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All today's news from the site and beyond.....

Welcome to Friday's live blog, with Jack Sexty, Alex Bowden and the rest of the team. 

Live blog: 

22/11/2019, 16:18

University of Birmingham looking for a PhD student to develop warning system for cyclists riding on icy roads

riding-ice-and-snow-2018

 The University of Birmingham are recruiting a PhD student  to develop a warning system for cyclists using routes that may contain particularly dodgy icy sections. 

UoB want the researcher to use The Internet of Things - a data network system that can transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction - to develop the tech and reduce the number of accidents caused by cyclists getting injured due to ice, saying: "There is a need to work towards reducing these incidents to not only improve the safety of cyclists and reduce the injury burden on hospitals, but also to assist in the promotion of the mode of transport as a healthy and economic alternative for travel.  

"This PhD will provide a solution to this problem by using the Internet of Things to produce an ice warning system for cyclists and deliver new insights about winter cycling habits."

UoB say the project will take the wintersense road surface temperature sensor - already developed by the University - and modify for direct use on a bike. The sensor will connect, via an app, to the cyclists phone and issue audible warnings when an ice risk is present. 

The timeline for the project will see a modification of the wintersense sensor for use on a bike completed in year one, an app and cloud solution developed in year two and data analysis with insights into winter cycling habits completed by the third year. 

22/11/2019, 17:21

Road positioning row taxi driver changes his tune

You may recall our story of a Dublin taxi driver who tweeted a picture criticising a cyclist’s road positioning... and got a bit more than he bargained for when the very same cyclist replied to his post with footage of the same incident shot from the rear-facing camera on his bike. 

However in a further truly shocking update, things have took an amicable, friendly and altogether heart-warming turn... 

One of the few incidents where point-scoring and arguing on Twitter appears to have worked out for the best... safe journey Taxi Matt! 

22/11/2019, 16:07

Elinor Barker talks about her years suffering with endometriosis

Elinor Barker wins scratch race gold at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships (picture credit SWPix.com)

Welsh road and track cyclist Barker, who currently rides for Team Drops, told The Telegraph about the pain and illness she often suffered as a result of endometriosis, which causes tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb to start forming in places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It also took years to diagnose because of its similarity with other conditions.  

Barker said: “Yeah, it wasn’t really nice feeling ill all the time. Or being in pain and constantly having to think about it and having it affect training sessions.

"It’s not completely gone and the idea is that I'll have surgery again in a few years. It does still affect me from time to time and but not so much that I think anyone else would notice.

"By 2017 I was going to doctors weekly, saying something is not right, I'm not accepting this is just periods.

"A few doctors said 'this is just something you need to put up with.' I thought I don’t think I can. I don’t want to be going through life with this kind of pain, never mind racing at a high level."

Barker eventually underwent keyhole surgery to remove the unwanted tissue: "Getting surgery was the only thing that really made a difference. It felt like I was physically carrying something around with me. Now I don’t have to anymore."

22/11/2019, 15:35

'Cheapest e-bike' wars continue as Halfords slash prices again

assist deluxe 2

On Tuesday, eBikeTips brought us the news that Halfords had launched what they claimed to be Britain's cheapest e-bike. The 20" wheeled Assist Deluxe launched with an RRP of £398, proclaimed as "the most affordable electric bike in the UK." 

That got us searching the web far and wide to see if they were correct... and it turns out that for the last three days they've actually been beaten by Argos, who have discounted their E Plus Red Mantra down to £379.99. 

Not to be outdone, we've just been told Halfords are discounting the Assist Deluxe again with the new price as of Saturday morning going down to £379, which will once again make it the cheapest e-bike in the land by 99 pence. Have they won the price battle once and for all? We'll wait to see if Argos land another price-cutting counter punch over the coming days...

22/11/2019, 15:05

The 'earth-saving' Tesla truck, ladies and gentleman...

If you haven't seen the monstrous thing yet, it looks like this... 

22/11/2019, 13:21

Dr Richard Freeman's lawyer wants remaining charges against him thrown out because GMC "has no evidence to support its case"

Bradley Wiggins and Richard Freeman at 2011 Tour de France video still.PNG

This week's proceedings at the Tribunal began on Wednesday, and it's emerged that yesterday Richard Freeman's lawyer Mary O'Rourke says she wants the remaining four charges against her client thrown out - he's already pleaded guilty to 18 of the 22. 

She claims the General Medical Council don't have enough evidence to support the final charges against Freeman, which include ordering testosterone to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 to help athlete performance, and  knowing that it was intended to help an athlete's performance. 

Freeman claims the Testogel was ordered for Shane Sutton, but Sutton denied this strenuously and refused to give further evidence after his appearance last Tuesday. It emerged on Wednesday that Freeman had researched testosterone-boosting drugs before he made the order, but O'Rourke said this wasn't enough evidence. 

O'Rourke also told the tribunal that Sutton was an unreliable witness and "a habitual and serial liar", but GMC lawyer Simon Jackson said that her "tactics" had prompted Sutton to leave the hearing. 

The BBC quote Jackson as saying: "Sutton indicated that he was not available beyond Tuesday, at which point Miss O'Rourke made allegations against Shane Sutton as a serial liar and doper.

"The nature and tone of the cross-examination was deliberately focused not on the Testogel, but to make allegations of doping."

O'Rourke said that was "nonsense", and next week the tribunal will decide the weighting they will give to Sutton's evidence, or if indeed they should include it at all. The final witness will be Dr Richard Quinton, who is currently giving evidence to determine whether Shane Sutton had a therapeutic need for testosterone.  

 

22/11/2019, 12:48

Northern Ireland is "missing out on an e-bike revolution" because of outdated laws, says insurance firms

lime ebike green

Insurers Quotezone and Compare NI have identified that Nothern Ireland is missing out by still classifying e-bikes as mopeds, and the extra cost of tax and insurance is putting off potential e-bikers. Full story over on eBikeTips

22/11/2019, 11:33

Mansfield reinforces town centre cycling ban in pedestrianised zones in a 'crackdown' on cyclists

mansfield-market-place

Back in February 2018, we reported that Mansfield District Council had partially relaxed a town centre cycling ban which previously saw cyclists fined £75 for failing to dismount if requested to do so by a council official - the ban was 24 hours a day, but under the revised ban people were able to cycle in the area between 6pm and 10am, seven days a week.

While these rules still apply, The Mansfield and Ashfield Chad report that the District Council are launching a 'crackdown' in the lead up to Christmas, in which cyclists caught riding in the town's car-free zones outside of those times will be issued a £100 fixed penalty if they don't comply. For any scamps who want to know when the best time is to flout the ban and not get caught, the District Council have handily announced their crackdown will take place between 10am-4pm on November 30th and December 7th, 14th, and 21st. 

The council's head of health and communities David Evans said: "It is clearly dangerous to cycle through busy streets that are full of people doing their shopping.

"We get a lot of complaints at the council from members of the public about this and there have been incidents where pedestrians have been injured by cyclists, too.

"The main aims of these days of action are to deter people from flouting the cycling restrictions and to improve the safety of pedestrians on some of the busiest shopping days of the year."

Is your town particularly unfriendly to cyclists? Do let us know of any examples that top this in the comments below... 

22/11/2019, 11:18

Richard Thoday's penny fathing record is official

richard thoday, credit four season collective

A Derbyshire teacher has had confirmed by Guinness World Records that he has indeed broken the 133-year-old record for the fastest Land's End to John O' Groat ride on a Penny Farthing. He completed the route in four days, 11 hours and 52 minutes, breaking George Pilkington Mills mark of five days, 1 hour and 45 minutes from way back in 1886 when he was just 18.  

The 55-year-old told the Matlock Mercury: "It has been a nervewracking wait. But I gave Guinness World Records all the evidence I could provide, so if they said no, there was nothing else I could do.

“It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life and definitely a one-off, I certainly won’t be doing it again because it was just so hard.

“Planning the journey was a full-time job, on top of my full-time job. It took ten months out of my life, and lots of support from my wife.”

Thoday finished the challenge back in late July, and eventually raised over £10,000 fo Children in Need. 

22/11/2019, 11:02

Brompton launch new Black Edition colours for 2020 (two of them aren't black)

Brompton_Black2020__200

Brompton have added fresh colours to their premium Black Edition premium range for the new year. These are Rocket Red (above), Turkish Green and both Black Lacquer and Black Gloss, and you can also now get the Superlight with titanium forks and titanium rear frame in the Black Edition too. 

The bikes are available to order now in models S, M and H Types, with 2 and 6-speed options available - check them out on Brompton's web store here

 

 

 

 

22/11/2019, 09:15

Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate pedals a cycling-themed election video to inspire voters

John Ferry is the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, and we've been made aware of his campaign video by a fellow cyclist local to him who is part of the same club. 

Fiona Dalgleish told road.cc: "We’ve known John for a long time as he’s a volunteer at lots of our bike events, and has ridden most of them too as well as being a youth leader at Peebles Cycling Club. He’s especially keen on Tour o the Borders – he’s done it every year since it started, and now he’s standing as our local MP.

"Regardless of the politics, it’s encouraging to see someone put a bike front and centre of a campaign – he sees being a cyclist as something which demonstrates determination and grit and shows that he’s someone who likes a challenge. 

It's also nice to see a politician other than Boris on a bike! The film has been watched over 15,000 times on social media, so he’s obviously striking a chord."​

Will the campaign see Mr Ferry ride high in the polls and claim a stunning victory? We'll await the results on Friday the 13th, the luckiest of days. 

22/11/2019, 09:10

Zwift launch e-commerce store, so you can now buy smart trainers and merch directly from Zwift

zwift-photo-cycling-01 (1)

Zwift have rolled out their online shop throughout Europe, so you can buy their merchandise and also smart trainers from Elite, Wahoo, Tacx and Saris all in a one-stop virtual shop. There is also a questionnaire to determine which trainer is the best for you, and the option to do a free 30 day trial with a trainer of your choice and a Zwift subscription .  

You can also buy giftcards, clothing, trainer accessories and memberships - take a look here

22/11/2019, 09:33

The latest meme goes cycling-themed...

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 joined road.cc in 2017 having previously being Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine, and reports on all things tech as well as editing road.cc's 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.