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THE FORTNIGHT IN CYCLING VOL 8: Awareness and converted railways

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THE FORTNIGHT IN CYCLING VOL 8: Awareness and converted railways

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March 13th, 2015

There’s some great stuff in this cycling news round-up. Inspiring and uplifting, just how we like it.

Firstly, reported on the excellent efforts of Texan Gene Novogrodsky, who completed his 5 day, 300 mile “Spirit of ’76” ride earlier this month. The purpose of his ride was to highlight the distance some women in his home state of Texas have to travel to get legal access to clinics offering services such as cancer screenings, birth control, and abortions.

Obviously this is a contentious issue in America and we’re not looking to take sides, but it’s wonderful to see Gene taking a peaceful and healthy approach to raising awareness of the issue (did we mention he’s 76?).

Well done Gene! Image linked to source.

Mr Norman Ellis Gregory also showed the world that there’s no upper age limit to being a prolific cyclist. The Guardian ran an article describing Norman’s relationship with cycling over the years, and celebrated the fact that last year he totalled 3,500 miles (he was 92!). He has no intention of stopping, either:

Most mornings I come downstairs to have breakfast, wash and shave and am out cycling by nine o’clock,” he told me. “Under normal circumstances, I’m off cycling with the intention of going for two hours. If the going is good, I’ll go for three.

This is not a recent passion. Norman did an impromptu 1,700 mile tour of the UK in 1939:

I was originally just going to Northumberland to visit relations,” Gregory explained. “But when I got there I decided I may as well go and have a look at Edinburgh. From there I thought I might as well go and have a look at John O’Groats. I just kept going.

What a great attitude – just remember that next time you’re begrudging having to get out of bed for a trainig ride on a rainy morning!

Also in the news are some great new routes to cycle on. Some of you may be familiar with New York City’s Highline, “a 1.45 mile linear park built on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad”? If not see the picture at the top of this post!

Don MacMonagle writes in the Guardian that soon we’ll have a similar and equally glorious routes much closer to home in the next couple of years. A project is planned to convert a disused railway line into a cycling and walking path. The route will take cyclists to a port where they can catch a boat to nearby Valentia Island. It looks like a beautiful place to ride:

Valentia Island

Valentia Island, image used under Creative Commons license and linked to source

A friend told me last weekend that “America just isn’t set up for cycling”, which most of you know is completely false. Digging around for evidence to prove them wrong unearthed this great write-up of Michael Clark’s ride along Bicycle Route 66, which intertwines with the famous Historic Route 66 to take cyclists west across the continent. It’s not technically news, but well worth a read nonetheless. Check it out.

Although you may want to avoid cycling on the other side of the pond for a while – looks like it’s tricky conditions out in Boston currently!

Image courtesy of BostonAruban66 on Reddit, linked to original post

Image courtesy of BostonAruban66 on Reddit, linked to original post

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