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Welcome to Wednesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty, Simon MacMichael and the rest of the team. 

Live blog: 

20/11/2019, 20:37

See.Sense AIR anti-theft bike tracker doubles Kickstarter target – in 24 hours

Northern Ireland-based See.Sense is no stranger to Kickstarter – its range of bike lights have been successfully launched through the crowdfunding platform. Now, its latest product, the AIR bike tracker has doubled its fundraising target just a day after its launch.

See.Sense Air

At the time of writing, it has raised pledges of more than £40,000 against a £18,000 goal. According to the company,

AIR is the first dedicated bike tracking device to be built on the new Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) low power wide area network (LPWAN).

LPWA was the missing link in creating a truly effective bike tracking device; under LPWA, See.Sense AIR can connect wider and deeper across the network for a fraction of the power required under the old technology.

This means a properly effective bike tracker is now viable for the very first time. AIR’s coverage is powered by the Vodafone NB-IoT network, which is launching in Europe in early 2020 and into the USA later in the year; See.Sense Kickstarter backers will be the first to experience AIR across these territories. The device was validated by early access to the Vodafone IoT lab in Newbury, enabling See.Sense to develop against the new NB-IoT standard before the network is fully rolled out.

CEO Philip McAleese said: “We’re totally fed up with bike vandalism and theft; even the best locks and chains can’t stop a bike being damaged or stolen. Our See.Sense lights brought a new solution to an old problem through technology and innovation and we always wanted to do the same in the bicycle security space. Now is the perfect time.

“AIR was developed after listening to what our cycling community wanted. It’s a smart device, reacting automatically to its situation. If the bike is moved or tampered with, AIR will sound an alarm and send an SMS to the rider; we call this ‘Fight Mode’.

“If the bike is stolen, AIR will detect this, switching in to ‘Flight’ setting, rapidly transmitting high-powered tracking signals to allow the owner to quickly and accurately locate their bike to the nearest couple of metres. This tracking information can then be passed to local police increasing the chances of recovery. We believe it’s a game-changer.”

20/11/2019, 19:54

This looks like a lovely place to ride a bike

20/11/2019, 19:37

Happy Transport Planning Day! This cartoon nails it when it comes to new housing...

20/11/2019, 17:00

Brace yourself for the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships

The event wil be held in Basel between 6-8 December, featuring delights such as Cycleball and Artistic Cycling... 

20/11/2019, 16:43

Commitment...

20/11/2019, 15:00

New Arizona housing development will be "first car-free neighbourhood built from scratch in the US"

While the US doesn't have the best reputation for bike-friendliness and active travel, this new neighbourhood being developed in Arizona could be a step in the right direction.

Culdesac say their Culdesac Tempe site will be home to over 1,000 residents, and cars are banned with no parking spaces available. Instead they will offer a range of services including bikes and scooters, ride sharing and an on-site light rail stop to make it easy for residents to get around without needing private cars. More than half of the land area will also be covered in landscaping, public courtyards and greenery, as opposed to mostly concrete pavement in car-centric neighbourhoods. 

Culdesac founders Ryan Johnson and Jeff Berens say of their development: "At Culdesac, we see a way out of this cycle and it starts with transportation. How we move determines how we live, and how we move is changing.

"We’re undergoing the first major shift in transportation since the interstate highway system. Private car ownership is giving ground to transportation that is on-demand, shared, and (on average) more environmentally friendly. That 1-mile trip to get ice cream is increasingly happening on shared bikes, electric scooters, or on foot. Lyft Shared and Uber Pool make daily trips more affordable.

"Culdesac is the first post-car real estate developer in the US. We want to demonstrate a new possibility for formerly car-centric cities."

20/11/2019, 15:40

Good point!

20/11/2019, 16:56

Sandstorm

20/11/2019, 15:58

Steve Cummings' palmares

The popular rider from the Wirral has retired from pro cycling aged 38. 

20/11/2019, 14:19

Ineos sign promising Spanish youngster Carlos Rodriguez

The 18-year-old Spaniard has signed his first full pro contract with Ineos, and will also carry on studying for a degree in engineering. He said: “I am under no illusions it is a big step up to the professional level. The training is going to be harder and the races much faster. I think that if I work hard, step by step, I can progress and adapt myself to the World Tour. That’s my main objective for the next few seasons and I’m in the best place to do that.” 

20/11/2019, 13:26

Team Retiree?

Wonder if Steve Cummings would still be propping up the rear? 

20/11/2019, 14:50

Dedication...

20/11/2019, 12:50

How do Strava gather their data? Here's what they told us...

strava commute

Scroll down to the comments and some of our readers were discussing exactly how Strava come up with their stats and figures on cycle commuting habits (that Bristol has the most cycle commuters per 1000, for example); because of course, not everyone uses Strava. And what if you don't tag your commute as a commute? Here's what they told us... 

"Strava use Strava data only. Research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that Strava Metro data closely resembles Census data about biking and walking activity by the general public.

"Since not all Strava members use the commute tag — and definitions of a commute vary — we can use a variety of other techniques to identify these trips. For instance, using the straight-line distance between the latitudes & longitudes of where a trip begins and where it ends. When that distance is greater than 1 kilometer, that activity is likely a commute. In order to exclude false positives such as long point-to-point races, we can further filter for long-distance rides that would be indicative of a non-utilitarian trip. Meanwhile, the trips that community members have tagged commutes serve as an essential ground truth to validate and improve different models we use over time."

There's some more in-depth info on Strava's Metro site here

20/11/2019, 12:25

Laura Kenny launches free weekly cycling lessons, as alarming stats find only 4% of women feel comfortable cycling on the road

Laura Kenny Jump 2

We've gone stat mad this morning, and these latest ones make for pretty depressing reading for women's cycling - although Laura Kenny in partnership with Jump (Uber's bikeshare scheme) and Cycle Confident is looking to do something about it by launching free cycling lessons in London that will take place every evening next week. 

Jump's research found that just 4% of women said they feel confident riding a bike on the road, while 41% haven't ridden a bike as an adult at all because they felt unsafe. Some of the stats include gender comparisons, and found that 40% of men would be willing to cycle to the office compared to just 23% of women, while a quarter of men said they would be comfortable 'cycling anywhere' compared to 9% of women. It was also found that 18% of female respondents said they couldn't ride a bike at all. 

 

Laura Kenny said: “I grew up cycling because my mum wanted to get fit and I got hooked on how it made me feel. I think it’s very important to see more women cycling and to ensure that they feel safe and confident on the roads.

“I had a lot of fun contributing to the lessons with Cycle Confident and hope that the lessons will break down any fears or pre-conceptions that exist about road cycling. I understand that it can feel intimidating, but once you feel comfortable on a bike and get to grips with the rules of the road, it gets easier!”

The Jump lessons will run every night from Monday 25th until Friday 29th November starting outside Highbury Leisure Centre from 6pm - those interested can sign up here

20/11/2019, 11:52

Merlin Cycles' graphic to show health and financial benefits of cycle commuting

Merlin Infographic-V2

Merlin quote the RAC Foundation's research that found 16.7 million drive to work every day, with a huge 73.4% taking the car in rural areas. The stats they've put together claim that a 20-minute bike ride can boost your mood for up to 12 hours, make the brai more alert and increase lumg capacity by 15% in just the second week of cycling to work. ​

The moral of the story? Buy a bike from Merlin Cycles! (Just kidding how cynical of us, cheers for the stats Merlin)

20/11/2019, 11:35

Walking better than cycling for short distances, says Oxford cycle campaigner

Oxford Jesus_College_Oxford - wikimedia commons

The head of the Oxford cycling lobby group Cyclox has said that she'd encourage walking over cycling for short journeys of a mile or less because of the greater health benefits. 

Dr Alison Hill told the Oxford Mail: “If your journey is about a mile walking is actually better for you in health terms than cycling - in terms of energy expended you will be using more walking.

That’s because the bike does so much of the work for you - you need to be travelling at 12mph or more to actually get a bit breathless but you won’t necessarily reach that speed over such a short distance in the city centre.” 

 

She also made comments about dockless bike schemes - of which there are three in Oxford - saying there needs to be greater regulation to stop swathes of bikes being 'dumped' around the city, and that more should be strategically placed around park and rides and residential areas to make best use of them. 

20/11/2019, 08:58

Strava's new Metro 3.0 update with 84 million commutes is 'the world's largest transportation dataset' - and they also reveal UK's top cycling cities

london-cyclists-hyde-park-corner-copyright-britishcycling.org_.uk_

Not content with being the self-proclaim world's largest sports participation platform, Strava also have an urban planning wing to their business - and the new, improved version of Metro 3.0 offers data from over 84 million commutes recorded in 2018, which makes it the largest set of transport data in the world according to Strava. 

The data on Metro 3.0 allows city planners to analyse when, where and how citizens are commuting by bike and on foot to help with building infrastructure and identifying areas where cycling and walking provisions need to be improved - city planners can sign up to get access to the data which shows popular or avoided routes, peak commute times, crossing times and origin/destination zones.

To coincide with the launch of the updated platform, Strava have also mined the 84 million commutes uploaded in 2018 to give us some stats about the UK's commuting habits - they revealed that Bristol is the top city for cycle commuting in terms of numbers, with 28.9 people per 1,000 citizens commuting by bike. Bristol is followed by Newcastle (20.8), and Southampton (16.4), while London is in 6th place with 11.9 per 1000, although the capital has the largest total number of cycle commuters. Manchester and Liverpool have the fewest amongst major cities, with 7.7 and 6.6 cycle commuters per 1000 respectively. 

The data also revealed that the 35-55 age bracket is the most active commuter group, closely followed by 20-35's. Strava also said there was "a clear correlation between the amount invested in cycling infrastructure in urban environments and the concentration of cycling commuters within that city’s population", with cities that have invested more in cycling infrastructure generally having more cycle commuters. ​

 

The UK Country Manager for Strava Gareth Mills said: “If we’re serious about tackling climate change, air quality and the obesity epidemic, we need to improve the commuting experience across the UK. The new Strava Metro 3.0 platform enables a wealth of information which local authorities can use to enhance infrastructure and keep us safe and motivated to ride or run to work. Renewing our partnership with TfL is evidence that our community data can be used for the benefit of everyone who strives for cleaner, safer cities.”

You can take a look at the Metro 3.0 platform and apply if the data might be of use to you or your business here

 

20/11/2019, 08:44

Nothing to see here...

20/11/2019, 08:37

Steve Cummings retires

According to Ned Boulting, Steve Cummings has announced his retirement at the age of 38. Cummings also wasn't named on the NTT (formerly Team Dimension Data) roster for the 2020 season. 

 

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 being Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine, and reports on all things tech as well as editing road.cc's live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. 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.