I cycled from Utrecht to Nijmegen a few years ago in much heavier rain, through rural, hilly forests and didn't see a single puddle on the smooth cycleways, never mind anything even close to this deep
— Hackney Cyclist (@Hackneycyclist) June 10, 2019
A group calling themselves the 'Taxpayers' Alliance' don't appear to know the difference between tax and a fine
— TaxPayers' Alliance (@the_tpa) June 9, 2019
You may have heard of the TaxPayers' Alliance, which claims to be a "non-partisan grassroots campaign for lower taxes and government transparency" but in reality is a right-wing lobby group that has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding from the US; it is often wheeled out on BBC News to provide [checks notes] balance on stories about increased public psending - such as on cycle lanes.
Today, it has attracted criticism by describing fines for motorists breaking new 20mph limits in London as a 'tax' - while also suggesting there is no evidence that lower speed limits save lives (spoiler - they do, and there is a wealth of studies to back that up). Cue the rightfully cutting and sarcastic stream of replies ...
I’ve literally never been hit with a speeding fine. Not once, in over twenty years. Am I a tax evader?
— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) June 10, 2019
Perhaps you should rename yourselves FinePayers' Alliance.
— Richard Hallett (@hallettrichard) June 9, 2019
It isn’t a tax you buffoons. Don’t want to pay it, don’t exceed the speed limit. I’m a taxpayer and you do not speak for me.
— Dan Jarvis (@worldcupdan) June 9, 2019
Looking at the TaxPayer's Alliance website they appear to be a legitimate operation with an 18-strong team, although we're not too sure who's funding them. Most of their tweets and blog posts seem to read like something from a Jacob Rees-Mogg manifesto, if such a thing existed, with one praising Donald Trump's lowering of taxes for big businesses in the US and another claiming that cutting taxes for corporations like Amazon would lead to economic growth in the UK.
Five cool things
A luxurious bag handmade in Scotland, Hunt's new super wide gravel wheels and a handy tool storage solution from Topeak make our kit round-up this week. Read all about them here.
Full protected cycle lane for Kew Road in Richmond?
Bit of Monday morning news for you, from this week's "Active Travel Group" meeting at @LBRUT ...
— Richmond Cycling (@RichmondCycling) June 10, 2019
It was announced in a Richmond council meeting today that the busy road is set for a full protected cycle lane, which will hopefully make scenes like the one in the image above a thing of the past...
Plans to relax UK's £1,000 Cycle to Work limit to make it easier to buy e-bikes announced by Government's cycling minister
The latest changes to the Cycle to Work scheme could mean great news for e-bikers and those considering ditching the car and investing in an e-bike for the commute - as the government has outlined plans to make it easier for employers to provide bikes and equipment, including e-bikes, worth over the current £1,000 limit. Full story on eBikeTips.
Skoda launch a car for cyclists
Long story short, it has a roof rack and a drinks cooler.
But what else makes a car a "cyclist's car"? Well, according to Skoda, you'll need to fit it out with a pressure washer for cleaning off some amazingly muddy road bikes.
Then obviously, you'll want to strip off in a car park and do your laundry before you get home to your washing machine. So you'll be needing a washing machine in the boot. They don't specify how you'll dry the kit, but we're sure it'll be fine tied to the aerial...
Who needs seats anyway? You'll obviously want to leave one of your children at home so that your bike can ride along in the car. Then be sure to take your other two bikes on the roof rack.
But oh gosh! A mechanical has befallen you en route. Not to worry! You've got a specific place for a toolbox. You could never just put that in the boot.
If you're still thinking 'wow! This is the car for me', then, unfortunately, it's just a concept car. So sad, but don't worry, you can still have "a KAROQ Velo inspired accessory package, which includes a ŠKODA Multi-tool, ŠKODA Bicycle tyre pump and bracket and ŠKODA Bicycle Lights". Available to order from local ŠKODA Retailers.
Have Skoda not heard of simply riding from home?
Look launch Tour de France edition Carbon Ceramic Titanium pedals
The pedal of choice for riders such as Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet for this year's Tour, this is Look's top-of-the-range road racing pedal given a Tour de France makeover. It has a ceramic bearings under the pedal platform for the ultimate in smoothness and a titanium axle, and weighs in at just 95g per pedal.
Only 1,700 units of the special edition coloured versions will be up for sale worldwide at €290.90, after which a standard version will be available later in the year. Head over to Look's website for more deets.
Nikki Brammeier announces pro cycling retirement the day after sharing news of pregnancy
Today I’m announcing my retirement from professional cycling. Not many athletes get to end their career as current National champion, fit, healthy & still loving their sport, but that’s how i’de like to end mine Please read more here https://t.co/ZO1L9g4ieb
— Nikki Brammeier (@NikkiBrammeier) June 10, 2019
The 32-year-old current national cyclocross champion said she wanted 'to end on a high', calling time on her career shortly after announcing she is expecting her first child with husband Matt Brammeier, himself a former pro and now a cycling coach.
DealClincher: 35% off 3T Exploro Team Rival Gravel Bike
Fancy a wider-tyre bike that is still incredibly fast on the road?
3T's Exploro is currently down to a very tempting £2,550 with a Rival 1X groupset, Fulcrum wheels, WTB 47mm Road Plus TCS tyres and 3T finishing kit.
Riding Ritchey's Swiss Cross
David has just been testing Ritchey's new Swiss Cross, check out what he has to say about it in his video review below.
Porn Pedallers launching their new jersey on 20th June... and are inviting you to go to a strip club with them afterwards to celebrate
What goes on at a kit launch party for a cycling team made up of "a ramshackle bunch of cycling enthusiasts who happen to work in or around the UK adult entertainment industry"? Who knows, but if you're lucky enough to be on the guest list you can find out at Look Mum No Hands! on 20th June for the Porn Pedallers' new kit launch party. It's been made by Le Col, and Porn Pedallers also donate £10 of each sale of their branded kit to the Terrence Higgins Trust. While the event is by invitation only, anyone can go along to the after-party at Platinum Lace strip club on Leicester Square from 10.30pm onwards - info above.
Paul Smith x Rapha jersey pops up on ebay for £125,000. Again...
We can only assume the last auction wasn't successful, because once more we've spotted this jersey described as "a piece of cycling history" pop up on ebay for the princely sum of £125,000. While it's quite nice we just can't see that it's nice enough to cost the same as a house, which got us thinking... why is the seller asking for such an extortionate amount? Is he/she hoping someone very rich and gullible will come along, or is there more to the story? If miraculously the seller happens to be reading this, or anyone can shed any light, do let us know in the comments!
Never mind the bollocks...
...here's a load of mountain bikes in South Wales spotted flaunting their Bike Balls. They're available from a selection of retailers with a puerile sense of humour nationwide...
ICYMI - weekend-catch-up
Here are some of our top stories from the weekend in case you've been neglecting us since Friday...