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Man charged over robbery at Mark Cavendish's family home; Do you weigh your bike like this?; G signs Ineos contract extension; Exercise bike seats spotted at McDonald's; Cycling Santa; Cracked collarbone Christmas; Weekend round-up + more on the live blog

Happy Christmas (week)... kicking things off this morning is Dan Alexander before Jack Sexty makes a return to the blog this afternoon
20 December 2021, 16:33
Fancy coaching Jason Kenny?

Jason and Laura Kenny were front and centre of SPOTY last night, without actually being nominated...

Jason said he's not sure if another Games is on the cards due to the process required of being at the top of the game for three years, battling off all the young, ambitious talent coming through the British Cycling ranks.

You could be part of that process too, if you meet British Cycling's high standards...

They're advertising a vacancy for "a world-class coach looking to help athletes achieve ground-breaking performances".

"We're looking for two Podium Sprint Coaches to join the Great Britain Cycling Team with the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympics on the horizon."

Warning: once not coming last in the group ride town sign sprint probably won't cut it...

20 December 2021, 15:58
You'll never guess the make of today's 'but cyclists' special
20 December 2021, 14:55
Statement from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Transport for London funding

The Government is still refusing to properly fund Transport for London which has been severely affected by COVID, yet again only providing a short-term funding deal that will only last a matter of weeks. This means that nothing has changed in terms of TfL having to plan on the basis of a managed decline of the capital’s public transport network.

As a condition of the emergency short-term funding TfL needs to avoid collapse, the Government is forcing us to raise additional revenue in London through measures, like council tax, that will unfairly punish Londoners for the way the pandemic has hit our transport network. Despite these measures, only a long-term funding deal with the Government, including additional capital funding, will be enough to avoid significant and damaging cuts to tube and bus services.

The Government needs to realise that a properly-funded transport network in London is an issue of great national importance. TfL has a critical role to play in driving the economic recovery in both the capital and the rest of the country. London’s net contribution to the Treasury was £36bn in the year before the pandemic, and TfL contracts contribute around £7bn to the UK economy while supporting 43,000 jobs around the country.

The COVID pandemic is the only reason TfL is facing a financial crisis, and it’s clear the pandemic is far from over. The Government’s short-term deals are trapping TfL on life support, rather than putting it on a path to long-term sustainability. This damaging, unnecessary and clearly politically driven approach cannot continue. Over the next seven weeks, I urge Ministers to start engaging with TfL and City Hall in good faith so that we can finally agree a long-term funding deal that will protect London’s transport network – for the sake of the capital and the whole country."

20 December 2021, 14:42
UK has seventh highest luxury car density in the world
BMW X7 ( study)

New research from into the luxury car density of countries around the world has found that the UK has the seventh highest luxury car density, with 40 people for every luxury car. Luxembourg can 'boast' it is the world's luxury car capital, with the equivalent of 13 people to every luxury car. 

Neighbouring Belgium was second with 31 per car, while the Germans took third. The study compared the last four years of car sales data in each nation with its overall population to reveal countries with the highest amount of luxury cars per person.

The full research + list of highest density countries can be read here...

20 December 2021, 14:26
Geraint Thomas signs new contract to stay with Ineos Grenadiers until 2023
Geraint Thomas contract extension (Image: Ineos Grenadiers)

Geraint Thomas has put an end to the off-season transfer speculation by signing a new two-year deal with Ineos Grenadiers. Thomas will have been with the team for 14 years by the end of 2023, making him the only rider to have been with the team since its inception in 2010.

> Geraint Thomas has bike stolen on coffee stop – but gets it back later the same day

The 35-year-old is keen to stress he doesn't plan on slowing down just yet, and has some new goals to compliment his Tour de France campaign. "Obviously I had a tough end to 2021," G said. "But up until the crash at the Tour, I was in the best shape I’d been. I’m still very motivated to perform in the biggest races. I’ll probably look at doing the Ardennes which I’ve never done properly. That’s exciting and new, and hopefully then go on the Tour to play a big role there.

"I'm super excited about the last few years of my career with the team. It’s going to be fun - that’s the main thing. People keep asking me what my role will be and obviously I want to keep winning myself, but being a part of a winning team and having fun with some of my best mates is as important - ​​and to do that I’ll need to be at my best."

20 December 2021, 13:14
Do you weigh your bike like this?
Bike weighing (Howard Le)

Our Christmas gift to you is this ingenious bike-weighing trick. I say 'our' gift. All credit must go to Howard Le who posted this pic in the Canyon Aeroad, Ultimate & Endurance owners Facebook group. No more weighing yourself while clumsily holding your bike to work out the difference. If you've got the scales (that probably need to go heavier than this feather-light 6.499kg) and the surface, then it should work for you.

Unfortunately my kitchen scales don't go high enough to work out my not-so-light set-up. Anyway, that gives me an excuse for getting dropped, so who's the real winner?

Howard's Canyon caught our eye, not just for his weighing skills, but also the number on the scale. Pretty light for the spec, he tells us it's a 2xs sized frame with Sram Red eTap 11-Speed, plus Quarq power meter, Zipp NSW 303, ULTIMATE USE Evo seatpost, S-Works power saddle and Zipp Alumina bottle cages. Not too shabby...

20 December 2021, 11:02
Man charged over robbery at Mark Cavendish's family home

A man will appear in court today charged with robbery in connection with the burglary at Mark Cavendish's family home last month. Romario Henry, 30, was arrested on Saturday and will appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court charged with two counts of robbery. 

Two 27-year-old men, one from Gillingham and one from Camberwell, were also arrested last week. They have been released on bail until 12 January.

Two weeks ago, Cavendish revealed he was “violently attacked” by an armed gang of four masked men that had broken into his home and threatened his wife and children before ransacking the house.

> Mark Cavendish “violently attacked” in armed robbery at his Essex home

The break-in happened while Cav was recovering from injuries sustained at the Ghent Six Day, including two broken ribs.

“Amongst what was taken, were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home," the 36-year-old wrote on social media.

Essex Police stressed the investigation is ongoing and urged anyone with information about the incident, or who was in the Ongar area between 2am and 2.40am on 27 November, to contact Loughton CID quoting reference 42/275184/21.

20 December 2021, 12:00
Weekend round-up: "Shameful" barriers to disabled cyclists; Wout van Aert's Cervélo goes on sale; How to ace the Rapha Festive 500 + more
Wout Van Aert on Stage 11 of 2021 Tour de France 02 A.S.O., Pauline Ballet

It's time for your (slightly later than usual) weekend round-up...

20 December 2021, 11:41
DT Swiss extends Ratchet LN kit with road-specific option
DT Swiss Ratchet

DT Swiss has extended its Ratchet LN upgrade DIY kit to more riders with new road-specific options. The kit, which starts at £79.99, enables the conversion of DT Swiss pawl hubs to the freehub Ratchet System.

"Pawl freehub systems create relatively small engagement surfaces, which result in higher stress on the contact area," DT Swiss notes. "The Ratchet System is extremely reliable due to the simultaneous engagement of the ratchets, as the force is distributed evening over a large area."

As the Ratchet System is modular, DT Swiss says the engagement angle and the freehub body can be easily adjusted.

You can find out more about the Ratchet LN tech here and this video demonstrates how to do the conversion.

20 December 2021, 10:27
When all your reindeer are isolating...

He's going to need a big cargo bike if the reindeer are on strike... 

20 December 2021, 09:49
Cracked collarbone Christmas

Young Brit Fred Wright is trying to see the positives of this unwanted Christmas cracker...a few more days off...maybe Bahrain Victorious will send him a new turbo trainer for Christmas...

20 December 2021, 08:38
Have you earned that Big Mac? Exercise bike seating spotted at McDonald's

There's something very Black Mirror about the dystopian Netflix series' capitalism-criticising '15 Million Merits' episode, fictional contestants earned credits by spinning on a stationary bike which could, if you had enough, be spent on entering a talent show for a shot at escaping the hamster-wheel lifestyle...see where I'm going...

No talent show, but keep pedalling and you might have earned another bite of that Big Mac. Black Mirror tangent, addressed. Onto my second thought, where can one buy such an appealing Maccy D's home trainer. Tacx, Elite and Wahoo must be quaking in their boots at this one...

This is apparently from Shanghai, well, it wouldn't be here in the UK would it? Imagine the outrage. Good luck getting a bike rack, let alone cycle seating.

McDonald's made a few headlines over the years on, largely due to their refusal to let people on bikes use the drive-through. Back in July last year the fast food chain told a Stoke cyclist it was "unsafe" for him to pedal through the drive-through, although motorcyclists are allowed.

> McDonald's tells cyclist it’s “unsafe” for him to use drive-through

Similarly, in January, a Congleton cyclist accused McDonald's of discriminating against people who choose to avoid driving for unnecessary journeys. The Golden Arches (or Ronald McDonald, depending on your viewpoint) replied saying the decision is "for the health and safety of our people and our customers."

Of course, if you build a pedal-powered car then that can come through... 

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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