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London Edinburgh London cyclist breaks bike, builds up new one, finishes anyway; Dan Bigham attempting Hour record next week; Mads 'Picasso' Pedersen; Mayor of Okehampton talks cycling; Ride with Pidcock (on Zwift, in a heatwave); + more on the live blog

It's Friday, everyone's off on holiday so Jack Sexty is running a slightly reduced live blog service for you today, with a terrible connection (cheers BT). It'll be fun, promise...
12 August 2022, 14:40
Jean-Jacques Sempé, France's most famous cartoonist who created numerous great cycling illustrations, dies aged 89
Jean Jacques_ Sempé - CC BY-SA 3.0 wikimedia commons

Sempé died a few days before his 90th birthday, and as well as his children's book illustrations and works depicting the countryside and cities, he also created over 100 covers for the New Yorker, including a number of cycling-themed ones... 

12 August 2022, 14:34
Michael Hordern on an ice cream trike? BBC Archive, you're spoiling us!

For many he was a theatre giant and the voice of Paddington Bear, but did you know the late great Sir Michael Hordern also used to ride around an airfield on a trike to prepare for World War Two? Enjoy this delightful footage from 1981... 

12 August 2022, 13:31
#WATCH out for Chris Froome at the Vuelta

Apparently Chris Froome is ready for the rest of the season, and his watch sponsor Withings definitely had absolutely nothing to do with him telling us so on social media. Between this and the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot, we're also looking forward to the cycling next week and the additional promotion it will bring to luxury wristwear brands. 

12 August 2022, 13:28
More fan mail
roadcc fan mail

Our readers come from all walks of life... keep 'em coming!

12 August 2022, 13:09
Stepan speaks! The guy who broke his bike and built up a new one to finish London Edinburgh London
Stepan Aubrecht LEL bike 4 - credit Stepan Aubrecht.JPG

Thanks to the LEL organisers we've been put in touch with Stepan Aubrecht of the Czech Republic, who was having none of it when his seat stays gave way and simply built a new bike to complete the brutal 1,500km audax. 

> What do you need to ride London Edinburgh London? Matt Page's bike and equipment

For many of us fixing a puncture mid-ride is frustrating enough, but Stepan went into town, bought a frameset and did a full rebuild; this was only just past the halfway point. 

Stepan Aubrecht LEL bike 3 - credit Stepan Aubrecht.JPG

As you can see Stepan didn't scrimp on the new frame he hastily bought, going for a carbon Cinelli Veltrix, and with what looks like Di2 shifters on the tri bars this wouldn't have been a super straightforward rebuild either. Other parts saved from the broken bike include some AbsoluteBlack oval chainrings, Hunt wheels and Alpkit framebags. 

Stepan couldn't speak for long as he tells us he's on his way back to the Czech Republic right now, but says the exhaustion isn't quite so bad because he had "that long stop at Dunfermline"... this definitely calls for a great big chapeau! 

12 August 2022, 12:51
Experience Blackpool illuminations by bike
Blackpool Illuminations Ride the Lights 2019 (VisitBlackpool)

The popular and sometimes notorious seaside town of Blackpool is having its annual illuminations switch on event in September as usual, with comedian Johnny Vegas doing the honours this time. If you have a bike and want to get a preview, though, you can head to Blackpool on Tuesday 30th August when the roads will be closed to motor traffic to give cyclists the chance to enjoy the illuminations three days before the official switch on. Roads are closed to cars from 6.30pm till 10.30pm, and the ride is happening between 7pm and 10pm. 

12 August 2022, 12:42
Must be the heat...

We reckon Killer Steve possibly isn't in on the joke here... 

12 August 2022, 12:20
Another great story from London Edinburgh London

After our own Matt Page became the first to finish earlier this week and another rider decided he was done and donated his bike in Dunfermline, we've just heard the story of Stepan Aubrecht from the Czech Republic who broke his rear seat stays, bought a new frameset, built it up with parts from his old bike and still managed to finish; strangely, this also happened somewhere around Dunfermline.

We'll be looking to speak to Stepan in the coming few days after he's had a rest... it's been an eventful return for LEL that's for sure! 

12 August 2022, 11:46
"Might is not right": one of those new Highway Code rules in action

This is nice to see, although an article we'll be publishing later has a slightly less positive take on how cyclists and pedestrians feel since the Highway Code changes were made earlier this year. Stay tuned... 

12 August 2022, 10:24
Ride with Tom Pidcock... on Zwift, when it's 30c outside
Tom Pidcock on Zwift (Zwift)

To be fair there is some rain forecast on Monday when the Zwift ride is taking place so perhaps it's perfect timing, but even so if you're interested it's going to be a clammy one. Pidcock is leading the ride to celebrate his victory on Alpe d'Huez during this year's Tour de France, which he says was "was one of the best experiences of [his] life."

The ride will of course be on the virtual Alpe du Zwift route, and we have it on pretty good authority Pidders will be pedalling despite his running talents. It starts at 6pm UK time, Monday 15th August, and you can sign up here

12 August 2022, 09:41
The Mayor of Okehampton 'speaks to Australia and New Zealand' in cycling podcast
Mayor of Okehampton Bob Tolley - via facebook
The Mayor in his finest regalia (via Facebook)


We were quite bemused by this headline from Okehampton Today, and had to do a bit of digging...

It turns out Bob Tolley, the Major of Okehampton, was invited onto the Trail Towns podcast to talk about what Devon has to offer for cycling tourists, as the presenters of Trail Towns happened to be visiting. 

After some ribbing of us Brits for not being able to cope with 40c temperatures, the presenters talk to the "anxious" Mayor Tolley from around 29 mins into the podcast, who talks about new infrastructure in Okehampton and the 99-mile Devon Coast to Coast route that passes through the town. Have a listen here, and after that do listen to the Podcast of course if you haven't already... 

12 August 2022, 09:18
Mads 'Picasso' Pedersen

We actually thought this was serious for a minute, but it appears Mads isn't mad and is fully in on the joke. I just sent this to our graphic designer who is taking the rest of the day off to recover from a vicious Comic Sans-related assault... 

12 August 2022, 09:05
Dan Bigham to take on the UCI Hour Record next Friday 19th August
Dan Bigham breaks British Hour Record

Less than a year after breaking Bradley Wiggins' British Hour Record with a distance of 54.723km, the aero supremo and very very good cyclist Dan Bigham will be taking on the world best mark of 55.089km, currently held by Victor Campenaerts.

> Dan Bigham on the podcast

Bigham's day job is as the performance engineer for Ineos Grenadiers, and we're continually impressed by his ability to balance this with being an elite time trial and track rider who is up there with the best. Just last week, Bigham was competing at the Commonwealth Games and was second behind Rohan Dennis through the first checkpoint of the road time trial, before suffering a heavy crash and eventually finishing down in 12th.

Bigham won't be going too far in his search for the perfect high altitude velodrome (Campenaerts' attempt took place in the Velodromo Bicentenario in Mexico) but he will be heading to the suitably high up Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland for his attempt. The day before Bigham broke the British record here last year, his partner Joss Lowden also broke the women's Hour Record with a distance of 48.405km. 

Here is Bigham's full quote we've been sent from Ineos, which seems unusually honest and real for press material apart from the 'timed by Tissot' bit. We doubt he said that...

“The UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot has been a massive thing in my life for the past few years, since I first attempted one as a student in 2014. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing what I can do against the clock again, with the support of the team behind me.
“Physically I’ve moved on since becoming a part of the INEOS Grenadiers. As much as my workload is high, it’s been nice to have everything I do consolidated within one place. It means I can be so much more organised in how and when I can train, while having the full support of the team - not just in allowing me to train, but enabling me to train efficiently. It’s been great to bounce ideas off so many fantastic people within the team and I’ve been welcomed with open arms.
“And having access to all of the team’s partners has been massive for me. The amount of support that Pinarello have put into this project by bringing a new, incredibly high-level bike to the table in such a short space of time is pretty astronomical. We’ve done a huge amount of skin suit testing with Bioracer over the past six months too. It’s been really impressive and I feel like I’m in a really good position on that front. Some of the ideas that we’ve implemented across the whole package have been left field but wholly adopted. It’s been such a progressive project to be involved in.
“We want to create a blueprint for future UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot attempts but it’s not just limited to track - every single week the team are competing in time trials on the road and there’s a huge amount of detail that we’ve gone into that will help improve our time trialling in many different respects. Whether that’s pacing strategies, thermal management or equipment development, it all ties in. There’s so much that we can bring forward to keep the team ahead on the road.”

Anywhere there ya go, something to look forward to next Friday. We haven't been told a time yet but we're presuming it will be in the afternoon, and the attempt will be streamed for free on the Ineos Grenadiers’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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