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Vine’s latest vid makes motorists wheelie angry; ‘Stop built-in car dependency’: Labour Party under fire for calls to clamp down on Just Stop Oil protesters; Wout van Aert banned from Strava; Unusual Zwift setups + more on the live blog

It’s four days until Paris-Roubaix weekend – otherwise known as Tuesday – and Ryan Mallon is here to bring you the second live blog of the week
12 April 2022, 16:24
Having a wheelie good time in the comments

I promise that will the last of the ‘wheelie’ puns…

Turns out most of our readers were shocked and appalled by Jeremy Vine’s video of the trickster cyclist, wheelieing his way around London.

Though they were mostly appalled because they can’t execute a wheelie of that beauty themselves:

I could wheelie like that when I was a teenager.

The fact that I can't now I'm in my 50s is obviously the fault of modern bikes. Can't ride ‘em no handed either.

Personally, I think it's appalling.  And that is in no way due to embarrassment that I can't do a wheely.  Not even when cycling on Wheely Down Road in Hampshire.  Oh no.

In the first lockdown I tried for a while to learn to wheelie. To my chagrin, I failed. Got quite close eventually, the trick is making yourself lean back, but the mental effort of forcing myself to do that was too much for me.

Others were less than impressed by some drivers’ reaction to the footage online, particularly the predictions that showboating cyclists would wreak ‘carnage’ on the capital:

I wonder how many motorists would be KSI'd by a wheelying cyclist?

But one car might have been scratched, and we all know that's far more important than the life of a human being.

The carnage bit seems to have been edited out of JV's video, and it seems to be missing from all the news sites... AP must be shitting themselves that they have missed a story about *carnage* in London...

12 April 2022, 15:56
What’s the hold up?

One from the comments section today:

Back from the shops and I was held up as I could not turn off the main road into the junction due to two chatting drivers, one in a lorry.

Must have been held up for over nine seconds. Will they get a NIP?

For those of you scratching your heads, here’s the original bizarre story of the cyclist handed a notice of intended prosecution for holding up a van driver for nine - yes, nine - seconds while filming a phone-using motorist:

> Police intend to prosecute helmet cam cyclist for holding up van driver – for nine seconds

12 April 2022, 15:41
Cargo bike hire scheme on its way to Wandsworth

A cargo bike hire scheme is set to launch in the London districts of Tooting, Clapham Junction and Battersea.

The Community Cargo Bikes scheme will be operated by bike provider Peddle My Wheels and supported by Wandsworth Council. For up to £5 an hour, locals will be able to rent the bikes for up to two hours a day.

Residents are asked to register their interest in the scheme at the Peddle My Wheels website

12 April 2022, 15:24
Meanwhile in Finland...

File this one away for the next time anyone tries to argue that bikes are no good for transporting things…

12 April 2022, 14:31
Perseverance pays off for Delaplace
12 April 2022, 14:26
Stolen bike wheel (via Leopard Tech)
Prolific bike thief targeted senior doctor as he treated Covid patients

A serial bike thief stole a doctor’s bike as he battled to save the lives of patients in intensive care during the Covid pandemic.

Dr Aiden Turner was working a 14-hour shift at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in June 2021 when 26-year-old Callum Graylish stole his Specialized bike. Graylish had a number of previous convictions for stealing bikes (out of 95 in total) and would go on to steal two more high value bikes that summer on the grounds of Newcastle University.

In a victim impact statement, Dr Turner said he used the bike to commute to work so lost out financially as a result of the theft.

“On that day I had been due to finish work at 8.30pm but stayed on an extra hour to help out. It had been a hard, busy day and coming out to find my bike had been stolen was very demoralising,” he said.

Graylish was sentenced last week to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of theft and one of possessing the so-called ‘zombie drug’ spice with intent to supply.

12 April 2022, 13:57
Tony Martin auctions off Olympic medal to help children in Ukraine – and the highest bidder immediately returns it to him

A few weeks ago we reported that Tony Martin (Norfolk’s finest, according to Twitter’s UK Cycling Expert) was auctioning the silver medal he won at the 2012 London Olympics to raise money to help children and their families in Ukraine. 

Today the 36-year-old retired German pro announced that nutritional supplements brand FitLine was the highest bidder, donating €35,000 to charity Wir Helfen Kindern for the medal – before promptly returning it back to the former Jumbo-Visma rider.

“Even though I was absolutely fine with donating it, this massively generous gesture makes me speechless,” Martin said on Instagram.

“I really want to thank FitLine for the big support of my charity project and also for giving me back the chance to show my Olympic silver medal to my grandchildren one day.”

Last week, Germany’s 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich also raised €40,000 for children in Ukraine by auctioning off his yellow Pinarello from the following year’s controversial ‘Festina Tour’, where he was beaten in dramatic fashion by Marco Pantani.

12 April 2022, 13:33
And now for the Tories…

It’s lashing down where I am, but the sentiment remains.

Surely it's time for Boris to - as they say - get on his bike now?

12 April 2022, 12:33
Four days to Paris-Roubaix: Who says students are lazy?

Definitely beats eating last night’s pizza and watching Jeremy Kyle anyway [insert your own up-to-date daytime TV reference here]…

12 April 2022, 12:27
Portsmouth bike holiday robbery (Katharine Barker)
Bike snatched ‘right in front’ of woman just before cycling holiday

A Bristol cyclist had her bike stolen from ‘right in front’ of her just hours before she was set to travel to France for a cycling holiday with her partner and son.

Katharine Barker, her partner Henry and eight-year-old had travelled to Portsmouth on Saturday to board a ferry to Saint-Malo for a long-awaited, covid-postponed bike holiday.

As Katharine waited outside a local shopping centre on Commercial Road with the family’s three bikes, a thief “suddenly” appeared from behind her, grabbed her Canyon bike (fitted with panniers which included her son’s new cycling shoes), and rode off.

“He came from out of nowhere, it all happened in a flash,” Katharine told The News

“I wasn’t close enough to grab him so I screamed out. But it wasn’t very busy because it was about 5pm and the shops were closing.

“It felt worse because I literally saw it happen in front of me and I couldn’t stop it.”

Katharine says she contacted the police immediately but was told there was little they could do.

She described the thief as a slim, young man in his late teens or early 20s, who was wearing grey trousers and a black cap.

“I don’t think I will get my bike back but it’s important to raise awareness about this to prevent it happening to others,” she added.

“Maybe I was being naive, but I didn’t expect my bike to be taken from right in front of me.”

Her partner Henry told “We’re all pretty gutted and it’s put a massive downer on what was meant to be a really enjoyable holiday”.

Anyone with information about the robbery can contact Hampshire Police on 101 quoting 44220139919 or by submitting information via the police’s website.

12 April 2022, 11:52
Wout Van Aert on Stage 11 of 2021 Tour de France 02 A.S.O., Pauline Ballet
Wout van Aert told not to share Strava rides ahead of possible Paris-Roubaix return

Wout van Aert is back on his bike and training again*, after a bout of Covid ruled the Belgian champion out of the Tour of Flanders last week.

However, there’s bad news for fans who religiously scour Strava to keep up to date with the power numbers and heart rate of their favourite pros.

Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma team have warned him not to publish any of his training rides on the app, in order “to prevent speculation” about a return to racing at this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

After a scintillating start to the season which saw him win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a Paris-Nice stage and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, Van Aert’s hopes for a maiden Ronde win in the Belgian tricolour were dashed when he contracted Covid in the days before a race he was due to enter as the red-hot favourite.

The 27-year-old has now returned to training in Spain, fuelling reports that he will line up at the Hell of the North, at least in a support role for his Jumbo-Visma teammates.

But general manager Richard Plugge is remaining tight-lipped about his star’s chances, even banning him from sharing details of his rides on Strava.

“We have made a very clear agreement with our medical management that we should be more cautious than cautious,” Plugge told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“That’s also because we do not know the effects of Covid in the longer term. Your heart, your muscle metabolism, your lungs: it can all be affected.

“There are still goals to come. Later this year and for years to come.

“I'd rather he now rest for two weeks, or three weeks, or five weeks for my part, if that is necessary so that he can race normally again afterwards. That's what we're looking at now: how much rest does Wout need?”

A final decision on whether Van Aert will ride Paris-Roubaix is expected on Thursday.

* Of course we have no way of confirming this... because if it's not on Strava it didn't happen, right? 

12 April 2022, 10:42
Spot the difference

And now for some balance, here’s a thread on London parking from Max Sullivan, Labour’s candidate for the Bayswater Ward at the upcoming Westminster City Council elections: 

12 April 2022, 10:25
Give bicycles a chance

And on an entirely unrelated note…

12 April 2022, 09:56
‘Stop built-in car dependency... fund active travel’: Labour Party under fire for calls to clamp down on Just Stop Oil protesters

Labour has come in for criticism from cyclists after the party called on the government yesterday to crack down on climate change activists who have attempted to disrupt supplies from eleven oil terminals in the Midlands and south-east of England.

The activists from Just Stop Oil, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion, are demanding that the government commits to not engaging in new oil and gas extraction in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over 400 people have taken part in the protests this month, with some chaining themselves to pipes and tankers to disrupt the delivery of fuel to petrol stations. Over 500 protesters have been arrested since the start of April.

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil has said: “No-one wants to be doing this, but it's 2022 and right now there is a need to break the law so we are not guilty of greater crime, that of complicity with a great evil.

“We have no choice but to enter into civil resistance until the government announces an end to new oil and gas projects in the UK.”

Yesterday, Labour called for “nationwide injunctions” to block the demonstrations, which the party’s shadow justice secretary Steve Reed says are “causing misery for motorists”.

In a tweet which linked to an article from the Sun, Labour wrote: “Motorists were already being hammered by prices at the pump, and now millions can’t even access fuel.

“The government must immediately impose injunctions to put a stop to this disruption.”

The party’s call to crack down on the protests by making the police’s ability to arrest activists easier was heavily criticised by climate change and active travel campaigners online:

12 April 2022, 09:17
“If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid”: Unusual Zwift setups
Zwift clothes horse set-up - via Devon Cumberland on Zwfit Riders facebook group

Talk about multi-functional…

This brilliantly creative solution to one of life’s great problems – where can I train and dry my washing at the same time? – was uploaded to the Zwift Riders Facebook group by US cyclist Devon Cumberland.

Devon’s unusual laptop holder got us thinking: what’s your turbo training setup like?

Has anybody gone for the clothes horse training station themselves? Any kitchen table or work desk Zwifters?  Maybe you use the lawnmower in the shed to precariously balance your laptop? (Speaking from experience here…)

Let us know!

12 April 2022, 08:19
Vine’s latest vid makes motorists wheelie angry

As regular readers of the blog will know, Jeremy Vine’s video updates from his two-wheeled London commute are scientifically proven to have the ability to wind up every anti-cycling, ‘why don’t they pay road tax’ motorist who has the misfortune to type the broadcaster’s name into the Twitter search function and view them.

Yesterday evening’s instalment was slightly different, however, as it didn’t feature a close pass, a speeding motorist, or even a taxi driver throwing a glass bottle at some bloke on a bike. 

Instead, Vine devoted 51 seconds of social media coverage to something a bit lighter: a young buck who just loves a wheelie. The trickster – who seems keen to avoid wearing out his front tyre – even knew who the presenter was, well kind of…

“You’re ITV3 right?”

“Yeah, Channel 5…”

Close enough.

Despite this spot of light relief, Vine still managed to be on the receiving end of some classic motoring ire:

Yes, because we all just wheelie about everywhere, of course. Let’s put that on the cycling bingo list with road tax, helmets, thinking we own the road… 

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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