Father and son cycle round town dressed as Batman + Robin to cheer people up; 72% of bike businesses report losses; RAB postponed until 2021;De Gendt hopes Bkool can handle huge power; Mikel Landa shows what he thinks of the turbo + more on the live blog

Friday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty (from his living room of course) with the odd break to fetch supplies, spin the legs on the turbo and go for that one blessed hit of permitted outdoor exercise ...
03 April 2020, 17:10
Father and son cycling around Trowbridge dressed as Batman and Robin "to cheer people up"

Steve Smart and his son are hoping to make a difference in their community during the coronavirus crisis, by cycling around the Somerset town of Trowbridge dressed as Batman and Robin with music blaring to put a smile on the faces of locked down residents. 

He told Somerset Live: "I've been taking my boy out on our bike and he loves all superheroes and is always dressing up; so I thought why not try cheering people up by being Batman and Robin, and putting on a little theme music to go along with it. A lot of kids I'm sure will love seeing us come up and down their street.

"Times are hard on a lot of people so something small can help make somebody's day."

Steve has also said he and his son will continue taking their trips in costume around the local area, using an hour every day to ride around various Trowbridge estates. 

03 April 2020, 16:58
Deloitte Ride Across Britain postponed until 2021
RAB Scotland Day 2.jpg

Suspending all their six events with five of those now not set to take place until next year, Threshold Sports have postponed the Ride Across Britain until 4th-12th September 2021. 

In a statement they said: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but after detailed discussion and listening to feedback from you the participants, we believe it is the best option to protect the interests of everyone involved, including the general public. We strongly believe we all have a responsibility to tackle this challenge together. The pressure on the core Threshold team and our wider network of incredible suppliers has never been greater as we look to respond to a rapidly changing situation.

"Our aim remains to make our 2021 events the best yet, just a little later than we all hoped."

03 April 2020, 15:25
72% of cycling businesses showing decline in revenue, finds survey... but 95% are confident of survival
Bike shop interior (CC BY-ND 2.0 jun.skywalker:Flickr).jpg

While some corners of the bike industry were reporting a lift in sales of indoor trainers after lockdown measures were enforced, it's not all good news as a survey by Cycling Industries Europe found that 72% had seen a decline in revenue. 

The survey found that most businesses including shops and brands had evolved to survive the crisis, but workforces, marketing activity and investment are expected to be hit longer term. CIF say most companies are in their "survival" stage of the crisis, and worldwide the industry has been lifted by classing bike shops as essential; some in the UK even reported being busier than ever as the isolated public turn to two wheels to get their once-daily permitted exercise fix, and more key workers are cycling to avoid public transport. 

67% of companies surveyed had applied for state aid to weather the storm, and 41% had reduced their workforce. 13% reported been down in revenue by as much as 80%. bikeshare has been heavily affected with 79% of companies reducing staff, and up to 400,000 cycling tourism jobs are at risk across Europe. 

It's not all doom and gloom, with 95% of cycling businesses confident they can pull through the crisis. CIE Chief Executive Kevin Mayne said: “Thanks to CIE’s members we can publish the first report that shows the impact of COVID-19 right across European cycling businesses. Their leadership means that we can understand the scale of the challenge and direct our resources to where they can most help businesses to survive and recover. Our industry needs this information now."

03 April 2020, 14:31
"The Race that Never Was": Rapha release Cape Epic documentary... even though it never happened

Considering the race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rapha's latest Gone Racing episode isn't a bad watch - we're treated to Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes' prep for the off-road ultra race, before being abruptly told it's not going ahead... 2021?

03 April 2020, 14:20
Jeremy Corbyn stands down
Jeremy Corbyn on GoogleStreetView.JPG

Corbyn is on his bike after nearly five years as Leader of the Opposition... wonder if he'll treat himself to a nice new shiny carbon number now he may have more time on his hands?

03 April 2020, 14:15
Strava launch NHS Active challenge and fundraising page to suppport NHS workers
nhs active - via Strava.PNG

Strava in the UK are asking us to commit to at least 10 minutes a day of responsible, socially-distanced exercise and donate £5 to show support for NHS workers during the pandemic. 

The challenge runs for 12 days, and all you have to do to join is upload an activity - more info via Strava here and the fundraising page is here

03 April 2020, 13:18
Zipp launch new Vuka range for TT bikes
VukaShift AXS 90

Front-end integration is nothing new on TT bikes. Hiding more things from the wind helps with aerodynamics and that’s precisely what Zipp is attempting this their new range of TT bars.

Eating for cycling: time trials — get the best fuel to beat the clock

VukaShift AXS  90 Mount

Most notably, Zipp has designed a set of extensions that can house the brains of a Sram eTap AXS groupset. The carbon extensions come complete with a set of Sram Clics extension-end shifters as well as Sram Clics buttons for shifting at the brake lever. They have a 90mm rise and an integrated computer mount.

They cost £750 and Zipp says that they’ll work with 90% of the integrated aerobar systems currently on the market. Crucially, Zipp say, this removes the need for a Blip box.

Marcin Bialoblocki rides 100 mile time trial in 3:13:37, smashing the British competition record

Zipp base bar Vuka AERO

The new Vuka Aero base bar is also carbon and designed to hide your Sram Blip box inside the centre cap nose cone. According to Zipp, “the Center Cap smooths the center of the bar into the CFD proven wingshape of the bar”. You also get “market-leading adjustability in pad fore-aft, width, height and angle” for your £895.

Zipp Vuka Clip-Ons

While those rather pricey options are rather eye-catching, Zipp has also released a new aero aluminium base bar, carbon and aluminium extensions without the eTap AXS integration, and a new Vuka aluminium set of clip-on extensions.

03 April 2020, 13:42
When it rains in quarantine


23 day of the QUARANTINE? suddenly the RAIN #cycling #cycle #RIMINI #fixedgear #fixed #bike #rain #quarantine

A post shared by DAFNE FIXED (@dafnefixed) on

The folks at Dafne Fixed are feeding us plenty of mental lockdown-related content, such as simulating a downpour and heading to bed on the turbo... 



Good Night #roller #bike #fixedgear #bike #RIMINI #cycling #cycle

A post shared by DAFNE FIXED (@dafnefixed) on

03 April 2020, 13:41
The life of a cyclist in lockdown
03 April 2020, 13:04
"Don't go to the bakery hungry" says G

Eagle-eyed Steven Kruijswijk also spotted the hairbrush at the rear of this mouthwatering photograph of baked goods. 

03 April 2020, 11:33
Thomas De Gendt hopes Bkool can handle his huge power for virtual Tour of Flanders after 'breaking Zwift' earlier this week

In a boxing-style trashtalk during a live video 'press conference' held by Sporza, De Gendt referenced his Zwift ride earlier this week that was flagged as suspicious due to his monstrous power output, and hopes that Bkool's system can handle him a little better. 

De Gendt boasted in front of his virtual rivals Wout van Aert, Jasper Stuyven, Remco Evenepoel and Ruben Van Gucht: "I will test again today or tomorrow whether this system BKool can handle my values." 

The Lockdown Edition of the Tour of Flanders will take place over the final hour/last 32km of the race at 3.30pm on Sunday 5th April, with 13 pros taking part. Organisers promise a special event, with radio coverage via and the race live on Bkool's training platform. 

03 April 2020, 12:32
Multitasking during lockdown

Human exercise done? Check.
Canine exercise done? Check.
Essential shopping bought? Check.
Maintaining social distancing? Check.

Elodie Kew Bridge
03 April 2020, 12:20
Just the dog surveying the works for London's Cycleway 9

London's Cycleway 9, which will run from Kew Bridge to Olympia, is starting to take shape ... although work is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here's the dog casting an eye over the protected lanes being put in at the junction at the north end of Kew Bridge ...

Elodie Cycleway 9
03 April 2020, 12:10
Brentford's new stadium has double-deck bike parking

Championship club Brentford FC's new stadium by Kew Bridge is nearing completion - and yesterday we spotted that it has double-deck bike parking. Handy for anyone who will be travelling there next season via Cycleway 9, which is currently under construction ...

Brentford FC bike parking
03 April 2020, 11:45
Brompton's crowdfunder to deliver free bikes for NHS staff nears its target

Brompton's mission to deliver up to 1000 bikes to support NHS staff to travel for free during the COVID-19 pandemic is nearing its £100,000 target, with over £92,000 raised at the time of writing - click here to donate to WheelsForHeroes. 

03 April 2020, 09:26
Mikel Landa really doesn't like the turbo trainer

In this somewhat disturbing 26 seconds of europop-soundtracked madness, we witness Bahrain–McLaren's Spanish superstar destroying (or about to destroy) an old-school turbo trainer, interspersed with rather distasteful footage from a funeral. 

Clearly Landa isn't a fan of being confined to his household, but was there any need for this weird clip? Hopefully he didn't actually destroy the trainer, as most bke shops are clean out and someone could probably make use of it... 

03 April 2020, 09:08
Breaking news: Tour de Suisse ONLY JUST CANCELLED

A month ago, the cancellation of a major event on the UCI calendar would have been big and shocking news... nowadays in this strange news world, the big event news of the day is that the Tour de Suisse has only just been officially cancelled. A statement from the Tour de Suisse Co-Managing Director Olivier Senn says:

"It was with a heavy heart that we have made this decision due to the Corona pandemic. We are however convinced that it is the best solution to provide certainty and thus planning security for participants, fans and partners. For the Tour de Suisse, it is also an important step to ensure the continuation of this event in the future."

The only significant thing we can pick out is that this definitely puts another nail in the coffin of the also yet-to-be-officially cancelled Tour de France. As the Tour de Suisse is a major build-up race, this means there's even less chance for riders to be in any way prepare for a three week Grand Tour, and the Tour de France cancellation is almost becoming inevitable. 

Does this mean our little April Fool's joke is another step closer to becoming a reality? Tour du Zwift here we come... 

03 April 2020, 08:52
Trust Performance "utterly and completely gutted" as they shut down due to coronavirus

A catalogue of "unexpected factors" have led to the collapse of the Utah-based suspension fork specialists, which began when parts of their Asian supply chain began to shut down in January due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They say the company has officially "paused" and hope to be back in some capacity after the pandemic is over, saying: "We have given every waking hour over the past few months to find a path forward, but to no avail. Trust Performance, like the rest of the world, will be a different company when life is back to normal."

Despite some retailers and manufacturers reporting a boom as people purchase items for indoor cycling, this isn't the first bike industry business to fall victim to the crisis and won't be the last - will have a full story later today. 

03 April 2020, 07:51
Man riding from Sheffield to London and back (virtually) to raise money for the homeless during pandemic
richard walker virtual sheffield to london - via justgiving.PNG

Richard Walker will 'set off' on his 320 mile trip on Sunday morning, and hopes to complete his virtual journey from Sheffield to London and back in under 24 hours. 

He's fundraising for Crisis to raise vital funds for the homeless, who he says are more likely to suffer from respiratory conditions, are unable to wash their hands thoroughly and unable to self-isolate. If you want to donate to the cause, head over to Mr Walker's JustGiving page

03 April 2020, 07:42
Pedal Me put 21st century logistics into action

The e-cargo courier and taxi firm have been putting their load-carrying ability to good use during the coronavirus pandemic, delivering food parcels to those who are self-isolating. The bikes can pretty much carry a car's worth of goods...

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 was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the 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. 

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