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Cross Country labelled ‘ableist’ over train bike racks; Jacquelinet wins Trans Pyrenees Race; Freeman tribunal date set; Proviz launches bike lights; People in cars more exposed to air pollution; XR improve London cycling +more on the live blog

All today's news from the site and beyond.....
08 October 2019, 15:42
Cross Country latest train operator to be criticised for vertical bike storage, accused of ableism and discrimination

Amidst the latest criticism of Great Western Railway's farcical bike hooks, we missed that Cross Country were also getting a few barrels full on Twitter at the weekend due to their similarly unhelpful vertical bike storage. We've got a feeling they didn't help themselves with this reply either... 

Robyn Jankel replied: "Your empathy is palpable. Is this how you respond to disabled cyclists hoping to get their mobility aids on board? Not even "our staff will do everything they can to assist you"? Why not just come out with it & say "We hate cyclists"? God forbid you support your paying customers."

Others described Cross Country's response as discriminatory and ableist, on the basis that they are essentially saying those not strong enough to life their bikes onto the hooks are not welcome on board. 

With many train operators across Europe perfectly capable of providing adequate bike storage in the form of guards vans and cycle-specific carriages (that more often featured on UK trains until more recently), what's going on with British train franchises? It's something we'll be revisiting soon as the complaints continue to pile in from disgruntled rail passengers who dare to travel with a bicycle... 

08 October 2019, 14:29
Date for Dr. Richard Freeman's tribunal finally set for 28th October

The elusive ex-Team Sky and British Cycling doctor will finally face the music on Monday 28th October, after failing to attend the original scheduled hearing back in February citing ill-health.

Freeman was charged  with ordering 30 sachets of Testogel (testosterone) in May 2011 to give to an unnamed rider, with the General Medical Council accusing him of lying to conceal evidence - Dr. Freeman has always denied the charges. 

The tribunal will run until the 20th December, after which the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service will decide if he is fit to practice medicine. 

08 October 2019, 12:29
Thomas Jacquelinet wins inaugural Trans Pyrenees Race

Thomas Jacquelinet has won the inaugural Trans Pyrenees Race in Biarritz this lunchtime, arriving on France's Atlantic coast just 4 days 7 hours 50 minutes after setting off from the resort to head across the mountains to the Mediterranean and back, covering 1,284.2 kilometres.

Sam Thompson came into Biarritz 20 minutes later, having taken the lead overnight but losing it again this morning.

The next rider, Contsantin Schitt, is through the third checkpoint but still has around 220 kilometres to ride.

08 October 2019, 10:43
Fireman turns away 'persistent' young cyclist who just wants to get to school...

According to Johnny Briggs who uploaded the footage, the lad just wants to learn... but a fireman on the scene dealing with huge floods in Finsbury Park this morning caused by a burst water pipe said he wasn't allowed to ride through the deluge to continue his journey to school. 

Mr. Briggs told "He was just kind of begging the fireman to let him through and the fireman was trying to be nice and tell him gently it wasn't safe. But in the end the kid kind of firmly needed telling he had to turn around and go the other way."

That part was captured on film, with the beleaguered fireman saying to the studious young cyclist: "They will not be happy with me if I let you go back into that water."

08 October 2019, 10:33
BBC air pollution test shows travelling by car exposes you to more emissions than walking or cycling

Measuring exposure to pollution on children going to school, the results shown that cycling exposed them to 28.1% more than the recommended limit, walking was 40.1% over and driving was highest at 44% over; dispelling the myth that cars 'protect' occupants from emissions outside. 

08 October 2019, 10:16
'Improvised cycle lane' pops up through Trafalgar Square...


08 October 2019, 10:04
Proviz launch a bike light range
Proviz 1710-2-lights-lr

Best known for their super high-vis high-vis cycle clothing, Proviz have launched a range of five quick-release, USB rechargeable bike lights. Named after the brightest stars in the galaxy, they're called the LED360 Sirius Front Bike Light, the LED360 Capella (front), the LED360 Canopus & Vega (set) the LED360 Procyon (rear) and the LED360 Vega (rear). Prices are between £19.99 and £59.99. 

Though the run times are around what we'd expect - 4 hours on full beam for the LED360 Capella front light, for example - Proviz make some unusual claims about the battery life: "Samsung technology gives the battery life 2600 mAh, 600 times longer the average bike light."

mAh is 'milliamp hours', and to our knowledge doesn't actually refer to the run time of the lights, so we're not too sure what the deal is here. Check back for a story later if we hear back off Proviz... 

08 October 2019, 09:53


08 October 2019, 08:25
More happy cycle commuters in London many major roads are closed to motor traffic due to Extinction Rebellion protests. Can't it be like this all the time? 

08 October 2019, 07:55
Cyclist in confrontation with climate protesters in Novia Scotia, accusing them of "getting out of cars and walking" to demonstrations

It appears the cyclist had noticed the protesters in the clip get out of a car to attend an Extinction Rebellion demo, sparking an angry and sometimes baffling response. 

Is the cyclist right to call them out? These two certainly don't appear to be helping the XR cause by shouting at cyclists and urging them to "take the bus" in our book...

08 October 2019, 08:04
Meanwhile in London...

Extinction Rebellion do appear to have made cycling over Westminster Bridge temporarily pleasant, with only cycles and emergency vehicles being allowed over. 

08 October 2019, 07:47
So much no...

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 in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the 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. 

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