Ride the Rapha Festive 500km

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I was emailed about the Rapha Festive 500 today:

Challenge yourself to ride the Rapha Festive 500 this holiday season. Complete 500km in the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and document your story to win incredible prizes, including a Moots bicycle built to your specifications.

I love the concept of this, although my chance of success would be tiny!

Fake bike helmet inspired by Playmobil hair needs to become reality

Style and safety can go hand in hand.

In 2015, Simon Higby and Clara Prior Knock at DDB Stockholm and Copenhagen (respectively) set out to create a bicycle helmet that would get kids excited about bicycle safety. Collaborating with Danish company MOEF to create the prototype, they were inspired by Lego and Playmobil plastic, toy hair pieces.

Not only is the final design beautiful, it’ll make the wearer look like a vintage Justin Bieber.

The project was part of Higby’s MBA thesis. MOEF produces “special effects and visual concepts for advertising, film and exhibitions.” So far, neither Lego nor Playmobil have picked up on the idea.

Someone please make this helmet a reality.

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What will the bicycles of the future look like?

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Bicycle design has changed very little in the last one hundred years.  The materials used to make the bikes are different, with carbon fibre and aluminium frames eventually replacing cast irons and wood, but the basic shape and feel of the bike is essentially as it was at the start of the 20th century.

But, thanks to a change in regulations at the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, we may be on the verge of a new era in bike design.

According to Cycling Weekly, the UCI is set to scrap the 3:1 rule, which says that the ratio between the length and the width of bike tubes and other components cannot exceed 3:1. In short, the rule severely restricts what you can do with a bike and limits the extreme aerodynamic shapes you might expect to have taken over the sport in the modern era.

One company desperate to see a relaxation of the regulations is Cervélo, a Canadian bike manufacturer. As well as the 3:1 rule, there are hopes that the 6.8kg weight limit will also be ditched, allowing designers to shave more weight off the bike in the hunt for increased speed.

Last month, Cervélo unveiled their radical P5X bike for triathletes – where the 3:1 rule is not in place – calling it the “most technologically advanced triathlon bike ever made”. The bike will be on display at this weekend’s Rouleur Classic exhibition in London.

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With a striking frame design, high-tech disc brakes and an integrated front end, the P5X certainly looks the part.

How to ride in a group

The performance advantage to riding in a group is that several people can share the responsibility of setting a manageable pace as well as sheltering their riding mates from the wind – a technique known as ‘drafting.’

The most efficient formation for a large group is to ride side-by-side in pairs, with riders gradually rotating and sharing their turn on the front. How long your turn is depends a lot on weather conditions and how strong you feel, but 5 minutes is a good starting point.

Riding in close proximity to other riders does carry it’s hazards though, so be sure to give enough space to manoeuvre, don’t overlap the wheel in front and be sure to keep good communication with your riding companions.

Chemical warfare against bike thieves

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If you’ve ever had a bike stolen, your compassion for bike thieves probably went right down to zero percent. After losing a few bicycles, Daniel Idzkowski spent time thinking how to deter thefts, and he’s come up with a nasty surprise for thieves- the Skunk Lock.

When a thief breaks or grinds into the Skunk Lock, it releases a potent (but non-toxic and legally compliant) formula which makes breathing difficult, may compromise eyesight, and induces vomiting in the victim! It’s pretty hard to pedal off on a bike when you’re suddenly choking and puking instead, and this scene would likely draw enough attention for the thief to abandon the attempt…

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The Skunk Lock’s creators say any bike lock can be cut in less than a minute with the right tools on hand. With their clever design even well-equipped bike thieves can still be deterred, and just when they think they’ve almost got your bike they’ll get a face full of skunky chemicals instead!

The Skunk Lock is made from hi-tensile and hardened medium-carbon steel like a typical U-Lock, but its unique feature is the pressurized noxious chemicals hidden inside. Once the chemical chamber is compromised the formula escapes into the air, choking out the thief and making them sick to their stomach. Not only that, but the chemical spray will also ruin any clothing it touches, which actually costs the thief money.

While the Skunk Lock should effectively deter a thief at close range, the chemicals don’t expand enough that innocent bystanders would be impacted any more than noticing the smell. If the chemicals get sprayed on your bike the company provides instructions on how to remove the formula, but by design it should project towards the thief.

The lock does not rely on any electronic components, and it’s guaranteed to be safe for normal use without accidentally deploying its chemical weaponry. The chemicals are contained within a sealed chamber inside the U part of the lock, so nothing short of power tools or prying it apart will release the substance.

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Each lock comes with a unique code which customers can use to get extra keys if needed. Skunk Lock plans to provide overnight delivery for replacement keys.

The Skunk Lock’s Indiegogo campaign has just begun, so they still need some funding to go to production. Early bird buyers can currently pre-order a Skunk Lock for $109 USD, and delivery is expected for June 2017.

skunklock.com