Press the pedals & mess with your stress

Pic: Eliseo Hernández


Use your noggin: Moving meditation

Physiologists, neurologists and other scientists have explored and documented why exercise forms like bike riding are so beneficial for mental health: from mood-boosting cannabinoid and endorphin release to the proliferation of proteins like the onerously titled brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and wonderfully named compound, noggin – both of which promote brain cell growth and better cognitive fluidity (which can help reduce stress).

Cycling has also been shown to reduce levels of stress-inducing chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline.

More prosaic benefits include cardiovascular regulation, skill and goal attainment (which boosts confidence and can reduce stress) and communing with nature and other riders.

“Just cruising on your bike, feeling the wind, even the rain, hearing the birds and just trying to connect with the feelings of your legs pedalling will be of great help for boosting your mind,” says Luxembourg-based Delphine Dard-Pourrat, a behavioural economist, yoga teacher, cyclist and fellow Haute Route bike race ambassador.

More here.

Vertical farmers to launch eco-standard as organics sector digs in on soil

Image by sippakorn yamkasikorn from Pixabay

Frustrated vertical farmers will launch a global sustainability standard in 2021 after years of campaigning failed to budge the EU from its soil-based organic fixation. 

The German-based Association for Vertical Farming (AVF), which has about 150 members worldwide, will present the standard/seal to its members at a September meeting in Munich, AVF chairwoman Christine Zimmermann-Loessl tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

It is intended the certification will be in play by year’s end.

“For many years, we have tried to explain the benefits of vertical farming to regulators in the EU and other countries; to show we are an ally of the organic movement, not a competitor or an enemy,” Zimmermann-Loessl says.

More here.

Italians crack down on COVID-19 claims abuse

Photo by Angel Sinigersky on Unsplash
Italy’s primary food supplements group is taking action to protect the EU’s biggest and most dynamic market from a surge in misleading coronavirus-linked immunity claims.

Federsalus, a 230-strong group of institutional and commercial organisations operating in the food supplements sector, told NutraIngredients it was “taking very seriously”​ the 200+ infringements logged in the country since the pandemic began and was engaging with its members and the broader Italian food supplements sector, as well as regulators and EU law experts to tackle the problem.

The trade group told members to remove any online or offline marketing that suggested any nutrient or supplement could treat or prevent coronavirus or risk expulsion from Federsalus, not to mention penalties that can run to millions of euros from Italy’s Competition and Market Authority (AGCM).

“We are committed to the fight against these kinds of false claims because Italy has the most important supplements market in Europe – we have to protect it,” ​Federsalus director general Madi Gandolfo said. “In some cases it is companies misinterpreting the health claims law and quickly remedied, in other cases other actions might be required.”

Italy’s €1.6 billion food supplements market dwarfs the next biggest in Europe: Russia at €1.08bn; Germany with €967m and the UK with €755m, according to analyst Statista.

More here.

 

The bespoken word: Best niche road cycling brands



Objects of beauty: Royce Racing Gold Carbon Road Hubs. Only 1500 sterlings...

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Excerpt:
Royce gear is not cheap. A nitride, gold-finish titanium Racing Gold Bottom Bracket Axle with a “lacquered Carbon Fibre Spacer” costs 360 sterlings and is available by “special order only”.

If you want to turn the exclusivity dial all the way up to 11, consider a pair of Racing Gold Carbon Road Hubs. These specimens mix carbon, titanium and stainless steel to deliver a Shimano or Campag-compatible hub set weighing just over 300g and glittering like a precious golden thing.

But be prepared to pay £1500 and wait two years before you can join your local group ride feeling like some newly anointed ancient Grecian pedalling God among mortals. But two years? Even the Gods may not possess that much patience.

A regular titanium hub set Royce describes as “virtually indestructible” will only lighten your wallet or purse by £500. Bargain!

Asked what types invested in Royce components, Cliff Polton told us “enthusiastic cyclists” did.

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A bespoke Filament. Nice...

Could bamboo be for you?

 

Bamboo bikes are niche but there is a genuine and rising interest in them – I noticed it in a recent race here in Berlin where a friend riding a bamboo bike was swamped by other racers afterwards. They wanted to know how it rode; they wanted to know how it was made and by whom; they wanted to know how much it cost.

My friend enthused. He’s top 10 on a super competitive and popular Berlin Strava crit segment on his bamboo steed and is part of the Anti-Panda bamboo fixie racing team that has performed well in local criteriums. Make no mistake folks: Bamboo is fast.

It might not be able to match carbon for weight performance when you need to go uphill or col, but on the flat, it possesses serious kudos in the speed stakes. And as Daniel Vogel-Essex told me when I visited his Ozon Cyclery operation in Berlin recently, there are quite a few good reasons to give the ‘boo a bash, not least its affordable customisation potential.

“Say you want a winter or training bike – we can make a frame that is an exact replica of your favourite racing bike,” he says. “Then there is the performance. People have said they have never ridden a bike that has the combination of torsional stiffness and vibration dampening and a good weight – it will never be lighter than carbon but it can be close and it is a lot stronger. And better for the environment of course.”

More here.