Matt Willey

Matt Willey

FeaturedWomen's Cycling

Zwift Academy initiative to return for 2017 with eRacing component; CANYON//SRAM Racing retains project partnership

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Following its immensely successful 2016 pilot, Zwift has announced that the Zwift Academy will return in 2017, with ambitious participation targets and the introduction of eRacing. The Academy will also run in continued partnership with CANYON//SRAM racing.

The initiative, which invites participants to try out for a UCI World Tour pro contract by riding Zwift, is aiming to triple registrations in 2017 and create the world’s largest community of female cyclists.

The announcement coincides with 2016 Zwift Academy winner, Leah Thorvilson, joining her new CANYON//SRAM teammates and management in Adelaide for the start for the 2017 UCI World Tour season.

Leah Thorvilson
2016 Zwift Academy winner Leah Thorvilson

“Zwift has showed itself as a credible talent identification platform and the 2016 Zwift Academy proved that CANYON//SRAM Racing were committed to adding a new dimension to women’s cycling in their very first season”, says Ronny Lauke, Canyon//SRAM Racing Team Manager.

“Our Year 2 program will build on what we achieved in 2016 by delivering new angles to boost registrations and benefits for all participants.”

Zwift and Canyon//SRAM are planning to more than triple participation in 2017 by attracting over 3,600 female cyclists to take part and graduate from the Zwift Academy program.

“Zwift Academy became famous when Leah Thorvilson earned a UCI World Tour contract but the very notion of an academy meant everyone should benefit” adds CANYON//SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell.

“In 2016 the Zwift Academy brought together a global community of female cyclists who supported and encouraged each other regardless of ability level or experience on the bike. The best thing was that any female cyclist could take part and benefit, whether they were a newbie, an enthusiast or a racer. I’m looking forward to seeing this inclusive vibe go from strength to strength in 2017”.

Registrations for Year 2 of the Zwift Academy are expected to open in June, with the qualification phase starting in September. In keeping with the 2016 program, participants will be tasked to complete a range of group rides, training rides and structured training programs. The biggest change for 2017 will be the introduction of eRacing to the semi-final stage in November.

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“eSport is coming to cycling and Zwift is leading the charge. Introducing a racing component to Zwift Academy provides the judges with another important evaluation component” said Eric Min, Zwift founder & CEO.

“Zwift Academy racing will be an ideal testing ground for measuring and gauging new talent in a fair, effective, competitive environment.”

Min also revealed Zwift are in talks to establish a CANYON//SRAM eRacing development team for the 2018 season. “This is a natural progression for Zwift and CANYON//SRAM Racing. This new and unique project will ease many of the budget constraints in women’s cycling by allowing rider talent to be developed online, in many geographies, and within a team structure.”

Three 2017 Zwift Academy finalists will be invited to the Canyon//SRAM Racing team camp at the end of 2017.

 

 

FeaturedNewsWomen's Cycling

The search concludes as CANYON//SRAM racing names Leah Thorvilson its Zwift Academy winner

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After an exhaustive 11-month search, CANYON//SRAM has announced the rider who will take a spot on its World Tour roster, after having scoured the globe via its innovative partnership with Zwift to uncover raw talent.

Leah Thorvilson, a former U.S. Olympic trials marathon runner from Little Rock, Arkansas, fought off 1,200 women from around the world to win the pro-contract and the opportunity to race for the CANYON//SRAM Racing during the 2017 season.

“It’s been an incredible journey and a totally surreal experience,” said Thorvilson, after spending the better part of the 2016 summer participating in group rides and completing structured workout programs on Zwift, before training with the CANYON//SRAM team in Majorca.

Zwift Academy winner Leah Thorvilson

“Prior to Zwift Academy, I never would have guessed this was possible. The other finalists, Jessie and Yvonne are tremendous athletes whom I now consider close friends. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to begin this next chapter with the CANYON//SRAM Racing team.”

“Our team is about challenging conventions and we’re super proud of Leah,” said CANYON//SRAM Racing rider Tiffany Cromwell, who first announced the competition during a virtual group ride with Zwift users.

“It’d be an honour to have any of the Zwift Academy finalists on team for 2017; they’ve put their lives on hold for this opportunity, but Leah distinguished herself in making the final cut. Leah is a welcome addition here.”

For each of the three rounds of competition, a panel of judges narrowed riders down by carefully analysing data gathered during online rides and workouts.

CANYON//SRAM Sports Director Beth Duryea, Professional Pursuit World Champion Mike McCarthy, and TrainSharp Founder Jon Sharples were part of the selection committee who chose twelve semi-finalists before narrowing it down to the final three.

“Finding talent in cycling is a numbers game, in terms of casting the net wide and drawing performance data back in. That’s what excited us about the Zwift Academy concept. Indoor training provides the accessibility for participants, a safe environment to train and a controlled environment to analyse data, then Zwift adds the social element to build a community of riders and spur them on. It doesn’t surprise us that Leah is our winner. We’re looking forward to seeing how she can develop into a bike racer,” said TrainSharp’s Sharples.

“When you see an idea really become something, it’s an amazing feeling,” added Ronny Lauke, CANYON//SRAM Racing team manager.

“We took a chance with the Zwift Academy and we’re very pleased with the potential we saw not only in Leah, but in the other finalists as well. Watching and seeing all these women dedicate themselves to the sport, it makes one wonder how many more are overlooked.”

Zwift Academy Finalists Leah Thorvilson, Yvonne van Hattum and Jessie Donavan

Leah’s training and race schedule will be determined by the management of CANYON//SRAM Racing, including sport director Beth Duryea. “The immediate future is about further preparing Leah for bike racing at a professional level. The learning curve is going to be incredibly steep, but we will provide a plan with some specific areas for her to work on over the rest of winter. Leah will have a training program from our team coach and together we’ll discuss the first part of the season. It would be great to see her preparing to race sometime in spring.”

Zwift CEO & Founder, Erin Min concluded; “We knew that Zwift and its community were capable of producing a rider who could race at a World Tour level. But this was only made possible because of CANYON//SRAM Racing. This year was a pilot, and in this respect, our three finalists were true pioneers of their sport. No one can take this away from Leah, Jessie and Yvonne!”

Zwift, CANYON//SRAM Racing and Canyon have confirmed the Zwift Academy will return in 2017.

More on Zwift Academy Finalists

Leah Thorvilson

Thirty-seven-year-old Leah is a development director at her alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Leah’s prolific career as a marathon runner included multiple wins, and she competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Injuries prompted a move to cycling in 2015, and Leah quickly dedicated herself to the sport.

Jessie Donavan

A long-time endurance athlete and mother of three, Jessie lives with her family near Burlington, Vermont. The 40-year-old, three-time Ironman champion has repeatedly set triathlon-course bests on the bike, and has a background in backpacking and running as well as elite Nordic skiing. Jessie works as a senior enrollment analyst at the University of Vermont.

Yvonne van Hattum

Originally from Holland, Yvonne currently resides with her husband in Dubai, UAE and works in management for Valvoline. A veteran field hockey player, Yvonne, 37, has been a runner for nearly a decade but only discovered her talent for cycling in 2015.

CANYON//SRAM Racing Pro Team Zwift Academy Winner from vamper.cc on Vimeo.

Cycling AccessoriesNews

Green is the new Black as KitBrix pledges support for Homeless Veterans

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UK cycle and triathlon accessories brand KitBrix has announced it will be taking a very different approach to this weekend’s ‘Black Friday’ sales drive.

The brand has vowed to donate 20% of all sales generated during, what it is calling, ‘Green Friday’ to UK-based military charity Help 4 Homeless Veterans.

KitBrix confirmed that it wanted to use the opportunity to raise the profile of a charity that closely mirrors its own values and to generate much-needed public awareness of those that may have no choice other than to be outside this Winter.

Help 4 Homeless Veterans is based in the UK and their core mission is to source and provide accommodation to ex-service Personnel who are living rough or are in unsatisfactory accommodation.

“We believe that the rejuvenated skills of homeless ex-military personnel can be amplified when put back in to work. We are seeing more and more homeless in recent years and this is a social issue that is well within our powers to help solve,” KitBrix Founder & Director Robert Aldous.

The aims of Help 4 Homeless Veterans include:

  • Support servicemen and women into suitable accommodation and empower them to develop a civilian career.
  • Provide access to organisations who can offer up-to-date and accessible information on employment, further training and wider opportunities.
  • To identify employers in locations close to any accommodation occupied by veterans and to maintain and develop links with employers and other relevant agencies regionally.

Further details on the Help 4 Homeless Veterans charity can be found by visiting their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Home1ess/

 

FeaturedReviewsSportives

Yorkshire Velo Tours launches expanded 2017 programme of fully supported rides

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For regular readers it will come as no surprise to hear that we hold a special place in our hearts for the cycling in Yorkshire.

With Victoria and I both originating from ‘God’s Own Country’ we always find it comforting, rewarding and yet very challenging when we get to ride back in the homeland.

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to join an organised group ride with Ilkley-based Yorkshire cycling tour operator Yorkshire Velo Tours. The ride we joined that day was a challenging 77-mile jaunt over hill and down dale that sat long in the memory, taking in the gorgeous scenery of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Cycling in God’s Own Country – We Ride out with Yorkshire Velo Tours

Recently Yorkshire Velo Tours Founder Charles Oxtoby contacted us with details of the company’s 2017 vastly-expanded ride programme, featuring options catering for both experienced cyclists and those wanting a more leisurely experience.

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There are three tours on offer in 2017: Ilkley into the Dales, Tour de Wensleydale and Introduction to Yorkshire Dales Cycling; each typically comprises of three days riding and four nights luxury accommodation.

Two of the tours are based in Ilkley, an ideal base for routes in all directions and also there is a two base tour with overnight stays in Ilkley and Wensleydale.

Yorkshire Velo Tours is also once again offering its Challenge Rides (this is the ride we reviewed earlier in the year).

These are small group rides along classic Yorkshire routes and are hosted one Saturday a month. Each ride features a designated ride leader and comes complete with dedicated support van and mechanic facilities on hand. A weekend package is also available for these events that includes a steady ride on the Sunday morning.

Yorkshire Velo Tours has also teamed up with a local hotel to offer a corporate cycling day package as well as a ‘group cycling adventure’ for groups to book and tailor the ride and hospitality to their specification. Further details are available at: YorkshireVeloTours.com

Also a new offering from YVT is its ‘Route Store’ option, providing cyclists the opportunity to purchase details of our classic routes for £4.99 each. All the ride/map info including GPS downloads, key info for the ride, details of the main climbs are and recommendations for cafe stops using tried and tested local establishments are also included as part of the download. You also get off road parking and toilets/changing location data. Vital information for those looking to venture out for the first time on some iconic Yorkshire routes.

The route guides draw on invaluable local knowledge, which is like gold dust for a visiting cyclist and can turn an average trip into a truly memorable adventure.

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FeaturedSportives

MassifCentral launches ‘The Massifier’ online design portal Kickstarter campaign

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UK-based design team MassifCentral has announced the launch of its Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for the development of ‘The Massifier’, an online website enabling anyone to create bespoke artwork based on data from their sporting achievements.

Utilising raw data from fitness trackers and wearable tech, The Massifier brings together art and technology to deliver highly individual visual representations that will appeal to cyclists, runners, triathletes, and hikers.

Established in 2014 by James Mason and Howard Smith, MassifCentral already has already produced artworks based on the Tour de France, the London & New York Marathons, Ride-100, Lands’ End-John O’Groats as well as hundreds of bespoke works.

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“We want to develop an intuitive, user-controlled online portal that allows people to create their own bespoke MassifCentral artworks; easily pulling in their own GPX data, making choices about look and size from our carefully curated designs and adding their own thoughts and memories to an automatically populated geography,” said MassifCentral’s Howard Smith.

“We will still print everything individually and pack and ship with the same love and care we do now,” Smith added.

With an existing client base that includes Leicester City FC, Rapha and three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, MassifCentral are confident that the month-long Kickstarter campaign will prove successful, not least because of its innovative approach.

MassifCentral is Seeking £55,000 to transform the labour-intensive bespoke design process into an accessible, cost-effective experience. For further details on the campaign visit the MassifCentral Kickstarter page.

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Cycling AccessoriesSportives

KitBrix hits the trails as it announces new Maverick Race partnership

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UK-based trail running series Maverick Race and KitBrix have announced a two-year partnership agreement with immediate effect.

KitBrix will support Maverick Race with its current product range and future Trail Run specific items.

Maverick Race now oversees 18 events including four marathon distance races featuring supported routes created in National Parks and other Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

“We’re really excited to be partnering up with KitBrix for the coming season. Having been long-term users of their bags we’ve really put them through their paces,” said Maverick Race’s Justin Bufton.

“We love these bags – a rare find that delivers what it promises. Designed to be tough and stand up to anything the great outdoors can throw at you and still look great and keep your kit organised. We’re looking forward to seeing and testing out the current and future KitBrix product range, ” he added.

We’re really excited to be partnering up with KitBrix for the coming season. Having been long-term users of their bags we’ve really put them through their paces.

Maverick Race’s Justin Bufton

“Picking a favourite spot is tough, but I think it has to be our Devon race; set deep in the Teign Valley on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park, it epitomises what we’re about. The start/finish area is a delightful meadow right next to the river and the infamous Fingle Bridge, sitting under the shadow of Castle Drogo. The course is an awesome mix of flat riverside trails, heavily wooded forest and monstrous hills. The whole event has a real feel of wilderness that we love, but it’s just 20 minutes off the M5,” Bufton concluded.

KitBrix aims to keep you ready, save you time and ensure you are prepared at all times, in order to take advantage of every training and race day opportunity. Much of their inspiration is taken from military kit design principles – hard wearing, practical and built to last. Spend less time searching for kit & equipment and more time doing the sport you love.

For further details visit Maverick Race at www.maverick-race.com, follow on Instagram @maverickrace and email info@maverick-race.com for more information.

For more on KitBrix visit www.kitbrix.co.uk, follow on Instagram @kitbrix and emailenquiries@kitbrix.com for more information

60 SecondsFeatured

Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds with Huez* Founder & Director Lorenzo Curci

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It is always exciting to meet people who positively bounce with enthusiasm, both for their own brand and for the broader industry in general. One such character is the Founder & Director of Huez*, Lorenzo Curci.

We last bumped into Lorenzo at Spin this summer and we were intrigued to hear about the plans he had for Huez* and some of the innovative materials and methods they were trialling.

Fast-forward a few months and we took some time out to ask the effervescent Curci what we could expect from the brand in the future, and uncovered details about the ongoing Huez* Crowdcube campaign.

Hear what Lorenzo had to say in our Interview with the Vamper: 60 Second discussion.

Lorenzo, who or what inspired you to ride? 

I was taken by cycling ever since I was given my first bike. As clichéd as it sounds, as soon as my stabilizers came off, all I remember doing was figures of eight around two trees outside the house.

I graduated on to a curious looking eighties bike with a gear lever on the top tube that I would skid in the front drive with and try tricks on, then in my teens, a Trek 850 that I remember snapping the front fork of after jumping off a wall that was clearly too high.

When I moved onto road bikes in my mid twenties and started testing myself on the world’s most famous alpine climbs, I absolutely knew I had found my passion.

Tell us about your current favourite ride?

Up in the Tuscan hills of course… I grew up there until the age of seven, amongst the undulating countryside and hill-top towns which are utterly breathtaking and great terrain for training.

I still have a house near ex-Pro Max Lelli who I have become close friends with, he hosts a ride most weekends, taking in Manciano, Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano – if you’re ever in the area you have to stop and ride with him.

Huez* Founder & Director Lorenzo Curci
Huez* Founder & Director Lorenzo Curci

What is your favourite piece of cycling kit, and why? 

Right now with the days getting shorter, our own Moonrider Gilet is getting a lot of use. It’s one of the only stretch reflective fabrics on the market and its dimpled quality makes it much brighter than most reflective jackets. It is also waterproof, which can only be a good thing at this time of year and we have also added our convenient quick burst zip function. It’s a piece that makes use of all the things we have learnt since we launched the brand, the integration of really technical fabrics and a studied and innovative design.

What three tracks are guaranteed to get you fired up for a ride, no matter what time you went to bed?

My taste in music is eclectic to say the least, so its lucky you have asked for three selections. I think guns and roses ‘Sweet Child O’mine’ will always get me moving pretty quickly first thing. ‘Takeover’ by Village and recent release ‘Panda’ by Desiinger puts a smile on my face.

What cycling trends do you think will be big in the next 12 months?

The use of Graphene in products is very exciting indeed – we could soon see some off the lightest, strongest bikes ever hitting the market which will blow your mind. I think cross cycling will continue to expand and the fixed gear scene will start to get the attention it deserves at the highest levels.

What has been your cycling highlight of 2016 so far?

Its funny, as a business owner, I am always looking forward and looking at what we can or should be doing better, but looking back at the last 12 months, it’s amazing to see how much we have been able to pack in. One of the highlights has got to be taking 10 riders on Santander Bikes, (each bike weighing 23kg) up Alpe d’Huez back in April.

Our goal was to leave London, drive to and then climb the famous mountain, then get back to London within 24hrs. We just missed the deadline but it was an incredible challenge and for a great cause. So far we have raised close to £30,000 for the Stroke Association and National Brain Appeal.

And finally: what’s in store for Huez*? What can we expect to see from you in the coming year?

We recently launched a Crowdfunding campaign on ‘Crowdcube’ (www.crowdcube.com/huez) which is really exciting. With the investment round successfully completed we will be able to grow the team and launch a wider marketing campaign for the brand. This will involve some awesome special projects with a race team here in the UK, and I hope some unique collaborations with our favourite brands.

We have just secured a partnership with Harvey Nichols and some great Independent Bike Shops in the London area. We are also looking to release some innovative tech-driven products aimed at improving the way we cycle in our cites and connect with other riders.

FeaturedNews

Luke Rowe and Michał Kwiatkowski confirmed for Rouleur Classic

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Team Sky riders Luke Rowe and Michał Kwiatkowski are confirmed for this year’s Rouleur Classic which opens this Thursday (3rd November) at Victoria House, London. The pair will take part in a live Q&A on stage from 19:30, hosted by Ned Boulting.

The event will also play host to the Team Sky x Scott Mitchell gallery, a celebration of the team’s first six years in the sport. The gallery provides a unique access all areas perspective of the World Tour outfit.

The Team Sky x Scott Mitchell gallery is one of a number of exhibitions taking place at the Rouleur Classic including; a collection of World Tour team bikes, an exclusive showcase of cycling memorabilia belonging to cycling legend Sean Kelly, Michael Blann’s ‘Mountains’ gallery, the World Tour Kitchen led by pro cycling chef, Hannah Grant and a Prendas Ciclismo heritage jersey collection.

Each of the event’s three days will commemorate cycling’s most historic moments from the three Grand Tours, preview the routes for 2017 while current pros and pundits will look forward to how they see the races playing out next year.

World Tour riders attending the show over the course of the three days include Alexander Kristoff, Filippo Pozzato, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Christian Meier and Jan Bakelants along with riders from Team Sky. Alice Barnes and the Drops Cycling Team will also join them.

Grand Tour winners Jan Ullrich and Sean Kelly plus former record holder Graeme Obree will give a historical perspective, while views from the team car will come from sporting director Viatcheslav Ekimov.

Christian Prudhomme, Mauro Vegni and Javier Guillén will each be presenting their race and expounding on why the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España are so special.

After a spectacular summer in Rio, the Rouleur Classic will also be welcoming Olympic champions Laura Kenny (née Trott), Jason Kenny and Joanna Rowsell Shand.

The Rouleur Classic 2016 takes place between 3-5 November 2016 at Victoria House, London.

Tickets are available to buy now from www.rouleurclassic.cc

 

NewsSportives

UCI confirms Tour of Ayrshire as latest addition to the Gran Fondo World Series

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The UCI has announced that the newly accredited Tour of Ayrshire will take its place in the Gran Fondo World Series roster for 2017 alongside fellow UK-based event the Tour of Cambridgeshire.

The Tour of Ayrshire is organised by the same successful team that delivered the Tour of Cambridgeshire, an event that has been part of the World Series since 2015.

The 12-mile time trial on Saturday and 85-mile Gran Fondo on Sunday will take place on fully closed roads with interval starts in the hilly region south of Kilmarnock.

Full details of the Tour of Ayrshire can be found here: http://www.sport.be/ucigranfondoworldseries/2017/en/ayrshire/

And details of the Tour of Cambridgeshire can be found here: http://www.sport.be/ucigranfondoworldseries/2017/en/peterborough/

Full details of the Gran Fondo series can be found here: http://www.ucigranfondoworldseries.com

The full roster of UCI Gran Fondo World Series events
The full roster of UCI Gran Fondo World Series events
Cycling TipsFeaturedNews

A very real pain in the arse: Getting to the bottom of my Coccyx pain enforced layoff

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I’m now entering the second month of being ‘off-bike’ having received definitive medical advice to remove my posterior from the bike saddle for a prolonged period, lasting as long as three months.

Why?

A nasty case of Coccydynia – coccyx pain, or, quite simply, a pain in the arse.

It’s hard to put a definitive time on when the pain became a permanent fixture, but I can trace the initial injury back to a rapid transition from the top of our new staircase to the bottom in May, using my arse (and coccyx) as the means of transport.

It is a jarring moment when you fall down the stairs. As I child I did it a few times, but that moment of stunned shock hasn’t changed at all in the intervening years.

There is a maelstrom of sensorial confusion, followed by the jolting reality of gravity, finally met by a rapid stock take, assessing all your faculties and features.

If we fast-forward to the arrival of my latest bike we can start to trace where things started to go very wrong.

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The transition to summer saw the cycling miles rapidly increase. I had the Tour of Cambridge Gran Fondo booked in, a lengthy hill-laden ride in Yorkshire with the wonderful Yorkshire Velo Tours, not to mention the Prudential 100.

Added to this, my base commuting miles, weekend training and general outings meant that serious time was spent on the new steed.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly: the new Planet X EC-130 was fast, comfortable and looked stunning. There were some jarring moments when the terrible road surfaces of Surrey dealt cruel blows, sending shuddering attacks through the full carbon frame and seat post directly to my backside – but I didn’t think much of it.

That was until I began to feel a nagging pain after sitting for long periods. The transition from sitting to standing started to bring with it a searing pain in the base of my spine, right at the bottom section – the coccyx.

The fact that over the past two years I have dropped two stone in weight – going from almost 14 stone down to 11.4st, a weight I hadn’t seen since Noel’s House Party was still on Saturday nights – meant that there is a distinct lack of cushioning. With a day job that sees me seated at a computer for most of the day, all things conspired to give me a real pain in the backside.

As all men do, my first method of dealing with it was – of course – to do absolutely nothing at all. For months. It wasn’t until September that it became clear that it was not going to get better of its own accord. And whilst time on the bike was as pain free and enjoyable as ever, the days after were excruciating.

The offending area remains just out of shot
The offending area remains just out of shot

I had a sneaking suspicion that the San Marco saddle that had been supplied with my new bike was exacerbating matters. It seemed comfortable for the most part, but when I started to pay real attention I began to notice how it didn’t quite support my sit bones and was actually resting on the inside of each – placing outward pressure on the coccyx and sacrum area. (As you can tell, I had become quite the physician after countless hours trawling Google.)

With my homespun and self-awarded PhD firmly in the bag, I resolved that a trip to the doctors was in order to confirm that my initial diagnosis was correct. As it turns out, I wasn’t a million miles away. (I wouldn’t encourage self-diagnosis via Google; it invariably convinces me that I am dying of a rare and incurable ailment before any semblance of rationality kicks in.)

The very understanding doctor, after a thorough examination and some mild physio-based manipulation, determined that it was a case of Coccydynia and that three months off the bike was in order – cruel news for any dedicated cyclist.

I took the news and solemnly dragged myself home to tell Victoria that our frequent duel attacks would be curtailed for a while, news which was met with the somber gravitas one would expect from a bedfellow equally as mental about cycling as you are yourself.

Victoria stoically and almost immediately ordered me a specialist ‘coccyx cushion’ from an online retailer of mobility scooters and aids for the elderly – a very low point in my life – but so began a recovery regime that is ongoing.

There is terminology and there are bits of you its better you know nothing about
There are bits of your body it’s better to know nothing about

As we have moved into October and with the layoff beginning to bear fruit, I can now sit for longer periods and the transition to standing is less excruciating. I have also started to see a specialist Chiropractor, the superbly knowledgeable Dr Ricky Davis from Summit Wellbeing in Sheen.

summit-logoRicky had been treating Victoria with ongoing physio and over the course of their sessions the topic of my backside had reared (sorry…) its head. Ricky thought he might be able to get to the bottom of it (shakes head).

My first session with Ricky took place this week. I won’t lie, it was gruesomely painful: it involved levels of coccyx manipulation no sane person should subject themselves too. However, it’s all with the aim of stimulating the healing process and encouraging movement back into an area that had become rigid with shock and fused due to my reluctance to seek treatment earlier.

I am, after four days, very hopeful that progress is being made. I will of course maintain my off-bike status for the foreseeable future – a situation that shouldn’t continue if the bathroom scales are to be believed. But being off the bike and with Ricky’s assistance I am confident that given time I can be pain free and back in the saddle.

This post is, I suppose, a sort of aide-memoire, designed to help me cogently piece together a timeline of how and why I ended up with a man prodding my buttocks, but also a descriptive note of caution to others not to ignore those first signs of pain on the bike as they can, if not dealt with, blossom into a very literal pain in the arse.

We are, as ever, interested hear your own tales of medical drama linked to your cycling – the more embarrassing the better. I’ve bared my soul, or rather my backside, and now it is your turn, dear reader.

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Hopefully we are approaching the end of the journey when it comes to this particular injury

 

 

Cycle ClothingReviews

Review: Gore Power Windstopper Jersey, Bib Shorts and Oxygen Active Shell Jacket

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As we boldly venture in the autumn/winter season I have been testing three of Gore’s seasonal offerings designed to keep you in the saddle as the temperature drops and the moisture level increases. Each of the three pieces reviews is currently available from Sigma Sport and is on sale with 25% off.

Gore Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey

Being a British cyclist, if I only rode when the weather was good, I wouldn’t get to ride very much at all. It’s a good thing, then, that there are some innovative cyclewear brands developing garment technology to help cyclists combat the elements.

Gore Bike Wear have created the Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey for those difficult British weather conditions. Fully lined with Gore’s Windstopper material, the Power Windstopper jersey is both fully windproof and water resistant. This is going to be incredibly useful as autumn sets in.

Gore Power Windstopper

I have ridden in the jersey for a number of weeks now and it is really coming into its own now the weather has turned. As we still clung on to the end of summer I found it a little too warm when the temperature was in the mid teens, but it has certain found a solid place in my wardrobe now the mercury has dropped.

It is a piece that layers well and allied to a good set of arm warmers and base layer will see you in the saddle comfortably this autumn.

Gore Power Windstopper

While the blue colour-way variant probably won’t set your world on fire, the Gore Power Windstopper jersey isn’t short on practical details.

It has three rear pockets which provide plenty of storage for everything you need to carry (Lezyne tool pouch, wallet, iPhone, keys, snacks and a bike pump) and it has reflective elements which are useful when you’re commuting home at night as the light fades. You can see from the image above how bright the reflective detailing is. The jersey also features a close fit collar to stop drips and draughts creeping in, and a good gripper strip at the hem to keep everything in place.

Gore Bike Wear Power Bib Short

Made from a mixture of polyamide and elastane to provide a good level of compression for medium distance rides, these Gore Bike Wear Power Bib Shorts have become a go-to bib shorts when the weather isn’t too chilly. Gore’s Power Men seat insert is highly breathable and features a preformed windproof front to keep your valuables both well ventilated and protected.

The mesh bib tunnel design ensures that the seams are lifted away from the skin, which reduces friction and stops material from digging in when riding. With pressure directed toward the hems and shoulders, the bib short is kept in place whether climbing, sprinting or descending. This keeps the Power Men’s seat insert in place, too.

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Reflective logos on the back and side of the bib short make for increased visibility in poorly lit conditions.

Gore Power Windstopper

The full retail price of the Gore Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey is £124.99 and it is currently on offer at Sigma Sport with 25% off. The Power Bib Shorts retail at £99.99 and also have 25% off at Sigma Sport now.

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Active Shell Light Jacket

As we move firmly into autumn/winter season and all the interesting weather that will bring, the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Active Shell Light Jacket is rapidly becoming a vital part of my daily cycling arsenal. It is a brilliantly engineered lightweight jacket, that is substantial enough to shelter you from some really crappy downpours, yet compact enough to fit into your back pocket with ease.

Gore Power Windstopper

Constructed from windproof and water resistant Active Windstopper fabric it feels really well crafted and the fit is exemplary, absolutely no flapping about here. The jacket borders on race-fit, which is a welcome change from the bin-bagesque attempts a rainwear that are often seen.  The dropped tail keeps you protected from wheel spray while the full length zip with an underflap allows for customisable ventilation whilst also making sure wind does not penetrate through the zip.

Gore’s material technology is not only protective against the elements, it is also highly effective at regulating body temperature, allowing your skin to breath and for moisture to be transported away comfortably.

Reflective logos on the sides, sleeves, front and back aid your visibility to others out on the road and the two dynamic colour options ensure you turn heads wherever you ride.

Overall this has become one of my favourite pieces of the year (and that reminds me – I must do a round up of the best cycling kit of 2016!) and currently on offer at Sigma Sport with 25% at £112.49. I would definitely recommend purchasing it.

Cycle ClothingNews

Cadence UK delivers new autumn range featuring distinctive Reel Camo jersey

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Cyclewear brand Cadence has announced its latest Autumn 2016 range, featuring a distinctive Reel Camo pattern, available in the UK and Europe via Cadence UK.

The brand, founded in 2003 by visual artist Dustin Klein from San Francisco, has released three new jerseys to add to its growing collection of visually engaging cycle kit.

One of the most striking and visually indulgent jerseys of the new releases is the Cadence Reel Camo jersey, which is available in both long an short-sleeve variants.

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Cadence Designer and Co-Founder Dustin Klein, who drew inspiration whilst riding through the forests of Oregon near his hometown of Portland, created the exclusive pattern.

“I shot the photo and built the repeat for this Reel Camo jersey. I was not sure if my idea was going to work, it did! I thought it fitting to do the photo shoot in the place I became inspired,” said Klein.

The long-sleeve edition of the Cadence Reel Camo is a thermal race-fit variant featuring thermal fleecing for those cold mornings or race warm-ups, a 6mm fully-hidden zip, three rear pockets and a Cadence silicone gel gripper at the waist.

The short sleeve version is again race-fit, featuring premium Italian fabrics and a race-inspired, 11-panel anatomic pattern, full length zipper and three rear pockets

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Also included in the autumn release from Cadence is a colour-blocked short sleeve race-fit jersey for those still clinging to the coattails of summer.

The design, which features multiple Cadence logos for maximum branding potential, will be popular with those planning a winter sun escape and those hitting the boards this winter.

It again is a race-fit edition featuring premium Italian fabrics and a race-inspired, 11-panel anatomic pattern, a full-length zipper and three rear pockets.

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The final piece in the autumn release is the Team Script bibs, which feature the Cadence script logo down the leg.

The bibs ideally partner a number of the Cadence Jerseys that also prominently feature the Cadence logo.

The Team Script bibs are from the top-tier of the Santini line and have the world tour proven NAT (Next Airflow Technology) chamois.

The pad features NEXT gel inserts that provide a cooling effect, and small self-massaging micro circles boost circulation. This pad coupled with the V-mesh upper makes for a superb high quality bib short.

Cycle ClothingFeatured

British cyclewear start-up Maunder XV seeks Kickstarter funding for Deepcover range

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UK cyclewear start-up Maunder XV, has announced the launch of its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the creation of its Deepcover V and Deepcover C unisex jackets.

The Deepcover designs aim to deliver top-end styling and technical performance in the outerwear market, the brand confirmed.

Conceived by British inventor and technology entrepreneur, Michael Utley, to be suitable for every scenario, the Deepcover range combines classic lines with materials innovation and technical performance.

“When trying to find good value outerwear that could be worn in every scenario from the Alps to the boardroom, there was nothing that ticked all the boxes. I wanted to create an affordable, style driven product that included all the necessary features in the competitive performance wear market,” Utley said.

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“So many jackets require needless compromises – performance garments from mountain brands offer minimal styling, whilst traditional styles give better looks at the expense of waterproofing, performance, weight or the right levels of insulation.”

“We created Maunder XV and the Deepcover jackets to redefine outerwear, bridging performance, style and fashion with good-looking, high performing jackets that go where no others will,” Utley added.

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The three-in-one unisex jackets will be available in two versions, the Deepcover C and Deepcover V, both featuring a triple-membrane, breathable waterproof shell with a detachable, DWR-coated thermal inner.

The Maunder XV Deepcover V features 12 retractable MXV D-Ring utility hooks for attaching accessories such as lights, action cameras, gloves and keys to both the outer (8 rings) and inner (4 rings) jackets.

“The MXV D-Rings were inspired by city commuters on dark rainy winter nights in Amsterdam and London. There seemed no sensible way to integrate the lights and technology cyclists already own into a smart jacket without the need for gimmicks or garish colours,” said Utley.

One of Deepcover’s key features is the unique removable magnetic hood. Providing the necessary protection in a downpour it seamlessly detaches to reveal a crisp, classic, scooped collar complimenting its fishtail rear giving a sharper look suited to more formal settings

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“So many bulky hoods, zips and poppers ruin the lines of otherwise sleek jackets. Getting the hood right was key, so we designed a unique system using barely visible magnets which transform the entire feel of the Deepcover in seconds.”

Both jackets will be available with a Hawks Eye Blue outer shell with inner thermal jacket in Rough Slate Grey or Moss Fleck Green for 60 days from October 15 via Kickstarter. If the stretch fundraising target of £60,000 is met, further colours will be available.

The Maunder XV Deepcover V featuring MXV D-Rings will be available for £249 – 40% less than the launch retail price of £479 for 60 days from October 17th, with a limited number of early bird jackets available for £239.

The Maunder XV Deepcover C will be available for £239 – 40% less than the launch retail price of £429 for 60 days from October 17th, with a limited number of early bird jackets available for £219.

Christmas Gift cards are also available with products expected to ship in February 2017.

To order jackets and help Maunder XV reach it’s £14,000 crowdfunding target, visit Maunder XV on Kickstarter or at MaunderXV.com.

Maunder XV is also looking for long-term international business partners and distributors.

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The Maunder XV Deepcover Technical Specification:

  • Waterproof, breathable, durable, lightweight
  • Soft touch triple membrane outer shell jacket
  • Zip-out DWR coated thermal inner jacket in contrasting fabric
  • Modern tailored cut
  • 12 MXV D-Ring utility hooks (Deepcover V only)
  • 11 Discrete pockets
  • Detachable magnetic hood with toggle adjustment
  • YKK Aquacheat #5 zippers
  • Fully taped sealed seams
  • High scoop collar
  • Fishtail rear
  • Two-way front split zipper
  • Gunmetal and reflective details

60 SecondsFeatured

Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds with As Bold As Founder Joyce Brereton

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As Bold As Foudner Joyce Brereton

In this edition of Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds we’re chatting to As Bold As Founder Joyce Brereton. The As Bold As range is inspired by an obsession with geometry, quirky detailing, a marriage of performance and fashion, and a love of the everyday adventure. Here we speak to Joyce about what stirs her passions in the cycling world.

What is it about cycling that makes you happy?

The sense of freedom, getting outside, being in the moment. It takes me away from the dull everyday and transforms me into a braver version of myself! I also love the variety of cycling… the meander to the mountain bike to the road cycle to the spin class. I can choose a different gear to suit my mood.

If you could cycle anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

This is such a good question and has got me all wanderlusty! I’d go on a road tour through the north of Italy onto Slovenia, stopping in different towns along the way. How cool would that be? I’ve been thinking about cycle touring since I met the owner of Shand Cycles (they make touring bikes) and then listened to Emily Chappell’s story of trans-European adventure.

What inspired you to move into the world of cycling apparel?

I’d always had a burning desire to set-up my own business. All I was missing was the confidence. I reached a point where it was do-or-regret. I was seeing all these girls on their bike dressed in builder’s vests or oversized nauseous-yellow jackets and thought “there has to be a better way”. So it was a combination of unrestrained ambition and spotting that gap. I’ve found that confidence has come from just doing it (and stop thinking about it).

Which other brands do you admire? Who’s producing exciting kit in your opinion?

I really like Queen of the Mountains. Their kit is top notch and I love what they stand for – empowering women together. We need more of that.

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What is your favourite ride?

I love my commute into Dublin. I pass the seafront, cycle through a tree-lined park, battle with traffic and potholes and then end up in my charming city. That’s where my heart is, in making an adventure of the everyday.

If you could go for a bike ride with anyone at all, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

John Bishop – great comedian and cyclist. I bet he’d keep you entertained through the tough climbs, good for morale! Actually, can I have a team of people please? I’d like Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs as he’d be able to get you through any tricky situation in any European country as he can speak every language. Lastly, Marianne Vos to push us and Mary Berry to keep us sustained and give me some business advice. This peloton might have different stamina levels but we’d get there in the end!

What song is guaranteed to get you in the mood for a ride, no matter what time you went to bed?

Chemical Brothers – Galvanize

What has been your cycling highlight of 2016 so far?

The day before I had my second baby I went for a family cycle and had ice cream at the end of the pier. The next day my baby boy was born. You can’t get more of a highlight than that!

And finally: what’s in store for As Bold As? What can we look forward to seeing from you in the coming year?

We’re ambitious for As Bold As and we’d love to expand our collection. People have really responded to our colour range and casual-yet-technical fabrics so we’re going to build on that.