This week the second round of the 2013/14 Track World Cup is taking place in Aguascalientes in Mexico, and I’m here to tell you how you can follow it live!
OK, ok, we can’t watch it all live, but we can certainly follow the action. The event runs from Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th December, and the Saturday evening session will be streamed live on the UCI’s youtube – and after the event, it’ll be archived in the same place too. Aguascalientes is 6 hours behind the UK and 7 hours behind mainland Europe, so the stream will start at 11:30pm in the UK – but there’s a clever ticker on the stream counting down before the event that’ll give you an idea of when it’ll start in your timezone:
I’ve mentioned before how I can’t believe that there have been no Track Paracycling World Championships or even World Cups since before the 2012 Paralympics, and none on the calendar for 2014 yet, but now I’ve been to live Paracycling, I’m even more amazed, because damn, Paracyling is so entertaining and fun to watch!
I knew that, of course, from the Paralympic tv coverage, but just like the first time I went to an able-bodied Track World Cup, seeing it in real life is a different thing altogether.
Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall racing Henrike Handrup & Ellen Heiney
On Saturday 23rd November, it will be the third round of the 2013/14 Cyclocross World Cup, on one of the hardest and most iconic CX courses on the calendar – Koksijde!
steep and vicious, the course twists and curves beautifully, and most of the course is on sand. Here’s the course map, and all those green sections are dune-grass, and underneath it, lovely, lovely sand which makes for fantastic viewing but super-hard racing!
And best of all? We get to see both the women’s and men’s races live, courtesy of the UCI’s youtube – commentated in English, no less! This is such a boon, having the World Cups streamed, it really helps internationalise the sport. Watch it here:
One of the things I can’t understand about the recent UCI elections, and cycling in general, is how badly the track Para-cyclists are treated. Once every four years we have the Paralympics, and in Britain there was so much love for the exceptional racing, and much talk about “legacy” – and yet immediately they were over, the UCI and the cycling media ignore the Para-cyclists again. It seems no matter how hard the Para-cyclists campaign, how politely they ask, no one’s listening, not the UCI, who haven’t had any World Cups or World Championships since before the Paralympics, with none on the calendar for 2014 either, nor national federations, who can put on these events.
Colin Lynch, who races on the road as well as the track – winning the bronze in his category’s ITT at the Para-Cycling Road world Championships – has written a great open letter to the UCI about this. It includes:
We realise that many of the issues surrounding hosting events comes down to money. However, I am calling up the UCI to reassess their financial requirements for race organisers in the next few years, waving fees if necessary, in order to help fulfil their promise and grow the sport as is needed. London 2012 should have shown the level of support that is available from the fans, given the chance.There are a wide range of issue in Paracycling that we would like to address but we lack the opportunity. The latest Athletes Commission meeting was shelved and our representative is now unable to pass along any of our comments. We are left to talk amongst ourselves as our frustration grows. The total lack of communication from the UCI regarding events is incredibly upsetting.
Involving disabled people
- Paracycling has been fully integrated into the UCI as a discipline in its own right, and World Championships and a World Cup are organised every year.
It’s that time of year again, when there are at least two cyclocross races every weekend at the highest European level, and it can get a bit bewildering, trying to follow it all. So I’m here to tell you how I follow the women’s races, and just as importantly, which ones I prioritise.
I first got into the muddy, brilliant, exciting, insane sport of cyclcocross because of Caroline, aka tgsgirl. We used to hang out on the BBC 606 cycling forum, and gs’ passion for it made me HAVE to watch it to see what it’s all about. One of the great things gs does is write a cyclocross calendar on Podium Café, with really funny descriptions of each race that I base my viewing choices around (I mean, the races start at 2pm, I can’t spend EVERY weekend day glued to the laptop!). So I always check in with that to decide what to watch. The races I’m going to do my best not to miss this year are the Koksijde World Cup on 23rd November (the one on the sand-dunes), Scheldecross on 7th December (off-camber fun, and I always hope the Schelde will flood), the Namur World Cup on 22nd December (steep and technical, on the beautiful Namur citadel) and of course, the World Championships on 1st February 2014.
But how will I watch it?
This weekend was the first round in the 2013-14 Track World Cup, in Manchester, with the usual huge crowds and amazing riding. I’ve got a collection of all the videos I’ve found so far, and I’ll add more in as I see them – I’m starting with the highlights reel from each day, then there’s a bit of a commentary about some issues there have been with the coverage, and then there’ll be the other videos….
It’s another big weekend for live cycling, with great track and cyclocross, and it’s all streamable! Here’s what to watch and why
If you’ve never watch CX, it’s a really fun, muddy, crazy sport, and this weekend is the most perfect time to start. Here’s broerie’s guide to CX for newbies, and tgsgirl’s must-see cyclocross calendar, which describes the races (and makes me laugh out loud) and the Velorooms season preview, which lists who’s who to watch – but if you want CX in a sentence, here’s mine: Riders race laps of a course that includes man-made and natural obstacles like sand, hills and barriers, which is so hard they have to get off and run with the bikes at points – they race for an hour (50 mins for the women) and the first across the line wins!
There are two big competitions on in the Netherlands this week – the European Track Championships and the first round of the 2013/14 Cyclocross World Cup – the Caubergcross! And there are ways to watch both of these live! Read on to find out how…
Yesterday I was looking at companies that do women’s cycling clothing for the “Plus” sizes – those that go above UK size 18, USA size XXL, 46 in Euro sizes. Of course, all of those companies do smaller sizes too, so if you’re a medium or small size, hopefully there’ll be things you like too, but today I’m focusing on what, for a lot of cycling clothes makers, are the largest sizes – 16-18 UK, what wikipedia tells me is 10-12 USA (except when it’s not…). I’ve got a great range of things here, from lycra to merino, “proper” bike jackets to pretty raincoats for cycling in, clothing for road to MTB to pottering around town in, jeans to skorts, and more. Don’t know what a “skort”? I’m still not sure I do, but I like the look of ‘em!
Before I start, I said in my original post about trying to buy cycling clothes as a curvy girl that I’ve never even tried to try bib shorts, and if you’re in the same boat, but would like to change, I’ve got two things for you. Firstly, a sensible “Why Bib shorts?” article by Kirsty Ho Fat, editor of Total Women’s Cycling, and then a guide to shopping for bib shorts by rpmx2 that had me laughing out loud. I’m still not convinced any bib shorts will fit with my chest size, but at least those two took me one step closer to trying!
I was surprised and comforted by the reactions to yesterday’s post about how I feel trying to buy clothes as a bigger woman – I hadn’t realised how many people feel exactly the same – and how it seems like the cycling clothing marketing is missing a huge trick, as so many groups can’t find cycling clothing that fits them. Women over UK 16 (US 10/Europe 44), smaller women with big boobs, or small boobs, tall women with big shoulders, women with muscular thighs, or arms… Clearly there’s a massive gap in the market – but luckily I’ve had TONS of recommendations for companies that do cater to us. So I’m going to split them into two (or maybe three) posts. I’ll begin with the companies that sell cycling clothing that goes up into the “plus-sizes” (hate that term – above and UK 18/USA 12/Europe 46), then I’ll have one for those that sell 16-18, and that have room for boobs, and I’ll do a third post with any more recommendations that come in, and anything I’ve missed.
Before I start, though, I just want to thank everyone for your lovely comments, here and on twitter, and for sharing your recommendations – and to clear something up. I was saying on twitter that cycling will never become “ordinary” until ordinary people can buy cycling clothes, and a couple of people took issue with that – that in the Netherlands (eg), or for commuting, people don’t need special clothes for cycling.
My response to that is both yes and no – I mean, of course there shouldn’t be a uniform for everyday riding, but I’m not just talking about bibshorts (I’ve never even tried bibs, myself) but things like a rain jacket for cycling. My normal raincoat, for walking (and hiking) in, didn’t work for cycling, because it was too long & flappy – I wanted something that fitted more, zipped up fully when I’m in the riding position, with accessible pockets for my house keys and work pass so I wasn’t fumbling around in the rain, and hi-viz features for winter riding etc, but didn’t look ridiculous if I was riding to meet a friend for a coffee. And I love my Vulpine cycling jersey (out of stock at the moment) for those warm days when I want to ride the path along the river without a bag – just put keys, phone, camera and a snack in the back pockets, a water bottle on the bike, and go. It’s not all about the lycra (although that is important too), it’s about clothing that makes the most basic cycling more fun, designed to make the activity easier.
That said, on with the recommendations! As always, I don’t get any financial or other benefit from mentioning these companies, and I’ve not tried any of these myself – you might want to google for reviews to see what other people think of them.