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How's your day going? Probably better than the guy who cycled through wet paint (+ worst things we've ridden through); Northern Irish police or Team Sky?; Toon Aerts' pre-World Champs' test positive for breast cancer drug + more on the live blog

Live blog? What's a live blog? Dan Alexander is back here, trying to remember how to do one of these...
16 February 2022, 17:23
Final call for the worst thing you've ridden through...

Let's start with hub-deep cow shit...because where else would we start...

"For me the worst was having to ride through hub-deep (no exaggeration!) cow shit on an MTB ride in Derbyshire many years ago. It was a route I had used several times, and the bridlepath goes through a farm yard between some cow sheds. It was often muddy or slippery with cow shit, but this time I reckon the farmer must've recently scraped/hosed all of the cow shit out of the sheds and deposited it in the yard. It was horrendous!" Dicklexic recalled.

Kapelmuur said: "I rode over a snake in France, it didn't make much of a mess and it may have already been dead. I didn't hang around to check. I guess this story doesn't have legs."

andystow was awarded the most middle class comment of the day award by another reader: "I didn't ride through it, but on a multi-day gravel bikepacking trip I had a little unplanned dismount/lie down. When I got up, completely unhurt, I felt a cold wet mess on my back. The avocado in my back jersey pocket had become instant guacamole. Luckily I had a spare jersey to change into."

Drinfinity commented: "Frogspawn. Riding through a particularly deep water filled rut on a North Yorkshire moor. My partner was having a miserable ride till then (not a fan of deep ruts), but she was much more entertained after I did the international interpretive dance for 'my boot is full of frogspawn'"

Bawheid has all the gory details..."A weasel. Extruded through the front brake, put me on the floor. Washed off blood and bits of skin ( both) and flesh and entrails (his) in a public bog full of very wary tourists. Joy." Chrisonatrike stole the show with the "pop went the weasel" comment...10/10.

JustTryingToGet said: "Worst thing I've cycled through... the River Thames. Pure stupidity on my part, I'd come down to the meadow and it had flooded, by which point I couldn't be arsed to go back up the road. I thought I'd just take it slow as I knew where the path was. Three quarters of the way through and I thought, 'blimey, those benches look far away'... I reckon I was centimetres from the riverbank. I'll not pull a dickhead move like that again."

Add Chorley and Harringey to the list too... thanks to whoever suggested those on Twitter...

Well, that's an image to take you through to teatime... 

16 February 2022, 17:02
For the cyclist who has everything: a 3D-printed titanium bottle opener from Silca
2022 Silca Bird of Prey bottle opener

Purveyor of high-quality cycling parts and accessories Silca has surprised us all with its latest release: a bottle opener. 3D-printed. From titanium. In the shape of a bird of prey. Tell us that you were expecting that and we’ll call you a fibber.

You might remember that Silca introduced the 3D-printed titanium Mensola computer last year with a latticework structure to keep the weight down.

> Silca unveils £175 super-strong 3D-printed titanium computer mount

The Bird of Prey bottle opener is kind of similar… but it’s more bottle opening related.

2022 Silca Bird of Prey bottle opener

Read our review of the Silca Mensola computer mount...

Made from 6Al/4V titanium, it weighs just 11g, and being bird of prey shaped, it’s ideal for opening bottles fast. You know, for when you’re really thirsty.

What? The price? £38. We’re saying nuffink.

16 February 2022, 16:16
Got £12,674.55 spare? Want to spend it ALL on a cycling holiday? One-month European epic 3,693km "Bike Across Europe"

Here at road.cc we see a lot of expensive things: bikes, wheels, kit etc. You get the picture. There are a lot of people into bikes willing to spend plenty of cash on nice things...but what about a holiday as expensive as just about any bike you could wish for?

"Bike Across Europe" billed as an "epic adventure" from Paris to Estonia via a spin down the Champs-Élysées and aperitifs under the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, before riding Germany, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. 

Not your usual cycling holiday, but it does promise rolling vineyards, deep forests, medieval villages, historic cities, and runs for over a month between July 2 and August 6 2022. Let's hope you don't want to watch the Tour...

Thankfully the organisers had the self-awareness to miss out the "just" from their press release telling us prices start at $4,006 for eight or 15-day stages of the tour, through to $17,208 (£12,674.55) for the full thing. You could buy the most high-spec Specialized Aethos and have a grand left over for that...

Thankfully they're not pretentious enough to market as "cycling in the footsteps of Napoleon from Paris to the Russia border". Ah, right...scrap that...they have. Although, in fairness, part of the 'USP' seems to be visiting "unique historical itineraries"...so fair enough, I guess? Oh, and "quality lodging, fine gastronomy and cultural immersion". We get it, you want to enjoy yourselves...well, I guess you would if it's costing you...

So... anyone want to sponsor me?

16 February 2022, 15:28
For the love of God...not more cycling team music videos

If Astana's not-so-Gangster's Paradise training camp video wasn't enough to make you hate 2022, there's another one...we'd ask which was your favourite, but at this point asking which one you hate least is probably easier...

16 February 2022, 14:38
Egan Bernal is back on the bike (kind of)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Egan Bernal (@eganbernal)

And showing off a pretty terrifying scar on his back too...

The reigning Giro d'Italia champion broke 20 bones in a horror crash while training in Colombia last month, and needed multiple rounds of surgery on his back injuries. After two weeks in intensive care, Bernal was discharged from hospital and is now recovering back at home, with the help of his many dogs...

Bernal was training with a group of his Ineos Grenadiers teammates when he crashed his Pinarello TT bike into a parked bus. The incident has led Tom Pidcock and Chris Froome to raise safety concerns about the bikes...

> Chris Froome calls for time trial bike ban in professional cycling

Talking of Pidcock, he's back racing on the road today for the first time since his 'cross season. Not a bad team for Ineos in Portugal...just a few of the young guns, eh? 

16 February 2022, 14:22
Bikebook: Cycling start-up for finding your best local mechanic
Bikebook

Bikebook is a cycling start-up founded by two friends and passionate riders from East Sussex. It's a website aimed at finding cyclists their best local mechanic, wherever they are located in the UK, and claims to be the "easiest, fastest, and most transparent way to have your bike serviced".

It offers a comparison of services, reviews and prices from local mechanics, and currently has over 280 registered mechanics and has generated over 1,000 bookings.

16 February 2022, 11:27
Puddles, mud, rotting badger carcasses, tubeless sealant? More of your worst things ridden through
Badger - Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 by Badger Hero on Wikimedia Commons

This really is turning into a Partridge phone-in...earlier on it was "airborne, fermenting rabbit entrails". Now we've got a reader who "popped a rotting badger carcass". Let's get it out the way before lunchtime...

HoarseMann was the unlucky rider: "I once popped a rotting badger carcass, no mudguards, got sprayed in the face. Very lucky I stayed on the bike, it was dark and there was a car coming the other way with dazzling headlights, I was going downhill at 30mph so just didn't see it.

"I knew it was there as I'd spent the last few days timing when to hold my breath to avoid the stench when going uphill the other way. It took a few seconds for the grim realisation of what I'd just hit to take hold. I've had worse as a pedestrian though."

Argos74 has the date etched in his memory: "13 September 2016, riding home through a a quarter mile of one feet deep puddle on a dual carriageway, in the dark, in biblically torrential rain with limited visibility, in rush hour. Got out of the dip in the road and the puddle eased off to only four inches deep, and still couldn't see the kerb so had to take what I estimated was primary for three miles.

"A colleague came off the same night in a 3 foot deep puddle near Manchester Piccadilly. So there's that." Terrifying.

KDee commented: "I tried to ride through some very very thick mud on my mountain bike years ago. It didn't end well, and I didn't get a chance to unclip before I went sideways. Don't know what was worse...the struggle of trying to get back upright (my mate could've helped, but he was too busy laughing), or finishing the ride looking like I'd been spliced with Swamp Thing."

While rct has been cursing tubeless tyres ever since "sitting on the wheel of some guy riding tubeless tyres that have just punctured and the sealant gets thrown all over you and your bike."

Any more?

16 February 2022, 11:40
CAR BACK!

Tell me you're a cyclist without telling me you're a cyclist..."CAR BACK!"

> Know your group riding signals and calls 

Dave Dee's not a fan, for some unexplained reason...

16 February 2022, 11:26
New clubhouse leader for worst thing you've ridden through? A40 cycle lane on a wet day...
16 February 2022, 11:07
A Near Miss of the Day throwback

A road.cc reader got in touch with some strong detective work linking some of their own footage to a previous edition of Near Miss of the Day. NMotD 630 involved a punishment pass driver beeping a cyclist multiple times before driving through close to make a point. Gloucestershire Constabulary concluded their wasn't enough evidence for any action to be taken.

"The driver could have given you more room but you have not had to take any avoiding action. We can speculate about why the driver beeped their horn at you but they have made you aware of their presence and waited until the incoming traffic had cleared before they overtook," the reply stated.

This is where today's clip comes in...

The road.cc reader told us: "Turns out approximately a month after that article [NMotD 630] was published, I came across the same vehicle also beeping at me and telling me to get in the cycle lane whilst waiting in a queue of traffic. This was again in Cheltenham and the vehicle still had no MOT (22/09/21).

"There were three cars ahead in the queue but the front vehicle was positioned to the left of the lane blocking access to the filter box - but of course (as like the previous article), the driver knows better!"

16 February 2022, 11:02
But cyclists...NSFW edition + Jesus wouldn't have parked like a bellend

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the single greatest headline the internet has ever seen...

Unbelievably, it's not even the best thing I've seen this morning...

16 February 2022, 10:50
Sixth place Toon Aerts' pre-World Champs' test positive for breast cancer drug
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Toon Aerts (@toonaerts)

 Belgian cyclocross racer Toon Aerts has tested positive for a banned breast cancer drug during an out-of-competition test taken ten days before last month's cyclocross world championships.

> History maker Tom Pidcock solos to rainbow jersey at cyclocross worlds

The news was revealed by Aerts' team, saying their rider tested positive for a banned substance on January 19. Aerts told Belgian outlet Sporza that he will do "everything I can to prove my innocence and clear my name".

Aerts tested positive for breast cancer drug Letrozole, his B-sample will now be tested, but the positive came ten days before he finished sixth at the UCI cyclocross world championships in Arkansas.

If the test result stands Aerts will be stripped of his sixth place, as well as several wins and notable results from the winter's racing.

"Yesterday my world turned upside down," Aerts said. "I received a letter from the UCI that no athlete wants to receive in his career. I was informed that an abnormal result was found in my urine sample, which was taken during an out-of-competition check at my home on January 19th.

"I am currently in the dark as to how this could have come about. The product 'Letrozole Metabolite' was found in my urine sample. A product that I had never heard of until yesterday and do not know how it got into my body."

Letrozole is used to block estrogen in the treatment of breast cancer, but also has performance-enhancing properties if an athlete wants to boost testosterone production by preventing breakdown.

"Anyone who knows me a little knows that I have been against any form of doping all my career and have always done everything I can to set an example as an athlete," Aerts said.

"I will therefore do everything I can to prove my innocence and clear my name. Pending the analysis of the B sample and further investigations, I will not comment. I would urge everyone to respect this and to give me and my family the time and opportunity to get more clarity first."

16 February 2022, 10:24
What's the worst thing you've ridden through?

What's the worst thing (you've ridden through)? That's what, in full Partridge style, I'm asking this morning...inspired by the poor cyclist who rode through white paint...RIP black kit.

I mean, I did set myself up for this one...

What's the worst thing you've ridden through, road.cc reader 'the little onion'? "Keighley". Right. Fair enough. Never been, I'll take your word for it...Rendell Harris was thinking along the same lines, but gave a 'shout-out' to the Kent town of Erith...

OldRidgeback is still scarred from their pungent problem...

"As a kid out for a ride on my shiny new Puch many years ago I was so enjoying my cycle ride that I didn't notice the sticky wet dog mess on the ground. Luckily the mudguards stopped this from being sprayed all over my back but I did have to clean it off the brakes later on. And I didn't have access to a jet washer. That was a learning experience."

Shake said: "Cycled through wet tar, that stuff did not want to come off my bike."

SimoninSpalding has gone for "airborne, fermenting rabbit entrails". There's four words you never thought you'd read..."Afternoon of day two, riding the Way of the Roses, this fen-dwelling boy was thoroughly enjoying riding along the Vale of York (level ground at last!) when a long deceased lagomorph on the other side of the road was driven over by a car causing the rotten innards to be ejected across the road and sprayed up my legs and all over my bike.

"The only bright spot was that I smelt so bad that my riding companions insisted I sat at the back of the group so that they didn't have to smell me. The landlord of the guest house we stayed at that night gave me a bit of a look when I walked in though."

That's a story and a half...

16 February 2022, 10:12
Dave Bails-ford's Team Sky or Northern Irish police? New uniform gives us flashbacks to mountain trains and Froome dominating the Tour

It appears the Police Service of Northern Ireland is adopting the marginal gains philosophy in the fight against crime...wearing a very Team Skyesque mid-10s black aero outfit...no Rapha or Castelli here, unfortunately...

Matteo Tosatto Froome (c) Team Sky.jpg

Luke Rowe would make a decent bobby, I reckon...

Luke Rowe (picture courtesy Team Sky).jpg

At least the PSNI is maximising its aero potential, look at the state of their counterparts at the Garda's uniform...

16 February 2022, 08:43
How's your morning going? Probably better than the guy who cycled through wet paint

It's a mild Wednesday morning. I reckon more than a few of you deserving winter commuters got caught out by the balmy February temperatures and found yourselves scrambling to remove layers at the lights.

You know what they always say though...better to have layers to remove, than layers covered in paint...(I am aware nobody has ever said that in the entire history of the English language, please don't leave too may angry comments)...

That's one way to give your shoes that box-fresh glossy shine back...

Maybe someone has been out painting bike lanes again? Although, now I think about it, don't ask me why they would be painting them black...(EDIT: I've woken up enough to realise the paint is the flaky white spots...told you I hadn't done a blog for a while).

> Councillor who said she’d paint (now removed) bike lane black slams “ignorant” people who painted it back

Amusingly, when the Old Shoreham Road lane was removed last year, it quickly reappeared thanks to the handiwork of a mysterious infra vigilante.

The makeshift markings were painted where the lane used to be, and rattled good old Cllr Dawn Barnett, who furiously told local press the lines needed to be removed and those responsible prosecuted.

"Wait a second," one Twitter user said..."Can you confirm or deny if this furious councillor, is the same furious councillor who threatened to paint out the cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road."

Wonderful.

To bring it back to the poor lad who did ride through paint (and to channel my inner Partridge)...what's the worst thing you've ridden through? Paint? Leaking sewage? *insert poorly infrastructured town*? A puddle you didn't think was that deep? Worse?

I can't imagine Dulux does much for your drivetrain...

Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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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