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Anger as BBC report that ambulance was 'blocked' by cycle lane; Decathlon to sell refurbished bikes; Contador breaks everesting record; Usain Bolt's "newfound respect for cyclists"; Cardiff named top UK cycling city + more on the live blog

Friday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty, with the odd contribution from the rest of the team...
10 July 2020, 15:47
Avon and Somerset Police launch new appeal to find owners of 125 stolen bikes
stolen bikes appeal 10 july - avon and somerset police.PNG

The force have issued a renewed appeal for the rightful owners to come forward after 125 bike and frames plus 60 other items including power tools were found at an address in the Bristol suburb of Hanham. The items were originally recovered in January, but only 20 have been returned since the original appeal in March. 

Avon and Somerset Police say: "If you recognise an item as yours we want to hear from you – even if you’ve claimed on your insurance and replaced it. Your statement could help us build a case to take to court.

"A man arrested in connection with the seizure remains released under investigation while these enquiries continue."

Some of the thefts date back several years, so if you or anyone you know have had a bike stolen in the Bristol or Weston-Super-Mare areas recently it's worth checking out the full online gallery here

10 July 2020, 14:40
The official song of the Giro d'Italia is all we could have hoped for and more

If you're prone to getting catchy ditties stuck in your head, think carefully before pressing play on 'GiraGiraGiraGi'. Apparently the song from Italian band Extraliscio is a "great little masterpiece with overwhelming rhythm that mixes the tradition of smooth folk with the sounds of punk", and the video was made by 
Michele Bernardi and Davide Toffolo. You can find links to download or stream it via Spotify, Apple Music or the iTunes Store here

The 103rd edition of the race will now take place between 3 October - 25 October due to the coronavirus crisis, which explains the delay in unveiling this bona fide musical masterpiece. 

10 July 2020, 14:21
Glasgow City Council say they have removed cycle lane markings from road that had pop-up removed

The Council were criticised on social media for taking away cones that marked out a cycle lane that they had removed on a busy A-road following a motorway closure, but leaving the paint on the road to suggest it was still a cycle lane. After deciding that the lane would "not be restored", Glasgow CC have finally said that the road markings were removed yesterday. 

10 July 2020, 14:07
Decathlon are now refurbishing second-hand bikes to cope with demand
Decathlon (CC BY SA 3.0 by Lionel Allorge)

According to Decathlon's head of external communication, tens of thousands are waiting to buy bikes from the retail giant as they have run out of many cheaper models. In an effort to meet demand, they're now reportedly buying second-hand bikes to restore and sell on. 

Xavier Rivoire told the Financial Times: "We've noticed this huge surge. There’s a cycling boom everywhere."

And indeed, there's now a 'Second Hand Bike Shop' section on the UK website, with Decathlon saying: "Our Second Life bikes have been bought from us and returned for one reason or another. They may have been quickly tested or used by our customers and have small, superficial scratches, which means we can’t sell them - but they’re still in great working order.

"That's why we'd like to make them available to our customers at reduced prices, so we can fulfil our purpose of sustainably making the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to many."

10 July 2020, 13:43
Vine "sick and tired" of "constant dangers from bad drivers" on London's Holland Park Avenue

The latest dodgy driving clip from the broadcaster shows a driver saving "about half a second" to overtake, before Mr Vine appears to blast an airhorn in complaint at the driver's close pass. 

A proposed cycle scheme on Holland Park Avenue that would see a protected cycleway built on the road has become the subject of a bitter row in recent years, with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea saying they do not back the new route despite a TfL consultation showing that the public were in favour of the proposals

10 July 2020, 15:44
Full story on report that says more road building will simply lead to more congestion (but you knew that)
10 July 2020, 11:54
Everesting stakes raised yet again as Contador becomes latest to break record

The Spaniard has obviously kept pretty fit in retirement, fit enough to lower the everesting record down to 7 hours and 27 minutes - that's over two minutes quicker than Lachlan Morton's 7:29:57 set last month at the second time of asking, after the EF Pro Cycling rider's first effort was annulled due to irregularities in data recording. 

According to the new entry on the Hells 500 website, Contador completed his attempt on the 6th July, riding 76 repeats of the Silla del Ray in Spain for a total distance of 136km to make up the 8,848m of elevation. He rode a snazzy new road bike from a new brand simply called 'abikesofficial' on their Instagram page, that we're speculating Alberto could have something to do with. 

Yesterday we reported that the women's record had fallen to former world time trial champion Emma Pooley, with the Brit completing 10 laps of the Haggenegg climb in Switzerland to complete the challenge in 8 hours, 53 minutes and 36 seconds.

10 July 2020, 12:39
Cardiff is the top UK city for cycling, according to new Komoot survey
Cycle Parking in Cardiff Bay (picture via Visit Cardiff).jpg

The company behind the popular route-planning app Komoot polled 2,000 adults, asking them to rate factors such as cycle lanes and signage, local cycling facilities, countryside accessibility and safety out of five. The Welsh capital came on top, scoring an average of 3.12 out of 5, with Newcastle, Plymouth, Birmingham and London rounding out the top five cities. 

The research accompanies Komoot's new cycle-specific guides to some of the best cycle routes in Britain, with a spokesperson commenting: “Cycling has seen a huge uplift over the past few months and in order for us to support this we need to understand what hurdles the UK public faces when it comes to cycling and what is important to them.

"We believe everyone should be able to access great cycling no matter where you live or how experienced you are as a cyclist.”

10 July 2020, 11:32
Parks "not for enjoyment", says cab driver

And if you use 'em, you're killing the economy. Made up buffoonery aside, we'll have a full story on the new through-traffic bans coming to several Royal Parks in London later today.  

10 July 2020, 09:46
BBC report that ambulance was "blocked by a new cycle lane in Sheffield"... but footage appears to shows the lane being used for the ambulance to proceed

The words that accompanied the footage have provoked an angry response on social media, as BBC Yorkshire reported that the ambulance was blocked by the new cycle lane in Sheffield. It continues: "Paramedics had to leave the vehicle to move the bollards out of their way on Shalesmoor in the city centre.

"The temporary cycle lane has now been criticised online as a result."

As you'll see above many think the BBC very much got the wrong end of the stick, as the ambulance was actually using the cycle lane to proceed because the other lane was blocked by motor traffic; there was the issue of removing the bollards, with some noting that this arguably took less time than trying to negotiate two congested lanes filled with cars. 

The BBC are yet to comment. 

10 July 2020, 09:36
Brighton needs your help to keep Old Shoreham Road pop-up lane permanent

The e-petition also calls for a city-wide cycle network in Brighton, after a 1.7 mile pop-up on the A270 Old Shoreham Road has transformed cycle commutes for cyclists in the city; however, a petition against the lane has currently garnered more signatures. If you want to help tip the balance, you know what to do...

10 July 2020, 09:03
£27bn road-building plan will cancel out 'green recovery', warns new report

Using data from Highways England, the report by Transport for Quality of Life says that the huge road-building plan announced in Rishi Sunak's March budget would cancel out 80% of the emission savings from electric cars, and the money would be better spent on public transport, walking, cycling, and remote-working hubs. The report also says that electric cars will still add to pollution levels through 'brake dust' - particles eroding from the tyres and brakes - and that building more roads will simply lead to more traffic. 

Although the government accepts overall mileage driven should be cut, a spokesperson told the BBC that the report "doesn’t take into account the benefits from the massive surge in electric vehicles", adding: "The Road Investment Strategy is consistent with our ambition to improve air quality and decarbonise transport."

The report’s lead author Lynn Sloman said: “More roads just mean more cars. Decades of road investment have not solved congestion.

“Sustained lobbying for more money for roads, leaving less for public transport, cycling and walking, is one of the reasons we now face a climate emergency. We can’t afford any more to indulge this Toad of Toad Hall model of mindless road-building.”

10 July 2020, 08:35
Usain Bolt "has a newfound respect for cyclists" after taking up cycling in retirement
Usain_Bolt 100m heats

The 100m and 200m world record holder spoke to Variety about life in retirement; and says that after first getting a Peloton indoor trainer, he's now taken to the road: 

“I have a newfound respect for cyclists because you see the Tour de France, they make it look easy. It’s not,” Bolt said.

Bolt also said he was disappointed with the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021, and hopes to be in Tokyo to watch:

“The only good thing about is that I actually get to take my daughter next year if the world gets back,” he said. “One of my moments is to have my first born just to walk on the track with me. That’s something that I always thought about.”

He's apparently started to up the mileage on his weekly bike rides with friends. Bolt for Le Tour? Heard there's a vacancy going at Team Ineos...

10 July 2020, 08:47
1.8 million bikes sold in UK lockdown... but theft is on the rise
StolenBike-FrontWheel - wikimedia commons

The figure comes after it was found that around 9% of the 20 million cyclists in the UK bought a bike after the lockdown started; but comparethemarket.com warn this has led to a spike in thefts according to their new survey, with 11% of respondents noticing higher levels of bike theft in their area since late March. 

Wales had the lowest amount of reported bike theft, with 72% of respondents describing it as "non-existent" in their community. In London, 24% observed that bike theft was 'high' in their area. 

10 July 2020, 08:26
Temporary bike lanes are opening up the road to cyclists like never before

This clip shows two kids balance biking on one of the busiest roads in Sheffield, which would have been unthinkable before the installation of a pop-up bike lane. Still a way to go though...

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 was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc 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. 

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