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Cyclist left in tears by aggressive driver for not using dangerous bike lane; Groenewegen gets nine-month ban; More dreadful cycle lanes; Cycling in cities up 127%; EF Pro Cycling launch diversity programme; AI 'smart junctions' + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat to take you through the middle of the week...
11 November 2020, 16:48
Cyclist left in tears by abuse from aggressive driver for not using unsafe cycle lane

Lib Dem candidate Katherine Miles was left visibly shaken and tearful following abuse from an aggressive driver in Oxford. Miles explains in the video that she wasn't using the cycle lane as it isn't safe for her to ride with her child when a driver repeatedly blasted their horn at her and shouted 'get in the bleep bike lane'. 

Miles said: "Better cycle infrastructure needed. Is it any surprise more people don't cycle. Left in tears after aggressive behaviour. Highway Code ignorance by motorists targeting cyclists in Oxford."

11 November 2020, 16:09
Dr Richard Freeman 'tried to frame Shane Sutton over testosterone scandal as act of revenge'
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Dr Richard Freeman was yesterday accused of trying to frame Shane Sutton as an act of revenge. The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor's fit-to-practise medical tribunal continues in Manchester this week. Part of Freeman's defence is the insistance that he ordered testosterone under the instruction of Shane Sutton - to treat Sutton's erectile dysfunction.

Matt Lawton of The Times reported that Simon Jackson QC, who is representing the General Medical Council, read messages that had been sent between Freeman and Bradley Wiggins in 2016 which suggested the 2012 Tour de France winner blamed Sutton for the the publication of the Jiffy Bag story in 2016.

The message read: "Sit back and watch as I have a lawyer to tear that **** Lawton to pieces 
 with any luck I will get Sutton as well."

Mr Jackson said: “What I’m suggesting to you Dr Freeman is when you identified Shane Sutton as the intended recipient of the testogel, you had a motive to identify him as the recipient? Are you with me?

"I suggest you had a motive to identify Mr Sutton, to get even and discredit him, didn’t you?"

The accusation comes on another controversial day for British Cycling after coach Kevin Stewart was sacked for what the governing body described as a "long term pattern of inappropriate relationships with riders."

11 November 2020, 15:05
Is this the worst cycle lane ever made?

We're no strangers to terrible cycle lanes here at so they have to be pretty dreadful to catch our eye.

Just last week we showed you this Manchester cycle lane filled with leaves...

Or how about this bike lane which Essex County Council claimed didn't need repairs..

We're not sure what's worse about the Dublin 'infrastructure' that Will Derham has shared above. The car parked in the middle of the lane or the lines? It really does look like primary school children have been given some white paint and told to draw a Zebra...

This is why cyclists don't use cycle lanes.

11 November 2020, 14:46
Family of teenager who died after being knocked off bike by driver call for change after second incident in three weeks
Newport teenager cycling death (screenshot)

A petition to make changes to a road where Joshua Fletcher was tragically killed after being knocked off his bike by a car driver has been started by the teenager's family. Fletcher died following the collision on the Southern Distributor Road in Newport last month. The driver of the car has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but the family of the victim want to see more commitment to road safety.

"A young boy had so much life left but tragically taken," said Avril Fletcher, Joshua's aunt told Wales Online.

"The family are devastated. I want the council to rethink the road as this is not the first time this has happened. Something needs doing.

The petition's importance has been further emphasised by a second incident involving a teenager needing hospital treatment having been hit by a car driver on the same stretch of road last week.

You can view and sign the petition here.

11 November 2020, 13:49
Bjarne Riis to leave Team NTT
bjarne riis - via NTT Cycling on Twitter.PNG

Bjarne Riis will step down as Team NTT's team manager at the end of this season. The team are currently struggling to attract sponsorship beyond 2020 and Riis has confirmed he will be leaving the team.

"To be a part of NTT Pro Cycling during a unique year for all of us has been a great experience. I have a lot of respect for the team that Doug has built and want to thank him for the opportunity. I wish him all the best for the future," Riis said.

Riis, who held a similar role with Tinkoff-Saxo joined NTT at the start of 2020.

11 November 2020, 13:25
Police update on stolen bikes
Stolen bikes (City of London Police).PNG

Yesterday we reported that a bait bike led police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes in London. Three men were arrested and City of London Police are now trying to find the owners of the bikes. Already some people have come forward to say they believe they can see their bike in the photo. Many of the bikes are valued at several thousand pounds, with the most expensive worth roughly £5,000.

City of London Police said: "We're currently in the process of creating a visual slideshow on our website of the bikes we've seized, so we can return them to their owners in the most efficient way."

More than 80 bikes have been recovered and there have been at least 10 arrests as part of this latest operation against bike thefts in the capital. Yesterday we shared this video of a Deliveroo driver stopping a potential bike theft in London.

11 November 2020, 12:35
Belgian mud

There are very occasionally some days when being a pro bike rider doesn't seem all that appealing... a nice dry day for it in Belgium then. 

11 November 2020, 12:08
Cambridge cycling and walking bridge lifted into place
Abbey Chesterton Bridge

A new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was lifted into place as part of the new Chisholm Trail, which will link the city of Cambridge via a mostly traffic-free route. The 40-metre Abbey-Chesterton bridge was lifted into place earlier this week and will provide a more convenient journey for cyclists into the city.

One cycle commuter commented: "I’m a cyclist that uses the route between Addenbrooke’s and north Cambridge every day. I’m very excited to see the new bridge open – a big thank you to Camcycle and Jim Chisholm and everyone who’s campaigned for it."

The aim of the Chisholm Trail is to make many journeys quicker without using a car and it is hoped the new infrastructure will encourage more people to cycle into Cambridge.

11 November 2020, 11:45
Brian Facer appointed as British Cycling CEO
British Cycling Logo

Brian Facer has been appointed as British Cycling's new CEO and will replace Julie Harrington in January. Facer joins the governing body from Premiership Rugby side London Irish, where he was also CEO and oversaw the club's return to London.

British Cycling Chairman, Frank Slevin said: "Brian is a British Cycling member and a passionate cyclist, and he understands the needs of the cycling community who are the core of the organisation. What also impressed us was his knowledge of British Cycling, and his commitment to investing in all of our staff and volunteers, so that they can achieve their own potential and make the federation as a whole even stronger."

11 November 2020, 11:15
EF Pro Cycling and Cannondale to increase diversity in cycling with college programmes
Tour de France 2020 Dani Martinez EF Pro Cycling Cannondale SuperSix Evo - 1 (1)

EF Pro Cycling and Cannondale are to launch new cycling programmes at historically black colleges to try and help increase racial diversity in cycling. The programmes will start in 2021 and have been outlined with an initial commitment of three years. USA Cycling are involved in the partnership, while Cannondale will supply teams with equipment and funding.

"We believe that cycling is for everyone. Yet, in reality, not everyone feels welcome or has access today," said Mary Wittenberg, EF Pro Cycling President.

"We want to help increase diversity in our sport, starting with racial diversity in cycling in the USA. Success will require a comprehensive approach across the industry, so we turned to USA Cycling to talk about how we could best target our energies in concert with others looking to help from grade school to masters-age athletes."

Despite the initial three-year commitment, both EF Pro Cycling and Cannondale have expressed their desire to build a long-term project to improve opportunity to participate in cycling for all.

11 November 2020, 10:26
Manchester AI-controlled 'smart' traffic junctions go live
Vivacity Labs from Twitter

Transport for Greater Manchester and Vivacity Labs have announced that their new AI-controlled traffic lights, which use sensors to anonymously identify different types of road users, are to go live. The hope is that the 'smart junctions' can give priority to pedestrians and cyclists report BusinessCloud.

Vivacity Labs' initiative won an Innovative Use of Technology award last week at the 2020 Intelligent Transport Systems last week and is set to go live in Manchester after successful trials in Salford back in September. The increased number of cyclists on the roads since lockdown should benefit from the lights which seek to accommodate those on bikes and pedestrians with priority where possible.

Mark Nicholson, CEO of Vivacity Labs, explained the technology: "Since the pandemic, commuter trends and traffic hotspots have changed completely, and cities need AI to help protect people no matter what mode of transport they take.

"Our vision is to help cities implement critical policies addressing safety, air quality, sustainable travel, and congestion, at a hyper-local level."

11 November 2020, 09:38
Dylan Groenewegen banned from racing for nine months
2020 Tour of Poland Groenewegen Sprint Move

Jumbo-Visma sprinter Dylan Groenewegen has been banned from racing for nine months by the UCI. A lengthy ban was widely expected after the UCI strongly condemned the Dutch rider's actions in the first stage of the Tour of Poland. Groenewegen will be suspended until 7 May 2021 and has accepted taking part in 'a number of events to benefit the cycling community'. The 27-year-old was involved in the incident at the Tour of Poland which caused Fabio Jakobsen to crash into the finish barriers. Jakobsen has not yet returned to racing either because of the severity of his injuries.

11 November 2020, 09:12
New research shows 127% increase in cycling since lockdown in UK's biggest cities

New research from Utility Bidder has shown that Liverpool experienced a 222% rise in cycling since the first COVID-19 lockdown. The report uses data from Strava, as well as city-specific cycling data from Sustrans, and found that the UK's biggest cities have on average experienced a 127% rise in cycling since May. Other cities that saw a spike in cycling activity include Manchester where it increased by 169% and Glasgow where there was a 146% increase.

Utility Bidder estimate that this has saved 6,313 tonnes of carbon dioxide in Liverpool alone. Despite a lower percentage increase, the 119% rise in cycling in London is estimated to have saved 45,846 tonnes of carbon.

All ten cities, which also include Birmingham, Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast, Bristol and Sheffield, combined saved a total of 9,000 people's annual carbon dioxide output.

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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