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How Sadiq Khan aims to become London’s most cycle-friendly mayor

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

In response to concerns from the former cycling commissioner, the deputy mayor for transport insists plans are on track

Sadiq Khan is committed to being the most cycling-friendly mayor that the capital has ever had – and is already delivering real results. However, there have recently been a number of inaccurate reports about his plans and I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

Making cycling safer and easier will be a significantly higher priority for Sadiq than it was for the previous administration.

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How was your weekend running?

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Planning an advent running streak? Come and share your arbitrary rules below the line, as well as your weekend adventures, as always

Anyone else planning on an advent running streak? Don’t worry, I won’t bring up the C-word, but there are only nine days left of November … I certainly will be, if only to help justify the odd extra mince pie. Or entire panettone. Ahem.

The ‘rules’ of a running streak can obviously be made up as you go along (as all good rules are) but if you want to follow some slightly more helpful ones, try Advent Runnings own – you simply run, or swim, or do yoga, or cycle – for 30 minutes a day from December 1 until Christmas. (Oops, sorry, there’s the C-word). Of course, some people keep it going for the whole of December, or months beyond that, or even years – in Ron Hill’s case in excess of half a century. Suddenly 25 days doesn’t sound so bad, no?

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No room for bikes: how one street shows the UK-wide failure over cycling

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

The fate of my small, south London road is a microcosm of the ways towns and cities are still planned around cars, not humans

This blog is sometimes criticised for focusing too much on events in London. At risk of seeming more parochial still, I’m about to write about my own London street. But stay with me: the failings in my part of SE5 contain lessons for the wider lack of safe cycling across the whole country.

Champion Hill, close to Camberwell in south-east London, is a classic rat run – a narrow and not-very-long residential street which has the misfortune to be on a shortcut between major routes, and is thus awash with traffic several times a day.

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The Sarto Seta review: a frame pretty close to perfection

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Weighing just 750g, the Italian-made frame is stiff in sprints and doesn’t twitch in corners – even during one of the toughest bike challenges around

The greatest compliment you can pay a suit is that you forget you’re wearing it. The fit is so good, the stitching so subtle and the fabric so well cut that it exists as a background reality; seamless tailoring that never distracts by being too lose or too tight. The Sarto Seta is that in a bike, and the sartorial comparison is totally appropriate.

Sarto, an Italian frame builder, has endeavoured to bring Saville Row to the cycling industry, building bespoke made-to-measure bicycles as exclusive and as sought after as classic British tailoring. The company was founded in 1950 by the Sarto family.

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Conquering the Cent Cols Challenge in the Pyrenees: from despair to defiance

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Oliver Duggan recounts the geographical, physical and mental rollercoaster of cycling 100 mountain passes in 10 days across southern France and Spain

The col de la Core is not a famous climb – in cycling, or any other sport. There are no champions’ names spray painted on the ground, no monuments at the top to riders past or present. It has no especially beautiful scenery or harsh gradients. It is a simple, two-lane road, and on a Saturday morning last month, it nearly killed me.

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Injecting natural oils for muscle gain could be deadly, doctors warn

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Case of London man who suffered scarring and restricted function after injecting coconut oil ‘may be tip of the iceberg’

Bodybuilders seeking to enhance their physique by injecting natural oils risk lasting damage and even death, doctors have warned.

They fear that a case in west London in which a 25-year-old man suffered scarring and restricted function after injecting coconut oil may be the “tip of the iceberg”.

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CBT ‘should be routinely offered’ to women with premenstrual syndrome

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Gynaecologists advise that cognitive behavioural therapy could help women manage the symptoms of PMS

Women experiencing premenstrual syndrome should routinely be offered cognitive behavioural therapy to help them manage the symptoms, gynaecologists have said.

Around 40% of women experience symptoms of PMS with around 5%-8% having severe symptoms. Physical symptoms can include swollen breasts and bloating, and the psychological symptoms are wide-ranging, including depression, irritability, suicidal thoughts and loss of confidence. The condition can be debilitating, disrupting school, social and work life.

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Health racquet: tennis reduces risk of death at any age, study suggests

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Research indicates regular badminton and tennis are sports most protective to health, while football and running are bottom of the table

If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet.

Scientists attempting to tease apart the benefits of different sports have found that regularly taking part in sports such as badminton or tennis reduces your risk of death at any given age by almost 50%, with swimming and aerobics also proving protective.

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Yo-yo weight gain driven by gut bacteria’s ‘memory’ of obesity, says study

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Regaining weight after a diet could be linked to changes in microbiome caused by obesity, not simply a return to bad eating habits

People who struggle to maintain a healthy weight after dieting may do so because their gut bacteria retains a “memory” of their past weight, according to scientists.

The study, in mice, suggests that yo-yo dieting is not simply a reflection of people returning to unhealthy eating habits, but could be driven by long-term changes in gut bacteria brought about by obesity.

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Liz Jackson talks about Parkinson’s disease on Four Corners – video

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

A Sense of Self is the heartbreaking documentary produced by award-winning Australian broadcast journalist Liz Jackson and her husband, Martin Butler. It documents Jackson’s diagnosis of, and life with Parkinson’s disease. It aired on the ABC’s Four Corners on Monday night. ‘This is a very hard story to tell,’ says Jackson
• Paul Daley: Thank you, Liz Jackson, for your candour and courage in facing a bastard of a disease

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