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Fabio Jakobsen heading home to Netherlands tomorrow after horror crash; Cyclists "not all Lycra louts" says Boris Johnson; Biden questioned over helmetless ride; Anger over traps laid for cyclists + more on the live blog

Welcome to Tuesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty at the controls and Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
11 August 2020, 16:05
Not everyone is sold on Boris Johnson's comments
boris johnson fb comments.PNG

Some aren't happy that Boris chose to say 'Lycra louts' at all... do you think the PM's language was a tad clumsy? 

11 August 2020, 15:52
Fabio Jakobsen allowed to return home after condition improves
fabio jakobsen - via deceuninck quick-step.PNG

Following his horror crash at the Tour of Poland, Jakobsen is now able to travel back to the Netherlands after spending nearly a week recovering in a Polish hospital; he was initially placed in an induced coma before undergoing surgery. 

A statement from Deceuninck–Quick-Step said: “Fabio Jakobsen’s condition is evolving favourably, to the extent that he will be transferred Wednesday to the hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands (LUMC), where further follow-up treatment of his injuries will take place.”

11 August 2020, 14:47
Boris Johnson says "not all cyclists are Lycra louts" as he announces £2 million cycling and walking boost in Hereford
Boris Johnson (picture credit TfL).jpg

While his government's handling of many matters recently has proved divisive to say the least, one thing the Prime Minister often appears to make plenty of sense on is cycling... and during a visit to Hereford County Hospital today, Boris once again preached the benefits of getting more people travelling on two wheels. 

Announcing that Herefordshire had been approved for £2 million towards active travel schemes in the county, the PM was asked if such schemes were appropiate for those who live in more rural areas.  

According to the Hereford Times, the PM said: "When I was mayor of London I used to cycle 30 miles a day easily.

“I think cycling is a fantastic thing to do. We have just put another £2 million into Herefordshire to support cycling and walking schemes.

“There is much more that we want to do. Where I agree with you that there is a paradox that cycling in rural areas on often quite fast A and B road can be scarier particularly for less confident cyclists.

“We need to think as we take forward our cycling revolution how we encourage people to cycle in rural areas as well.

“Motorists have got to understand there will be cyclists on the road and they’re not all lycra louts and they need to be treated with respect and caution.

“It’s about educating motorists as well.”

11 August 2020, 15:37
Free 'socially distant' one-to-one cycle training offered in West Yorkshire
Leeds pop-up cycle lane (Leeds Council)

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority have announced that they will offer the free traininf from the front door to help people cycle to work or college in West Yorkshire. It's being delivered as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which aims to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot. 

The sessions will cover journey planning, cycling in traffic, tackling busy junctions and roundabouts, and will be led by qualified instructors on routes chosen by the participant. 

Councillor Kim Groves commented: “Two thirds of journeys in our region are less than five miles, which takes about 30-minutes by bike. 

“To date, more than 1,860 people have benefitted from the Combined Authority’s free adult cycle training scheme, with nearly 60% of attendees cycling more often as a result.

“Enabling increasing numbers of us to travel by bike and on foot is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

The sessions are available to anyone aged 16 plus who lives in West Yorkshire - more details can be found here

11 August 2020, 14:12
New 500 mile cycling network planned for the West Midlands
starley network 2 - via transport for west midlands.PNG

A vision for the Starley Network - named after the Starley family of Coventry who are considered founding fathers of the modern bicycle  - was unveiled today at the Coventry Transport Museum. 

Transport for West Midlands say that all 493 miles of the proposed network will be dedicated to active travel, on routes that are either segregated from traffic or away from roads entirely. It will pull together "existing routes and towpaths, proposed new cycling infrastructure, and new pop-up lanes funded through the Emergency Active Travel Fund" according to TfWM, and covers most major areas in the West Midlands connurbation including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Dudley. 

Over £260 million will be spent to build the network in the coming years, with highlights including a new cycle route on the A45 Coventry Road in Birmingham, a new cycle hire scheme and a series of routes along the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro tram line. More info including a full map of the proposed routes can be found here

11 August 2020, 13:37
Brian Cookson calls for next British Cycling CEO to have "detailed knowledge" as Julie Harrington departs

British Cycling say they are recruiting for "one of the best jobs in British sport", as Julie Harrington - Chief Executive Officer since 2017 - has announced her departure to take on the CEO role at the British Horseracing Authority in the new year.

The former UCI president Cookson clarified that his criteria was "a tough person specification to fill", and that he was not being critical of Harrington. 

British Cycling's Chair Frank Slevin commented: "Julie will leave with the good wishes of the Board and everyone at British Cycling.

"With Julie as Chief Executive Officer, and thanks to a strong leadership team, British Cycling has made great strides towards our ambition of becoming a world-leading governing body.

...“Like any organisation we have our challenges but, with the Prime Minister predicting ‘a golden age for cycling’, this is the best time to be joining British Cycling.”

11 August 2020, 13:29
Richmond Park partially reopens to traffic

The Royal Parks have released a document saying they are conducting "a trial reducing cut-through traffic within Richmond Park"; however this is based on pre-pandemic vehicle access, and many are dismayed that the park wil be reopening to traffic on a well-known 'rat run' route from Kingston to Richmond. 

Full story to follow. 

11 August 2020, 12:34
Helmet row, presidential election edition: Joe Biden spotted out for a ride... but attracts negative comments because he's not wearing a helmet

You're most likely aware that Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for the upcoming general election in the United States... you might be less aware that he's partial to a bike ride, and he was collared by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy at the weekend while cycling with friends. 

Doocy asked Biden who his running mate was going to be for the upcoming election, to which Biden replied: "You!"
This delighted most Trump-adverse corners of social media; but others were a little concerned by Biden's head, or lack of something on it... 

As you can see from this selection of replies, others were less bothered by Biden's bare head, and more encouraged that the 77-year-old is keeping fit and healthy on two wheels. 

Trump often refers to Biden as "sleepy Joe" on Twitter in reference to his advancing years, and often questions his cognitive abilities too. It seems there's only one way to settle this election then... 

11 August 2020, 10:56
Tandem cyclists (including one who has recently recovered from coronavirus) break 32-year-old Edinburgh to London record
london to edinburgh tandem record - via Mark Bourgeois on facebook.PNG

It's now confirmed by the RRA that Doug Hart and Mark Bourgeois of Ilkley Cycling Club have broken the long-standing record, riding the 388 mile journey in a time of 17 hours and 52 minutes. If it's confirmed, this will take 50 minutes off the previous mark set in 1988.  

The achievement is made all the more impressive given that Mr Bourgeois was in hospital with Covid-19 back in April according to the Ilkley Gazette. Writing on Facebook, he said he was "very happy and just a tad tired" the day after the ride.  
Mr Hart was already an experienced endurance cyclist riding solo and by tandem, having already broken the Edinburgh to York tandem record with fellow Ilkley CC member Jake Unsworth last year. 

The ride has raised plenty of cash for the Shelter From the Storm and LandAid charities so far, with the total at over £13,000 on their JustGiving page - click here to donate. 

11 August 2020, 12:10
You had one job, roundabout edition

How continental! #roundbout #roadsignmistakes #givewaytotheleft? #youhadonejob

A post shared by Matt Woolner (@woolymatt) on

Give way to your left, as the say on the continent. Not in the UK...

11 August 2020, 09:29
"That is attempted manslaughter": Anger over vicious traps allegedly left out for mountain bikers on private land
bike traps in woods kent 2 - via canterbury bike project on facebook

Originally, Kent Online reported that the traps had been laid in King's Wood, Kent; however posting on Facebook, The Canterbury Bike Project confirmed that the incident took place on private land nearby the public trails, commenting: "This incident has been confirmed to have taken place on private land, and as much as this behaviour is completely wrong we also have to say that trespassing and building trails on private land is also wrong."

bike traps in woods kent - via canterbury bike project on facebook

Private land or not, it's clear the traps are deliberately intended to cause harm rather than warn people to stay away, with the both barbed wire and nail traps taking "a lot of thought and preparation" according to Steve Cool, posting on the East Kent Mountain Bike Facebook group. He added: "Stating the obvious here but someone could be seriously maimed or worse on those nails. Unfortunately with the way this has been done, I think there will be more traps set in future. Be safe and keep a lookout."

Another commented: "Public or private land doesn't matter, that's not designed to make people turn around and cycle away, it's designed to take people by surprise and cause maximum harm."

It's understood that the incident has been reported to the police. 

*We're aware the alleged crime wouldn't be classed as 'attempted manslaughter' if the culprit(s) was charged - this was quoted from a comment on the Canterbury Bike Project Facebook page. 

11 August 2020, 08:25
"Build it and they will come": Transport Minister promises changes as survey reveals two thirds of adults in England think cycling is dangerous
London cyclists (coyright

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Minister of State for Transport, has promised to address the public's safety fears about cycling after the survey in the government's latest Walking and Cycling statistics document found that 66% of adults in England thought that cycling on the roads was too dangerous; this is up from 61% in the previous year, but Heaton-Harris says that Boris Johnson's blueprint for "a new golden age for cycling” will be at the forefront of changing this. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Heaton-Harris said: “I know from talking to people, and looking at my very active cycling social media response, that dedicated infrastructure is essential to make people feel safe.

“One of the big parts of this investment is to try and make the streets safer for people to cycle on. I tend to believe that in cycling, it’s very much Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams territory: if you build it, they will come.”

The survey results were compiled before lockdown, and Heaton-Harris said that increases in cycling numbers when roads were quieter shows that "when people feel safe, they cycle.”

He added: “I’d like to think with this investment over the next four or five years, we can actually demonstrate and have the data to prove that when we do the things we’re talking about, we will be able to demonstrate that that has led to way more people cycling. 

“We can also show we are a healthier nation, that air quality has gone up and air pollution goes down, all of these big things lots of people have been campaigning for, are delivered by change in the modal shift towards cycling and walking, And then I think it’ll be a no-brainer for future governments.”


11 August 2020, 08:19
First cars... now it's bins blocking the cycle lane

This one comes from the USA, where even slightly attempting to use the bike lane make for a rather interesting obstacle course...

11 August 2020, 09:10
Canyon throw the UCI rules out the window with the new super light version of their popular Ultimate
11 August 2020, 08:07
Police appeal after Aberdeenshire cyclist was fatally struck by a lorry driver
rikki gault - via police scotland

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after 30-year-old Rikki Gault was killed following a collision with a lorry on Low Street in Banff, Aberdeenshire on Fridya 7th August. Mr Gault died in hospital after suffering serious injuries. 

Police Scotland said: "Rikki's family have requested privacy at this time however wished it known that "Rikki lived life to the full and will be sorely missed".

"A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

"Low Street was closed for around eight hours to allow for collision investigation work.

"Anyone who witnessed the crash or has seen either the lorry or the cyclist prior to the crash is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident 2066 of 7 August, 2020."

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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