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Fan-tastic DIY e-bike goes viral after cyclist spotted with paramotor on his back; Family pens open letter to council over bike shed planning breach; Surprise Giro win; Ingenious infra; Pro bike handling; Search for hero cyclist + more on the live blog

It's Monday and Dan Alexander will be sharing the best bits from the cycling world on the first live blog of the week...
10 May 2021, 16:17
17th May lockdown lifting: rides of up to 30 back on from next Monday
Castle Combe Severn Bridge Sportive

...and if British Cycling confirms that its own easing of restrictions will take place as outlined in The Way Forward doc, British Cycling-affiliated club rides will have no limits on numbers at all. 

Are you looking forward to riding in increased numbers from the 17th onwards, or will it not really change things for you? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments as always. 

10 May 2021, 15:40
10/10 post-stage interview
10 May 2021, 15:00
Taco van der Hoorn wins stage three of the Giro d'Italia from the breakaway

Dutch rider Taco van der Hoorn earned the biggest win of his career, holding firm against the surging peloton to win by four seconds in Canale. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider making his Grand Tour debut was part of the day's breakaway and attacked the final escapee standing, Simon Pellaud, with 8km to go.

Despite the desperate efforts of Cofidis and UAE Team Emirates, Van der Hoorn rolled over the line seconds before Davide Cimolai won the sprint for second. Peter Sagan, whose Bora-hansgrohe team did most of the early work, was third with Elia Viviani fourth. 

Filippo Ganna keeps the maglia rosa, which means Tobias Foss will become the interim white jersey wearer in place of his teammate Edoardo Affini who slipped out the back of the peloton during the toughest climbing section of the stage. 

10 May 2021, 13:51
How's your bike-handling?


10 May 2021, 13:40
"Not really a big fan to be honest": Reaction to our fan-tastic live blog story

We have been blown away by the fan-related puns rolling in since this morning's video went up on the blog...a strong start from Captain Badger who is "not really a big fan to be honest." PRSboy quickly followed up with: "he deserves props for his ingenuity, even though as an idea it'll never take off." 

Some more general comments on our Scottish cyclist now...IanMK was glad to see him wearing Hi-Viz, but thought a helmet might help. Each to their own, I guess.

On a more serious note, Nature's Eye was not impressed: "And so we all get tarred with the same brush as this clown! Good job...paint us in a great light this does!!! This guy is not a cyclist...well not a real one anyway."

10 May 2021, 13:08
New research from University of Wisconsin-Madison confirms cycling can positively impact global health and climate crises

New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Trek Bicycles showed that cycling can positively impact the global health and climate crises. The newly released paper showed that replacing car journeys with cycling or walking is one of the most effective ways of improving human health and mitigating climate change.

The research found that in US metropolitan areas, less than one per cent of journeys are made by bicycle, compared to the 40 per cent of journeys made by bike in Amsterdam. If American cities were to reach that 40 per cent level then approximately 70,000 deaths due to chronic diseases related to sedentary lifestyle could be averted each year.

"The benefit of being a bike company is that we make a product that can make a positive impact on the world," said Eric Bjorling of Trek Bicycles. "Riding a bike is not only fun but has enormous physical health benefits and can offset carbon emissions when you replace a car trip with a bike trip. It’s always been our mission to get more people on bikes, especially since riding is climate action and it’s an easy, low-impact way to stay physically active."

10 May 2021, 12:53
What would it look like if we built roads the same way we built cycle lanes?
Cycling infrastructure meme


10 May 2021, 11:29
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ed Clancy one of six 'Founding Riders' competing at UCI Track Champions League
Ed Clancy.jpg

Ed Clancy is one of the first six riders to be announced for the UCI's new track competition, the UCI Track Champions League. The inaugural event will be staged in November after the World Championships and will involve male and female riders in the sprint and endurance categories battling it out across six back-to-back rounds of competition. 

As a founding rider, Clancy's progress will be followed by Eurosport and GCN, two of the broadcasters of the event. I am sure we will find out more of what this will involve as the event gets closer, but for now we know Clancy will be on the startline. Emma Hinze, Harrie Lavreysen, Mathilde Gros, Sebastián Mora and Simona Krupeckaitė are the other five 'Founding Riders'.

10 May 2021, 11:05
Grand Tour veteran

Some quick maths (hopefully all accurate): 72 Grand Tours x 21 stages = 1,512 stages...Let's be conservative and say each Grand Tour means 25 days on the road (21 stages, two rest days, a couple for travel)...25 days x 72 Grand Tours = 1,800 days on the road. That is nearly five years of your life at Grand Tours...

10 May 2021, 10:56
Family pens open letter to council over bike shed planning breach
Leicester bike shed (Kavi Pujara)

Kavi Pujara got in touch sharing this open letter that his family has written to Leicester City Council. Last week, the family was told to remove its homemade eco bike shed from the front garden as it does not fit in with the Victorian character of the area. The family has since received 382 comments of support in the council's planning portal, with many pointing out that parked cars and converting gardens to driveways is not very 'Victorian' either. Here's the letter in full...

Dear Peter Soulsby and Leicester City Council,

I am writing to you in regard to the ongoing dispute over our cycle shed and to ask for your careful consideration in this matter.

As of last count we have 382 comments of support on the planning portal and one against. This is a clear message that the people of Leicester and the greater cycling community beyond do not consider our bike shed an eyesore that is disrupting the traditional Victorian context and character of the street. Rather, it is a sensitive eco-friendly solution to a real problem. There are cars parked on every driveway and available curb space on our street. So it seems absurd that these large, modern vehicles are not considered to be disrupting the character of the area, yet our little wooden bike shed is.

In 10 days the public consultation on our shed will close and your planning department will make a decision. In all likelihood it will deny us planning because the Town and Country Planning order states that structures like this cannot be located to the front of a property, and because we live in a conservation area we don’t have permitted development rights. But enforcement of these orders are a matter of the council’s judgement and ultimately you will decide if that enforcement is in the public interest.

Before you decide, we would warmly like to invite you to come over and see the shed for yourself. Come and see how visible it is from the street. Come and see how effortless it is for our kids to walk out of the front door, get their bikes independently, and cycle to school. Come and see how they will no longer be able to cycle should the bike shed be removed.

Leicester declared a climate emergency in 2019 and it has an ambitious and admirable transport strategy with cycling at the heart of it. You have built cycle lanes all over the city. We applaud you and everyone in the council for this – it is fantastic. But if we are forced to remove our cycle storage, it begs the question: Who is this multi-million pound cycling infrastructure development really for?

Is it only for those people fortunate enough to have a garage where they can store their bikes? What about those who live in flats? Or those who do not want, or are not able, to bring muddy bikes in through their homes? How can we support your progressive strategy if it excludes so many of us?

I put it to you that your permitted development planning policies are now inconsistent with your environmental aims. These polices need to be updated to encourage cycling and to include all cyclists. You have the opportunity here to extend permitted development to include bike sheds. I believe Leicester City Council has the imagination to find an innovative solution to make this happen, and to be flexible where other councils have been inflexible. It’s the opportunity to set a precedent.

Please don’t let us down.

The Pujara family
(Kavi, Mita, Milan and Anamika)

10 May 2021, 10:15
Sam Bennett to leave Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the end of the season, according to team boss Patrick Lefevere
Specialized S-Works Ares 6 Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett may be leaving Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the end of the season if team boss Patrick Lefevere's comments over the weekend are to be believed. Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad that although Bennett does not want to leave, the team cannot afford to pay him big money.

"He doesn't want to leave, but I don't have as much money as others," Lefevere said. "The fact that these types of riders leave is life. As pros they have to try to make as much money as possible in a short period of time. I have already warned some of them. Talk to the sprinters who left us, they would come back on foot. They should not opt ​​for the quick money, but rather look at what might be in their bank account at the end of their career."

Bennett is one of the many Quick-Step riders without a contract confirmed for next season. Lefevere has prioritised extending his star riders' deals with Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel and Kasper Asgreen the only three to have signed new contracts for 2022.

10 May 2021, 10:08
Ingenious infra from Copenhagen
10 May 2021, 09:39
Search for Canberra cyclist who saved three-year-old boy from Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin (Flickr creative commons)

The family of a toddler rescued from Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin has asked for the hero cyclist who dived in after their boy to come forward so they can thank him properly. ABC reports that Ellie Carey was walking with her son, Miles, when he scooted into the lake. A passing cyclist dived in after the boy, pulled him out, checked Miles was alright and then quietly continued his journey. With no name or contact details, the mother is now hoping to find the cyclist and thank him.

"The man was cycling towards us with a friend so he would have seen the whole thing unfold," she explained. "He didn't even hesitate. He jumped off the bike, ripped off his backpack and leapt straight in. It's about a metre drop down into the lake, so someone helped pull Miles out and then a few of us helped the man out.

"He stood there for a little while and asked me a few times if Miles was okay and I think I said 'thank you so much' at least four times. I was trying to rip everything off Miles because he was frozen, and then the cyclist just quietly left."

10 May 2021, 09:28
Science in Sport renews partnership with Ineos Grenadiers
Michal Kwiatkowski Science in Sport gel.PNG

As the Giro d'Italia kicked off over the weekend, Science in Sport renewed its partnership with Ineos Grenadiers to provide all their nutritional needs out on the road for the next three years. SiS says it is proud to have contributed to seven Grand Tour victories during the previous six years, including Chris Froome's 2018 Giro success which was fuelled in part by the now widely available Beta Fuel.

"Nutrition is a vital part of elite sport and in SiS we have a partner who share our ethos of continual innovation," Sir Dave Brailsford said. "Together, we’ve been using world-leading science to deliver a performance-first approach and build upon a 5 year relationship that has seen cutting-edge products fuel our team to win the biggest races in the sport. We’re looking forward to achieving even more with SiS in the future."

10 May 2021, 09:16
Bidon bullseye

Here is one the UCI's new litter zones in action at a Grand Tour for the first time. Cue every man and his dog lobbing the contents of their pockets into the nearest field.

The poor lady on the right of the picture probably just wanted an Androni Giocattoli bidon as a souvenir but ended up needing a towel.. 

10 May 2021, 07:44
Fan-tastic DIY e-bike goes viral after cyclist spotted with paramotor on his back

It is hardly a top-of-the-range e-bike, but it does the job all the same...we are just grateful his brakes work. This man from Plains in Airdrie went for a spin with a little extra help from the paramotor-style propeller strapped to his back, getting up to a sharp top speed pretty the air, paramotors can get paragliders up to 60mph.

It is at this point, the hysterical cameraman chuckles the fantastically Scottish line: "Oh no way. That c***s no right. No f****g way man."

The video has been viewed more than 200,000 times on Twitter, where Conor McCue concluded, "Scotland is f****n' unreal." Poetic.

Dan commented: "This is definitely what I'm up against on Strava segments."

Dean wrote: "One wheelie and he's on his own flight to Turkey."

Last week a cyclist was fined after fitting a petrol engine to his bike to help him ride up steep hills. Lee Middleton admitted to using a motor vehicle without insurance, driving a vehicle without a licence and riding a motorcycle on a road without protective headgear at Teesside Magistrates' Court. No word yet on what punishment a paramotor strapped to your back gets you.

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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