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"Tone deaf": Cyclists slam NSPCC Land Rover giveaway; Timmy Mallett finds "new bike trap" on National Cycle Network route; First summit finish of the Giro won by Davide Bais; Anti-cycling story coming to a national paper near you? + more on the live blog

It's almost the weekend... rudely just a two-day break this week... Dan Alexander is on duty for your final live blog of the week...
12 May 2023, 15:44
"Tone deaf": Cyclists slam NSPCC Land Rover giveaway

Roll up, roll up, let's finish the live blog week with some social media outrage... after this fairly easy to criticise giveaway from... *checks notes*... *checks notes again to make 100% sure I'm reading this correctly... the NSPCC...

Needless to say the ratio of two likes to 75 replies is telling, many followers saying they donate to the charity but have been left somewhere on the scale of shocked to dismayed to downright furious...

Streets for people campaigner Jo Rigby replied: "Oh come on — I've a direct debit with you and couldn't think of anything less appropriate to put up as a prize."

Another called it "utterly tone deaf".

Nice quiet Friday afternoon in the NSPCC offices then...

12 May 2023, 16:10
"A life changing moment at the Giro d'Italia": Davide Bais wins stage seven

Here was the moment...

Not a classic Grand Tour stage by any means, in fact almost instantly forgettable but don't let that take anything away from Davide Bais' achievement. A first win as a professional... and it comes at his home Grand Tour, on the first summit finish of the race at a famous mountain, the site of a Marco Pantani victory way back when. Chapeau.

12 May 2023, 07:53
"What a shame": Timmy Mallett finds "new bike trap" on National Cycle Network route

Timmy Mallett was back out on the bike yesterday, on familiar off-road paths near Maidenhead and Windsor, including a stretch of National Cycle Network 50. Unfortunately the take-home message from this spin in the countryside was that "sadly it looks like the end of cycle route 50" because of this...

Timmy Mallett NCN50 (Strava)

"For decades I've been riding the green ways of Britain and this green way, like many others, is by permission of the landowner," Mallett told his Strava followers. "Oh dear. This week a new bike trap at Lighlands lane, Cookham, has gone in on cycle route 50, and I can't get my handlebars through.

"The result is the green way is now off limits and not accessible for cyclists, hand bikes or wheelchairs. What a shame."

 

"It is of course the prerogative of the landowner how they choose to make the way accessible and for whom. Sadly it looks like the end of cycle route 50," Mallett continued. "Instead the detour is over the treacherous Widbrook common, which is utterly scary.

"I pedalled along a road into Maidenhead, picked up NCN4 where the bike gates have been removed and the green way is shared safely and happily. Across the new cycle path by the side of the M4 over the Thames to Dorney and down past Boveney chapel to the lovely meadows by Eton.

 > Utterly brilliant: An interview with Timmy Mallet on all things e-bike

"May is a gorgeous month to enjoy Britain's cycle paths. There's a new pedestrian area being constructed by Queen Victoria's state next to Windsor castle. The way home came through fields of buttercups and cascading white may blossom. There were also huge flooded footpaths.

"A Sustrans volunteer was at work on the Jubilee River doing an audit of these bike hazard entrance gates/traps. The Highway Code has made the vulnerable a priority. The green way landowners have some way to go to make the cycle paths accessible..."

12 May 2023, 14:55
Godspeed! Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby fined £500 for speeding

This news Just-in...

Official_portrait_of_The_Lord_Archbishop_of_Canterbury_crop_2

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been given three penalty points and a fine of more than £500 after being caught driving at 25mph in a 20mph zone last year. The 67-year-old was travelling along the Albert Embankment towards his official residence at Lambeth Palace and was sentenced at a private magistrates' court hearing, the BBC reports.

Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court ordered Mr Welby to pay a £300 fine, a £120 victim surcharge and £90 in legal costs, as well as the penalty points. 

A spokesperson for Lambeth Palace said: "He has tried to resolve this and pay the fine three times. He has all the paperwork to prove that he has tried to pay. Admin errors seem to be causing problems."

12 May 2023, 14:25
Peak cycling out of context
12 May 2023, 14:12
Demi Vollering wins opening stage of Itzulia with dominant solo display

There's more than just the Giro to enjoy this weekend. Don't worry we won't bore you with what's happening at the Tour of Hungary, but the world's best women's racers are having a showdown in the Basque Country, a week on from Annemiek van Vleuten's somewhat controversial (urinating-related) win at La Vuelta.

Demi Vollering got revenge, of sorts, winning today's opening stage in dominant fashion, 47 seconds ahead of teammate Marlen Reusser, with Katarzyna Niewiadoma third and Van Vleuten fourth.

Nice weather for it...

12 May 2023, 14:00
"I have the feeling that Roglič is nervous": Remco begins the mind games

We'll see how well these words age in about an hour or so...

Remco Evenepoel (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Speaking to Rois de la Pédale, one of Eurosport's talkshows, Remco said he believes his big GC rival Primož Roglič is nervous...

"I have the impression that Roglic is nervous," he told Philippe Gilbert. "He knows he is 44 seconds behind. Jumbo-Visma rides nervously through the peloton anyway. They push a lot, but that's their style. After the time trial and the stage the day before yesterday, I think I am the strongest at the moment.

"For now it is an ideal scenario for us. In Catalunya I was behind, now in front. There is no stress for us. It's more the case with them, I think."

The opening summit finish of the race is just half an hour away...

12 May 2023, 13:49
Is it a gravel or a road bike!? Check out the new 2023 Vitus Venon Evo
12 May 2023, 11:38
"I couldn't be happier for the guy. He's a genuinely lovely lad": 10-mile TT chat with Colin Sturgess after George Fox sets blistering road bike TT time

Our story on George Fox's 18:41 10-mile road bike time trial certainly got some attention...(and not just for my unapologetic cocktail of metric and imperial measurements)...

George Fox breaks 10-mile road bike TT record (George Fox)

> How fast?! New road bike 10-mile time trial record set at 51.6km/h average speed for 18:41 clocking

We spoke to Colin Sturgess, pro rider-turned-DS who had a few fast times of his own back in the day, not least the then-10-mile TT record of 18:48, which stood from 1988 until 1992. Oh, did I mention Sturgess set that time... yep, on a bike from the 80s and only seven seconds slower than Fox's 2023 time. 

Both George and Colin have said it is a pretty pointless exercise comparing eras, Sturgess telling road.cc he "couldn't be happier for the guy. He's a genuinely lovely lad". And while we initially said Fox had 'broken' the road bike TT record, as that record doesn't officially exist (with Cycling Time Trials, so George would have to beat Marcin Białobłocki's supersonic TT bike time of 16.35), saying 'set' could make more sense as we've only got Sturgess' time to compare to, especially considering bike tech has hardly stood still for the past 25 years...

"He and I have spoken at length about it, and I couldn't be happier for the guy. He's a genuinely lovely lad," Sturgess told road.cc. "When I broke the 10 record it was outright comp record (low profile bikes etc. were allowed). My rear Campag Ghibli disc wheel hadn't arrived from Italy, and I didn't have a low-profile bike at the time, so I used my normal road bike, with a pair of 28-spoked wheels. Used the bike the next morning in a crit."

Speaking to CTT after Sunday's impressive ride, George added: "It was never about comparisons, nor ever will be. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, Colin Sturgess is another level and 18.48 was way ahead of the game when it was set!"

"It was never a case of comparing to his ride," George explained. "It was more the fact there was a record which using technology and science we think is theoretically possible. That was always the premise that it was breaking a number not comparing to the ride which was done previously."

So there, hope you enjoy reading about time trialling... 

12 May 2023, 10:48
Charlie Quarterman living a "dream" at Giro d'Italia

We mentioned on yesterday's blog that British rider Charlie Quarterman had made the day's breakaway, coming a long way since being berated by Jeremy Clarkson during lockdown... no, really...

> Clip of Jeremy Clarkson berating pro cyclist for riding in lockdown surfaces

Giro d'Italia 2023 stage six breakaway (RCS Sport)

Speaking about his day in the break (back of shot in the purple jersey), Quarterman called it a dream to be back racing against the best riders in the world.

"I wouldn't say no to winning a stage like I did at the Tour du Loiret but quite a change. Felt the difference riding through towns yesterday so loud with fans I couldn't hear the radio or any of the riders shouting next to me. Even if it's hard, it's already a dream to be here."

12 May 2023, 08:48
"It's really disappointing to see new ones going in": Cycle route barriers... a familiar problem

This group ride playing 'how many cyclists does it take to lift a cargo bike over cycle route barrier?' made our live blog back in March...

Cycle route barrier (@MariamCycles/Twitter)

On the same lines as Timmy Mallett's post (and dare I say the never-ending talk about bike storage on trains), fine if you've got skinny bars and can lift your bike, not so fine for those in wheelchairs, riding cargo bikes, wider handlebar bikes etc.

> "Oh! Bollards!" Delivery cyclist says council's new cycle route barriers are too narrow for cargo bike trailers… also supplied by the council

And from the replies to Mallett's Strava activity, he's not the only one pissed off...

Karen: "There are campaigns to take these out all across the country. It's really disappointing to see new ones going in."

Rob: "To those saying to turn the bars 90 degrees. We need to be making our cycle ways more accessible for those with a wide range of abilities riding a wide range of bikes. Simply letting these gates be installed and only used by the able isn't the answer."

Simon: "This has happened in Portsmouth, also on a Sustrans route."

Crispin: "Such barriers are in breach of equality legislation. They should be being removed, not installed. Report to Sustrans."

Andrew: "Supposed to stop motorbikes, but still rubbish for people with wide bars and even wheelchair users."

12 May 2023, 09:34
Weather for ducks AGAIN at the Giro

Serves 'em right for enjoying yesterday's sunny jaunt along the Amalfi Coast and making us all very jealous...

12 May 2023, 09:13
The next anti-cycling story coming to a national newspaper near you?

*Jaws music*

12 May 2023, 08:39
The pink bikes of the Giro

Simon's over in Italy, snapping pink bikes (some of which may or may not be horror movie worthy)...

Pink bikes of the Giro (Simon MacMichael)
Pink bikes of the Giro (Simon MacMichael)
Pink bikes of the Giro (Simon MacMichael)

 

12 May 2023, 08:25
First summit finish of the Giro — a return to Gran Sasso d'Italia

Here's what's on the menu today... 

Giro d'Italia stage seven

The race is headed to the highest point in the Apennines, the climb where in 1999 (off the back of a Giro-Tour double the previous year and just two weeks away from that fateful positive test) Marco Pantani soared to victory by 20 seconds at the end of a seven-hour-long 253km stage. Just the 218km today.

More recently, in 2018, Simon Yates took the first of three stage wins that year, eventually cracking three days from home as Chris Froome launched a comeback for the ages. So cautious optimism for whoever wins today, you might be the best in the race now, but there's still no guarantee of pink in Rome...

Thibaut Pinot was second that day in 2018, wouldn't a Giro stage win in his final year as a pro be a popular victory.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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52 comments

Avatar
Rome73 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Regarding the cycle trap. Couldn't the rider loosen the handlebar stem clamp and twist the handlebars and then fit through? Not ideal but a way through. Most cyclist would carry a multi tool if they were going for a ride anyway. 

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brooksby replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
8 likes

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP wrote:

Regarding the cycle trap. Couldn't the rider loosen the handlebar stem clamp and twist the handlebars and then fit through? Not ideal but a way through. Most cyclist would carry a multi tool if they were going for a ride anyway. 

Is that a joke? "You can fit through just fine, so long as you are confident to start taking your bike apart"

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giff77 replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
3 likes

Kind of defeats the purpose of cycling to be simple and convenient. 

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
12 likes

I imagine there will a news item on this.

"This harrowing footage shows the dangers posed by those who drive whilst under the influence. You are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. The driver was sentenced to jail after running over a cyclist in broad daylight."

When it says The video contains footage that is shocking in nature they are not kidding

https://www.surrey.police.uk/news/surrey/news/2023/05/drunk-driver-jaile...

Avatar
giff77 replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
15 likes

That footage is indeed shockingly. For anyone who suffers from PTSD from collisions make sure your grounding exercises are to hand either that or don't watch. 

 Deep respect to the victim for giving permission for its release and I hope she experiences some really deep recovery physically and emotionally from this experience. 

I'm really disappointed that the courts didn't hand out a sharper sentence. A life time ban should have definitely been in place. 

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

I imagined you were referencing the guy caught after driving for 50 years with no licence or the BMW driver caught drifting around a Minehead roundabout but this makes them seem like exemplary drivers.

The video and impact statement must not have been presented in court as what human being could hand down such an absolute joke of a punishment after seeing them?

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

I would not recommend searching for Northern Ireland DoE's Road Safety adverts. They were my early adult trauma.
This video wouldn't look out of place amongst them.
Sickening

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giff77 replied to HoldingOn | 1 year ago
0 likes

That was my passing thought. Shown on tv after the watershed and at the cinema only with a 15 rating. 

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Bob's Bikes | 1 year ago
5 likes

Re the cycle trap, went through there a couple of weeks ago and that wasn't there! but I can remember when it was a locked gate that you had to haul your bike over to access the cycle lane!

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
8 likes

"Enter our competition to win a #wankpanzer and you too could help keep children safe… This is shockingly tone deaf "

https://twitter.com/Wankpanzer/status/1657008769442668548

Avatar
brooksby replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

Omaze?  Isn't that the telly advert with the woman who looks like she's about to go for your throat? (and not in a good way)

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OnYerBike replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
5 likes

One thing that strikes me about this advert: how car-brained people must be that the Land Rover is the headline, and the house just an afterthought.

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NotNigel replied to OnYerBike | 1 year ago
2 likes

Absolutely.  The car delivers the person's insecurities, erm I mean status to a wider audience than £3.5 million static building. Always puts a smile on my face when I see a really nice, tasteful house with just a modest runaround car in the drive, not the usual fleet of obvious 'wealth' cars.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to OnYerBike | 1 year ago
4 likes

OnYerBike wrote:

One thing that strikes me about this advert: how car-brained people must be that the Land Rover is the headline, and the house just an afterthought.

An advert for this competition popped up this morning before a YouTube video I wanted to watch: the presenter is walking down the front hall of the house and says, "Imagine waking up in this amazing £3.5M Cotswold house, walking outside and what's waiting for you in the drive? The amazing Land Rover Defender!" The rest of the ad, 55 seconds of the minute, was spent eulogising the motor vehicle. I guess you can't flaunt your house to people unless you invite them there, whereas with a vulgar wankpanzer you can show off everywhere. This may explain why people will take on car finance agreements/leases with higher repayments than their mortgage just to have something flash.

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peted76 | 1 year ago
1 like

Excited about today's giro stage, that's a big hill ! 

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marmotte27 replied to peted76 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Supremely boring...

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Steve K replied to marmotte27 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Unless your name is Davide Bais, I guess.

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NotNigel | 1 year ago
6 likes

RE:The next anti-cycling story coming to a national newspaper near you?

I had to chuckle as I went down the comments on Twitter of the number of people who picked up in the first thing that I thought when I saw that picture - what exactly is the photographer taking a picture of with that focal length lens?

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stonojnr replied to NotNigel | 1 year ago
2 likes

A stock image of the handlebars of a lime bike (giyf for the type of thing) with lots of bokeh.

It looks like a Canon lens, maybe the 70-200mm or 100-300mm with f2.8 glass, it's the f2.8 glass that makes it a big lens not always the zoom length.

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NotNigel replied to stonojnr | 1 year ago
1 like

It looks more like a more budget friendly f4.5-5.6 as most canon f2.8 at that sort of length have internal barrelling, where the physical length of the lens doesn't change when increasing the focal length. Apologies if coming across pedantic.

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stonojnr replied to NotNigel | 1 year ago
1 like

Not at all,I just assumed a pro photographer would never shoot with anything less than a 2.8 lens

My budget friendly f4.5-5.6 is half the size and weight of the f2.8 equiv which has shorter max focal length.

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Accessibility f... replied to stonojnr | 1 year ago
3 likes

> it's the f2.8 glass that makes it a big lens 

Tell me you know nothing about photography in one sentence.

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mark1a replied to Accessibility for all | 1 year ago
6 likes

Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

> it's the f2.8 glass that makes it a big lens 

Tell me you know nothing about photography in one sentence.

What? stonojnr is correct. A lens with a constant max aperture (e.g. f/2.8) needs a bigger barrel, compared to a lens with variable max aperture (e.g. (f/4-5.6). That's because the aperture expressed as an f-number is a ratio that's related to the focal length, so the size of the physical hole in the aperture blades will be bigger at the long end than the short end of the range. Therefore a bigger hole in the blades needs a wider barrel. Also why constant aperture lenses are usually much more expensive and complex than variable.

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
3 likes

You can tell it's Friday
Cycle lanes you can't cycle on, imperial and metric measurements being squashed together, and cyclists debating camera lenses.

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NotNigel replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
1 like

Second that...explained a lot better than I could.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
11 likes

I wonder if this could catch on ?

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Car Delenda Est replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
4 likes

Would have liked a 'park' sign on the right Vs a 'parking' sign on the left for maximum realism

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Karlt replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
11 likes

The problem is folk want the option on the right with one addition - their car. Which means no driving restrictions, which means everyone else's car as well. Which leads to the option on the left.

Have you noticed all the car ads for "city cars" (things that shouldn't really exist as mainstream) feature cars smoothly slipping through otherwise deserted city roads?

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chrisonabike replied to Karlt | 1 year ago
13 likes

But but the evil cycling lobby control the media... (I can't recall any ads at the cinema for Colnago but maybe I don't watch enought Italian films?)

Can't find it now but there were some realistic ones here a while back (think from a German activist) - "ideal for congestion" etc.

Not quite the same but:

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
17 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

But but the evil cycling lobby control the media... (I can't recall any ads at the cinema for Colnago but maybe I don't watch enought Italian films?)

Can't find it now but there were some realistic ones here a while back (think from a German activist) - "ideal for congestion" etc.

Not quite the same but:

Reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: electric cars were invented to save the car industry, not the planet.

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