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Bradley Wiggins says he swept alleged child abuse “under the carpet”; Bike lane parking “getting worse” – after Mail asked, “is there any room left for cars?”; Swim or bike ride?; Cycling UK slams “box-ticking” council + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday on the live blog, and Ryan Mallon’s here with all the latest cycling news and views until lunch, with the rest of the news team chipping in during the afternoon
10 January 2023, 11:28
Bradley Wiggins launches NSPCC campaign (NSPCC)
Bradley Wiggins says he swept alleged sexual abuse “under the carpet” as he backs NSPCC’s campaign to help people spot the signs of child abuse

Sir Bradley Wiggins has said that he “normalised” and “swept under the carpet” the alleged sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of a coach, as he helped launch a campaign which aims to teach people to spot the signs of child abuse.

Last April, the 2012 Tour de France winner revealed that he was groomed by a cycling coach between the ages of 13 and 16, and said that he “never fully accepted” it and “buried it” during his sporting career.

> Sir Bradley Wiggins calls for action on child abuse in sport

Speaking at the launch of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) UK-wide campaign urging people to learn the signs of child abuse and report it when they see it, Wiggins said that his experience as a teenager was “something I was never going to talk about during my career”, which he instead “swept under the carpet”.

“A lot of the time abuse becomes very normalised by the perpetrators and [you are] very, very unaware that is happening,” Wiggins said at the event in Newport.

“And it’s not until later in life and particularly when I had my own children… [that] I suddenly realised what I’d been subjected to as a child.

“This campaign is so important. I think we all have a responsibility as adults, parents, onlookers, coaches, teachers to recognise the signs.”

2022 Bradley Wiggins pic Gareth Winter - 1.jpeg

Credit: Gareth Winter

As part of the ‘Listen Up, Speak Up’ campaign, the NSPCC will hold workshops across the country in the coming weeks, as well as encouraging people to take a free ten-minute digital training session, and to sign up for emails from experts on what actions they can take if they suspect abuse.

“I believe it is every child’s right to live a life free of abuse and if more people know the signs to spot and how to speak up, this will mean more vulnerable children can get the help and support they need and deserve,” the five-time Olympic champion said.

> Sir Bradley Wiggins calls for action on child abuse in sport

At the event, Wiggins also said that since revealing the alleged abuse last year, he has learned that other people had “misgivings” about the coach, the Guardian reports.

“I became aware that onlookers at the time, other coaches had recognised the signs and heard the rumours but did nothing about it,” Wiggins said.

Calling on people to use “common sense” to spot abuse, Wiggins continued: “Rather than worrying [if] you’re intruding or intervening or the consequences of that… if you’re right wouldn’t you rather just go in and take that risk?”

bradley wiggins 2012 time trial - wiki commons.PNG

He added: “I kind of think it contributed to why I was so great at cycling. It’s a real contradiction in that the adversity is what gave me the drive to run away.

“I think there’s a difference between being good and great at something and my greatest ability was riding on my own.

“The drive that came within, particularly with cycling, it was a means to facilitate escaping from where I grew up. So I’d ride for hours away from Kilburn.

“The bike became a vehicle to run away from my childhood problems. The longer I could spend on my own time-trialling for an hour record or an Olympic time trial, in my own head was an escapism from the person I was.

“When I stopped cycling, I didn’t have that and I had to accept who I was. I think lots of people that are great at something have a drive that kind of stems from adversity. What we can do is change and accept it, learn to stop running away from it and help others.”

10 January 2023, 17:07
Specialized S-Works Tarmac Sl7 | 2023 staff custom build race bike

10 January 2023, 17:05
Tesla troubles

If you missed it earlier today, problems elsewhere for autonomous vehicles... 

> "These are completely safe autonomous vehicles": Cyclist spots driverless car using cycle lane

10 January 2023, 16:54
Mr Loophole repeats message to give cyclists more space when overtaking

Sorry in advance if you were trying to forget of a certain loopholing lawyer. I won't apologise, however, for sharing this photo to illustrate the story...

Nick Freeman - via youtube.PNG

Well, in a dramatic plot twist, here was the news of yesterday...

> Mr Loophole tells drivers to make giving cyclists more room their New Year's resolution

And speaking to concrete-growing expert (or maybe that's concrete growing expert) Mike Graham on the self-proclaimed "voice of common sense", TalkTV, Loophole backed up his comments of yesterday...

We watched it so you don't have to...

"At least 1.5m, give them [cyclists] as much room as you can"

Positive start.

"However aggravating it is"

Ah right...

"You do not want to hit a cyclist, just give them a massive amount of room, be patient, wait and overtake. Even if you think what they are doing is outrageous. If you have got a camera and you feel that they are committing offences you can record it but again who's cycling? You don't know. Just look after your situation and theirs. Give them massive space, a minimum of 1.5m."

10 January 2023, 16:04
Analysis of UK's most congested roads suggests cycle lanes don't cause traffic jams

Dan here... 

Ryan's nipped off to catch a flight like the A-lister he is, leaving me to offer a live blog top up now your glass has been empty for a while...

Anyway, here's what we've been up to in the meantime...

london traffic 2

> Analysis of UK's most congested roads suggests cycle lanes don't cause traffic jams

Shocking stuff, I know...

10 January 2023, 14:33
Vincenzo Nibali and Doug Ryder’s new Q36.5 team unveil 2023 kit

Looks like the new South African squad, managed by former Qhubeka head Doug Ryder and which includes the recently retired Vincenzo Nibali in its staff, has opted for a rather unique combination of grey and hi-viz for its first kit as a pro team.

> Vincenzo Nibali and Doug Ryder launch new second-tier pro team

Ryder’s first foray back into the sport since Qhubeka’s demise at the end of 2021, Q36.5 has inherited the former squad’s online and social media presence, and boasts former BikeExchange-Jayco riders Damien Howson and Jack Bauer, DSM’s Mark Donovan, Trek-Segafredo’s Gianluca Brambilla as part of their 23 man squad, along with other experienced pros Tobias Ludvigsson, Joey Rosskopf, and Carl Frederik Hagen.

10 January 2023, 13:07
It’s going to be a long year…
10 January 2023, 12:32
Jay Vine, 2023 Giro d’Italia contender?

Now we all knew that Jay Vine was a gifted climber, especially after his two summit finish stage wins at last year’s Vuelta a España.

But did you also know that he’s a pretty handy time triallist too?

Well, the 27-year-old Zwift Academy winner (apologies, I’m contractually obliged to mention Zwift in every story about Vine) underlined his credentials against the clock by shocking everyone to win the Australian national time trial championships today.

UAE Team Emirates’ newest signing even beat four-time champion Luke Durbridge by three seconds and Olympic team pursuit bronze medallist Kelland O’Brien by almost half a minute over the 37.5km course in Mount Helen.

Is a potential grand tour podium place at the Giro on the cards this year?

10 January 2023, 11:58
Swim, cycle, or both?

When the weather’s so bad your watch thinks you went for a swim…

10 January 2023, 10:57
Chris Froome says he aims to “hit the ground running” at the Tour Down Under – and we all had the same thought

Harsh but fair from the Hog…

10 January 2023, 10:31
Keyhole Bridge before and after, Poole (via Cycling UK).PNG
Cycling UK slams “box-ticking” council for ignoring results of public consultation on scrapped active travel scheme

It’s a big day for Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council on the live blog this morning, as the local authority – busy pretending to care about motorists parked in bike lanes – has now been slammed by Cycling UK for voting to keep a notorious rat-run in Poole open to motor traffic, despite the majority of local residents supporting the permanent closure of the narrow bridge.

The infamous Keyhole Bridge on Whitecliff Road, a narrow 2.7 metre-wide road that runs beneath the railway it carries, was open to only pedestrians and cyclists from August 2020, as part of a range of emergency schemes introduced across the country to promote active travel.

Cycling UK said at the time that the underpass – when closed to motor traffic – provided a safe link for pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users, and other people with disabilities to cross the railway while travelling between Poole Park and Whitecliff Harbourside Park.

> Campaigners seek funding for legal challenge to removal of Poole active travel scheme

However, it was then reopened to motorists in March 2021 (after a public consultation on the matter was abruptly curtailed), sparking a judicial review brought by local active travel campaigners – and supported by Cycling UK’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund – which compelled the council to undertake a second, and fuller and fairer, consultation period in early 2022 to decide on the bridge’s future.

Despite the findings of an expert commission (which argued that the decision to reopen was based on flawed analysis) and the results of the second consultation, which found that 71 percent of residents wanted the bridge to be closed permanently, the council last month voted to unanimously keep it open.

This has prompted Cycling UK to dismiss the second consultation as a mere “box-ticking” exercise, while the charity says it is considering its legal options in relation to the decision.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said in a statement: “The second consultation both confirmed and strengthened the public support for the permanent closure of Keyhole Bridge. While consultations aren’t referendums, and councils are entitled to make decisions which their residents don’t agree with, they do need to have a rational evidence base to do so.”

“In this case, no such evidence exists, and the disregard the council has shown to the opinion of local residents implies it treated the second consultation as merely a box-ticking exercise.”

10 January 2023, 09:53
And breathe…

Finally, the winter’s longest-running pro cycling saga has come to an end. No, not that one…

10 January 2023, 09:32
Bike lane parking in Bournemouth (credit - MSec, Twitter)
“We need zero tolerance on this”: Cyclists say bike lane and pavement parking in Bournemouth “is getting worse” – less than a year after the Mail asked, “is there any room left for cars?”

You may remember, way back in May 2022, we reported that the decision by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council to paint a few bicycle symbols on a road in the suburb of Boscombe – a rather innocuous attempt to encourage cyclists to adopt a “prominent” position – had caused something of a minor meltdown in the national press, naturally.

“Cyclists are being encouraged by council officials to ignore a dedicated cycle path and use a busy main road instead in an attempt to force traffic in the town centre to slow down,” the ever-balanced Daily Mail said at the time, ignoring that Christchurch Road’s “dedicated” bike lane also simply comprises a lick of paint.

“Although cyclists have the use of the 7ft wide bike lane alongside the A35 in Bournemouth, Dorset, large bike symbols have been painted on the main road as well.”

The Mail then described the markings as the “latest move by the authorities to drive cars off the road” and included in their headline the question: “Is there any room left for cars?”

> Bike lane meltdown: New road markings prompt Mail to ask, “is there any room left for cars?”

Well, dear reader, you’ll be surprised to learn that Bournemouth’s resourceful and innovative motorists, in the face of the council’s pesky paint budget, have ensured that there is plenty of room left for cars in the area – by parking them on the cycle lane and pavement.

According to DorsetLive, several cyclists have campaigned in recent months for BCP Council to clamp down on these illegal parkers, and have posted lots (and I mean lots) of photos and videos of their hazard-causing exploits on social media:

Yep, Daily Mail, look at that cyclist ignoring that perfectly good, clear bike lane – oh wait, it’s full of cars…

“We need zero tolerance on this: pavement parking, on cycle lanes/paths, on double yellows. It just encourages others when there’s no discernible deterrent and puts all other road users at risk,” one cyclist told DorsetLive.

Another added: “If BCP got their a***s in gear, they could make so much revenue by ticketing every car… I don't understand why they've not been doing just that in the past? Not enough enforcement officers perhaps?”

In November, a senior BCP councillor claimed that using cameras to fine motorists parking in the Christchurch Road cycle lane in Boscombe was “not cost effective”.

However, the council now says that it is “stepping up” its patrol of the area to prevent the seemingly copious amount of bike lane parking.

“We want to give more people who choose cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel the confidence to do so safely,” a BCP Council spokesperson told DorsetLive.

“As part of this work, we have introduced mandatory cycle lanes along Christchurch Road in Boscombe. We are however aware of ongoing issues with drivers ignoring the signage and parking illegally on the cycle lanes.

“To address the issue our Parking Enforcement Team is stepping up additional visits to these area as part of their daily patrols. We will continue to patrol Christchurch Road on a daily basis to deter drivers from parking in contravention and to enforce Penalty Charge Notices to drivers that do not comply.”

I wonder what the Mail will say about that…

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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