First off some sad news. Last week Phil Wood passed away at the age of 84 at his home in Baxter, Iowa.
For those of you that have never heard of Phil Wood, then shame on you! He was the first person to introduce sealed bearings into bicycle hubs and the company which he started in 1971 is now one of the oldest cycling component manufactures in America. The company which he sold in 1991 now produces more than 200 unique hubs, along with bottom brackets, cogs, tools and lubricants.
A moment of silence.
Mark Beaumont is used to pushing himself to the extreme, in 2008 he smashed the record for pedalling around the world in 194 days! This time he has set him self a even harder challenge – cycling the length of the longest mountain range on earth. From the Rockies in North America to the Andes of South America covering an impressive 13,000 miles through 12 countries and if that wasn’t a challenge in itself, he is also planning on scaling the summits of the two highest mountains in North and South America; all in nine months!
Marks needs to consume 6,000 calories a day to keep him going in the saddle with an extra 30kg of kit attached to his bike. He is self sufficient as well, carrying everything he needs to complete his journey.
The first part of his trip saw him riding to Mount McKinley to climb the first of the two mountains on his trip. At 20,320 ft, it is the highest peak in North America and even though it is not as high as Everest, the climb from base camp to the summit is actually further! With Mount McKinley being one of the coldest mountains on earth, it has a fearsome reputation having claimed 100 lives and Mark joined a team of mountaineers to set off on his trip where he was truly out of his comfort zone.
Back on the road and Mark had a continuous battle with his surroundings, from bears at the side of the roads, to the massive RV’s that roam the roads and even forest fires stopping him in his tracks.
After 1,300 miles Marks bike had started to feel the strain with one broken pedal, 10 punctures and having to swap his tyres around due to his rear one being completely worn down due to the poor road surfaces and the weight of his bike bearing down upon it.
The first part of his journey is available on the BBC iPlayer for those of you who can view it this week and it is well worth a watch.
The UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen is well under way this week with some great racing already taken place.
Australia took an early lead on day one with Cameron Meyer in the Men’s Point Race and Anna Meares winning the first of her two gold medals on offer in the Women’s 500m Time Trial.
In the men’s team sprint, the four year winning streak of the French came to an end when the German team beat them in the final. Team GB came in to get the Bronze ahead of China even after Team GB had a pedal snap on them in a qualifying round.
Day two and Australia continued where they left off on day one by winning another two golds with Anna Meares taking her second gold in two days with her team mate Kaarle McCulloch.
But us Brits are never down for long with Sir Chris Hoy stepping up to the plate and taking his third keirin victory and his 10th world title. Although he didn’t get the race that he is used to, with the rest of bunch keeping him from getting to the front where he likes to be to dictate the pace. Not able to get up to his usual pace early on and storm into a lead, he was pushed all the way to the line with the Malaysian Azizulhasni Awang challenging, but Hoy did not falter and kept his pace all the way to the line.
With more action coming tonight and over the weekend there is sure to be a lot more exciting racing to come.
To finish off some track related nonsense.
For this weeks tedious link. The Track World Championships this year are held in Copenhagen Denmark and there has been some very talented women riding their bikes and enjoying themselves immensely whilst doing it. This lady below is also enjoying riding her bike…
But maybe a little more!