As part of our mission to get more people cycling and promote equality in cycling, we’re always looking at what’s going on in the world of cycling that’ll help motivate people, encourage everyone to get on a bike, and provide inspiration.
With that in mind, here’s our recent cycling news roundup.
Dutch cyclist arrives at the Qatar World Cup after 111 days of cycling
Laurens Jagt, from the Netherlands, has spent the last three and a half months making his way to Qatar, from Amsterdam, to be there for the football World Cup. His remarkable journey covered 6000km and began on the 1st of August from the Dutch ca[ital, with the goal of making the Netherlands’ first game of the tournament against Senegal on the 21st of November.
Jagt made his way south through Europe and then Turkey before arriving in the Arabian peninsula, and arrived just in time for the first game. However, the meaning behind his trip was also in support of Bike 2 Unite, a project that raises money to encourage young asylum seekers to play sports.
What about a car-free future? Half of Londoners want a city without cars
A poll of residents of London, New York and Paris has revealed plenty of support for a reduction of cars. More than two-thirds of pollers are in favour of fewer cars on the roads. This reinforces the push from major cities to become more environmentally friendly and fight the climate crisis.
The result of fewer cars would mean more space for cyclists and walkers in the city to make more sustainable and healthier journeys on a daily basis. This was seen as a favourable alternative in the poll with 68% of Londoners, 70% of Parisians and 71% of New Yorkers voting to support a future built on active travel. In London, 51% of pollers supported making the city centre completely car-free, followed by 49% of New Yorkers and 45% of Parisians.
The main drivers behind the support for fewer cars on the road were air pollution concerns, carbon emissions and dangerous driving. Would you be in favour of fewer cars in your city?
Komoot has launched a Women’s Rally bikepacking series for 2023
Komoot, the mobile app for navigation and route planning, has launched a three-event series of bikepacking events for 2023, specifically aimed to get women cycling. The series is a joint venture between Komoot and ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox, and includes a gravel route in the Canary Islands in January, followed by one in Slovenia in September, and lastly a Tuscan Rally in November.
The series hopes to build on the success of the previous years’ events, as well as inspire and make cycling accessible for more women. Key elements of the series are knowledge sharing, learning-by-doing and… fun!
Lael Wilcox says: ‘The rallies are some of my favourite weeks of the whole year. It’s incredible to see women gain confidence and support each other along the way.'
2230 miles and one hurricane later… Leigh Timmis sets one-week mileage world record
Leigh Timmis, an ultra-rider from Britain, has set a new world record for the most miles ridden in a week. Choosing Florida for the weather, he endured the three-day Hurricane Nicole, right in the middle of his attempt, and still managed to get over the line and record a new Guinness World Record of 2230 miles - 19 more than the previous world record, set by Latvian cyclist Arvis Sprude.
Timmis, who already held the record for cycling across Europe, said: ‘Everything had been so scientifically and rigorously tested, even down to the acclimation sessions at Loughborough University. I was in the climate chamber for a month before. We knew what we were looking at, and it was going to blow this out of the water, it was going to be an incredible result.’
On news of a hurricane approaching, he describes the moment he found out: ‘On the first break of day two the team said, we need you to sit down, we've got some news for you. They said, there's a hurricane coming. I thought it was a joke.’
‘We went from having this very controlled project that had been put together so scientifically to OK, now it's not about doing that. Now it's about just breaking the record.’
Hurricane Nicole struck and Timmis was forced to do battle with strong winds and rain: ‘You'd get these patches of rain that were intense. The rain's coming down at you, it's coming up off the road, all the grit's getting thrown up off the back wheel, you're getting incredibly uncomfortable.’
Does the cost of living crisis motivate people may get an e-bike?
A YouGov survey carried out for Shimano’s annual State of the Nation Report, has revealed 47% of respondents see the cost of living crisis as the main motivation for using an e-bike. The second most common reason was purchase subsidies (41%).
The Shimano survey asked over 15,500 people across 12 European countries about their attitudes to e-bikes and cycling more generally, and additionally revealed around 31% of respondents think more cycling infrastructure would encourage people to buy or use an e-bike. Despite this, almost half (45%) say they’ve not seen any improvements in cycling infrastructure.
On the findings from the report, Jonathan Davis, PR and communications manager for Shimano Europe, said: ''The findings are fascinating and allow us to identify key trends in the market. The awareness of (and even attitudes towards) those who interact with an e-bike in some way are shifting upwards.’
Brighton is named the greenest commute city in the UK by Raleigh
According to new research by cycling brand Raleigh, Brighton is the greenest commuter hub in the UK. The city beat Oxford and Bradford as the best place for eco-friendly commuters, with nearly half of commuters in Brighton using an environmentally friendly form of transport.
Lee Kidger, managing director of Raleigh, said: “As more and more cities introduce low emissions zones and the country moves towards electric vehicles, electric bikes will become more popular.
“But it’s also clear that our cities still have a way to go to cut their city’s emissions from roads and transport with about a third of a city’s carbon emissions coming from this alone.
"Luckily, we see commuters are making efforts where they can to find better options - almost 60 per cent of Edinburgh is already taking sustainable options to work and 1 in 5 in Cambridge are already thinking bike!”
Italian ultra-cyclist Omar Di Felice aiming to complete the first coast-to-coast crossing of Antarctica by bike
Omar Di Felice, the former professional road cyclist, is hoping to complete the 2000km bike in 60 days - a journey no human has previously attempted. He’ll arrive at Hercules Inlet, in western Antarctica, and begin his ride over the ice towards the south pole. 2000km of dangerous terrain later, he’ll reach Leverett Glacier in mid-January (2023) to complete the first coast-to-coast crossing on a bike.
This new phenomenon is made possible by the development of wide-tyred bicycles known as “fatbikes”, which can be used in snowy conditions. Maria Leijerstam became the first person to cycle from the Antarctic cost to the south pole, covering 600km in 2013. Since then, just two people have managed to ride the full distance from Hercules Inlet to the south pole (1250km), but this would be the first to ride onwards to complete a coast-to-coast crossing.
Di Felice says: ‘I know that it will be a really hard challenge. I’m not sure I will be able to do so – because it’s very hard. But I just want to try, it’s an attempt. It’s a hard attempt, but why not try?’
Cycling UK launches the 100 Women in Cycling 2022 list, celebrating inspirational women in cycling
Now in its sixth year, the 100 Women in Cycling 2022 list has revealed the women recognised for their achievements in promoting women’s cycling. The list is all about celebrating their work, sporting accolades, influence or support in the community.
The list features a mix of household sporting names, such as Tour de France Femmes winner and World Road Champion Annemiek van Vleuten, and other figures such as the poet Caroline Burrows, who tells stories about cycling, and climate activist Jessie Stevens, who was just 17 when she cycled from Dartmoor to Glasgow for COP26.
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said: ‘At a time when people in the UK are turning to cycling in numbers not seen since the 60s, it’s more important than ever to celebrate those who empower others, whether people want to cycle because it’s an affordable, sustainable and healthy transport option, or because it’s simply fun.
‘Representation makes a huge difference, and improving the visibility of women’s cycling means more women are likely to feel it is also for them. This is what makes the work our 100 Women in Cycling do so important – whether it’s winning races, supporting their community, or telling stories about the adventures and challenges faced by other inspiring women.’
You can view the full list here.
Who is Marie-Divine Kouamé? World champion reaches new-found fame
Marie-Divine Kouamé is a new name in the female cycling scene, but a name that has quickly found fame. Not only did she win the rainbow jersey in the 500m time trial on her first visit to the UCI Track World Championships at her home velodrome, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris, France, she also became the first French woman to win a world title in this distance since Felicia Ballanger in 1999. Oh, and she also broke a national record twice along the way.
Kouamé simply says: 'I made a bit of history in my sport'. Kouamé is no stranger to cycling and picked up her first bike aged three. Even while doing various other sports throughout her childhood, cycling remained her passion and when she discovered a competitive spirit on the bike at school, she’s not looked back. What an amazing achievement already in her career.
That’s a wrap! We hope you found the latest news and stories as interesting, motivating and inspiring as we did.