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Things you don't have to do - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Things you don't have to do

The things some people believe cyclists must do, or if they don't do they should do.

Riding outside the cycle lane - Highway Code rule 63

  • ​Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory, largely  due to Cycling UK's campaign  in response to a proposed Highway Code revision in 2007. What's more, the common belief that cyclists are advised to use cycle lanes is also slightly overstated.  Rule 63 of the Highway Code describes cycle lanes, but does not say that cyclists should use them, merely that use of them "depends on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer".
  • Most cyclists will choose to use good quality cycle lanes where they exist, but where they are badly designed, littered with glass or badly maintained,  they won't.  You are entitled to make you own  choice, and the Highway Code rule merely reflects that. 

Riding in the middle of the lane - Highway Code rule 169

  • This refers to the middle of the lane rather than the  primary position, because the latter phrase means nothing to most motorists. Whatever you call  it, this means  'taking the lane', so you are cycling effectively in the middle of the lane, with the general flow of traffic rather than to the left of the traffic.
  • Riding in this position can in some circumstances be your safest option. If there are parked cars on your left it gives you sufficient space to avoid any car doors unexpectedly opened in front of you. It can discourage or prevent drivers from overtaking where there is insufficient space or it would be unsafe to do so, and it can be where you can most easily see and be seen.
  • You don't always have to ride in this position, and  depending on the road and traffic conditions, you may choose to move further to the left of the  lane into what is known as the secondary position. That  does not however mean hugging the kerb,  which you are neither obliged or advised to do in any circumstances.
  • Some motorists  labour under the urban myth, that cyclists have to keep to the left to  allow vehicles to pass.  Rule 169, which applies to all road  users, does advise  that you should not "hold up a long queue of traffic", before referring specifically to large or slow moving  vehicles with  further advice to  "if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass".
  • Rule 169 does not mean that cyclists should immediately pull over to let traffic past, but it could be interpreted to suggest  that a cyclist riding in the middle of the lane (or cyclists riding two abreast), should at some point look to move to the left or single out  if there is a significant queue building up behind them, though a key question would still be whether  there was an opportunity to do so safely.           

Wearing a helmet - Highway Code rule 59    

  • We will always advise wearing a helmet, it has saved my life or at least saved me from serious injury on more than one occasion. Highway Code rule 59 advice is often sadly  used to deflect blame to the cyclist and,  in relation to clothing, to attempt to explain why a driver either failed to see or failed to avoid  hitting a cyclist.  Strangely, it does not seem to apply in reverse, so if you hit a black car you can't blame the owner or manufacturer for their paint colour choice.  It's apparently just cyclists in dark clothes who can't be seen.       
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Inspiring Quotes To Get You Cycling - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Need some inspiration to get out on the bike? Have a read.

Interesting And Inspiring Cycling Quotes

“Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”
– Eddy Merckx
“When my legs hurt, I say: “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!”
– Jens Voigt
“It never gets easier, you just get faster.”
– Greg LeMond
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”
– John F Kennedy
“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to.”
– Dr K.K. Doty
“A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke.”
– Scott Stoll
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring.”
– Desmond Tutu
“Cycling isn’t a game, it’s a sport. Tough, hard and unpitying, and it requires great sacrifices. One plays football, or tennis, or hockey. One doesn’t play at cycling.”
– Jean de Gribaldy
“It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you’re missing the essence of the sport.”
– Scott Martin
“The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it.”
– Doug Bradbury
“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
– Mark Cavendish
“I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.”
– Unknown
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels.”
– Heinz Stucke

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Riding two abreast - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Should cyclists ride two abreast?

The Highway Code  states that motorists should give cyclists (and pedestrians and equestrians) as much space as they would give a motor vehicle when overtaking.

One Twitter user was corrected recently by  Surrey Police’s Road Policing Unit  after Tweeting a complaint about the position of cyclists on the road.
The original message from the Twitter user attempted to advise cyclists that they should ride at the extreme left of the road lane “so people can overtake you without risking their lives”.
“Advice to British cyclists. If you’re turning left, don’t first move one meter or more to the right,” said the Twitter user.
“If you’re turning right, don’t stop/slow down in the middle of the lane. If you’re not making a turn, keep to the left so people can overtake you without risking their lives. Thx!”
Surrey Police RPU then replied “Actually they should do exactly what you are telling people not to do.
“They firstly have every right to use all the lane, secondly the positions you describe allow them to be seen and prevent unsafe overtakes.
“If you have to put your self at risk to overtake DON’T”.

 If there’s one (legal) thing that cyclists do that can annoy motorists more than anything else, it’s riding side-by-side, otherwise known as riding two abreast.

For motorists who may not have experience of  riding a bike in a group  or knowledge of the laws surrounding cycling on the roads, they can view this as dangerous, illegal, or just downright rude and inconvenient.

What the law says

The first thing to say is that riding side by side is perfectly legal, with Rule 66 of the Highway Code only stipulating that cyclists should ride in single file “on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.”

Of course, the fact that cycling side by side is legal is not a reason in itself for cyclists to do it.

Cyclists ride side by side is for safety.

1. A group of cyclists riding two abreast will be easier for drivers to see as they will not blend into the road furniture and hedgerows, making it less likely that they will be hit from behind
2. It insures that drivers give them enough room when overtaking.

Although the Highway Code says that motorists should give cyclists “at least as much room as when overtaking a car” (which we would suggest to be 1.5m), not all drivers abide by this.
If a group of cyclists were riding down a road with oncoming traffic in single file, then drivers may be tempted to overtake in the same lane, potentially causing an accident if the cyclists have to move out into the road to avoid a pothole or other obstacle.

If the cyclists are riding side by side, then the motorist will have to wait until there are no vehicles approaching in the opposite direction, meaning that there is enough space to safely overtake.

This may sound frustrating if you’re a driver who doesn’t ride a bike, however cyclists and horse riders have an equal right to use the road without inimidation as a motorised vehicle (the road fund license has no bearing on who has more or less rights to use the roads than another road user). Olympian Chris Boardman starred in an industry-funded video which reminded drivers that “People on bicycles are flesh and blood, they’re mums and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.” He stressed that motorists need to “give them plenty of space when overtaking.”

It is more convenient for motorists.

lorry KEYDIMENSIONSMaxheight4m

If you have a group of ten riders riding in single file, then even if every rider is riding very closely to the rider in front, the group could be 20 metres long. More similar to the length of a long articulated lorry
But if the riders are riding two abreast, then the group will be less than 10 metres long (similar to length of a Luton Van). If motorised vehicles are going to pass safely, they will still have to wait for a gap in the on coming traffic, but now that gap can be smaller as the passing length is halved.

OVertaking cyclist group

How cyclists look out for drivers

It is still important that cyclists are considerate of other road users and adjust their riding appropriately.
When a car is behind that could get past if riders are in single file, but not when riding two abreast, then riders at the back of the group should shout “car up” which will then alert the other riders, who should move into single file when it is safe for the car to pass.
As a final point, it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of cyclists also drive a car, so understand why being stuck behind a group of cyclists might be frustrating.
A group of cyclists is much more likely to quickly move out of the way and signal that it’s clear to pass when a motorist is sitting patiently behind rather than revving the engine and sounding the horn.

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Bianchi Specialissima - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

bianchi specialissima 2016 02 480x320 


Bianchi Specialissima long term review

I’ve been lucky enough to ride a Bianchi specialissima CV regularly over the past couple of years. It has made such an impression that it is hands down the best race bike I have been on. We are able to ride the elite frames produced by such luminaries as Bob Parlee, Ernesto Colnago, Sacha White and Gerard Vroomen as well as the more high volume offerings from the big beasts of our industry. To say the Bianchi Specialissima outperforms these is a strong claim but one supported in a number of areas.

I tend to think of the performance of a racing bike in four main categories: climbing, descending, acceleration/ straight line speed and endurance. I’ll tackle these individually.

When the designers at Bianchi developed the specialissima I’m pretty sure climbing was seen as the most important field, this bike is built for the high mountains. A lightweight frame (780g) is one thing but the reaction to pedal stroke is what makes the difference between a climber and an anchor. My steel bike at 7.5kg outclimbs many much lighter carbon frames due to its planted nature. The specialissima has both, the steady but significant feedback from every individual effort and the light weight to allow the rider to spin at threshold seemingly never-endingly. On the 8km/7% clip to Selvino outside Bormio the bike was in its element even on the steeper double digit pitches near the summit. As the race for lightweight reached conclusion in the late 2000s bike like the Scott Addict SL and Cervelo RCA sacrificed all ride quality at the altar of weight weenieism. Nothing that foolish here.

So you’ve crested the mountain. What now? Now the thoroughbred nature of this frame shows its other side. On a 120km day on the south downs I pushed this bike to the limits, drifting it around gravelly corners on filthy Sussex lanes. Equipped with  Vittoria Corsas (no crossover “all road” setup here) the bike tracked wonderfully round fast or tight corners, allowing for mid bend adjustments and recoveries as the stiffness of the front fork (and Racing Zero front wheel) stood up to anything I could throw at it. My ride buddy, an MTBer originally from north wales, riding his now local lanes on a S-Works Venge remarked on how well suited the Bianchi Specialissima was well outside its home territory. Add versatility to the mix. Just don’t ask how long it took to clean the matte fluoro CK 16 Celeste frame after that ride!

The Bianchi Specialissima is clearly not an aero bike, so how does it compare to the more modern looking bikes out there sporting huge oversized down tubes and Kammtails? I’ve not raced the Specialissima but it’s been in some pretty fast chaingangs and it will happily hold 40kmph at cruising effort. That planted nature mentioned earlier means seated efforts whip the bike up into high speeds and keep it there. If aero concerns you then drop a pair of deep section rims into it but never forget that those massive oversized tubes have a couple of very significant compromises of their own, a drop off in both ride quality and comfort and more subjectively in looks.

So, does all this high performance beat you up all day? Far from it; the Specialissima is one of the most comfortable all day rides out there. More aggressive than the softer endurance frames (Domanes, Roubaix etc) the position is inherently steeper (one for your bike fitter ) but the CounterVeil license Bianchi paid the big bucks for comes into its own on this frame. The CV allows for a hitherto impossible level of vibration cancelling as all owners of Infinito CVs will testify to. I’d happily take on Lands End - John O’Groats on this frame and I’d be smiling (most of) all the way. This balance of performance and comfort is superior even to the 2012-2016 iteration of the Cervelo R5, my previous benchmark for a “comfy” thoroughbred.

There are three stock colourways, Bianchi Celeste in both Matt and gloss and a black option, plus almost infinite semi custom paint through the Tavalozza scheme. We offer a full custom bike build service with bikes going out this year on Sram’s wireless eTap groupset, Shimano’s Dura ace 9150 di2 and of course (and personally recommended) Campagnolo’s Super Record gruppo. Wheel options have ranged from Mavic’s climbing R-SYS SLR, fulcrum racing zero for a stiffer option and deep section offerings from both Zipp and Utah’s carbon specialists ENVE composites. We’re always here to help you make these crucial decisions!

We have access to a number of Specialissima demo bikes provided by the awesome Geoff and Lucia and the team at Bianchi UK so if you fancy a ride on one then just get in touch, we’d be delighted to arrange your next super bike.


Videos - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

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Do you really need a wide fit shoe? - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Wide fit Shoe

Most people believe that they have had the same shoe size since their teenage years. While it’s true that the foot does grow rapidly until teenage years, it’s a misconception that the feet remain unchanged from there onwards. In fact, the foot size, shape and structure can change over time due to wear-and-tear, overuse, hormonal changes, injury, shoe choice, and genetics.

In our experience of making custom orthotics for podiatry issues, we see many clients that regard themselves as having wide feet.  In some cases this is true, but with the industry commonly making shoes wider as shoe size has gone up because people of today are, on average, two shoe sizes larger than the people of the 1970s.  According to a study released by the College of Podiatry' in the UK. Sizes 12 and 13 (US) are the most common shoe sizes sold at Long Tall Sally, with size 15 now making up 10% of business. Thirty years ago, Stuart Weitzman used to sell most shoes in size 7, with sizes going as high as 10; today, they sell an 8 on average, and offer sizes up to 12. “We’ve all gotten taller and we need big feet to hold us up,” consulting podiatrist Emma Supple explained to the Wall Street Journal.

But  not all shoe sales people are correct in this field; as a person in a sports shop somewhere would have said “oh you have wide feet, you need this type of shoe” that would have stuck with the client for years and would have never questioned it. It is always good to have your podiatry checked as the feet will change over time. 

A common podiatry issue we see is over pronation which can cause a low or collapsed arch also resulting in a wide foot shape.  This is where an orthotic fitted into a normal shoe, rather than a wider stance or bigger sized shoe.  In a natural foot position the foot will be rotated so the foot becomes narrower, this will help the dynamics of your posture and any imbalances in the posture will start to correct themselves.

In conclusion, before you set off to buy your new set of shoes, pop in for a foot consultation and see what is going to be best for you, whether it is for your cycling running or work shoes.

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Fizik Test Saddle Stock Reinforced! - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote


We have received our drop of Fizik Versus Evo test saddles completing our demo offering. The Versus Evo is the most technically advanced saddle range that Fizik have ever made, with a progressive cushioning pad allowing for a shallower pad and a flexible hull that is reminiscent of the much loved and missed Kurve range. The progressive pad has allowed for a significant weight drop from the previous Versus range, the Versus Evo Aliante only causing a 14 gram weight penalty from the standard Aliante R3.

We offer a test service for the full Versus Evo range along with all the traditional flat top Fizik road saddles. The demo program requires a deposit of £120. For this we will fit your test saddle and replace with up to three other models if required. The full £120 is refunded against the eventual saddle purchase, if no saddle is purchased then only £100 is refunded. This is by far the best way to choose a saddle and with 12 different options it is very rare for customers to not find a saddle that works for them.

Fizik Aliante

Fizik antares

Fizik Arione

Fizik saddle


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Are You Keeping Hydrated? - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

hydration benefits infographic 640x480 2 

There are a couple of different options for setting an appropriate amount of fluid intake for your body.

The method I will use involves using calculations based on of bodyweight.

What liquids should contribute to our measurement of intake?
We will include all the fluid intake except for alcohol. Yes, even things we see as “dehydrating” like coffee, actually do more to contribute to our fluid intake that detract from it. So all fluids, including coffee, Diet Coke, milk, juice, tea, flavoured waters, and any drink (besides alcohol) will count towards this intake. We don’t count alcohol because it is dehydrating and makes you pee more fluid out than you take in.

So how much fluid should you take in?
A good rule is to take in one litre of fluids for every 23 kg of your bodyweight.

Another method to ensure you are adequately hydrated is one found on the website The article recommends that you should have 5 clear pees per day, 2 of them coming shortly after your workout (or during your workout if it is long).

The reason that I prefer this method for clients and myself is that at the same bodyweight, two people can have a very different hydration status, but let’s keep this easy for now and just say try to drink one litre for ever 23kg of body weight, keep an eye on the clearness of your pee and adjust if you do not have five clear pees a day.

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Are You In Alignment? - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Body Alignment

Custom insoles and orthotics have been widely used to treat foot, ankle and lower leg problems and injuries for years.
Increasingly, custom insoles have become standard equipment for elite athletes including runners, football, rugby, tennis, hockey players, cyclists, weightlifters and more.

If you are injured or recovering from an injury Bicycle Richmond Custom Insoles can help with: plantar fasciitis, achilles-tendon pain, knee pain, and hip and lower back pain as well as many more foot and body alignment issues.

This is something that sets Bicycle Richmond out from the rest, send an email today or book an assessment

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Leg and Glute Activation - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Leg and Glute Activation


Exercises you can use before or separate to your lower body workout sessions, in order to help increase contraction/rep quality on key exercises.

Remember, that this should be before resistance work like squats, deadlifts & hip thrusters (glute bridges) if your aim is to build your glutes, burn more calories & activate the core. Don’t waste too much time with walking like a crab or jumping up and down like you see on so called fitness pages in Instagram. Squat, deadlift & glute bridge/hip thruster variations with increasing load (weight or total volume) over time is key to achieving your goals, & way more effective.

If you’re a male considering using this mini-routine, also look at mobilising the groin & stretching the hip flexors too shown in the third stretch routine. These exercises are created to help the glutes & abductors fire, so you can load them over the quads & help protect the knees. Tight hip flexors will impede the glutes, & a tight groin can increase the knees collapsing toward one another during leg exercises (& lead to lots of athletic issues).

Complete 20 reps per exercise & 1-3 rounds in total. Remain as neutral as possible through the trunk, minimising undue arching of the lower spine where possible.

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