Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trees on the horizon

tree, sunbeams, originally uploaded by mike1727.

The Woodland Trust is raising £8.5 million to plant and maintain Britain's largest first of native trees in Sandridge, just up the road from home. It's a great scheme- even if the appeal is a bit late- and will link up many areas of established woodland. I ride through the area pretty much every day, it'll be great to see it develop, and possibly get involved in some of the planting too- we've got an oak tree growing in the garden with nowhere else to go..

Access rights for the public are going to be essential. There are some of rights of way around but few linked up bridleways, so now's the chance to get in and try to get some good routes for all users.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sky to sponsor British Cycling

Despite Cavendish's headlinable sucess on the Tour (and shortly at the Olympics), along with medal winning from the British Cycling team at the worlds (and shortly at the Olympics..) cycling doesn't the mainstream press coverage it deserves in the UK. That's probably something do do with it being UK sportspeople competing in a non-football event.

As of today, Sky became the 'Principal Partner' for British cycling, from Olympics to the grass roots in all disiplines. Sky is also sponsoring the London "Freewheel' event on September 21st- a mass ride from 38,000 people on closed roads in the centre of London.

Media sponsorship is good news when seen against the wider scene of Sustrans connect2 scheme providing high profile cycing facilities, ongoing resurgence of the Tour of Britain (in London 7th September), infrstructure building in Cycle Demonstration Towns and a stack of other activities going on.

Britishcycling.org.uk says:

"Every level of the sport is set to benefit from the investment, from the Elite Team of World, Olympic and Paralympic cyclists to British Cycling’s talent development programmes and grass-roots initiatives in schools and local communities. The partnership will cover all forms of the competitive sport from BMX to track cycling and road racing, with the aim of bringing on the elite teams and accelerating the development of emerging talent.

The partnership also aims to build on Britain’s love of cycling with participation programmes in schools, youth clubs and the wider community to encourage everyone to get cycling. In addition to its financial investment, Sky will use its marketing expertise and relationships with one in three families across the UK to help British Cycling to encourage participation in cycling for sport and leisure among people of all ages and abilities. "

Friday, July 18, 2008

..he continues

Cavendish takes stage 13.
Number 4.

It's uphill towards the Alps tomorrow, so a cav win is pretty unlikely. Will he hold on through the Alps in order to to go for the fifth win on the Champs Elysee?

WIll he ride the tour of Britain in September?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


TDF-2008-FRA-CYCLING-SPRINT, originally uploaded by mpmcgaughey.

Impossible to say anything else- go Cav go!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Mark Cavendish, originally uploaded by SPVW.

A Brit with a second stage?

I didn't see it, and I missed watching the highlights, though I'll be watching then later.

But, wft? This isn't meant to happen. Not in road cycling.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

GO CAV! (Allex le Rosbif!)

Tour2008_Day5_18, originally uploaded by sean's jawns.

Atfer frustration in last year's Tour and near misses this year team Columbia propelled Mark Cavenish to the stage win. It was a classic sprint finish- all members of the team at the front of the peloton, dragging the breakaway back and launching Cav towards victory. It was a well-deserved win from a rider making his way up through the sprinterati, let's just hope he doesn't let it go to his head.

Team Columbia, ex High Road, ex T-Mobile. Shame we lost the sponsorship, otherwise today would be party time at work.

With three riders in the top 10, Bob Stapleton's prediction of a high performance team in January last year was just right.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Armchair tour de France

Tour de France Land Art, originally uploaded by Anduze traveller.

ITV 4 is doing a good job with Tour de France coverage this year, and expanding into covering the Tours of Britain and Ireland in late summer/autumn. TDF coverage is the time-honoured 7pm-8pm highlights spot, combined with weekend live coverage. If you've got Sky or Virgin cable you can click through to live coverage using the red button.

Beyond race coverage, ITV are showing some cycling related material too. After the highlights program on the opening day they showed a documentary about a British competitor in the Race accross America, followed by The Science of Larnce Armstrong the other night and Chris Boardman's 'The Hour' coming an a week or so. A year's worth of normal terrestial TV cycling coverage in a month..

Monday, July 07, 2008

St. Albans Grand Prix - 2008

St. Albans Grand Prix - 2008, originally uploaded by Jason Means.

That's St Albans, West Virginia.

I want to move.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The curve of courtesy

citycycling has a good piece this issue, writing about the differences in overtaking behaviour driven by traffic conditions/roadspeed and the blissful effect of dropping traffic volumes caused by school holidays, which are soon to be upon us.
In general, drivers lighten up a bit during summer holidays, giving cyclists and pedestrians a bit more space in urban areas, but put in the country lanes- or anywhere where traffic conditions are really light and there aren't many cyclists (some) drivers still drive like arseholes.
Read the article- and citycycling.

Back on the road

I'm two weeks into my return to cycling. My legs are tired and I've covered maybe 60-70 miles this week with bugger all weight loss- though there may be signs that muscles are slowly firming. Oh well, things are going to take time I expect now I'm past 40- the age at which returning to fitness and losing weight see to take longer than previosly experienced.

Riding's ok; country lanes around here are good to ride, but the hills- such as they are- have me reaching for the lowest gears, especially the steepish hill out of Wheathampstead and the little steep bastard at Waterend (where I got a rest fixing a puncture last week) have me reaching for the granny gear. Still, at least this week I've started using the big chainring on the flat, having forsworn it last week in an attempt not to cripple myself. More of the same next week, 10-15 miles on the way home in just under an hour at a nice slow pace, then starting to throw in a few lunchtime rides the week after. Sadly my heart rate monitor is still knackered so no stats as yet.