Torque is not cheap

Here’s the latest in the series of how to videos on cycle maintenance, sponsored by Weldtite. It’s a short on why it’s now important to use torque wrenches on the components found on expensive bikes.
Overtighten a bolt and bang goes your ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre gizmo. And fail to follow manufacturer’s instructions – ie use a torque wrench – and you may also kiss goodbye to your warranty.

The torque settings link mentioned in the vid can be found here.

The expanding series of ‘how to’ vids can be found on YouTube.

The video shorts have had a varied number of views. For instance, the ‘how to wash/lube your bike’ video has nearly had 18,000 views yet vids of perhaps more importance – such as how to fix a flat – have had many less views. Go figure.

Here are the video links to YouTube, along with the view numbers, from lowest to highest.

Basic bicycle tool kit 3049 views

The differences between Schrader, presta and Woods valves 3098 views

How to operate quick release levers 3246 views

How to repair a puncture 4995 views

Washing and lubing your bike 17,732 views

Tour de France in London specials

This is the promo video shown at the official launch of the Grand Depart 2007 which took place on 9th February 2006.

The 3-minute short was produced for Transport for London.

A hi-res Quicktime version of this YouTube video is available from the Libsyn server here. Or get it on your video iPod and Apple TV via the podcast on iTunes.

With the Tour de France due to kick off in London in just a few weeks, I’ve decided to re-issue my first ever podcast. I recorded it at the official launch of the Grand Depart 2007. It was originally broadcast on 9th February 2006 as the first podcast from ‘Cycling: News & Views’. This podcast later morphed into

The podcast – available only on iTunes – features interviews of Phil Liggett; author and rock legend Johnny Green; Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman; CTC chair Kevin Mayne, and a bunch of bike journalists.

Vote for Trust But Verify as ‘best blog’

Blog’s too small a word, really. Trust But Verify’s founder and contributors did some amazing work at the Floyd Landis hearing which concluded yesterday.

I’m on the site’s sidebar, saying TBV should get a blogging award so I’ve gone ahead and submitted a nomination to Blogger’s Choice Awards. Vote here for TBV!

Obree bio-pic gets UK release

At long last The Flying Scotsman gets a general UK cinema release, breaking out of the film festival circuit. It’s released on 29th June, ready in time for the Tour de France coming to London.

Here’s the official UK poster, hot off the press:

And here’s the MGM trailer:

The Flying Scotsman is directed by British TV director Douglas Mackinnon. Obree – a former bike shop owner – is played by Trainspotting’s Sick Boy, Jonny Lee Miller.

The production company behind the film fell into administration before editing had finished, leaving debts, some to bike trade companies. Impsport, for instance, supplied £6000-worth of skinsuits, training jackets, overshoes and mitts but never got paid. Given that product placement in movies is big business – and expensive – Impsport will nevertheless reap the rewards of greater brand exposure. The movie features close-ups of Obree/Miller wearing the Impsport-made world champion jersey and the Lincoln company’s logo can be seen clearly.

Polaris kit is also shown in close-up thanks to the on-screen undressing of Obree’s first sponsor, Mr Armstrong, played by comedy actor Moray Hunter.

However, the company with the greatest exposure in the movie is Specialized. Not only are there product placements – wheels and helmets and velodrome hoardings – there are Continue reading “Obree bio-pic gets UK release”

Keep on cyclin’

I know I shouldn’t laugh at the crash on the video below, but it’s such a wacky, self-inflicted crash (or was there oil on the road?):

It’s from a Critical Mass ride in Hungary. The reason I like the vid is the little girl woo-hooing, and the way she wasn’t at all phased by the pile-up behind her. She just wanted to keep on rolling. And woo-hooing.


Dick Pound. Bradley Wiggins. Cycling Weekly. WADA. LNDD. USADA. 99 per cent of the world’s mainstream media. Bicycle Retailer. And many more.

Admit it, you all called it wrong. If you’ve been reading the TBV transcripts from the Floyd Landis hearing, which finishes today, you’ll now know that Team Landis has proved LNDD was guilty of violations of International Lab Standards. Any fair-minded person can now see USADA cannot prove that the violations didn’t “cause” last year’s adverse analytical findings.

The verdict from the three arbitrators – aided by the ‘independent’ fourth panel member from the WADA-accredited Rome lab – will likely take some time to be delivered.

This need not stop you admitting your mistakes. Start by criticising LNDD and its shoddy lab work. Then divert your ire to Jacques De Ceaurriz, head of Le Laboratoire National de dépistage du dopage in Chatenay-Malabray. In early August last year, he said of the IRMS test for synthetic testosterone:

“It’s foolproof. This analysis tells the difference between endogenous and exogenous. No error is possible in isotopic readings.”

Science isn’t like that. Floyd Landis came from far, far behind to win last year’s Tour de France. He has done the equivalent in a suit this past two weeks, providing the smoking gun that a significant minority thought was out there.

“I know scientifically I’m not being eaten by a gorilla”

Over on Trust But Verify, David Brower summarises yesterday’s testimony at the Floyd Landis hearing:

Which is more likely, that Landis has this complicated doping regime contradicting known chemistry, or that LNDD is systematically messing up measurements…?

With the burden flipped, USADA must prove that LNDD is not the reincarnation of Muppet Laboratories.

Now, that’s funny, although it’s unlikely anybody at LNND in Chatenay-Malabry, Paris, would concur. Incidentally, ‘malabry’ is derived from a phrase meaning ‘spoiled ground,’ something I mentioned on the Floyd Landis petition last August.

The Muppet Labs chief scientist was Dr. Honeydew. Here he is in action with every cyclist’s favourite energy food, bananas:

But perhaps the Muppet Labs episode that best sums up the current see-no-evil, hear-no-evil saga is this one:

“Dr. Honeydew shows off his latest invention, a gorilla detector, which is devised to sound a warning whenever a gorilla approaches. During the demonstration, a gorilla arrives…and proceeds to smash the equipment. Dr. Honeydew steadfastly refuses to believe that the creature is a gorilla, however, since the detector hasn’t gone off.”


Robin Williams on the origin of men’s genitalia

Huh? And the link to cycling is?

Robin Williams is a famous, clap-happy, hairy-armed roadie. I don’t where he stands on the Floyd Landis case but as you can gather from my news story on, USADA’s case against the 2006 Tour de France champion is unravelling, fast.

Anyways, in the piece on I wrote a sidebar about the origin of the word ‘testify’ and wanted a video to illustrate this. Up popped this surreal National Lampoon interview with Robin Williams and Owen Wilson. It involves a Jewish orangutan, a de-bunking of Intelligent Design and other very funny ad-libs. Williams even gets in a gag about cycling, but you’ve got to wait for the final two minutes for the segway into testicles.


National Cycling Forum, 15th May 2007

This annual meeting of the great and good of English cycling is organised, naturally enough, by Cycling England. This year there were more speakers than normal and some of them are featured on this audio-only podcast, also available on iTunes.

Speakers on the 22-minute audio include:
Gary Shipp, Bike It officer for Brighton and Hove

Roger Geffen, campaigns manager for CTC
Christian Wolmar, Cycling England board member and transort journalist

John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director of British Cycling

Colin Langdon, MD of Cycling Solutions, a cycle training provider on Merseyside

Blue Rubicon, Cycling England’s PR agency, showed this video at the event, a visual set of media cuttings concerning the staged launch of the Bikeability training scheme.

Islamic bicycle created by Iranian

You really couldn’t make this up. Middle Eastern newspapers are reporting that a Burka-friendly bicycle has been constructed by Elaheh Sofali of Iran.

According to the Gulf Daily News of Bahrain, the bicycle “has a cabin that conceals half of the cyclist’s body.”

Of course, there’s no stipulation in the Koran that says women must cover their heads and bodies, Burka-style, it’s a later accumulation, inspired more by cultural mores than Koranic rules.