written by Alex Proctor, Layout by James Pollock
LOV E H A NDL ES
“He claimed that alcohol had caused a misunderstanding, leading him to fornicate with his preferred mode of transport.” For any of you old enough to cast your minds back to 1993 and Alicia Silverstone doing the nasty on the back of a BMW 93’ K1100rs in the video for Aerosmith’s ‘Amazing’, you might raise (amongst other things) a smile. The red-blooded males tendency to fuse the imagery of the motorcycle with that of pornography; the representation of the phallus as a powerful machine ridden by a lusty eyed, oiled up Playmate is long documented and now more likely to generate ridicule than arousal, much like anything anyone found risqué in the 80’s. But who now, or then might have imagined a velocipedal variant of the man/machine sexual connection? Probably nobody, unless you were to find yourself writing a piece on the subject. As it happens, one aspect of paraphilia is the fancying of bicycles. Fortunately for platonic bike lovers everywhere, these fringe predilections have yet to coalesce into a single scene or movement, but there are still some interesting examples to look/laugh at. In 2007, Ian Stewart, 51 of Ayr was caught mid-coitus with his bike by a couple of unforgiving cleaning ladies. Now this bizarre incident might have gone otherwise unnoticed but for Mr Stewart ending up on the Sex Offenders Register. He claimed that alcohol had caused a misunderstanding, the nature of which can only be speculated upon, leading him to fornicate with his preferred mode of transport. Sure we say, a one off, but apparently not. In 2008, a Swedish man was arrested for doing the
wild thing with the seats of bikes belonging to women, claiming an “overwhelming sense of calm”. He was charged with sexual molestation and damages. How the victim statement read is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t stop there, a simple Google search will unearth some interesting imagery, from sex toy saddles to Lady Godiva shifting Shimanos. A quick visit to Punk Bikes, a cycle custom shop in our fair city revealed at least one customer with carnal ideas for the design of her bike; collecting cut outs of dildos, onehundred and eighty no less, from the pages of an Anne Summers catalogue with the idea of a decoupage penile tapestry along the frame. The gentleman charged with paintwork however was quick to point out that this wasn’t yet a common theme but would likely gain popularity when the shop takes up decoupage properly. So rest assured, it seems that for now the bike is safe from wholesale perversion; incidents being conspicuously rare and solitary in nature, something picked up on by this writer in observing a lone cycle-dogger puffing dejectedly on a Malboro on an accidental trip to Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar one late night in August (you roll your eyes, but I was not driving). Beware though, we live in a permissive society where once so called ‘Furries’ were unheard of but now fill convention centers the world over, so it may not be such a stretch to imagine “cycle-sexualists” occupying a similar, more intriguing niche.
BIG BLUE BIKE
THE RISE OF CYCLOGISTICS
Words – Jen Mills + Stephen Phillips Photos – Sean Anderson
Some people reach 28 and have settled into a regular routine of grabbing coffee and catching up with emails before a day of phone calls and shuffling paper. This isn’t the case for Ben Allen. His daily routine consists of cycling up to 100 miles per day, pedalling through rain and sleet while carrying more than his body weight in kilograms on his bike. You may well have seen him about. He works five days a week, cycling around on a skyblue Bakfiet bike, an 8 feet long Danish cargo bike named Bullitt. Very much a man-abouttown, he’s often on his phone (especially Twitter) between jobs. “We’ll take photos of our deliveries if they’re particularly humourous,” he jokes. “For example, we delivered a signage board for the side of a building that was longer than the bike, and the bike’s 8 feet long. There was also a meat slicer … and we deliver teeth quite frequently. If you go to the dentist and get a mould for your teeth, it’s quite likely that it’ll have been transferred there from the lab technicians by us.”
His inspiration for starting the company came from working in a Cardiff based marketing agency. “I used to see cycle couriers come into the building, so I wondered what they were doing,” Ben explains. “My wife and I started a bakery business before the recession. It didn’t work out and I realized cycle couriering was a low-cost start up business. I’d seen it work in other cities, so I thought if it could work there, it could work in Cardiff.” The business as it is consists of Ben and his two bikes. On an average day he carries out around 25 deliveries, but on a busy day this can reach 50. His ability to traverse side streets and traffic is an attractive prospect. “Cardiff, like most cities, suffers from issues of congestion and parking,” he says. “It’s the combination of being able to get to the front door of the place and the speed that you can cover the city that attracts people to the service.” In the wake of Britain’s success in the Olympics, cycling’s popularity is high. Yet Cardiff is still the most dangerous city in Wales to be on a bike.
Ben is concerned that “on some of the busiest roads in Cardiff - for instance Westgate Street, Boulevard de Nante and Cathedral Road - there are no cycle lanes at all. And these are key routes through the city. There’s no provision at all for cyclists, which is pretty poor. Lack of infrastructure for cyclists can deter people from leaving the car in the garage. “If you feel like you’ve got to be very aggressive when you’re in the traffic then it’s not a nice place to be, you feel like you’ve got to be a sort of warrior to go out and do it. Cycling isn’t just for men in Lycra, it’s for everyone going about their daily business and that’s something I would say that Cardiff Council needs to embrace.” But Ben finds it natural to be a biker. “I’ll sometimes never take my helmet off all day from 8 til 6. I’m used to helmet hair by now!” And he anticipates we will soon see more and more cargo bikes in use. “It really does make sense, especially in an urban environment.”
Social Media Cycling CycleStuff
cyclestuff.wordpress.com CycleStuff is a beautifully designed blog maintained by cycling enthusiast Simon Nurse and IT specialist Paul Smout. Based in Cardiff, the blog is concerned with all aspects of the cycling world, and covers cycle art, events and cycle safety. The blog is fuelled by eloquent and sometimes humorous writing, cleanly adorned with some striking photography, and even the odd video featuring a muddy ‘face plant.’
@PedalPower_Diff twitter.com/PedalPower_Diff PedalPower_Diff shares information and updates on the Pedal Power Project, a not-for-profit charity that specialises in hiring out tricycles designed for people of all abilities and ages, with especially designed tricycles for people with disabilities. With the mission of making the joy of cycling accessible to all, the charity also provide go carts and pedal cars, as well as standard bikes and tandems. Holding events such as vintage fairs and providing cycle-friendly meals at their own café, this is a feed to keep an eye on.
Flickr Cycling Pool bicycletutor.com/
Alex Ramon is the Bicycle Tutor, an ex-mechanic and self-confessed bicycle geek. The website provides a wealth of instruction on how to get down and DIY when things on your bicycle fall off / break / and generally malfunction. Though you are asked to subscribe in order to watch the video tutorials, written instructions are available for free. A gem of a website for bike maintenance.
If you’re looking for a strong hit, you’ve come to the right place. Images collated from all over the photo sharing website, Flickr’s Cycling Pool contains pictures of dinky bicycles towing caravans, startling-white tokyobikes with Union Jack seats, bikes in back gardens and speeding cyclists cutting through dramatic landscapes. Simply the best kind of collage for any bike enthusiast.
The Adventure Journal
Though the Adventure Journal covers a majority of all things active, the highlight of the sight (from a completely biased cycling perspective) must be The Daily Bike section, which features a picture a day of what is commonly referred to as ‘bike porn’. This vast collection even contains a highly attractive and misleading picture of an ebike. Definitely worth a peek.
London Cycle Chic londoncyclechic.blogspot.co.uk/ No, not a site which tells you to balance your handbag on your handle and wear your best heels to peddle, but a blog which offers tips and advice on how to look smart whilst cycling, without compromising on practicality or safety. The site recently launched a campaign to turn the idea of the ‘geeky’ helmet on its head, branded ‘Hot in a Helmet’, and so the site features a gallery full of readers looking rather good in their headgear.
LETS GO RIDE A BIKE your definitive guide to a leisurely sunday cycle...
2. CASTELL COCH
3. HAILEY PARK
Castell Coch, which translates in English to ‘Red Castle’, was designed by the architect William Burges and is a majestic finish to a cycle. The location for many a film and TV production, the castle sits among a dense forest and is given its red hue from its rough rubble sandstone, which is especially striking when lit up at night. Hop off your bike and head in to see some lavish interiors.
If you’re a fan of an alternative park view, peddle through Hailey Park where you can see the largest legal graffiti wall in Wales. You may also be lucky enough to catch the Llandaff Rowing Club training on the river.
4 1. SOPHIA GARDENS Sophia Gardens is close to the city centre but still manages to be picturesque. It offers sporting interest with the National Sports Centre and Nation County Cricket Ground which are available for you to pop in and have a play. Every weekend there are also Rugby games, so Sophia Gardens will cover all of your sporting needs. There is also an alternative route through this park for cyclists to visit a caravan site and equestrian centre.
4. LLANDAFF FIELDS Llandaff Fields is located in the valley of the River Taff and has much interest for a naturalist. There are mature trees, including the Horse Chestnut, featured throughout the park. If you would like to recapture your youth then these trees will provide the perfect component for your game of conkers! This park also offers various sports pitches and toilets.
7. CARDIFF BAY For a sea view, take the trail to Cardiff Bay and stop off for lunch at one of the many seaside resturants, before heading to the Norwegian church which is famous for being Roald Dahl’s family church.
5. RADYR WEIR Radyr Weir is along the river and on the Taff Trail. It was first built in 1774 so is part of Cardiff’s diverse history and definitely worth a stop. The weir is boarded by a nature area which was originally part of a Tudor deer park owned by the Mathew family. It is now a nature conservation with several beautiful water features, picnic areas and playgrounds.
7 6. BUTE PARK Deviate from the Taff trail for a short and very pleasant cycle through beautiful Bute Park. The park is well maintained throughout the seasons and the path here is wider and better for cyclists. If by this point you’re feeling thirsty stop off at the Secret Garden café where you can sip a cup of tea in the outside eatery, surrounded by a garden wall.
THE WIGGO EFFECT
An Olympic Legacy London 2012 set out to ‘inspire a generation’. A recent poll by Sky suggests that the British cycling team have achieved this, with more than half of the country being inspired to get out on their bikes. Hot on the “pedals” of a glorious summer for the sport, cycling clubs and retailers have been riding the “Wiggo Effect” and Halfords – the UK’s biggest bicycle retailer – has reported a 15% surge in sales of bikes and cycling equipment in the last three months. Not just a pastime for middle aged lycra-clad men, all of the family seem to be getting in on the action. Women’s bikes are selling exceptionally well at Halfords following Victoria Pendleton’s Olympic success, especially her
own premium range. Bikes created by Chris Boardman (star of the 1992 Olympics) are also doing a booming trade. After winning the men’s time trial event Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France victor, remarked, ‘Once the Olympics are all over anyone can go and ride the course we rode today.’ Indeed, hotels and tourist organisations along the route are already taking bookings for the whole of next year from cyclists keen to do just that. In a recent tweet, Wiggins – replying to one of his army of twitter followers – promoted one of the many benefits of cycling: “It’s accessible, that’s the beauty of
it. Anyone can get up and do it.” The Olympic cycling team has certainly brought the sport to a wider audience, but the national cycling charity CTC - enjoying record membership at the moment - believe that cycling has been growing in popularity over time, despite a tangible “Olympic Cycling Effect” of late. London 2012 notwithstanding, many may be shunning four wheels for two for several reasons: recession and rising fuel prices, health benefits and environmental considerations. In a busy city like Cardiff, it can also prove an effective way of beating the dawdling rush-hour traffic. Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the team have undoubtedly taken British cycling to a “higher gear”, but it remains to be seen if those famous sideburns catch on … Words: Chris Gosling Illustrations: Lucy Magee
ANDREW AND JILL JAMIESON ENJOY BIKE RIDING EVERY WEEKEND AND VENTURE ALL OVER CARDIFF. HERE THEY EXPERIMENT WITH THE NEON TREND BUT STILL MANAGE TO DRESS WITH SAFETY IN MIND.
LIV DAHREN DEMONSTRATES HOW TO CYCLE AROUND THE CITY IN STYLE. HER CLASHING PRINTS, ANDROGYNOUS JACKET AND VINTAGE SATCHEL ARE THE PERFECT COMBINATION AGAINST THIS MINT BIKE. SHE LOVES HER BIKE AS IT IS THE PERFECT WAY TO RUSH AROUND THE CITY WITH EASE.
JAMES DRUMMOND AND DOMINIQUE WEDGE WERE CYCLING THROUGH THE PARK WHEN THEY WERE SPOTTED FOR CYCLE STYLE. JAMES KEEPS HIS LOOK SIMPLE WITH SOME CUT OFF SHORTS WHEREAS DOMINIQUE’S BOLD NAILS, SUBTLE JEWELLERY AND WICKER BASKET MAKE HER LOOK EXTRA SPECIAL.
LISA TOZER AND IAN COX ARE THE PERFECT CYCLING COUPLE. THEIR LAID BACK STYLE AND QUIRKY BIKES ARE FLAWLESS AGAINST THE PRETTY PARK BACKGROUND. WHO KNEW A HULA HOOP WOULD MAKE THE PERFECT CYCLE STYLE?!
BIKE LOCK GRADING Would your bike lock pass the test? Inspired by bike expert and lock grader Hal Ruzal, Off the Chain took to the streets of Cardiff to see who’s top of the class and who needs to do their homework.
This billboard bike has two locks: one secures the back wheels to the frame, while the other locks the whole thing to a sturdy lamp-post. The shrewd owner has also taken the quick-release saddle with them, which means any thief would be hard-pressed to pick this bike for parts. Top of the class!
Both of these bike owners have made the smart move of looping D-locks through their bikes’ spokes and frames. Unfortunately this leaves at least one wheel vulnerable, and a lamp-post or bike rack would have been a safer choice.
Two D-locks ensure these bikes aren’t going anywhere, but we would’ve made use of that third cable for the wheels. Shows great potential.
This bike owner gets high marks for location, but their final grade is brought down by a poor choice of lock. A thief would have no trouble cutting through the thin cable, but the police station is a major deterrent!
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: We spoke to Hiba from Evans Cycles Cardiff, and here’s what she recommended:
This bike owner has the right idea in securing both the wheels and frame, but the flimsy cable lock would pose no challenge to a pair of wire-cutters. More effort needed.
100 lines for this silly cyclist: ‘I must not leave my bike locked only to itself’. There’s nothing to stop someone just picking this bike up and walking off with it, despite the D-lock.
a combination of locks – a good steal parts! If your bike has 3. People 1. Use D-lock or chain combined with a quick-release wheels or saddle, cable lock for wheels is ideal.
make sure you lock these to the bike as well.
brand Kryptonite, whose locks 4. It’s not enough just to lock the bike 2. The are designed to ward off thieves in New York City, is very popular with our customers. I would particularly recommend their D-lock and 4ft cable combo.
to itself – make sure you lock the whole thing to an immovable object like a lamp-post.
Although parking your bike in a busy street like this may seem logical, crowds actually provide the perfect screen for theft. Local Community Police officers suggest a well-lit but quiet area in which any potential wrongdoing would be quickly spotted.
This bike serves as a cautionary tale: locking the parts of your bike up is just as important as locking the bike itself! See me after school.!
Written by Stephen Phillips, Ilustrations by Lucy Magee, Layout by James Pollock
This June saw the 5th annual Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride, part of an international clothing-optional protest on wheels founded in Zaragoza in 2003 in around 80 cities across the globe. After an hour of preparation (and some understandable nervousness from newcomers), around 100 cyclists undressed, slapped on body paint and saddled up. Despite a lengthy bureaucratic hassle for organiser Nick Wysoczanskyj, the ride was the most successful yet, mostly due to the level of support, wide press coverage and Nickâ€™s shepherding of the group in the absence of the police. The group set off from Cathays Park to Boulevard de Nantes before meeting the first bemused stares of bystanders and bus loads of people. The local council banned cyclists from using the parks, despite Nickâ€™s concern that it would be too dangerous for the group to dismount on a main road due to numbers. The cyclists ended the route at Sophia Gardens a hitch.
The movement aims to promote awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists on the road, a particularly pressing issue in Cardiff, wherein one fifth of Wales’ cycling accidents occur. Many cyclists adorned their bodies, chiefly their backs, in slogans such as ‘Cars kill, bikes graze’ and ‘Notice us when we’re not naked’. The carnival-esque environment of the ride owes much to its aim to also promote body positivity and to simply celebrate the power (and sight) of a heap load of naked people on bikes. “I think that it is broadly accepted that naked people will not cause the sky to fall down, but somehow, we persist in attitudes of shame rooted in dark age thinking,” says Nick. “It’s baggage from our cultural past that doesn’t serve us well in the age of the internet.”
cyclists rejoined the group to cheering. The ride was met with wolf-whistling, clapping, an awkward smile from an elderly lady on a bus to the bay and photographs. Most of which invariably ended up on Twitter.
Despite these concerns, public reaction to the ride through the pedestrianized areas of the city centre was nothing short of raucous. By the time the group had reached King George Avenue, illustration students Naomi Hermitage and Sophie McGinnigle took it upon themselves to remove their underwear mid-ride and after getting a little lost in Butetown, two
Speaking of next year’s ride, Nick expressed concerns over the council’s contentious position on this year’s protest. “I can only hope that things go more smoothly next year and that the ride and the wider cycle advocacy movement continue to grow. I’m hoping for an even bigger and better ride next year.” Press and public reaction to the 2012 ride suggest it’s possible to make an even bigger ride next year.
The ride consisted of a mix of people, from hardcore touring protestors to plucky girls painting their breasts gold. A mother brought her young daughter, expressing a desire to ensure she could see “as many different things as possible in younger life”. Stephen Daly, a local bar manager, spoke a little about the experience of cycling publically naked. “You become completely detached from the fact that you’re naked and just enjoy it. You almost forget you’re nude.”
PUNK MY BIKE
Everyone knows that bikes are badass. You can tell the world you mean business just by wearing lycra shorts, high-vis armbands and trouser clips. But if you want to really make an impression, you need to customise the machine itself. Unfortunately, NASA haven’t yet got started on the rocket bike (at least as far as we know) but we visited Punk Bikes, off City Road in Cardiff, to scope out the next best thing. Marcin Wojciechowski, from Poland, opened his Punk Bikes shop in Cathays in January this year. He can ‘pimp’ your old bike from just £50, and builds unique bikes from scratch which range in price from £100 to £1000. For the truly ambitious, however he says, “there is no upper limit. Everything you can think of is possible to do.” His shop is tucked away behind a residential street, a punk den in a tract of respectability. Spray painted on the wall outside is the logo ‘PUNK BIKES’, a smaller version of which can also be found on Marcin’s knuckles. “The easiest and most com-
mon thing is to change the tyres, handlebars and saddle,” Marcin explains. Other options are to put ‘decals’ – stickers, to the noninitiated – on the frame, or even to wallpaper the mudguards. This is called decoupage, and is something the shop has just started to offer. Any pattern can be transferred on, or the bike frame itself can be hand painted. One customer is currently waiting for a bike, which is having a total restyle. “He wants a serious sound system made from a stereo on a trailer,” Marcin says. “We’re trying to get all the components now.” For those attempting to emulate the punk look, apparently bike bells are not advised. “I’m not really a fan of any bells,” Marcin says, “but we sometimes put on a vintage horn, from the 40s or 50s. It sounds like a old siren.” “I personally love the old chrome lights. They are very classy looking; they used to be powered by a dynamo, but now you can get LED ones.” Amber the cat was reclining in the sun on a stack of sofa cushions as we visited. She is something of a
We're having a hell of a time over here
muse for the workshop, as one of the next projects is a cat carrier. “My girlfriend really wants a basket on the front of the bike to carry her cat with her. That’s probably going to happen soon.” Marcin has also started reupholstering bike seats using recycled leather taken from abandoned sofas (hence the stacks of cushions, perhaps.) “I get the leather from sofas found on the street.
We want to do more with recycled stuff.” One of these seats would cost between £15 and £20, while a chrome light is around £10. “We’re not making money, let’s be honest,” Marcin says. “But we’re very happy. We’re having a hell of a time over here.” Words: Jen Mills Photos: Sean Anderson
Pedal Playlist So you’ve bought your bike, kitted yourself out and are ready to don helmet and get pedaling. But before you take to the streets, get your iPod into gear with Off The Chain’s carefully selected cycling playlist brought to you by Cardiff cyclist and gig promoter, Tom Bevan. Tune in and ride out…
Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone – Ridin’ “They see me rolling…” Lose the lyrca and swag it on up.
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain BBC’s Formula 1 crew may have nabbed this as their theme tune, but this track from Fleetwood Mac’s masterpiece Rumours works wonders on a bike. The fact is that one day you’ll have to get your hands oily when it comes off, but let’s face it kids, “you’ll never break the chain.” Phew. Such a reassuring lyric, and the classic guitar riff will make you feel like a champ even when you’re struggling up a hill. Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles Perfect for a chilled lazy Sunday afternoon alongside the Taff, if nothing else this song reminds us that cyclists have power in numbers. Take Melua’s Beijing as an example. The capital of the world’s largest economy, it has an immense political and cultural history and a population closing in on twenty million people. And it is also a city working hard to improve cycle routes to tackle traffic problems. That’s a fact.
Anita Ward – Ring My Bell A one hit wonder if I ever heard one, the chorus of this awful seventies chart topper is catchy and relevant. You’ll be sick of it within moments.
Kraftwerk – Tour De France The electro geniuses of Kraftwerk deliver some obscure brilliance with 1983 release Tour De France. Even if the only yellow jacket you’ll ever get near is a fluorescent one from Halford’s (other local bike stores are available), this song will put you right into race mode, especially if you download the ‘France Version’ with the authentic heavy breathing built in. My favourite by a country mile.
Aretha Franklin – R.E.S.P.E.C.T They say that the key to building broken relationships is through empathy and this could not be truer in the ongoing feud between drivers and cyclists. More respect for the hard working, energy saving folks on bikes would be appreciated. Sing it Aretha!
Queen Bicycle Race The ultimate of all cycling tunes, Freddie Mercury’s ‘78 hit is most notable for its video featuring nude women riding around Wimbledon Stadium, which was banned in several countries. Sit back, sing along and give your bell a tinkle when the band ring theirs. It really should be a rite of passage for all cyclists… Health and Safety Disclaimer Unless you’re looking for a rock ‘n’ roll suicide, when cycling on the road turn your music down and listen for traffic.
My mum won’t let me take out my BMX because my lock got stolen but she won’t buy me another lock. She is so unfair! Ta, Derren Maynard, 22, Llanishen.
> Hi Darren, I think it’s time you get a job, move out and buy yourself a lock. And a new bike. Over and out, Wiggo
Please help me. My girlfriend won’t let me wear my cycling lycra. She says it lowers sperm count and she wants to try for a baby. What do I do? Thanks, Chris, Canton. > Worry not Chris, you are not alone. One of the biggest pressures on a professional cyclist is dealing with this misconception. I can assure you, and your girlfriend, that you’ll multiply without problem. Wiggo
Hello. I cycle eight miles to work and back every day and sometimes go via Waitrose, which adds another two miles to my route. All the while, I find exhaust fumes very frustrating. Do you think there will be a time soon when vehicles don’t emit noxious gas into cyclists’ nostrils? I look forward to hearing from you. Steven McDee, Cyncoed Resident
Hello Steven, I’m sorry to hear about your frustration but battle on my friend because after recent communication with the Ministry of Transport, I don’t envisage much change in this area. Write to your MP, that’ll make you feel better. Good luck, Wiggo
I haven’t used a car in seventeen years and I’m never getting married, all men are petrolheads. Hail to the helmeted heroes! Power to the pedestrian!
Aunty Wiggo, Good work in the summer Wiggo, how can I now inspire two teenagers to get cycling? I must say I’m a big fan of your sideburns. Cheers Mrs. E. Williams, Grangetown. > Thanks Mrs.E! My tip is to take them to a local club who should provide all the necessary kit, training and support for a small weekly fee. Standard. Best Wishes Wiggo
To get your cycling questions answered, contact Aunty Wiggo at email@example.com
Michelle, Pontcanna > I’m glad to see such rampant passion for the environment Michelle. Maybe leave the feminism out of this one though… Wiggo
*This is a fictional column. Aunty Wiggo won’t reply.
Meet Off The Chain’s in house Olympian-cum-cycling counselor, Aunty Wiggo. He had a busy summer winning both the Tour De France and the hearts of the nation, but is back here doing what he does best; giving thoughtful and considered advice to cyclists in crisis. Here are a selection of the emails he has had to deal with this week.
OFF THE CHAIN TEAM
Content: Magazine in a day shows that with even a small number of people, you can make a pretty cool magazine in under 12 hours. Today we’ve interviewed, designed, photographed, illustrated and edited a nice magazine about cycling. It’s made all the more amazing when you find out that before today, the majority of the people involved in the making of the magazine didn’t even know each other at all. What a wonderful piece of teamwork! What a wonderful group of people!
Izzy Hicks Ross Clarke Lucinda Reid Betson Jones Sean Anderson Tom Bevan Jen Mills Stephen Phillips Sean Anderson
Julie Labroue Chris Gosling Lucy Magee Jacob Cozens George Morton Simeon Davies Alex Proctor James Pollock Charlie Petty
Bernie Flexer Laura Howe Angharad Dalton Max Perkins Mike Erskine Geoff Rogers Tim Holmes Marc Thomas JOMEC Security
A magazine in a day.