Urban cyclocross racetrack

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Visible from nearly every point of Sheffield, the Park Hill estate was known for its brutalist tower blocks.  The past few decades have saw it fall into disrepair and currently finds itself in the middle of a massive regeneration project. Since 2013, crumbling flats have given way to affordable modern apartments and student housing.

The estate came to bike racing organiser Adam Simmonite’s attention and, as a result, it is now home to the Sheffield Urban CX series. This July, the cyclocross event marked its second year in the brutalist playground.
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As the name suggests, the series takes an alternative approach to cyclocross. The aim, as organiser Adam puts it, is “to bring urban racing into the heart of the city’s areas that are experiencing regeneration and a resurgence of community.” Along with an underlying theme of heritage, the Urban CX series uses its unique backdrop to provide a visually stunning race – for both riders and spectators – shining a new light on the streets that people walk and see on a daily basis.
When he convinced authorities to let him turn Park Hill’s cobbled streets, hill climbs and hidden alleys into a racing playground in 2015, nobody quite realised what a perfect location it was. “The area has this underlying heritage, and I’m a mad keen cyclist, so fusing the two together was brilliant. It’s a little bit unique and being the Outdoor City, we’re all about doing things a little bit differently.”
Local residents have seen benefits from the race, too. “We funded a cycle workstation and cleaning facilities in the residents’ cycle storage area last year,” says Adam, who hires many volunteers from the area. “Getting the local community involved is always at the forefront of these events, and Park Hill residents have been great backers of the event with both marshalling and racing.”
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For more information on what it’s like to race go check out the Red Bull review.  Debut competitor Sarah clearly enjoyed it:

park-hill-stairs“This was my first one in Park Hill but I’ve done the Kelham Island race [the first race of the Sheffield Urban CX series] twice and really enjoyed it. But this is the first one I’ve done on a bike with gears, as up until now I’d just been racing on a single-speed. I enjoy how it goes through the new to the old, I really like that, it’s kind of like weaving in and out of different eras. It’s also one of the friendliest races I’ve ever been to!”

Register your interest for taking part in the Sheffield Urban CX series here

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Southampton Bike Dr

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Visit the Bike Doctor Thursdays / 4-7pm / Guildhall Square, off West Marlands Road, Southampton SO14 7FP

The Bike Doctor will give your bike a check-up and fix any basic repairs – for free! All you have to pay for is any new parts that are needed.

For more information visit their website.

Tests show some bike helmets protect heads better than others

Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injuries in cycling, but, until now, consumers who want to buy one that offers the best protection have had little information to go on. A new American ratings program, based on collaborative research by Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fixes that.

The first 30 helmets to be tested — all popular adult-size models — show a range of performance, with four earning the highest rating of 5 stars, two earning 2 stars, and the rest in the 3-4-star range. Cost wasn’t a good predictor of performance. Both the $200 Bontrager Ballista MIPS and the $75 Specialized Chamonix MIPS earn 5 stars.

Lorry overtaking cyclist, four, goes viral

A video of a “really kind” lorry driver overtaking a four-year-old girl on a bicycle has been viewed about 700,000 times after the family published it.

Rhoda Jones was riding on a trailer bike with her father Tom in Scotland.  The lorry took an extremely wide berth around the cyclists as Rhoda gave him a “thumbs up” and shouted “thank you”.

Mr Jones, from Wellingborough, said he could have posted lots of “angry cyclist” videos of poor overtaking but this was “textbook of how to do it”.

The Northamptonshire family have travelled all over the country on bicycles with their three children Thomas Ivor, nine, Ruth, five, and Rhoda – who turned four in April.

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Mr Jones and his wife Katie were in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders for half-term with Ruth and Rhoda on trailer bikes when Mr Jones turned on his dashcam after experiencing “some appalling and aggressive passes”.

However, one lorry driver proved the exception and crossed to the opposite carriageway, giving the bikes a “very wide berth”.  Rhoda gave the lorry driver a big “thumbs up” and shouted her thanks.

Mr Jones said:

“I told her, ‘that lorry driver has been really kind, make sure you say thank you’,”

“Rhoda has a thing about people passing, and she can equally give a Paddington Bear-type angry stare which would be enough to take some drivers off the road.”

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Mr Jones posted the video on their Twitter feed on Sunday night, saying:

“So often we see or share videos of awful driving around cyclists, so this textbook pass from an exceptionally patient and careful HGV driver for D&W Agri coming into Jedburgh deserves sharing…”

Hundreds of thousands viewed it, and it has been retweeted by a number of police forces including Police Scotland and the West Midlands as an example of good road practice.

The family has thanked the haulage company and Mr Jones said the driver was “over the moon” to have been in the film.

Watch Danny MacAskill’s new film Home of Trails

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Danny MacAskill goes on an epic trip with Claudio Caluori across Graubünden AKA ‘The Home of Trails’.

Graubünden has been nicknamed “The Home of Trails”, no other alpine region in Europe has as many trails in such a small area – over 17,000km of rideable paths stretch across the mountainous region. It’s the ultimate mountain biker’s playground.

The alluring call of endless trails also drew Danny MacAskill and Claudio Caluori to the region. Legendary trials biker Danny broke onto the scene in 2009 with his viral Inspired Bicycles video, followed by numerous viral hits such as Wee Day Out in 2016. Claudio has established himself as a cult figure in mountain biking with his hilarious UCI DH course previews.

Watch their epic trip to Graudbünden in the video below:

 

 

(Bike) Speed Dating at The Bargate!

southampton-bargate

The ‘Get Cycle Savvy’ team will be at The Bargate this Saturday, 7th April 10am – 4pm.

They’ll be working with the amazing teams at Cycle Experience and YoBike who will have a range of bikes available to try out – such as hybrids, mountain bikes, electric and folding bikes – to help you determine which is best for your everyday journeys!

They’ll also have bike balance obstacle courses, freebies, and a perfect opportunity to speak to the experts and take some wheels for a spin!

Find them at The Bargate on Saturday 7th April, 10am – 4pm.