Seven days in cycling: Your weekly catch up service of the week's big news stories on road.cc
This week's slice of cycling life features solving problems by hugging a cyclist, hoodies on £2k bikes being found out by social media, and the bikes not to buy -- cos they’re likely to get nicked
Join us to mull over this week's slice of cycling life as we catch up on all the events of the week, from Russell Brand’s approach to road rage, to the most exciting race footage we’ve ever seen, and the driver police need to find before he kills someone...
Click on any headline to read the story in full and join in our reader debates in the comments section.
On Sunday the hunt was on for a motorist caught on film veering across the road to pass an oncoming rider with just inches to spare in what appears to be a deliberate and highly dangerous close pass.
At least two other cyclists have since come forward to say they believe they were targeted by the same driver in the same manner, with one adding that action needs to be taken before someone is killed.
Police are investigating but so far haven’t taken any action.
The cyclist who filmed the incident he was involved in, Dave Jones, posted a link to the video, which is hosted on the photo-sharing site Flickr, to timetriallingforum.co.uk on 1 May. You can watch it here.
The big tech news of the week was SRAM’s electronic groupset spotted at the Tour of California, on a Bissell Development Team bike.
That SRAM are putting the groupset on several Bissell team bikes suggests they’re keen to get some race testing, which can be invaluable when it comes to developing new products and getting some quality feedback.
SRAM’s wireless electronic groupset won’t be in the 2016 model year though, the company has told road.cc - in a statement that suggest the groupset is still at least two years away.
We got our answer in an email statement yesterday:
“Yes, the technology is wireless.
“But it is NOT a Model Year 2016 OEM product however.
“This product technology is still in a long development phase with much testing and refinement yet to occur.
“As soon as we develop commercialization plans, we will provide an update.”
That means we wouldn’t expect to see it on bikes until the back end of 2016. That in turn raises another more immediate question: Why has the Bissell Development Team been racing on at at the Tour of California in clear contravention of article 1.3.007 of the UCI technical regulations which specifically states that teams can not use prototype equipment unless it is going to be available for sale within 9 months of its first use in a race?
Answers on a postcard, please.
On Tuesday, we reported that police in South East London were using the power of social media to make an arrest in connection with three bikes stolen from Lee Park, SE3 last week – with a youth photographed riding one of them in Hither Green at the weekend.
The 69-year-old victim, a Great Britain age group athlete, was due to use one of the bikes, at the World Duathlon Championships in Spain later this month.
Detective Constable Louise Mayhook from Lewisham police's Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit said: "These bikes are worth approximately £6,000, with each bike worth close to £2,000.
The bikes had been locked in a shed in the owner’s garden at 5pm last Thursday 8 May, and at 8.30am the following morning he discovered the door was open and the bikes no longer there.
Last Sunday, the owner of a bike shop in Lee Green told police he had seen a youth riding one of the stolen bikes, a Swiss triathlon frame with deep section Zipp wheels, in Hither Green. Details of the other two bikes were not supplied.
A witness, Kate Curran, who belongs to same triathlon club as the victim, took photographs which have been widely retweeted on Twitter with the hashtag #findvernonsbike.
Last month, UCI president Brian Cookson said that the future of TV coverage of professional cycling could include footage taken by on-bike cameras to give fans of the sport an unprecedented view from inside the peloton - so does the use of video cameras on several bikes in the Tour of California herald the first sign of this in action?
On Wednesday we brought you this video, shot with video cameras mounted to bikes producing thrilling action shots like this of John Degenkolb’s sprint in the opening stage of the US race, where he was narrowly beaten by Mark Cavendish. We’re inclined to think this can only be a good step for the sport.
The video above was shot on Shimano’s new CM-1000 camera which hasn’t been released yet (so this is a handy bit of publicity for the company) with one attached to the front of Degenkolb’s handlebars via a K-Edge mount, and another on his leadout rider Ken Hanson, mounted to his seatpost.
The video gives a rare insight into the speed, energy, excitement and danger of the bunch sprint. The speed is extremely high, the wheels close and there’s a lot of shouting. Notice Degenkolb hovering his fingers over the brake levers early in the sprint.
How do you stop a disagreement between a driver and a cyclist from turning ugly? If you’re comedian Russell Brand you jump out of your own car and give the bike rider a big hug.
That’s how the sometimes-controversial TV personality reacted on Thursday when he encountered a full and frank exchange of views developing between a van driver and bike rider in London’s Tottenham Court Road last week.
After the van almost collided with the rider a heated argument began to develop until Brand got out of his Mercedes to intervene.
Witness Joe Stas, who tweeted pictures of the incident, said:“By the time I got outside the argument between a cyclist and a van driver was getting heated, the traffic had stopped, then Russell gets out of his car and approached the guy on the bike and gives him a hug. The cyclist then smiled and laughed and cycled off.”
Ever wondered how likely your is bike to get stolen? If you commute on a midrange Specialized or Trek, you might want to invest in the biggest, beefiest, most bad-ass lock you can get your hands on.
At the end of April, the Metropolitan Police warned that bike thieves were targeting less distinctive mid-range bikes, rather than helping themselves to high-end blingocipedes.
The explanation, according to Inspector Dave Dixon from the Met’s Cycle Task Force, is that they’re easier to sell and harder for the owners to trace.
“If they nick a customised bike it is very hard to sell,” he said. “It’s like bike porn to cyclists and if they see one they’re all around it, and also cyclists are very active on social media so it’s likely to be spotted.
“A bike like a Specialized Allez – there are hundreds of them and thieves know they can shift them quite easily.”
Finally some sombre news to end the week on. We reported on Saturday that a cyclist who was killed on a downhill when she careered into a house may have been suffering from ‘Cyclist’s Palsy’, according to an inquest.
Cyclist's palsy, also known as handlebars palsy, is a numbing of the nerves in the hands after cycling in the same position for a extended period of time.
Rebecca Scott, 24, was in training for a 100 mile ride when she hit a wall while travelling down a hill in Branscombe, Devon.
Her father Alan was cycling behind her and heard the "bang" as she crashed into the wall. She suffered multiple injuries.
There were no mechanical faults with Rebecca’s bike and she was an experienced triathlete and a competent rider, the inquest at Devon County Hall heard, before recording a conclusion of accidental death.