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Jeremy Vine denies graffitiing 'F*@! Off' on 'Cyclists Dismount' sign; Police catch cyclist riding down M55 hard shoulder; talkRADIO presenter must drive everywhere; Cycling out in the spring weather; Strade Bianche should go ahead + more on the live blog

It's Monday and Dan Alexander is here for the first live blog of the week...
01 March 2021, 17:35
More meddling from Mr Vine: should cyclists be able to get off their bikes and walk across at red lights?

Most of us will already know that legally the answer is yes... but this is Twitter, where anyone can create their very own permanently incensed moral code.

Even if we know that those who think a pedestrian pushing a bike through a red light should be hung, drawn and quartered are actually talking cobblers, it's a great opportunity to share this classic Mr Bean clip... 

01 March 2021, 16:25
Another sign alteration...
Bristol sign

Two sign vandals in one day, this time a subtle change to a no jogging instruction in Clifton in Bristol. At least they've opened up the evenings for anyone who's that way inclined and wants some exercise before bed...Jeremy, was this one you?

01 March 2021, 16:43
Record numbers of children set to cycle to school from March 8
tfl child and parent cycling to school - via tfl

New research from Halfords has found that more children than ever before are set to cycle to school once they re-open next week. Over a third of adults in the UK have bought a bike since the start of the pandemic, with 28 per cent of those being kid's bikes. Last Christmas saw the biggest ever sales of kid's bikes at Halfords and 37 per cent of respondents said they were planning to buy themselves or a family member a bike in the next six months.

The number one reason for buying a bike was to keep fit with 58 per cent of 2,000 adults polled saying they wanted to cycle for exercise. Almost half said it was to spend time outdoors with their families, while 30 per cent wanted to avoid public transport. 

The high street chain also announced today that their profits approach £100 million due to the cycling boom.

01 March 2021, 10:37
Jeremy Vine denies graffitiing 'F*@! Off' on 'Cyclists Dismount' sign news editor Simon MacMichael found this amusing piece of graffiti on a cyclists dismount sign in West London over the weekend and suggested it might have been the work of another local cycling advocate — Mr Jeremy Vine. Simon put the question to the broadcaster on Twitter and unfortunately for all who hoped Vine is secretly an anti-cyclists dismount sign vigilante, he denied it...Although that's what he would say, isn't it?

 For a bit of context to the sign, the usual route for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers along the Thames Path is closed, meaning everyone has to use the narrow stretch of footway seen in the photos. Despite sometimes getting busy, the cyclists dismount sign is generally unnecessary considering how easy it is to roll through at walking pace...

01 March 2021, 15:17
Strade Bianche update from race organisers RCS Sport
Strade Bianche recon (via Twitter).jpg

RCS Sport has today told Cyclingnews that Strade Bianche should be unaffected by the province of Siena being put under new restrictions. "For now, the race is confirmed," RCS explained. "Even though Siena is now classified as 'code red', that has no impact on the race, only on the public. Of course, anything can happen with the virus, but at the moment we have not yet received any notice that the race cannot take place."

Earlier today we shared a report from the Netherlands which claimed a decision about the men's and women's races would be made this week.

01 March 2021, 15:11
New Coefficient Cycling Road Race carbon handlebars
Coefficient RR (Road Race) Carbon Handlebar

Coefficient Cycling has revealed its new Road Race carbon handlebars, suitable for both the smooth tarmac and rougher gravel. The patent-pending integrated computer bridge claims to offer “hand placement options to powerfully and comfortably lift you over a steep climb and/or stretch-out and narrow-up to bridge a gap or breakaway from the pack”. While the patented Coefficient Swope design, with sloping, sweeping bar tops, promises to relax your upper body, improving both respiratory and neuromuscular functionality.

The bars, designed within UCI and ITU rules, have a 7 degree flare, measure 87mm from stem to computer, and are available from 38cm to 44cm, with smallest size weighing in at a claimed 310 grams.

01 March 2021, 14:48
Dr Richard Freeman verdict delayed again

One day possibly in the near future the Dr Richard Freeman case will reach a verdict...That day will not be tomorrow however. The case has been rumbling on for two years and a verdict was expected to be heard on Tuesday, but this has now been pushed back until March 12 at the earliest...In February, Freeman was charged with violating anti-doping rules.

01 March 2021, 13:31
Police catch cyclist riding down M55 hard shoulder

 Lancashire Police caught this cyclist taking a Sunday spin on the M55 hard shoulder. No word about if the man was fined or just given a talking to but DCC Terry Woods said his actions were "silly". DCC Woods said: "Lancashire Police cover well over 150 miles of motorway including M6, M61, M55, M65 and M58. Thankfully not many people are silly enough to risk cycling along them!"

This isn't the first time the police force has had to deal with people riding on motorways. In May last year a cyclist was fined after a van driver crashed trying to avoid him on the M58. Later that month, police in Cheshire escorted four cyclists from the M53 after receiving numerous calls reporting the group.

01 March 2021, 14:03
Another cycle lane targeted by vandals spreading nails
01 March 2021, 12:34
talkRADIO presenter must drive everywhere

talkRADIO presenter Cristo Foufas is no stranger to slating LTNs and defending the need to drive in London...Yesterday he shared his journey running errands across South London, travelling exclusively by car...One Twitter user described Foufas' inability to understand the geography of his own neighbourhood as "hilariously brilliant", while others questioned why parts of his journey couldn't be done by public transport, bike or on foot? Anyway, here it is in all its glory...

01 March 2021, 12:02
Strade Bianche situation monitored as Siena infections are on the rise
strade bianche 201710.jpg

Race organisers are closely monitoring the situation in the Italian province of Siena where next Saturday's men's and women's editions of Strade Bianche are due to be held after tighter restrictions were implemented in the area following a rise in infections. The code red measures mean that residents can't travel, unless for work or medical reasons and all non-essential shops have also closed until Sunday at the earliest. Dutch outlet Wielerflits reports that for the time being the races will continue as planned, although this will be decided in the next few days. Strade Bianche was the first WorldTour event held following the four month shutdown of pro racing last year when Wout van Aert took an impressive victory.

01 March 2021, 11:31
Weekend racing round up: Pup in the peloton, insane bike handling and behind the scenes footage

Opening Weekend of the Belgian Classics lived up to its billing with racing across an uncharacteristically mild final weekend in February. On Saturday, Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Anna van der Breggen did what they do best, winning the men's and women's races respectively. It was Davide Ballerini who benefited from his super strong team, including the help of World Champion Julian Alaphilippe. On Sunday, Mathieu van der Poel came to the party, attacking from 83km to go, only being reeled in during the closing stages. The Dutch champion's attack showed off some of his bike handling skills...

And thankfully nobody was hurt and this pet pup was back on the side of the road before causing any crashes...

01 March 2021, 10:08
"Feels like a permanent switch": Thousands of cyclists make the most of the spring weather

Another weekend of glorious weather brought out thousands of cyclists onto the roads, bike lanes and trails around the country. There are plenty of videos from London doing the rounds on social media...

And it wasn't just in London, there were similar scenes up and down the UK, like this video from Manchester...

01 March 2021, 08:47
Poldark's Richard Harrington worked for Deliveroo during lockdown
Poldark Richard Harrington (BBC)

Poldark actor Richard Harrington is "grateful" for having been able to ride his bike every day after taking a job as a Deliveroo rider during lockdown last year. With no acting jobs available, Harrington turned to delivering people's takeaways in London between March and September as a way of keeping himself occupied. 

"I got a job with Deliveroo, going around on my bike and delivering takeaways to people," he said. "I'm normally quite a fit person, but the lockdown had turned me into a lock-in, so I was thankful I was able to go on my bike every day because of the job."

The actor has recently featured in The Crown and Gangs of London and is currently filming Fflam, a new drama on Welsh language channel S4C.

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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