In fact there are a couple of ways out depending on your preferences. The first is to join a gym and take part in spinning classes.
Though I’ve not tried this, it seems like a great substitute for those who like the camaraderie of group cycling and the impetus that this gives when you’re all trying to be better than your neighbour! Also if you’re a bit on the unmotivated side, the group dynamic and the person who is taking the class should drive you on to greater heights.
If you prefer your own company or the opportunity to train whenever you have the time, then invest in a gadget called a turbo trainer. These are simply a stand into which you clamp your bike. They have some form of resistance built in which gives a similar feel to riding on the road.
The less expensive models use a fan to create the resistance. While this type is cheaper, it is the noisiest. A little further up the scale come turbo trainers which use magnets, they are quieter and with these you can normally adjust the drag on the rear wheel by means of a lever that attaches to the handlebars.
The quietest turbo trainers use an oil filled drum to make it harder. Depending on their construction and how the resistance is created, a turbo trainer should cost around £150-£200. It probably seems like quite an outlay, but they don’t wear out quickly, they accept almost any bike and they fold away when not needed.
The greatest benefit of this form of riding is that the conditions always stay constant, which is a huge plus if you’re trying to gauge your fitness as you train. No longer do you have wind, rain or the traffic to distort the results of your session. Furthermore you’ll stay warm and dry, and the shower and a cup of tea are only a few yards away.
Trans-Australian record attempt
German extreme cyclist Guido Kunze is currently attempting to break the world record time for the 4,300 kilometre crossing from Sydney to Perth. Using a bike equipped with top of the range Shimano Dura-Ace components, including pedals, wheels and electronic gears, Kunze hopes to complete his trip in 8 days 10 hours.
He has already attempted this record in 2007 but was forced to pull out due to injury.
Bike imports down
Ask any bike dealer and they’ll agree that there were a lot fewer bikes available in 2009, and figures just released back this up officially. January to June imports into the UK fell by 29%, going from 1,430,000 bikes down to 1,003,000. This, combined with the high demand created by the Cycle to Work scheme, meant that most importers had run out of stock far earlier than usual.
Though importers are trying to address the shortfall of bikes that occurred this year, the long delivery times from the Far East mean that bikes will still be in short supply until early next year.
Bikes not buses for Liverpool school children
Liverpool Council is considering a ground-breaking scheme in which school children would be given a bicycle instead of a bus pass. At present about 5,000 pupils qualify for bus passes.
Councillor Paul Clein hopes that the scheme might be up and running by next April. He feels that it would ease congestion at peak times, increase healthy exercise and lessen obesity.
Congratulations to the ‘Godiva Awakes’ team from the West Midlands who are one of the 12 winning art commissions proposed for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Their project, a ten-metre high moving carnival puppet of Lady Godiva, made of aluminium and carbon fibre, will be powered along the route to London by a team of 50 cyclists. It’s too bizarre to explain, so log onto www.artiststakingthelead.org.uk
• Arthur Lamy is the manager of Boudins for Bikes, in Sand Street, and author of Jersey Cycles. He has spent 15 years as a tourist guide and writer, and is also a keen photographer. More information can be found on his website: www.arthurlamy.com