OK, much to get through this morning, so I’m cracking on with a quick look at Cycling Plus this month. And at 226 pages, there’s a lot to look at (so I’ll keep it brief).
It’s the Bike of The Year issue, and boy do C+ make a big deal of it. Really. A huge deal. But before we get to the BoTY, there are 50 odd pages of news, new products and other sundry stuff. Having dispensed with that, the BoTY stuff starts at page 53 and goes on…and on…and on…until page 95. As is often the case with these things, it’s not nearly as interesting as it should be, and it’s hard to know why. It’s more like a buyer’s guide than an awards ceremony, and on the whole it’s drier than a nun’s nasty — page after page of bikes that I no particular interest in (Merida Ride Disc 5000 anyone? Anyone? Zzzzzzzz).
After the BoTY snooze-fest we get an interesting piece on doping in the amateur racing and sportive ranks. It’s a good, well-written and thought-provoking read from James Witts, if rather depressing. Next is some more new product stuff and then a Spring clothing guide, presented manufacturer-by-manufacturer. It’s by no means comprehensive, but most of the big names are present and it reads pretty well.
Trevor Ward’s piece about Reliability Trials is a lovely taste of old-school cycling and reminds me (once again) why things like Zwift are no substitute for real, actual cycling. It’s also slightly sniffy about modern sportives, which I always enjoy. A good, interesting piece from Trevor. This is followed by a pretty decent look at budget wheelsets, for those that might be in the market for such things.
One of the best things in this issue is the on-location test of the Marin Gestalt 5, a gravel-grindy-adventurey-type-thing. The words are good, the photos are lovely, and it’s a properly good way of testing a bike…good work, fellas. The Tour of Flanders piece is also pretty good, but then it was written by Peter Cossins, so you’d expect that. And even though the Big Ride feature is ostensibly about some sportive, it’s actually a nice look at the north Yorkshire moors with some very nice photos.
At the back, Ned Boulting is taking the Emiratis of the UAE to task for not installing cycling infrastructure for the migrant workers. Frankly, these poor sods have more on their minds than bike paths, but he makes a few good points.
That’s it for this month. It’s a hefty read and decent value, certainly compared to CA this month. The BoTY stuff seemed endless, and I would like to see a bit more imagination used for things like this, but overall C+ gets a B+ this month.
Tomorrow I’m back with a bit of a surprise (brace yourselves).