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What is going on in Richmond Park?; "Comedic planning": Reaction to door zone bike lane; Cav's magic year; UAE women's team; Nobel Prize winner awarded special bike parking spot; Brighton Gin reunited with stolen delivery bike + more on the live blog

Another day on the live blog, another day with Dan Alexander at the wheel — you can decide if that's a good thing.....
12 October 2021, 10:58
What is going on in Richmond Park? Photo of moped gang carrying bike surfaces on social media as Royal Parks Police confirm another bike-jacking incident (+ rumours of a third incident)
Richmond Park moped gang (Image credit: Barnes CC)

There have been some more quite terrifying police reports, photos and rumours coming out of the Richmond Park area this morning. First, the image above, of two people carrying a road bike on the back of a moped, surfaced on social media.

The pair were spotted in the estate just outside Richmond Park, near where pro rider Alexander Richardson was knocked off and threatened with a machete on Friday. The Alpecin-Fenix rider was dragged 100 metres along the road before handing his bike over when he saw one of the attackers had a 15-inch blade.

Then, this morning, Royal Parks Police confirmed armed officers had attended reports of a cyclist being assaulted by two males, one with a machete, last night on the High Street a short distance from the park (it has not been confirmed if this was Roehampton or Putney High Street as both are in the SW15 postcode, but we will update this once we get police confirmation). Once again, the offenders took the man's bike and could not be traced when officers arrived...

In a separate incident last night, messages on a WhatsApp chat for parents at Ibstock Place School reported there had been another bike-jacking just outside the school at 5pm. The school is less than 200m from the park's Roehampton Gate and backs onto the road where the photo of the moped riders carrying the bike was taken. A parent snapped the photo at the left turning off Danebury Avenue onto Sherfield Gardens, just after passing Alton Primary School...

Richmond Park bike-jacking map (Google Maps)
Richmond Park moped gang Google Maps

Parents reported seeing a cyclist being rammed from his bike by the moped gang and threatened with a machete. The victim was taken into the school while the police and an ambulance were called. 

All this was unfolding on the same evening we brought you the news that a moped gang stole the junior national closed circuit TT champ’s bike – 12 hours after he won title. Thieves were caught on CCTV making off with six bikes from Mattie Dodd's family home in Wimbledon.

12 October 2021, 16:19
Police presence at Richmond Park this afternoon
12 October 2021, 15:30
Who will be wearing the Santini yellow jersey next July?

Italian kit manufacturer Santini has been entrusted with supplying the next generation of Tour de France yellow jerseys. The sponsorship deal will start with next year's race and includes the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and L’Étape du Tour.

Of course they'll also be making the mountains jersey, young rider's jersey and green jersey too. The significance was not lost on brand CEO, Monica Santini: "Signing this agreement was a hugely emotional experience for us and we are genuinely thrilled to announce this partnership with the Tour de France."

Santini and ASO have agreed a five-year deal for the jerseys which, as with all Santini products, will be made at its Lallio facility just outside Bergamo. The brand also said it is looking forward to making official replica jerseys for the public to buy.

12 October 2021, 14:38
Cav's magic year: From the verge of retirement to Tour de France stage wins record

A lot has happened to Cav in the past year. He almost retired. Looked for a new team. Rejoined Deceuninck-Quick-Step. Began the comeback. Started challenging for wins again. Won his first race in more than three years. Won three more during that triumphant week in Turkey. Entered the Tour de France selection picture. Was ruled out of contention. Replaced Sam Bennett. Went to the Tour de France. Won once. Won another. And another. Matched Merckx's record, before just falling short of the outright crown on the Champs-Élysées...

A fairytale story, now who's going to bet against him again? Not us...

12 October 2021, 14:30
Muc-Off launches spray-on re-proofer to restore your jacket’s waterproofing treatment


Muc-Off Rain Shield

Muc-Off do much more than help you get the muck off your bike nowadays (‘Ludicrous AF’ lube, anyone?) and the latest addition to its range is the Rain Shield re-proofer spray. 

Priced at £9.99 a can, Muc-Off says the spray has been designed to reduce surface tension of fabrics thanks to its ‘microscopically ‘spikey’ surface’: “The surface becomes hydrophobic, so water beads and rolls off the fabric, preventing rain, snow and mud from penetrating and saturating technical apparel,” adds Muc-Off. 

Muc-Off also claims that Rain Shield will extend the life of your garment without affecting its breathability, and gets eco brownie points for forgoing the use of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in the ingredients list. You can buy it over here.

12 October 2021, 14:12
Santander Cycles enjoys record-breaking month – the most successful September in the scheme's history
Santander Cycles (press release)

Transport for London's flagship cycle hire scheme continued to go from strength to strength with the highest September hires in its 11-year history. There were 1,219,804 Santander Cycles hires during the month, an average of 40,660 per day, and well above the 37,917 average daily hires in September last year and the 32,323 average daily hires in the three Septembers prior to the pandemic.

TfL credited the record numbers, in part, to workers returning to the office. September saw the highest volume of Santander Cycles commuter hires since March 2020, with an average of 7,573 daily hires made between 7am and 10am on weekdays. There was also a noticeable increase in people using the Waterloo and King's Cross hubs, as well as docking stations near railway stations. 

Last month also saw a record-breaking number of hires by members on a single day as 29,046 hires were made on September 22.

12 October 2021, 14:09
Proviz jackets get tickled pink… and orange and turquoise
Proviz Softshell pink

High-vis sports garment specialists Proviz has unveiled some new colour options for its classic Softshell Cycling Jacket. The men’s version now includes orange and pink colourways, and new for women are turquoise and pink versions.

The semi-fitted jacket is made from ‘triple layered 30D Interlock four-way stretch fabric with TPU waterproof’ according to Proviz and costs £99.99 – check ‘em out here...

12 October 2021, 10:08

Did someone say tea break? 

12 October 2021, 09:46
Team Delko folds... days after racing Paris-Roubaix in iconic 'Look 1985' jersey
2021 Team Delko Look 1985 3

The team behind that brilliant retro Paris-Roubaix kit is sadly no more. Direct Velo received the news of Team Delko's imminent closure by sports director Benjamin Giraud, who said: "The decision was taken very recently but I preferred to wait for our last race before announcing it. I didn't want the riders to think about it before the Tour de Vendée and Paris-Tours. Besides, we had a good week and we ended on a good note, that's good.

"I had warned the staff and the riders that it started to spread on Sunday morning. I am proud of the boys."

The team's biggest win of this season came back in April at the Presidential Tour of Turkey, a race where Mark Cavendish reemerged, winning four stages. At Paris-Roubaix, in their striking kit, Lithuanian rider Evaldas Šiškevičius was the team's highest placed, and only finisher, in 33rd place.

> The bikes that won Paris-Roubaix - Tubeless, disc and aero for Colbrelli and Deignan

12 October 2021, 09:35
Brighton Gin reunited with stolen delivery bike

There was a happy ending for Brighton Gin, who have been reunited with their beloved delivery bike after it was spotted by an eagle-eyed customer. The bike, which Rachel Blake uses to deliver orders around the city, was stolen last Tuesday. But just days later, thanks to a social media appeal, the bike has been found — minus some of the branding which has been deliberately scratched off.

In the video Kathy Caton tells their Twitter followers: "Huge thanks to everyone who has been helping to find the gin bike. I can’t believe it, but it’s happened. It’s in tremendous need of some tender loving care and repair but it is found courtesy of a member of our brilliant community spotting it and letting us know."

12 October 2021, 09:32
Ealing activists put up alternative signs
12 October 2021, 08:37
UC Berkley chancellor awards Nobel Prize winner David Card a "highly-coveted parking space"...but he commutes by bike

There's nothing like achieving the greatest academic honour you can get, the award for a lifetime's work — the "highly-coveted parking space near your office". I'm sure David Card has already forgotten about his Nobel Prize...

However, the Canadian economist doesn't drive to work, he cycles. So UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ told him: "let me see how we might go about creating a special place for you to park it in." 

Ten quid says he'd rather take to his office than lock it outside at a ceremonial bike rack...

12 October 2021, 08:27
UAE Team Emirates confirm women's team plans

UAE Team Emirates are hoping to step into women's cycling next season and are partnering with existing women's WorldTour team Alè BTC Ljubljana Team to find "the right opportunity and availability". Team principal Mauro Gianetti said: "We are pleased to announce that we are working to create a female team to compete on the world stage as part of the UAE ambition to develop cycling, in support of a global project that started back in 2017.

"Together with the Alè BTC Ljubljana Team we have found the right opportunity and the availability we were looking for and, in collaboration with the UCI, we are preparing all the necessary documents for the completion of the acquisition of the World Tour license starting from 1 January 2022.

"In the coming weeks we will have the definitive framework and we will be ready to present the project."

12 October 2021, 07:31
Council defends dangerous door zone cycle lane...says cyclists should stay alert

If you were to look at the road above and pick a foot-wide area that cyclists shouldn't ride, it would be exactly where Richmond Council has this cycle lane. A touch of white paint and a bicycle on the ground and suddenly it's fit for purpose...apparently.

South west London live blog regular The Department of Parks & Recreation took a well-earned break from filming speeding drivers in Richmond Park to share this less than ideal bike lane.

> Professional cyclist robbed of bike by Richmond Park machete gang

What's more, Richmond Council got back to the video titled: "Why would you paint a cycle lane precisely where a cyclist should never cycle?", with an attempt at an explanation...

Hmmm...that's one way of looking at it. Maybe I'm wrong (I usually am), but I reckon most cyclists are "aware of parked cars" and do "watch out for drivers opening their doors". It's probably why most of us don't ride in the door zone in the first place.

Enough of my ranting, I'll leave that to the 136 replies on Richmond Council's tweet... 

At half nine last night someone from the council logged back on to address the criticism and offer an explanation to the explanation...

We want to clarify that the responsibility is ALWAYS with the driver to check before they open their door. Unfortunately, this is not always adhered to and our choice of words was intended to encourage cyclists to remain vigilant and not assume drivers are going to check.

That said, the word “equally” was a poor description, given the very different responsibilities and consequences involved in a car door collision.

We would also like to clarify that the cycle infrastructure in question was installed at least 15 years ago and will be reviewed in the future. 

Elsewhere in south west London last night, we brought you the news that junior national closed circuit TT champ Mattie Dodd is the latest victim of bike theft by a moped gang — just 12 hours after he won the national title. Thieves were seen on CCTV leaving the family home in Wimbledon with six bikes. On Friday, Alpecin-Fenix rider Alexander Richardson was knocked off and threatened with a 15-inch machete by a gang who stole his bike.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote 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 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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