Storm Warning - Road Cycling UK

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Storm Warning

A good friend of mine, relocating to Malawi for work, bequeathed me a turbo trainer just before Christmas and looking out of my office window here in Shropshire I am seriously considering getting it out from its place under the stairs and using it.

I’ve never been a rider who minded bad weather but the relentless torrents that seem to have become resident in the UK have left the local roads under great lakes of run-off water.

Maybe the weather is merely an omen. It is certainly with a gathering sense of depression that I witness the continued unravelling of the former DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed squad.

On Monday of this week, Museeuw Bikes issued a statement explaining their withdrawl from negotiations with the team’s new main sponsor, Pedaltech. It’s the latest in a series of blows for the team: Firstly the failure to get a Professional Continental Licence, then the defection of newly signed star riders such as Stefan Weseman and now the loss of a bicycle manufacturer whose presence could have helped with wildcard entries into some of the world’s most prestigious single day races.

These however are the symptoms of a team in trouble. The question is what is really going on behind the public face of Pedaltech to make for such a total implosion? The road is littered with the bones of well intentioned but wildly unrealistic backers and there are more and probably much darker corners to be yet illuminated in this story.

The weather too, I guess, is keeping my head firmly attached to my shoulders by keeping me largely off my bike.

What on earth possessed Matthew Parris, a man who is undoubtedly clever and gifted with the ability to turn a good phrase, to throw away all sense of wit and charm and make a complete idiot of himself in his ‘My Week’ column of 27th December in The Times?

His utter ignorance of the ways of cyclists, the Highway Code and the law and his vitriolic incitement to rise up against two-wheelers beggared belief. Humour is a funny thing though, isn’t it? And that, Matthew, is the point.

I have invited Matthew to take a spin with me now and again and to join me in the commentary box to have a chat about his views. Only time will tell if he can be a man, swallow his pride and come and learn something that might better inform his opinions in the future and indeed possibly modify mine.

On a lighter note I have received my first invitation to a team launch in 2008, with Swindon’s GWR team on February 15th.

A real community team, GWR blend a relaxed attitude with utter professionalism in their approach to sponsors and the press. Many a squad in the UK could do worse than taking a look at this small Wiltshire team to see how they operate.

My next big biking effort will be a training camp in the first week of February with the London-Paris Cycle Tour followed by a trip to the Snowdon Bike Hike on the first week of March, of the ‘fun’ of which I still have to convince our Paris-Brest-Paris veteran editor, as I search for a partner to ride with.

Ride safe



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