Another week passes us by in the world of cycling. Did you manage to get on the bike and ride this week?
Personally I’m doing all my rides indoors right now as it’s very much Winter here in the UK. I remember something called the sun, but I have forgotten what it looks like.
Anyway, let’s not dwell. Let’s take a look back at what fun things happened over the past week.
Shimano’s Slave Factory
Yet another week with Shimano making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Shimano is under the spotlight as it investigates allegations of “modern slavery” at Kwang Li Industry, a Malaysian supplier to its factory.
The Telegraph reports shocking practices, including hefty paycheck deductions, pushing wages below Malaysia’s minimum, and foreign workers forced into high-interest loans to cover recruitment fees.
Shimano expressed deep concern, vowing a thorough investigation.
Belgium’s Bike Speed Cameras
Flanders, Belgium, is gearing up to play traffic cop with a quirky plan to install speed cameras in bicycle lanes.
Minister Lydia Peeters is taking the lead, announcing the crackdown on both pedal pushers and motorists going over 30kph.
While cars must yield to bikes, the new cameras will make sure everyone sticks to the speed limit, be it on two wheels or four.
🚦 The catch? 🚦
How they’ll nab speedy cyclists without license plates remains a mystery.
Cycle Show 2024 Canned
London’s Alexandra Palace might experience a cycling vacuum in 2024 as the Cycle Show, renowned for its two decades of pedal-powered glory, faces cancellation woes.
Reports suggest Immediate Live, grappling with industry challenges like overstocking and dwindling demand, reluctantly pulled the brakes on the 2024 spectacle.
Former head of sales and sponsorship, Alan Parfitt, shared the saddening news on LinkedIn, citing the hurdles the cycling world currently navigates.
Despite the uncertainty, the Cycle Show’s website seems optimistic, still inviting interest for a potential 2024 spin from April 19 to 21.
Cycle To Work? On Your Bike
The UK’s Cycle to Work scheme faces a showdown as retailers push against Cyclescheme’s recent rule changes, branding them as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) joins the resistance, demanding immediate system reforms and exposing longstanding grievances of being treated as a “cash cow.”
Cyclescheme’s bid for “fairer pricing” is met with accusations of arbitrariness, as the ACT questions the US corporate giant’s intentions and urges reinvestment of its reported £55m profits into the UK cycling industry.
With resentment building since the scheme’s 1999 inception, the ACT advocates for a revamped employee benefit, pointing to newcomers like Gogeta as a friendlier alternative with low commission fees and flexible options.
Can the bike industry catch a break? The full story is on GCN.
Groupama-FDJ Switch To Wilier Triestina
One of the sexier, pricier bike brands, Wilier Triestina have entered a multi-year technical sponsorship agreement with the esteemed French Groupama – FDJ Cycling Team, effective from January 1, 2024.
The news is that the team will ride the Filante SLR with custom paint job, and the Turbine SLR for time trials.
Personally I can’t wait to see these bikes 🤩
Grand Theft Auto 6 Has Bike Lanes
Undoubtedly one of the biggest stories this week was the launch Trailer #1 of GTA 6.
Allegedly it’s going to release in 2025 (boo!) and cost £120 (double boo!).
Anyway, aside from the eagle eyed Twitter user Ben Fryback spotting the inclusion of bike lanes, there is a possibility that you could load up GTA 6 and pedal around the world, as you could in GTA 5.
Strava Introduces DMs
Probably one of the most over reported news stories of the week, and it sort of pains me to cover it.
Strava added the ability to Direct Message other users this week.
I’m just not that excited by this.
Zwift Road Captain
This week I learned about Zwift Road Captain.
Clever software developer Sander van Vliet’s Zwift app allows you to create your own unique routes. No longer are you tied to the official ones provided by Zwift.
With RoadCaptain you can build a route in Watopia, Makuri Islands and France so that you can ride exactly where you want to. Always wanted to loop from the Volcano to the Jungle? No problem!
It does come with some caveats, the biggest of which is being unable to use the Zwift Companion App whilst using Zwift Road Captain. That, I believe, is a rather unfortunate aspect of the way Zwift works, rather than this app in particular.
Check it out at roadcaptain.nl.
Bike Of The Week: The Cyclist
Entitled The Cyclist, it’s a wet charcoal and pastel piece.
That doesn’t mean a great deal to me.
What I will say is I think it’s a really sweet picture, and it’s going to be the ‘bike of the week‘ this time around.
Love it. Top work.
Who Needs A Pro Contract?
I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here. But it looks like this fella is pedalling along and filming, and somehow is able to be on the road as the pro peloton passes through.
Note the look of disgust from Wout van Aert. Having to share the road with a lesser mortal? Outrageous.
Flying With Bike
Ever wondered what the inside of a bike travel case looks like?
Well… maybe I am a little tragic.
Anyway, I saw this and I thought, wow, yeah, that’s pretty cool. And to be honest if my frame was a bronzed Adonis like this Giant TCR, I’d probably keep it in there full time. Swanky.
That’s it for this week, so you next time!