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Cycling UK urges families to keep riding; British Cycling asks Government to recommend cycling; Zwift rivals offer free options in response to COVID-19; CeramicSpeed links up with eRacing team; "IsolaTTing"; Swiss pro swaps racing for hospital work + more

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
19 March 2020, 21:52
My brother bought a Brompton ...

... and he's worked out what the rear rack is ideal for carrying already 

19 March 2020, 21:36
And talking of family cycling ... here's Thomas De Gendt ...

Includes an AMAZING shoulder barge ...

19 March 2020, 21:00
Cycling UK urges families – Keep riding!

Cycling UK is advising families to keep riding their bikes together, but to follow hygiene advice before setting out.

Family cycling along the Wilmslow Road Cycleway (TfGM)

The charity has updated its advice following consultation with healthcare experts in the wake of the government’s decision to close schools in England, with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales doing likewise.

While Cycling UK has advised groups and clubs to cease events and rides, it says that not all cycling needs to stop, especially given the physical and mental health benefits.

It said: “Experts in healthcare have helped Cycling UK to compile information about precautions to take for those without any COVID-19 symptoms to continue riding during the school closure.

“If your children normally cycle to school, they can continue to ride even if they no longer have face-to-face lessons to go to.

“Provided your children are old enough to go out alone and in good health, Cycling UK is urging parents to arm their children with the right knowledge before letting them out. This includes:

   - Highlighting the importance of keeping two metres’ distance from    others

   - Take tissues with you on the ride and dispose these when used in the    nearest bin

   - Wash their hands and cycle gloves when they return

“Provided everyone is well and not self-isolating because of cough or fever symptoms, riding as a family is also OK says Cycling UK as everyone is already living in close proximity. Unfortunately the traditional café stop on a bike ride is not advised, as the charity asks everyone to follow Government advice and avoid public venues.”

Cycling UK director Matt Mallinder commented: “Being cooped up all day in the same place while absolutely necessary for our physical health, will play havoc with people’s mental wellbeing – especially our young.

“Both Government and health experts have pointed out it’s fine to go out and be active – so long as you take the appropriate precautions, which is why Cycling UK is issuing our guidance for parents who might like to ride with their children or have children old enough to go out by themselves.

“Cycling UK also has plenty of tips for fun and safe activities parents might like to consider when out on their bikes with their families.”

Ypu can find the charity's advice to families during the current crisis here.

19 March 2020, 17:00
Bike stolen from NHS nurse

Looks like she's had a few responses, but probably still worth getting in touch if you're in London and can help her out.

19 March 2020, 16:12
London cyclists (CC licensed by Ambernectar 13:Flickr)
British Cycling asks Health Secretary to recommend cycling as part of Government advice

British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to encourage the Government to add cycling to its recommended activities during the current coronavirus outbreak.

We reported yesterday how the cycling industry is calling for government to treat cycling as a ‘strategic industry’ during any potential lockdown by excluding it from any transport bans and exempting bike shops from business closures.

The current Government advice on social distancing states that you can, “walk outdoors if you stay more than two metres from others,” but does not yet reference cycling.

Writing to the Health Secretary, Harrington said: “As an organisation we are absolutely supportive of the Government’s advice to stop all unnecessary journeys and remain at home in a state of semi-isolation, and we understand this situation may continue for some time.

“While I am glad to see the Government recommend walking as a way to stay active and alleviate some of the issues related to prolonged isolation, I believe it is in all our interests to extend this advice to also include cycling.

“Riding bicycles offers us a unique solution to several of the key challenges facing us. It is a safe form of local transport and gentle recreation, keeping us the required distance from others, while at the same time strengthening our immune systems and bolstering our mental health.

“All of this helps reduce the strain on our NHS and may make people feel more comfortable about spending prolonged periods at home.”

She continued: “This approach is being followed elsewhere, where we have in some cases seen Governments advise their citizens to cycle more. Indeed, Germany's Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn this week appealed for people to walk or cycle rather than use public transport.”

19 March 2020, 16:04
The IGWB trade union, which represents workers in the ‘gig’ economy, has accused Deliveroo of "PR spin" in relation to hardship fund the company has set up for riders affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
19 March 2020, 14:56

Maybe Evans are in denial (and who could blame 'em). To be fair, outside Towers it's wet and cold too

19 March 2020, 14:27
Wahoo's KICKR BIKE Available for Pre-Order in the UK (for three grand)

“This one’s for the obsessed.”

And, priced at £2,999.99, also for the wealthy, you’d have to say.

The unnervingly upper-case KICKR BIKE Indoor Smart Bike and Trainer is now available for pre-order in the UK, having previously been limited to US customers only.

“It is the ultimate product for discerning, data-driven athletes who are ready for a feature-rich, top-quality, responsive, dedicated indoor bike as the new cornerstone of their fitness,” said Wahoo Fitness CEO, Mike Saturnia.

The bike offers integrated grade simulation, both uphill and down.

Front and rear braking means you can control speed just as you would out on the road.

The KICKR BIKE’s gear shifters can be set up to replicate seven different custom gear shifting configurations from Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo.

You can also customise your chain ring and cassette to match your outdoor bike.

You can order the KICKR BIKE at for a mere £2,999.99, with delivery expected from next week onwards.

19 March 2020, 14:10
The cycling industry is calling for government to treat cycling as a tool for resilience during any potential ‘lock down’ in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
19 March 2020, 13:52
Everyone knows that PedalMe can deliver stuff as well as people, right?

They're expanding their area too.

19 March 2020, 13:47
Don’t try this at home: DIY rollers

Canadian MTB reports that the organisers of the Ortler Bike Marathon XCM created a unique set of DIY rollers to keep riding during quarantine.

That’s actual firewood, isn’t it?

We can only presume they’ve accepted how this might end.

19 March 2020, 13:31
BigRingVR launches free challenge and rides

Another freebie from an indoor riding app. (As well as the RGT Cycling thing below.)

BigRingVR has launched ‘This is your World, ride it!’

A spokesperson said: “With cancellation of many cycling events, limitations to ride in groups and in some countries restrictions to even go outside, BigRingVR wants to contribute to live up to regulatory expectations while ensuring you stay safe, fit and do what you love. Ride your bikes!”

The 30-day challenge is accessible for free. Just download the BigRingVR app (no subscription required) and you’ll get access to all 11 rides for the next 30 days.

All rides can be used as LIVE GROUP rides, which allows you to ride with your friends, family or your cycling club. (We’re thinking of maybe doing a jaunt up the Col d’Aspin – what do you reckon?)

Most indoor trainers are supported by the app.

Check the BigRIngVR website for more info.

19 March 2020, 12:26
rgt cycling stelvio_10
Zwift rival goes completely free in response to COVID-19

Usually £12.99 a month, RGT Cycling has announced that it is making all of its Premium features available for free to all indoor cyclists, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as workouts and organising your own events, you can also create your own roads.

Founder and CEO, Alex Serban, said: “RGT was created to empower all cyclists to ride inside in the same way they ride outside. As the impact of COVID-19 is felt around the world, this mission has become more important than ever and after watching inspiring communities come together to support each other, our need to do everything we can to help became obvious.

“At a time when focusing on profit would be easy, this removal of restrictions will provide free access for all and, we hope, offer some support to the cycling community.”

He added: “I really hope that this initiative sets a precedent for others to join our #rideitout movement. We are already in discussions with many of our friends and partners in the cycling industry to encourage and enable them to do more to help the global cycling community at this time.”

More info on RGT Cycling here.

To access it for free, download the app and register for the free subscription. You can get access to the Premium features by sending an empty email to rideitout [at] from the same email account you used to register.

19 March 2020, 12:11
Bike park to close due to pressure on NHS

Ashton Hill bike park is to close until further notice.

They argue that ambulance visits are a regular occurrence during the season and so staying open is irresponsible given the current pressures on the health service.


It is with deep regret that we are announcing that Ashton Hill bike park will remain closed until further notice. We know that many people were looking forward to it opening after putting in hard graft over the winter and it probably formed part of your plans as an escape from potential quarantine at home. However, as I'm sure you're aware, riding parks like ours does come with considerable risk, and every year we see first hand the consequence of those risks, with visits from ambulances becoming an almost regular occurrence during the early part of the season. Given the impact of Coronavirus Covid 19 on our NHS already, we believe it would be highly irresponsible of us to open the park as normal, and therefore risk injury that could result in medical treatment, especially given that routine operations and treatment are already being cancelled. As we all know, our NHS are already stretched too thin, even before this virus hit our shores, and we cannot risk someone's bike related injury diverting precious NHS time and care away from Covid 19 patients that desperately need support. Please do not attempt to ride any sections of the park and please do not attempt to rebuild the jumps. We can't wait to get the park back open again once things have hopefully returned to normal.

A post shared by Belmont Riders (@belmontriders) on

19 March 2020, 11:56
How not to lock up a bike

Found this while on my morning walk.

As my erstwhile colleague Jo Burt points out, they even took the quick release.

19 March 2020, 11:28
Canyon-CeramicSpeed 1
CeramicSpeed partners with Canyon ZCC eRacing team

We never thought our hearts could be lifted by a “[Brand] partners with [Racing team]” format press release, but there’s something about the warm banality that’s almost cheering this week.

Life goes on, the same but different. With road racing suspended, the teams are eRacing teams now.

Canyon ZCC’s roster of 12 men and women will be riding CeramicSpeed throughout the eRacing season.

There’s a few images. This one’s our favourite.


The opening paragraph of the press release is a doozy too.

“World-leading drivetrain efficiency experts CeramicSpeed are delighted to announce their partnership with professional eRacing team Canyon ZCC. CeramicSpeed’s watt-saving OSPW systems, smooth-spinning bottom brackets and slick UFO chains will be ridden by the team in a virtual racing season where every second counts.”

Founded in January 2019, Canyon ZCC are the world’s first professional eRacing team competing on Zwift.

CeramicSpeed’s Managing Director Martin Banke said: “This is a partnership that really fits with our core values. Innovation is at the heart of our work, so we were of course drawn towards Canyon ZCC — a team at the forefront of an entirely new and incredibly exciting discipline in cycling. We’re thoroughly looking forward to helping the team, and the thrilling eRacing scene as a whole, flourish.”

Rhys Howell, Team Manager for Canyon ZCC said: “We’re really excited to be working with CeramicSpeed in ensuring that our riders have the most efficient drivetrain possible. I cannot think of another discipline in cycling where the drivetrain itself plays such a critical role as it does in eRacing. We have a unique opportunity to work with partners who are at the top of their game and can help push us to the next level; CeramicSpeed fits that definition perfectly.”

The best comments come from Canyon ZCC rider Lionel Vujasin, however.

He said: "They say marginal gains; I say gains, period. In eRacing, drivetrain efficiency is a key factor where every single watt counts. I’m stoked to see CeramicSpeed joining us and having now raced with the new setup, I can confirm that the feeling of total smoothness combined with improvement in power transfer it gives to the bike is unbelievable. It’s another step forward for myself and the team to develop the ultimate indoor racing experience."

19 March 2020, 10:32
Why not work on your cornering?

19 March 2020, 10:21
14-day isolation? Go bikepacking! (Kinda)

Right I’m going on an adventure. Do you want to come with me? Doesn’t matter I’m going anyway. I’m in this house for fourteen days and I’ve got nearly fifty foot to ride. 600 inches. 1500 cm. I know. It’s going to be tough. But I got the legs. DAY ONE – Make your bike Step 1 - Take the used invoice for an obscure book on Pataphysics you got off the internet three years ago. (Other invoices will do but this one makes me sound more interesting) Step 2 - Place it against your laptop screen over a picture of yourself cycling and trace. Or, if you’re a lameo like me, a picture of another person cycling who has some neat bikepacking gear. Step 3 -Take your used toilet roll. Cut it down the middle and then paste on your bikepacking bicycle and rider. You will see I have gone for a mountain bike geometry with fatter 42cm tyres. On trend and will probably help me in the duvet marshes (more of the marshes later). I do wonder if I should have gone for a longer wheel base but perhaps this load bearing is unnecessary for a bikepacking set up. Advice pls @grahamashton Also forgive the uneven welding of my cardboard lugs. For top quality gravel bikes instead go to The observant will notice I’ve gone for a single ring chainwheel set up and a big ole set of sprockets at the back. De rigueur for an endurance bikepacker. I’ve never actually been bikepacking. Bike touring yes. Never bikepacking. But I do want to go bikepacking. So I am. Also the observant will notice that the rider, Jet, has a shorter haircut than his IG pic. This is because the profile pic is over 15 years old. The current Jet has a bit less hair, is a bit more silver, and has a lot more quiff. Quicksilver. In fact this is probably my nickname in the bike packing world. Quicksilver. Where were we? Step 4 – Oh yes. Cut out your bike. I have opted for a kickstand on the non-chaindrive side. There is some debate about the merits of the kickstand. The kickstand will not do well in quicksand. Which is a shame as it makes a neat half rhyme. Also it’s pretty heavy for an ultralight bikepacker like me. You know. Quicksilver. However we all have our luxury weak spots (see biscuit barrel) See you DAY TWO

A post shared by Jet McDonald (@jetmcdonald) on

19 March 2020, 10:08

On Tuesday's live blog, we highlighted how some people are getting their racing fix by competing over Strava segments.

We pointed out that this was very much in keeping with time trialling's origins of racing on the sly.

Here's a couple of suggestions as to what to call this brand of racing.

Herd ImmuniTT


19 March 2020, 09:54
Our social distancing and cycling poll: most of you ride alone anyway, it seems

A late update on Tuesday's poll. The majority of respondents say they ride alone anyway.

19 March 2020, 09:47
Go for a ride, says Sport England

They say just follow the advice on social distancing and contact and consider doing it solo or with someone you live with.

19 March 2020, 09:15
Belgian pro and Gran Fondo World Champion do 365km

Belgian riders Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Maxim Pirard did 365km yesterday.

Here’s the ride on Strava.

Naesen ride

Pirard, 22, rode for Bahrain Merida in 2018, but didn’t secure a contract. Last year he became UCI Gran Fondo World Champion in Poznan, Poland.

He and classics specialist Naesen were out for 12 hours and averaged 30km/h (19mph).

19 March 2020, 09:02
Swiss pro swaps World Tour for hospital work as newly-qualified doctor

“The priority is elsewhere,” says Elise Chabbey, who rides for Bigla-Katusha. “In a crisis situation like this, sport naturally moves into the background.”

Chabbey will be working at Geneva University Hospital.

"The hospital lacks nursing staff, it is looking for reinforcements. It was normal for me to be a candidate. On Monday, I was contacted by phone. And there I am ready to take action, to make myself useful. Everything happened very quickly, the stress didn't have time to hit me."

She hopes to carry on cycling.

"I intend to do intensity sessions in the evening after work, and long outings at weekends. Whatever happens, I have to stay in shape. "

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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