HSBC UK City Ride

HSBC City Ride montage

Calling all cyclists of all ages. Join Southampton’s mass cycling participation ride on Sunday 25th June. There’s plenty to do for all the family on and off your bike.

HSBC UK City Ride is more than just a great bike ride. There’s plenty to do for all the family (even those not riding!). Here’s a sample of what’s on offer…

At the main hub:

  • Pick up your free City Ride bib and even get it personalised
  • Race on the pop-up Street Velodrome
  • Get some bike advice from our technicians at the Cycle Inn
  • Try some virtual reality track cycling
  • Kids’ Zone: decorate your bike and learn new skills from British Cycling’s Go-Ride crew
  • Grab a drink and a bite to eat at the Breakaway Cafe

 

Along the route:

  • Enjoy entertainment and music around the route – to keep you going (and smiling)
  • Be loud and proud in the ‘Toot your Horn’ zone
  • Take on the Sir Chris Hoy Challenge and test your sprint skills against the best

At special points around the route:

  • Release your inner track cyclists on the Street Velodrome
  • BMX off-road area for kids
  • Try a host of different types of bikes at the Trial Trail
  • Take things easy with a rickshaw ride – or try a bit harder on a tandem!

Register your place for free.

 

London’s cycle network visualised as the Tube map

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London Cycle Lane Map (credit: Route Plain Roll, London Cycling Network)

The London Cycle Lane Map combines classic design approach in the style of the iconic London Underground map with central area that reflects capital’s actual geography.

The London Cycle Lane Map was originally launched in June last year on the London Cycle Network blog, and has received widespread attention since yesterday when it was featured on Mail Online Travel. There is a zoomable PDF version of it here.

The London Underground map from which it takes its inspiration is purely diagrammatical in nature, meaning it does not accurately reflect the city’s geography – something evident when comparing the familiar version of it with this one from Transport for London (TfL) showing the lines as the actually relate to the capital’s geography.

As this article on the Mapping London website points out, the London Cycle Lane map adopts a hybrid approach.AdTech Ad

Centred on the intersection of the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways at Blackfriars, the shaded area in the middle of the map, roughly bounded by Exmouth Market, the Tower of London, Elephant & Castle and Piccadilly Circus at the cardinal points, accurately depicts the capital’s geography.

Outside that circle, however, it switches to a diagrammatical approach, meaning that some locations look much closer together, or further apart, than they are in reality.

And while, as the name implies, the focus is on cycling infrastructure and routes specifically for cyclists, it’s noticeable that missing from the map are ones following the Thames Path, as well as along the towpath of the Regent’s Canal, hugely popular among commuter and leisure cyclists alike.

Other maps charting the capital’s cycle network are available, of course – this one, from the London Cycling Campaign and powered by CycleStreets, allows users to find a route by entering the locations of the start and finish of their journey.

TfL publishes a set of 14 maps showing cycle routes in various parts of the city. Distributed via outlets such as bike shops and cycling cafes, they are currently unavailable on the TfL website.AdTech Ad

 

Quad bike gritters deployed to keep London’s cycle routes ice free

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Transport for London will keep cycle routes in London ice-free this winter by using quad bikes equipped with gritters.

The responsibility for clearing ice from cycle routes in the British capital is split between TfL and individual London Boroughs – including Cycle Superhighways.

“When a Cycle Superhighway sits on a borough road the council maintains and grits it,” a TfL spokesperson said. “When it’s on one of our roads, we grit it. Most of the Cycle Superhighways are on our roads.”

While the majority of the road network can be treated using conventional lorry gritters, the narrower lanes used for cycles are inaccessible to large vehicles. At 1.2 metres wide, the motorised quad bikes can fit into a bike lane and the majority of footways with ease.

Rather than using salt and grit, a substance called Pathway KA is used, which contains potassium acetate to melt ice. The quad bikes can carry up to 500kg of ice-melting chemicals.

A TFL statement said:

“Although there hasn’t been significant snow falls for three winters now, TfL and London Councils develop coordinated plans every year, alongside the emergency services, to keep the rail and road networks open and running in case of any severe weather”.

“This includes key arterial roads, cycle routes and footways around bus and railway stations, hospitals and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.”

“TfL and London’s boroughs will also ensure that the Cycle Superhighways and other cycling routes remain safe to use during the winter months.”

Turning the corner

British Cycling has joined forces with The AA and pedestrian groups in calling for a ‘universal’ rule to give way when turning in order create simpler, safer junctions for all road users #TurningTheCorner.

The organisations propose consolidating and strengthening existing rules in the Highway Code so that, whether you are driving or cycling, you would be clearly obliged to give way when turning to people who are going straight ahead.

The new proposal follows research conducted on behalf of British Cycling in a bid to make junctions safer, simpler and more efficient for all road users, based on successful existing models in place in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. In practice, the changes would see:

  • Drivers turning at a junction giving way to people cycling and walking who may be on your nearside, or crossing the road you wish to turn into.
  • Cyclists turning at a junction giving way to people walking who are crossing the road you wish to turn into.
  • Pedestrians getting increased protection when crossing a side road or other junction.

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British Cycling has today launched a petition to allow members of the public to add their support to the new proposal. Among those to have already signed the petition are Chris Boardman, Olympic champions Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Steven Burke and Paralympic legend Dame Sarah Storey.

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.

Denise Mueller sets women’s bicycle speed world record at 147mph

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Denise Mueller set the women’s bicycle world speed record by riding 147mph while drafting a modified Land Rover. The bike was a completely custom creation by KHS and DaVinci Bikes, outfitted with a dual crown suspension fork and cirrus Body Float suspension seatpost. The latter two, along with the overall design of the bike, were to reduce vibrations and subtle bumps from creating instability, which would be disastrous at those speeds. Check out the bike and more details, below…

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Other custom touches include double-reduction gearing, massive 60 tooth chainrings, custom built 17-inch dragster wheels with shaved tires, an elongated frame, and steering stabilizers.

Mueller is an accomplished bicycle and motosports racer, the current National Criterium Champion, and a 15-time National Champion, as well as a mother of three. Her coach, John Howard, set the men’s speed record 30 years ago by riding 152.2mph. It was beaten in 1995 by Fred Rompleberg of the Netherlands with a top speed of 167mph. The team said she’d like to top that number, but their current track isn’t long enough. Regardless, she’s not just the new women’s record holder, she’s apparently the only woman to ever seriously attempt the land speed record for bicycles.

Follow future progress and get more info and history at TheProjectSpeed.com.