Sporting Hero: Bradley Wiggins

posted by the hanging out team - Thursday, January 10, 2013
If one was asked to describe Bradley Wiggins with a single word, determined would be my choice.

At the age of 12, he reveals to his art teacher his aspirations - he is going to be an Olympic champion and win the Tour de France. The teacher laughs at him and said “You must be crazy.”

The story and quote are now old news but that is not to say the story has lost any of its lustre or fairytale charm. His achievements are in themselves fantastic accomplishments but to actually state at that age that he will win both competitions, knowing full well what his choice entails and actually go on to do so is quite extraordinary.

It makes for buoyant reading, filling readers with rejuvenated national pride, leaving Olympic enthusiasts bubbling and diehard fans of the Tour de France weeping for joy, laying their eyes on a Brit wearing the elusive Yellow Jersey.

Bradley Wiggins wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey. Photo courtesy of William Morice

Training to be a serious contender for the Tour de France is no easy feat. The fitness regime Wiggins applied for 2012’s race was particularly harsh, forcing himself to lose body weight in an effort to combat the grueling up-hill stages of the Tour.

Furthermore, he displayed real sportsmanship during stage 14 of the Tour when he opted to slow down and wait for other competitors who had suffered punctures. Wiggin’s approach was encapsulated in the title of “Le gentleman” awarded to him by the highly partisan French press. No mean achievement.

Qualifying for the Olympics itself is no cakewalk either. For all the competitors that qualify there are many more who end their Olympic dream watching it from home. 2012 and the success that came at his fourth Olympic games, switching cycling disciplines in the process, showcases another extraordinary achievement, one which crucially has inspired the next generation of cyclists to follow in his footsteps. He has motivated the young to turn off the TV, get off the sofa and get on their bikes. The Bradley Wiggins Foundation has been started precisely so as to encourage the participation of the community in local sport.

Team GB: Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. Image courtesy of johnthescone

It is understandably easy to get swept away with the hype. Recently receiving a knighthood and winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year when the competition from the other entrants was particularly strong has only increased his stock value. The press have had a field day being able to draw on his sporting prowess and his “clean” reputation in the sport of cycling which quite frankly has had an appalling record in recent years. His “Mod” image quickly becoming a fashion icon reflects his persona, edgy with class and character, so it is refreshing to see an athlete with the strength of mind to concentrate on what he was born to do and to stand clear of getting too involved in the world of sport superstars which he seems in any case reluctant to enter.

At Hanging Out we celebrate Bradley's achievements and wish him all the best for the future. We shall be following his exploits and progress with great enthusiasm.

By Harry Smith

On Your Bike!

posted by the hanging out team - Friday, January 04, 2013
‘Tis the season to be sorely disappointed with oneself!

The Christmas cheer fades as does the delusion that all is well with your body after all it has consumed. Yes, as we thunder through those Christmas calories. This is the traditional time of year to be overly consumed with how much we have eaten and how little we have exercised. It doesn’t have to be a drag though. Exercise is great when you find the one thing that you enjoy. For some people it’s jogging, for some Zumba but for Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins, hands down cycling is the way forward.

Bradley Wiggins cycling to Olympic Gold.  Photo courtesy of jans canon

Having being the first British winner of the Tour De France in 2012 (that’s in over 100 years); Sir Bradley has gone on to do win Sports Personality of the Year! Sir Bradley also has seven Olympic medals under his belt, four of which are Gold.

Sir Bradley Wiggins is an all rounder when it comes to everything coming top in fashion as well as sport. He stepped into the lime light as somewhat of a Mod Fashion icon with his suave double breasted velvet suit with Mod staple fringed loafers at the Sports Personality Awards 2012. No wonder here at Hanging Out we have a soft spot for him, we love a Mod. Vintage Fashion Icon, Cycling champ and musician? Sir Bradley is also pretty deft with a guitar as he played covers of "That’s Entertainment" by The Jam and "Wonderwall" by Oasis after the ceremony; both bands having connections with the Mod Scenes and its Britpop Revival.

We feel inspired by the eclectic knight’s achievements and are dusting off our bikes to get fit in 2013! Cycling is one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise that works on so many levels. As it is a low impact form of exercise it’s not as hard on your joints as running but still burns some serious calories. It is a great way to tone up your legs and cycling off road or uphill is a good upper body workout too.

Photo courtesy of Damien Walker

More and more people in London are cycling every year. With the Boris Bikes making cycling accessible to everyone, so there’s no excuse people! It’s better for you and better for the environment. Regular exercise like cycling can also help to reduce stress and increase happiness. In order to feel the full benefits of cycling, cycle for at least 150 minutes a week and partner with that all important New Year’s eating healthily instead of eating less!

We all came out of 2012 inspired by the Olympics, wanting to push our bodies and minds further than ever. What better way to start the New Year than bringing that surge forward and getting sporty in 2013? Get on a bike instead of sobbing over a bowl of shredded carrots and get healthy the fun way.

If it’s good enough for Wiggins, it’s good enough for Hanging out!

Happy New Year!

by Natasha Dujon


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