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All today's news from the site and beyond as we start 2019 with a two-wheeled bang.....

Welcome to road.cc's first live blog of 2019, brought to you by Jack Sexty, Simon MacMichael and contributions from the rest of the road.cc team (assuming they've recovered from New Year's Eve hangovers by now!)

Live blog: 

02/01/2019, 18:12

Mail on Sunday columnist examines "crazed prejudice" against cyclists

We’re used to seeing anti-cyclist rants on Mail Online and its sister print publications, the Daily Mail and Mail of Sunday – so it makes a nice change to see one of the latter’s columnists penning a piece under the heading How Prejudice Against Cyclists Can Make Normal People Go Mad that comes from a bike rider’s point of view and in the process addresses myths such as cyclists “don’t pay road tax” and must ride on shared-use paths where provided, and not the road.

> 10 of the most hysterical anti-cycling Daily Mail headlines

We may not agree with everything Peter Hitchens writes (to put it mildly), but his column published on New Year’s Eve in which he recounts his experience of an aggressive bus driver (and passengers) while cycling in Oxford is well worth a read.

Hitchens says he wrote the story “as an illustration of two things. The first is the madness of crowds, the wild, irrational conformism that infects groups of otherwise perfectly sane people. The second is the crazed prejudice against bicycles and those who ride them, which has infected our country and which (I am sure) the comments on this article will faithfully reflect” (he was correct about that).

Being the Mail on Sunday, there is some unnecessary detail about how the bus driver “was not English,” but Hitchens concludes his column by expressing the hope that “after a bit of thought, he will know better in future” about how to share the road safely with cyclists.

“But will anyone else?” he adds. “Honestly, could this have happened in any country where a prejudice against cyclists was not raging?” He’s got a point.

02/01/2019, 16:25

“Oi’ve got a brand new electric bicycle … “ – Farmers Weekly reviews … an e-bike

We wouldn’t normally flag up a review from another publication, but this one has been grabbing some attention on social media, given it comes from an unlikely source – Farmers Weekly, more likely to be found rating balers, combine harvesters, muckspreaders and other assorted items of agricultural machinery.

The bike in question is an MBM Metis, imported from Italy by Powabyke, and gets the verdict of being “a nippy farm runaround.”

The review says: “An e-bike obviously isn’t going to do any serious work on a farm, but it is a pleasant way of getting around the place and the exercise is a bonus.

“It could also be useful when ferrying machinery back and forth when there isn’t a spare person available to run you around.

“On rough ground, we found the lack of rear suspension made for an uncomfortable ride, so we would probably spend a little more and get a full-suspension version.”

While we may cover Raleigh Choppers here on road.cc occasionally, we’re unlikely to be reviewing mangelwurzel choppers any time soon.

02/01/2019, 13:43

Valverde's new Canyon Ultimate... with a little extra something?

The World Champ's new bike has been revealed, and it appears its rocking Campagnolo's new Super Record 12 speed components... it's only available as a mechanical groupset at the moment to our knowledge, but we've noticed that front mech looks a little different. Something new coming soon perhaps? We'll have more on this later... in fact we've got more on this now – you can read our full story here.

02/01/2019, 14:04

Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo recovering in hospital after being struck by a motor vehicle while cycling

The Mayor of the Californian city, the tenth-largest in the US, was cycling on New Year's day when he was struck by a motor vehicle, and is currently recovering in hospital with his injuries not thought to be 'overly serious'. Liccardo, who describes himself as a 'cycling geek' on his Twitter bio, joked: "All defects to the head were pre-existing conditions". 

02/01/2019, 09:01

Strava_Group Activities-Time and Distance

Got a cycling-related New Year's Resolution? You'll have packed in by the 17th of Jan, according to Strava...

The world's foremost social media platform for cyclists analysed data from nearly 100 million UK uploads in January last year, and discovered the day that shown a significant drop in activity was the third Thursday in January (which falls on the 17th this year)... dubbed 'Quitter's Day' by Strava. The data shown that women are in fact better at keeping to their New Year's fitness resolutions, keeping it up for two days longer than men on average. When it's broken down by age, the 18-29 age group tend to stick to their regime longer than older folk. The graph below also shows that group activities tend to help us stay motivated for longer, say Strava, with cyclists riding 13 extra miles per ride with a group than alone.

If this all sounds like doom and gloom, then in mitigation Strava do say this year's Quitter's Day is five year's later than it was projected to be last year... meaning its users are clinging on to their fitness plans/uploading things to Strava for a little longer than in the past. Will you be proving them wrong? Perhaps a very long ride on the 17th is in order to give the data a good old shake-up...

 

 

02/01/2019, 13:00

A couple of lumps on route...

Wonder how far we could ride up this?

02/01/2019, 13:38

Chris Froome heading out for first training camp of the year in prep for 5th TdF victory attempt

Froome confirmed earlier this week that he'll skip the Giro in 2019 to focus on going for a fifth Tour de France victory, with teammate Geraint Thomas doing the same in a bid to defend his yellow jersey. Definitely not at all awkward...

02/01/2019, 12:02

Battle of the Beach sportive

Battle on the Beach and the Peaky Grinder open for entries (and lots of other sportives no doubt)

The 1st of Jan and with it all the New Year's promises we make to ourselves mean that inevitably, sign-ups to sporting challenges will have gone through the roof in the past 24 hours. Two cycling events that have caught our eye include the Battle on the Beach, returning to Pembrey in South Wales for the sixth time in 2019. It involves three laps of a very gnarly course that features sand dunes and lots of fun singletrack, with entrants tackling it on everything from mtb's, to cyclocross bikes and everything in between with a cash prize of over £1000 for the winner. It takes place over the weekend of 6-7 April, you can enter here

The Peaky Grinder takes place in Derbyshire's Peak District, incorporating some of the county's most fearsome climbs (trust us, the Peaks ain't for the faint-hearted). There are 115km and 85km routes to choose from, and feed stations are purposely omitted until the finish line to encourage riders to support local businesses on route. It's probably the polar opposite of the above event in that there are strictly no winners and it's totally unsupported... "the challenge is riding up some of the Peak’s iconic climbs within the 9 hour time limit", say the organisers Velotastic - it's happening on the 15th September, entries here.  

For a comprehensive list of every type of cycling event you could wish to do/not do in 2019, from 25 mile countryside pootles to outrageously long self-supported audax epics, head over to road.cc's events page

02/01/2019, 08:52

Mesmeric CX stair climbing skills

Thibau Nys decides to ride the stairs instead of make a run for it, and it works a treat. Somehow don't think the result would be quite the same if I tried it!

02/01/2019, 08:56

Meanwhile...

Check out this save from Matieu Van der Poel, as he straddles his saddle and somehow manages to dismount with the ground crumbling beneath him. That's why they say he's 'too good' for cyclocross. 

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.