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Cyclist's hilarious "passive-aggressive sign battle" with NIMBY neighbour; Jumbo-Visma manager wants external course safety checks; Bruyneel says UCI all about money; Clothes brand slammed for shocking 'Ride Bikes F**k B*tches' tee + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is in charge as we kick off the week, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening...
17 August 2020, 15:09
Oxord County Council respond over accusations that video on active travel grant cash was "misleading"

Responding to regarding the video above, the council claim it is not misleading, and that the money did come from the Emergency Active Travel Fund. Some questioned the council's wording, as the government specified that grants would not be awarded to councils whose projects didn't meet the criteria. 

A spokesperson said: "The work shown in the video is only part of the work being done under the grant; it is not misleading at all. The full scope of this work can be found here.

"In making our bid, our goal was always to spread the value of the money across the entire county rather focus it on a particular town or city. The absolute criteria for full funding of projects was not specified in detail.

"Our commitment is to the county as a whole and we have a comprehensive series of further cycle projects to look forward to which are in addition to those in the active travel grant. The county is wholly committed to supporting cycling and walking growth."

17 August 2020, 14:51
Strava update and improve 'Strava Goals' feature
strava goals

The social fitness giants are continuing to roll out more improved features in return for that much talked-about subscription fee, with the latest update "ensuring athletes are able to set, track and challenge their fitness goals" according to Strava. 

You can now set goals for 30+ sport types as well as the pre-existing swim, bike and running, set elevation goals and set monthly goals. If you're the shy type, you also have the option of making your goals private, because it's now moved to Sttrava's Training tab which makes goals private to the individual athlete. 

Strava say their Goals feature is important because according to their 2019 Year in Sport report, athletes who set a goal of three activities a week instead of two tended to be more consistent, resulting in twice as many activities over the year. They also found that for cycling, the most popular weekly goals tend to be 50, 62, 93 and 100 miles with Strava users. 

17 August 2020, 14:18
President of the Professional Cyclists Union responds to Richard Plugge's calls for external course safety tests

The CPA have published an open letter from Gianni Bugno, who claims that while his rider's union does have people who check course safety, this is done on a "semi-voluntary basis", and they don't have access to course previews ahead of events like teams do. 

Bugno says he wants to work with Plugge and the AIGCP - an organisation representing cycling teams of which the Jumbo-Visma manager Plugge is vice-chairman of - to discuss ideas going forward. 

17 August 2020, 14:03
You can now recycle your inner tubes thanks to Cycle Of Good's handy initiative
cycle of good inner tube recycling - via cycle of good website.PNG

Cycle Of Good - a company specialising in the refurbishment and sale of elephant bikes - is gradually expanding their inner tube recycling scheme, which allows bike shops to become hubs for cyclists to send their old inner tubes to stop them from going to landfill. The tubes are then made into accessories such as bags, belts and phone cases, all of which are for sale on Cycle Of Good's website. To key in your postcode and find out where your nearest inner tube recycling point is, click here; alternatively you can simply send them directly to Cycle Of Good if you cover the postage. 

17 August 2020, 12:06
"The only thing that matters is $$$": Lance Armstrong's former manager Johan Bruyneel slams UCI safeguarding of riders

Emma O'Reilly - the former US Postal team soigneur who was one of the first to accuse Lance Armstrong of doping back in 1999 - makes the comparison between an alleged lack of safeguarding for riders when it comes to doping and the current row around course safety. Of all the people to respond, it's Armstrong's former manager Bruyneel who says that things will never change "as long as the current business model of cycling remains unchallenged."

If anyone knows about doping in cycling it's Bruyneel, who was "at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping" while managing the US Postal Service team according to an arbitration panel that banned him for ten years in 2014. In 2018, Bruyneel had his original ten-year ban extended to life following the testimony of former US Postal Service doctor Luis Garcia del Moral. Dr del Moral - who had his ban reduced to five years in exchange for cop-operating with Wada, the UCI, and Usada - gave “credible, truthful, and useful” testimony according to a CAS panel of arbitrators, describing it as “the straw that literally broke the back of Mr Bruyneel’s evidence.”

Bruyneel defended his and Armstrong's actions at the time, simply saying: “We were all children of our era.”

17 August 2020, 11:42
Join us at 7pm tonight on Zwift for the chance to win socks!

We're back on Zwift tonight with another Ride Your Socks Off! event. It's a D category ride, so it's a good one for a recovery ride or if you're just finding your feet in Zwift. One lucky rider will win a pair of socks, too. You gotta be in it to win it...

17 August 2020, 10:17
Clothing brand lambasted for horrendous 'Ride Bikes F**k B*tches' t-shirt

Where The Trail Begins, a 'MTB x Streetwear' brand who we believe are based in the UK, are going viral for all the wrong reasons after posting a photo of a t-shirt design that is simply printed with the slogan: "Ride Bikes Fuck Bitches". 

The image of the t-shirt was posted yesterday, and Where The Trail Begins say it is now for sale on their website (we've embedded a different post above so you don't have to see it). Of the hundreds of comments left underneath the post, it's fair to say many weren't enthused. Surrey Hills Cycle Works replied: "This is shit, and is truly nothing to do with the wonderful sport of bike riding that I am involved in."

Penny Wood commented: "In what way do you think this is appropriate to 1. Produce 2. Wear. This is the 21st century. Do better"; while Jim Brady said: "No thanks. I’d rather throw my $ at someone who tries to include everyone in our great sport and not at someone who thinks it is funny to degrade half the population."

The company have no link to a retail website on their Instagram account that we can find, which is probably for the best... 

*Update 15:00: a link to the company's website on their Instagram bio has now appeared. 

17 August 2020, 09:00
Cyclist fights back against unauthorised 'no cycling' signs with hilarious counter-sign campaign

While nipping things in the bud with a confrontation might be a more time-efficient way of dealing with things, it could be more uncomfortable and certainly wouldn't be as funny as the way Andrew 'Bernie' Bernard dealt with a neighbour who objected to cyclists existing near his patch. For those who don't have Twitter, we've unrolled the whole thread from number two onwards (the first one is above) and picked out the best photo tweets in the thread for you below...

"Our lane runs parallel with the A65 (the main road between Kendal and Skipton - a major and busy cross-country road) and people who cycle on our lane do so largely because the A65 has a pinch-point where trucks and cars drive at 50 / 40 through a village on it. It’s unsafe.

"There were rumours about who put the signs up, it was a secret in plain sight, a farmer who lives near the bridge and who seems to hate fun. I live 4 doors from him and I’m a cyclist so, well, it annoyed me. During a pandemic he was trying to stop people using bikes.

"Two days later the labels were gone. He was on to me. So I did it again. He removed the labels. Again. It seemed he was having to monitor his signs. Funny. Now, rumours were starting about WHY the signs had gone up and it appears that he was once ‘surprised’ by a group of women cycling by as they came to the end of the road before dismounting and walking across the bridge. It ‘surprised’ him as he was putting his wellies on at his front door. Surprised. That’s it. Not struck or hit. Surprised. So his campaign started.

"Our road is unmade, unadopted but not technically ‘private’. People are allowed to walk or push their bikes along it to get to the public footpath. People walk by, run and occasionally cycle. They’re polite because most see it as a nice cut through. The signs were daft.

"Beware of the Giraffe then went up high (stepladders, midnight) so the giraffes knew we were on to them. A couple of people mentioned them around the village and wider area. I kept quiet.

"We’re into June now and the big signs are still up. I wrote to Lancashire Travel about the signs and that they were anti-cycling in a time when they were trying to encourage more walking and cycling and wrote to the parish council. And started the inversion campaign.

"I was also now covering up the No Cycling signs with other temporary signs that were left behind by road workers etc. They were often removed the next day or the day afterwards. I emailed the parish council again.

"What’s the message here, maybe persistence? I know I didn’t tackle it head-on but then that would have created years of anger. A subtle subversive campaign plus lobbying? I don’t know. It may seem daft but it was a bad image for the village and danger for cyclists?

"I enjoyed the fun and creativity of it. I love that people were looking out for the little silly signs which maybe made the aggressive ones look a little more daft. Anyway, for now the passive-aggressive sign battle is paused. Where is my Mind The Gap sign though?"

17 August 2020, 09:42
Head out for a ride, stay for the sea creatures

Thanks to Timsbury CG for bringing this unusual mid-ride encounter to our attention... anyone else ever had a near miss with a freshwater crustacean? 

17 August 2020, 08:11
Jumbo-Visma's team manager says he is in talks with other teams to introduce an external company to check courses for safety
richard plugge - via Richard Plugge on social media.PNG

After Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk were forced to abandon on the penultimate stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné, Richard Plugge - a former journalist and Jumbo-Visma's manager since 2012 - has said there is "no more trust in the UCI", and claims he has spoken to other teams extensively about external course safety checks. 

Speaking to NOS before the final stage yesterday, Plugge said: "It must be safer for our riders. 

"I have talked a lot about this with other team leaders and we all say we cannot continue to expose our riders to danger. It must end now. We no longer have confidence in the controls that the UCI do themselves.

"It just has to be different. Our helmets arw tested 1,000 times, but on a race course the UCI just quickly says "that's fine". It's not okay."

Plugge says that in consultation with other teams, he wants to hire a company that will professionally check course safety: 

"For example, there must be certain conditions for the last kilometre if there is a bunch sprint, and also a method to how barriers are placed along the course", he said. 

Plugge continued: "We hope that this can be introduced for next season. Such a company can then say to the UCI: "It must be better, this is not good enough"; then it can be solved, because it simply has to be safer for our riders."

World Tour events have been blighted by serious incidents since the restart, with Fabio Jakobsen left in a coma following a horror crash at the Tour of Poland, and Remco Evenepoel going over the side of a bridge after crashing at the Tour of Lombardy this weekend. At Lombardy, a motorist also got on the course and left-hooked unfortunate Bora-Hansgrohe rider Max Schachmann. 

17 August 2020, 08:45
People protesting against people-friendly streets, while advertising people-friendly streets again

In another episode of 'you couldn't make it up' from Islington, protestors are continuing to protest against low-traffic neighbourhoods by demonstrating the kind of things you can do in a low-traffic neighbourhood.

The row started after some raised concerns that barriers installed to prevent rat-running could harm local businesses or block access to emergency vehicles. Islington Council took to Twitter, presumably to address the protests, saying: "We're moving forward urgently with people-friendly streets due to coronavirus. TfL
said without action to improve streets, traffic will get much worse as people who use public transport turn to cars. That would mean more pollution, more congestion & more danger on our roads.

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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