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Two incredible feats, two feel good stories: Weekly Round-Up #43

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Two incredible feats, two feel good stories: Weekly Round-Up #43

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Mt Washington fat bike

February 29th, 2016

This week’s round-up features two incredible feats in completely different types of cycling, a bicycle-based tour of the USA by an American musician, a couple of feel good stories about cycling’s ability to empower people around the world, and a warning to cyclists about a sneaky new technique being used by bike thieves in London.

Let’s kick off with the some incredible fat biking.

Feat #1: Fat Biking Mt. Washington

Tim Johnson, esteemed hill-climber and native New Englander, took on the state’s highest summit and became the first person to ride up the famous Auto Road in winter.

Hugely impressive. The strongest wind ever recorded was on Mt Washington, 231mph – luckily Tim didn’t have to experience that, but there was a headwind and temperatures dropped to -19.

At one point he says “it’s really easy to think ‘I could just slow down’; I could just not do this, I could just stop, I could just pull over here for a while and hang out”. A feeling we’ve all probably encountered on ascents before, but it puts perspective on just how hard climbs can get!

Read the full story here.

Feat #2: Breaking the Women’s UCI Hour Record

In January we wrote about Australia’s Bridie O’Donnell setting the new UCI hour record. This week the record was broken by America’s Evelyn Stevens.

The incredible new distance of 47.980km trumps Bridie’s attempt by 1.098km. In an interview after the event she justifiably exclaimed “I just want to celebrate with everyone now!” – we think she’s earned it!

The lad’s version of the record is held by our very own Bradley Wiggins, at 54.526km.

A new meaning to ‘cycle touring’

Paul Doffing is a cyclist and musician who toured America with just his bicycle and his guitar to promote his first album. He’s just started his second bicycle-based tour, this time of the world.

Check out the first single from his new album below – it shows the cavalcade of bikes and the crowds he draws at his gigs:

The blurb on his website summarises his music and adventure nicely:

Paul Doffing has been touring the U.S. by bicycle since 2012, covering more than 10,000 miles (about 16,000 km) throughout the U.S. and performing over 100 shows while promoting a mindset of sustainability and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. In June, 2015, Paul and his partner Jen set off on a world tour by bicycle, planning to pedal their bicycles internationally, and share Paul’s music as they go.

Feel good #1: Zambian Milk Co-operatives

At Ride25 we donate a bicycle to somebody in Africa for each tour we sell. This week we saw a video that showed in a heartwarming way the effect a humble bicycle can have on the person who receives it:

Georgina lives in Zambia and struggled to transport her milk from her farm to sell at the milk collection centre. After being given a Buffalo Bicycle (one with a large pannier rack) she is now able to deliver and sell twice as much milk per day, doubling her income.

Feel good #2: Empowered Women in Gaza

An article in the New York Times explores the phenomenon of women taking to the saddle.

It seems bizarre that this should be newsworthy. but in Gaza there is an ‘unspoken agreement’ that women past puberty should not cycle, because “men might inappropriately leer at their legs moving up and down or ogle their bottoms”. Amna, Asala and other women who wished to remain anonymous in case of consequences for their ride, shared the ride and received this advice from Amna, the eldest: “I want you, when you get married, to make riding your bikes a condition of marriage”.

This article comes just shortly after the Afghan Women’s Cycling Team were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s lovely to see cycling become such a force for positive change.

Story of the week: cyclists look out!

This isn’t inspiring or positive, but it’s important! Bike thieves in London are apparently cutting fixed bike lock stations in London and covering the damage with tape, in the hope that cyclists will lock their bike up to a broken frame, leaving it vulnerable to thieves who can return later and easily remove it.

A picture by @Sezking78 on Twitter shows this in action, and has made all of the major news outlets (we saw it on the BBC).

Keep an eye out and spread the word!

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