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Police arrest man riding stolen motorbike in Richmond Park area as patrols increase due to bike-jackings; Lycrist infiltrator: the new MAMIL?; Point to camera...driver waits; UCI helps Afghan cyclists; Roubaix behind the scenes + more on the live blog

It's the middle of the week and Dan Alexander is here for your Wednesday fix of live blog action...
13 October 2021, 15:26
Police arrest man riding stolen motorbike in Richmond Park area as Met increase patrols due to spate of bike-jackings
Royal Parks Police Richmond Park (image credit: Richmond Cycling Campaign/Twitter)

It's worth making it clear from the top, there is no confirmation the man has been arrested in relation to the bike-jacking incidents in south west London these past few days. Only that he was arrested by officers from Operation Venice, a Met Police operation tackling motorcycle-enabled crime, who were deployed to the Richmond Park area because of recent events.

Royal Parks Police reported the news their officers had last night engaged and pursued the man, making tactical contact and arresting him after the motorbike he was riding was established to have been stolen. 

The arrest came hours after Met Police's Chief Superintendent Owain Richards  confirmed they would be stepping up patrols in and around the park to deter offenders and engage with cycling associations.

The officers were seen in the park last night, not least by the Richmond Cycling Campaign who met officers near Roehampton Gate, and reported they were keen to reassure park visitors that they are taking the incidents seriously and working to catch the offenders...

On Friday, pro rider Alexander Richardson was knocked off his bike, dragged along the road and threatened with a machete by a moped gang. Then, on Sunday evening, a moped gang raided junior national closed circuit TT champion Mattie Dodd's family home in Wimbledon, taking six bikes.

Yesterday, a picture of a moped rider and passenger carrying a road bike emerged on social media. Police confirmed there had been another bike-jacking on Monday evening, while parents at a school just outside Richmond Park said they'd seen another incident.

Monday's victim today said he feared he would be "decapitated in the street" when a moped gang followed him, again threatening violence with a machete and making off with the bike.

13 October 2021, 16:09
Fancy winning Lachlan Morton's Alt Tour bike?
Lachlan Morton - Photo Credit Grubers 03

The bike Lachlan Morton rode around France for 16 days is being raffled off to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. Morton's EF Education-Nippo team-issue Cannondale SuperSix Evo covered 5,510km over the full Tour de France route, including transfers, in a little over two weeks. You might want to give it some TLC first if you plan on taking it out on the roads...

Four EF Education-Nippo Pro Cycling jerseys signed by the Aussie are up for grabs in the prize draw too. Tickets cost £25, and a winner will be selected once entries close on Monday 1 November. If you want to enter follow the link here...

"During The Alt Tour, in my deepest holes, I wasn’t alone," Morton explained, apparently not doing an impression of a horror movie trailer. "I could draw on the idea that with each pedal stroke I was sharing that freedom and joy with someone who hadn’t yet had the opportunity to experience riding. I could smile at the endless possibilities that a bike could bring them.

"In many ways, World Bicycle Relief helped me achieve my goals as much as they helped bring the beauty of the bicycle to so many. For both those reasons I’m forever grateful."

13 October 2021, 16:00
Ribble opens shiny new Bristol showroom

In August it was Nottingham. In September it's Bristol. Ribble has been expanding its showroom empire, opening this sharp new retail experience in The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. So whether you're in the market for a new bike, or just want a nosey at what you could have, it looks well worth checking out...

13 October 2021, 14:08
Dorset Police investigate attempted robbery by trio on moped after teenager follower on way home from school
A3049 footbridge (Google Maps)

A Dorset mother urged people to remain vigilant after her son was the victim of an attempted bike robbery by a moped gang last week. The Dorset Echo reports the 16-year-old was followed as he cycled home from school across the A3049 footbridge near Sherborne Crescent, Poole.

The trio on a moped tried to push the teenager off but didn't manage to take his bike. A police spokesperson confirmed the victim did not sustain any serious injuries in the incident. 

"Dorset Police received a report of an attempted robbery in Poole. It is reported that the victim was cycling across the footbridge near to Tower Park when he was approached by three boys on a moped who tried to steal his bike. One of the boys tried to push the victim off his bike. Enquiries are ongoing into the report. No arrests have been made."

13 October 2021, 13:30
Lycrist infiltrator...reaction to anti-LTN group's abusive message to active travel councillor

Lycrist infiltrator is a new one...Jo Rigby earned that tremendous title from the charming One Tower Hamlets anti-LTN group's Twitter account holder. The rest of the message was pretty distasteful, as you've probably already seen, but plenty of people are getting on board with the marketing's got a ring to it.

Of course there was some more serious reaction too. Over on our Facebook, Kevin Blackburn replied to the story saying: "Threatening extermination! I think that is a hate crime."

You lot under the blog have been on fine form too...Philh68 wrote: "So these One Tower Hamlet folk are so opposed to liveable streets that they've forgotten what the opposite of liveable is?"

TriTaxMan did some digging, "I just had a look at the One Tower Hamlets Twitter feed and they claim to be a majority group of residents and business owners in Tower Hamlets.... all of these anti-LTN groups have about 1,000 followers, largely made up of other anti-LTN groups or cabbies/cab companies. I would have thought that if they were so popular with the residents in their areas they would have lots of unique followers..... not all the same people.... just saying."

SimoninSpalding added: "I like term lycrist, it seems much more positive than MAMIL which involves facing my mortality and the reality that I will never win a race or be paid to ride my bike(s).😁👍"

AlsoSomniloquism pointed out it's also more inclusive of age and gender than MAMIL. A nice touch. But what about the other ranks? Nnif reckons lycrist infiltrator/agitator/berserker could be the hierarchy...

13 October 2021, 11:12
Behind the scenes at Paris-Roubaix with Ineos Grenadiers

Ineos Grenadiers have released their video round-up from Paris-Roubaix, including some behind the scenes footage of Gianni Moscon in tears on the team bus after his puncture and crash. We're only disappointed there isn't any new raging Luke Rowe content...

13 October 2021, 11:02
Jo Rigby embraces life as a "lycrist infiltrator"

I'm just surprised One Tower Hamlets didn't go for lycrist infiltraitor for some extra insult bonus points...

13 October 2021, 10:17
UCI helps evacuate female Afghan cyclists + Israel Start-Up Nation boss Sylvan Adams eyes FIFA World Cup bid for 2030
Sylvan Adams (wikimedia commons/ Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic/ Matty Stern US Embassy Jerusalem)

Israel Start-Up Nation co-owner Sylvan Adams has encouraged Israel to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Adams offered his services during an interview with the Jerusalem Post, saying he's willing to help "as I did with the Giro d'Italia race, but we need the government's help".

Adams also discussed his role in helping 41 Afghan female cyclists flee Taliban rule. The businessman and philanthropist was contacted by IsraAid and worked with the organisation to help the women escape. The UCI, Asian Cycling Confederation, FIFA and governments were also involved in the project which saw 165 people safely evacuated, including female cyclists and members of the Afghan Cycling Federation.

38 have now reportedly been welcomed to Switzerland where the UCI hopes the riders will join the UCI World Cycling Centre, an international accommodation and training facility. It is believed the rest of the refugees will be welcomed to the US, Canada, France and Israel.

"It is very important for the UCI to make a commitment to the members of the cycling family who are suffering due to the current situation in Afghanistan," UCI president David Lappartient said. "I am delighted that our efforts in this respect are providing opportunities for the people concerned in decent living conditions."

13 October 2021, 09:59
Point to the camera...driver magically learns how to drive safely

"I can't be bothered to wait behind them. I'm going to try and undertake. Yep, I'm going for it. Here I go. Ahhhhh, nope. Right, think I'll stay here... "

13 October 2021, 09:18
Bike train helps children ride to school — if only that bike lane was still there...

The Old Shoreham Road bike train is open for business...but parents wish they could just use the bike lane. The cycle lane was removed last month after councillors voted to scrap it. To help their kids continue to ride safely to school, about 20 parents and pupils turned up to the first train outing on Friday. It's initially running once a week but parents told Brighton and Hove News they hope it will pick up in popularity and can be expanded.

"I’d never dreamed of cycling along the road before due to the volume and speed of the traffic," one dad, Ben Kelly, said. "The arrival of safe, dedicated lanes coincided with my son mastering his bike and we were devastated when they were removed.

"As well as providing a fun, safe, healthy and environmentally friendly service to the local community, we are shining a light on the growing need for a high-quality, permanent cycle lane that support parents, pupils, delivery riders and commuters."

329 people have signed a petition on Brighton and Hove Council's website asking for "permanent well-planned and high-quality cycle lanes for the Old Shoreham Road".

13 October 2021, 08:47
Bahrain Victorious tie down key riders: Sonny Colbrelli and Matej Mohorič pen multi-year deals
Sonny Colbrelli Merida Reacto Paris-Roubaix (Credit A.S.O._Pauline Ballet)-1

Bahrain Victorious have rewarded two of their standout riders from 2021 with new contracts. Paris-Roubaix winner Sonny Colbrelli and double Tour de France stage winner Matej Mohorič have both signed "multi-year deals".

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

Both riders enjoyed the best season of their careers, Colbrelli winning his first Monument two weeks ago, as well as becoming both Italian and European champion. Mohorič also became national champion, beating Tadej Pogačar to the Slovenian crown. The 26-year-old backed up his success with two stages of the Tour de France.

"I’m one of the few riders wearing this jersey since 2017, the very first season," Colbrelli said. "Debuting in the WorldTour with Bahrain and arriving up to this stunning season. I can say I grew up with this group, and I must be more than thankful. I’m now where I am, also due to the support and trust that I’ve always felt."

Mohorič's season wasn't without controversy. After the team's bus and hotel was raided by French police at the Tour de France, he insisted the team had "nothing to hide". Winning stage 19 a week later, Mohorič crossed the finish line doing the infamous zipped lips gesture made famous by a certain Lance Armstrong. The double stage winner denied knowing the Armstrong connection.

13 October 2021, 07:22
"We need Rentokil to deal with you lot": Anti-LTN group labels active travel councillor "worse than vermin" in heavily criticised now-deleted tweet

One Tower Hamlets, a group "fighting for Liveable Streets to be halted", has since deleted this grim reply to Jo Rigby's announcement that she is passing on the active travel lead at Wandsworth Council. The account holder felt the need to mark the moment by calling her a "lycrist infiltrator", before saying "your type are worse than vermin. We definitely need Rentokil to deal with you lot"...

Even ardent anti-cycling critic and TalkRadio presenter Cristo Foufas briefly called a ceasefire to address the hateful message...

For a rundown on the Liveable Streets that One Tower Hamlets is so against, let's take a look at Tower Hamlets Council's website: 

The Liveable Streets programme aims to improve the look and feel of public spaces in neighbourhoods across the borough and make it easier, safer and more convenient to get around by foot, bike and public transport.

We also want to reduce people making ‘rat runs’ and shortcuts through residential streets to encourage more sustainable journeys and to improve air quality and road safety.

Terrible, I know.

The good people of cycling Twitter tried not to take the hatred to heart...

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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