Wait, what’s this just landed in the road.cc inbox? Boris Johnson launching a cycle hire scheme in London? So the last three years didn’t happen, and the political stalemate that leaves the United Kingdom’s population with no clue what our future holds just 11 days before we are due to leave the European Union was just some kind of dystopian nightmare?
Well, not quite. The former Mayor of London and ex-Foreign Secretary was acting in his capacity as Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip as he unveiled Brunel University’s bike hire scheme, made possible after students there emerged as joint winners, with Swansea University, of the Santander Cycles University Challenge.
The scheme, operated by Nextbike, will link the university with Uxbridge town centre and Hillingdon Hospital, with Brunel students, helped by ccontributions from alumni and local businesses, smashing a crowdfunding target of £48,650 to meet operating costs by £36,000 and Santander then chipping in a further £100,000 in capital expenditure.
Johnson said: “It’s wonderful, I think Brunel have been pioneering. It’s also a great thing for Uxbridge and the local community because what they are creating is not just a cycle scheme for the university but for the whole of the town centre. I’ve no doubt that it’ll expand and this is the start of something really beautiful.”
The capital's Santander Cycles - previously the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme (pictured above and named after the bank, not the Telegraph-owning twins from whom Johnson trousers three times his MP's salary for his weekly column) was launched while he was Mayor, although it was originally proposed by Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, with the green light given by his predecessor, Labour's Ken Livingstone.
Ineos, the chemicals group founded by Britain's richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is set to be officially named as Team Sky's new sponsor from 2020 onwards.
With broadcaster Sky announcing in December that it was ending its decade-long association with the team, which has won six of the last seven editions of the Tour de France, Sir Dave Brailsford has been looking for a new backer, and in recent weeks the country's largest privately-owned company has emerged as the frontrunner.
Today, BBC Sport's Dan Roan tweeted that confirmation is expected within the next 48 hours, with a subsequent report on its website stating that from next year onwards, it will race as Team Ineos.
The Blackpool Gazette reports that 44-year-old Craig Lomax of Oxford Road, Blackpool had drunk 18 cans of super strength lager before embarking on a bike ride through the town.
Lomax was lucky not to cause a serious accident after narrowly missing a collision with an electric disabled buggy. He eventually came to a stop by crashing into a large tree and a metal street post on Whitegate Drive, then as he staggered along the footpath Lomax removed his trousers and started exposing himself to passers-by. The previous day Lomax, who was said to have turned to alcohol due to family issues, also bared his buttocks at a passing car driver.
He was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates court this morning, receiving a six week jail term suspended for a year. He was also ordered to complete twenty days rehabilitation, and was placed on the sex offenders register for five years.
"When you're in a team time trial all you're focussing on is the wheel in front of you, they're not aware of what's happening up ahead. So it could have been devastating for the whole team", said Wiggins of Bora-Hansgrohe's nasty crash caused by a pedestrian last week.
Wiggins and Blythe also discuss disorderly fans at the grand tours, with Wiggins making the comparison between the uproar over the assault on Aston Villa footballer Jack Grealish and the comparative indifference to when similar incidents happen in bike races.
Monbiot was debating with former UKIP Deputy Chair Suzanne Evans, who said "it's all very well virtue-signalling" regarding the latest climate change protests in London. He says Evans' comments suggests she has "no concept of what is important and what is not" and says a massive reduction in car travel, replaced by electric mass-transit and bicycles, is need to rapidly reduce pollution.
— pro cycling trumps (@procycletrumps) 17 March 2019
Egan Bernal won Team Sky's sixth Paris-Nice in eight years yesterday, and has been immortalised in a Pro Cycling Trump for his efforts. Read our round-up of stage 8 here.
Nigel Farage didn’t start today’s stage of the Sunderland to London so I hope the commissars don’t allow him to rejoin the peleton for the final ceremonial leg into the capital! That’s against the rules of stage racing!!!
— UK Cycling Expert (@ukcyclingexpert) 17 March 2019
UK Cycling Expert at the forefront of current affairs once more!
— Eric Bjorling (@EBjorling) 17 March 2019
Turns out cycling shoes and cleats are the ideal footwear to perform an St Patrick's Day Irish jig! Madline's pal who shot the video is Eric Bjorling, Trek's US Brand Manager.
Lord Winston will this week urge the government to make it compulsory for cyclists to be licensed and insured when riding in the centres of towns and cities. The Labour peer has regularly blamed London’s Cycle Superhighways for causing congestion and pollution, without citing evidence. Article here.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.