Save on fuel costs (it saves lives, too)

Earlier this month I argued that motorists would probably respond better to the message ‘slow down, it’ll save you money’ rather than ‘slow down, you’ll kill less people’.

I’m therefore pleased to see that a major fleet training group is pushing the ‘save petrol, drive better’ message. The IAM Fleet Group is trialling a new eco-driving course. Yes, it will save companies money, but eco-driving (less speeding, less accelerating away from traffic lights, less senseless revving, more appropriate braking and cornering techniques) also makes it safer on the roads for cyclists and other soft, squishy road users.

IAM Press release:
With fuel prices at an all-time high and the effect of transport use on the environment under constant scrutiny, companies are looking for ways in which to reduce their fleet fuel bills, as well as their carbon footprint.

In response, two of the leading UK fleet driver training companies, IAM Fleet and Drive & Survive – the IAM Fleet Group, have developed ecolution – a driver training module which can improve fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent and lead to significant vehicle emission reductions.

The IAM Fleet Group would like to give you the opportunity to gain a first-hand understanding of the benefits ecolution can provide and invite you to join the IAM Fleet Group team to hear more about this new product and take the 45 minute ecolution course yourself.

Mobile Social and alleycat collide at Interbike

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Never the ‘twain shall meet?

It was good while it lasted. To outsiders, the two groups looked like one bunch of cyclists. To insiders, the gap between the two was yawning. But there were some cross-over individuals who could have been at home in either tribe. Check out the full Flickr set.

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Mobile Social at Interbike & alleycat

Lance Armstrong: My part in his downfall

That’s clearly the book Greg Lemond would like to write.

It’s now all over the web that there were fireworks in this morning’s Lance Armstrong press conference.

Greg Lemond gave Armstrong a grilling. And, unwittingly, I helped him on his way.


I got to the press conference early and bagged prime position, right at the front centre. However, Lance was running late and I had an Interbike TV show to run off and host. I got up to go to the back of the room. Guess who jumped into my seat? Yep, Mr. Lemond.


Lemond didn’t gatecrash the press conference, he had asked Lance’s agent if he could attend (Lemond is now a journalist?). Lance let him and was ready when Lemond asked the first – and most incendiary – question of the conference.


This pic shows the media scrum and Lemond sitting in my recently vacated chair. Can you spot David ‘Fredcast‘ Bernstein live-blogging the events as they unfolded? Recognise any others? How about Ed Pavelka of

Lance electrifies CrossVegas


I got a chance to talk to Lance Armstrong by the Trek caravan at tonight’s CrossVegas event in Las Vegas.

I asked him how many cyclo-cross races he’d ever done. “Two,” he said. Then he looked me in the eye, and mock fiercely, said: “Undefeated.”

His third race didn’t go well. He was well down on the leaders, but this wasn’t his natural terrain and he wasn’t expected to cream the opposition.

The eventual winner was my ‘team-mate’ Ryan Trebon. I was an honorary Kona rider for the night. Jake Heilbron – co-founder of Kona – had hooked me up with a Jake the Snake to ride. Team mechanic Mark Matson even switched the brakes the right way round for me.

Not that this helped much. I got round the Wheelers and Dealers event, but only just.

Interbike ├╝ber-PR stars Rich Kelly and Uwe Weissflog found me looking dazed and confused a short while after the race and kindly gave me a VIP pass for the rest of the evening. It was Rich who discovered Lance was warming up by the Trek tent and we headed off that way.

Lance was totally relaxed and friendly, a million miles from his usual ‘race character’. He was out for some fun. For once, winning was the most important thing.

Here are my favourite shots from the night. The rest of my pix can be be found on this Flickr set.


Slight fuzz, but not totally clean shaven.







Armstrong 08 Cross Vegas
This great shot above was taken by Lindsay Thomson from the Interbike team.


I promised this security guard I’d publish his pic.

Interbike Outdoor Demo Day One


The IMBA crew brought along a fluffy friend.


The Manitou Dorado fork will be available in January as aftermarket, and as OE equipment in summer ’09. Intense will probably spec it first.


Tim Grahl riding a Masi Soulville, all part of the research for the Bike to Work Book.


Electric bikes were all over the Outdoor Demo. Could this be the year the category really takes off in the US? On Wednesday, in the expo proper, a major brand is set to launch a bike that can be fully charged in just 30 minutes. And, in another piece of electric news, the rumour that Lance Armstrong is to race at Interbike is getting stronger by the day…

QBP’s Civia brand continues to surprise and delight.


Italian saddle maker Fizik was giving away yummy and very welcome Italian ice-cream at the Outdoor Demo. Some people had more than their fair share…

There’s more of my Interbike pix on Flickr and this set will grow over the next few days.

And, from Singletrack’s Mark and Chipps, here’s the first video from the Outdoor Demo (anybody else having audio issues with it?):

My BikeBiz report – wordier than above – is here.

Bloggers are the best blaggers

I’m in Vegas for Interbike (the desert rides start Monday) but I couldn’t resist attending Blog World Expo, the US show for bloggers, podcasters and social media animals.

It was staged at the Las Vegas Convention Center and attracted the rock stars of the blogging world such as Chris Brogan, Robert Scoble and Gary Vaynerchuk. Attendance at the talks they headlined was massive.

The expo floor, naturally, was crawling with geeks. Geeks live vlogging via Qik; geeks live Twittering in the seminars; geeks carrying the same sort of gear I carry at shows: digital tape recorder, lap-top, camera gear. Turn a corner and you’d bump into yet another live podcast being audio-recorded or filmed. I was in my element.

Weirdly, I met loads of folks into bikes. OK, there were lots of fatties at the show but there also lots of fitties.

In a seminar entitled ‘Beyond Adsense: Exploration of Practical Monetization Streams’, Jason Billingsley of ecommerce software vendor Elastic Path Software used the following example for a niche that could make money: bicycle maintenance videos. For a second I thought I was at Interbike because, er, I make money from bicycle maintenance videos.

I also seemed to bump into the new media start-ups which are based in cool US cities for cycling, like Boulder. Hell knows how half of them will get past the VC funding stage to actually make any money but let’s benefit from the widget-creating frenzy while it lasts.

One of spin offs of the cash from business angels is the freebie splurge. Every second booth had t-shirts to hand out, so many in fact, you could be picky, choosing only the coolest of the tech tees.

Uploaded - 21\09\2008

Obviously, the show had free wifi, but there was also free soda, free fresh-baked cookies, free chips and guacamole. But I know the freebie that would have gone down a storm at Interbike, especially with germ-fixated roadies: was doling out hand-sanitisation gel.

Grocer goes green

Supermarkets can be green? Sure can, says the current issue of ‘The Grocer’. The weekly trade mag flags a 20 page feature on the subject with a delivery bike pulling a trailer.

Photographers, game for a challenge?


This is the last cover before Interbike. It’s still not quite right. As so many people have had conflicting views on the covers they like and dislike, we could allow buyers of the e-book to choose their fave cover! I thought I was kidding when I originally Twittered that comment, but thinking about it, it’s possible.

When he saw this cover image, Teejayeff said: “I still don’t like it, it’s aggressive. I like the Joseph of the US one, simple with normal people.”

Good point. I, too, want normal people but perhaps those pictured are a bit grumpy? Now, if anyone has the perfect image, let me know. The pic must be hi-res and must shout ‘cycling to work’ with the following features:

Non-threatening; non-Lycra; happy but not too happy; could do with being man and woman, maybe one wearing helmet, the other not; sunny, but not tropical; people pictured must be reasonably attractive but not pro models (that shouts fake).

Not too much to ask, then.

There will be cash in it for the photographer, rates subject to negotiation.