Bicycle frame making is in danger, according to Heritage Crafts, the national charity for traditional heritage crafts moving the trade into its 'Red List' of endangered crafts.
Previously classed as a viable craft, the downgrade to endangered suggests that while there are currently "sufficient craftspeople to transmit the craft skills to the next generation" there are "serious concerns about their ongoing viability".
Heritage Crafts' definition suggests this could be due to shrinking markets, an ageing demographic or a declining number of practitioners. In publishing its research, the charity noted how the energy crisis and inflation has "only exacerbated the issues faced by our most at-risk skills, building on the cumulative effect of Covid, continuing uncertainties around Brexit and structural issues relating to the funding for skills transmission".
And while bicycle frame making is not yet in the critically endangered category alongside clog making, glass eye making and sporran making, it does now share the same endangered status as crafts such as cricket bat making, horn, antler and bone working and kilt making. The charity reports one craft, mouth-blown flat glass has gone extinct since the publication of its last edition.
"The effect of the energy crisis, inflation, COVID-19 and Brexit have been tough on everyone, not least the craftspeople who possess our most fundamental craft skills," Mary Lewis, who led the research on behalf of Heritage Crafts, said.
"We know that heritage craft skills operate like an ecosystem; if we lose one part it can have devastating consequences on other parts of the system. If we allow endangered crafts to disappear then we seriously diminish the opportunities for future generations to create their own sustainable and fulfilling livelihoods and deal with the challenges of the future."
— road.cc (@roadcc) May 11, 2023
Not according to some of you...
Secret_squirrel: "WTF. Have Heritage Crafts never been to Bespoked? Its my (totally uninformed lol) impression that frame building is having a rennaisance."
quiff: "Also came here to use the word renaissance. I would have guessed UK framebuilder numbers have increased in say the last 10 years."
I've got to admit I've never been to Bespoked, but Jack has... here's what he saw...
While you're all here for the frame-making story, why not check out a couple of Steve Thomas' excellent features on some of England's best bike builders from the 20th century...
No images of this during the TV coverage but a photo doing the rounds on social media shows the British national champ on the deck again... and considering the weather, it's hardly difficult to work out this was definitely today's stage...
#Giro 🇮🇹 - 🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁
Previously unseen photograph of Mark Cavendish.
He’d been on the floor earlier in the stage, fortunately, he was able to continue.#DomestiqueLive
📸Credit: Luca Bettini/Getty pic.twitter.com/W8C9S0nFSO
— Domestique (@Domestique___) May 11, 2023
Before the stage Alberto Dainese and Cav met for a morning after the night before chat...
— Team DSM (@TeamDSM) May 11, 2023
Cavendish finished today's stage in 141st place, alongside three Astana teammates, more than 18 minutes behind Mads Pedersen.
After an incredible full day breakaway effort, Alessandro De Marchi and Simon Clarke were both looking for their first Giro win, and in the Australian's case to complete his Grand Tour stage wins set.
Into the final kilometre with a decent gap of 14 seconds but somehow — perhaps the Italian knowing Clarke would likely be faster in the sprint, perhaps the Australian not wanting to be pressured into leading out, perhaps just through pure mental and physical fatigue — the pair dallied. No more than a few seconds hesitation, but after a few hours pushing, giving everything for victory, that was all it took...
𝘼 𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙏𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙢! 🤩
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 11, 2023
Instead, it was Mads Pedersen winning his first Giro stage, the Dane completing his Grand Tour stage win set, the win in Naples sitting pretty alongside three Vuelta stages and a Tour victory, all achieved in the last 10 months.
The run in to the finish was hectic, the peloton rattling over the twisting cobbled streets of Italy's third largest city. Keep an eye out for the commissaires' take on Ineos Grenadiers liberal use of the team car to ensure Geraint Thomas regained contact with the peloton after dropping his chain dodging traffic furniture...
𝗚𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘀' 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳𝗳! 😲
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 11, 2023
Fair enough if you've tried to forget everything between March 2020 and the following summer, but at least the year gave us this — Jeremy Clarkson berating a pro cyclist for being out during lockdown...
Yes, a profesional cyclist doing his job by being out the house riding a bike. A bit like, I don't know, a farming TV personality being out the house doing their job by farming and talking bull... Talking about male cows, is obviously what I meant there...
Anyway, ranting aside, that rider in Trek-Segafredo kit, who got a cameo in Clarkson's Farm on Amazon, was Charlie Quarterman who after a tough couple of years is back back racing against the best. Today, he's in the Giro breakaway...
Last year at this time Charlie Quarterman was racing the amateur stage race called Tour de Loiret (Elite national)
— Eemeli (@LosBrolin) May 11, 2023
Remember kids, all it takes is talent, hard work, dedication... and a snide remark from Clarkson...
Currently in discussions with the powers that be to organise a free road.cc cycling holiday to the Amalfi Coast for all you live blog regulars (I wish)... what a stunning Giro stage this has been...
The sort of TV pictures a race organiser and tourist board dream of, and a welcome day's sunshine for the riders after yesterday's washout.
Rumours are the upcoming Tour of Britain stage finishing in Harlow was the inspiration for today's route... don't shoot the messenger (even if he is chatting rubbish)...
This is quite something
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 11, 2023
In the city celebrating a first Scudetto in 33 years, with the great Diego Maradona looking down, the Giro peloton may end up being hounded out of town after Italian champ Filippo Zana's, admittedly cleat-hampered, shot at keepy uppies...
— Stephanie Constand (@stephconstand) May 11, 2023
Remco didn't make the cleat mistake, removing his shoes for this more respectable effort...
— Soudal Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (@soudalquickstep) May 11, 2023
Watch out Remco, Roy Keane's coming for your centre-mid spot...
Today's stage will travel the training roads of another of our XI, a certain Ballon d'Or-winning Italian centre back by the name of Fabio Cannavaro who regularly uploads his Campania spins to Strava.
"I didn't realise straight away, I realised afterwards," Dainese, who was relegated from his fourth place, told the TV cameras at the start of stage six in Naples. "Honestly, I did my sprint wrong, I was on Kaden Groves and I got boxed in by Mads Pedersen and Jonathan Milan, I couldn't get out so when I saw the gap on the left I tried to pass but it was too late for me to try to win the stage.
"Today, Marius Mayrhofer will do the sprint, I'll try to be the penultimate man in the best possible way."
Sounds like a day on the naughty step for Alberto...
While desperately hoping not to give any cyclist-bashing local councillors here in the UK any ideas, just look at the size of this speed bump spotted on a Norwegian cycle path!
I’d say this sign is an understatement pic.twitter.com/boj8AEwgiu
— Anders Hartmann (@andershartmann) May 10, 2023
Not sure the sign does that justice. Hit that one too hot and you'll land in Sweden...
Ideally it would be a bit steeper, just for maximum launch angle, but top marks for the don't give a f delivery of just plonking a great big mass of different coloured tarmac onto the existing surface like some poor B-list celebrity's attempt at icing a cake on Bake Off. No handshake for this.
At least make it a table top so you can jump it pic.twitter.com/5hQKyGXgsA
— CycleGaz™ (@cyclegaz) May 11, 2023
Anyway, in my book the Parisian cycle lane speed bumps one mayor claimed were for cyclists' own protection are still undefeated...
Well done LukeB for winning comment of the day by pointing out my unapologetic inconsistencies...
An imperial distance covered at a metric speed - does that count? https://t.co/Ufy3DDwmIU
— LukeB_MTB @mastodon.social (@LukeB_MTB) May 10, 2023
To quote the man who rocked Los Angeles’ underground literary scene half a century ago as he depicted the American society like no one had done it before him:
“People run from rain, but sit in bathtubs full of water”
— Soudal Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (@soudalquickstep) May 10, 2023
At least it's better than a dismally shoehorned sponsor shout-out...
Why just be aero when you can be aero AND shiny?
You might remember this Kogel Bearings cage from the live blog the other week, well, Gustav Gullholm has got his hands on the finished product... a custom polished SRAM RED AXS XPLR derailleur with matching prototype Kogel Kolossos Aero cage.
"While we can debate how much faster it actually makes you, I'd say it's a fact that it'll at least make you look fast AF!" Gustav reckons.
Oh, and for the pleasure of putting down a refundable $10 deposit you can be first in line for when Kogel puts it into production. I'll leave that for any of you who found a winning lottery ticket down the back of the sofa last week...
Double crash pain for Remco yesterday, here's what the team's doctor had to say about his condition...
— Soudal Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (@soudalquickstep) May 10, 2023
Slip 'n slide across the line of stage five
Don't you know you might find
A better race to win
It's a work in progress... with this much reaction, fallout, medical updating and speculation from yesterday's Giro stage to round up it's probably best we get cracking...
Team DSM's Alberto Dainese was relegated, bumping Cav up to fourth place on the stage, the commissaires deciding the Italian's dangerous sprinting had caused the pile-up. Dainese was also fined 500CHF and lost all the points he gained on the day for the points classification.
"We accept the jury's decision and once again hope those who crashed in the finale are okay," Team DSM later said in a statement.
Back at the Astana Qazaqstan team hotel, Cavendish said his injuries weren't too bad and that he had received a phone call from Dainese...
"The circumstances after that…it's sprinting. Alberto has called me. You know, it's part of sprinting, I just hope everybody else who crashed is OK, I saw some stretchers and that," he said.
"I've had my wounds cleaned up, and my knee's a little bit sore, but I don't think there's anything broken. We haven't checked that out yet, but I don't have the pain of anything broken.
— Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) May 10, 2023
AG2R Citroën's Andrea Vendrame was the rider seen on the stretcher, his team confirming that the Italian has no broken bones, but "a deep wound that requires stitches as well as skin abrasions on his left shoulder".
"I crashed after crossing the finish line," Vendrame said. "Luckily, I didn't break anything. We were coming at 60 km/h and Mark Cavendish crashed. His bike was thrown to the left of the road and I couldn't avoid it. I found myself in the barriers. These are never good moments. I will do everything to get the best possible treatment this evening with the medical staff. I hope to be at the start tomorrow, that's my goal for the next few hours. It would be heartbreaking to leave the Giro d'Italia."
Arkéa–Samsic's David Dekker was also involved and was able to return to the team bus after picking himself up.
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.