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Barking mad: Cyclist and pet pup have a pop at bus driver for close pass; Gammons sending cyclists underground; Police say LTNs don't slow emergency services; Rapha Black Friday Challenge; Dowsett hosting Zwift Hour Record workouts + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander will be taking you through to the weekend on the live blog...
13 November 2020, 16:29
Barking mad: Cyclist and pet pooch have a pop at bus driver for close pass


##cycling ##onemanandhisdog ##dogsoftiktok ##scottishtiktok ##foryoupage ##fyp

♬ original sound - MotorbikeMilly

MotorbikeMilly as she's known on social media has gained internet fame with videos like this one of the four-year-old Bichon Frise strapped to her owner's bike. In the latest adventure, Milly and her owner Paul are on a pedal cycle rather than a motorbike, and stand up to the driver of a bus when they're repeatedly close passed. Presumably the bleeped out swearing is from Paul, and not the pet pup...

13 November 2020, 15:36
Belfast Council consider introducing pollution-busting bikes
Belfast bike route Alfred Street (Image by Department for Regional Development, Northern Ireland)

A new pollution-busting bicycle could soon be part of Belfast Council's fleet of city bikes. BelfastLive reported that the motion was forwarded at a committee this week to introduce the bikes, which purify air via washable filters housed in the wheel. The bike was designed by Kristen Tapping who is a student at London South Bank University.

Tapping claims the ROLLOE bike will be ready to use within the next two years. Air enters the wheel through a cyclindrical opening, is pushed through by centrafugal force and filtered before being released.

13 November 2020, 13:43
Dr Peter Gammons, UKIP's London mayoral candidate, announces plans for an underground cycling and walking network

Dr Peter Gammons (whose name is quite apt according to some on social media), has wasted no time in forming a revolutionary cycling plan for the capital. His ingenious masterstroke "to get London moving again" is to send cyclists converting a network of "over 2 million miles of unused tunnels, streets, and chambers beneath London". 

"I want to convert these disused spaces into walkways, safe cycle lanes, and create the world's first underground 'Pod' transport system", added Gammons. 

It's just as well nobody has thought of an underground public transport system in London before now...Gammons' own website claims he is: "One of the world’s most famous and in-demand Inspirational and motivational speakers. It is historically documented that he has spoken to larger crowds that any other person in history, with crowds of up to 4 million people in a single rally."

Gammons also wants to reverse what he has called a "war on motorists", which he claims is being waged by the current London mayor Sadiq Khan - you can digest the full announcement here

13 November 2020, 14:17
More medal success for Team GB at European Track Championships

Team GB added wongold medals and one bronze on the second day of competition at the UEC European Track Championships in Bulgaria yesterday. The women's team pursuit squad of Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Laura Kenny and Josie Knight took gold, beating the Italian team by three seconds. Elinor Barker joined the team on the podium having missed the final to compete in the elimination race - where she also won gold.

Speaking on the team pursuit performance, Laura Kenny said: "That’s the fastest time we’ve done since Rio, so that shows the form that we were in going into an Olympic year.

"It’s good to know we are still moving forward, Josie (Knight) is here for her first European competition and that shows the way British Cycling moves forward too. I personally think we’ve got a lot more to come, we’ve got people sat at home itching to get into this team and that can only help us move forward."

Ollie Wood also won bronze in the men's scratch race to conclude another succesful night for Team GB.

13 November 2020, 12:00
Rapha Black Friday Challenge
Rapha Black Friday Challenge

There's not going to be any Black Friday deals to be had at Rapha this year... instead they've set the challenge for cyclists worldwide to ride one million kilometres on November 27th to help raise money for World Bicycle Relief. If the target for the Strava challenge is reached, then Rapha will donate £120,000 to World Bicycle Relief, which which will be enough to distribute 1000 bikes for those who need them most.

13 November 2020, 11:45
Alex Dowsett hosting Zwift group workouts ahead of Hour Record attempt, and signs new contract with Israel Start-Up Nation
alex dowsett zwift avatar

Ahead of his next crack at the Hour Record next month, Dowsett will also be hosting Zwift group workouts for Zwifters to train with him during the run-up to the attempt. The eight workouts have all been designed by Dowsett himself, and he will be leading one per week with the first starting at 7pm on 18th November. 

He said: “I'll be massively appreciative of the support knowing that there will be others suffering alongside me, hopefully all working towards the glory of setting a new UCI Hour Record.

“In very rare circumstances do athletes share their training before an event, so I’m hoping many Zwifters will seize the chance to join me on my journey so they can feel a part of the attempt on December 12th."

Outside of Watopia, it's been announced Dowsett will continue riding for Israel Start-Up Nation until at least 2022 after signing a new two-year deal with the team. Dowsett earned the WorldTour newcomers their first Grand Tour stage win at the Giro d'Italia last month and will attempt to reclaim the Hour Record on December 12 at Manchester velodrome. Israel Start-Up Nation have strengthened their squad ahead of 2021 with the signing of Chris Froome as well as established pros Alessandro De Marchi and Patrick Bevin.

If you fancy joining in for the group workouts on Zwift, all the details are here

13 November 2020, 11:11
GB announce strong squad for UCI eSports World Championship
Zwift World Championships

British Cycling's squad of nine who will compete at the UCI eSports World Championship on Zwift next month includes Dame Sarah Storey, Ed Clancy and Elinor Barker. The trio have won 13 Olympic and Paralympic golds between them and are joined by Megan Barker, Dani Christmas, Jenny Holl, Max Stedman, Andy Tennant and Robert Scott. 

The inaugural eSports World Championship will be held on Wednesday December 9 with riders racing on Zwift. Both the men and women's events will use the same 50km course, the Watopia Figure 8 Reverse with Hilly KOM Finish. 

Stephen Park, Performance Director for the Great Britain Cycling Team said: “I’m really looking forward to the inaugural UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, and I’d like to commend the UCI and Zwift on this exciting collaboration.

“Amongst the talented Great Britain Cycling Team line-up, we have reigning Olympic and Paralympic champions, including Elinor Barker, Ed Clancy and Dame Sarah Storey, all vying to add another rainbow jersey to their collection."

13 November 2020, 10:39
Confused motorists rage about Active Travel Fund
pop-up cycle lane pic.PNG

The government's announcement that there would be no new funding for the Active Travel Fund, only the release of already committed funds, should have gone down well with anti-cycling groups... Somehow the decision to release £175 million, which was already committed to the Active Travel Fund in May, has caused a storm for some motorists who can't understand why they get stuck in traffic (despite the queue of cars bumper-to-bumper).

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced today that councils wishing to use the fund would have to comply with more comprehensive consultation periods. So you'd expect motorists to be quite pleased with the day's events....or not.

Mail Online reported the news as "another £175MILLION to fund new cycle lanes and road closures during pandemic despite congestion chaos clogging cities"...

Others decided the best way to deal with the news was to demand wearing a helmet and Hi-Vis compulsory when riding a bike...

If this was the response to no new funding I wonder how they'd have taken the news if the government had invested more money into active travel...

13 November 2020, 09:30
Hackney Police sergeant calls claims LTNs slow down emergency services "scaremongering"
Railton LTN (Sarah Berry)

A Hackney Police sergeant has asked people to ignore "scaremongering" online about LTNs and stressed that they don't prevent emergency service vehicles from attending incidents. The inconvenience that LTNs cause for emergency service vehicles is one of the most common arguments wheeled out by anti-LTN groups, but sergeant James Higgins asked the public to: "Please don't believe any scaremongering online."

He said: "I've seen it myself online - there's a lot of scaremongering that us, the local police team, won't be able to get to help people, we won't be able to catch suspects, there'll be a victim in need and we won't be able to get there because we'll need to do a u-turn. That's just completely false. Please don't believe any scaremongering.

"We break down doors to get to victims to help them, we break down doors to catch suspects. I'm sure we will drive through this filter."

LTNs have been the subject of heated debate in the past months. Anti-LTN group OneWandsworth blamed a segregated bike lane on the A24 in Tooting for preventing an ambulance to attend to an injured motorcyclist, despite the road being blocked by cars.

In August, this LTN in Ealing was vandalised with oil poured on the road and planters vandalised.

13 November 2020, 08:50
Department for Transport drop word 'emergency' from Active Travel Fund

The Department for Transport have dropped the word 'emergency' from the second-round of the 'Active Travel Fund'. Despite the hope that this may suggest a long-term commitment to cycling infrastructure beyond the pandemic, the second-round announcement did not include any new funding. Instead the 'Active Travel Fund' will release £175 million of the £250 million initially pledged back in May. 

On the second-round of funding Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads. 

“Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, people must have the space they need to get around safely.”

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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