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It will take a complete cyclist! Weekly round-up #27!

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It will take a complete cyclist! Weekly round-up #27!

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rowdy tandem

October 26th, 2015

This week’s round-up features infrastructure news from Oslo and Vienna (more exciting than it sounds!), speculation on cycling utopia, Froome’s verdict on the 2016 Tour de France route, and some very eccentric route planning.

The top image is from a Reddit post by user Nonchalant_Elephant, and shows a couple of guys testing the limits of a tandem. Just after the picture was taken they wiped out, but consensus from commentators seems to be that it was worth it:

the reddit thread

Bold aims from Oslo and Vienna

Big news from Oslo. Tech Insider reports that the Norwegian capital has announced plans to ban all cars from its centre by 2019 in an attempt to make the city more welcoming for walkers and cyclists. The announcement comes with plans to build over 35 miles of new bike lanes and to invest heavily in public transport across the same time frame.

This is great for cyclists, but we wonder how it will be received by the wider population!

Vienna have also announced plans to increase the share of journeys made by sustainable transport methods (walking, cycling and public transport) to 80% by 2019, up from 72% currently and higher than the 60% predicted if current trends continue. They’ve released this funky video outlining their aims:

To summarise:

  • People should be able to travel comfortably and safely regardless of what they earn and where they live
  • Owning a car in Vienna is currently 20x more expensive than annual public transport pass
  • They are promoting transport methods associated with higher life expectancy
  • Bike and car share programs are also being promoted
  • 2/3 of Vienna’s road space is currently reserved for cars which are parked 95% of the time

Schemes like this which are gaining more attention on a global level may mark a shift in the way we think about personal transportation and, possibly, a change to less car-centric transport infrastructure. We’re interested to see what the future holds!


Following the theme of less car-centric infrastructure, one man’s vision of a cycling utopia was unveiled last week. It looks a bit like this:


Looks a bit bizarre! Linked to source

An article in CityLab explores the concept in more detail: “gradients are designed to optimize efficiency for people on bikes; cycle paths are covered to protect bikers from the elements; and apartment blocks, offices, and retail outlets are designed so cyclists can ride right in”

He looks to go beyond the “gold standard” of cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam whose infrastructure is held in high regard, arguing that “Holland’s hopelessly uncompetitive bike infrastructure … [is] only the best in the world because the rest of the world hasn’t tried yet. [As long as] Dutch bike infrastructure is held up as a model, the rest of the world will not take bicycling seriously.”

Controversial? Possibly, but it’s interesting nonetheless!

“It’s going to take a complete cyclist”

To win next year’s Tour De France, according to Chris Froome. After watching the unveiling of the 2016 route he commented on the time trials, mountains, and tricky technical descents, saying that they would truly test all cyclists involved.

Froome is a favourite for next year’s race and is hopeful that the route will suit his strengths better – especially because there are two time trial stages.

A full breakdown of stages can be seen at the BBC, and Froome’s response to the route can be seen on the Guardian.

Our story of the week

This week’s top story award goes to Brian Brettschneider, an American meteorologist who has calculated the optimal route for cycling around America and remaining in areas with temperatures above 21 degrees for the whole time:

America route

From Citylab, linked to source

The route, featured in Citylab, covers over 13,000 miles and takes a year to ride. It looks pretty comprehensive too and we think it visits 26 states (it’s a bit hard to tell on the map!), along with a sojourn through some of western Canada.

The route for the 2016 Tour was also announced see Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome have to say on the route.

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