Brompton celebrates diesel-free Bristol with bike hire promo; Woman who cycled round world in 1895 (or maybe didn’t) remembered; Russ Mantle hits 1 million miles; Ex-Team Sky doc case latest + more on live blog

All the cycling news from this site and beyond...
07 November 2019, 20:11
Annie Londonderry remembered ... the first woman to ride round the world 125 years ago ... or was she?

The New York Times is running a fascinating series called Overlooked – obituaries that didn’t make it into the paper at the time the subjects died, but who had extraordinary lives.

The latest subject is Annie Kopchovsky, better known (for sponsorship reasons) as Annie Londonderry, and who in 1895 became the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world.

Or did she?

Either way, it’s a compelling read about an amazing woman.

Annie Londonderry


07 November 2019, 19:28
07 November 2019, 19:28
Brompton display.JPEG
£1 membership and free hire as Brompton celebrates Bristol's diesel-free pledge

Brompton is celebrating Bristol’s commitment to becoming the first in the UK to ban diesel cars by offering 5,000 memberships to its bike hire scheme for just £1, with three hire days included.

The initiative, worth £175,000, comes after Bristol City Council pledged to ban privately owned diesel cars from a central zone of the city in the daytime from 2021, subject to government approval.

The initiative will see privately owned diesel cars banned between 7am and 3pm from areas of the city including part of the M32, the old city, Redcliffe, Spike Island, Harbourside and some of Hotwells.

Brompton Bike Hire can be found in more than 50 locations throughout the UK, with docks and lockers at three places in Bristol –Temple Meads and Parkway stations and Bristol Assembly.

Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Brompton Bike Hire, said: “Banning diesel cars in some of Bristol is the kind of radical change needed to improve our cities and meet air quality and climate change targets, which are being continually missed.”

He added: “Cities across the world that have discouraged car usage and encourage active travel have been reaping the rewards of improved quality of life, social cohesion and reduced issues with physical and mental health.

“The bicycle is a great choice for short journeys. In 2017 in the UK, 24% of car trips were under 1 mile, and 68% under 5 miles. The average car journey speed in Bristol City Centre was just 7.73mph; these are distances and speeds where cycling should be a preferred choice.

“Bristol already has the makings of a great cycling city, but we acknowledge that cycling needs to be convenient and accessible for it to be seen as an obvious choice. That’s why we’re removing as many barriers we can as a brand to get commuters choosing two wheels.”

The reduced membership fee and free hire is available to new members through the Brompton Bike Hire app. Users need to sign up, pass and ID and credit check, then enter the code BRISTOL1 which will enable them to access the offer.

07 November 2019, 16:45
Million Mile Man says he was doing his highest mileages in his 60s and 70s


07 November 2019, 16:41
Shane Sutton (picture source Team Sky 2013).jpg
Dr Richard Freeman’s QC to question Shane Sutton’s credibility as a witness

The current state of play is that the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor has admitted ordering the delivery of 30 sachets of Testogel from Fit4Sport in 2011.

He has also admitted trying to cover it up and lying to UK Anti-Doping in 2017.

Freeman denies that it was ordered for an athlete and that it was administered for performance-enhancing purposes.

Freeman’s QC, Mary O’Rourke, has said the testosterone was ordered at the request of former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach, Shane Sutton.

Sutton denies it but O’Rourke has basically flagged her intention to question his credibility tomorrow.

O’Rourke has said that Damian Collins – the MP who headed the House of Commons Select Committee investigation into doping in sport – has information about Sutton that did not get published in the committee’s report.

07 November 2019, 15:37
Russ Mantle’s millionth mile

Cycling a million miles is the equivalent of completing Land’s End to John o’ Groats 1,052 times, circumnavigating the Earth 40 times or travelling to the moon and back twice. The average driver will likely drive less than half that distance in their whole lifetime.

Like all great cyclists, Russ Mantle managed to time his stop so that he was near a café.

He completed his millionth mile earlier today at the Canal Café at Mytchett, Hampshire.

RussCake (Cycling UK)

Russ, a former civil servant, said: “I’m completely overwhelmed by the interest in the amount of miles I’ve cycled.

“I haven’t really been going for it, the miles have just naturally piled up because I enjoy cycling so much that’s it’s just natural to be a mile-eater.

“This year is my lowest mileage year at 8,000 miles. Hitting a million miles is just another milestone. On to the next one. Maybe when I’m 100 I’ll make two million!”


07 November 2019, 15:46
Russ Mantle racing 2 (Cycling UK)
One of Russ Mantle’s mileage charts!

There was no Strava for Mantle when he began recording his mileage in 1952.

Like many, he recorded his rides and race results on paper.

We love a mileage chart. Look at this beauty. (Shame about the hip blip, but impressive recovery.)

Russ Mantle mileage chart (Cycling UK)

Between 1953 and 1975 Russ competed in cycling time trial races and set numerous records.

Russ Mantle records (Cycling UK)

Here are a few of his wins.

Russ Mantle wins (Cycling UK)

After retiring from racing, Russ led rides for the West Surrey CTC for 20 years and is still a member of several cycling groups.

Russ Mantle racing (Cycling UK)

Cycling UK Director, Nicola Marshall said: "This is an amazing achievement by an everyday man who’s done something quite extraordinary.

“He’s made cycling a part of his life and over the years the miles have clocked up. But you don’t have to ride a million miles to be amazing, you just need to replace those local trips you might drive with the bike.”


07 November 2019, 15:20
broken bike.jpg
Oxford campaigners urge people to email councillor about cyclist’s death

Last month an Oxford cyclist died after he was hit from behind on the B4044 where campaigners have been fighting for years to have safe cycling infrastructure installed.

Oxfordshire County Council has repeatedly said there is no money available for such work.

Ian Leggett, the Chair of BikeSafe, said: “It is reasonable to say that if the B4044 path had been built this death would not have occurred.

“Please send an email to Councillor Hudspeth in protest about this hugely sad event. BikeSafe has written two letters. Please copy and paste your choice into your own email system top and tail it and send it off to Councillor Hudspeth as soon as you can. Or edit either or compose your own.

“We are planning further action too. Very many thanks.”


Dear Councillor Hudspeth
How many deaths are needed on the B4044 before the path is built?

In the 5 year period from September 2014 to date:-
You received a petition of over 4000 names asking for the B4044 path to be built.

  • Your council has passed 2 motions saying Active Travel infrastructure is needed in Oxfordshire
  • There has already been one near fatality with life changing injuries and countless near misses.
  • Last week we had the death that many predicted and everyone feared would occur.
  • You have appointed a top rate cycling champion whose ideas are listened to politely and then ignored.
  • All three Oxfordshire MPs support the path being built and have spent precious time promoting it. Andrew Gilligan has written the “B4044 path must be built”.
  • The B4044 was included in your housing infrastructure bid. And then withdrawn, without a convincing reason. .

Please let me know what you propose to do now to get the B4044 path built before another cyclist or pedestrian is injured or killed.

Yours sincerely

[please insert the date, your name, address and postcode here, & delete this line]


Alternative 2

Dear Councillor Hudspeth
Death of a bicycle rider on the B4044 Botley to Eynsham Road last week

This death was entirely predictable. Everyone, both drivers and cyclists, have said the B4044 is a dangerous road, and that it is far too intimidating for most people to be prepared to cycle along. Thousands of people have been campaigning for the B4044 community path for over 7 years now. You have been petitioned by over 4000 people (September 2014) to prioritise construction of the B4044path. I have responded to numerous consultations but all pleas for action have been met with disinterest at best and obstruction at worst.

You even withdrew the B4044 path from the HIF fund A40 dual carriageway extension application from Eynsham to Wolvercote for which you have just been awarded £102 million. The reasoning given was that the B4044 path did not support the building of 6000 houses around Eynsham, though it is crystal clear to ordinary voters that new houses and active travel go together very well indeed.

If you want more sustainable transport for Oxfordshire and more active travel much more needs to be done to make riding a bicycle safer on safe infrastructure.

How many more deaths are needed before effective action is taken to get the B4044 path built?

There is no place now for vague promises or expressions of sorrow or excuses for why the B4044 path can’t be built.

Yours sincerely

[insert the date, your name, address and post code here or at the top & delete this line]



07 November 2019, 14:05
Medical student spent gap year riding round the world

It actually only took him 349 days, so he had a fortnight to kick back.



A CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE GLOBE BY BICYCLE: LON-DONE  - 21,619 MILES / 1584 HOURS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A final day to get back to Prime Meridian, back to London, and back home:  An overwhelming mix of emotions, from an initial struggle up through Kent to Greater London, before a rush of joy upon seeing the London skyline, following the Thames from the estuary all the way home with family and friends. I can't quite condense it into a insta post, but I'll make a start below  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I can't begin to describe how low this trip knocked me down, and how high it's taken me (10,400ft in Kyrgyzstan), or how humbling the level of support and incredible kindness I've witnessed every single day of this ride have been. My lack of eloquence won't do it justice (if you've been reading the blogs you already know about my poor writing), but it's a sincere and genuine thanks to everyone who has watched, followed, commented, donated and motivated me over the last 349 days. I'll post more on post-bike reflections another time, but for now, it's a humbled and heartfelt thanks. #worldbybike #whytebikes #spokesofbagshot #pedaltheplanet #endurance #biketouring #adventure #cycling #cyclinglife #bicycle #velo #triathlon #cyclingphotos #cycle #cyclingshots #biking #stravacycling #getoutside #IJM #BikeTouringEurope #travel #travelgram #activetravel #getoutstayout #exploremore #Britain #London

A post shared by David Haywood (@davidhaywood__) on


07 November 2019, 13:57
George Bennett answering the big questions after surgery


07 November 2019, 13:40
Almost finished his base training

Intervals for his next phase of training.

Well ridden, that man. More on Russ here.


07 November 2019, 12:43
We forgot about the anti-theft angle


07 November 2019, 12:05
upside down bike1.JPG
Do you ever put your bike upside down? 67% of you say it’s fine, and even the pros do it, so what's the problem?

Do you ever put your bike upside down? It’s a question that is sure to cause heated debate amongst cycling friends anytime a mechanical occurs and somebody flips their bike over to get a better look. Here in the office, we couldn’t agree if it’s just fine or social death.

Check out our feature of the day to read more on this important topic.




07 November 2019, 11:40
New York
Police blamed New York cyclist who ‘ran for his life’ after road rage driver tried to kill him

“The car as a weapon wasn’t enough for them,” says a New York cyclist about a 911 call he made about a road rage incident earlier this week.

StreetsBlog reports that a driver chased the anonymous cyclist into a park on a public footpath, tried to run him over and then stole the CitiBike he had been using.

The cyclist then waited 90 minutes for police to respond after he had phoned 911, only for the two officers to suggest he brought it on himself.

“My supervisor says you abandoned the bike,” said one. “So we’re just taking a report for harassment.”

The cyclist later visited the police station to report the stolen CitiBike so that he would not be charged for it.

A desk sergeant – who wasn’t even dealing with the matter – apparently felt it necessary to shout over: “Sir, this was road rage. You have to understand that in road rage, both parties have a responsibility. You said something to the driver. You should not have said anything to him. It’s like 15-20 percent your fault.”


07 November 2019, 10:55
Mavic Comete shoes.jpg
Mavic’s £900 shoes now cost £630. Bargain!

Mavic’s £900 Comete Ultimate shoes were the most expensive shoes we’ve ever tested on when we tested them a couple of years ago. They’ve just had a price drop down to £630 making them a bit less eye-watering than before. Still not quite a bargain but if you had been eyeing them up, maybe this drop in price makes them a bit more accessible for you?

You can check them out here and read our review here.




07 November 2019, 10:44
Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor charged with ordering testosterone to improve athlete's performance

Dr Richard Freeman admitted at a medical tribunal last week that he ordered a delivery of the banned substance testosterone to the Manchester headquarters that British Cycling shared with Team Sky in May 2011.

He said it wasn’t for a rider; it was for Shane Sutton. Shane Sutton said it wasn’t.

It's now being reported that the General Medical Council has amended part of the allegation he faces. 

He is now charged with ordering Testogel, “knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance”.

Freeman is contesting the charge.




07 November 2019, 10:19
London traffic jam (licensed CC BY 2.0 by Garry Knight on Flickr)
Sustrans calls on next government to take action on motor vehicle emissions

Transport accounts for 26 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the main sources being petrol and diesel cars.

Announcing a Sustrans General Election manifesto, the charity’s CEO Xavier Brice said: “We are facing a climate change crisis in which emissions from transport is the primary source, and air pollution damages our health.

“We keep building homes in places devoid of services making people car-dependent. This is making the issues we face far worse, especially for more deprived communities.

“This manifesto sets out clear tasks for the next government to show leadership on curbing road transport emissions and make walking and cycling the easiest and most convenient options for more people as a matter of urgency.

“Neighbourhoods, where people live within a 20-minute walk of everyday services, will be critical to creating a healthy, zero-carbon future for everyone.”

The charity has called on the next UK government to take on the following five tasks:

  1. Provide sustained long-term investment in walking and cycling. This includes at least 5% of the transport budget being spent on walking and cycling by 2020/21 and then rising to 10% before 2024/25.
  2. A £72m investment per year in the National Cycle Network.
  3. To transform the school journey to help children walk, cycle and scoot in safety.
  4. Ensure places are accessible for everyone to walk, cycle and wheel by implementing a 20mph speed limit in all built-up areas and ban pavement parking.
  5. Establish a UK-wide Greenways programme so that everyone has equal access to the natural environment.



07 November 2019, 10:10
Drop-in session about new Sheffield bike park
07 November 2019, 09:57
Nutcase Stars and Stripes cycle helmet.PNG
Head down, legs whirring, desperately trying to catch up…

What did you - and more importantly I - miss on the site yesterday?

Grab yourself a tea or coffee and take a few minutes to get yourself up to speed.  And if you’re already making one, I wouldn’t say no…

And on yesterday’s live blog:

  • Huge public support to keep rat-running drivers out of London’s Royal Parks
  • A shitty, dangerous cycle path
  • Absolute money pit Peloton loses another $50m
  • 'Cycling on prescription' scheme might be rolled out nationwide
  • That cyclist who swore at Donald Trump won a seat in a local election
  • Arnie’s mysterious e-bike

Okay, I think we know what’s what with Wednesday now. Let’s sally forth into Thursday.  



07 November 2019, 09:53
Winter bike - yes or no?

Just a few more hours to answer the most pressing question of the season.

07 November 2019, 09:35
Sam Bennett leaves Bora-Hansgrohe

Bora-Hansgrohe and Sam Bennett “have decided to go separate ways.”

The Irish sprinter was behind Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann in the Bora pecking order and was omitted from the team’s squads for the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

Bora-Hansgrohe said: “Over the last six years, Bora-Hansgrohe developed Sam Bennett into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. Against this background it however became more and more difficult to align the team’s and rider’s goals.

“Therefore, Bora-Hansgrohe’s management has decided to accept Sam Bennett’s wish to leave Bora-Hansgrohe and continue his journey with another team.

“Bora-Hansgrohe wishes Sam Bennett all the best for his future and hopes that he can live up to his sporting dreams.”

We’ll update you when we hear that he’s signed for Deceuninck-Quick-Step (or whoever).

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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