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Police force warns "reckless and dangerous" cycling in city centre could land £2,500 fine; Zwift at the Olympics?; Friday Facebook Fancy: Marketplace bikes; Bring a boat to use these cycle lanes; Wout watches a Colombian soap + more on the live blog

Happy Friday one and all... the road.cc live blog is careering towards the weekend, Dan Alexander tasked with bringing you all your end of the week news, reaction and more...
10 November 2023, 14:50
Police force warns "reckless and dangerous" cycling in city centre could land £2,500 fine

The latest crackdown, for want of a better word, on "dangerous" cycling in urban areas has been spotted... this time over in the Isle of Man, its capital Douglas to be specific.

Douglas, Isle of Man (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED/Culture Vannin/Flickr)

(CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED/Culture Vannin/Flickr)

This follows on from this week's news that Coventry has banned e-bikes in its pedestrianised city centre, while in Grimsby this past year numerous cyclists have been fined, including one ordered to pay £1,000, for the heinous offence of riding their bikes through the city centre, an area covered by a Public Spaces Prevention Order prohibiting cycling.

The vast majority of cyclists wouldn't dream of putting a pedestrian in danger, and you might say 'what's the fuss?', these PSPOs and police crackdowns are aimed at kids causing nuisance, not 'proper' cyclists riding bikes for transport or leisure. However, disabled charities, Cycling UK and others have spoken out about the unintended consequences such rules and messaging can have, preventing riders accessing parts of town and deterring cycling.

A week ago, for example, West Midlands Walking and Cycling Commissioner Adam Tranter spoke out against Coventry's e-bike ban, saying it would "discourage cycling and penalise responsible cyclists". Likewise Wheels for Wellbeing, a charity supporting disabled people cycling, called for clearer signage in Grimsby to reduce "risk of confrontation" with pedestrians unaware that bikes being used as mobility aids are still allowed to be ridden where bikes otherwise are banned.

> Latest city introduces anti-cycling rules as controversial e-bike ban brought in

In the past, Cycling UK's Campaigns Manager Duncan Dollimore has also been critical, saying town centre cycling bans (in particular when enforced by a PSPO) have the effect of criminalising cycling, used as a "geographically defined version of an ASBO to restrict the use of public space and criminalise behaviour not normally regarded as illegal".

That rambling introduction is just some context to the Isle of Man latest, as a means of outlining some of the points that have been made elsewhere about the potential unintended consequences that words, campaigns, PSPOs, police crackdowns, can have on cycling...

Douglas (Google Maps)

Douglas City Council and the police have warned that people riding "recklessly" through a key shopping street could be fined up to £2,500. So what? 'Don't ride recklessly in a pedestrianised area' I here you cry... well, that was much the same messaging as was heard when North East Lincolnshire Council introduced began fining for such offences. Cue, council officers being accused of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after a pensioner was fined for riding through town.

To the glee of headline writers everywhere, in that case 82-year-old Barrie Enderby told the council to stick the fine "up your a*se" and said he'd rather go to jail than pay it. The more relevant point, however, was that locals accused the council of targeting "old and slow" riders while ignoring youths "racing up and down", the very behaviour the ban was brought in to tackle.

> More cyclists fined for riding bikes through town centre – months on from rider ordered to pay £1,100

Again, excuse my rambling and tangents, I'll get back to the Isle of Man soon, but just again wanted to point out how some have said these sorts of bans and police or council action can have an impact on more than just the kids doing wheelies through TK Maxx...

Back to Douglas where the BBC reports Inspector Chas Maloney has said a "small minority of individuals" are cycling "recklessly". 

"We have witnessed, first-hand, cycling through the main shopping centre, some of it is quite reckless and dangerous," he said, saying those who ride in an "irresponsible manner" are putting pedestrians at risk, and could be fined up to £2,500.

"There are so many other areas to cycle in and around Douglas and we would encourage people to do so in a careful and considerate manner," Douglas City Centre Manager, Oliver Cheshire, added.

Let's hope any enforcement here doesn't end up like some of these recent case studies...

> Proposed city centre e-bike ban will "discourage cycling and penalise responsible cyclists", says cycling and walking commissioner

> Council officers accused of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after pensioner fined for riding through town

> Bedford cyclists protest 'discriminatory' town centre bike ban

> Campaigners call for clearer signage to reduce "risk of confrontation" with pedestrians, after council insists disabled cyclists won't be fined under controversial town centre cycling ban

> Council officers accused of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after pensioner fined for riding through town

Apologies, not sure how I turned that into War and Peace...

10 November 2023, 15:32
Sir Bradley Wiggins reportedly facing bankruptcy over £1 million debts
10 November 2023, 09:01
Pack some goggles and a towel for this "massive drainage issue" in a (not so) great British cycle lane

Triathlon training on your way to work? Simply swim through, get on you bike, park around the corner and run in...

 It's never good when someone replies thinking it's an old picture because of how many times this happens, Giselle also reporting the "absolute lake by the pedestrian crossing serving the Royal Eye Hospital is quite a disgrace". Sounds like there are plenty of drainage-related active travel problems in this corner of Manchester.

Others have noticed the issues too, one local rider Hugh saying he's caught himself planning routes "specifically to avoid the cycle lane puddles" and asked "how the hell is that acceptable?"

Another, Markus, suggested "years of neglect catching up" as "this month the route has been worse than I've ever seen — such huge puddles", a third adding that there's flooding on quite a few other parts of the Wilmslow Road's apparently "state of the art" cycleway.

We'll have a word with Manchester City Council to see what's up...

10 November 2023, 14:07
Police force tells cyclists to remove bikes ahead of Remembrance Sunday
10 November 2023, 11:50
Zwift at the Olympics? Door opened for virtual sports to feature at future Games
2023 Zwift ride series Pretzelfest

Olympic chiefs have suggested virtual forms of sports could be competed at for Olympic medals at future Games. The news, reported by MailOnline, comes as the International Olympic Committee's sports director Kit McConnell said games that are a "full physical replication of the sport" would be welcomed on the programme, with cycling and taekwondo listed as examples where it could be possible.

"The door is open explicitly for virtual forms," he said. "Where there is a full physical replication of the traditional sport, the door is open, and we are governed by the respective international federations.

> BIG Zwift update! Watch our first ride on 19km of new roads in Watopia

"The best example is the road cycling partnership between the UCI and Zwift and now that’s moved to another partnership (MyWhoosh). We are committed to developing the virtual side of sport."

The IOC has also said it is exploring the creation of an Olympic Esports Games to run separately from the Olympic Games.

10 November 2023, 11:36
"Beyond credulity" – Cycling UK slams council's assertion that busy Lake District road is safe alternative to closed National Cycle Network route
10 November 2023, 11:05
Random pro cyclist content of the day: Wout van Aert and Rigoberto Urán watching a soap opera in Colombia

 

10 November 2023, 10:01
Another trip to the Facebook Marketplace bike shop

road.cc regular Jo is back enjoying the delights of Facebook Marketplace...

Tempted? 

10 November 2023, 09:50
Rider completed Vuelta "spitting blood", with lung infection and broken ribs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jan Maas (@janmaasss)

 Speaking on the Cycling Inside podcast, Jayco AlUla's Dutch pro Jan Maas revealed he completed the Vuelta a España, his first Grand Tour, despite suffering broken ribs, a lung infection, and respiratory infection.

"I didn't tell anyone, but the last two or three days I also spit blood in the finals of the stages," he said, reopening the discussion about 'toughness' in pro cycling and whether riders need protecting from themselves.

> Why pro cycling needs to ditch its 'hardness' obsession

"I sat on the bike like a zombie. The first two weeks I actually rode quite well, but in stage thirteen I crashed on the descent of the Aubisque," Maas explained. "I broke my ribs, it turned out afterwards. I actually knew I had broken them, but I didn't want to have an X-ray taken. I was afraid that the doctor, the organisation or who knows what, would say: you are not allowed to realise your dream, you are not allowed to finish the Vuelta. So I tried to finish the Vuelta as tough as possible."

One of three Jayco AlUla riders left after Eddie Dunbar, Filippo Zana and three other teammates abandoned, Maas said nobody on the team was "feeling well".

"We didn't test positive at that time, but we were all coughing. With a broken or bruised rib, that's not really nice... Then it really went downhill," he continued. "I didn't tell anyone, but the last two or three days I also spit blood in the finals of the stages. 

"Did I not think: this is going way too far? I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and now I wouldn't do it myself either. But at that moment… (…) I guess I just wanted to prove it to myself, there was just that intrinsic motivation, and the stubbornness that I have or something."

10 November 2023, 09:40
Cue the floodgates opening...

Some new fighters have entered the (soggy) arena... 

Steve K: "Pretty much every raised pedestrian crossing at a bus-stop bypass in London creates a lake whenever it rains."

Cycling flooding comments (live blog)
Cycling flooding comments (live blog)
Flooding (live blog comments)

 

10 November 2023, 09:29
Protestor who blocked UCI Worlds road race accuses cycling community of being complicit in climate crisis

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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24 comments

Avatar
bensynnock | 8 months ago
3 likes

'There are so many other areas to cycle in and around Douglas and we would encourage people to do so in a careful and considerate manner," '

This kind of attitude is the root cause of the problem we face. Cycling is regarded as solely a leisure activity, and not a form of transport. People don't cycle though town and city centres because they like riding around cars and pedestrians, they cycle there because they need to go to the shops and that's where they are. It's a complete misunderstanding of the reason that people cycle and the purpose of cycle infrastructure.

Of course it is enjoyable to go for a nice long ride around rural roads with low traffic and steep hills, but you're not going to come back with that new pair of trousers you needed.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to bensynnock | 8 months ago
1 like

Yes - more chicken and egg. "Nobody cycles to the shops" so why make it possible? You're just annoying all the people driving half a mile to the shops (because nobody is cycling so why should I, and anyway it's not pleasant to do so because of all the cars).

OTOH people obviously do enjoy a cycle for leisure.

Is it possible that people could combine shopping and cycling in the UK? I believe so since this kind of change has actually happened, in several countries. However where it has happened it needed places to cycle and to park bikes. A network of sufficiently high quality routes* - just like you'd expect if driving!

* Some of which will involve sharing but seriously reducing motor traffic volumes and speeds.

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 8 months ago
9 likes

Just wait until the Isle of Man authorities find out that motorcycles regularly race round the island's roads at up to 200mph.

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mitsky | 8 months ago
11 likes

£2.5k fine for "reckless and dangerous cycling"?

When was the last time we heard of drivers facing that (or a proportionally higher amount, based on the greater level of danger) for the same in motor vehicles?

Avatar
Tom_77 replied to mitsky | 8 months ago
1 like

mitsky wrote:

£2.5k fine for "reckless and dangerous cycling"?

When was the last time we heard of drivers facing that (or a proportionally higher amount, based on the greater level of danger) for the same in motor vehicles?

Clickbait headlines often quote the maximum fine (rather than the typical fine / Fixed Penalty) for a particular crime. In theory you could be fined £2500 for speeding in a car, but typically it's £100.

Avatar
wtjs replied to Tom_77 | 8 months ago
5 likes

Clickbait headlines often quote the maximum fine (rather than the typical fine / Fixed Penalty) for a particular crime

Just like the DVSA red banner warning that evading MOT can lead to a fine of £1000, whereas the reality is that (in Lancashire at least) it's nothing- as the affluent driver of WN70 VCY has clearly worked out, the forelock-tugging police will continue to ignore his offence, as they have been doing since 10th October (when it was parked at about the same place on the pavement)

Avatar
mark1a replied to mitsky | 8 months ago
0 likes

mitsky wrote:

£2.5k fine for "reckless and dangerous cycling"?

When was the last time we heard of drivers facing that (or a proportionally higher amount, based on the greater level of danger) for the same in motor vehicles?

It's the Isle of Man, not UK law, and they've been known to come down quite heavily on motoring offences there too. 

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
3 likes

Town centre banning bikes etc.

Another reason to ride with cameras running.

Surely the onus is on the accuser to prove that the cyclist was riding in such a manner .. if the cyclist has footage of them riding in a safe and sensible manner, then there *should* be no issue. [IANAL and I'm assuming these are fixed penalty notices and you can request court ... and that the court is going to accept your evidence.]

Of course, if the cyclist is battering thoughtlessly through crowds or riding like they stole it, then they should be penalised.

Avatar
OnYerBike replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
2 likes

The problem is, despite the messaging being about "reckless" cycling, many of these bans legally apply to all cyclists. Video evidence of you cycling, no matter how carefully, would simply prove you were breaking the law. And as per some of the previous reported articles* there is good evidence that those who cycle recklessly continue to get away with it, whilst the people penalised are not the problem (i.e. slower cyclists and those who comply when told to stop and provide details).

* Missed this one: https://road.cc/content/news/police-fines-young-cyclist-mother-anti-soci...

Avatar
NotNigel | 8 months ago
3 likes

https://www.instagram.com/p/CzbVWzYtfuj/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
 

Orla off of Eurosport with an article she's written for rouleur magazine..

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Simon E replied to NotNigel | 8 months ago
0 likes

NotNigel wrote:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CzbVWzYtfuj/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
 

Orla off of Eurosport with an article she's written for rouleur magazine..

Also posted on of twitter:

https://twitter.com/SportsOrla/status/1722883794124845282

Avatar
stonojnr | 8 months ago
3 likes

Without turning flooded cycle lanes into a Monty Python sketch, this was an underpass last week in Kesgrave, yes that Kesgrave cycle route Chris Boardman and Active Travel England keep mentioning as being brilliant.

If you'd survived the wet leaf covered descent, and climb out the other side, here's the 4-6inch deep water feature you ride through.

https://youtu.be/xoczQ-c4vpg?si=JHn8NteFn3AnFFvp

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ChasP replied to stonojnr | 8 months ago
5 likes

Nice attention to detail putting the slippery cobbles up the sides so any attempt to keep your feet dry is likely to end up with full body immersion.

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chrisonabike replied to stonojnr | 8 months ago
0 likes

Is this video starting here going east on Main Road?

The infra has some features which look good for the UK... so separate cycle and walking space (sometimes at different levels and with different colours for clarity), more "socially safe" underpass designs.  OTOH as you note drainage is an issue and it looks like this could use more maintenance overall.  Plus the kerb separating pedestrians and cyclists looks like an overly tall vertical design.  Is there a network here?

My council (Edinburgh) does at least *some* maintenance (e.g. cutting vegetation) on the paths, and a couple of years back did works to improve drainage which definitely helped.  Of course we may need to deal with more flooding conditions in the future...

Avatar
stonojnr replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
1 like

Yes its that spot and route on the map, but those good features really only exist around the underpasses. The rest of it as you can see whole way upto the A12 junction, just a slightly wider path, with a bit of paint sometimes.

I'd describe it as part of a self contained network, it doesn't link up with anything wider in the area, mainly because there isnt anything else locally bar some NCN signs.

It just gives you mostly (its not uncommon to encounter drivers who treat the Main Rd path as a sliproad) traffic free routes within the boundaries of Kesgrave.

For me it's better to ride on the road there, except when traffic is backed up as it was that day, even if that can be problematic.

Because you don't have to check so many driveways, roads to cross or deal with floods, mudslides (one of the other underpasses has inches of mud blocking the cycle lane off) and all the other usual shared path problems.

Avatar
quiff | 8 months ago
4 likes

Irritating audio autoplaying on the ads again (if it ever stopped, haven't been here much recently).

Avatar
ASISLIFE replied to quiff | 8 months ago
3 likes

Its soooo annoying!
makes it really difficult to have a sneeky peak when you should be working, LOL ...puts me off using the site.

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ChasP replied to ASISLIFE | 8 months ago
2 likes

What's really annoying is instinctively closing it when the sound comes on only to find the noise continues!!!

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hutchdaddy replied to quiff | 8 months ago
0 likes

Grrr....I'm trying to listen to music whilst surfing...

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Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
3 likes

That's not a puddle ...
ASL is about 50m from this point.
Fully submerged.
By this time, feet were wet, and my couldntgiveashit had left me about 6 miles and 8 other puddles earlier

Avatar
Shades | 8 months ago
2 likes

Man up.....Bristol yesterday.

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hawkinspeter replied to Shades | 8 months ago
0 likes

Shades wrote:

Man up.....Bristol yesterday.

Is that the tunnel on Kingsland Rd?

I haven't seen the state of the Lawrence Hill Lido recently, but that's usually bad too.

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Steve K | 8 months ago
1 like

Pretty much every raised pedestrian crossing at a bus-stop bypass in London creates a lake whenever it rains.

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mitsky | 8 months ago
3 likes

I'll raise Your "massive drainage issue" with a "temporary lake installation"...
And another reason why we sometimes don't "uSe ThE cYcLe LaNe!"...

See where the "cycle lane" bollards are partially submerged on both sides of the road.
Then imagine cycling there and getting soaked when a motor vehicle is driven past, creating a tidal wave of mucky water over You...

https://youtu.be/0-WYxz0J6Hw

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