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Is the UK really menaced by reckless cyclists?

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

The anti-cycling backlash in the media in the aftermath of Charlie Alliston trial suggests roads and streets overrun by dangerous cyclists, but is this true?

When cycling reaches newspaper front pages it’s usually the sporting kind. The last couple of weeks have been an exception, with blanket coverage of the trial of Charlie Alliston, convicted last week over the death of Kim Briggs after he struck her on his bike.

This piece isn’t about the facts of this very tragic case. It’s about the aftermath, more specifically the repeated call in some part of the media for something to be done about what these articles believe is a particular problem of reckless and law-flouting cyclists.

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Bike helmets by Grayson Perry, Stephen Jones and more – in pictures

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

An exhibition of cycling helmets designed by artists will be on show at London bike shop and cafe Look Mum No Hands! from 1 September. Helmets will be auctioned online to raise money for the brain injury charity Headway

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Have you modified your bicycle? Share your photos with us

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

Bicycles offer endless opportunities for modification, both practical and decorative. We’d like you to share your bicycle projects with us

From converting a multi-speed hub into a fixed gear, adding downtube shift levers or simply a comfy seat, a bicycle offers endless opportunities for the DIY enthusiast. We’d like you to share your bicycle modifications with us.

Whether it’s to help those with mobility problems, to transport your children or just to look like the coolest rider on the street, there are any number of ways to make your bike even better.

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Motorist would not have landed cyclist’s ‘wanton and furious driving’ charge

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

Charlie Alliston should have had a front brake but 18mph is a cautious speed and double standards are at work here

A heavy-handed prosecution against a cyclist for manslaughter has failed but a charge of “wanton and furious driving” has succeeded.

In 2016 more than 400 pedestrians were killed on UK roads. Each a terrible tragedy to those involved and almost all avoidable. One of these casualties, Kim Briggs, died after a collision between herself and a teenage cyclist, Charlie Alliston.

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Targeting a road marathon? Head for the hills

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

Mountain and marathon championship runner Andrew Davies knows how to mix things up – he educates us on how training on uneven terrain can boost your performance on the road

In June last year, Welsh athlete Andrew Davies was part of a five-strong British team at the world long-distance mountain running championships in Podbrdo, Slovenia. He completed the marathon-distance course, which contained a whopping 2,800 metres of ascent and descent, in just under four hours, placing ninth. A few weeks ago, he faced another 26.2 miles – this time on a looped course through the streets of London as part of Great Britain’s World Championship team, finishing in 2hrs 17min and 59 seconds.

Davies is by no means the only top marathon runner with an impressive record on the trails. It is striking that Josh Griffiths and Robbie Simpson, the only British athletes to finish ahead of Davies at the London Marathon this year, have both competed on mountain running’s world stage. Davies, for his part, believes that getting out on the trails is “crucial” to success on the road.

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How was your weekend running?

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

How do you put back the excitement into a route you’ve run a thousand times before? As always, share your trips and tricks and weekend highs and lows below the line

Much as I love my Saturday morning club track sessions, it is rather nice to have finished your long run by lunchtime on the first day of the weekend, leaving the rest of it free for .. err … eating everything in sight and playing with Lego. Productivity is overrated anyway, right?

Having done a fair few marathons – and therefore marathon training blocks – I’m starting to get very bored with my usual run routes. It’s not that running along the river isn’t lovely, on a sunny day when the distance and pace does’t matter, but it can get very monotonous after the 3,507th time you’ve gone past Barnes Bridge. So, naturally, seeking less monotony, I ended up at the running track. Running in 400m circles. A lot of circles. Yes, I know. Still, at least that long run also bought up the total of 2,000 miles for me so far this year. Only another 1,000 to go before New Year’s Eve …

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Hardcore cycling in almost guaranteed rain: Scotland’s no-frills ‘anti-sportive’

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

The Ride of the Falling Rain on the Hebridean island of Islay has no entry fee, route card or medals, but its laidback, friendly vibe keeps riders coming back despite the weather

The Ride of the Falling Rain is an annual cycling event on the Hebridean island of Islay that proudly describes itself as “anti-sportive”.

Held on the first Sunday in August, there is no entry fee, no feed stations, no timing chips and no medal or certificate at the end. Yet in its 14-year history, it has attracted a hard core of regulars who travel from all over the UK.

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How was your weekend running?

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

Watching more athletics and even occasionally getting in a bit of running myself. But what on earth will I watch now the championships are over? As always, share your own running stories below the line

Well, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself now the athletics is over. I mean, there’s always the Birmingham Diamond League next weekend, but it does feel something of an anticlimax. For all the sport’s current woes, I absolutely love watching athletics, both from the comfort of my sofa or live in the London Stadium (as absolutely no one calls it).

Watching live does have a side benefit of avoiding ridiculously one-sided coverage on TV – I understand the BBC caters to a British audience, but constant sappy pre-made montages of Mo Farah should never, ever be played over actual live field events. Field events are anyway massively under appreciated – one of the highlights of the whole championships for me was the duel played out in the womens triple jump between the old guard – multiple gold medallist Caterine Ibargüen of Colombia – and the new, 21 year old Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela.

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Acupuncture for cats and dogs – in pictures

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

At a clinic in Shanghai, China – where practitioners say acupuncture has been used on animals for thousands of years – owners take their pets to treat aches and pains and other ailments

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Gemma Arterton reveals studio filmed her exercising to make her lose weight for role

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

Actor describes ‘traumatic’ experience in Morocco when Hollywood producers flew out a personal trainer and filmed her at the gym to prove she was exercising

Gemma Arterton has revealed that she was once forced to lose weight for a role by Hollywood producers, who flew out a personal trainer to work with her on location and filmed her at the gym to prove that she was exercising.

Speaking to the Guilty Feminist podcast in June, the British actor described the experience, which occurred while she was filming in Morocco, as “traumatic”.

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