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Bingo cards ready...'cyclists don't pay boat tax'; Stay calm...Strava's back; Dreaded unclipping fail; Ganna tempted by Hour Record; Millionth cyclist; New Chain Reaction site splits opinion; Bike lane chat; GBDURO; National champs + more on the live blog

It's Monday and Dan Alexander is here for the first live blog of the week...
11 October 2021, 15:40
Bingo cards ready...cyclists don't pay boat tax

Here's a new one for you. Add 'cyclists don't pay boat tax' to road tax, red light jumping, helmet wearing, reflective clothing, not using bike lanes, 'think they're in the Tour de France', riding two abreast and all the rest of the anti-cycling comments that have found their way onto our bingo cards.

One unhappy boater took issue with those pesky cyclists complaining about poor investment on towpaths. Said 'narrowboater' snapped back: "Where would you suggest the Canal & River Trust finds the money after fixing lock gates, breaches, swing bridges etc? Boaters pay around £1,000 a year to use the canals. How much do you contribute as a whinging cyclist?"

The problem here, a few people pointed out, is that as the path is a public footpath it would have been paid for through council tax, not the £1,000 per year boaters send off to the Canal & River Trust.

Still, cyclists paying boat tax will keep us chuckling for a while...

11 October 2021, 16:09
Hill climb season: Most knackered rider + road tax banter
Most knackered rider award (image Ali McLean)

The pro road racers may be winding down, but here in the UK the hill climbing season is coming to the boil. Team Kirkley Cycles hosted its first event this weekend and handed out the unique prize of 'most knackered rider'. It doesn't matter how fast you go, just as long as you leave yourself in a ditch trying not to be sick then you're in with a chance.

I should at this point give props to Matty Smith for winning the event outright by one tenth of a second...but it was Mick Chappel who turned himself inside out for the most knackered rider award. As you can see from the picture above, it was well-earned.

Someone spotted this amusing graffiti too...

Hill climb graffiti Pay your road tax (Image Ali McLean)

Don't forget the boat tax...

11 October 2021, 16:01
Wait until they see the cars parked in the cycle lane behind him...
11 October 2021, 14:18
Full live coverage of British National Championships on GCN+, Eurosport Player and YouTube (+ highlights on ITV4)
Lincoln GP _ credit British Cycling.jpg

The pro road cycling calendar is almost finished for another year. I say almost because there is the small matter of deciding who gets to wear the British national champs' jerseys in 2022. That's being decided this week in Lincoln. The time trials are on Thursday, circuit races on Friday, before the main event of the road races on Sunday.

Both the men's and women's road races will have full live coverage through GCN+, Eurosport Player and British Cycling’s YouTube channel (UK-only), plus a full highlights programme on ITV4 at 7pm on Tuesday 19 October. Thursday's time trials aren't being broadcast live, but there will be a highlights programme on ITV4 at 7pm on Monday 18 October.

The circuit races have live coverage through GCN+, Eurosport Player and British Cycling’s YouTube channel (UK-only), plus a full highlights programme on ITV4 at 7pm on Monday 18 October.

11 October 2021, 13:53
Filippo Ganna tempted by Hour Record attempt after promising test results
Filippo Ganna at 2021 Worlds (Copyright Alex Witehead,

Filippo Ganna spoke to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport at the Trento Festival of Sport and had some interesting things to say about the Hour Record. Asked if he has considered taking on Victor Campanaerts' record, the 25-year-old, who recently defended his world TT crown, said he will decide in the new year but had already conducted a half hour test where he'd beaten the Belgian's pace.

"I'll think about it in January, next summer. I tried in Montichiari after a period of altitude after the Giro, but it only lasted 30 minutes, and it was really tiring. I understand that everything must be planned well, it is something that requires an incredible effort. We will see in the future, we will talk about it later. Let's hope one day to uncork a good bottle of rosé to celebrate."

The Ineos Grenadiers rider also credited Elia Viviani with inspiring him to succeed on the track...

"He paved the way for us, he helped people rediscover the pleasure of watching on TV, thrilling us with the Rio gold that has changed many things. He showed us that we could grow and do something important. The track has something special. When you understand it, you won't give it up."

Talking of Ineos and Viviani, the Italian is rumoured to be rejoining the team for next season. The 32-year-old left the team, then under the Sky banner, in 2017 to join Deceuninck-Quick-Step, but has been unable to replicate his previous form in the past two seasons at Cofidis. One to keep an eye on.

11 October 2021, 12:59
Get the champagne out...millionth cyclist to cross Blackfriars Bridge this year

But I thought all bike lanes are empty? 

11 October 2021, 12:49
Ekoi to use Tocsen crash sensors in its helmets


Ekoi x Tocsen

French helmet manufacturer Ekoi has signed a deal with Tocsen which will see Ekoi’s helmets incorporate crash detection technology which alerts selected contacts in the event of an incident. Ekoi says that “in the event of a cyclist falling and losing consciousness, the Tocsen crash detection sensor alerts the emergency numbers and the community that has downloaded the Tocsen App.

It can be purchased as a spare part that you can stick to your helmet or, as in the case of the new Ekoi helmets, it is already integrated. The crash-detection tech is already in use in Uvex and Alpina helmets and Specialized has a similar technology with its Angi device.

11 October 2021, 11:22
"I could have made a better logo on Paint": New Chain Reaction website splits opinion

If you've been looking for some convenient supplies online over the weekend then you might have noticed Chain Reaction Cycles has a new website design. And, par for the course in the social media age, the reaction has been positive...

A quick scan at the most liked comments under this Insta post..."Looks kinda budget"..."Cool, but prefer the original"..."Old logo was well established and instantly recognisable and loved it. +1 for not a fan of the new look". 

Joe Besant reckoned he'd have done a better job on Paint, while Josh Jenner couldn't have cared less about the logo and just wanted to know when stuff won't be sold out...tough crowd.

Anyone a fan of Chain Reaction's new colours?

11 October 2021, 11:17
BMC launches virtual showroom
BMC Virtual Showroom

If you’re dead keen on BMC bikes — or more likely just want to have a nosey around a fancy bike shop — you can now browse around the Swiss company’s flagship store from the comfort of your own home.

“As it has become difficult to connect in person, BMC looked at ways we could still welcome those real riders in,” explains Luisa Plasczymonka, Customer Experience Manager at BMC.

This VR tool allows users to walk around the showroom, interact with the latest range of products and even go into some of the meeting rooms for some reason.
Have a virtual look around here.

11 October 2021, 11:09
Zwift to ‘host’ 2022 UCI Esports World Championships in February
Zwift e-sports World Championships 2022 - via Zwift

Elite cyclists who missed out on real life worlds medals in 2021 can hope their Zwift avatar will get them off to a flying start next year, as the UCI Esports World Champs is set to take place on 26th February. 

The UCI confirmed that Zwift will (virtually) host the championships once more, moving from Watopia to a course on its New York map this time around. This takes riders and viewers “100 years into the future with elevated glass roads that take riders high into the iconic Manhattan skyline”, on a two-lap, 54.9km ride with 944m of elevation*.  

Qualifying starts in November, and all hopefuls must use a Zwift-supported smart trainer or smart bike with accuracy equal to or better than +/-2% - more details can be found here, and the main even in February will be hosted on Zwift’s YouTube channel.

Zwift also staged the inaugural event in December 2020 – the men’s race was actually won by professional rower Jason Osborne, while Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio of SD Worx won the women’s event. 

* We’ll get in there before someone in the comments mentions it that yes, we’re fully aware that it is actually no kilometres and no metres of elevation… 

11 October 2021, 10:43
GBDURO during a pandemic — 2,000km off-road from Land's End to John O'Groats

We've been sent this vid highlighting the struggles of completing the GBDURO, a 2,000km off-road ride from Land's End to John O'Groats. Normally all the headlines go to the winner and the elite riders who smash out the distance in around seven days. Anisa Aubin completed it in a still incredibly impressive 12 and was one of just five riders to finish. Needless to say the challenge is tougher for those at the back of the race, slogging on day after day once everyone else has finished.

11 October 2021, 10:24
Why cyclists might not use bike lanes

Jon Owen used Google Maps to demonstrate the problem with so many cycle lane routes...

Lots of braking, stop starting, giving way. That all sounds familiar.

11 October 2021, 09:06
"If it’s down, it’s far worse than Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. You’re messing with my life, Strava": The cycling world panics as Strava goes down

Last Monday was, sort of, refreshing. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp going down meant we all just sat there like social media had never been a thing. Maybe you read a book, spoke to your family or actually watched the Netflix series you normally have on in the background while scrolling your phone.

Admittedly, working for a cycling website which posts stories on said social media platforms, made things slightly less blissful, but anyway — you get the point. 

Yesterday, however, was not alright! Strava down? Nope. What was the point in getting out of bed for a ride if nobody knows? Have I cracked the top 6,000 on that segment? As expected, the cycling world reacted reasonably and rationally to this minor inconvenience...

Some took the credit for breaking the app with their mega watts...others cursed the luck of Strava going down on Chicago Marathon and Royal Parks Half Marathon day. Still, we all know our Sunday cafe run is more important than both of those...

It all seems to be back up and running again now. The last time the app had a major fail was May 6.  Does that mean we're due our next in another 158 days? Take a rest day on March 16th...

11 October 2021, 08:33
Weekend round-up: Nairo Quintana dressed as a chameleon on Colombian Masked Singer, Parkrun controversy, Google Maps' new 'lite navigation' for cyclists
Credit: Canal RCN - Nairo Quintana, Masked Singer

On the site this weekend we had the bizarre video of Nairo Quintana performing a Rhythmn of the Night remix while dressed as a chameleon. The performance on the Colmbian version of Masked Singer was pre-recorded and broadcast just hours  after Quintana had finished 11th at Il Lombardia, a race won by Tadej Pogačar.

In doing so, Pog became the first rider since Eddy Merckx to win two Monuments and the Tour de France in one year. Merckx was 24 when he first achieved that prestigious hat-trick, Pogačar has just turned 23...

Elsewhere in the racing world, there were no surprises on the final stage of the Women's Tour as Demi Vollering held on to her race lead into Felixstowe. World champion Elisa Balsamo picked up her first win in the rainbow bands, denying Lorena Wiebes a third consecutive stage win.

The other big stories of the weekend on site...Parkrun was accused of "normalising violent driving" by asking if participants could keep up with car travelling at 93mph...and Google Maps unveiled a new 'lite navigation' system specifically for cyclists.

11 October 2021, 07:43
We've all been there...the dreaded unclipping fail

Anyone NOT had one of these embarrassing tumbles? It's a rite of passage for most cyclists. I still wake up in cold sweats about mine: the zebra crossing, the slow motion fall, the concerned commuters asking if I was alright, the hopeless explanation that my cleat was too worn to easily unclip. No injuries, just dented pride.  

It's happened to most of us, although few have the bravery to revel in their misfortune by uploading the footage to social media.

The advice from those on Twitter is pretty much what we'd recommend: pick yourself up, dust yourself down, hope there aren't any scratches/damage if fell you to the drive side, and get back out there.

If anything, the amazing thing here is it took five years to least the minivan driver checked the cyclist was okay. Although recalling my experience, you just wish everyone would move on and pretend nothing happened.

Remember when Michael Owen was accused of going down too easily when he forgot to unclip? Definite yellow card for diving.

Get your unclipping fails in the comments...

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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