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Cyclist spotted riding on M25 hard shoulder; Alex Dowsett to take on Hour Record; Road safety group ask cyclists to 'reduce strain on the NHS'; Bike theft stopped by Deliveroo driver; How far can you ride without being sworn at? + more on the live blog

Tuesday's live blog with Dan Alexander...
10 November 2020, 16:49
Cyclist seen riding down M25 hard shoulder

It's not the first time we've seen someone cycling on the M25 this year. A man was spotted riding, not even on the hard shoulder, back in April...

This footage, credited to Oliver Hall, shows another cyclist on the M25 at around 3pm on Sunday near Junction 10 for the A3. We've racked up a worrying archive of incidents such as this over the years. In March a cyclist on the M60 near Cheadle in Cheshire was fined and told: "this does not constitute your daily exercise."

While in May a group of cyclists were escorted off the M53 near Chester after numerous calls from the public...

10 November 2020, 15:55
Tao's limited edition pink Pinarello Dogma F12

GRAZIE @pinarello_official !!💕💕💕 loved this surprise from @ineosgrenadiers amazing partners !

A post shared by Tao Geoghegan Hart (@taogeogheganhart) on

Getting a limited edition pink Pinarello Dogma F12 is one of the more enviable perks of being incredibly good at cycling. Pinarello never miss the mark with these Grand Tour winner limited edition bikes and have previously made yellow versions for all the Sky/INEOS Tour winners. Tao's pink bike is no exception and comes signed with a congratulatory message from Fausto Pinarello.

Geoghegen Hart can be heard explaining that his Giro win has cost him a car after betting his brother that he wouldn't win the race after Stage 15. His brother may well be getting a new car but we think Tao's got the better end of the deal with his pink F12.

10 November 2020, 15:40
World Bicycle Relief commemorate 15-year anniversary

World Bicycle Relief are celebrating 15 years of empowering people in developing countries with bicycles. To commemorate the anniversary, the charity are revisiting many of the greatest success stories from their first 15 years and have recognised 15 'Community Champions' from across the world for their contribution to the project. Since 2015, World Bicycle Relief's have delivered 527,820 bicycles, rained 2,455 mechanics and helped communities in 21 countries with their aid.

One of World Bike Relief's Community Champions is Ruby Isaac from Kettering in Northamptonshire, who raised £4,342 by climbing the Stelvio at the age of 10.

She said: "I am very proud to support World Bicycle Relief because what they do really is amazing.  Children in Africa have to walk miles to school or a hospital so when WBR gives them a bicycle this really can change their lives for the better.  I feel so lucky to be able to help World Bicycle Relief and help change these children’s lives for the better by raising money to buy Buffalo Bikes.”

10 November 2020, 14:59
The Vamps collaborate with Ribble for Movember

It's that time of the year again when there's plenty of dodgy moustache growing going on, all for the good cause of raising money for Movember. However, if like me you aren't gifted in the facial hair department then 'Miles for Movember' could be the one for you...

The challenge involves riding as many miles as you want on Sunday 22nd November. Brad Simpson and James McVey of British pop-rock band The Vamps have committed to the challenge and will be carried through the day by the support of Ribble. They will be riding 60 miles as every 60 minutes, 60 men globally are lost to suicide. So if you feel like it get out and enjoy some winter training miles next Sunday to support a good cause.

10 November 2020, 14:44
Wilier Filante SLR 2021
Willier comments

An interesting point made under our story about the new 2021 Wilier Filante SLR...We'd suggest a brand's marketing of a bike can often be taken with a pinch of salt but let us know your thoughts...

Anyway, if you do want to read more about the new Filante SLR you can do so here...

10 November 2020, 14:11
Alex Dowsett to take on the UCI Hour Record
Alex Dowsett (Eurosport)

Former UCI Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett is going to have another shot at the record in Manchester next month. Dowsett, who won Stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia last month, set a distance of 52.937km in 2015 but was subsequently bested by Bradley Wiggins later that summer. The target for Dowsett to reclaim the title is 55.089km and was posted by Belgian rider Victor Campanaerts last year.

Dowsett last week confirmed that he has a new contract for next season but is yet to reveal which team he will be riding for. The 32-year-old is excited by the prospect of ending the year strong with another attempt at the record having earned a new deal in the professional peloton.

He said: “When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone.

"I spotted an opportunity in December this year to have another go and obviously I want to try and break the record, I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.

"In terms of difficulty, this time around I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor (Campenaerts). It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable.”

10 November 2020, 12:40
Kent Road Safety accused of victim blaming

Kent Road Safety put their foot in it with this Tweet earlier today about cycle safety which suggested that cyclists should wear 'appropriate clothing, footwear and a helmet' to reduce strain on the NHS. The post, which received much pushback from Twitter users, has been accused of victim blaming and being tone deaf for placing responsibility for road safety on trivial clothing choices from cyclists.

One person replied: "Quite apart from the victim-blaming and shifting of responsibility demonstrated in this tone-deaf tweet, who on earth is routinely cycling without shoes?"

Another added: "Please may I see your data to illustrate that 'appropriate' clothing reduces strain on the NHS in the context of cyclist injury rates?"

10 November 2020, 11:59
Cycling in the rain

We've got another cycling study for you today and it's particularly relevant for anyone living in the UK. This research into cycling in Germany found that in cities with an established tradition of cycling, bad weather does not deter people from riding bikes. More cycling infrastructure makes people more likely to ride - even in miserable conditions.

10 November 2020, 11:15
Which Grand Tour is the best?
tadej pogacar tour de france victory video still - via colnago.PNG

Sunday saw the final Grand Tour of the year, La Vuelta a Espana, roll into Madrid with Primoz Roglic in red by just 24 seconds from Richard Carapaz. Exciting drama and tight finishes were something of a theme at all three Grand Tours this year with Tao Geoghegan Hart and Tadej Pogacar's Giro and Tour wins both decided by less than a minute. 

But which one is your favourite? The Tour de France has the prestige of being the most famous bike race in the world but the Giro d'Italia is often labelled as harder with it's higher climbs, longer stages and unpredictable weather. And what about the Vuelta? Who doesn't enjoy watching the pros struggle up monstrously steep climbs? 

ProCyclingStats poll on Twitter gave the edge to the Giro in 2020...But if you could only watch one next year, which would you pick?

If you could only watch one in 2020 which Grand Tour would you choose?

Giro d'Italia
Tour de France
Vuelta a Espana
Create your own poll vote
10 November 2020, 10:55
How far can you cycle without being sworn at?
John O'Groats sign (Licensed CC BY 2.0  on Flickr by Rob Faulkner).jpg

A cyclist from Bracknell is hoping his ride from Land's End to John O'Groats can help remind drivers to be kinder to cyclists on the road. Since putting a sign on the back of his bike asking drivers to be patient, Phil Hopkins has noticed a significant improvement in how drivers treat him. 

"The most amazing thing is how putting that sign on the back of the trailer has changed peoples attitudes instantly. Now it’s all smiles and waves. It’s hard to put a number on abuse," he told Bracknell News.

Hopkins plans to take on the bucket list challenge in 2021 and his daughter, Kassandra Alicia, doesn't want donations only for drivers to show more patience: "I do genuinely worry about my dad cycling especially when he comes home and tells us that he has been verbally abused, cut up, and has even been told before that they hope he gets hit. 

"If you see him, please be kind. Please take into account training takes time, takes dedication. It can be a bit soul destroying to be screamed at when you want to do something massive like this, especially for charity."

10 November 2020, 09:39
Possible bike theft stopped by Deliveroo driver

This video from Commercial Street in Shoreditch shows the moment a potential bike theft is stopped by a Deliveroo driver. Despite being heard saying: "It's my bike," the man is chased off having already cut through the lock. Metropolitan Police have asked for anyone with further information about the suspect to come forward.

10 November 2020, 09:10
School Streets see a 51% increase in children cycling

In Hackney, where there were 10 School Streets introduced by June, the surveys on the outcomes of the schemes have shown much to be positive about. While traffic reduced by an average of 68% and vehicle emissions were cut by 74%, children cycling to school increased by 51%.

School Streets are just one form of active travel infrastructure that has been introduced across the capital as part of the wider push for LTNs. They restrict motor vehicles from outside schools around drop-off and pick-up times with the aim of creating a safer and healthier environment. In June, it was announced that Transport for London had allocated £22.26 million for emergency cycle schemes with £1.75 million for School Streets.

Hackney were one of the first boroughs to implement such schemes and in 2017 parents at London Fields Primary appealed for the school to be included in the borough's School Streets initiative.

Dan joined as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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