Saturday 10 November 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 10.11.2012

Happy birthday to Simon Richardson, the Welsh paralympian professional cyclist born in 1966. Richardson returned to cycling in 2005 after a serious car accident in 2001, going on to set a new world record at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. In August 2011 he was hit by a car while cycling and sustained a broken pelvis fractures to the spine, a detached lung, a broken breast bone and cuts to his legs, leaving him un able to compete in the 2012 Games in London. The driver of the car, who did not stop after hitting Richardson, was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison.

On this day in 1905, Emile Bouhours covered the 100km between Orleans and Vierzon at an average speed of 61.291kph - considerably faster than the current UCI Hour Record for a standard upright bike, which stands at 49.7kph. Taking into account that bikes in 1905 had more in common with farm gates than today's ultra-lightweight, multi-geared carbon fibre machines, this suggests that Bouhours achieved his remarkable feat through either a very fortuitoius tailwind, cheating (perhaps by using a shortcut) or faulty timing on the part of the race judges.

Happy birthday also to Amets Txurruka, the Basque rider who was born in 1982. Txurruka began his career with the British-based Barloworld team and has been awarded the Combativity jersey in both the Tour de France (2007) and the Vuelta a Espana (2011).

On this day in 2010 it was announced that the Barclays Bike Hire Scheme - also known as the Boris Bikes after London Mayor Boris Johnson despite the fact that the scheme was invented by his predecessor Ken Livingstone  - would be extended to cover East London with an extra 2000 bikes and 4200 "docking stations."

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