Archive for Audax and Sportivs

greenjersey joins London to Paris peloton

This morning I was cycling near Leatherhead on the way to Brighton when a motor cyclist pulled alongside and told me that there were three hundred cyclists coming up behind! When he then stopped the traffic on a roundabout and waved me through I realised that something was happening and a moment later the front end of a very big bunch came past.

The riders had frame and body numbers but I knew it wasn’t a race, after all I had tucked in without much trouble. We cruised along the A24 at 23mph for a few miles and just when I was dreaming of beating my record for the Harrow to Brighton trip they turned east on the A25 leaving me to return to my usual 16mph plod.

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Matt Damon rides Cape Argus Cycle Tour

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Matt looking a little over his best climbing weight

Actor Matt Damon took advantage of a working trip to South Africa to ride the 110km Argus Cycle Tour on a tandem piloted by brother Kyle. greenjersey has a finish in the event in his palmares although he failed to beat the three hour barrier which is generally considered to be the cut off for real racers.

Apparently Matt faced tough, windy conditions but it is uncertain if that can explain his seven hour time! Not to worry Matt as you rode for charity the time doesn’t matter.

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More Flandrians cycling for fun

There is no bigger fan of Flemish bike racing than greenjersey but for his own outings awheel he prefers Wallonnie with the May Day 200km classic Mons-Chimay-Mons being a particular favourite. Bashing along uneven concrete cycle paths in a Flemish cross wind has limited appeal in his view. It seems that thousands disagree as recreational cycling is on the rise in Flanders and is also resistant to the economic crisis. The Flemish Cyclists Federation (VWB) saw its membership in 2008 increase by 44 pc to 41,000 members. Remarkably that growth was almost entirely during the last four months, coinciding with the start of the financial crisis.

The VWB is focused on recreational touring cycling and sportives. The number of licensees increased from 28,485 in 2007 to 41,000 in 2008. One in three of the new members are women and there are now 10,571 females on board. Furthermore members are no longer exclusively middle-aged, and older, men. The average age of the membership is now 35 years for women and 41 years for men.

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