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Washed away Yorkshire bridge replaced in time for Worlds, Cyclists Vs Walkers CUK calls for law change to reduce conflicts; Fiona Kolbinger still going strong; Genius cassette cleaning tip (maybe); Zwift cheating hack revealed +more in today's Live Blog

All today's news from the site and beyond... ...
13 August 2019, 19:47
Royal-in-law donates pre-nicked cargo bike to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

We’re not sure whether you, dear readers, follow the society columns as assiduously as we do here on – after all, you never know when the sister-in-law of the Duchess of Cambridge might do the Race Across America – and now we bring you this heart-warming tale of James Middleton, brother of Pippa and Kate … sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge.

He’s been battling depression for the past few years. Many of us have been there. And two things well-documented for battling mental illness are bicycles and having dogs around. James took that to the nth degree by ferrying an entire pack of pups around on his Babboe Dog bike.

Sadly, his bike got nicked earlier this year. Happily, it was recovered. But it wasn’t in a good way.

Still, he got it refurbished and has now donated it to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, where it will be used to help some of the less abled of the four legged residents get around.

He said on Instagram that he had donated it to a place “where I know it will get lots of use moving various residents around from the elderly to the injured to the overly excited pups wanting to get to the park quicker!”

View this post on Instagram

As some of you know my beloved @babboe_cargobike dog bike was stolen a few weeks ago. Amazingly through the power of social media someone spotted the bike and it was recovered but sadly had been damaged. During this time a replacement bike had been arranged meaning I would now have two bikes so with the help of Babboe we restored the bike and I have donated it to @battersea dogs and cats home where I know it will get lots of use moving various residents around from the elderly to the injured to the overly excited pups wanting to get to the park quicker! This bike brings me so much happiness, its my favourite way to get around London especially to take Ella & Co to the park where they get to spend more time running on grass than on the pavement. Keep an eye out for the new #batterseabike and soon we will be out and about on our new bike too

A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

The puppies certainly look happy – More of this sort of thing, please.

And if you would like to adopt a dog or cat from the home, head here.

13 August 2019, 17:22
Yorkshire bridge collapse won't affect Road World's route as replacement installed

The organisers of next month’s UCI Road World Championships have confirmed to that the collapse of a bridge on the route of the men’s elite road race will not affect the event.

Work is ongoing to put a temporary bridge in place to replace the one swept away at Grinton Moor in flooding during late July as more than three inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours.

A Yorkshire 2019 spokesman told “North Yorkshire County Council are working hard to repair the recent damage and we are aiming to retain the race route as previously planned, using the temporary bridge.

“Should there be any further issues and a diversion is required, it would be minimal and not involve any significant changes to the Men Elite Road Race course.”

Grinton Moor Bridge (via Swaledale Mountain Rescue)
13 August 2019, 15:06
E-bike riders get MORE exercise than regular cyclists, according to results of new study
Moustache Friday 28 riding -1

The recent study followed over 10,000 participants in seven European cities, and found because the e-bike riders often take longer trips, they actually got more exercise than cyclists on conventional bikes. Full story over on eBikeTips

13 August 2019, 15:04
Decent bike infra: not such a new idea...

More than 40 years on, we can only dream in most parts of the UK!

13 August 2019, 14:19
This is one way to clean a cassette

Has anyone else tried this? Does it work? Will it damage your components or your dis washer? So many questions...


13 August 2019, 12:01
Harrogate businesses urged to "dress up" for World Championships

Harrogate Borough Council is urging business across the area to dress up for the UCI Road Cycling World Championships next month, with the town being the focal point of the event which runs from 22-29 July, hosting the finish of all the races.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said: “The UCI Road World Championships are one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the country this year.

"The races will see thousands of spectators from around the world come to the district across the nine days.

“It would be fantastic to see businesses give visitors and the races a real Harrogate welcome by decorating their premises and getting involved with what is sure to be a great spectacle.”

There will also be a “best dressed” competition, with two categories – one for businesses in the town itself, the other for those across the wider district.

"The public will then vote for their favourite on social media with the winners earning themselves bragging rights as the best dressed business in the town or region," added Councillor Lumley.

Harrogate hosted the finish of the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2014, with the town decked out in knitted bunting reflecting the colours of the jerseys worn by the classification leaders in the race.

Bunting off Skipton High Street - Katie Anderson
13 August 2019, 11:55
Cycling UK say law changes needed to reduce conflict between cyclists and walkers on shared use trails and footpaths

Cycling UK are proposing that the laws of the countryside are one of the main causes behind instances of conflict between cyclists and other footpath/bridleway users, as a good proportion of the general public are confused by the rules. In an article on the matter, Cycling UK's Sam Jones says: "How do you tell the difference between a footpath and bridleway in England or Wales? Without a map or fingerpost actually telling you, it’s nigh on impossible.

"There’s no real criteria for one or the other, and whether you can cycle or ride your horse on the trails criss-crossing the countryside of England and Wales is down to historic, rather than suitability of use.

"Add in county, parish, regional borders and your footpath can change to a bridleway and back, whilst the surface varies not at all."

Jones continues: "There is for some unfathomable reason a minor element of folk who head out into the countryside wishing to make the lives of others miserable with their pronouncements. The fact that they might be wrong is neither here nor there – they believe bikes do not belong and they’ll happily tell you so."

Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns Duncan Dollimore has proposed reform to reduce conflict, saying: “Conflict arises because people feel either entitled or annoyed because they perceive someone is using their particular space.

“We need to develop a better, more modern system for determining access rights – that would go a long way to calming the rare conflict we see on our trails.”

On their ideal scenario, Cycling UK say they want increased access rights for cycles and horseriders in England on "wide open hardly used tracks", something that Scotland and Wales are already working towards with the 2003  Land Reform Act and the Trails for Wales campaign respectively.   

What do you think of Cycling UK's proposed changes, will it reduce the conflict? Let us know what you think in the comments... 

13 August 2019, 11:08
"I was sleeping for 15 hours a day": Matti Breschel retires aged 34

The Dane, who has been riding for EF First for the past two seasons, has retired from professional racing due to an ongoing psoriatic arthritis condition that has been causing him chronic pain. 

Breschel said: “It was a big relief to finally take the decision to retire, because I was struggling a lot to find good form, and the medicine I was taking really knocked me out. I was sleeping for 15 hours a day, it was super tiring, especially for the head.”

“There are a lot of really good memories for me, I’m super satisfied about my whole career and I’ve been able to see so much of the world and explore it through bike racing. I’ve been a part of some of the biggest teams in the sport for so long, meeting so many crazy cool people. It has given me a lot of life experience in general." 

13 August 2019, 11:05
3T launch (slightly) more wallet-friendly Exploro gravel bike

3T's Exploro has just got a whole load more affordable with new build options available from £3,600. Full story here

13 August 2019, 07:24
How to cheat on Zwift. If you really think that will benefit your life...

"You're only cheating yourself", so goes the old saying... and it's more relevant than ever to anyone who would seriously consider cheating on virtual training platform Zwift. That didn't stop one security researcher from pretending he's a superstar virtual athlete, and Vice tell the story of how he did it. Brad Dixon said: "Ultimately I have an Xbox controller I can use to squeeze the trigger, make the little guy in the screen pedal harder, and I could [put it on] cruise control too, because who doesn't need to get off and grab yourself a beer or something while riding."

Dixon used the open source toolkit USBQ on a small Beaglebone Black board to intercept and modify readings from the ANT+ protocol, placing him between the sensors that detect the rider's output and the Zwift app.  

He also said that he hasn't 'hacked' Zwift as such, more that the sensors they rely on can be manipulated: "It's incorrect to say that I hacked Zwift, because I didn't actually. There's not a vulnerability in there. I don't think there is anything for them to fix. It's just the nature of the sensors that they're using and how it works are exploitable."

With Zwift now regularly offering prizes to top riders and running comps to select Zwifters to compete for pro contracts, is this a worrying development? Chris Snook from Zwift told Vice: "We have been aware of the possibilities of this sort of cheating on Zwift for a while, and we operate under the assumption that there are some bad apples who may be actively engaged in this sort of cheating. We have been pursuing a number of different approaches to tackling this problem, and have been doing so for some time." 

If you want to see Zwift cheating in video form, check out the detailed explainer below. 

13 August 2019, 07:36
Fiona's still going...
kolbinger latest strava.PNG

Seemingly determined to make everyone else who has ever ridden a bike feel unworthy, Transcontinental Race winner Fiona Kolbinger is still hanging round near the finish line in Brest and putting in some monster mileage to 'wind down' from her victory - this has been her third and biggest ride since crossing the finish line last Monday according to her Strava uploads

Check out her Transcon Race kit list here

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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