Pisenti Modular Uno Bike

You won’t believe how much this 1980s carbon bike is selling for

You probably won’t ever see one of these for sale again.

This is a genuine Pesenti Modulare Uno from 1987 and it’s as rare as hen’s teeth.

Pisenti Modular Uno Front View
The price for someone who wants to own such a unique, radical, iconic design? A cool £15,500 ($20,0000 USD).

Equipped with Campagnolo’s Croce d’Aune groupset with Delta brakes and some of the first Cinelli disc wheels this bike was first unveiled to the world at the Milan Bike Show in 1987 by its designer Andrea Pesenti.

Pesenti was the driving force behind the classic Cinelli Laser design of bikes, during an era when cycle design could be as bold as the materials would allow, unhindered by overly stringent regulations. The Modular Uno is his carbon follow up design, nne of the first bikes manufactured in carbon fiber monocoque. Featuring a distinctive aerodynamic fork shape and a one piece handlebar it was already being dreamt up by Pesenti in the early 80s.

“In 1983 I started to design it” – Andrea Pesenti has confirmed – “but it was still a sketch on a piece of paper”.

“It wasn’t easy to make a fork like that back then – still – that was one of the first that did not break!”

The Modular Uno design also featured swapable rear drop outs meaning the bike could be ridden on the track or on the road.

Sadly, whoever buys this bike won’t be able to race it as this bike has a crack in the bottom bracket shell, a common flaw in early prototype carbon frames from the 80s, so will have to take pride of place mounted on a wall or in a museum. But whoever gets it will know they’ve got a fantastic example of a bike made at the height of futuristic cycle design.

Want to make an offer? It’s available on eBay here

Pisenti Modular Uno Bike rear view Pisenti Modular Uno Bike rear view Pisenti Modular Uno Bike drivetrain Pisenti Modular Uno Bike drivetrain Pisenti Modular Uno Bike with Cinelli Volate saddle Pisenti Modular Uno Bike with Cinelli Volate saddle Pisenti Modular Uno Bike with signed handlebars Pisenti Modular Uno Bike signed handlebars Pisenti Modular Uno Bike original designs Pisenti Modular Uno Bike original designs Pisenti Modular Uno Bike at Milan Bike Show Pisenti Modular Uno Bike at Milan Bike Show

Want to own Bauke Mollema’s aero helmet? Now you can

Want to own Bauke Mollema’s original aero helmet amongst others?
Now’s your chance to grab a piece of cycling history.
Suddenly offered on Facebook is this job lot of official team helmets from the Milram, Rabobank and Belkin teams.
Team kit like this hardly ever comes up for sale unless you are well in the know with team employees so it’s great to see the self styled “Colnago King” Harry Nac offering these at an incredibly low price of just Eu19.95 each which translates to just £16.89 at today’s exchange rates or $21.85 for our American friends.
The only catch? Harry is selling them as a job lot…

LOT 29 BELL GIRO SPECIALIZED CYCLING TT HELMETS TEAM RABOBANK – BELKIN – MILRAM
578.00 Euro

Only made for the PRO Team, very hard to find.

Nice Belkin Pro Team version.

Giro Advanced Rabobank

Specialized Milram Team

Only 19.95 Euro each helmet

Most are size Small

This will be a perfect lot to sell off.

So if you run a team, want to treat your club mates or fancy making yourself some money by selling them over the coming year on eBay, jump in. These are normally next to impossible to get hold of
Serious enquiries should be made in the first instance to Harry Nac at [email protected] and be quick, based on Harry’s previous sales these won’t hang around.

 

Bauke Mollema's aero helmet for sale
Velodrome track racing

Track Racing – As Easy as One, Two, Three

By Chris Colford, Blue Peter Presenter

Are you tempted by the thrill of competition, but not exactly fond of the hills? Are you up for the big sprint, but not wild about racing for 50 miles before you get there? Are you foaming at the mouth to race, but too lazy to change gear? Are you someone who has never really seen the point of brakes? Yes to all? Good. Track racing is for you. Here’s how to do it in three easy stages.

Editors note: We published this elsewhere years ago and feel it is still valid today so have reinstated it on Bikesy. Chris really captures the atmosphere and friendliness of a track league perfectly. The prices will have gone up in the intervening years but it’s still a very affordable way to get into racing.

Stage One – Track Induction Session

Every Saturday at 9.30am (weather permitting) there is a track induction session for beginners at the Herne Hill Stadium in Burbage Road. Unless you’ve got a track bike, you’ll have to hire one for £2.50. The session itself lasts for about an hour and costs £5.50. That’s £8 to learn to ride the track.

If you do hire a bike, it’s a good idea to bring your own pedals and a pedal spanner. Otherwise you will have to use the pedals on the hire bike, which will be of the toe-clip variety. It’s a good idea to get to the track at about 9.00am, to give yourself time to use the loo, change pedals, adjust saddle heights, use the loo again etc.

Beginners are generally nervous of riding on the track, and are led to believe:

(a) That it is impossible to stop on a track bike, because it has no brakes;

(b) That you need oxygen to ride at the top of the banking; and

(c) That if you stop pedaling for a nanosecond, the bike will transform itself into a catapult, and throw you over the handlebars.

There is an element of truth in all of these ideas, but not a very big element. The position might be more fairly stated like this:

(a) It is not possible to stop suddenly on a track bike. There are no brakes, but there is a fixed wheel. This means that the pedals go round whenever the bike is moving. They can’t help it. They are attached to the cranks, which are attached to the chainrings, which is attached to the chain, which is attached to the rear sprocket, which is attached to the wheel, which is to say it is fixed to the wheel, so that when the wheel goes round the sprocket goes round. And when the sprocket goes round the chain goes round, and the chainrings go round and the cranks go round and the pedals go round. And if your legs don’t want to go round, that’s tough titty, because the bike has a whole lot of momentum, and it will force them round. This means that, if you want to slow down, you exert slight downward pressure on the pedals during the upstroke (ie as the pedal moves backwards from the bottom to the top). Believe it or not, it is probably safer riding in a bunch with bikes of this kind, because no-one can slam the anchors on in front of you and cause a pile-up. Not that it feels that way to start with.

(b) As a beginner, you will be allowed to ride half a dozen laps with no-one else near you on the track. This feels nice and safe, because there is no-one on hand to crash into. The first couple of laps are ridden at the bottom of the track. The next two laps are ridden about half way up. The final two are ridden at the top of the banking. It does feel as though you are quite high up, but you get used to it pretty quickly. The trick is not to lean. Normally you would lean to the left, when going round a left hand bend. But the whole point of having a banked track is that the banking gets you round the bend without the rider having to lean (or slow down). You just ride perfectly vertical, as though you were going in a straight line on a horizontal piece of road. It’s marvellous.

(c) It is actually important to remember to keep pedalling. If you come up behind a rider, it is natural to stop pedalling, and start freewheeling. Track bikes do not have a freewheel. They have a fixed wheel. If you try to freewheel, the bike gives you a little jolt, as the pedal continues on the upstroke, even though your leg has stopped. The most important time to remember to keep pedalling is after a big effort, such as a sprint. You will be going quite fast, and may even get a big enough kick to unbalance you, and take you down.

One you’ve done your half dozen laps or so, you will spend the rest of the induction session riding with the other beginners, novices and youth riders who attend these sessions. (This is always assuming you are confident enough to ride with others. No-one is ever pushed beyond what they can safely do.) This final part of the session is a good opportunity to get used to slowing the bike slightly when necessary, by exerting slight backward pressure on the pedals, as you ride up behind a group, for example. The other thing which helps to slow the bike is to move slightly up the track.

The induction sessions are usually taken by Russell Williams, who is the most friendly person in the world. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you’d assume that there was an election coming up, and he was a politician. He is an excellent coach, principally because he can shout very loud without sounding ill-tempered. If you ask him nicely, he will tell you what it is like being David Duffield’s co-commentator. Russell’s ambition is one day to have part of a web-site devoted to him, just like David Duffield does.

 

Russell Williams - track coach
Russell Williams, the friendliest person in the world

 

Stage Two – Full Training Session

Once you have completed an induction session, you can do a full training session. These are run on Saturdays at about 11am, ie immediately after the beginners/novices session. They also cost £5.50, plus £2.50 for bike hire. This still adds up to £8.

If you are really cocky, you can do the full training session immediately after the induction session. I am only moderately cocky, so I did it a week later, having repeated the induction session for good measure. It’s all really question of how confident you feel.

The full training session lasts about 2 hours, with a 15 minute break in the middle. When I did the session, it wasn’t particularly hard. There is a lot of warming up. After a while Russell Williams starts shouting at everyone, and riding around the inside of the track no-handed. This means he is in charge, and you must obey his every command. The basic idea is for the whole group to ride two abreast. You stay quite close to the wheel in front, as you would in any group ride. Once a lap, the pair on the front peels off by riding up the banking. They allow the group to pass below them, before dropping back down the banking on to the back of the group. This is way cool thing to do, and is worth £8 on its own. It’s a bit like through and off, but much easier, because you naturally slow down when you pull off (because you are riding up the banking) and you naturally get back up to speed when you rejoin at the back (because you are riding down the banking).

The training might also include some interval sessions. When I did it, everyone was riding two abreast, and then Russell sent pairs, or fours, or sixes off the front. Each group had to ride together, and catch back up with the bunch, having gained a lap. This generally took about three or four laps. The convention was to do half a lap on the front, before peeling off up the banking and allowing the others to move through. It was tremendous fun.

For me the main point of the full training session was not the training element, but the practicing element. That is to say, I wanted to get used to riding with others on the track, because I wanted to race as soon as possible. The key thing was to keep your eyes and ears open all the time. As with any group riding, no sudden or unannounced moves should be made. Overall, so long as I concentrated, the track felt quite safe. There were no horrid cars, traffic lights, pedestrians or potholes.

Step Three – Racing

Once you are confident riding with others on the track, you might as well try a race. There are races at Herne Hill throughout the summer on Monday and Wednesday evenings, starting at about 7pm. It’s a good idea to get there as soon as possible after 6pm to sign on, warm up and make some inroads into the world’s supply of toilet paper.

Racing costs an initial registration fee of £20 (for the whole summer) plus £6 per evening’s racing. There are at least 8 races per evening, and you would do up to half of them, as the riders are split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories.

It really is the high number of races which makes track racing so much fun. In a road race a novice can go out the back early on, and that’s it – a long lone ride back to the HQ awaits. On the track you can go out the back on the first lap of the first race, and be learning from your mistakes less than 30 minutes later, in the third race.

There is also lots of variety in the races. You can choose to sit races out, but it is recommended that you generally have a go, to find out whether that kind of race suits you. I’ll just describe a few of the races that tend to come up, to give you an idea.

Hare and Hounds

This seems commonly to be the first race of the evening, and serves as a warm up. On both occasions I have raced, it was 10 laps long. The ‘B’ cat riders (the hares) start in the back straight, and the ‘A’ cat riders (the hounds) chase them from the home straight. The ‘A’ cats generally catch the ‘B’ cats after about seven laps, and there is a bunched sprint. On of the main reasons that I decided to ride the track, was that Keith Butler told me it would teach me how to sprint. I generally chicken out of the sprint in road races, so you won’t be surprised to learn that I chickened out of the hare and hounds sprints too. On both occasions they were tremendously fast, as the quicker riders in the field swept past me after the bell. I can, however, report that you can chicken out just as safely on the track as you can in road races.

The Devil Take the Hindmost

Hannah and I were in one of these, for ‘B’ cat riders. At the end of every lap, the last two riders across the line are eliminated. When there are only four riders left, they sprint it out over one final lap. If there were a field of 30 riders, the race would last 14 laps. But only for the four fastest! For Hannah and me it lasted two laps. I saw this as a great triumph, as I fully expected to get eliminated at the end of the first lap. I thought that Hannah might have tried a bit harder though. The trouble with the Devil is that the folks at the front don’t generally sprint very fast. Why should they? They are safe from elimination. The folks as the back sprint to avoid elimination, which basically means that they are going faster than the riders in front. The whole thing bunches up terribly, and the two riders eliminated are generally those at the back who didn’t dare to squeeze into a small gap. My tactics of waiting at the back, and just trying to sprint past the last two, in other words, were rubbish. Why? Because I chickened out. Not for me those teency weency gaps. Next time I will ride at the front, and stay out of trouble. No doubt this will be rubbish tactics too, as riding at the front saps your strength. I did enjoy this race, though. I wish it had lasted longer for me.

 

Herne Hill Track racing bunch
Hannah (in yellow) in the thick of the action

The Points Race

This one was my favourite. It was a 10 lap race. The first three riders across the line at the end of every lap get 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. The rider with the most points at the end wins. You can actually cross the line last at the end of the race, and still win.

Stung by my failure in the Devil, I rode this one at the front from the start. I was overtaken by one rider at the end of each of the first two laps. Two second places! Four points for Chris! I don’t generally approve of exclamation marks, but sometimes the occasion demands them. Unfortunately I was so knackered after the first two laps that I didn’t get any more points in the last 8 laps, but I didn’t go out the back either, and I was a very happy boy.

The Scratch Race

This is just a bunched race, like a mini road race. In both the meetings where I raced, the last race was a 20 kilometre (42 lap) scratch race, for ‘A’ and ‘B’ cat riders together. This meant it was really fast. But there were separate points for the ‘B’ cats, so in theory you could win the ‘B’ cat race by being the last ‘B’ cat out the back. In practice a few ‘B’ cats often hang on, but I got about 5th place out of the ‘B’ cats just by hanging on for about 25 laps.

It was so fast. It was like all the hard bits in an attacking road race, compressed into 12 miles. There were several ‘A’ cats who just kept attacking. The pace went through the roof for a couple of laps, and then went down again for a couple of laps. Then fast again. It was by far the best interval training I have ever done.

As the whole point of writing this is to get my photograph on the website, I got Jean to come and take as many photos as possible, so long as they were all of me. Here I am mixing it with the big boys.

 

Waiting for a race to start
Chris looking relaxed: this track racing is no big deal

 

Herne Hill Track Race
Chris riding second wheel in the scratch race: no big deal at all

 

Off the back at Herne Hill
Five laps later: that’s quite a big gap in front of Chris, who is looking less relaxed by now; we expect he got back on, trying that hard

 

Track racing at Herne Hill with Russel Williams
Hannah is still attached to the bunch

The Sprint Competition

I should also mention the “pure” sprint races, where 2 to 4 riders battle it out over 2 laps. There are heats, and then finals. That’s all I know about it. This competition hadn’t started when I rode. But it will have started by now, as the light now lasts long enough for extra races. You will have seen sprints on the telly. The riders tend to start really slowly, until one cracks, and goes for it. The others jump on the wheel, and swoop past off the final bend. I can’t wait. Surely even I can’t bottle a four up sprint. Famous last words.

Executive Summary

For those of you too busy or important to read this rubbish in full, but stupid enough to want to know what it says in outline, here it is encapsulated in five bullet points. The lack of grammar is for the benefit of senior management types, who have better things to do than read proper sentences, which are no doubt less “pro-active” and have fewer “synergies” than non-sentences written alongside blobs:

  • track riding great fun/good training
  • no traffic except for fat man on underpowered moped (or “Derny”, which is not a word in any dictionary I have seen)
    not too scary (even for big cowards like me)
  • permanent toilet facilities
  • Herne Hill Stadium £8 Saturday 9.30am beginners

Visual Aids for Executive Summary

 

Herne Hill Velodrome Toilets

The permanent toilet facilities, a must for nervous beginners; there are also facilities for women, and the gents includes equipment suitable for number twos

 

Russell Williams - track coach
Russell Williams again. We only took one photo of him, but it’s worth seeing twice. He won’t mind being next to the loos. He’s just happy to be on the website

sunset at Herne Hill velodrome
Is the sun going down on Herne Hill?

 

Russell Williams - track coach
Not if this man has anything to do with it! It’s Russell Williams, the friendliest person in the world

Chris Colford 2 June 2002

 

Header photo by Andrew_Last (c) Creative Commons

 

Is This The World’s Most Expensive Cycling Jersey?

It takes a lot to shock us here at Bikesy. We’ve seen a Bugatti Bicycle for £39,000 and we’ve seen a Trek Bikes painted by Damien Hirst sell for half a million dollars but here at Bikesy Towers where the ethos is helping people save money, we think this Rapha jersey takes the biscuit!


Now, let’s be clear here – this isn’t the renowned designer Paul Smith trying to make a fast buck.
Paul originally made this jersey in conjunction with British cycle clothing brand Rapha to celebrate the Tour de France Grand Depart coming to London in 2007.

At the time the merino wool jersey retailed for £175, still a tidy sum and beyond the budget of many a club cyclist but for anyone who could afford one the classic collared designs reflecting the heady days of old showing the dual Tricoleur and Union flag with the words Grand Depart emblazoned across its centre panel it turned out to be a wise investment.

How wise? Well one of these jerseys is currently for sale at £10,000.

Yes, you read that right. Ten grand for a cycle shirt…

Offered as “The mother of all cycling jerseys” this bagged and tagged example in size medium is for sale on eBay by user 19joe80

From the product listing-

The mother of all cycling jerseys.
A collaboration between Paul Smith and Rapha saw this limited edition produced for the 2007 Grand Depart of the Tour de France from London.
Size: Medium
This has been stored in an airtight bag in the dark since it was purchased.

A piece of cycling history.

Helpfully, it comes with free postage and packing.

£10,000 cycling jersey by Rapha and Paul Smith

So, if you’ve got that type of rider in your club with more money than they know how to spend, and they absolutely LOVE bikes and cycling, you know what to tell them to get next!

 

The World’s Best Full Suspension MTB is Finally For Sale

(Pictures below)
Sometimes you’ve got to look overseas to find real innovation in cycling. The days of Muddy Fox, Pace, Orange leading the way in MTB design have sadly passed us by, the real action is happening over in Europe.

Serbia has not always been known as a leader in MTB design but you can rest assured, our cycling brothers and sisters in the Balkan States are always pushing the boundaries in cycle design.

While not on the top of everyone’s MTB destination, Serbia boasts some incredible downhill courses and had its first bike park open in Kopaonik back in 2012.

Kopaonik bike park Serbia
Kopaonik bike park Serbia

In fact some of the riding in Serbia is so gnarly that locals have found regular 160mm travel Enduro bikes just aren’t enough to cope with the hardcore terrain and have started, in true Repack tradition to engineer their own machines to hammer.

If you’ve always wanted the 200mm plus front travel needed to ride some of the World Champs level courses but couldn’t afford the expensive outlay of a pro-level DH bike here’s your chance to snap one up for just €150.

One canny bike designer has solved this problem by basing his design on the trusty Balance Full Suspension MTB so popular in Eastern Europe, with some well thought out additions.

Balance Full Suspension MTB
A Stock Balance Full Suspension MTB

Currently available via Serbian classifieds this amazing machine can really be yours for just 150Eur, but be aware this mechanically 100%  correct marvel is only intended for “serious buyers” who are “lovers of handicrafts”

Full suspension mountain bike extra forks advert

In English the ad reads like this (after mangling with Google translate)

Balance Full Suspension
Handmade with three forks, an incredibly comfortable ride, a bike made to go through various terrains without any problems, invested a lot of effort, time and money ..
There is no luft, mechanically 100% correct when there is a will and material resources that is, about the middle of aesthetics.
The price is 150 €, with no stupid questions that let the price right to that money out when it is sold in parts
Serious buyers and lovers of handicrafts ship inbox snapshot of how it works …
Replacement exclusively for the mobile phone, the price of the replacement is greater. .

Type:
All-Mountain
Wheel size:
26 “
Materials:
aluminum
Shock absorbers:
Front and Rear
State:
Used / Impeccable condition
Delivery:
Personally download, Courier Services

Beautiful!

Full Suspension Beauty Full Suspension Beauty Full Suspension Beauty Full Suspension Beauty Full Suspension Beauty Full Suspension Beauty

Personally I’d go with a Rockrider or Boardman Mountain Bike or Specialized e-mtb but we are firm believers of each to their own, and we really respect the boundaries being pushed here.

Links We Love

spokeswomen

Fighting the fear: how I got confident on the road

spokeswomen

Theres a lot of talk about women being more nervous of cycling on the roads than men.  I don’t know if I agree with that.  I do think they’re often more prepared to admit fear, which is definitely not the same thing. I suspect that men often mask their nerves in lycra and bravado whereas women decide that cycling is not worth risking their lives over. However, scary facts about women being knocked off their bikes by lorries suggests that they can also be victims of their own wariness.

I certainly had loads more hairy moments before training to become a cycle instructor. I was definitely a curb hugger and would often dash for the pavement if things got beepy. The instructor course was an eye-opener for me. There were a few simple tips and techniques that instantly made me feel less vulnerable and defensive when navigating the bike-hating streets of Leeds. It didn’t save me from the idiots but it made me feel safer and in charge. I thought I’d share some of the most useful, just in case they help you too…

  • Look drivers in the eye whenever you want to do something
  • Take up the position of a car (i.e. in the middle of your side of the road) whenever at a junction, don’t let yourself be overtaken when turning – this includes roundabouts
  • Get to the front of traffic at a red light if you have time.  If you don’t, get in between two cars and become a car yourself
  • Don’t worry about pissing off drivers – they’re pissed off because they’re stuck in a metal box, not because of you.
  • Cycle lanes are not always the best place to be
  • Look over your right shoulder, a lot
  • Don’t assume other cyclists know what they’re doing
  • Beware the gutter, its often the most dangerous place to be
  • Cycle two-abreast its not only legal (and more fun) but recommended by British Cycling
  • The more confident you are, the safer you will be

This stuff is kind of obvious I guess, I just wish I’d been told it earlier.

This video is great too :





 

Beryl Burton drama on BBC radio


Catch this amazing drama about the life of Beryl Burton on BBC Radio written by and starring Maxine Peake by periodically checking on iPlayer for repeats here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p0fpl

A Woman’s Hour talk about Beryl and how Maxine Peake portrayed her is available here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nxzcd

Beryl Burton was an English racing cyclist and one of Britain’s greatest athletes. She dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 900 domestic championships and seven world titles, and setting numerous national records. She set a women’s record for the 12-hour time-trial which still stands today (and exceeded the men’s record for two years).

The BBC World Service made a programme about Beryl here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02k1swc


She inspired spokeswomen’s very own Beryl’s Night run by the wonderful women of the Broken Spoke Bike Coop in Oxford.

UK Police Giving Away Free Gold Standard Bike Locks to Encourage Cycling

There are many initiatives for getting more people cycling as an everyday transport. One we’ve just come across is from the British Transport Police which tackles the concern around bike theft that puts some people off of cycling to a station rather than driving, incase their bike gets stolen while they are away at work.

Police officers are currently touring stations they deem as cycle theft ‘hotspots’ and offering free Bike Register marking to commuters unlocking their bikes.

The process involves taking the frame number from the cycle along with your personal details and then applying the BikeRegister sticker and the subsequent discrete marking ink. The days of using a hammer and engravers set to punch your postcode into the bottom bracket shell are long gone! This current method won’t damage the frame in any way and will still allow you to be contacted should you move house.

Police marking a bicycle in South London

You can then have a sticker placed very visibly on the bike informing any potential thief that the bike is part of the BikeRegister scheme as a deterrent.

If you were to register for BikeRegister yourself you’d be looking at spending £20 for this alone, plus you get to avoid any of the faff by having a skilled officer do it for you.

If you are lucky enough to find the officers doing this at your local hotspot you’ll discover that on the form there is a checkbox for a ‘Gold Standard Cycle Lock’. If you enquire about this you’ll probably discover that your friendly officer has a box of U-locks with him and you can receive one for free.

I’m not sure if you need a special type of bike to qualify but it didn’t appear so when we registered.

Even if you’ve got a lock, this is a smart move, especially if your other lock ISN’T a U-lock. The logic is that a thief would need two sets of tools to break two different types of lock and will not want to hang around for another 30 seconds breaking the second lock as it gives people a chance to see the first broken lock and realise what’s happening.

With pollution at record levels in London (and no doubt in other parts of the country too) and obesity levels rising, anything that can encourage people to cycle is a good thing.

Naysayers may complain about the cost of having officers working on crime prevention, the cost of the bulk registrations to BikeRegister and the cost of the U-Locks but in the bigger scheme of things getting people out of their cars, exercising not having to report thefts to police and burden the insurance industry further makes the scheme very worthwhile.

 

Deterrent Sticker Warning Bike is Registered

We at Bikesy would fully recommend finding out when the British Transport Police are at your local station and making sure you lock your bike up there that day. This is an excellent initiative.

A nationwide schedule of stations is regularly updated at http://www.btp.police.uk/advice_and_information/travelling_safely/bicycle_security.aspx or you can tweet them at https://twitter.com/BTP

Close Up Of Free Lock

 

Barbed wire across a kent MTB trail

Barbed Wire Cyclist Trap Set In Kent

Imagine the scene.

You’re riding along your favourite trail, safely away from the cars on the nearby road.

You can hear birdsong from across the fields interspersed with the the gravel crunching underneath your wheels as you finally crest the top of the hill.

You can that there are no walkers or horse riders further along the path so you let the brakes off and concentrate on a spot on the ground 20 feet or so ahead of your wheel and increase the speed on the deserted downhill.

Suddenly, you’re inexplicably thrown backwards off your bike. A sharp lascerating pain across your throat and your jacket is wet with crimson blood.

That’s all you know before your eyes close.

A horrifying and chilling thought but still, surely it’s one could that never happen?

On a weekday ride in Kent, it nearly did.

A saboteur had set a barbed wire trap across a public bridleway.

Fortunately in this case the cyclist, Daniel Webster, had chosen to ride up his favourite climb rather than down it.

Daniel posted the pictures up from his ride to a group of local Kent MTB riders on Facebook

We tweeted them out for the MTBers we know that ride in that area.

High enough to catch you in the throat if you’re down low or in the eyes if you’re sitting upright.

Thin enough that you wouldn’t see if it if the sun was in your eyes or you had mud or condensation on your glasses.

All in all an incredibly evil thing for someone to have done.

 

If you’re wondering where this trail is it’s just off of Ringlestone Road

 

or some may know it from Strava where it appears here and here

One Twitter user let the local police force know.

But Is this a 101 scenario or a 999 scenario to get the trap removed and checked for fingerprints?

 

We were comfortable tweeting this out warning riders to keep a look out for something you can barely see, then something strange happened – BBC Top Gear’s James May retweeted us to his 2.4 million followers and it suddenly became news. (No we didn’t know he kept an eye on Bikesy either. Maybe he likes picking up his inner tubes for £1.49 as well?)

At this point the story suddenly took on a different turn. What if Top Gear followers are rabid anti cyclists and this gives them sinister ideas?

Fortunately the majority of the retweets and comments were rational and suitably outraged. It was also noted, quite rightly, that this could also affect horse riders, children, hikers and even off road motorcyclists using byways. There were the unfortunately tweets of petrol fumed intense hatred towards cyclists but in the world of Twitter opinions are regularly extreme and uncensored.

The newspapers then got involved. Daniel Webster, the original MTBer who found and photographed the trap had already been in touch with Kent Online.

The Mirror and The Metro ran the story based on twitter posts and twitter reactions. We had other journalists getting in touch who had seen our tweet and we were able to get them in touch with Daniel.

The Daily Mail did a good piece where you can read more of Daniel’s reaction.

Thanks to Daniel (and James May) the word is well and truly out to local riders to watch out.

 

We thought that would be the end it but we started getting reports that this was going on in other parts of Europe. Twitter users in Belgium and France told of similar problems on hiking trails and we received a very nasty picture from Spain that is self explanatory.

And that’s aimed at hikers…

 

Now as cyclists we know all too well that the media try to create an ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality amongst there readership thinking it makes for good clickbait or sells more papers. Maybe it does, but we think it also goes to fuel an underlying level of animosity in certain sections of society towards other people who choose to use two wheeled non polluting vehicles rather than 4 wheel polluters. Forget the labels of ‘cyclist’ or ‘lycra wearer’ for a moment – that’s all we are – people who use two wheels for a larger proportion of our journeys than others who exclusively use four wheels. Someone, somewhere, decided that it would be a good idea  to stop a bicycle user with potential lethal barbed wire and cause damage like this…

All too often we hear of the police doing nothing in situations like this but one good thing has definitely come out of Daniel Webster’s photos and the media interest that followed – We heard from Daniel that the police had already been to the scene on Saturday lunchtime and were working on it.

We hope they catch the perpetrator and throw the book at them.