Join us to mull over this week's slice of cycling life as we catch up on all the events of the week, from the cycling behaviour that’ll get you a ticking off from Chris Hoy, the guide to being a gentleman cyclist that might avoid that fate, Team Sky getting their chamois in a twist over Tramadol and some amazing bargain gear from Aldi
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We began the week with the news that a woman in Canada who killed a teenage cyclist when she ran into him and two of his friends while driving her sports utility vehicle (SUV) is suing his family for more than C$1 million in damages – claiming that “her enjoyment of life has been and will be lessened.”
A local newsapper reports that the lawsuit alleges that due to the incident in which 17-year-old Brandon Majeski was killed in October 2012, Sharlene Simon “has sustained and will sustain great pain and suffering,” including “a severe shock to her system.”
The teenagers were riding three abreast on a rural road as they returned home from a coffee shop at 1.30 in the morning of 28 October when Simons’ Kia Sorrento SUV struck all three from behind.
The impact threw Brandon over the roof of the vehicle and despite the efforts of paramedics at the scene, he died approximately two hours later in hospital.
An investigation by the South Simcoe Police Service held that the cyclists’ “lack of visibility… was the largest contributing factor,” and that “the driver of the Kia did not see the cyclists on the roadway and was unable to make an evasive reaction.”
The big pro news of the week was the allegation from former rider Michael Barry that Team Sky used Tramadol while training and racing.
Team Sky responded saying its policy for the past two seasons is that its riders should not race or train while using the legal but controversial painkiller, and believes it should be banned.
Barry, who retired in 2012 shortly before it was revealed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that he had admitted having used EPO while at US Postal, for which he received a six month ban, had made the claim about the use of Tramadol in his new autobiography, Shadows on the Road.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) does not currently included Tramadol on its prohibited list, but in his book the Canadian describes it as being “as performance-enhancing as any banned drug I had taken” and says that “some riders took Tramadol every time they raced”.
There are concerns over its potential side-effects, which can include lack of concentration and drowsiness, with Lotto-Belisol team doctor Jan Mathieu blaming it for crashes in the Spring Classics and calling for the drug to be banned and also warning it can be addictive.
Barry said: “I used Tramadol at Sky. I never saw it used in training, only in races, where I saw some Sky riders using it frequently.
“The effects are noticeable very quickly. Tramadol made me feel euphoric, but it’s also very hard to focus. It kills the pain in your legs and you can push really hard.
Tuesday brought news taht the supermarket chain Aldi is about to unleash one of its occasional offers of amazingly inexpensive cycling kit. The selection this time includes Lycra shorts for £8, jerseys for £15, shoes for £20 and a softshell jacket that converts into a gilet for just £16.
The new kit goes on sale on Sunday, May 4 and will almost certainly sell out fast if previous Aldi cycling specials are any guide.
Typically, Aldi’s kit is surprisingly good for the money. For these prices you don’t expect Rapha or Assos, but our experience and that of many readers has been that it’s not the total rubbish you’d expect for little more than pound shop prices.
The highlight of the selection this time round looks to be this £15.99 softshell jacket. And it’s not just a jacket: the sleeves unzip so you can use the body on its own as a gilet. It has a dropped tail, grip tape at the back, elasticated panels for a snug fit and it’s claimed to be breathable, waterproof and wind resistant. There are men’s version in black and blue, and a women’s version in... yep, pink.
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has appeared in a video showing how to quickly change and inflate an inner tube, which is in direct response to a similar video featuring Lance Armstrong recently.
You wait ages for former pros to show how to change an inner tube and two come along at once.
If you missed the Lance Armstrong video, you can watch it here.
On Thursday Tesco Mobile channeled French comedian and general madman Remi Gaillard and featuring cyclists in their new #BanishAverage advertising campaign.
DJ from the 90s, actor, and reality TV dabbler, Goldie, emerges from who-knows-where to front the campaign. The golden toothed electronic musician rides shotgun in a truck while a rather eccentric-looking girl rides an exercise bike in the back.
In the advert, which you can see below, seven unwitting commuters are filmed at 5pm on a dreary afternoon. They are overtaken by a man riding a penny-farthing and are then greeted by Goldie, hanging out of the truck.
The production company responsible for the advert, Indy8, were unavailable to comment on the whether or not the commuters in the video are genuinely unwitting cyclists, or whether they’re actors who are being paid to play along jovially.
On Friday the multiple Olympic gold medal winner Chris Hoy put the cat among the pigeons by suggesting that some cyclists are doing the cause no good by their behaviour on the roads.
“When I’m out on a bike and I see someone doing something stupid I will absolutely have a word with them at the next set of lights,” he said in an interview.
Hoy gave a recent example, of a rider he’d chastised while in his home town of Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago.
He said: “There was a guy who was riding like an idiot, jumping lights, cutting up the pavement, and I just said: ‘You’re not helping matters here. If you want respect you have to earn it.’”
The response was stunned silence, perhaps at being told off by Scotland’s most famous cyclist, perhaps in amazement that someone had nothing better to do than police the behaviour of other cyclists.
And we finished the week with a little etiquette lesson, in case any of you felt the need to distinguish his (or her) noble self from the riff-raff.
If so, this short video guide is for you. Learn a standard of behaviour that’ll set you apart in the group, just out on the bike, or off it too, with seven simple steps.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.