Going Going Bike

Nov 052012
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It’s Monday, so that must mean the Wheelie Good Round-Up. Here’s our usual selection of cycling tit-bits from the world-wide web.

Crazy ride

Mountain bike downhill racing is crazy for the speeds that can be generated going hell for leather down a trail full of dirt, rocks and trees. In Latin America, they have the specialty of Urban downhill races. This is a downhill race that mixes elements of narrow city streets and patches of dirt wasteland. Bolivia’s equivalent, Descenso del Cóndor, was held last week. The POV clip (below) from winner, Filip Polc, gives us a unique bird’s eye view of what it is like to ride such a race and its dangers.

Burning Lance

Tonight is Bonfire Night and one town has made its feelings very well known about Lance Armstrong and the recent unravelling of the United States Postal team doping scandal. The town of Edenbridge in Kent has built a 30ft steel-framed effigy of Lance, which they intend to light and let go up in flames. The effigy has Armstrong holding a sign saying “For sale, racing bike, no longer required”. A reference to another recent scandal is also being made by Edenbridge with Lance wearing a Jim’ll Fix It badge round his neck.

Bike brings the internet

No one needs to tell us that bicycles are a force for social good but it is worth emphasising the point sometimes. In Bangladesh, only 5 million of 152 million people have Internet access but thanks to the bicycle some residents in rural areas are getting the chance to access the internet.  The Info Ladies project sees trained women cycle into towns with laptops and mobile internet dongles. Anyone wanting to use the internet still has to pay for it but for some it is the only way to keep in touch with loved ones abroad or find information.

An airless tyre

Is the airless bicycle tyre a realistic idea? You’d never have a puncture that’s for sure. Britek Tire and Rubber have been developing an airless bicycle tyre based on their Energy Return Wheel (ERW) research/tech. At the center of ERW is a layer of rubber. Through the use of adjustable rods, that rubber is stretched. This stores elastic potential energy in the wheel, turning the ERW into a 360-degree slingshot that retains energy and provides the wheel with forward momentum. Like any normal tyre, there is a rubber tread on the outside with a series of elastic cushions occupying the space between the layer of rubber and the tread. Check out the video below to see how ERW works out in the field with a mountain bike.

Tattoo for a donation

A man from Stoke has gone that one step further in a bid to raise the profile of those who have sponsored him to do a 1,250-mile charity ride to all 20 Premier League football grounds. He’s got his sponsors names tattooed on his back. Dave Ryder already has the logos of eight firms backing his mission inked down the spine of his back but there is plenty of room for more. All it takes to get your name permanently tattooed on Dave’s back is just £20. Dave is doing the ride on behalf of two-year-old meningitis sufferer Lewis Jones.


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