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Real cycling quiz 2009

Test your biking general knowledge with this light-hearted quiz

1 What is special about the 35km long cycle path (picture, right) started in 2007 along the coast of Doha, Qatar?
Solar-powered fans provide tailwinds
It's air-conditioned
Magnets underneath track propel special cycles
Only place in UAE you are actually allowed to cycle

— It's air-conditioned. Solar-powered panels drop cool mist onto the path. More

2 According to the sign at its bottom, the B6138 (Cragg Vale, picture, right) in Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is England's longest what?
Series of Z-bends
Continuous gradient - in other words, freewheel
Stretch of single-track road

— Continuous gradient: in other words, the longest downhill freewheel, or uphill continuous climb. The sign reads: 'Cragg Vale / Start of longest continuous gradient in England / Rises 968 feet over 5.5 miles' [295m over 8.85km, average gradient 3%] More

3 The world's longest cycle trail, which will be 21,500km long when complete, is currently 70 per cent finished. Where does it go?
Newfoundland to Vancouver
Moscow to Kamchatka
Seattle to Panama City
All around Japan's Honshu coast

— Newfoundland to Vancouver: it's the Trans-Canada Trail More

4 In June 1904, something happened to 47-year-old English composer Edward Elgar (picture, right) that was so exciting, he cycled round to tell all his friends and relatives, including a 50 mile round trip from Malvern to his dad's house in Bromsgrove. What?
Pomp and Circumstance Marches had reached No. 1
Just received news of his knighthood
Bought his first phonograph
His team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, had won the cup

— His knighthood. See Allen, K.: Elgar the Cyclist [Malvern: Aldine Press, 1997], pp.39-41

5 Whose last words in a 1960s film were 'a bicycle built for two', from the song Daisy Bell?
Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde
Dr Strangelove in Dr Strangelove
Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady
HAL the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey

— HAL, in the world's first cinematic computer death. More

6 Bicycles feature prominently in which extraordinary Irish novel, not published until 27 years after it was written, including the theory that interchange of atoms between machines and their owners over time turn people into bicycles?
James Joyce Finnegans Wake
Samuel Beckett Molloy
Flann O'Brien The Third Policeman
Oscar Wilde Picture of Dorian Grey

— The Third Policeman, written in 1940 but not published until after the author's death in 1967. More

7 What cycle-related mishap befell former president George W Bush in July 2005?
Jeered by climate-change demonstrators on bikes in Tokyo
Referred to 'Lance Armstrong, the great motorcycle champion'
Almost hit by bike crossing German road: didn't know they drive on other side
Crashed into policeman while riding his mountain bike in Scotland

— Hit a policeman in Scotland, while at the G8 summit. Unfortunately, it was the policeman who had to have time off work. More

8 There are approximately 500 million cars in the world, says Wikipedia. How many bicycles?
100 million
500 million
1 billion
5 billion

— 1 billion, though no source is given. More

9 In a 1974 cycling competition in Marin County, California, Russ Mahon used what some consider the world's first what?
Carbon fibre wheels
Electronic bike computer
Mountain bike

— Mountain bike (then called 'clunker'). More

10 Which of the following happened to Conservative leader and cyclist David Cameron in 2008?
The Daily Mirror filmed him going the wrong way up a one-way street en route to Parliament
The Guardian revealed that a van driver tried to push him off his bike
His bike was stolen outside Tesco's in Portobello Road
He apologised in Parliament for an unintended centre parting, caused by his helmet
All of the above

— All of them. More on 1, 2, 3, 4

11According to a survey by Cycling England in September 2008, 64 per cent of women never cycle. What was the main reason, cited by over half of them?
Helmets would ruin hairstyle
Didn't want to arrive at work sweaty
Partner didn't like it
Worried about getting lost

— Arriving at work sweaty, though helmets and navigation were also concerns. More

12 In how many events did Britain win cycling golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing?

— Eight. More

13 In 1954 a young man's bike was stolen. He raged about it to a police officer - who happened to be a boxing coach, and persuaded him to take up the sport to channel his aggression. Who was the young man?
Henry Cooper
Sonny Liston
Muhammad Ali
Commentator Harry Carpenter

— Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay). More)

14 Which band released the single Bicycle Race in 1978, which featured a large photo of several dozen nude women cyclists?
The Mixtures
Paul McCartney and Wings

— Queen. More

15 What links Oscar Pereiro, Alberto Contador, and Carlos Sastre?
Tour de France winners after Lance Armstrong
Only non-British cycling gold medal winners in 2008 Olympics
Respective heads of Specialized, Cannondale and Kona bike firms
Former South American heads of state who were keen cyclists

— Tour de France winners 2006-8. More

16 A classic 1948 cycle-related Italian realist film was re-released in December 2008. What is the title?
Obsession (Ossessione)
Open City (Roma, città aperta)
The Earth Trembles: an episode of the sea (La terra trema)
The Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette)

— De Sica's The Bicycle Thieves. More

17 Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset (picture, right), is famous for what cycling reason?
Thomas Hardy broke his leg riding down it
Dropped at last minute from Tour of Britain in 2008
Setting for a TV advert
Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins was born there

— The 1970s advert for Hovis bread was filmed there. The boy actor, Carl Barlow, got the part because he was the only one at audition who could both ride a bike and get a haircut. More

18 In 2006 Bath University researcher Ian Walker studied the space given by cars overtaking cyclists, and concluded that which one of the following is safer than wearing a helmet?
Sign on bike saying 'KEEP BACK'
Cycling on pavement
Using lights in daylight
Wearing a long blonde wig

— The wig. No doubt the government will want to make wearing them compulsory. More

19 England's biggest body of water (picture, right) has a traffic-free bike path all round it. What county is it in?

— Rutland, England's smallest county. Rutland Water is a reservoir constructed in the mid 1970s. More

20 Which of the following is illegal?
Breaking the speed limit on a bike
Refusing a breathalyser test after cycling
Riding two abreast
Bike with back-pedal rear brake
All of the above
None of the above

— None: all are legal.


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16-21 Eddy Merckx
10-15 Eddie Stobart
6-10 Eddie the Eagle
0-5 Eddystone lighthouse


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