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Pre Larciano+Toscana post.

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Greetings fellow blog readers, I hope you are well, I hope it is as sunny and warm where you are as it is here. I hope it is, I genuinely do, I do however know that it isn't... so keep your chin up as you crumple up those newspapers to put in your oh-so-wet-and-soggy cycle shoes.

It has been a tough couple of weeks for me here in Polla and frankly I feel I deserve the good weather, I have been sitting out my injury sustained at the Toachim GP (yes, the one where I stupidly fell whilst riding back to the HQ afterwards...). I think I received some slight bruising to my hip bone which was agitated by riding; I had to wait it out, there was no other way. Waiting out injuries is fine in Cambridge but very boring here in Polla, at home I can receive guests with tea and biscuits and watch a sumptuous range of cable television channels, but not so here. Monday saw a return to training and I probably hit out too hard, I got back from my maiden ride very tired but happy, having averaged similar power to a 1.1 road race all on my own. Such was my keenness I didn't realise this fact until a few days later when I downloaded my data. The next day I went for a longer ride and ran out of calories so badly that I had to stop, several times in fact. It has been a long time since I have had to just stop riding at the side of the road and wait for a bit, I was properly knackered and a little depressed. I am still recovering now on Thursday night, hopefully I will be fine for the weekend. there is nothing like a hard ride to blow the cobwebs away.

Tomorrow I am heading 'oop north to ride the 1.1 GP Industria & Artigianato in Larciano on Saturday, profile:

And the race website:

..and then the 1.1 GP Toscana in Tuscany on Sunday:

Larger res here:

..and the race website:

Wish me luck.

Links now.

Silly Gerraint Thomas, I hope he has an agent that is to blame or something. How stupid and naive of him to think this was a good idea: He could use it to go faster by flashing it past the speed sensor on his front fork though.

Where's Wall E? Spot your favourite robot, so many to choose from.

Statistics lesson:

Read and watch this first though:

Then read about the stats:

Then look at the stats on this Google doc if you wish:

So why is cycling related deaths per 100,000 people a silly statistic and death rate per 100,000,000 km ridden good?

No one seems to have explained this yet so I shall endeavour to do so...

Cyclist deaths per 100,000 people in the UK is a bad stat because it doesn't take into account how many cyclists there are within that group of 100,000 'average' Brits (answer: not very many). If there are twice as many cyclists then it stands to reason that there will be twice as many deaths from cycling (roughly). Since 27% of journeys in Holland are on a bike and only 2% in the UK then naturally the rate will be worse in Holland than the UK (5 times worse as it happens - just ask Mr. Penning). What we need to do is just do the statistics on cycle journeys and forget the people who don't cycle for a second.

If you aren't a cyclist then you aren't going to die whilst cycling.

So how many cyclists die per 100,000 journeys? Well now that we have removed the 73% of non cycling Dutch people and 98% of English people (who are effectively immortal from cycling related deaths, since they aren't on a bicycle) the stats change round. For the Dutch it is 3.11 per 100,000 and the Brits it is 8.5 per 100,000.

But that isn't enough because what if the Dutch on average cycle much further than the Brits? If they cycled twice as far per journey then their roads are in effect twice as safe. So that previous stat isn't very good either.

The best way to estimate how safe our roads are is to take the number of cyclists that died on their bikes in a year and divide that by the number of kilometres ridden by bicycles in the UK in that same year. Since that second number is huge (we ride around 4.5 billion k per year in the UK) our result becomes a tiny number, that's why it's best to count the kilometres in 100,000,000s rather than ones.

And the results are in, and they are effectively reversed, in Holland it is 0.92 deaths per 100,000,000km cycled and in the UK it is 2.33.

I found this result surprising by the way, riding in Holland feels far more than 2.5 times safer than the UK, but what do I know, the stats never lie. The stats also prove that Mike Penning is a dirty, squirmy, greasy politician, keep your eye on him, he's a bad road safety minister.

I hope that stats lesson makes sense.

Jon snow is great by the way (featured in the first stats link above), here he is at the Manchester velodrome trying to find out what it is like to be a paralympic cyclist by closing his eyes on the back of a tandem at 40mph:

If you haven't see Wiggins act as leadout man for himself yet then please do so:

There is a definite moment with 250 to go where he stops pedalling; swings, looks and hands over to his imaginary sprinter and then starts his sprint. I don't think anyone knew what was going on, least of all Wiggins himself. He also does a great post race interview, if you don't know French just skip to the last 20 seconds:

One last link, this is what the internet is for: one man's text message exchanges with his dog.

My twitter followerage is at 98 now, it's been steadily climbing since I got it. Almost time for triple figures, 100th follower will get absolutely nothing as a prize.!/DavidMcleanCycl


Updated 26-04-2012 at 07:33 PM by David Mclean

2012 - Meridiana Kamen


  1. MJC's Avatar
    > He could use it to go faster by flashing it past the speed sensor on his front fork though.

    Perhaps it makes you go faster by preventing limescale build up in your wrists?

    As I discovered from TV last week (Amazing Minds BBC) you can use magnets to make frogs (or any thing mostly water) levitate.
  2. David Mclean's Avatar
    I think I'm right in thinking they used to do that at my old university of Nottingham. It's really hard to get the balance right between gravity and the magnetic field apparently.