Our top stories of the week included the man who claimed compensation when the ambulance rescuing him from a MTB injury hurt him further, the Essex cyclists who ‘should be more safety conscious’, and a whole load of shiny tech from IceBike
Click on any headline to read the story in full and join in our reader debates in the comments section.
On Sunday we divided your opinion pretty much straight down the line with the take of a man who was injured inside an ambulance that had picked him up from a cycling accident being awarded 27,700 Euros by a court in Ireland as compensation.
Stephen Burns, 37, had lost consciousness when he fell head first onto a rock while mountain biking.
When he came to, he walked down the hill with his bike till he met a woman who called him an ambulance.
He told the Circuit Civil Court that although he was bleeding, with swelling over one eye, he felt no pain in his neck and back when the ambulance arrived.
On the way to St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, the ambulance had to perform an emergency brake to prevent a collision with another driver.
The court heard Mr Burns’s head hit a partition in the ambulance. He said there was "stuff all over the place in the back of the ambulance".
Monday’s news was that an Essex police officer claimed that the onus was on cyclists to be more safety-conscious if they wanted to protect their own lives.
PC Deborah Gray said: “If families have to see a white-hatted officer at their door, then it’s horrible because they just know why they are there.
“If cyclists were more safety-conscious then families would not have to see that.”
Police in Chelmsford are currently engaged in Operation Bluenose, claimed to be targeting both cyclists and motorists,.
“Operation Bluenose aims to identify at risk riders and urge them to use more safety equipment such as lights, helmets and high visibility clothing,” the police said when the exercise was announced.
PC Gray criticised a rider she had seen recently dressed entirely in black.
She said: “He said ‘If a car cannot see me he should not be driving’.
“He only wears his helmet when he is going on long cycle rides because he is stop-start, stop-start [in the town].”
Tuesday brought the announcement from Essex County Council of the precise details of the route the Tour de France will follow on Monday 7 July when Stage 3 of cycling’s biggest race passes through the county on the way from Cambridge to London.
The route of the 159km stage will see it cross into the county to the north of Saffron Walden, passing via the Uttlesford district to head through or past Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest before it heads into Greater London.
The council says the route has now been finalised and has confirmed full details of the road closures that will be put in place; to see the full route in detail click the headline above.
One London borough has staged a clampdown on pavement cycling. The figure released on Wednesday showed 50 people were ticketed in a recent operation – despite a government minister saying last month that officers needed to use their discretion and that riders were allowed to take to the footway, commonly referred to as pavement, provided they do so considerately.
Officers in Kingston-upon-Thames issued 54 fixed penalty notices to cyclists for the offence as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Safeway, launched at the end of November.
But as we reported on road.cc last month, minister for cycling Robert Goodwill confirmed in a letter to Donnachadh McCarthy of the pressure group Stop Killing Cyclists that Home Office guidance issued in 1999 regarding giving fixed penalty notices to cyclists riding on the footway was still valid.
The 1999 guidance was given by then Home Office minister Paul Boateng, who said: “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so.
“Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”
The mystery of exactly what Jeremy Clarkson and James May (pictured above - honest) were doing tooling around the West End on bikes recently looks set to be revealed on tonight’s show when Chris Boardman will be on a panel that assesses the “public information film” the pair were filming.
The Top Gear presenters were spotted on bikes last month, Jeremy Clarkson on an upright hybrid bike that appeared to be rather too small for him, and James May aboard a Brompton. The pair appeared to be filming their faces with GoPro cameras attached to the handlebars.
According to the Radio Times, they were making a ‘public information film’ to promote safer cycling. The feature will be shown in the fifth episode of the current series, which goes to air at 8pm this Sunday on BBC Two (10pm in Wales).
The film will be presented to a panel of experts including British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman and members of Westminster Council, one of the London boroughs most notoriously negative about cycling provision.
Chris Boardman couldn’t tell us much on Thursday about the segment as he hasn’t seen the final edit.
“Anything to do with Top Gear is playing with fire, which is why people watch it,” he said. “On the flip side, it’s also a chance to reach a wider (motoring) audience and portray ourselves as ‘one of you’ rather than cycling fanatics. Just normal people with a sense of humour, who’d like to see more cycling.
“We’ll see on Sunday if the gamble has paid off.”
We went into the weekend with news for you from IceBike, the annual trade and dealer show of distributor Madison, where we'd been this week checking out the latest products from Genesis, Ridgeback and Saracen.
Some of the most interesting news came from Genesis for 2015, the brand revealing this week that all Equilibrium non-disc road bikes will be fitted as standard with 28mm tyres, while the Equilibrium Disc will come with a new carbon fibre fork.
The entire Equilibrium range, that's the 00, 10, 20 and titanium version, will come with a new carbon fibre fork developed to accommodate 28mm tyres and clearance for mudguards. The new fork has a 10mm taller axle-to-crown height to allow the necessary space for fitting mudguards.
Previously the Equilibrium’s have been shod with 25mm tyres. As for the tyres they’ll be using, they’ve plumped for Continental’s newly developed Contactsport 28.
Saturday brought further tech news from IceBike in Milton Keynes, where we checked out Thule’s seriously clever Round Trip travel case; the hard shell one is for those wanting maximum protection (and with space to put it when not in use) but probably more interesting to most people is the semi-rigid version which features folding polypropylene side panels. You can take them out and the whole thing will fold down small enough to stick under the bed.
Also worth a look are their car racks and child carriers (above)
We also tasted a wide range of nutrition bars and drinks in your interest, and some handy bits and bobs from bike lock supremos Kryptonite.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.