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The Tour Begins! Weekly Round-up #60!

Cycling Blog

The Tour Begins! Weekly Round-up #60!

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House of bikes

July 3rd, 2016

This week is a big week in the cycling year, as we’re sure most of you will know! This week’s round-up features:

The top image is from the European Cyclists’ Federation’s Facebook page, and is the best inspiration we’ve seen for a while for a revamp of the Ride25 offices!

The 2016 Tour de France

The biggest event in the cycling calendar has arrived. This year’s Tour began yesterday, with stage 1 seeing cyclists riding from Mont-Saint-Michel to Utah Beach.

If you’re familiar with the Tour then you’l know what excitement lies in store over the next few weeks. If not, take a look at the beginners’ guide to the tour that The Guardian put together, or their team by team guide – both make for informative reading.

Highlights of the day:

  • The first spill was Astana’s Diego Rosa after just 15 minutes.
  • Mark Cavendish got a puncture around 50km in and briefly courted controversy by riding in the slipstream of the Dimension Data team car, although the commentators clarified that this is common practice and “nobody really minds”.
  • Contador also took a tumble, but seemed OK during and after receiving medical treatment while riding at 30kph.
  • Mark Cavendish, riding for Team Dimension Data, won the first stage and with it, the first yellow jersey of his career.

This video from VelonCC captures the atmosphere of the event nicely, and features on-board footage from various riders’ bikes.

Inspired by the Tour?

If, like us, reading about the Tour makes you itch for a(nother?) new bike, but you’re having trouble convincing spouses / relatives / friends that you need one, then you’ll appreciate this ‘New Bike Excuse Generator’.

Excuse generator

If you click the image it’ll pause and, sort of like a Magic 8 Ball, give you a prophetic justification to buy some new wheels. The image comes from a post on Reddit by user Buzkazz.

Solar Bike Paths

In an exciting technological development, a Dutch company called SolaRoad has built a section of bike lane covered entirely in a surface that absorbs energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. Their ambitious aim is for this pilot test of the technology to yield results impressive enough to convince councils and governments around the world to incorporate it into their infrastructure.

The video below captures the enthusiasm of the company nicely, while briefly explaining how it works:

What do you think of this technology? Could it work, or is it far too ambitious? Let us know in the comments below!

Intercity Cycle Highways

Germany is implementing another ositive step in the direction of more, and more efficient, cycling.

The ‘bicycle autobahn’ they’re planning to build will connect 10 cities and remove an estimated 50,000 cars from the road each day, and was inspired by the huge amount of cyclists and walkers who took the opportunity to travel along a closed section of motorway in 2010.

Germany autobahn

A section of the RS1, part of Germany’s cycle network

The route is ambitions: it will be 13ft wide, closed to cars, fully lit, cleared of snow in winter, and will include tunnels and flyovers to reduce the amount of intersections.

We also read on Citylab about the East Coast Greenway in America. This is an in-progress route that connects communities along the country’s east coast. Currently ~850 miles are complete; eventually the route will cover around 3000 miles of America, traversing 450 communities and 15 states.

It’s exciting to see the scope and variety of the various cycle routes being developed around the world!

Our Story of the Week

Canadian news outlet CBC has written a satirical report about a fictional employee who has been taking all possible steps to remind his colleagues about the “benefits of a bike lifestyle, or bistyle“.

“Jayke Hyland, 34, decided to purchase a bicycle last weekend at Canadian Tire, he knew it was now entirely up to him to convince everyone in his office of the benefits of a cycling lifestyle”, they write.

His fictional reminders to colleagues of how much money people can save by commuting by bike, and of the health benefits of cycling, are offset with them begrudging his loud “god damn cycling shoes” and his conversion to only eating PowerGel packets.

We liked it because it’s simultaneously a reminder of all the benefits of cycling, and to not be too evangelical about said benefits, in case of alienating people who aren’t quite so enthusiastic.

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