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You and me baby ain’t nothing but MAMiLS: weekly round-up #5

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You and me baby ain’t nothing but MAMiLS: weekly round-up #5

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May 10th, 2015

Welcome to this week’s round-up, featuring Wiggo, MAMiLs, cycling solutions for the elderly, and an update on Mark Beaumont’s journey through Africa.

We’ll kick off with two stories about UK cycling’s golden child, Mr Bradley Wiggins.

The first of two revelations, as reported on the Guardian, is his upcoming attempt to beat the world record for furthest distance cycled in an hour on the velodrome track. The record is currently held by Alex Dowsett at 52.937km, and Wiggo is aiming for 55km – a distance that will not only beat the record, but raise it to lofty new heights. He seems very confident:

“I don’t see it as being any harder than climbing the Ventoux to save fourth place in the Tour de France,” he said. “I can’t see it being any harder than keeping concentration for three weeks to win the Tour, or riding around Hampton Court with the weight of expectation to win Olympic gold. I’ve been in a lot of pressure situations, I know what I can do.”

Wiggo’s interview on Desert Island Discs reveals a completely different side to the cyclist’s life – that his father used to smuggle amphetamines into the family home in baby-Bradley’s nappies. He also said that he owes his career to his father leaving the UK to head back to Australia, a move that created a home environment more conducive to the pursuit of professional cycling.


The next story, reported in the Daily Mail, may be familar for readers of this site! They reveal the growing trend for MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra) to spend hefty amounts on new bikes, often getting into debt to fund the habit. With the increasing popularity of cycling that accompanies events such as the Tour De France and Giro d’Italia both having visited the British Isles last year, it’s likely this trend will continue to increase.

Although, to be honest, who can resist steeds like these:

Cycling in cities

There were 3 interesting pieces last week about the relationship between pedestrians, bicycles and cars in city design.

The first, from the Guardian, explores “how Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world”. The city’s reputation as a cycling haven is well established, but it was only due to devoted activism in the 1960s that bicycles have such prominence. After steadily increasing numbers of traffic accidents, a campaign called Stop de Kindermoord (translates to the morbid ‘Stop the Child Murder’), was set up to raise awareness of the need for dedicated and quality infrastructure. Current generations of Dutch should be proud of their ancestors’ efforts!

Another similar effort to reclaim city from cars may soon underway in Paris, where plans to redevelop the quayside of the bank of the Seine are being drawn up. This is the latest development in a trend: promises to reduce diesel usage have been made, lower speed limits are being extended to more areas, and polluting cars are being barred from the centre of the city.

Seine redesign

Image from CityLab and linked to source

The final piece on this topic, also from the Guardian, gathers comments from readers on this topic. It highlights several viewpoints on both sides of the cars vs bikes debate, and is well worth a read. Areas discussed:

  • Should cars be in cities?
  • How to reconcile individuals’ demand for lower overall car numbers with demand for continued personal usage
  • The future of the debate
  • Implications and practicality for rural settings
  • What about electric and/or shared cars?

Cycling and old age

Another interesting discussion around cycling, although much less well-known than those above, is the nature of its benefits in old age. ITV reported on a study being carried out across four UK universities explores the impact on memory and speed of thinking, to see whether cycling has an effect.

Positive findings in this area would be just another feather in cycling’s already bustling cap!

Mark Beaumont

We’ll end with an update on Mark Beaumont’s progress in his attempt to beat the world record from Cairo to Cape Town. On Sunday 10th he rode from Mpika to Serenje in Zambia (map here).

This is the kind of terrain he’s cycling through.


Used under Creative Commons license

Here is a video update of his journey so far. In his first month on the road he’s cycled a whopping 7,500km! Keep it up Mark.

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