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The coolest paint job ever?; Cyclist's prickly situation after crashing into cactus; Quinn Simmons' suspension lifted; Council introduces default 20mph speed limit; Reindeer traffic jam; 400 schools benefiting from 'School Streets' + more on the live blog

Thursday's live blog with Dan Alexander...
12 November 2020, 13:47
Festka creates another spectacularly intricate one-off: the Scalatore Samurai
festka SAMURAI main

After wowing us last year with the $35,000 Spectre Porcelain complete with 24 carat gold details, Czech bespoke bike specialists Festka - and the artist Michael Bačák - are back with the Scalatore Samurai, built for one very lucky and undoubtedly very well-off customer in South America named only as 'Mitchell'.

From its concept to being fully built up by Festka and painted by Bačák, the Scalatore Samurai took nine months to make, and is completely customised in terms of size and fit. Weighing in at 6.9kg in total, the build includes a Campagnolo Super Record groupset, Lightweight wheels, a Schmolke carbon seatpost and THM carbon cockpit, and bars from a specialist German manufacturer. The stem and saddle both feature the intricate Samurai-style paint job. 

festka samurai 3

Michael Moureček, Festka's co-owner, boasts of his company's creation: "Frames at this level are either real works of art created by renowned artists, or they are highly complicated designs from our artistic director requiring unrivaled mastery and precision in the paint shop." 

festka SAMURAI-5

Festka don't say how much this one set moneybags Mitchell back, simply telling us that it cost "a small fortune". He commented: "I thank Festka for creating such a beautifully detailed masterpiece from the best components and
this amazing frame. I am grateful for this experience; I really enjoyed it and I am now a proud member of the Festka family. Im already planning my next project."

Alright for some! Check out Festka's website for more bespoke Czech loveliness. 

12 November 2020, 12:17
Prickly situation

There's got to be few worse things to crash into than a cactus... Diego Moreno needed thousands of thorns removed after he crashed into a cactus bush in the City Park area of Buenos Aires. Moreno told local press: "We were going with three more cyclists, I was last in line. I didn't see a small crater in the asphalt and I hit the pothole. Thank god I was wearing glasses and a helmet and I didn't injure my face or head.Because the way the spines got embedded in me, it could have blinded me."

Ouch...

12 November 2020, 16:27
Chloe Dygert signs with Canyon-Sram to join women's WorldTour
Chloe Dygert2

American rider Chloe Dygert will race in the women's WorldTour on her return from injury having signed a four-year deal with Canyon-Sram. The 23-year-old is currently recovering from a serious laceration to her leg sustained in a crash at the World Championship Time Trial in Imola.

On the move Dygert said: "Honestly, it’s the best team for me – willing to work with my track schedule and giving me the freedom to still be the athlete I strive to be.

"I’m excited to see myself in the Canyon-Sram colours. It will be my first time racing on the road in Europe but my coach and I agree that the time for that has now come in my career.

"I’m confident that Canyon-Sram will provide the best environment for me to achieve my future goals over the next four years. Also, there’s lots of pink."

12 November 2020, 15:36
Kensington and Chelsea to introduce blanket 20mph speed limit for entire borough

Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced that from tomorrow, all council-managed roads will have a 20mph speed limit.  Signs and road markings will be constructed at the border with Westminster, and the experimental traffic order will begin on November 13. They've also commited £320,000 to support active travel since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen increased pedestrianisation, temporary cycle lanes built on Kensington High Street and seven new School Streets.

Last month we reported that The Netherlands' House of Representitives had approved a plan to cut the default speed limit in built-up areas from 50km/h (31mph) to 30km/h (18mph).

12 November 2020, 15:11
Quinn Simmons' suspension lifted
Quinn Simmons wins the junior road race at Yorkshire 2019 (picture credit Alex Broadway/SWpix.com).JPG

American rider Quinn Simmons will face no further action from Trek-Segafredo following social media posts in September which were labelled as "divisive, incendiary and detrimental" by the team. Simmons tweeted using an emoji with black skin tone and was suspended until further notice. 

Cycling News report that the 19-year-old has begun training for next season as team general manager Luca Guercilena emphasised Simmons is in Trek-Segafredo's plans for 2021. It is believedTrek-Segafredo will give the 2019 junior road race world champion further media training at the team's December training camp.

"The situation is solved," Guercilena told Cycling News. 

"Quinn will attend the team camps and start the season as normal. We are looking into next season and have Quinn as one of our top talented riders to perform at a higher level in 2021, focusing on races."

12 November 2020, 13:35
The best (and worst) of your cactus puns

Unsurprisingly our Twitter followers had a field day with the video of amateur cyclist picking thorns out of himself after crashing into a cactus...

Steve Ody suggested it could be a strange new form of accupuncture, while Ronan McDonnell repeated that famous old adage...

12 November 2020, 11:32
Are the roads quieter because of lockdown?
Screenshot (119)

We all remember the joy of empty roads during the first lockdown when traffic seemingly disappeared overnight...but how much quieter are the roads this time round? From personal experience they don't seem much quieter now than last week and there's certainly more traffic than during the first lockdown earlier this year.

GPS navigation app Waze have seen a 51% reduction in driven kilometres since the start of the second lockdown. Have you noticed less traffic on the roads where you live this week?

12 November 2020, 10:53
Bag yourself a bargain

It's not often you can buy a nine-time Paralympic gold medallist's bike...The Storey household is having a clear-out and have put some kit up for sale. The £750 asking price is an absolute bargain for this Boardman frame with Ultegra and Dura Ace components. Or if it's wheels you need they're selling a pair of Zipp 303 tubulars for £300...

12 November 2020, 10:09
Reindeer traffic jam

Bloody reindeer in the road, not using the deer lane...Of all the reasons to get held up on the road this is a new one. Becca Rankie was cycling near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands when she came across this herd of reindeer in the road. 

She told the Daily record:  "I felt like Christmas had come early. "My morning ride up to Cairngorm was interrupted by a reindeer jam!"

"It was a nice break from the climb on my bike-the hill is pretty steep."

12 November 2020, 09:45
Jumbo-Visma release three-part documentary of Primoz Roglic's Vuelta win
Jumbo-Visma documentary screenshot

If you're suffering from Vuelta blues then Team Jumbo-Visma have got you covered. With no more road racing to watch until 2021 this three-part behind the scenes documentary following Primoz Roglic's second Grand Tour win is the best we've got at the moment. Follow the team at the Vuelta from hotel to finish line and just about everything in between as Roglic wins four stages and the race overall.

12 November 2020, 09:24
European Track Championships highlights

Great Britain won two medals on the opening day of the European Track Championships in Bulgaria. Matt Walls won gold in the elimination race before the three-woman team of Milly Tanner, Lusia Steele and Blaine Ridge-Davis took silver in the three-woman sprint. Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Neah Evans and Laura Kenny qualified fastest in the women's team pursuit and will compete for gold later today.

12 November 2020, 09:04
Children at almost 400 schools benefit from 'School Streets'
tfl child and parent cycling to school - via tfl

The Times report that children at almost 400 schools in London are now benefiting from the 'School Streets' initiative which protects children from air pollution by implementing temporary traffic bans at drop-off and pick-up times. The number of School Streets has increased from 81 in April to 383 in October and there are firm plans for a further 68. This will extend the scheme to 15% of all schools in London.

Merton, Islington and Hackney have the highest proportion of schools benefiting from School Streets with 35-40% of schools in these boroughs involved in the scheme. Barnet, Bexley and the City of London are the only parts of the capital yet to introduce any School Streets.

On Tuesday we reported that children cycling to school in areas with School Streets had increased by 51%.

Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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