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  • The BMX kid’s face when he finishes… GOLD!

    • Nitro

      The beauty – and joy – of cycling personified in a few short seconds …

  • Winky

    Fat-bikes might be a growth area in percentage terms but they’re coming off a base of close-to-zero. I’d be surprised if they ever become more than a fraction of a percent of sales. Actually no, I wouldn’t be surprised, just disappointed that so many people would buy bikes that will never be used (some will, of course) in the conditions for which they are designed.

    • CC

      Too many coffees this morning? -:)

    • Sean parker

      I believe that the next big thing is ‘freewheel’ bikes. That is bikes with the wheels removed. You have to hold the frame up with your hands and run with it a la Fred Flintstone.

      the advantage is that you don’t need all those gimmicks like suspension, saddles, pedals, wheels or, if you really want to go hardcore, a frame.

      it’s getting back to the ‘true spirit of cycling’. You know before ‘The Suits’ got involved and made us buy bikes with brakes, gears handlebars and all those unnecessary distractions from the true nature of the bike. The true freewheeler has a tattoo of a celtic beard and tribal espresso piercings, of course. Sponsored by Red Bull: who has a history of sticking it to ‘The Man.

      • Winky

        Don’t get me wrong. Fat biking in the Yukon, or through the Gobi, looks an awesome thing to do. There just aren’t that many people who will ever do it. But there might be bunch of people who buy fat bikes to ride on the local bike-paths and around town. If fat-biking becomes a “real growth area” in cycle sales, I’ll bet it’s not because the arctic wilderness has suddenly become the Moab of the north.

        • Sean parker

          I agree, the only bike (literally) for riding on snow and sand. But why a mountain biker would prefer a slower, less efficient, noisier, more expensive bike for the local trails is beyond me.

          If you need suspension, get suspension. A slow bouncy tractor tyre won’t sort out your traction problems any time soon.

          It just screams niche-chariot to me. But then I don’t understand downhill or track cycling either….

    • velocite

      A chap on a fat bike passed me on the way up Hotham in this year’s ACE250. :-(

  • jules

    huge love for Drew Ginn’s ride over here! don’t be fooled by the average speed, Drew was consistently ripping off 40+ km/h laps for hours on end. I wouldn’t have imagined this was humanly possible. what a machine.

    for those who don’t know, the Brunswick velodrome is pretty bumpy – particularly at one end – which would have wiped a fair bit of speed off. it was also quite windy that day. this ride should have led the sports section in the news, if they selected stories on merit.

    • Robert Merkel

      I had a look on Friday night and briefly on Saturday morning.

      Friday night (about six hours in) he was riding like a machine.

      Saturday morning, poor bloke was wobbling all over the track, couldn’t get down into the TT position, and was down to just over 30 km/h. Can only imagine how much agony he was in by that stage.

      • velocite

        I am quite clear that I’ll never do another 20′ ftp test on the trainer – I just don’t like the mental side of it. I don’t think I can even imagine what it might be like after 24 hours.

        But I’m wondering..is this quasi religious? Some kind of quest, anyway, and in Ginn’s case I don’t suppose it was for fame.

    • Andy B

      Cant even imagine what he went through ….
      I had many thoughts during the 24 hours about what I was doing and had done since he started and how he was still going for it..
      Ultra impressive.. would be great to hear what thoughts he was having, how he felt and his view of the bike now
      I have big days on the bike and feel scarred and don’t touch my bike for a few days.. and they don’t even compare to 1/4 of his ride!

  • Luke Meers

    As odd as Taborre’s doping excuse may sound, as I’ve watched cyclist accept bidons on mountain stages etc, I’ve often thought it would be very easy for someone to have put something dodgy in their bidon. Or in Adam Hansen’s beer Surprised that type of excuse hasn’t been used before.

    • Stompin

      True, but Taborre isn’t exactly a big name rider. I think he’d like to be, hence the little ‘helper’ he been busted for.

    • Tyler Hamilton

      Shouldve gone with the twin brother fetus excuse

    • Sean parker

      yes, i have often slipped syringes of EPO – because it is so cheap and freely available- into a bidon and handed it to a pro cyclist.

      That coughing you see on the screen is not from a parched, dry throat, it is an attempt to dislodge a needle caught in the oesophagus.

      • Dave

        I thought the coughing was to substantiate the claims of a disturbingly large proportion of major GC contenders who are “suffering” from “asthma” and “requiring” medication which coincidentally happens to be on the banned list and requiring a TUE.

        This issue of asthma and pro cycling should be studied, in my opinion. Does pro cycling cause asthma? Does asthma cause pro cycling? Are they at all interlinked?

        • Bex

          i’m not pro, but I’ve found i no longer need my Ventolin now since I’ve been riding a lot more regularly. The more and harder i ride the less asthma symptoms I’ve experienced, so i’d be interested to see this sort of study as well.

          • De Mac

            Interestingly, as a Bronchial Asthma sufferer since the age of Two-Years (now 44), I can relate to your experience. I was fairly lazy in my Twenties and Thirties and took up cycling in 2012. I’ve found that even through Spring – often the worst season for me – the Asthma has been very mild…… Do NOT ask me to explain it – perhaps being older and reintroducing effective exercise has played a part???

  • velocite

    I’ve said it before, if I was driving and killed a cyclist because I was texting I’d volunteer to go to jail for a long time- I’d deserve it. But when a driver is trying to do the right thing by watching for cyclists, but misses one and he dies, what fine or other punishment is appropriate? I think it’s important that the accident and its aftermath, including the driver’s remorse, gets lots of media space, as this one has, so the rest of us can vicariously learn the lesson. As far as fines go, $1,000 is probably a bit too token-ish. SUV’s that run down cyclists: the stocks for the driver!

    • jules

      who says the driver was trying to do the right thing in this case?

      • Laurens

        The article does: she was looking out for cyclists but failed to see that there was one behind the one she waited for.

        • jules

          not quite. the article quotes her saying that. while it’s possibly true, I’d suggest it’s more likely she never looked and just opened her door – completely oblivious to the possible presence of cyclists. cos that’s what happens to me all the time, including along that road. once you’re in court though, suddenly everyone is like “oh I was so careful, I don’t know how this happened” – funny that it’s always the most careful, law-abiding people who end up in these situations.

          • Laurens

            True, she could be lying and that often happens.
            I once rode straight into the loading door of a truck (basically a metal plate) that was suspended about a meter high over a dedicated bike lane in the dark and with rain. The truck driver’s lawyer said that that was not true, but I am pretty sure I never left the bike lane (I had no reason to). The insurance company were remarkably quick to pay for damage to bike and jacket, afraid of serious injury that might not appear until later.
            But having said that, I want to believe some people are truthful and really sorry. I’m not in the camp of the people that want her to pay a trillion gazillion dollar fine. I don’t think she looks back at that day thinking: it was just a cyclist, who cares.
            How it changed her life is the real punishment, and I agree with velocite: let the media report it so people can think: I do not want that to happen to me.
            Hopefully when they think that their motive is killing somebody, not paying a 1,000 or a 10,000 dollar fine.

            • jules

              I pretty much see it the same way as you. there’s no point lynching her. but I am dubious of her explanation, either way.

              • Laurens

                Fair enough I guess.

    • Stompin

      Will stiffer penalties change behaviour? I got doored on beach Road while cycling at 31km/h (according to Strava) and flung into the inner lane. If a truck had of come past at that moment, I wouldn’t be typing this now. The woman that opened her door into oncoming traffic (me), said she didn’t see me coming but the truth of the matter is – if she had of looked, she wouldn’t have opened her door. She got a fine, I got few cuts and bruises, luckily. It wasn’t her intention to ‘door’ me but I’m pretty sure she won’t make that mistake again because she understood it was very close to a life being on her conscience for the rest of her life.

      • jules

        unfortunately that’s a very inefficient way of training people not to door cyclists.

        • Stompin

          I think part of Velocite’s comment above put it best: ‘I think it’s important that the accident and its aftermath, including the driver’s remorse, gets lots of media space, as this one has, so the rest of us can vicariously learn the lesson’.

          • jules

            it doesn’t work though. this is a classic example of low probability, high consequence risk. humans are notoriously poor at assessing this type of risk. it’s largely ineffective trying to deal with the consequence (post fact). the effective way to address it is by addressing the behaviour – i.e. opening doors without looking, even when it doesn’t result in an impact or injury. so, how do we address that type of behaviour? answer: we don’t. roll on more deaths from dooring..

            • velocite

              A bit black today, Jules? I was a driver for years before I became a recreational cyclist, probably a borderline hoon. Going close to things was routine, including cyclists. Not targeting cyclists, but just not appreciating how traumatic it can be on a bike when a big vehicle whizzes past your elbow. I believe it’s possible to teach respect by making people aware of the effects of their behaviour. I fancy that most normal people, if they discovered that they’d just scared a cyclist shitless, would not say ‘so what?’. I do realize there is a disconcerting number of abnormal people around.

              • jules

                it’s part of the solution, velocite. but it’s not the whole solution. part of my job encompasses risk mgt principles (doesn’t everyone’s these days?) the science of managing this type of risk is very clear and I’ve tried to touch on it in my previous post. you can’t focus only on the aftermath – even as a means of teaching prevention, which is what we mostly do with dooring. yes it’s still worth it, but authorities like to confuse that worthwhile aspect as the entire response. it’s not and they are failing as a result.

                • Sean parker

                  I’ll be serious for just one second. I think an engineering solution is the best way to overcome this (i.e the Installation of car doors that open partially, then open fully once you have pressed a button on the door jamb – forcing the driver to at least pause, if not headcheck).
                  I don’t think that their would ever be sufficient emphasis on cycling safety to convince Joe Public and car manufacturers of a solution, however.

                  • Dave

                    This is a ridiculous post.

                    The engineering solution applicable is to put a decently wide bike lane in the right place – on the inside of the parking lane and with a raised edge – just like it is done in first world countries. The prospect of opening doors into a lane filled with cars and trucks whizzing past will focus the mind of those lazy drivers who currently can’t be arsed looking for cyclists.

                    • jules

                      no, Sean is bang on. the solution is engineering-based. we already have technology to detect the presence of cyclists and alert drivers and/or regulated the vehicle’s function.

                    • Dave

                      I believe it’s called the Mark 1 Human Eyeball.

                    • jules

                      the cognitive performance of humans is inherently flawed and limited. you cannot get sustainable solutions by focusing on it. you just can’t. there is a limit to what humans can learn and dooring is on a list of probably 100,000 different things humans need to remember/practice. saying “you’ve just got to use your eyes” makes it sound so much simpler than it is.

                    • Sean parker

                      yes Dave, you’re right.

                      Far better to alter every residential road in Australia rather than install a couple of hundred bucks worth of plastic and metal into two doors in a car.

                    • Dave

                      Who said anything about residential streets? Shifting bike lanes to the inside of parking lanes would only affect relatively major roads which have bike lanes and/or parking lanes – and where the appropriateness of having on-road parking should be reassessed anyway.

                      Besides eliminating dooring, there are many other benefits to having proper bike lanes instead of just painted lines which provide no genuine protection for cyclists.

                      It can be done right – just copy and paste the superior solutions which work in first world countries, instead of trying new things which they don’t bother with there because there’s nowhere near enough benefit to justify the detriment of inhibiting emergency egress from a car.

                    • Douglas

                      Why ridiculous? The prospect of progressively incorporating technological solutions into cars is more likely to occur, than our governments allocating all the road space which your proposal would require. “Lazy” is not a useful concept.

                    • Dave

                      And that’s why we are not a first world country.

                    • Douglas

                      See my post about Italy. This is not an issue related to our status as a country.

                    • Laurens

                      “just like it is done in first world countries”
                      I think infrastructure is the way to go but then I’m from the Netherlands.

                    • RayG

                      Like this one?

                      http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/doughiska_galway.jpg

                      Not inside a parking lane, but otherwise the same. Your lane will have us having to give way at every side street and every driveway

                  • Stompin

                    … or sensors that automatically detect a moving object near the door and auto lock to prevent the door being opened.

                    • Sean parker

                      Yep, that’d work, it would have to be on the right rear bumper and point almost directly rearward… Funnily enough my car already has one… it just only works when I stick it in reverse and it makes a buzzing noise rather than lock the door.
                      it’s not difficult or expensive technology.

                    • a different ben

                      Neural networks are getting quite good at recognising objects in real time. Saw this the other day: http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/25/9798448/neural-network-describe-live-video-neuraltalk.

                    • Stompin

                      My mate has a Garmin Varia and it works suprisingly well… how hard can it be?

                      https://buy.garmin.com/en-AU/AU/sports-recreation/cycling/varia-rearview-radar/prod518151.html

                    • Dave

                      The hard bit would be making the system failsafe, i.e. ensuring that it ONLY inhibits door release when an object is coming from behind and not at any other time.

                      Remember that Toyota recalled 20 million cars a couple of years ago because of faulty accelerator pedals, so there’s still a long way to go.

                    • a different ben

                      I was looking from the perspective of actually recognising the object as say a person on a bicycle, not just its presence.

                  • Arfy

                    Surely the best engineering solution would be doors that rip away from the vehicle if collected by a cyclist. A bit like fold-in mirrors that prevent your wing mirrors being ripped off when you accidentally hit something with them. Oh I’d love to see that :)

                    • Sean parker

                      yep, and doors that open the other way….so when you hit it it closes on the driver ;)

          • donncha

            I’d like to live in a world where people can figure this shit out for themselves, and don’t need someone’s death to make them realise that maybe they should look before opening their door into a bike lane. If it was a truck lane you can be damn sure they’d be very bloody careful and look twice before opening, but, because the consequences to them are zero (or maybe $1000) they don’t really care.

      • Dave

        Getting a fine in the post a few weeks later is not effective. If we were serious about road safety in Australia we would:

        1. Train drivers well and require drivers to be trained well. Introduce an ATAR-style percentile cut-off for all the passed driving tests in each state every month, so passing is no longer enough and prospective drivers have to compete against each other to get into the top 80% (or some other figure) who get licences. If you don’t make the grade, spend another month on L-plates and improve to the point you are more competitive.
        2. Raise the cost of driving in metropolitan areas to the point that it would incentivise public transport and active transport. We would also properly invest in public transport, calling the MTM system third world standard would be an insult to third world countries.
        3. Issue provisional suspensions and impound the car as evidence, pending the full investigation of any incident involving a pedestrian or cyclist. Investigations should take at least a month minimum, we wouldn’t want to distract the police from catching real criminals would we?
        4. Issue suspensions, not just fines.
        5. Cut drivers back to P-plate conditions at the end of their first suspension, L-plate conditions after the second and life ban after the third – i.e. three strikes and you’re out.
        6. Full road rules test and driving test to renew a licence every five years, regain a licence after a suspension, and within a month after accruing any driving offence not worthy of a suspension.

      • Blair C.

        Indulge me while i use exaggeration to make a point:

        If the punishment for doing 10km/h over the speed limit was $20 would you speed?

        If the punishment for doing 10km/h over the speed limit was loss of car and 3 months in jail, would you speed??

        If you kill a cyclist by opening a door into them you get a $1000 fine, would you look very carefully each time you open the door?

        How about if the punishment was $50,000 fine and 12mths in jail?

        Exaggeration aside, if the public are aware that dooring someone causing their death would be considered manslaughter and they would end up in with a large fine & jail time there would be more caution exercised. Who wants to go to jail – nobody.

        Will stiffer penalties change behavior? Yes, absoultely.

        • Douglas

          Look at the evidence around the world in relation to harsh legal penalties. If this logic worked, there would not be a drug problem in the USA. The war on drugs would have been effective. In fact, given their propensity to throw people into prison, crime would have been eliminated.

          • Dave

            Pleading the ‘war on drugs’ as an example isn’t exactly appropriate here.

            Suspending drivers and impounding cars are not ‘harsh legal penalties’ – they are the withdrawing of privileges which have been abused.

            • Douglas

              I was making a point about the general effectiveness of punitive approaches, not the war on drugs. If they work, then use them. If they don’t then they are not smart. For example, it is not really the fines which have reduced speeding on the roads, but the technology which makes being caught highly likely.

          • jules

            bingo. the relevant term is ‘bounded rationality’.

      • Winky

        The risk can be reduced and ultimately eliminated by the progressive elimination of on street parking and conversion of those parking lanes into cycling infrastructure. Let the roads be used for transport, not for storing our stuff. If you must drive somewhere, when you get there, take your damn car with you – don’t just leave it on the street in everyone’s way. If this makes motoring less convenient and more expensive, then that is to society’s benefit.

  • Douglas

    I think it is most unlikely that harsh punishments will have the slightest effect on the number of doorings which take place. I cycle tour in Italy every year, and I am blown away by how considerate Italian drivers are to cyclists. Their attitudes are completely different, and road rage is almost absent. Nonetheless I have been doored there and have had a number of near misses. (It does not help that they drive small cars with large doors). It seems that when the driver turns of the ignition the part of the brain which was doing the driving switches off as well. What is needed is some equivalent to the harm minimisation approach which Australia has pioneered in relation to drugs, which has fostered an intelligent approach. I like the idea of engineering solutions into cars.

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