Off-air antics: L’Enfer du Nord

One of the advantages of being off air for a while is more time to get out and about, for instance, a quick trip sous la Manche to watch the 2008 Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics. Just shy of 260 kilometers, with around 55 kilometers over the brutal pavé (cobblestone farm tracks) of northern France. Camera: Andy Curry, William Greswell.

And a few stills:

If all this makes you want to test yourself on the toughest single day course in cycle racing, the Paris-Roubaix cyclo-sportive on 8 June is still accepting entries.

Vote Now: £50 million for cycle paths

The vulgar spectacle and regressive tax on the poor and the hopeless that is the UK’s National Lottery, is giving away £50 million of its ill-gotten loot to one of four ‘worthy causes’, to be decided by a popular vote in which everyone in the UK can take part. The poll closes on 10 December.

One of four projects in the running is Sustrans, the excellent charity which makes bike paths and other good things in the cause of sustainable transport. If it wins the vote, Sustrans would spend the money on Connect2:

“A UK-wide project that aims to improve local travel in 79 communities by creating new walking and cycling routes for the local journeys we all make every day. By building bridges and crossings over busy roads, rivers and railway lines, Connect2 will get people to the places they want to go. Each crossing will link to a network of walking and cycling routes, taking you to your schools, shops, work and green spaces. Connect2 will also bring people closer together, making journeys quicker and more convenient and leaving more time to spend with family and friends.”

After the jump is a rather tacky video that explains all about it. Anyway, as the Chicago mob bosses used to say, vote early and vote often. By phone on 0870 24 24 602 (calls cost 10p from a landline, maybe a shade more from a mobile) or online. Continue reading

The World’s Oldest Bicycle Race?

The first Catford Cycling Club ‘Hill Climb’ was held at Westerham Hill on August 20th 1887. The 112th edition will take place on Yorks Hill in Kent, on Sunday 21st October at 11am. The race is run as a time trial with riders starting at one minute intervals to race just 707 yards, which in parts includes a gradient of 1 in 4. The top riders will cover this distance in less than two minutes, although The Bike Show correspondents may take rather longer. Entries close on 10 October and it costs £6 to enter. Therese Bjorn at Rapha is organizing a group ride down from central London, to tire out the competition. Full details below the fold. See you on the parcours! Continue reading

Floyd Landis: The Drugs Don’t Work

Earlier today the American Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Floyd Landis’s positive doping test and awarded a two year ban, which will mean Landis will be able to compete again in 2009. Spain’s Oscar Pereiro was declared the winner of the 2006 Tour de France. “You never want to win a competition like that but after a year and a half I’m just glad it’s over,” said Pereiro.