Posts Tagged ‘Mayor of London’

The DYNAMITE! Five: the month in cycling, remixed. March 2013

March 28, 2013

pedal pub
5 UP The Pedal Pub
It’s a common scenario for the amateur cyclist: your club’s alcohol-based social event is drawing to a close, and you’re faced with the decision to either go home or continue the revelry elsewhere. Well, worry no longer, because everyone can now do both thanks to a bit of Dutch ingenuity. Boasting speeds of up to – gasp! – 5mph, the Pedal Pub is a steel 10-seater bicycle equipped with a barrel, a beer tap, cup holders and a sound system. What could possibly go wrong? The only drawback is a possible increase in membership fees to cover costs, as each Pedal Pub costs a sobering £26,000.

4 DOWN Riding through London at street level
Blah blah double the number of cyclists in London blah blah blah £913million investment blah blah blah safety measures blah blah blah cycle lane on the Westway blah bl… hold on – we’re going to be able to go up in the air and cycle above the streets? Like E.T.? WHY IS EVERYONE NOT TOTALLY EXCITED BY THIS?!

3 UP Robot police bikes
Another overlooked yet totally mind-blowing feature of London mayor Boris Johnson’s 10-year vision for cycling in the capital is a plan to give police electric bikes that can climb stairs. That’s got to be one cop chase we’d all love to see. Especially the bit where the officer says, “Go go gadget legs!” and a pair of telescopic limbs sprouts from the cranks.

2 UP Geoffrey Soupe
The Paris-Nice prologue proved to be a magnifique day for the French, who took half the positions in the top ten, including a surprise victory courtesy of Europcar’s Damien Gaudin. France’s domination was augured by Geoffrey Soupe of FDJ taking an early lead, although it was obvious he was unlikely to win. Soupe’s just for starters.

1 UP The organisers of Milan-San Remo
Tom Boonen angrily quit, Robbie Hunter’s eyeball froze, and Gerald Ciolek took a surprise win for his Pro Continental wildcard team MTN Qhubeka. But the truly remarkable aspect of La Primavera’s snow-smothered 104th edition was that it went ahead at all. Packing the riders into their team buses, skipping the Turchino and La Manie and resuming the race 54km from the finish ensured we got to witness a truly historic race – so, ultimately, it was Mauro Vegni and his fellow race officials from RCS who turned out to be the real heroes of the day. Well done, you lot!

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The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #6

May 13, 2011

5 UP Alessandro Petacchi
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon! The Giro d’Italia’s commissaires ruled in favour of their countryman Alessandro Petacchi on Sunday, even though the ageing fastman clearly weaved around like an inebriated pensioner for the final 200 metres of the second stage to edge out an irate Mark Cavendish. It’s their national race, so it stands to reason that them Italians would show no sympathy towards a foreigner, yeah? Well, not quite: leafing through The DYNAMITE! Files’ bumper book of bike facts, it seems Paolo Bettini was disqualified in similar circumstances at the 2005 Giro, although on that occasion the English-speaking sprint rival – Baden Cooke – actually ended up going ‘a’ over ‘t’. Well, Cav, if that’s what it takes for the race officials to make the right decision…

4 DOWN The Associated Press
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon again! But a bit louder this time! The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the federal investigation into alleged doping carried out by Lance Armstrong’s US Postal team has uncovered “corruption to the core”. But don’t get too excited just yet: AP’s source is “a person familiar with the investigation”, which sounds like it could be any of us, depending on how you define “familiar”. Still, at least the news agency has uncovered a mystery that has long perplexed some of its more unintelligent American readers: apparently it was “in France where Armstrong became famous by winning the Tour de France seven straight times”. So that’s how the race got its name!

3 UP Caravans
And speaking of mysteries, The DYNAMITE! Files was left to ponder the possible purpose of a scruffy caravan which we spotted parked next to the VIP entrance of the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday evening. It must be there for a reason, because British track cycling is all about the aggregation of marginal gains, isn’t it? Our theory: when the pressure of all that aggregating gets too much, this is where Dave Brailsford goes for a bit of “me” time. With his spreadsheets and cocoa. And a clipboard.

2 DOWN Boris Johnson
Securing his record third appearance in our weekly rundown, Boris Johnson turned up half an hour late at a Hillingdon school for the launch of the latest Sky Ride cycling event because he, er, choose to take the tube instead of using his bike. Maybe the Mayor of London was afraid of getting a flat. The Uxbridge Gazette revealed: “A few of the children showed the mayor how to find and fix a puncture in an inner tube. Charlotte Masters, aged nine, said: ‘I think he understood it.'” Let’s hope so, eh?

1 UP Doutzen Kroes
After this week’s tragic events, the Giro needed some sort of light-hearted moment to soften the mood – and Cycling Weekly duly obliged yesterday with the romantic tale of the underwear model and the professional cyclist. If CW is to be believed, blonde hottie Doutzen Kroes and race leader Pieter Weening could soon be an item, chiefly because the two of them hail from the same Dutch city and she tweeted the word “lokwinske” – which apparently means “congratulations” in their native tongue. Now, the DYNAMITE! Files is a big fan of the whole romantical-getting-together thing, but is one word tweeted to a third party ample grounds to conclude that she’s likely to call him? Remember, CW: if poor Pieter’s heart gets broken, you will be the ones to blame.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #5

May 6, 2011

5 UP Triathlon
Cycling purists who steadfastly believe that riding a bike when combined with a swim and a run does not constitute proper racing may want to avoid visiting their local Virgin Active this weekend, because the gym chain is making the multi-sport world even less competitive with an innovation called “Indoor TRYathlon”. Worn out by five kilometres on an exercise bike? Then take a breather in the pool, as demonstrated in the promotional video below. Actually, it looks quite fun – but of course that’s what they want you to believe. All bizarre cults seem enjoyable and harmless at the beginning. You won’t be laughing a few months later when you’re running barefoot through the East End while wearing a wetsuit. Resist, chums, resist!

4 DOWN Jim Ochowicz
Responding to an ongoing Italian investigation, BMC announced the suspension of former world champion Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio on Monday by issuing a disappointingly responsible statement. “Jim Ochowicz said new information received, along with consideration of the team’s anti-doping policy and the UCI’s Code of Conduct, means the two will be held out of competition pending further details.” Which doesn’t sound at all like the words of a man who issued the most brilliantly unconcerned “no-comment” when it first emerged that Ballan could be facing charges: “I know what’s been in the newspaper but I can’t read Italian anyway so I’ve got to wait for a translation anyway and blah blah blah.” The DYNAMITE! Files reckons the BMC boss’s reaction this time was something like: “Ah, whatever. Those two are screwed.”

3 UP The Thunderdrome
Attention thrill-seekers! Forget the Cape Epic or the Norseman Xtreme Tri – Detroit should be your next international destination for seat-of-your-pants racing now that a group of “renegade landscapers” has unearthed a lost velodrome buried beneath 30 years of overgrown weeds. Despite the surface having more cracks than a 42-page theory about doping on the Bikeradar forum, the organisers have bravely included a “Geared Road Bike class” in their motorsport-centred racing programme. You know what that means, don’t you? Book those plane tickets – we’ve found a temporary replacement for Crystal Palace!

2 DOWN Bont
UCI officials banned the Bont Crono on Wednesday, purportedly because the time trial-specific shoe “influences the performance of a rider” by, er, being more aerodynamic. Noting that TT helmets perform a similar job, sniggering fashionistas have argued that the Swiss spoilsports took issue with the Australian company’s latest innovation simply because it was aesthetically displeasing – and they’re probably right. At last: a decision by cycling’s governing body we can all agree makes perfect sense.

1 UP Boris Johnson
The staff at Condor had a pleasant surprise on Wednesday when Boris Johnson bumbled through the shop’s electronically-activated doors with his Marin hybrid – the very same bike he had bought from the famous Gray’s Inn Road store some years ago. This photo of Boris, pictured alongside Condor’s Claire Beaumont, pleases The DYNAMITE! Files in many ways. For a start, the London Mayor is in our favourite cycling emporium. Then there’s the suit – a big tip-o-the-hat to anyone who refuses to compromise the integrity of high office by wearing Lycra. But most of all, it’s the shagged-out look on his face. Apparently the pedalling politico cycled all the way from City Hall – a distance of almost three-and-a-quarter miles. Who says politicians don’t know the meaning of hard work?