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A long, hard day: weekly round-up #48

Cycling Blog

A long, hard day: weekly round-up #48

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Bike lock

April 5th, 2016

This week’s round-up features creative fundraising routes, Chris Hoy’s Le Mans announcement, good news about the safety of cycle share schemes, rubbish news from London, and an April Fools joke that had us going.

The top image is from a Reddit post whose title sums up our opinion on the pictured product: “I don’t think I’d use this..” There’s an interesting divide in the comments between people who would never use the product, and people from more trustworthy countries who say things like this are the norm, and that the bike would be safe.

Lock comments

What do you think? Would you lock your bike up with this? And if so, where are you from?

That’s nuts!

Jim Groves is undertaking an inspired fundraising ride:


Phallic route

His plan to cycle the phallic route for 12 hours straight, fuelled only by bananas, on the longest day of the year, and titled ‘a long hard day’ is a perfect combination of banter and a strong reminder of an important issue. He is raising funds for testicular cancer research – the main cancer in men aged 15-34 and one that has featured prominently in the professional cycling world multiple times.

Worth a couple of quid, we think – see the full event here.

Hoy’s Crossover

Many kids dream of competing in the Olympics, and many others dream of driving a racing car. Chris Hoy is going to join the slim ranks of those who’ve managed to fulfil both dreams.

According to a Guardian article, the most successful British Olympian of all time is set to race in the Le Mans 24 hour race this June. He says of the transition, “I didn’t do this to replace my cycling but in many ways I get to carry on some of the really enjoyable parts of my cycling career into motor sport. It’s exactly the same feeling you have when you’re about to race, doesn’t matter whether it’s on a bike, in a car or even when I was younger, racing BMXs.”

Hoy Le Mans

Lucky man! Image linked to source

Bike Sharing – Safer than Regular Cycling

Take another look at that headline and think about it – less experienced cyclists, no helmets, heavy and clunky bikes – surely it can’t be right?

But according to an in-depth study in the USA, which Vox wrote about recently, it is. Not one person has died using America’s various bike share schemes, during an estimated 35 million rides. This contrasts favourable with the national average of 21 per 100 million rides.

The article speculates why this may be the case, and gives the following 4 possibilities:

  1. Bike design: they are bulky and sturdy so can handle potholes better, are limited to lower speeds, and have brakes that work well in the rain
  2. Location: usually share stations are located in downtown areas where speeds are lower
  3. The riders are less experienced: this being a good thing goes against most logic! But the article argues they may ride more cautiously as a result
  4. Fewer people wear helmets: as above, this defies logic. But there is a lot of debate about whether helmets are counter-productive, and whether drivers take more care around riders without them

The article recommends reading the whole report, we recommend taking a look at both if you have the time. Interesting stuff!

Not Rubbish At All!

Waste removal firm O’Donovan have won favour among London cyclists by investing in three Mercedes Econic trucks, featuring better views and safety standards than other similar trucks.


The firm hope that the Econic will increase safety of cyclists on London’s roads, and say they believe Mercedes’ cabs “really are safer”. They also mention their intent to give their drivers “the best training” – admirable, and we hope others follow suit.

Commentators on the article make the important point that even with such changes, cyclists still have an important part to play in staying safe on roads. We agree!

Our story of the week

This week’s top story is from Google, and is one of their better-advised April Fools jokes showing nifty, although sadly fake, technology. It would be fantastic if it existed, and it’s a good thought exercise showing possibilities in the future of cycling. Much better than their Minion Mic Drop prank which, according to the news, caused massive controversy and may have cost some people their jobs!


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