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Activism and adventure: weekly round-up #39!

Cycling Blog

Activism and adventure: weekly round-up #39!

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February 2nd, 2016

Welcome to this week’s round-up, featuring weird and wonderful bikes, motorised scandal, cycling activism in Rome and Sydney, and a coast-to-coast adventure in America.

Bi-unicycle version 2

The kooky bikes above and to the left come from a Reddit thread, where they are introduced with accurate caption “the longer you look at this bike the more difficult it must be to ride!!!”.

Despite appearing confusing, people seem pretty keen to have a go on both: “I’d ride the hell out of that”, one person said.

Another asked the most important question: “Am I seeing this correct? Does the person in the back really have the ability to steer with their ass?”

Whether you’d risk trying one out or not, you have to admit they’re interesting pieces of engineering!


Perhaps the goofiest scandal ever

Accusations of a concealed motor being discovered inside the bike of Femke Van den Driessche, a Belgian entrant to the world Cyclo-cross Championships, has sparked fresh controversy in the competitive cycling world.

Responses to the incident range from disappointment, to anger, to comments about how ludicrous and amusing it is. Jason Gay over at the Wall Street Journal sums it up well as ‘perhaps the goofiest scandal ever’, as does Tim Johnson, a former Cyclo-cross champion who was quoted saying “I laugh and you laugh, but it’s really not funny. It sucks.”

This is the type of motor that is alleged to have been found:

When in Rome…

Cycle commuters in Rome who are fed up with the state of the city’s cycling infrastructure have gone rogue and painted their own bike lane on a busy road:

Rome bike lane

Linked to source

It looks like a good effort, and we hope that it catches the attention of people with the power to make proper bike lanes happen! The fact that it only took 45 minutes and 140€ to create should be a good incentive, too.

More bike lane activism

Cyclists on the other side of the world (Sydney) have been protesting too, after Duncan Gay, the controversial roads minister who we met in round-up #36, commissioned the dismantling of more cycle lanes in the city.

The protest saw a large group of riders riding in tandem down a popular street in the city where works to remove the lane was taking place. Their aim was to temporarily reclaim the space for bicycles, raise awareness, and encourage the government to change their mind.

Rob Berry, spokesman for Sydney Push, said:

“Every country in the world encourages cycling. It is supported across the political spectrum. But here we have a government that considers cycling as an intrusion and brings in laws that won’t protect the safety of cyclists but discourages them.”

We’d like to show our solidarity – keep it up guys!

Story of the week

In an incredible story of adventure, American cyclist Jeffrey Tanenhaus has ridden a NYC Citi Bike (their equivalent of Boris Bikes) across the continent.

Cycle New York to Los Angeles

Very rough estimate of what his route looked like

The journey was borne by a combination of having an ‘early midlife crisis’ and wanting to deal with it by combining his interests: “I ultimately decided that what I like to do is travel, write, and bike commute. So, I put all three passions together, and took the great American road trip, but on a bike.”

Not bad going on a bike that weighs just over 20kg!

(Full story over at!)



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