what you don't know won't hurt you

modern drummer

ever since i was a teenager, i have been purchasing a monthly copy of america's 'modern drummer', a publication that, as you would suppose, covers the world of drumming. originally, it was one of the more infuriating publications, amongst an entire nation of infuriating publications, forever splitting articles into multi-page features, commencing on page ten, for instance, and continuing in ever shortening snippets until the final few paragraphs were to be found on page 110. thankfully, this became a practice they must have thought better of, fielding each over a series of consecutive pages and greatly easing the the task of reading.

i continued my order for the magazine across all the intervening years until the start of the pandemic in 2020. my monthly copy used to arrive via bowmore's local newsagent (my token effort to support local business), but in april 2020, that stopped. this, i hasten to add, was not of my doing, but i not unnaturally assumed that this was due to the wholesale cancellation of transatlantic flights. undermining that theory was the fact that my monthly copy of downbeat magazine, an american jazz publication, continued to arrive with unfailing regularity. however, assuming that it was perhaps a change at the publishers, i let it slide for a few months.

however, with the continued and regular arrival of downbeat, i asked my newsagent to check on the present availability of modern drummer, only to discover that it no longer appeared on the distributor's list of available publications at all. i know from the modern drummer website, that the magazine continues to be published in the usa, leaving me with the only option of taking out either a postal or digital subscription. due to my having taken my eye off the ball for a few months, that has yet to happen.

this past weekend, as perhaps mentioned a day or so ago, i experienced my first live gigs for over two years, allowing me to extricate my vintage marine pearl dw drums from their cases for the first time in as many months. you can perhaps guess that once again pretending to be a pale imitation of buddy rich (or even the lately departed, charlie watts, come to that) was more than just enjoyable.

however, as my regular reader will be aware, i do not own a motor car of any description, which means it's lucky that these quarterly gigs take place in a popular hostelry a mere five minutes walk from the croft. the sequence has become finely honed over time: take a few drums to the office each day, itself located a long stone's throw from said hostelry. then, on friday morning, i make my way to the public bar with drums in tow, preferably in advance of my fellow musicians arriving from the mainland, otherwise, they'll surely nick every last square centimetre of space that ought to be mine.

gigs over and done with on friday and saturday evenings, following the sunday ride, armed only with a trolley and a bungie cord, i walk down to the hotel bar and collect my drumset in three, even stages. unfortunately, the gradient on bowmore main street, which was of great assistance when taking the drums down prior to the gig, sorely tests my stamina when trundling them home again. though it has been over one year since i last received a copy of modern drummer, i cannot recall any articles describing the travails and iniquities of moving heavy drums from a to b and back again. granted, the majority, if not all gigging drummers, are probably in possession of a motor vehicle of some sort, but i've occasionally thought of submitting an article for perusal, describing that which i have just described to you.

and while we're on the subject of stuff they don't tell you, i'd imagine there would be a similar case to put forward for the latest trend in bicycle design, namely, integrated cockpits. integration originally referred to the moving of headsets inside the headtube, mostly at the behest of ever increasing tube diameters. had external headsets persisted, by now, they'd probably be the size of car hubcaps, so while integration may not be the mechanical ideal, pragmatism is a wonderful thing. however, integration now exists at the behest, ostensibly, of aerodynamics; by removing all the cables from the airflow, speed will be ours to command.

except that's not really the case. if i might refer to deep-section carbon wheels, those exist to smooth out the airflow as it encounters the front tyre and wheel in clean air. the effectiveness of a similarly constituted rear wheel is surely more open to question, for once the airflow has passed a pair of churning legs, i'm none too sure just how effective that deep, smooth carbon can be. however, even if i'm well wide of the aerodynamic mark, common consensus would have us believe that such wheels are really only effective at speeds above 50kph, the sort of speeds that very few sunday pelotons are in the habit of achieving. so while this style of wheel is aesthetically pleasing, the likelihood that they're making you appreciably faster is more at the behest of convincing marketing hyperbole.

similarly, those gear and brake cables. simple physics would insist that removing anything from the path of oncoming airflow is bound to result in a reduction in drag, but by how much? and would that 'much' actually result in free speed for you and me? yesterday morning's bike ride featured what we all agreed was close to a 360 degree headwind; no matter in which direction we pedalled, there would be the wind in our faces. and when it wasn't improvng our complexions, it was blasting from the side. none of us are aboard bicycles with hidden cables, but it's highly unlikely that anyone who was, would have been able to simply ride away from us, unfettered. that said, a younger, fitter individual could have managed that on a shopping bike with a basket on the front.

and what they don't tell you when purchasing a bicycle of this type, is that, should one of those cables need replacing, you'd need to put aside a great deal more than fifteen minutes or so. a colleague sent me a link last week to an online article describing the assembly, by a professional mechanic, of a new bicycle featuring a totally integrated cockpit. in this case, accommodating that part of the bicycle alone, took him one and a half days. now i'm sure that many owners of integrated bicycles are more inclined to hand their machinery to the local bike shop, than undertake the work themselves, but consider the labour costs of so doing, in comparison to replacing an externally routed rear brake wire or caliper brake cable.

i'm not saying that there's anything inherently wrong with pretending that hiding the cables will improve your top-line speed, or that the clean front end that results is not more than cosmetically pleasing. but it seems that every incremental improvement to the contemporary bicycle or its components comes at a cost, the price of which is rarely explained at the point of sale.

caveat emptor.

monday 1 november 2021

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it's the real thing

sunflowers at saligo

in a week when islay and jura have been visited by not only markus stitz (as reported in these very pixels, only a few days past), but just as he was leaving, his place was taken by mark beaumont and hank from gcn. what the latter were on islay to do, i know not, though i am aware that they visited more than one of the island's nine distilleries. however, the very notion of visiting any of scotland's hebridean islands at this time of year has already given rise to repeated use of the phrase 'character building' in relation to the often adverse weather to be experienced, particularly at this time of year.

and though i do not yet have the necessary words prepared, i spent several hours of my weekend reviewing not only a new pair of road shoes, but garmentage designed to fend off the worst of the weather. this will become particularly important as we head towards the winter months, when maintaining a comfortable core temperature can be the difference between enjoying the ride, or finishing it in the back of an ambulance, wrapped in one of those shiny blankets.

it came as something of a surprise, therefore, to peruse the pages of this week's comic while in debbie's for the saturday lunchtime double-egg roll and a 'bloody brilliant' soya latte, to quote my server for the day (thanks kathryn). it appears that they have dedicated the latest issue to indoor training by means of zwift and its peers, along with reviews of indoor specific verisimilitudes of bicycles from the likes of wattbike, wahoo and peloton. and though i'm sure it makes perfect commercial sense so to do, i fear a little bit of me died while reading.

the last year and a half comprise eighteen months that i'm sure the majority of us hope never to experience again in our lifetime, when so many thousands died of covid 19, so many had to self-isolate and all of us suffered from the lockdown restrictions that had us either remain at home, or within a few kilometres of our front doors. there was also the rise and rise of zoom, much to the annoyance of many, with an endless number of meetings conducted by such online methods, as well as many other strains of modern-life. i'm sure there are those who enjoyed the luxury of having only to dress to the waist in presentable attire, the lower portion remaining clad in pyjama bottoms or joggies, while many others have claimed that if they never see another zoom screen, it will be too soon.

the joys of meeting face-to-face, of sitting behind your own desk in your own office, and of the casual conversations to be had with tangible colleagues has not come soon enough for many, as society returns to some sense of normality. over this weekend, i have played my first live gigs for over two years, not only to the joy of my musical colleagues and i, but that of an appreciative halloween audience. there's a lot of pleasure to be gained from playing a noisy drumset and not having to worry about the neighbours.

contrast this with one of the images accompanying the comic's features, where a female south-african cyclist participates in an online time trial, bicycle clamped to a smart turbo trainer, watching the animation on a surprisingly large tv screen, all the while watched by a small audience and a film crew. the phrase, 'watching paint dry', has never been a more apt analogy. another image shows a couple's so-called pain cave, sporting a high quality setup of two, side-by-side wattbikes faced by a couple of enormous cooling fans that could probably power the loganair saab from glasgow to islay airport.

then contrast once again (with a sense of perhaps unintentional irony) a later feature in the same issue of cycling weekly, where a visually impaired cyclist undertook to ride around the coast of britain, a ride that would be a major challenge for anyone in possession of all their faculties. the difference, i would suggest, is that he didn't do so in watopia, that he braved what can often be inclement conditions, survival of which, if nothing else, confirms that he's alive and kicking. all this comes in the same week that rapha films premiered lachlan morton's alternative tour de france, undertaken as an unsupported ride, camping each evening, fixing his own punctures and riding all the transfers, while easing knee pain by wearing a pair of sandals on flat pedals.

though i have no first-hand experience of zwift or its many competitors, nor indeed of riding a wattbike, wahoo or peloton alternative, i do have more than enough turbo experience from many years ago when recovering from a road traffic accident. and i hated every minute (both the accident and the turbo). the bicycle was designed originally as a means of transport, only subsequently adopted for competitive use. to my mind, there is something fundamentally wrong with remaining stationary in the saddle, while creating the illusion of going somewhere. i've heard all the reasons/excuses for adopting an online velocipedinal lifestyle; there are two of the sunday peloton who frequently indulge their watopian ideals. and while the pandemic may have encouraged or enforced a virtual cycling existence, those days have surely all but passed, the great outdoors available once again.

why on earth are we working so hard to save a planet that many seem less than interested in experiencing at first hand?

sunday 31 october 2021

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a burning issue


it has been pointed out not only by yours truly, but several others over the years, that the total cost of ownership of a bicycle is but mere pocket money compared to that of a motor car. in fact, as many of us (self-included) will have learned to our cost, purchasing a car, whether new or otherwise, is only the beginning of the money pit. as a student working at prestwick airport, one of the chaps in special branch arrived with a brand new car year on year. this, he said, was the ideal way to own and drive a car. for starters, it was always under warranty, secondly, before it required any servicing, he had traded it in for a new model, there was no mot test to think of, and due to his own relatively low annual mileage, the dealer was more than happy to offer a decent price as it would be easily sold on.

however, examining his philosophy a tad closer really didn't add up, and i could but imagine that he must have been financially well-off in the first place.

a new bicycle, on the other hand, simply needs an annual service, maybe a couple of new chains a year, and a new set of tyres every couple of years. the more conscientious amongst us would add in the cost of either british cycling or cycling uk membership in order to hold third-party insurance. otherwise, the phrase 'outside is free' is possibly not that far from the truth. given its emission-free mode of operation, you can see where we're all coming from when we point out how effective a solution it could be towards climate change.

and then there's the e-bike. though an e-bike is still emission free at point of use, frequent charging of the battery will incur power generation at a space probably far removed from the bicycle itself. other than that, the cost of ownership equates comparably to an 'analogue' bicycle until you factor in the cost of replacing that battery, something that manufacturers are guilty of failing to mention at point of sale. i'm aware of one or two e-bike owners who had no idea at all that the battery would eventually need replacing. granted, depending on battery usage, how well it is stored, and how well you look after it, a bicycle battery can last up to four years. however, were it made clearer that the battery will, eventually, need to be replaced, owners could save towards a new one while riding their e-bicycles.

the only e-bike of which i have personal experience, is the specialized turbo-vado, a new battery for which is currently priced at around £900. if we can assume that the original will last four years, then owners of these bikes ought best put away £225 each year towards the cost of a replacement. since the turbo vado requires a battery that will fit the slot available in the large downtube, it would presumably be difficult to source a battery anywhere other than from the manufacturer, but other models may be less demanding. and since we've all likely sourced a replacement charger for our phones, computers and other devices from frequently dodgy sounding suppliers on e-bay, at prices such as specialized's, there may be some who attempt to acquire cheaper replacements in similar manner.

this, it transpires, may be a costly error. lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous, if not looked after properly or replaced with an item of ill-repute. most of us will already be aware of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones, incidents caused by what i believe is known as 'thermal runaway'. it's something that can occur in a single cell, causing an internal release of energy which invokes the domino-effect throughout the cells in the rest of the battery. by-products from a burning battery are highly flammable hydrogen, hydrofluoric acid and oxygen, all of which make it difficult to extinguish.

though the batteries and chargers supplied as original equipment will have been subject to stringent safety checks, the same might not always be true of dodgy replacements. however, it's possible that a battery can become damaged due to accidental damage while riding, or damage to one of the internal cables. for those reasons, it is necessary to ensure care at all times. and just like carbon fibre, any internal problems with the battery are likely to remain hidden, until they aren't. the extra cost of ownership of an e-bike are unlikely to come as a great surprise when compared to an 'analogue' machine, but it's also likely that they will need greater care and attention than their non-electric peers.

you're welcome.

saturday 30 october 2021

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hoist by our own petard

markus stitz

my early years in the hebrides were accompanied by a mountain bike; the original muddy fox if truth be told. it was a bicycle that was subsequently 'converted' to a touring bike, making use of its wide and useful range of gears and the braze-ons that allowed for all manner of rack fittings. however, when the touring bug diminished on arrival of my second child, that particular muddy fox was replaced with a second, one that promised a more aggressive stance towards offroad activity, replete with rock shox judy forks and a set of very nice handbuilt wheels. the slight downside, if i might phrase it thus, was islay itself.

markus stitz

you would think, as did many others, that its remote rurality would have it blessed with a myriad of offroad routes, all within a stone's throw of the croft. but that was far less the case than you'd hope. it was not uncommon to come across cars parked in main street or shore street featuring sturdy mountain bikes on car carriers or on roof racks, the constitution of which foretold of many deeds of derring do. the problem is a distinct lack of joined up, offroad cycling routes. yes, there are a great number of tracks leading into the hills and the wilderness, but the majority were built years ago to allow the residents of the past to make their way to the peat banks dotted all about the island.

markus stitz

therefore, though there are a great number of kilometres of gravel, mud, grass and everything in between, the majority don't actually go anywhere. on reaching the end, probably sooner than you'd hope, it becomes simply a case of turning round and returning to the start. the ordnance survey map for the island does show many dotted lines ostensibly relating to former drove routes or footpaths to forgotten, abandoned villages. many of these no longer exist in their original state; friends of mine once undertook a lengthy mountain bike ride along the island's east coast, returning with sore arms and shoulders from having had to carry the bikes more than two-thirds of the distance.

markus stitz

i will not deny that there are one or two decent length, offroad routes around the isle, but most require either nerves of steel and footwear that can survive a thorough soaking in deep mud, or travelling a substantial distance to reach the start. and in most cases, the route will incorporate more tarmac than the intrepid mountain biker would expect.

it was these very circumstances that led to my departure from offroad to road, the latter beginning but a few metres from my back garden gate, offering almost unfettered access to islay's often stunning scenery and the nooks and crannies often missed by the itinerant cycling visitor. however, the advent of the ubiquitous gravel bike has arguably placed a whole 'nuther perspective on what might constitute suitable riding. the gravel tyres currently worn by the specialized crux are a mere 38mm wide; in mountain bike parlance, about 1.5 inches. that seems positively anorexic in comparison with the 2.5 inches which appear now to be industry standard for the knobbly tyre brigade.

markus stitz

38mm, by and large, seems almost as well suited to tarmac'd surfaces as does the 28mm aboard my ritchey road bike. so if the world of offroad is interrupted by the black stuff, it seems there may be less reason for discomfiture. add to that the fact that many single track road surfaces bring a whole different meaning to the word gravel. that said, indigenous velocipedinal activity tends still to revolve around bendy bars and skinny wheels. unless, of course, you happen to be markus stitz.

markus stitz

german born stitz was the first to bikepack his way around the world on a single-speed bicycle, and a fellow i met a few years ago outside the visitor centre at bowmore distillery. apparently now resident in edinburgh, markus spends his days riding, writing and talking about gravel riding. his first collaborative book with kathy rogers, 'big rides' was reviewed in these very pixels, and he is apparently working on a second book for publication (vertebrae publishing) next year. he recently returned to islay via jura while researching a gravel-based route through the inner hebrides, findng some of those mentioned above, but exhibiting an entirely different perspective than would be brought to bear by this author.

his fortitude in the face of adversity was undoubtedly tested close to its limits on wednesday this week, when the islands received a tad more than their fair share of rainfall over a remarkably short period of time. not the ideal weather in which to ride a bicycle if you plan to bivvy somewhere each night. by comparison, while getting soaked is regarded as our birthright, by comparison, all we're doing is riding round in circles, then going home for a shower and a change of apparel. it will be interesting to see markus' take on offroad gravel riding on islay and jura when the book finally surfaces, but for now, i'll happily remain a road-riding wimp.

markus stitz

photos: markus stitz

friday 29 october 2021

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the noble path

bruichladdich to port charlotte path

in the 1989 kevin costner movie 'field of dreams' the actor plays the part of ray kinsella who, when wandering through a cornfield, hears a whisper encouraging him to "build it and he will come". it transpires that what the whisperer wants him to build, is a baseball pitch, following which, a team of dead baseball players turns up to play a game. on the basis that an entire team could not grammatically be referred to as 'he', the line is most frequently misquoted as "build it, and they will come". when paraphrasing the situation, it is often the latter misquote that makes more sense.

it is most definitely the version that finds itself most applicable to the newly opened mixed-use path between the villages of bruichladdich and its neighbour some two miles distant, port charlotte. the fact that it has now become a physical reality gives me cause to metaphorically eat humble pie.

for many a long year, i rode between the two villages and never once did i see anyone either walking or cycling from one to t'other, so when it was mooted that a path would be constructed, following the unbridled success of a similar path leading from the village of port ellen to ardbeg distillery, taking in laphroaig and lagavulin distilleries en-route, i thought it a pointless waste of time, effort and money. and no doubt i said precisely that to anyone within earshot. however, partly due to weather and partly the impediment of the pandemic during 2020, construction of the path took longer than expected. but the bulk of the route being in place, folks were already using the rudimentary, unsurfaced path to walk for exercise, to cycle, to walk the dog and even to jog. following its recent top-coat of tarmac earlier this year, the path has already fulfilled much of its avowed destiny.

bruichladdich to port charlotte path

and boy do i feel foolish.

however, yesterday lunchtime saw the official openng of this mixed-use path, on which the pupils from port charlotte primary school walked to the designated assembly and official opening point, some two-thirds of the way to bruichladdich, where they were piped in and subsequently out by a member of islay pipe band, the ribbons being cut by two chosen pupils.

prior to implementation of both the bruichladdich and three-distilleries paths, i was asked by the chairperson of islay community access group (icag) if i would write a letter of support on behalf of the island's cyclists, for cycling support allows the release of funding to provide a tarmac'd top coat, unavailable on paths designed purely for walking. thus, at the official opening, i was invited to bring along members of the sunday peloton to add a smidgeon of velocipedinal colour.

there were, of course, the inevitable speeches, but following torrential rain earlier that same day, these were commendably brief and to the point, just in case the precipitation returned with a vengeance. one of those offering thanks for the path, was andrew burnham, the local baptist minister, also a keen cyclist and an impressively fast runner. his prayer of thanks included a plea to encourage folks to get out of their cars and onto bicycles, one of the ultimate hopes for the path's future. just how many will take heed, it remains to be seen, but even for the short distance travelled by the path, it can no longer be said that suitable facilities have not been provided.

build it, and they will come.

thursday 28 october 2021

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and she cycles


the sunday morning peloton and the occasional offshoots appearing now and again at odd times of the week, generally consider themselves to be well adjusted. or at least as well adjusted as a bunch of old blokes in the hebrides dressed in lycra can be. many of scotland's island and rural communities tend to err on the conservative side (and i don't mean politically); to be seen in public, clad in terracotta/cream jerseys that proudly proclaim the name of our favourite café while welcoming any of those trailing in our wake to 'great coffee' would not usually be considered behaviour becoming of the professionally employed. that one of those fellows tends to enjoy a large trough of hot chocolate with cream and a sizeable helping of marshmallows, post ride, each sunday lunchtime, would, i admit, rather undermine my contentions.

but, you might argue, would not a well-adjusted peloton also consist of at least a minimum number of female accomplices? though we have always been an open and welcoming velocipedinal throng, it is now over two years since we had regular female company, and she was only on islay during a temporary contract. however, the problem, if it can be said to be thus, seems not confined to this island rurality. on sunday past, we were joined by a visiting peloton, one with which we are more than familiar, but which comprised of only a single female lady. so, perhaps this is a more wide-ranging situation than we at first thought.

it's also possible that the officially adopted role models, frequently pointed at young, female potential cyclists, tend to be those at the top of a competitive career. figures such as the first winner of the women's paris-roubaix, lizzie deignan, and scottish track supremo, katie archibald, are all well and good, but perhaps the very notion that cycling is endemically a competitive activity is as offputting as the vicissitudes of cycling in traffic? maybe the possibility of attracting young women to the joys of cycling should be a tad more 'grass roots' in approach?


as if to prove me right (for once), sustrans have recently inaugurated their #andshecycles campaign, using the inevitable social media channels of instagram and tiktok (whatever that is). roughly the same number of boys and girls cycle to primary school, but on reaching secondary education, the number of girls doing so drops noticeably, and in many instances, remains that way into the future. to this end, in place of national cycling heroes, sustrans have created a campaign, co-developed by a group of young women from across scotland, adopting young female cycling ambassadors to work together to help get more girls in schools, colleges or youth groups back on their bikes.

i bike manager for sustrans scotland, charlotte gardiner, said, Peer pressures and social stigma are cited as reasons for not cycling to school. Yet Sustrans' research shows that with the right peer support and engagement, such as through Sustrans' I Bike programme, girls can empower each other to cycle."

the #andshecycles campaign began last week and will continue into november, coinciding with the cop26 international event in glasgow. "Time and time again, research shows that physical activity is important in the health, wellbeing and development of children and young people."

lee craigie, active nation commissioner for scotland said, "We need campaigns like this to allow girls the opportunity to show other girls that bikes are for them, and that you don't need specialist equipment or huge muscles to ride one. Riding bikes usually results in an increase in self-esteem and happiness, and also offers an affordable, independent travel solution. Young women need those things in their lives."

perhaps if the campaign proves successful, the islay peloton may present a less macho stance in future years.

sustrans #and she cycles campaign


wednesday 27 october 2021

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a token gesture

rgt cycling

jazz saxophonist, john coltrane, first achieved notoriety as part of miles davis first quartet, made famous with the release of 'kind of blue' a recording that saw miles dabble with 'modal' jazz, attempting to break free from the more usual improvisations over an underlying chord structure. coltrane went on to form his own famed quartet, featuring the talents of pianist, mccoy tyner, bassist jimmy garrison and percussive powerhouse, elvin jones. coltrane died from liver cancer in 1967 at the age of only forty, but not before having revolutionised not only jazz, but the saxophone itself, with his sheets of sound. the later recordings are still hard work for the listener even today, but coltrane's influence is hard to ignore, even in contemporary pop music.

the tv series, monty python's flying circus, premiered on british tv in 1969, from which followed a total of four series and 45 episodes, ending forty-seven years ago in 1974. yet, despite the gap between then and now, it is still possible to find those who weren't even born at the time, freely quoting from the pythons today. for instance, who hasn't heard the retort, "i didn't expect the spanish inquisition", in response to an extended line of questioning. and given the increasingly bizarre output from westminster and holyrood, the 'ministry of silly walks' sketch, thought to be somewhat outlandish when first broadcast in 1970, has often been exceeded by the pronouncements of contemporary politicians.

among very many surreal sketches broadcast as part of the five-year series, was the british showbiz awards, presented by the dummy princess margaret. during the course of the evening's awards, the actor, david niven, is introduced as presenter of the best foreign film director, at which point it is announced that "david niven cannot be with us tonight, but he has sent his fridge. this is the fridge in which david keeps most of his milk, butter and eggs. what a typically selfless gesture, that he should send this fridge, of all his fridges, to be with us tonight." i can but apologise if monty python was never quite your thing, or you're of too young an age to have the faintest idea of which i speak. however, it seems that such bizarre and offbeat humour is scarcely the preserve of former university students. yet, in similar manner to the music of john coltrane, it appears to not only have persisted into the third decade of the 21st century, but continues to exert a considerable influence on modern-day eccentricity.

we are 'blessed', if that serves as an apposite description, by the power of the pixel as encompassed by the likes of zwift and, in this instance, rgt cycling. the latter are soon to embark on the echelon racing league in which a total of 240 riders from 40 teams will participate in eight rounds of the professional event "with team-mates working together to compete across a variety of digital parcours." inspired by america's national football league, there will also be a community combine in which amateur riders can take part ot demonstrate their talent which might hopefully lead them to the professional ranks.

yet, one of the fundamental aspects of the professional milieu is surely the establishment of suitable financial remuneration, leading to a decent standard of living and sporting participation. i would imagine that the majority of us, having achieved such a standard through competitive endeavour, would hopefully be looking forward to an acceptable amount of financial remuneration. unfortunately, the money couldn't be with us for this article, so instead, we have the fridge.

well, not precisely, but not too far removed. prizes for victors throughout the series will be in the form of nfts (non-fungible tokens), described as unique digital assets which depend on blockchain technology to validate proof of ownership. acording to rgt and project echelon racing, these non-fungible tokens "will be represented by a one-of-a-kind digital work of art. These will have both monetary and intrinsic value." head of brand and marketing at rgt said, "The concept of NFTs and blockchain technology is exciting and although there may be many other ways for us to utilise this technology, these prizes help us combine our belief in virtual racing and our commitment to pushing the boundaries of virtual cycling."

you may recall my earlier explanation of blockchain technology which compared the amount of energy used to maintain the blockchain as being greater than the annual energy demands of argentina or the netherlands. while many are proclaiming to attendees due at november's cop26 that greater use of the bicycle can help save the planet, the deluded folks at rgt seem intent on proving the converse.

remember when there was prize money you could spend?

rgt cycling

tuesday 26 october 2021

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