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Banksy broken bike mural sold for six-figure sum; Man buying bike from strangers assaulted and robbed; Drunk cyclist crashes into mayor; Another painful bike lane; Colnago handlebar porn; Denmark go big on cycling; Strava update + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander will be picking out the best bits from the cycling world to take you through the middle of the week...
17 February 2021, 17:16
Fabio Jakobsen provisionally scheduled to make comeback from injury in three weeks, however team boss Patrick Lefevere believes it will probably still be too soon

At least provisionally, Fabio Jakobsen is down to race his bike again, eight months on from his horrific crash at the Tour of Poland. However, Deceuninck-Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere said the date was likely to come too soon. Jakobsen was included on Quick-Step's startlist for GP Monseré alongside Mark Cavendish, for the race on March 7.

Lefevere was quick to point out it's unlikely Jakobsen will be able to return just yet. "He just had another operation," the team principal explained to Dutch website Wielerflits. "The stitches will not go out until February 25. Then 7 March will come really too early. He also has insufficient training in his legs. The intention is that he will train for another month. After that, we hope to gradually give him a taste of competition."

17 February 2021, 17:01
Puncture dilema

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Nightmare scenario for editor Jack Sexty this afternoon...A puncture within touching distance of home. If I were a football commentator I'd probably call it the 'corridor of uncertainty'. Do you chuck a new tube in when you could be home by the time it's fixed? Or face the awkward cleat hobble back to your front door? Whatever you choose it's going to put a damper on any ride...

Drjmills is all for getting every last pedal stroke out of your spin: "Change the tube at the side of the road and ride home in glory!"

Alexhamilton13 prefers to live life on the edge: "Pump some air into it, ride home quickly to get back before it completely deflates again."

17 February 2021, 16:49
South Ribble Police return stolen bike to owner who had given up hope of finding it
Stolen bike (via South Ribble Police)

Here's a nice news story for a grey Wednesday afternoon...South Ribble Police managed to reunite one victim of theft with their stolen bike. The bike was stolen during a spate of burglaries in October and was found when police discovered it in a shed at an unrelated incident. Fortunately, having seized the bike they were able to trace the owner and got it back to them yesterday.

They encouraged other cyclists to register their bikes with the National Cycle Database, Bike Register.

17 February 2021, 16:37
Thomas De Gendt says he was one of the 16 pro riders to open the email proposal about the UCI's rule changes

Thomas De Gendt told Belgian outlet Sporza that he understands Matteo Trentin's frustration with their fellow riders after the Italian claimed just 16 out 800 pro riders sent the UCI's proposed rule changes bothered to open it. Trentin suggested last week that the pro peloton should spend less time on TikTok and be more proactive about safety issues... 

De Gendt said he was warned by former teammate Adam Hansen that there would be some major rule changes proposed. However, he admitted he understood why so few had read the proposal email.

"I agree with Trentin that riders are not really concerned with all the things that come with the race. Not that we don't care, but sometimes we just don't have the time or feel like doing it. Certainly in this case the period played a role," the Lotto Soudal rider explained.

"The email was sent at the beginning of November. Most riders are then in a rest period. I also put my mobile phone aside for three weeks during that period."

The Belgian was critical of the CPA riders' union which represented pro cyclists' interests at the meetings with the UCI, saying that he felt they had lied in the past.

"The new union has yet to prove everything, but hopefully they will do better. I have very little faith in the CPA because it has already lied to the riders a number of times that they have talked to organisers, but had not. That's how they want to keep us quiet. An example is the stage in the Giro 2020, which was ultimately halved. But it has happened before. The union must also represent us and not just the organisers."

17 February 2021, 15:26
Banksy's broken bike artwork removed and sold to collector for six-figure sum
banksy artwork next to broken bike october 2020 - via Banksy on Instagram.PNG

The Banksy artwork of a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre has been sold for a six-figure fee and has been removed. The mural appeared outside a Nottingham beauty salon in October and was claimed by the mysterious artist who said it was taking a pop at the government poster featuring a ballerina named Fatima who should retrain in 'cyber'.

Just a month later the bike chained in front of the mural disappeared, presumed stolen, but was actually removed for safe keeping. The artwork was carefully removed by workmen this morning after gallery owner John Brandler told the BBC he paid a "six-figure sum" for the piece and wanted to preserve it and put it on display. Brandler owns a number of Banksy's pieces, including Seasons Greetings.

The collector added that he believes he saved the piece just in time as the perspex screen over the picture was causing damp damage. A spokesperson for Nottingham City Council confirmed that they had sought Banksy's approval to move the piece to a different location.

Local resident Jasinya Powell expressed her disappointment at the artwork being sold. "It's capitalism at its finest - it's all about the Benjamins [money] at the end of the day," she told the BBC. "It got people talking about Raleigh, about Nottingham, about what the city has produced and done."

17 February 2021, 14:22
Man buying bike off strangers hit over the head and robbed
Thames Valley Police logo

A man buying a bike off two strangers in Reading was hit over the head and robbed of his money last Friday. Thames Valley Police say the incident happened in London Road at around 7.30pm on February 12 when a man thought he'd agreed to buy a bicycle off the two offenders. An argument broke out after the men demanded more money before the victim was hit on the back of the head and robbed.

Police say the victim was uninjured in the assault and that they are looking for the two offenders who are described as white men, between 30 and 40 years old. One was 6ft and wearing a green jacket. The other was 5ft 10ins and wearing a black jacket with blue jeans. Both were described as being medium build.

PC Philip Marchant said the incident was distressing for the victim and encouraged two members of the public who saw the incident to come forward. He said: "We would like to speak to anyone who saw what happened or has details about this incident. Specifically, we would like to speak to two members of the public who were passing at the time of the incident and intervened as they may have information that could help with the investigation.

"Further, if you think you know who the men described are, we would like you to get in touch. Please call Thames Valley Police on 101 or make a report online and share any CCTV if you think it picks up this incident. If you would prefer to remain 100 per cent anonymous, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

17 February 2021, 14:04
Denmark spends big on cycling network
Cycling in Copenhagen (picture credit Ty Stange via Copenhagen Media Centre)

The Danish government has pledged more than half a billion kroner (roughly £60 million) for improvements to the country's cycling network and to help promote cycling as an accessible mode of transport. CPH Post reports a little under £45 million has been earmarked for 20 projects involving implementing bike lanes on state roads. Around £17 million will be used to build bike lanes on smaller municipal roads. "We agree that the funds will go to bicycle projects that help make it more attractive to get in the saddle,” said transport minister, Benny Engelbrecht.

17 February 2021, 12:35
Strava update debate
Strava update

The new Strava update is out, as you can see from the location info next to the time at the top of this activity. Useful if you're scrolling your feed and want to see where all your riding pals have gone on holiday...oh, wait a second. We've seen a couple of comments with privacy-related concerns but that seems to be something which comes with the territory when uploading your ride's GPS data. Non-GPS data rides won't use the feature...Thoughts?

On our Facebook page, Kieran Barry was pleased with the new feature saying: "Good update. Also appreciating the activity search feature."

Strava story comments


17 February 2021, 12:13
Pure unadulterated handlebar porn

Have you ever seen a more fetching set of bars than this? The Campag Kid, who specialises in building bikes equipped with (you guessed it) Campagnolo parts, says it took about 8 years to source these Mapei-themed Colnago integrated bars. The finished build will be a Colnago C59 Mapei, which we'd probably sell a kidney and any other non-essential organs to have a go on when it's ready. 

17 February 2021, 11:56
Bike converted into mechanically-propelled vehicle seized by police in Manchester

Greater Manchester Police seized this mechanically-propelled bike. They say the conversion meant it should be classed as a mechanically-propelled vehicle and needed insurance...

17 February 2021, 11:19
New figures show bike theft down 20%
Bicycles (Credit Seopa Ltd)

The latest crime figures from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) show that reported bicycle crimes fell by 18 per cent in Northern Ireland in 2020 compared to 2019. During the first lockdown from March to May, there was a 15 per cent decrease compared to May 2019. The region of the UK where cyclists were most likely to have their bike stolen was Cambridgeshire which recorded 3.9 bicycle crimes per 1,000 residents, followed by London with 3.3 and Thames Valley with 2.1. In comparison, Northern Ireland recorded just 0.37 bicycle crimes per 1,000.

Responding to the figures, Greg Wilson of bicycle insurance company Compare said: "As the country cautiously prepares to emerge from lockdown, there’s a possibility the number of bicycle thefts might rise sharply, given the increase in bikes available to opportunistic thieves. So bike safety and comprehensive insurance will be important - especially since a large percentage are new owners and perhaps unaware of what’s available to protect themselves and their bicycle."

17 February 2021, 10:21
Drunk cyclist who crashed into Belgian mayor goes viral


A drunk cyclist who rode into a Belgian mayor doing a TV interview has gone viral, eight months after the incident happened. The Brussels Times reports the Hasselt mayor, Steven Vandeput, finds the video's popularity surprising but also quite funny. The clip went viral after being posted on YouTube by Meme Tycoon and has now been viewed almost four million times.

"3.6 million views is a lot," Vandeput laughed. "I have also read the comments under the video, and I must say I find it all quite funny. I was only left with a bruise. The man clearly did not agree with some decisions I made as mayor. The police then took the man away anyway, because he continued to be difficult even after the collision."

A local media report at the time of the incident claimed the cyclist was drunkenly ranting about the "benefits of communism" before the incident with the mayor who represents the Flemish nationalist party N-VA. The mayor confirmed he hadn't launched a complaint and only asked that the man goes home and sleeps off the alcohol...

17 February 2021, 08:58
"It makes my head hurt": Another painfully bad cycle lane

Emily shared this photo of a bike lane in Manchester saying: "Manchester has a new contender for its worst cycling infra attempt," and it's hard to argue...Squeezing cyclists into one half of a bike lane is a new one, especially next to a busy A-road. After the new development next to the cycle lane was built, the footway and cycleway were resurfaced, but nothing was done to prevent cyclists having to ride head first at each other.

One reply did point out that there may be slight hope in that as part of the Active Travel Fund, the council are due to better link cycling routes to the city centre along the the A56...So perhaps this infrastructure may soon be a thing of the past...

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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