2009 the best bits… Big Dave's pick, +watt, James Martin and more

Cyclist-hating TV chef and unfortunately-styled nutrition brand among Dave's award winners

by Dave Atkinson   December 29, 2009  

james martin.jpg

Between now and the New Year various members of the road.cc team are picking their most memorable moments from the vast amount of news, review, blogs and features that have appeared on road.cc in the last 12 months. On Boxing Day TR dragged himself away from the turkey leftovers to give us his list and today it's Big Dave Atkinson's turn. Over to you Dave…

It might be a bit of a stretch to imagine that taking up cycling might figure on TV chef James Martin’s list of New Year’s resolutions – although Lord knows, the evidence of the Saturday Kitchen cameras is that he could do with losing a pound or two – but if it did, we know just the sports nutrition supplement to help him grind out the miles.

Martin was forced to issue a hasty (if none-too-sincere) apology earlier this year after recounting in a Mail on Sunday motoring column how he had delighted in scattering a group of cyclists “in fluorescent Spider-Man outfits” while out testing a Tesla Roadster car.

Martin’s tirade against cyclists and subsequent back-tracking means he's a shoo-in for my Big Mouth Twatchef of 2009 award.

Worst Brand Name of The Year Award goes to sports nutrition company +watt, whose stand at Eurobike was besieged not so much by buyers from major retail chains, but by (English-speaking) visitors eager to capture its logo on their cameras, presumably because they feared that without photographic proof, no-one back home would believe them.

Who knows, with the chef being no stranger to the celebrity endorsement circuit – certainly, the china sale at our local department store is stacked high with cut-price products bearing his name – perhaps Martin and +watt could even be a marketing marriage made in heaven?

Stupid Rules & Regulations Award has to go to Prom Wars. Not a grittier version of Disney’s High School Musical, but rather efforts by jobsworth council officials, mainly on the South Coast to combat the ‘menace’ of seafront cyclists – the award is a joint one shared with crackdowns on student cyclists. Not that deploying police officers armed with speed guns to ensure that cyclists are not doing any more than 10mph along Bournemouth seafront could in any way be considered a waste of police resources, of course.

The Least Annoying Round The World Record Attempt of 2009 has to go to James Bowthorpe’s record-breaking circumnavigation under the Globecycle banner, which he completed in September. By implication, that means there should be a Most Annoying Round The World Record Attempt, and regular readers will be aware that the field is rather limited for that one.

Simon Hood’s Bicycle Kicks campaign, which sees the York City fan attempt to ride to and from every one of the team’s matches this season, is a tap-in for Best Charity Ride/Interesting Ride Concept, although the recent cold spell means that Simon is likely to have to put in more miles than originally envisaged to achieve his goal, including the pre-Christmas postponement of the match against Grays Athletic in Essex shortly before kick-off; bad enough if you’ve come down from York in a nice, warm coach, but a real pain if you’ve pedalled through the snow to get there.

Lots of interesting bits of kit has worked its way to road.cc's offices over the past 12 months, so there's a few awards for some of the more striking ones I saw.

The Cervélo S3 stands out for me as Road Bike of the Year, while the Kona Ute – recently deployed on Christmas present-delivering duties by online retailer EthicalSuperstore.com up in the North East picks up the Best Other Bike gong. 

The Top Component seen during 2009 was the Pro-Liite Bracciano Wheelset, while to keep everything nice and safe while stored away at home, the Pragmasis Shed Shackle stood out as Top Security Product. There were plenty of contenders for Best Innovation of the year, and in the end I couldn't decide between the Laser Light Lane or the Trek Speed Concept refinement of the bike manufacturer’s top-end time trial frame, so they are joint winners.

Top Accessory – admittedly, I'd like to find a way to actually use this while on the bike, but you get the idea  – goes to former pro Magnus Backstedt’s Magnus Maximus Coffee. Mind you, I'd be careful not to spill any on the Sugoi Wallaroo 290 Long Sleeve Jersey, which gets the nod as Top Clothing Item.

My Top Cycling Film of 2009 is Stephen Auerbach’s depiction of The Race Across America, Bicycle Dreams  – perhaps they can add my endorsement to the existing seven awards shown on its dedicated website – while the performances of Cav and Wiggo flying the flag at the Tour de France were the Road Racing Moments of the Year.

I'm assuming I can't be the only one hoping that I can single out the same two riders for that award come this time next year?