Horrifying footage of man kicking girl's bike on path; Phil Gaimon breaks Everesting record; No LDN congestion charges for 3 more weeks; Claims 'Stay Alert' has led to more dangerous parking; Anger over council's cycle lane snub + more on the live blog

Welcome to Tuesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty at the controls and Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening ...


12 May 2020, 17:03
Horrifying footage emerges of man kicking 6-year-old girl's bike after he refused to move on path

The disturbing clip shows the thug walking a dog with a woman on Derbyshire's Blackwell Trail, while the father of the 6-year-old girl cycling can be heard shouting 'excuse me' numerous times. Neither the man or the woman move, resulting in the girl panicking and crashing between them. The father then asks for an apology and receives abuse, before the dog walker then kicks the girl's bike and walks off. The girl can be heard crying in the background.

The footage has caused much anger on social media after being shared by the girl's mother Michelle Prost, and according to The Mirror she wrote on Facebook that her daughter has been left "traumatised" by the incident. 

Ms Prost continued: "She is new to going on bike rides, this has really upset her. The man gets verbally abusive and says "so f**king what?".

"What an awful man. My daughter is traumatised. They clearly have an issue with cyclists and were making a point of not moving."

12 May 2020, 16:23
Northern Ireland lift draconian e-bike laws

Residents of Northern Ireland were subject to extra stringent e-bike laws that forced them to register and insure any pedal cycle with a motor; but from tomorrow, new legislation will bring them in line with the rest of Europe which allows Northern Irish cyclists to ride e-bikes with up to 250 watts of power and a top assisted speed of 25km/h without needing a licence or insurance.  

12 May 2020, 12:39
Phil Gaimon sets Everesting record, completing the challenge in just over 8 hours
phil gaimon everesting strava.PNG

The former pro turned YouTube personality climbed more than the 8,848 metres needed to 'everest' in 8hrs 4mins according to his Strava upload, eclipsing the previous world record of 8hrs 29mins set by Tobias Lestrall in 2017. To do so he picked Mountaingate Ridge Road in Los Angeles to stage his attempt, riding up and down it 61 times. 

Gaimon was raising funds for the No Kid Hungry charity, with the running total standing at just under $69,000 of a $100,000 target at the time of writing - the fundraising page is here.  

12 May 2020, 15:22
No reintroduction of congestion charge or ULEZ levies for at least three weeks, indicates Sadiq Khan
London Congestion Charge Zone via TfL and Google Maps.JPG

The Evening Standard report that the London Mayor doesn't plan to reintroduce the London congestion charges for at least three weeks; despite TfL expecting to lose an estimated £4 billion in income this financial year. Campaigners have also said that the suspension of charges doesn't tally with Westminster's urge for people to walk and cycle when they return to work, and that the suspension of the £11.50 daily congestion charge and £12.50 ULEZ charge could lead to more commuters heading back to work in private vehicles. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made it clear that the government expect commuters to walk and cycle where possible in parliament today:

Both the congestion charge and ULEZ were suspended on 23rd March, with the intention of making it easier for key workers to commute by car. Khan told ITV: 

“For the time being, we are not lifting the changes. But we will be reviewing that. The key thing is from the Prime Minister — this road map in the medium to long-term. It gives us a route out of the lockdown.”

NHS manager Jonathan Kelly, who is also a member of Better Streets Kensington and Chelsea, told the Standard: “We risk the car becoming the default mode of socially-distanced transport. I am very aware that NHS workers are increasingly switching to walking and cycling to work in response to the pandemic.”

12 May 2020, 16:20
Specialized launch new sub-15kg commuter e-bike, the Vado SL
specialized VADO SL main pic

Described as an 'electric revolution' by Specialized, the new e-bike has their own mid-motor system, flat bars and 38mm tyres and weighs under 15kg - full story on eBikeTips

12 May 2020, 13:28
BALPA uproar rages on, as Pilot's Association insists they are still "furious" the government can 'find money' for cycling and walking

Some false equivalency here perhaps? We've a feeling BALPA aren't doing themselves any favours... 

12 May 2020, 13:57
Spurcycle launch Compact Bell which has been “optimised for flat bars”
SpurCycle compact bell 4

Spurcycle has announced a new bell that has been designed for urban and MTB flat bar bikes. The new bell features a 9mm mount width that has a diameter of 22.2mm. In a press release, Spurcycle said:

“The new Compact Bell has been amended with a 50% slimmer mount and trim lever which allows better integration with many brake, shifter and dropper levers seen on modern bikes. It is intended for use with mountain bike, commuter, eBikes or any other bike that uses a 22.2 mm diameter bar.”

The bell has a brass alloy dome and produces a “premium sound”. The compact bell is available now at £44.99

12 May 2020, 13:50
Moving Salsa Cycles short film tells story of bikepacking adventurer who took on challenge devised by her late husband

'Choosing to Live' details Sarah Hornby’s journey through the Canadian Rockies,​ put together from a bikepacking guidebook with ten epic routes written by husband Ryan. Hornby says she originally had no real intention of riding them herself, but did so in tribute to Ryan after he pased away. A huge cut above most bike brand promo videos, this is well worth 7 minutes of your time. 

12 May 2020, 11:10
'Stay alert' slogan and new guidance blamed for huge influx of motor traffic and illegal parking spotted in Ribble Valley

The government have been accused of sending mixed messages with their latest lockdown guidance update urging people to 'Stay Alert' instead of 'Stay Home', and the halfway house of car parks and public amenities still being closed while the public have essentially been given a free pass to drive to beauty spots is said to be leading to an inevitable rise in motor traffic. In the photo above, it's claimed that drivers heading to the Ribble Valley are parking on double yellow lines, thus making the road narrower and more dangerous for passing cyclists and walkers. 

While the public in England have been told they can drive where they please, we should perhaps prepare for this being a common sight in the current phase of the lockdown. 

We've devised a Q+A for cyclists in England, Scotland and Wales on what has changed in light of the latest announcements, which you can find here; not a lot has changed, but some messages such as 'unlimited exercise' now means that it's less likely people can misinterpret this as 'once per day' exercise or think there is a time limit. 

12 May 2020, 13:25
With a 'friendlier' price tag than the existing £8,500 cycling treadmill from Tacx
12 May 2020, 12:14
Dunwich Dynamo return transport cancelled
Dunwich Dynamo dawn breaking on beach

The famous through-the-night ride from Hackney to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast won't be providing return transport on 4th July for the event. Organiser Gareth Evans said on Facebook that despite the easing of current restrictions, it's "very unlikely" that groups of up to 50 could be transported by coach back to London by the planned 4th July start date. He added: "We're due to pay deposits to our contractors about now, and as a volunteer organisation we can’t afford to take on that financial risk."

A full refund will be offered, but Dunwich Dynamo have asked those who bought tickets to consider donating the fee to the London Cycling Campaign instead. The event is not exclusively owned by anyone, therefore it's expected many could ride the 200km route anyway; and perhaps find their own way back, as detailed in this very entertaining blog Sam Walker written for back in 2015. 

12 May 2020, 11:53
Pilot claims he is furious at British Pilot's Association's bizarre press release slamming government's cycling and walking investment

The press release from BALPA claims that "British pilots will be absolutely aghast and frankly furious" at the £2 billion earmarked for cycling and walking when the aviation industry is "dying before our eyes"; but many people in the airline industry themselves have strongly distanced themselves from the stance, including pilots. We'll have a full story on this later today. 

12 May 2020, 12:08
Sir Bradley Wiggins hosting 'Le Col by Wiggins Social Spin' on Zwift tomorrow
ride with wiggins on zwift le col may 2020

The virtual ride starts at 6pm tomorrow and will be led by Wiggins, with special guests promised for a catch-up at various points. You can sign up here, and also join in the chat on Wiggins' Instagram page

12 May 2020, 12:05
BMX'ing around locked down New York

The city that never sleeps is asleep, which gave Matthias Dandois the opportunity to pull some epic stunts aroung NYC landmarks. 

12 May 2020, 10:51
Alexandr Vinokourov says Astana will 'disappear' if racing doesn't resume this year

Astana are one of many teams facing huge difficulties because of the pandemic, and their manager Vinokourov claims that if racing doesn't resume this year then it may inevitably mean that the team will fold. 

Vinokourov described the UCI's efforts to devise a new calendar as a miracle and "better than nothing"; but with Astana's funds coming mostly from state-owned companies in Kazakhstan, finances are dwindling for the team with no revenue coming in. Vinokourov told Cyclism Actu:  “There is a crisis in Kazakhstan, the oil and gas market is complicated. I think if there are no races this season, our team will disappear."

Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck - Quick-Step also said his team could fold if competition doesn't resume this year, while Het Nieuwsblad report that Mitchelton-Scott riders have had their pay cut by up to 70% since April. The same publication also claimed that CCC will end their sponsorship of the team that bears their name, with riders taking 50% pay cuts to get through 2020. 

12 May 2020, 09:58
Virtual racing can be even harder than riding on the road, according to World Tour performance analyst
virtual race performances pros

In a study backed by gambling website Bonus Finder, cycling coach and data scientist Philipp Diegner assessed more than 200 pro performances from recent virtual races, finding that riders are forced to put out superhuman efforts to place highly and some are struggling to adjust to the intensity. With most virtual races lasting around an hour, they're up to six times shorter than road races but can be just as difficult, sometimes harder.

Diegner explains: "The racing is short and particularly intense.

"It is 45-90 minutes of racing instead of 3-6 hours. The consequence for the riders is that there is no opportunity to save energy like they have in road races, so they have to make prolonged, all-out efforts that push them to their physical limit.

“Professionals are not necessarily used to this and it can be a shock to the system. Virtual racing is as hard as road racing; it is just that endurance is a more decisive factor in road racing, whereas virtual racing is one hour of pure, intense suffering.”

The 10 performances in the graphic above were picked out by Diegner as the most impressive he's seen since the lockdown virtual races began, and as you can see they're not all household names. Chris Hamilton's monster effort putting out 6.05w/kg for an hour only netted him a fourth place finish at the Digital Swiss 5, and Diegner claims the 6.58w/kg he averaged for the last 12 minutes would have been enough to win him "most World Tour mountain stages". Hamilton described the Digital Swiss 5 as "the hardest thing I've ever done."

Diegner added that he expects top pros on the road who appear to be underperforming - such as Egan Bernal - to improve and start replicating their outdoor performances in the virtual world over time. 

12 May 2020, 09:04
Richmond Cycle Campaign repeat calls for a reversal of Richmond Park cycling ban
Cyclist in Richmond Park (CC licensed by Fred Dawson via Flickr)

The group received a response to their earlier letter regarding the ban in April, with Director of the Parks Tom Jarvis writing that the measures were in place to ensure the park was not "overwhelmed with visitors". 

Richmond Cycle Campaign have now sent another letter to Mr Jarvis - titled 'Still Not Good Enough' - questioning the basis for closing the park. They question that any sufficient data was used to show that people were travelling from far afield to cycle in the park, and say that their suggestions to deal with overcrowding at gates weren't considered. They also question the claim that cyclists travelling at speed were "endangering wildlife", and say that similar incidents have been reported of dogs chasing deer and endangering visitors with no action taken. 

There is no indication that Royal Parks intend to lift the Richmond Park cycling ban currently. 

12 May 2020, 08:26
"Where the car is king": Councillor claims Haringey Council refusing to install temporary cycle lanes... which is against Statutory Guidance

Councillor Luke Cawley-Harrison says he got an email response from Haringey Council saying that there's no need for additional segregated cycle lanes during the pandemic because the roads "have never been quieter"; with some pointing out that speeding and the number of fatal incidents involving cyclists have both gone up:

It's said that the government's new statutory guidance means councils are obliged to make additional space for cycling and walking, with Coventry's Bicycle Mayor Adam Tranter saying that the government have power to take over control of roads from councils who fail to comply:

It comes after an email was shared with from Councillor Geoff Driver, the leader of the Tory-controlled Lancashire County Council, who described the emails he received based on Cycling UK's pre-written form to lobby for additional cycling infrastructure as "childish antics". The draft from Cycling UK to ask your council for temporary cycle space during the lockdown can be found here

12 May 2020, 08:17
Enfield in North London gets a cycle lane on the busy A1010... but is this the way to go about it?

It's something of course, and far safer than no cycle lane at all; but some have questioned the use of 'flex posts' and the large gaps between the defenders still won't be enough to completely prevent incidents: 

What do you think, should we strive for better?

12 May 2020, 09:22

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After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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