Will Mark Cavendish go to Team Sky?

Mark was on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday morning and in the interview he was pressed heavily about his decision to potentially move teams. He confirmed that he has made a decision and that it will be made public in the next few weeks.

Despite the fact that going to Team Sky would reunite him with good friend Bradley Wiggins as well as put all of the British stars in a star studded “national team”, I still think it would be the wrong decision for him personally.

HTC Highroad is a team built around Cav and without him, they’ll have to have a complete reorganisation. He’s the face of the team and he’s been with them for his entire professional career. All of his successes have come in a High Road jersey.

As the old saying goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it and I definitely feel that this is the situation here. Reading this article in which Geraint Thomas expresses his desire to have Mark in his team next year does curb some of my reprehension towards such a move but I still feel that he may struggle to win as many stages in that team.

HTC riders all sacrifice themselves for Mark on each flat stage, sometimes even the hilly ones, just to keep him within the time limit. Tony Martin did win the individual time trial at the Tour de France this year but even so, he could have been capable of far more had he been allowed to show his true potential more often.

In Team Sky, he won’t have 8 guys working for him. Bradley Wiggins will continue to be a main focus of the team. Thomas seems willing to give up his own stage winning ambitions to work for either of those riders as well as potentially Edvald Boassen Hagen as he did in this year’s TdF. Boassen Hagen, as well as Ben Swift though may be the hardest hit because all sprinting duties will surely be handed over to Cav, even if they both stay with the team.

Will they be ok with the role of being Cav’s leadout men in the same way that Mark Renshaw, Tony Martin and co have been in the last few years? If they are, then it could be a good move for everyone, but it’s going to be a tough ask for those guys to give up the chance of individual glory, especially as Eddy had two stage wins, and probably should have had a third. It’s true that one of those was a brilliant breakaway attack rather than a sprint, and so that could still happen again in future, but the opportunity for sprint wins would look unlikely.

Personal Green Transportation, what are the options?

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently. I don’t own a car and I don’t intend to any time soon but I do want an alternative to walking or taking the bus around.

The obvious answer would be to cycle. And while that was my initial thought, road / pavement cycling laws aren’t clearly defined from what I can tell, and generally speaking, I’d prefer to be away from traffic especially since the area around where I live always has heavy traffic. The stress of not knowing what’s behind you along with the petrol fumes really add up to make it a very un-enticing proposition.

That’s a shame because when I used to cycle to school and college for around 6 years when I was younger I really enjoyed it, and I’ve always had a love of mountain biking and extreme sports so it is disappointing that the local council don’t seem to be too worried about making permanent cycle lanes in order to make cyclists feel safe and get more people out there on bikes and getting fitter.

Once you get past bikes, the only real viable alternative that I can think of is inline skating. Skating is an interesting subject law wise. From what I understand, skaters aren’t classified as either a pedestrian or a road user. This means that technically they should be able to skate on the pavement as long as they are mindful of pedestrians and are courteous. Similarly, on an empty road it should be legal to skate along it while being very careful to watch for cars and bikes / cyclists.

While they aren’t as fast as a bike, they do provide an excellent workout and of course are a lot of fun too as well as being considerably faster than walking and comparable to jogging or running at a medium to fast pace, depending on the surface and effort being put in of course.

Not only that, but generally speaking there’s a lot less that can go wrong with a good pair of skates than a bike with all its brakes and puncture vulnerable tires, not to mention bikes are big and you most likely won’t be able to keep an eye on it all the time in which case theft or damage is a possibility. Skates can go in a bag to be replaced by shoes when you need to switch.

Aside from these options, there’s always things like skateboards but they aren’t very practical at all for anything other than tricks.

If you want to bring electrical based devices into the fray as well, then hybrid bikes are surely going to catch on in the near future and if they can store energy from braking or simply the wheels spinning in order to generate extra power for the battery, then that could be an excellent choice moving forward.

Unfortunately, things akin to Segways will most likely stay as a novelty and for police forces in city centres. They just look too ridiculous and too hard to control for the majority of people to get behind. Plus, Segways aren’t necessarily green depending on where they power used to charge them up comes from.

Maybe sometime in the future we might even see intelligent hybrid skates which store energy to give you a small boost in performance when you don’t have to slow down for a significant distance, or possibly cause lights to glow on the skate itself to improve night time visibility. There are lots of possibilities for the future of personal transportation and as technology continues to advance, we’ll certainly see these new advances applied to tried and tested products like bikes or skates.