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Delicious irony of bike lane blocked by...traffic warden; No Oscars here: Mathieu van der Poel stars in cringeworthy window shopping video; Josh Quigley to complete round the world cycle; Lefevere learns diplomacy; New e-cargo hire + more on the live blog

We're getting dangerously close to that time of year...anyway, pinch punch first day of the month and all that...Dan Alexander is here for Wednesday's live blog ...
01 December 2021, 17:32
Reaction to Cork's confused traffic warden

Let's do a bit of reaction to wind down the blog for another day...

Wycombe wheeler commented: "I'm here to enforce parking regulations, except when I'm having a chat with a driver, stopped where he shouldn't. Would he have thought it as reasonable if the driver had been blocking the road while getting directions?"

Sriracha, perhaps inspired by that fed up Minneapolitan on the live blog last week, suggested the cyclist should have "parked himself in the other lane, next to the car, whilst passing the time of day in discussion with the warden."

Moist von Lipwig wasn't convinced by some of the logic on display..."'Where am I supposed to give him directions?' There is an empty parking space literally 5m further forwards from where the driver has parked up."

01 December 2021, 17:17
Storck adds Classified’s Powershift shifting system to its new top-end gravel bike
Storck Grix.2

Storck has released the latest version of its high-end Grix.2 gravel bike with Classified’s Powershift shifting system which is integrated into the rear hub, replacing the function of the front derailleur. The idea is that it allows for shifting under full load within split seconds.

 "The system enables instant gear changes - equivalent to the front chainring - at full power within 150 milliseconds with uncompromising gear ratio and gear jump," says Classified. In addition to the instant shifting, according to Classified, the other advantages are: no chain jumping off and no blocking by mud or foreign objects with the gear protected in the hub.

Classified POWERSHIFT Hub exploded view

 More connection points for accessories have also been included on the Grix.2 to improve the suitability for everyday use and for bikepacking.

The Classified Powershift system is combined on the GRIX.2 with the gravel-specific SRAM Force XPLR and will cost €6,399, that’s around £5,435.

01 December 2021, 16:48
Safety improvements in the capital
Hammersmith gyratory (TfL)

Maybe TfL are trying to make up for 'See their side'? They've sent out news of some safety improvements in the capital. First up, works on the north side of Battersea Bridge have been completed, including a new signalised crossing, reduced speed limit and improved enforcement of no right turns.

> Reaction as Transport for London pauses See their Side ad campaign following backlash

Elsewhere, in Hammersmith, works to improve active travel access on Hammersmith gyratory have begun. This will include a protected two-way cycle lane on the north side, as well as new signals at junctions. The changes have been developed with Hammersmith & Fulham Council as part of a new 4.7km cycleway connecting Kew Bridge, Gunnersbury, Chiswick and Hammersmith.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: "The Hammersmith gyratory is of London’s most intimidating junctions, and these changes will have huge benefits for both pedestrians and cyclists travelling around the area. Protecting vulnerable road users and making London’s junctions safer for all is a key part of our Vision Zero commitment to eliminate death and serious injuries on London’s roads, and these improvements will offer more space and make it easier to navigate local roads, as well as providing a vital link in the growing network of cycle routes in west London."

One thing Will Norman doesn't want to see under the tree...

01 December 2021, 16:15
Breaking: changes to Highway Code including hierarchy of road users expected to go ahead

The proposed changes were presented to MPs and Lords in parliament today, are expected to go through unopposed and could be introduced as early as February. We'll have a full story on this soon. 

01 December 2021, 15:57
Express readers meltdown over 10ft Dorset bike lane
Wallisdown Road cycle lane CGI impression via BCP Council

That Dorset bike lane from Friday has been ruffling more feathers this week...this time amongst the Daily Express' readership. Inspired by the Wallisdown Road, the Express asked for readers' thoughts...strap yourselves in, bingo cards ready...

"It's cyclists who cause accidents. By riding two abreast, wobbling all over the road and jumping traffic lights. The list goes on and on."

"All cyclists should be made to take a cycling proficiency test. Before they can ride on public roads. They should also be made to have insurance and pay road tax and have their bikes inspected."

"You drive on country roads set with open speed limits of 60. You get to a bend that is hedge lined and come across six or more cyclists riding spread across the entire road. Rather than riding in single file. Bunch of idiots with an accident waiting to happen. Meanwhile the driver is expected by them to travel at less than 20 mph."

01 December 2021, 15:10
Another live blog favourite...Dom Whiting is taking 'DnB on the Bike' north of the border

Josh Quigley, Patrick Lefevere and now Dom's a day for the live blog regulars...

01 December 2021, 14:31
"Unfinished business": Josh Quigley to complete round the world cycle in time for Christmas
Josh Quigley round the world ArmaUrto

Two years after his first attempt was abruptly ended by a collision with a driver in Texas, Josh Quigley is aiming to finally end his challenge. Starting today back in Austin, Josh hopes to ride 1,965 miles across the US to New York in nine days before finishing the final 1,969 miles from Lisbon to Edinburgh in 10 days...just in time for Christmas.

The attempt is being supported by ArmaUrto, and will begin with Josh meeting the medical team that treated him after he was struck by a car being driven at 70mph.

Showing incredible forgiveness Josh said he bares no ill-feeling to the driver involved in the collision and said he was happy the driver who hit him from behind was not charged. At the time, Josh told the BBC: "I've nothing against her. Everyone makes mistakes and there was no malicious intent so I will write a letter to her when I am better to let her know this."

It could be second time lucky for another of his mega distance cycling challenges. Earlier this year, Josh set a new seven-day cycling distance record at the second attempt.

01 December 2021, 13:22
Who are you and what have you done with Patrick Lefevere? Quick-Step boss learns some diplomatic skills...
Mathieu van der Poel Alpecin-Fenix Deceuninck announcement video (Alpecin-Fenix/Instagram)

You've probably all seen Alpecin-Fenix and Deceuninck's cringefest starring Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Merlier. It's at the bottom of the blog if you haven't...just don't expect to be impressed by the acting on display.

Well, in the most shocking news we've reported all year, Patrick Lefevere, boss of Deceuninck-Quick-Step soon-to-be Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, said he has "absolutely no problem with it." Just to clarify, that's Deceuninck jumping ship to Alpecin-Fenix he doesn't mind. Lefevere thankfully didn't comment on Van der Poel's dramatics...

But really? Lefevere having nothing controversial to say? What's going on?

He told Sporza: "I don't know why I have to blame someone". There's a first time for everything..."Is this news? These are news-poor times, aren't they? We did not want — from our side — to extend the cooperation. We were working on a project for five years. Deceuninck came at a favourable time, just when we were struggling. They were a helping hand, but they got a lot in return. But they didn't want to sign for five years now."

Instead the window manufacturer signed with Alpecin-Fenix for four years..."That's not a big difference, is it? Does this give you a sour aftertaste? No, a contract has a certain duration, if I'm not mistaken. When that term is over and if two parties decide not to continue together, then everyone is free to do what they want. I have absolutely no problem with it and I wouldn't know why I should blame anyone."

01 December 2021, 13:14
Huuuge 700c x 60mm tyre clearance on new ACME gravel bike

New adventure bike brand ACME has released a new titanium bike called CAM that looks like a road bike but it has a whooping tyre clearance for up to 700c x 60mm tyres.

 The Cape Town based brand AMCE says: "Sure, it looks like a dropbar mountain bike, but it’s just not. With 440mm chainstays, the rear end is the same as you would get on a gravel bike. Just more traction, and more comfort."

"The 70-degree head angle is steep by modern mountain bike standards, and slack by modern gravel standards. CAM gives no toe overlap, all day comfort and is nimble, capable, and ready to rumble."

There’s storage for three bottles on the main frame, as well as a top tube mount and mounts on the fork for extra storage. Pannier and mudguard mounts are also included for year-round riding, whatever the load.

 The frameset is priced at €2,500, that’s around £2,124.81.

01 December 2021, 10:50
Delicious irony of bike lane blocked by...traffic warden - but... "where am I supposed to give directions?"

Cork cyclist Righttobikeit has popped up on our live blog before. Last time it was for their clip of trying out one of the city's new bike lanes...only to narrowly avoid being taken out by not one, but two drivers. 

Now they're back with another gem — a blocked bike lane because of a traffic warden giving a driver directions...

"Will you tell him to move while you're there?" seems a fairly reasonable request for someone whose job is to enforce parking in the proper areas...

"You shouldn't be giving directions in the bike lane"...again, seems reasonable, no? Apparently not. "Where am I supposed to give directions?"..."Wherever you want, but he's not supposed to park. It's illegal to do so...pull up over there, pull up somewhere he's not blocking the bike lane. That's your job!" I'm giving that a 9/10, even better if you imagine it's fellow cyclist from Cork, Roy Keane, behind the camera...

01 December 2021, 12:11
Cyclist deaths soar on rural roads in England
broken bike.jpg

There's a post over on our forum, as well as a few comments under here, regarding the BBC story this morning about the Department for Transport numbers from June. The official numbers were released at the end of September but we did something (linked above) based on the provisional numbers from June.

We'll have a full story for you later today...

01 December 2021, 11:58
Giro d'Italia Virtual jersey revealed
Giro d'Italia Virtual jersey

The first jersey of the Giro d’Italia Virtual, which is an indoor cycling project developed by RCS Sport in collaboration with BKOOL, has been revealed.  

The Giro d’Italia Virtual consists of three distinct separate rounds, running from October to May 2022 and offers riders the opportunity to experience multiple stages of the Corsa Rosa from home thanks to the high-definition video simulation developed by BKOOl.

Created specifically for indoor workouts, the 3D mesh fabric used in the jersey developed by a collaboration between Castelli and Technogym is designed to allow maximum breathability to keep you cool, while its 100 per cent polyester content is said to guarantee maximum absorption and dispersion of sweat. The jersey is also said not to be too transparent for those who wish to wear it for a group workout or riding outside during the summer.

Giro d'Italia Virtual jersey

 The rounds of the Giro d’Italia Virtual are: Grande Partenza – Part 1 (from 15th October to 2nd January), Grande Partenza – Part 2 (from 14th January to 3rd April), and Grande Arrivo (from 6th to 29th May), which takes place at the same time as  the 2022 Giro d’Italia. 

01 December 2021, 10:20
Katie Archibald to return to road racing in 2022 — signs three-year deal with old team ahead of Paris 2024
Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald win Madison gold in Tokyo (Copyright Alex Broadway,

Double Olympic gold medallist Katie Archibald has re-signed with her former team Ceratizit–WNT Pro Cycling ahead of a return to road racing next season. The Scot, who is one of the headline riders at this weekend's UCI Track Champions League rounds in London, will ride for the team until 2024, the year of the Paris Olympics.

 Archibald won gold in the Madison in Tokyo, but has not raced on the road since 2019. She was part of the Wiggle High5 team time trial unit that finished fourth at the World Championships in Innsbruck in 2018. To date, the dominant track rider's only win on the road was an 11-second win over some of the best riders in the world at the prologue of the BeNe Ladies Tour.

01 December 2021, 10:01
First ride review of Manchester's new e-cargo bike service

In the thread Sam gave his first ride review: "The bikes are very comfy with an upright riding position. The handling takes a few minutes of getting used to. The cargo box has plenty of capacity and also has a seat with seatbelts! Might need to bring your own bungees for very large items though!"

01 December 2021, 08:46
No Oscars here... Mathieu van der Poel stars in cringeworthy window shopping sponsor video

When football teams sign new players or, as in this case, a cycling team gets a new sponsor, there's normally some bright spark sat in a comms department somewhere with a fun idea for an announcement video.

Admittedly, 'Mathieu van der Poel helps a friend buy new windows' is a hard sell to Netflix or Amazon, and I doubt Quentin Tarantino was jumping at the opportunity...but it was deemed 'entertaining' enough for the team to break the news on Instagram that Deceuninck is coming on board as a sponsor, having ended its association with Patrick Lefevere's Quick-Step. 

In fairness, if the aim was to get more people watching and talking about it then it worked. It's actually a pretty sound strategy: create something abysmally awkward and unintentionally funny, get people (us) saying how terrible it is, more people watch it, more people see the news the team wanted to share in the first place. Genius.

In this case, Mathieu van der Poel, Tim Merlier and some Alpecin-Fenix friends were the bait used to draw us in. Some hilariously abrupt scenes later, including Van der Poel's evil supervillain "we have big plans" cameo, and the video has been watched 68,000 times on Instagram. I'm going to say that's probably better than a comms department graphic would have done...

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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