Like this site? Help us to make it better. recap: our ten favourite stories this week

Some of our highlights from this week on two wheels...

1.  The Holy Grail? 

 This week, Canyon revealed a completely new gravel/adventure bike called the Grail, which features a radical double-decker handlebar/stem combo called the Hover Bar that’s designed to improve comfort and control. To say this bike has proved divisive is an understatement, spawning its own memes, Photoshop delights and plenty of debate on social media. Our best effort, Monty Python's Canyon Grail, is at the top of this page... 
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2. Cycling is good for women's sexual health

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Following the news that cycling doesn’t affect men's sexual health comes the revelation that the activity could actually be beneficial for women. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine(link is external) found that ‘high intensity’ cyclists had lower odds of self-reported sexual dysfunction compared to non-cyclists.
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3. Near Miss of the Day 110: Unbelievably close pass by Ocado driver

 Friday's near miss involved a spectacularly ill-judged overtake by an Ocado driver who only narrowly misses a cyclist and an oncoming car thanks largely to the actions of the other two parties. The incident took place at around 7am on March 14 as reader Andrew was cycling to work through Surrey. We hope the culprit is caught swiftly. 
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4. Quoc Gran Tourer All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoes launch on Kickstarter

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First they said you needed gravel bikes, then gravel clothing, now.... gravel shoes! Quoc is a UK-based company best known for making very high-quality leather lace-up cycling shoes for the most discerning cyclists, but its latest product, the Gran Tourer All-Terrain, is aimed at the growing adventure and gravel bike market. The new shoes have just been launched via Kickstarter, with £50,000 of funding sought to put the new shoes into production.
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5. British World War II veteran who borrowed bike from pub to liberate Dutch town dies aged 93

Boxmeer (licensed CC BY SA 2.0 on Flickr by British Province of Carmelites).jpg

RIP Angus Mitchell, a true hero of the WW2 period. The veteran, who borrowed a bike from a pub to liberate a Dutch town, has died at the age of 93. He served as a lieutenant in the Inns of Court Regiment when he pedalled into Boxmeer in September 1944, passed away on 26 February in his home city of Edinburgh. He spoke about his wartime exploits in an interview published in 2014 in The Scotsman on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the small town which lies less than 5 kilometres from the German border in the province of North Brabant.
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6. Criminal conviction for French amateur cyclist found using hidden motor

Vivax Assist motor (courtesy Vivax Assist).jpg

Another one! An amateur cyclist in France who was found using a hidden motor at a race has been sentenced for fraud and attempted fraud by a criminal court. Cyril Fontayne, aged 43 and a plasterer by trade was sentenced to 60 hours’ community service at the Périgueux criminal court after admitting the charges, reports Ouest France.
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7. Specialized Tarmac Disc launched + S-Works Power Cranks power meters

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These launches from poor old Specialized earlier this week lost a bit of steam after a certain double-decking gravel bike came along on Thursday, but nevertheless we're excited about the release of the Tarmac disc and new S-Works Power Cranks. Initially the Tarmac is only available in a top-end S-Works build with a men and women’s version at a whopping £9,250, while the S-Works Power Cranks Dual cost £995 without chainrings. The Dura-Ace Dual crankset, with rings, costs £1,200. 
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8. Cycling UK delivers nearly 10,000 letters objecting to A63 cycle ban plans – by cargo bike

A63 protest letters -  Duncan Dollimore and supporters deliver 9,500 letters to Highways England.jpg

Cycling UK delivered nearly 10,000 letters to Highways England protesting about the planned introduction of a ban on cyclists using a 15-mile stretch of the A63 near Kingston upon Hull. The stretch of road in question includes the V718 time trial course where, in 2016, Marcin Bialoblocki set a 10-mile time trial record of 16 minutes 35 seconds.
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9. Wales could let lorry drivers use bus lanes to ease congestion

Cardiff Bus (licensed CC-BY-2.0 by Jeremy Segrott on Flickr).jpg

The Welsh Government is considering letting lorry drivers use some bus lanes in the country in a bid to improve the flow of traffic. Cyclists are usually permitted to use bus lanes, and Sustrans Cymru has said that letting HGV drivers also use the lanes could worsen congestion since it would discourage people from using bikes as they would feel less safe.
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10. Edinburgh plans early release traffic lights for cyclists following tram track death

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Some positive news out of a tragic incident: cyclists could get a head start at traffic lights under plans announced by Edinburgh Council. The city has been reviewing safety around tram tracks since the death of cyclist Zhi Min Soh last year. The Malaysian medical student was hit by a minibus after being thrown from her bike when its wheel became trapped in a tram track. Hundreds of cyclists have been injured on Edinburgh’s tram tracks at an estimated cost to the NHS of more than £1m. Many are taking legal action with two lead cases to be heard in May 2019.
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Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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