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Colombian pro crashes on finish line during victory celebration; Brit hopes to break 200mph in cycling land speed record attempt; Geoghegan Hart criticises scrapping of popular cycle lane; Cycle lane becomes a swimming lane + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is in the saddle for another day on the live blog...
01 December 2020, 16:59
The perfect gift to keep the racing fan in your life quiet this Christmas
The Road Book 2020 (credit Russ Ellis - The Road Book 2020)

The Road Book is back for its third edition with every stat, result and detail you could ever wish to know from the 2020 professional racing season. The 700-page almanack contains writing from some of the year's protagonists: Wout van Aert, Anna van der Breggen and Tao Geoghegan Hart as well as detailed race reports and essays from writers and journalists.

01 December 2020, 16:07
Engineering students drafted in to help British cyclist break cycling land speed world record
Neil Campbell breaks his own European cycling speed record.JPG

Last year, British cyclist Neil Campbell reached a speed of 174.3mph to become the fastest man on a bicycle ever and was officially recognised by Guinness World Records. Now he's back and trying to break the 200mph barrier. The Shropshire Star reports that a Harper Adams University lecturer and aerodynamics engineer James Croxford, have enlisted the help of four automotive engineering students to design an aerodynamic slipstreaming shelter for the attempt. 

The bike Neil will use in the attempt, which he hopes will take place next summer, requires a car to pull him up to speed with a bungee due to the high gearing.

01 December 2020, 10:40
Embarrassing moment Colombian pro crashes while celebrating victory

Edisón Muñoz probably wishes the ground would swallow him up after this embarrassing crash on the second stage of Clásico RCN - Cerveza Andina in Colombia. Taking his hands off the bars to celebrate victory he hits a bump in the road and is sent flying off the bike and, fortunately for him, over the finish line. I wonder what went through Muñoz's mind as he lay on the floor, admittedly with the consolation of a stage win, as all his rivals came flying past laughing their heads off?

It seems this isn't the first time there's been a dodgy road surface at the end of a Colombian race. Check out this crash from 2019...

01 December 2020, 15:10
Registration for Chase the Sun 2021 is open now

Summer might seem a long way off now the nights are drawing in and the temperature has dropped but it'll be back soon and what better way to motivate you through the winter than training for a mega ride. Chase the Sun is an annual coast-to-coast endurance challenge on the longest day of the year here in the UK. There are three routes to choose from, including an Italian version, and registration is open now for 2021.

The Chase the Sun North event rolls away from Tynemouth in the east, before crossing the border into Scotland and finishing in Prestwick, after a gruelling 200-mile ride, taking in 3,200m of elevation. If you opt for the southern route, you can expect an even longer day in the saddle, travelling 205 miles from Minster in Kent to Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset.

A third route in Italy from Marco Pantani's home town of Cesenatico to Tirrenia is even more appealing after a year of lockdown and travel restrictions. The shortest of the routes, it still covers 270km with 3,300m of elevation gain.

01 December 2020, 14:17
'Roads are for all users to share & enjoy safely': Tao Geoghegan Hart criticises decision to scrap popular cycle lane

INEOS Grenadiers' Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart is putting his platform to good use with this message of support to those campaigning to try and reverse the decision to scrap Kensington High Street's emergency segregated cycle lane. Sharing an article reporting the decision to remove the lane after just seven weeks due to 322 email complaints, Geoghegan Hart posted on social media: "Good luck to the families protesting this decision tomorrow.

"On Kensington High Street, cycling has been taken up by so many new people this year, let’s please avoid regressive road infrastructure action! London roads are for all users to share & enjoy safely."

01 December 2020, 13:24
Bristol and Bath Railway Path attacks: police deny spike in crime despite concerns and increasing reports from the public
Mangotsfield Old Railway Station on Bristol and Bath Railway Path - via Matt Buck on Flickr Creative Commons

Last week, we reported that several cyclists had complained of attacks on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, mostly concentrated in an area between 3-6 miles from the start of the Bristol end of the popular cycling and walking route. 

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Avon and Somerset Police have now replied with a statement claiming that they are not seeing a spike in crime currently. Deepak Kenth, Neighbourhood inspector for Bristol East, said:  

“Police patrols have been stepped up over the weekend around the Bristol to Bath cycle path in Bristol East and South Gloucestershire, in response to public concerns following recent incidences of anti-social behaviour and theft that have been reported to us. Investigations into these incidents are ongoing.

“However, I’d like to reassure the public that we do not believe we are seeing a particular spike in crime or a ‘series’ of linked incidents, and that levels of reported crime are not significantly higher than in previous years.

“We’d encourage anyone who spots groups of young people being intimidating, anti-social or blocking the path to call 101 as soon as possible, or 999 if they fear a crime is being committed. All reports will be thoroughly investigated.”

Earlier this week, a local man compiled a spreadsheet of reported incidents and shared the document to the Bristol Cyclists Facebook group. The spreadsheet shows that of 28 alleged incidents in the last year, 16 are reported to have occured in November 2020 - it's not known whether all of these incidents were reported to Avon and Somerset Police. 

01 December 2020, 12:27
Surf's up: cycle lane or swimming lane?

Cyclists in Chicago have been urged to stay off the lakefront trail which runs along the edge of Lake Michigan. Strong winds have caused dangerous waves to pound the bike path, this cyclist has probably learnt his lesson.

Could be worse, at least this didn't happen...

01 December 2020, 12:00
Local kids adopt bollards and impressive turnout at the Kensington High Street protest this morning

As part of this morning's protest at Kensington High Street, some of the bollards segregating the cycle lane from traffic have been adopted by local children. Fox Primary School were one of the most vocal supporters of the bike lane and called its planned removal as "a backwards step." 

The protest had an impressive turnout considering critics of the cycle lane have suggested it's barely been used by cyclists. The video below shows 20-30 people on bikes fitting into the space of two or three large cars. 

01 December 2020, 11:43
Spalding police issue two penalty notices and spoke to 14 school children in 'day of action' tackling cycling and road safety issues
surrey police car - via surrey police.PNG

Spalding Today reports that police officers in the Lincolnshire town spoke to 14 school children and issued two penalty notices during the operation to tackle cycling and road safety. The 'day of action' took place on Monday November 30 and a social media post said: "The Neighbourhood Team have been out in Spalding today on a day of action targeting cycling offences and road safety. Our approach is both education and enforcement. As a result, 14 schoolchildren have been spoken to and 2 penalty notices issued."

01 December 2020, 09:54
Spectator ban at Tour of Britain would lead to cancellation of north east leg
Ovo Energy Tour of Britain 2019 in Warwickshire (picture Alex

The Press and Journal reports that Aberdeenshire Council would cancel their involvement in the Tour of Britain if there is a ban on spectators. The city of Aberdeen is due to host the finish of the final stage in 2021 and also the grand depart for the opening stage in 2022. However, Aberdeenshire's head of economic development, Belinda Miller, explained that one of the key aims of hosting the race is to increase tourism, so a race without spectators would likely lead to the cancellation of their involvement. 

She said: "If there are ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, at the levels we are at at the moment, it would become an event that was very disappointing because we wouldn’t have any spectators out to see it.

“The whole point of hosting it, and us being enthusiastic about it, is as a tourism attraction and to inspire our own communities to get involved in cycling. We had a meeting with organisers Sweet Spot and the city council last week and they are off the same understanding as we are, as are all the other hosting stages, that the event should not go ahead with those levels of restrictions. It would not make sense to do so."

01 December 2020, 09:40
Jeremy Vine, Chris Boardman and Ned Boulting back the Kensington High Street protest on Twitter
01 December 2020, 08:55
Kensington High Street protest as controversial cycle lane to be scrapped

These were the scenes on Kensington High Street this morning where hundreds of cyclists gathered to protest the lane's imminent removal. The emergency cycle lane is to be ripped out this week after the council claimed the scheme is "not working." Among the crowds were pupils and staff from Fox Primary School who say the lane is essential for providing a safe active travel route for children and that removing the lane is a "backwards step."

The London Cycling Campaign has also taken an active role in promoting the protest and shared a video of the lane being used by many cyclists commuting into London, before the protest began at 8am. Last week, Conservative MPs Tony Devenish and Felicity Buchan claimed that the cycle lane had failed, while actor Nigel Havers has accused it of causing "gridlock every day."

Johnny Thalassites, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s lead member for transport, said: “The cycle lane was a trial scheme to help those hopping on bikes during lockdowns and encourage shoppers to the High Street. Businesses and residents have told us loud and clear that they believe the experiment has not worked. We are listening.

“By removing the temporary lanes as lockdown lifts, we hope to help get the High Street moving again and give our local economy the best possible chance of a good December.”

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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