Can you hear it? That sound? It’s the noise cycling makes as it reorients itself after two decades of Sturm und Drang.
Cycling’s discussion has returned to, gasp! The racing. Boring isn’t it? But that’s a good thing.
Still, I sometimes miss the doping era. So much skullduggery. So many crybaby pros. So much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the forum monkeys as they analysed every winning performance to within an inch of its VAM. It was fun in a self harming way.
Flying with a bike can often be a nightmare, with horror stories of cyclists having to pay more for their bike to fly than they paid for their own seat. Having spent 30 years flying himself and his bike around the world, Steve Thomas shares some helpful tips on how to make the process a bit easier.
Having just spent almost an entire day making lengthy Skype calls to four different countries trying to get to the bottom of the bike carriage policy of a certain eastern Chinese airline, I gave up. I decided it was easier to pay more for an alternative route with an airline that has a set baggage allowance than to battle on and potentially be stung with exorbitant last-minute fees.
It’s a nightmare that I’ve lived - and paid - through so many times.
The road to Genting Highlands, the climb of the Queen stage of Le Tour de Langkawi, is one of the toughest bike rides on earth. Steve Thomas shares what it is like to tackle the Malaysian beast.
It’s easy to be flippant when talking about tackling a serious climb by bike, especially when its from behind the safety of a computer screen. But armchair bravery counts for little.
The climb to Genting Highlands is the mother of the highway to hell, a climb that is so cruel that it’s hard to imagine anybody sane choosing to ride up it. It is a climb I personally rank as one of the toughest of all climbs. But despite its cruelness it holds an unparalleled allure when it comes to cycling in Malaysia - it is without a doubt Malaysia’s biggest two-wheeled challenge.
Following in the footsteps of an echo-chamber championship in Minsk, Belarus, Colombia can hold its head high for what was a well-supported and highly entertaining UCI Track World Championships in Cali. Midway through the Olympic cycle it was also a key battleground for potential Rio candidates, and for those heading to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, a dry-run for July.
So who were the winners and losers, and what have we learned from 2014 UCI Track World Championships?
Kristina Vogel is the fastest woman in the world
It’s official. The 23 year old, just 5’3”, packs a punch, and she’s been ravenous at these championships. Helped by a rapid Miriam Welte, Vogel took team sprint gold number three to break the ice before cruising through to the finals of the individual sprint, Saturday. There she was equal parts speed and sprint craft. The ride for gold against China’s Tianshi Zhong a masterclass. Even as Zhong forced Vogel to the front in the final heat with a lengthy track stand, the German shrugged off any perceived disadvantage by holding her speed better in the final 250 metres to win by a bike-length.
For all the benefits social media offers our 21st century world, there are arguably as many drawbacks. To the psychologically vulnerable, it may even contribute to self-harm or worse still, suicide. In the wake of recent events, Anthony Tan believes a moment or two extra could make the difference between life and death.
“Everything seems the same today, the same issues and the same people (all so goddamn annoying). Yet I know from how I am feeling – and these weak, shaky hands, the ones I just want to wring out – that this is a problem of perspective. I need to regain control of my mood, lest this drag on, the black dog of depression barking its negative thoughts louder and louder until my consciousness is backed up against some bare wall in my head. I don’t want to be lying under a desk again, desperately trying to interrupt my mind as it mulls over numerous failures, old regrets and pet peeves that seem so insurmountable. I don’t want to be still while the world keeps moving.”
This is how Sean Parnell, a journalist from The Australian, began his feature article ‘Taming The Black Dog’, published Friday.