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Man fined £563 for cycling through car parks; Backlash over "selfish" time trial riders in local news article; Wandsworth Council suspend LTN trials; Ben Foster's post-football cycling goals; Primal x Sustrans Climate Change jersey + more on the live blog

Friday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty, with the odd contribution from the rest of the team...
11 September 2020, 16:08
US cyclist who was sued by driver who hit him for damaging car takes case to 'The People's Court' TV Show

As if this story couldn't get any more 'only in America', it turns out that the case of a cyclist who was sued by the driver who knocked him over has taken the matter to a TV show to be resolved. 

We first heard about this bizarre episode back in February, when it emerged that Jovonte Cook had filed a $700 claim against Bryan Agnello for damage to his vehicle... the only issue here being that Cook had knocked Agnello off his bike as he cycled home in Rochester, New York, leaving him with minor injuries but a completely mangled bike.

Agnello claimed Cook hit him as he slowed down to make a left-hand turn, but Cook claimed that Agnello was riding his bike "at about 60mph" and "came out of nowhere and splashed on my front windshield". Agnello added: “If I could go 60 mph I wouldn’t be here, I’d be in the Olympics."

After Mr Agnello counter-sued for $2,500, the case was eventually heard on American TV show The People's Court to resolve it once and for all, and was broadcasted last night. The reality TV show featuring Judge Marilyn Milian says it "dispenses justice and provides legal insight in the courtroom" to viewers, and involves real cases. 

We've contacted Mr Agnello for more details as the episode isn't available online yet, and will hopefully reveal the outcome over the weekend. 

11 September 2020, 15:24
Man fined more than £500 for cycling through Hemel Hemstead car parks
hemel hempstead car park - via google maps.PNG

A cyclist found guilty of breaching Hemel Hempstead's town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has been fined a total of £563 for cycling through two car parks. 

Jamie Thomas was originally issued a £75 fixed penalty for breach of the order, after police witnessed him cycling through the Marlowes and the Water Gardens Car Parks back in January. No payment was made, so Mr Thomas was ordered to pay a fine of £220, a £32 victim surcharge and costs of £311 at St Albans Magistrates Court. 

Hemel Today report that council enforcement officers assisted by the Dacorum Safer Neighbourhoods Team regularly patrol looking for people who may be breaching the order, and have issued 43 warnings and 13 fixed penalty notices since the PSPO came in last summer. 

Councillor Julie Banks commented: "This prosecution sends a clear message that breaching the town centre PSPO will not be tolerated and that enforcement action will be taken where necessary."

We understand that no car park users were harmed as a result of Mr Thomas' actions... 

11 September 2020, 15:59
“It is clear that the LTNs are not delivering the benefits we want to see": Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes suspended in Wandsworth

The council in the London Borough has faced a backlash from some locals, and it looks like they've bowed to pressure. 

Councillor John Locker said: “We have monitored the traffic flows and listened to feedback from residents and businesses. We have also spoken to our partners including local hospitals and key services to hear the impact on them.

“It is clear that the LTNs are not delivering the benefits we want to see. In fact it looks like the combination of changes in areas like Tooting, where TfL are making changes to the main high road, are unfortunately having the opposite effect. That is why we have taken the difficult decision to pause and re-think about how we can achieve our objective of delivering healthier, safer streets.”

He added: “We all want to do what is right environmentally, whilst maintaining people’s ability to travel and making sure town centres and high streets function properly. It’s important that we listen to what people are saying so that we get this right.”

Some are not happy with the announcement, while others have welcomed the U-turn.

11 September 2020, 15:12
11 September 2020, 15:03
Martinez wins Tour de France stage 13

The EF Pro Cycling man has claimed his first Tour de France stage victory, with Primož Roglič putting considerable time into Egan Bernal and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar in the GC race - full report to follow. 

11 September 2020, 14:50
Max Schachmann is caught

It's Martinez, Schachmann and Kämna, but Martinez looks more comfortable than the Bora-Hansgrohe pair. 

11 September 2020, 14:41
Primal and Sustrans launch Climate Change jersey
2021 primal climate change jersey

The apparel brand and keepers of the National Cycle Network have teamed up for a jersey, wind vest and cycling cap to "highlight the climate emergency in a bid to get more of us to move by bicycle." The striped design was created by Professor Ed Hawkins of Reading University, with each coloured stripe reflecting a year in temperature across the globe from 1850-2019 (they get progressively redder as our climate has worsened considerably in recent years, of course). 

Primal are donating £5 from every jersey and wind vest sold and £2.50 for each cap, which will go towards causes that encourage people to cycle. The collection is available to buy now on Primal's website

11 September 2020, 13:21
Backlash over local news article that says angry drivers branded A50 time trial riders "selfish"
A50 (via StreetView).jpg

A reader has got in touch to accuse Derbyshire Live of "sensationalist reporting", after an article posted today claims that angry drivers have branded time trial riders "selfish". 

The 100 mile time trial in question took place on Saturday 5th September, and although the article refer to "drivers" in the plural and says that "many motorists have said they felt unsafe", all quotes are from one 22-year-old driver who took issue with the event. 

Georgina Wager said: "I work in health and safety and I believe there is a high risk of injury when carrying out this event.

"One of the first questions has to be 'is it really necessary?'. If the answer to that is 'no', you can remove all risk by not carrying it out.

"No matter how careful drivers are, accidents can happen. At the weekend, multiple cyclists were doing time laps on a dual carriageway.

"I understand it is not illegal to cycle on a dual carriageway; however, that does not make it sensible. To those carrying out these time things - this is not a safe place to do so.

"Any time trial where you focus on speed as a priority (on a busy dual carriageway) is not safe, especially when you have no mirrors and have your head looking at nothing but the road. Next time, speak with the authorities and have roads closed, or even hire out the cycle area at Loughborough University.

"I really think it’s selfish. If a driver, regardless of fault, went into a cyclist because a cyclist wasn’t visible or was a split second too late braking on a 70mph road, it could ruin many people's lives in a blink of an eye. Legal or not, engage your brains."

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The article states that it is believed the cyclists were taking part in "a 25-mile route", when it was in fact the Burton and District 100 mile time trial organised by South Pennine Road Club. 

On Facebook, one commenter criticised the article for "stirring up anger and aggression" while another noted that time trials have been an institution on British roads for decades; however, some claimed that the road is notorious for being dangerous for cyclists and drivers. have reported on two fatal incidents involving time trial riders on the A50 in Derbyshire - in 2012, lorry driver Michael Bray pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving after killing 47-year-old Karl Austin the previous year. In 2017, 72-year-old John Stewart was killed while taking part in his club's 10 mile time trial on the A50 after being hit by John Barnes. Barnes was speeding and had been on his phone for 30 minutes before the collision, and was jailed for three years for causing death by dangerous driving.

11 September 2020, 14:35
Tour de France stage 13: will Max Schachmann hold on?

The Bora-Hansgrohe man has 41 seconds on Daniel Martínez of EF Pro Cycling, with another climb to go in the last 12km. 

11 September 2020, 14:18
Bauke Mollema abandons following stage 13 crash

The Dutchman has been forced out of the Tour following the crash with 86km to go. Trek-Segafredo haven't confirmed his injuries, but it's believed he has a broken wrist. 

11 September 2020, 12:03
The National Cycle Network is 25, and Sustrans are making a celebratory video to mark the occasion
National Cycle Network sign © Simon MacMichael.jpg

A quarter of a century ago,  Sustrans were awarded a grant from the Millennium Commission to build a national network of walking and cycling routes... and millions of journeys later the rest is history, as they say. 

To celebrate, Sustrans are creating a video to showcase "all the different journeys that make the Network so special" and are inviting the public to take part - more info here

11 September 2020, 10:41
Low Traffic Neighbourhood rows: Waltham Forest councillor says borough is being "reprioritised in favour of people"
Walthamstow Village Mini Holland (source Enjoy Waltham Forest)

In recent weeks, we've seen growing hostility towards schemes that close roads to rat-running through-traffic; most notably in London, where protestors are gathering almost weekly in Islington to argue for the return of through-traffic, and a Facebook group called OneWandsworth with almost 4,000 members has popped up to challenge LTN schemes in the Borough. A vocal minority were also reported to have vandalised planters and poured oil on the road to harm cyclists in Ealing. 

As Transport Xtra reports, opponents say that stopping through-traffic will hurt businesses, and others simply believe those who need to use cars shouldn't have their journey times increased. Some are also claiming that emergency services are struggling to get vehicles through streets with planters on them. 

Speaking at the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods webinar, Councillor Clive Loakes, Waltham Forest’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, defended LTN schemes fervently, denying that they harm business and saying that overall car journeys need to be reduced. 

“Opponents of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods want you to believe that if you can’t get in your car and go the exact same route that you have been driving for the past 20 years then civilisation is going to collapse, shops will close, businesses will fail", said Loakes. 

"In reality that does not happen and there is no proof - in Waltham Forest, in London, in the UK, across the globe! - that it happens.

"We have seen an improvement in bus times on these roads too, so it is not just a case of ‘oh, you have dumped all this extra traffic on these main roads’. It is about, first, reducing short-based car journeys and sole-occupancy car journeys, which was something like 60% of all the journeys in Waltham Forest. Then it is about how you address other traffic that still needs to come into Waltham Forest and how you move that traffic through more effectively and efficiently.” 

In 2016, it was reported that the Mini Holland scheme in Walthamstow Village had resulted in a 50% drop in overall volume of traffic, and no collisions were reported. Loakes also says that car ownership in the area has now dropped to around 50% of households, and as low as 40% in some wards. 

He added: “The vast majority of the time the car just sits there, parked up, costing money. Actually, you can join a car club and use a car when you need it for particular trips. This is a more efficient and effective way of accessing vehicle ownership and, of course, if you don’t own one yourself you are more inclined to walk and cycle and use other modes of transport to get around.”

11 September 2020, 11:27
London Cycling Campaign answer questions on active travel and pop-up cycling schemes on Reddit 'ask us anything' session

We are the London Cycling Campaign - ask us anything! from r/londoncycling

Why are cyclists more serious in London? Does ULEZ reduce car use? What should you do about cars blocking cycle lanes? London Cycling Campaign have tried to answer these questions and more in their Reddit Q+A, which you can find in the link above - they've stopped taking questions now, but there are some interesting takeaways in the replies. 

11 September 2020, 11:45
Danny MacAskill's VR Experience looks suitably terrifying

We've just been made aware of this collaboration between MacAskill and the  RIDE OUT Bicycle Store in Amsterdam, offering a "word first" virtual reality experience. Fancy a go? 

11 September 2020, 09:27
It's 22 years since the "Race of Disgrace"

Daniel Friebe returns to the spot where the Festina Affair unravelled, and the very cafe where Richard Virenque and co were given their marching orders from the 1998 Tour de France. 

11 September 2020, 08:47
How to win a Tour de France stage? It's all about the helmet straps

Marc Hirschi realised his 'error', and what do you know... he went and won stage 12! If you weren't aware, one of the golden rules of bike snobbery is that helmet straps have to be underneath the arms of your sunglasses. Of course in reality, it really doesn't matter one jot. 

11 September 2020, 08:33
England goalkeeper Ben Foster says he wants to be a cyclist when he retires from football
ben foster - via wikimedia commons

The Watford 'keeper is already known as a keen cyclist, and now admits that he wants to take things up a notch when he finally hangs up his gloves. 

Foster told The Guardian: “I want to be a cyclist after football. I will give the next two seasons my full, undivided attention and then there are so many things I want to do on my bike on the bucket list, all of these lovely climbs.

“The Alps, all of the famous ones – the Vuelta, the Giro – even some of the mad ones. They have a race in America called Dirty Kanza, which is proper grotty – gravel bike, dirty, camping in bushes. It will be absolutely class; I can’t wait.”

We're not sure if Foster means that his target is to actually race the Vuelta and Giro one day or to just take on some of the famous routes; and while 20-year-old Remco Evenepoel has made the transition from football to cycling successfully, Foster will be 39 in two years, so it would appear to be beyond him. Either way, his cycling ambitions seem pretty lofty. 

Foster also takes issue with being pigeonholed as a footballer, seeing himself as more of a dad and cycling fan rather than 'just' a professional footballer: “If you ask me who I am, I would say I’m a father, a husband, I love cycling, I play football for a living, blah, blah, blah", continued Foster. 

"But the problem comes when straightaway people say: ‘I’m a professional footballer.’ Come on, mate. You’re not – you’re a human being first. But that comes with age. And that’s the thing you need to get into people’s heads, that they are people first. People see them as this commodity, this footballer, but they are a person first and foremost.”

11 September 2020, 08:31
Tour de France stage 13: not one for the sprinters

Things are heading skywards as the riders head towards Puy Mary today... will all the sprinters make the cut-off?

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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