has fallen out of fashion somewhat. We all see this in our everyday lives and, for the most part, we all go along with it; swept up by the ever quickening current that comes with each new turn of the tide. But we also see that some people choose to reject this acceleration of life and try to apply the brakes in some way. They choose to either fight the current or, occasionally, get out of the water altogether.
There aren’t many pro-riders out there with a catchphrase. There are nicknames aplenty and a select few coureurs have a trademark winning celebration. There are also those whose on-the-record words have come back to haunt them in later years but if you are looking for a rider who can be totally summed up by something he once said, look no further than the man who has just retired after 16 years of no-holds-barred, never say die racing, whose inward rallying call became outward shorthand for his whole outlook on life. For most cycling fans you don’t need to say Jens Voigt. Like him you just say, “Shut Up Legs”.
It’s just after 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon in Hackney and Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe are looking for a bit of peace and quiet. The trouble is that around the busy East London streets of Broadway Market and London Fields school kids are heaving out onto the hot pavements and the nearby building sites that are sprouting up yet more flats in this trendy part of the capital are still in full swing. Add in the chatter of the many achingly cool characters lounging outside myriad cafés and coffee shops and, despite the lovely summer afternoon weather, things are looking, and most definitely sounding, pretty bleak.
Team Sky (or Sky Procycling as they were until the start of this season) have undoubtedly changed the way that cycling is perceived in this country. Although they were set up from the start as an internationally rostered team – albeit with a very clear aim of initially achieving success in the Tour de France for a British rider – they were often described as a de facto British national road team. The overlapping managerial & coaching staff from the national track squad adds fuel to this conflation, especially for the legions of new cycling fans that the team’s success has turned onto the sport. It was also inevitable that many of the existing and upcoming British riders would find a home at Sky where the people, program and language were most familiar. But what of those British riders who choose not to ‘Take to the Sky’ with Brailsford and Co? Are they getting a fair share of cycle fan’s support when faced with the media-attention black hole that the Tour-winning team creates wherever it goes?
The Future arrived last week. The postman delivered it to my house just as I was going out for a ride. It is, as far as I know, the first bit of 3D printing that has crossed our threshold but, given the way things are going, it’s unlikely to be the last. I delayed my departure a few moments to fix the new part to my bike and set off into Tomorrow’s World.
3D printing has been around in basic forms since the 1980’s but has only really start to gain significant traction in the public consciousness in the last 5 years. As hardware prices fall and material options soar, applications for what has also been termed ‘additive manufacturing’ are now looking immense. A shift of seismic proportions, at least on a par with the home computing revolution, is coming as we will change the way we both perceive and consume manufactured objects. A 3D printer in every home is not such a far-fetched idea and would have profound effects on the way we conduct our lives.
Multi-coloured, multi-material 3D prints will be the next generation.