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Reporters on the Job

July without Lance? Staff Peter Ford wonders what he is going to do with his summers now that Lance Armstrong has retired. When the US rider started winning the Tour de France seven years ago, Peter's editors started showing interest in the bicycle race, and he (ignorant about all sports involving wheels) found himself on a steep learning curve. That soon developed into a passion for the race that he has been able to indulge - either in front of the television set or on the spot - each July, and claim to his family and editors that he was working.

"I have high hopes of some of the other American riders (page 1) and their prospects next year," says Peter. "In fact I am counting on them to maintain US reader interest in the Tour, and thus prolong my annual monthly stint as a sports correspondent."

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Bike Rack Indicator : As a part-time editor at The Guardian newspaper in London, correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley commutes to work on his bicycle. That mode of transport gives him some personal observations that buttress today's story about the response of Londoners to the terrorist attacks (page 7).

For example, Mark has noticed that the bike rack at The Guardian offices is now overflowing. "Before, I always got a space in the rack. Now, there's double the number of bicycles. And that was before the second bombing last week," he says.

The other noticeable change is the number of people choosing to walk to work in central London. "It looks as if a concert or sporting event just let out. I guess you could say that the attacks have been good for fitness of the nation, if not for the psyche," he says wryly.

David Clark Scott
World editor