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Cyclist donates €5 to anti-cycle lane fundraiser to tell them how he really feels; Kevin Hart on a bike; Cav's second debut; 80-year-old paperboy postpones retirement; NHS worker grateful for bike lane; Etape Caledonia postponed + more on the live blog

It's Monday and Dan Alexander will be sharing the best bits from the cycling world on the first live blog of the week...
15 February 2021, 16:56
Cyclist donates €5 to anti-cycle lane fundraiser to tell them how he really feels

A GoFundMe to mount a legal challenge against a new cycle lane in Sandymount in Dublin has almost raised €20,000. At the time of writing it was at €19,330, including €5 from a cyclist who just wanted to give the campaign a piece of his mind...

Johnnie Cyclist's donation came with the message: "I donated €5 because as a 63 year old who is looking forward to having a segregated cycle lane on Sandymount Road and being able to cycle safely into Dublin, I wanted to tell you all how I find your campaign and everything it stands for so reprehensible and so selfish. What other city in the world do a bunch of well to do well funded residents object so vehemently to a bloody bicycle lane. Or to have such engagement on real issues. Shame on the lot of you.

"I look forward to cycling past Sandymount — safely — on my bike soon. I want to say well done to Dublin City Council for having the guts to face down your lousy lying campaign. Do you have anything better to do with your lives in Sandymount? Dun Laoghaire is very lucky to have a forward looking council who pushed back early against this sort of NIMBYISM. Clearly we are not in this together. Buy yourselves 2 Flat Whites with my €5 donation. Don’t waste any more money donating. Your campaign will fail. On your bikes lads!"

The fundraiser has dozens of donations of €100 or more, including some up to as much as €1,000. The STC Residents Group set up the page and insist they support cycling and just want to ensure the path is implemented in the best possible way to avoid traffic congestion.

15 February 2021, 16:40
Stolen Ride shares victim impact statements to show the human side of cycle theft
University College London bike thefts (London Cycling Campaign)

Stolen Ride wanted to highlight how bike thefts affect real people by compiling victim impact statements from victims of cycle theft in London. They say the financial, emotional and psychological cost of the crime isn't always covered. Figures from Met Police suggested that bike theft had trebled since the start of the pandemic. However, Stolen Ride wants to focus on human stories, rather than statistics. Here are some of the victim statements they received: 

“The robbery has left me nervous and I now cycle wearing a personal attack alarm.”
Harriet, Islington

“I was just about to start my evening of deliveries when I found it was stolen, I returned to my flat and did nothing other than scour the internet for it for the next few days. The bike was gifted to me by my partner who busted his gut to pay for it.”
Telle, Walthamstow

“Having it stolen (in Hackney) affected me at so many levels and it took me three (pandemic) months of public transport until I could afford another one.”
Ivan, Hackney

15 February 2021, 15:20
Three-year-old has BMX skills

Daisy Adams made the live blog in November when she cycled from Bristol to Bath and back again, racking up a 34-mile, six-hour ride at just three-years-old...Her charity work has raised more than £4,000 for Sands...and now she's got BMX skills too...Daisy's built her Instagram fan club to more than 3,200 followers and her latest video showing off her bike handling skills in Bristol City Centre has been viewed almost 13,000 times. One for the future...

15 February 2021, 14:53
Peter Sagan to miss Opening Weekend

Peter Sagan won't be racing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad or Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The three-time World Champion tested positive for Covid last week while training on Gran Canaria, and despite now being out of quarantine, the impact on training means he will delay his race calendar. Sagan has surprisingly only won once at Opening Weekend and will likely now start his season at Tirreno-Adriatico instead.

One of Sagan's toughest rivals, Wout van Aert, has named the World Championships in Flanders as his biggest goal for 2021. Van Aert told Belgian TV channel RTBF that winning the rainbow bands on home roads would mean more than victory in the Classics, a green jersey at the Tour de France or Olympic gold in Tokyo.

"I’ll have three periods where I want to be in my best shape but if I have to choose one goal, I’d pick the World Championships in Belgium in Leuven. I’ll have three periods where I want to be in my best shape but if I have to choose one goal, I’d pick the World Championships in Belgium in Leuven," he explained.

Van Aert is set to renew his rivalry with Mathieu van der Poel in 2021, potentially for the first time at Strade Bianche on the first weekend in March. Van der Poel beat Van Aert at October's Tour of Flanders and the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

15 February 2021, 14:17
Etape Caledonia postponed until Sunday 19 September 2021

Etape Caledonia, due to take place on Sunday 16 May, has been postponed until Sunday 19 September because of the pandemic. Despite suggesting they might have been able to keep the original date in May with Covid restrictions, the event's organisers have decided to rearrange the event for later in the year. They have been advised by Perth and Kinross Council that Pitlochry, the event's start and finish town, has opened a community vaccination centre which will require three months of traffic restrictions around the area.

Etape Caledonia added that there is no guarantee the event will be able to be staged in September either, but said they felt more confident that rearranging for later in the year gives them the best opportunity to do so. All entries will be automatically deferred to September.

In a statement on their website, Etape Caledonia said: "We’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank you for supporting us. As a small business, your support and patience really has been invaluable as it has enabled us to continue to plan and prepare these world-class events for your participation. We really look forward to welcoming you to the start line on Sunday 19 September 2021 and celebrating your achievements together like never before!"

15 February 2021, 14:05
"What an absolute dream to be back racing with these boys": Mark Cavendish enjoys second debut at Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Mark Cavendish's second debut at Deceuninck-Quick-Step didn't quite go as planned with the Manx Missile suffering an untimely mechanical that saw him drop out of the front group at Clásica de Almería. Cav's teammate Alvaro Hodeg also crashed on the run in before Florian Sénéchal deputised to earn an impressive second place. 

Despite the misfortune, Cav was delighted to be back racing in Quick-Step blue. Posting on Instagram, he wrote: "First race back with The Wolfpack was bittersweet. We talked 2 options for the sprint and both of us were out within 1km of each other just 15km from the finish. I punctured, but I can only count myself fortunate compared to Alvaro Hodeg's crash. He's banged up but will be ok. But just shows the strength of Deceuninck-Quick-Step that Florian Sénéchal thought quick to take up the sprint, getting a nice podium in 2nd spot. What an absolute dream to be back racing with these boys. Felt like a pure bike racer again. Loved every single moment.
Congratulations to Giacomo Nizzolo. So strong, my friend."

15 February 2021, 12:29
Add Kevin Hart to the list of celebrity cyclists

Kevin Hart might just be able to claim to be the most famous cyclist in the world. The actor and comedian recently shared pictures of him cycling to his 100 million Instagram followers. Riding a Trek and sporting some Rapha stash, Hart said cycling is a lifestyle. Posting on Instagram he wrote: "Getting miles in is a priority these days #HustleHart"

Hart got over 600,000 likes on his cycling-related posts and got an offer to ride with Team L39ION's Justin Williams. Williams replied: "Kev, whenever you want to ride let me know. I would be honoured to spend some time talking about getting more of us on bikes."

Racking my brain to think of other notable names we've seen on bikes recently...Alan Shearer made the live blog in November when he picked up a new gravel bike...Back in 2018, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he wanted to "bicycle all over the world".

15 February 2021, 11:48
Tech news: Budget Peloton alternative, Brooks release new rivet colours for the C17, BZ Optics latest bi-focal photochromic glasses
OnBuy static trainer

At £279.99 this OnBuy Peloton alternative comes in at a fraction of the price of the popular home training brand's bike and membership fee. It features an LCD monitor to track your stats, claims to be quiet enough to not disturb your family and can be easily adjusted to suit different riders. What's more it doesn't include classes led by an instructor who asked paying customers to think of their dead relatives while they trained... 

BZ Optics, the creators of the world's first bi-focal photochromic sports glasses, has a new model, the TOUR. Back in 2016 when we tested their PHO Bi-focal Photochromic Glasses our reviewer gave them four stars and said they're "a great choice if you need bifocal powers when out sporting in the light or dark." Now, the new TOUR model is almost ready for release and will be available via ISON Distribution in a couple of frame colours and lens options on February 22. They're designed to help riders who need glasses to read with all those tasks you forget can be quite difficult without them...reading GPS computers, ordering off the menu at the cafe stop...

Saddle manufacturer Brooks has released four new rivet colours for the C17 saddle, their most popular seat. Aimed at giving something for the purists and boundary pushers, the C17 is now available in silver, copper, octane blue and bronze orange.

15 February 2021, 11:27
Rainbow glitter paint job
15 February 2021, 10:37
80-year-old paperboy postpones retirement thanks to new e-bike
George Bailey (Credit Ciaran McCrickards/PA Wire)

The last we heard from George Bailey, he was considering packing the Headcorn paper round in having turned 80 in January. However, it seems one of Britain's oldest paperboys is not done yet...Thanks to Evans Cycles who provided George with a new Raleigh e-bike, the pensioner is set to postpone his retirement, saying it has given him a new lease of life. George delivers papers in the Kent town every day, including on his 80th birthday, on the same 2.5 mile route. Raleigh and Evans Cycles teamed up to gift George a new Raleigh Motus Crossbar e-bike to help make his round more enjoyable, especially on the cold, dark winter mornings.

"I’m truly thrilled with my new Raleigh e-bike. After celebrating my 80th birthday I was seriously considering whether it was time to now ‘hang up my boots’ and retire from the paper round," George explained. "Knowing I can now continue doing what I love - with a little help from modern technology - is fantastic, especially on a Raleigh; a brand I've always admired growing up! I might even still be doing this when I’m 90..."

Our sister site ebiketips has the full story...

15 February 2021, 10:22
Weekend racing round up

Iván Sosa won the big one on Mont Ventoux on Saturday to secure overall victory at Tour de la Provence. The Colombian attacked the select lead group and rode solo to the finish. Sosa's compatriot and teammate Egan Bernal sat on Julian Alaphilippe's wheel before attacking the World Champion in the final kilometre to take second in an Ineos Grenadiers one-two. On Sunday, Bahrain Victorious lived up to their new name as Phil Bauhaus won the final stage from a bunch sprint. 

In Spain, Giacomo Nizzolo won Clásica de Almería. In his first race back at Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Mark Cavendish helped teammate Florian Sénéchal to second place before suffering a mechanical and rolling home in 96th place.

15 February 2021, 08:49
Key worker grateful for segregated cycle lane helping her commute safely

 NHS worker Sarah Thomas expressed her gratitude for Cycleway 9 in Chiswick, west London, which she says has made her feel safe on her commute. Having opened just before Christmas, the cycleway offers cyclists a segregated route on the busy High Road.

She tweeted: "Thank you London Borough of Hounslow and Hanif Khan (transport lead at the council) for the segregated cycle lane on Chiswick High Road. It helps me feel safe on my commute as a key worker. Thank you for showing you care about active, safe travel and reducing air pollution."

Khan replied: "It's a delight to see all are using C9." However, not everyone who saw the video was as pleased to see active travel infrastructure. Here are some of the replies...

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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