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Some more facts, figures and lessons we've learned from another week on two wheels.....

1. Forget racing in the real world - we all want to be the Zwift National Champion

Zwift National Championships.png

Zwift National Championships.png

Ok, it's no substitute for getting outside yada yada but virtual riding is now entering another new era of competitiveness with the launch of the Zwift National Championships later this month. The rules look pretty stringent so there's no cheating allowed, technological cheating that is..
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2. This research is yet more evidence to suggest we need to look past helmets to improve cycling safety

City of Phoenix public safety comic.jpg

City of Phoenix public safety comic.jpg

A fixation on cycle helmets is hampering efforts to improve bicycle safety in the United States, according to a professor from the University of Heidelberg. Streets Blog reports how Gregg Culver is arguing that the helmet occupies a special place within official bicycle safety discourse and that this distracts from more effective strategies to improve safety. Is it time to place more emphasis on other safety measures rather than focus on helmet use? This evidence is quite compelling. 
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3. Chris Froome made a powerful 2018 return to racing... 

Velon data for Chris Froome at 2018 Ruta del Sol.jpg

Velon data for Chris Froome at 2018 Ruta del Sol.jpg

Chris Froome got his season underway at the Ruta del Sol in southern Spain yesterday, and power data shown he was able to hold just short of 400 watts for 20mins on his way to finishing safely in the peloton in 57th place. We're not seeing vintage Froome yet, but the fitness is slowly but surely returning.  
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4. But should he be racing? Some think not at the moment

Chris Froome in 2018 Sky kit (via Team Sky)

Chris Froome in 2018 Sky kit (via Team Sky)

Four-time world time trial champion Tony Martin told the Guardian his opinion on Froome's race appearance: “It’s super bad for cycling. I absolutely do not understand why Team Sky came back with Froome when the case remains unclear. It’s a shame.” Philippe Gilbert agreed: “It’s hard to give a view on it,” he said. “But personally I think it’s a big mistake because there is still doubt hanging over him and out of respect for the other riders, he should refrain from racing.”
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5. e-bike racing is a thing now

Hater's gonna hate as the irritating saying goes, but the European Cycling Union (UEC) is to add professional e-road and e-mountain bike races to its calendar for 2019. What a time to be alive!
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6. On the subject of e-bikes, they're looking rather good nowadays 

We haven't seen our own Big Dave Atkinson smile so much while riding a bike, and the new Bianchi Impulso e-Road might just be the most fun thing we've ridden in ages. it don't look half bad either! 
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7. This idea stems from a common modern day problem, and we like it

nrg stem.png

nrg stem.png

While there were some detractors in the comments section, we can see nothing wrong with the idea for this stem that can also charge your devices. We'll be following its development with interest!
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8. Congratulations to the cyclists of Mansfield: you're now able to commit crime and ruin the environment between 6pm-10am!

Mansfield Market Place.JPG

Mansfield Market Place.JPG

As Mansfield  has introduced a partial relaxation of a ban on cycling in the centre, allowing cyclists between the hours of 6pm-10am, Councillor Bill Drewett bizarrely commented that the original move was an effort to "reduce crime and disorder" and "protect the environment". The ban, which previously applied 24 hours a day and was introduced under controversial Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) legislation, sees cyclists who fail to dismount when requested by a council official become liable to a £75 fine.
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9. Australia shows again that it might just be the worst place in the developed world to be a cyclist

Telephone - Licensed CC BY SA 2.0 on Flickr by Sh4rp_i.jpg

Telephone - Licensed CC BY SA 2.0 on Flickr by Sh4rp_i.jpg

Cyclists in Queensland, Australia are being offered counselling and support following road traffic collisions or near misses, with help available around the clock. The telephone-based service has been introduced by campaign group Bicycle Queensland and will be offered to all its 18,000 members and aims to help riders cope with the stress that such incidents can cause. While it's a good thing those affected can get help, it's a sad state of affairs that such a service needs to exists in the first place. 
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10. Discs are under fire again

katie compton disc brake injury.png

katie compton disc brake injury.png

The disc brake debate has hit social media again with cyclocross racer Katie Compton’s husband sharing a gory picture of a badly cut knee, apparently caused by a disc brake rotor. Ouch!
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11. It's never too late

Tour of Cambridgeshire logos.png

Tour of Cambridgeshire logos.png

A woman from Scotland aged in her 70s who has not been on a bike in five decades has set herself the goal of qualifying to represent Great Britain in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy later this year. Janice Houghton-Wallace, who raises poultry at her farm in Dumfries & Galloway, is also raising money for the Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust, a charity that fights asbestosis, having lost her brother to the disease when he was aged 58. She plans to ride the time trial at the Golazo Tour of Cambridgeshire in June in a bid to qualify for the world championships in the 70+ age group for women. Best of luck, Janice! 
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After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.