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The year in review. A fascinating journey into a year in cycling and a mildly disturbed bikey mind.


  • Raising investment for a small startup business is not impossible, even though everyone will tell you it is.
  • Cyclists in general are lovely people. Especially Vulpine Guest Bloggers! Thank you guys. x
  • Helping people discover cycling from scratch is great fun. No cynicism, no agenda, just pure discovery & fun. To then see them then raise huge sums for Childline makes it doubly worthwhile. I got a lovely jersey too.
  • My Colnago is now too small for me. It is unique. I cannot bear to part with it. Nor can I bear to hang it on a wall. Stalemate.
  • Lily The Dog can outrun me on an MTB (she is not on an MTB, but I am).
  • Cycling industry people are rather lovely.
  • My wife has more faith and patience in what I’m doing than is fair to ask of her.
  • This is my favourite non-racing video of 2011. It is wonderful.
  • @John_The_Monkey is the funniest Twitterer in Twitterlandia.
  • Swimming is awesome. Which is a bit of a shock.
  • Long term injury is grim, but not nearly as grim as serious injury or worse. Thankful.
  • Philip Deacon is very funny. In an acquired taste type way. I love acquiring tastes.Philip Deacon, cycling illustration genius
  • I still don’t have enough bikes.


  • 2012 was an amazing year for Pro Road Cycling: Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Paris – Roubaix, Giro, Tour, Vuelta, Worlds, all awesome.
  • Best Pro: Philip Gilbert (natch). Phil represents everything I love about pro road cycling. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. Pleeeeease let him be drug free.
  • Best Tour: Le Tour…And deservedly this year. Brilliantly designed and fought.
  • Best Classic: Flanders. Attacking panache. Cancellera & Chavanel beaten by tactical nouse.
  • Most Emotional: Cav winning the Worlds. Cried and screamed like a loon. I witnessed a dream come true. British dominance on the World stage.
  • Epicness: Johnny Hoogerland and the Barbed Wire. Mais bien sur.
  • Most Jaw Dropping Performance: Danny Hart rips over the wet roots to win the Downhill Worlds aged 19. Rob Warner does bestest commentary. If you’ve ever riding an MTB in the wet, in mud or on wet roots you’ll have just a tiny clue to who incredible this ride is. Must have watched this video 20 times!
  • Twits of the Year: The Frandy Schleckettes. People don’t want to see descents in cycling. Or time trials. Or anything they are are bad at. Boyz, sort your positions, do some core work, man up. Stop looking back at each other and smiling, Its all so embarrassing. We want Tour heros, not sulky schoolboys.
  • Balls of Plutonium: Thor Hushovd. Lone mountain stage win in the World’s biggest race? SMASH.
  • We Support You: One of the Greatest cyclists in history Graeme Obree comes out as gay, after decades of depression, substance abuse, suicide attempts and breaking World Records. We salute you Graeme, and we’re so sorry it had to be in your forties. Who else is out there suffering? Grame Obree, legend.
  • Geraint Thomas is destined to win a Classic. In 2012 he needs free rein from Team Sky to go for it
  • Spartacus is human.
  • Jonathan Vaughters is extraordinarily open and responsive in Twitter.n In a time of endless PR carbon copies and flannel, this is manna from Heaven.
  • @UCI_Overlord knows a hell of a lot more about doping and clever stuff than I do. But he does like to teach me. Which is lovely.
  • Mark Cavendish looks like Alien in a plastic-covered helmet, especially seen through tears of joy.Mark Cavendish wins Worlds, as Alien


  • Slamming your stem is really really bad for you if you don’t have the flexibility of an Olympic Gymnast.
  • The UCI is corrupt. (We knew this, but great journalists confirmed it).
  • Box Hill is a brilliant natural amphitheatre to watch Olympic cycling in. Unless you close it to spectators. Umm….
  • Cycling is still statistically extremely safe, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it riding around our cities.Vigil for dead London cyclist
  • Cycle Super Highways are an insult to cyclists in London. They are blue though. Which is nice.
  • Until the UCI allows technology to run its own course, road bikes can now no longer improve more than a few 0.1 of a percent. They have reached near perfection is this restricted form. See Graeme Obree & Chris Boardman for details.
  • Philip Schofield doesn’t like us. Neither do a number of other high profile twits in Chelsea Tractors or limos.
  • I miss cycling so badly. Only four months of riding this year, due to injury.
  • I’ll never race again. A relief to finally recognise the inevitable. Now I can enjoy pottering about, guilt free!
  • Physio tells me I must never ride a mountain bike again. (Partial relief. I was rubbish).


  • Shimano isn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Om nom nom.
  • Campagnolo are losing the plot. ‘Campy’? Red bolts? Black painted everything? We want shiny bits and classic looks guys. How could you?!
  • Disk brakes for the road are awesome.
  • Suspension for cyclo-cross ROCKS.

Plans for 2012

  • Launch Vulpine in March! Never been so terrified and excited.
  • Get back on the bike. Yeaaaa!
  • Descend the Galibier.Fireflies Corner, The Galibier
  • Ride more track.
  • Go sub-21 seconds for a Rollapaluza Roller Racing event.
  • Ride. Just ride.

2012 is going to be huge!

4 thoughts on “WHAT I LEARNT IN 2011”

  1. Rather worryingly, I quite agree with almost all of this…especially re: the UCI, Danny Hart, Johnny Hoogerland and Thor Hushovd. No mention of Wouter Weylandt though? Happy 2012, keep up the tweeting and good luck with the launch!

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