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MP's bizarre LTN argument including calling proponent "bourgeoisie and woke"; MoD investigating security guard filmed threatening teenage cyclist; Van driver punishment pass; Sagan sprints to Giro win; DJ Froome; Bike lane bulletin + more on the live blog

Happy Monday folks, we're back for another week of the live blog...first up it is Dan Alexander in the hot seat...
17 May 2021, 15:58
Birmingham MP's bizarre LTN argument including calling proponent "bourgeoisie and woke"

Labour MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood, got in a bizarre Twitter argument with proponents of LTNs and Coventry's Bicycle Mayor Adam Tranter. The exchange stemmed from the video above which was shared on Sunday of gridlocked traffic in King's Heath, in the south of the city. Better Streets For B14 addressed the clip by pointing out that overloaded road networks are a result of more cars on the road, something which LTNs tackle.

However, Mahmood objected to point...

The MP then went on to say implementing greener buses and stopping "fining poor people to make money" were better solutions to tackling pollution before topping off his argument with this...

 When challenged on his views by Adam Tranter, Mahmood said he welcomed cycle initiatives but was more concerned with "the poorest 25 per cent of people where the car is a necessity for their independence and dignity in life, not a luxury." 

17 May 2021, 15:29
An update on the Warwickshire van driver from this morning

Here is what Matt had to say after his phone call with Warwickshire Police this morning... 

17 May 2021, 15:17
Peter Sagan wins stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia

History repeated itself at the Giro today. Last year on stage 10, Peter Sagan won...this year he repeated the trick. Fernando Gaviria had a few choice words for the Bora-hansgrohe rider after the finish about his sprinting, but all was fair in the eyes of the commissaires. Dylan Groenewegen, Tim Merlier and Giacomo Nizzolo were all put off the back by the pace set by Sagan's teammates on the main climb of the day.

In the run to the finish, Israel Start-Up Nation helped out for their sprinter Davide Cimolai, who eventualy finished third behind Sagan and Gaviria. No change of maglia rosa, although a split in the final kilometre means Aleksandr Vlasov is now just one second behind Egan Bernal. Evenepoel cut his deficit to the Ineos rider by one second with a cheeky move at the intermediate sprint. 

17 May 2021, 13:34
Ministry of Defence investigating security guard filmed making threats to teenage cyclist
Faslane naval base (Creative commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ministry of Defence is investigating a security guard at the oil fuel depot near Faslane who was reportedly filmed threatening a teenage cyclist. The oil depot is run by the Oil and Pipelines Agency, a public corporation of the Ministry of Defence. According to the Helensburgh Advertiser, who broke the story and has seen the full video, the security guard can be heard telling the 18-year-old cyclist, "when I’m out in my car you’re going to come off that f***ing bike."

Alex Sidney told the local news outlet he had been riding in the area on May 7 when he stopped to drink some water on the public road which runs next to the depot. A security guard then approached him and can be heard in the video telling the cyclist to "f**k off" and asking "why you being a c**k? Have you got nothing better to do with your f***ing time?"

Alex is silent throughout the video, while the guard continues to verbally abuse him, saying: "You’re just an arsehole eh? A f***ing waster in life. If I had my way, you wouldn’t be sitting up on that f***ing bike. When I’m out in my car, you’re going to come off that f***ing bike."

In a separate video, also seen by the Advertiser, the guard tells the young cyclist to "give me a pose" and calls him a "f***ing c*** s***er".

Alex explained that the threats did not bother him..."I’m not bothered by the remarks, but my main worry is that they are paid to be professional, and if they are not doing that, and instead are verbally abusing people, then that might not be the right line of work for them.

"I was on a bike ride and pulled into a lay-by for a water break, next to one of the closed gates to the oil fuel depot. The guard came out and started shouting at me. I was always on public land but he seemed to think it was MoD property, despite having asked police later, who confirmed that it was public.

"I was never blocking any entrances or causing any disruption to work or traffic so I don’t see what the issue was. I had just stopped for a few minutes to catch my breath, but evidently this guard was already in a bad place and wanted to take out his frustration on somebody."

An MoD spokesperson confirmed the incident is currently being investigated.

17 May 2021, 14:25
You couldn't make it up...

17 May 2021, 13:00
Some interesting numbers from Chiswick High Road
17 May 2021, 11:47
Ever wanted a coffee cup holder mounted to your handlebars?

Fancy a coffee on the go as you commute to the office or nip about town? Bookman thinks it has the perfect accessory for that...a coffee cup holder for your handlebars. After all, trying to stick a takeaway cup in your bottle cages is asking for a burnt calf and a messy down tube. It uses a spring steel construction to clamp down, keeping your brew secure as you negotiate bumps and potholes and can be flipped to a smaller or larger size depending on how much caffeine you need today.

We normally prefer to take five at a coffee shop, and at £25 it certainly is not cheap, but these could be good for delivery riders who need to keep moving...could you see yourself using one of these?

17 May 2021, 10:53
Reaction to the angry van driver video...including one positive story from a reader

One comment in particular caught our eye over on Facebook. Reader Matt Church shared his recent experience and gave us some hope that more dangerous drivers caught on camera will face action. Matt wrote: "Having recently had a similar experience where I live, I can’t praise the North Hampshire Constabulary enough. I uploaded the video to the reporting portal, which was easy to do, then provided a statement with dates and details.

"They contacted me to let me know the driver had accepted full responsibility, couldn’t do anything else with the footage to be fair, it was pretty blatant, and had accepted the fixed penalty with points rather than going to court. The handler who phoned me, said they they have a very limited budget, but with more videos like this the resources they have will increase.

"They are looking at the attitudes of drivers as a whole, but their stance on this is very much like the early days of the drink driving campaign, in other words, it’s a slow burn and will take time to gain traction, their words not mine."

Good to hear, Matt. Here is what some others had to say on the Warwickshire video...

Stuart MacLean commented: "Wow, didn't have the desired effect that he wanted so tried again. Fair play to the cyclist, best way of dealing with idiots looking for conflict is to be overly nice."

Aidan Masterson said: "A person who behaves like that should not be given a deadly weapon, which includes a car."

17 May 2021, 10:20
Stolen Ride partners with 'valet-style' bike parking providers Bike-Drop
Bike-Drop London (via Google Street View)

Cycling Industry News reports that Stolen Ride, the community-focused project tackling cycle theft in the capital has partnered with secure bike parking provider Bike-Drop. Bike-Drop opened three locations last year, on Regent Street, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly which allow riders to leave their bikes at a 'valet-style' secure parking facility.

Each drop has e-bike charging facilities, free puncture repairs and space for maintenance and servicing, as well as coffee and food to go. Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride explained the partnership. "I’m pleased to partner and start collaborating with Bike-Drop," he said. "They offer a new and unique cycle parking solution and have ambitious plans which will be very exciting to see unfold.

"After all, everyone just wants to cycle, park their bike and know that it will be there when they get back. But, also, Bike-drop adds to the end-to-end experience of cycling in London, with valet-style parking and other high-end personal touches. The new partnership brings with it a special discount to the Stolen Ride community to enjoy."

17 May 2021, 10:10
News at 10 coming to you...from a bike lane

This will be familiar to any parents coming out of months of home schooling...BBC foreign correspondent Anna Holligan's bike lane bulletins caught plenty of attention on social media recently. But now she has actually recorded a piece of breaking news for the BBC on Eurovision from one of the Netherlands' many bike lanes...

17 May 2021, 09:26
Oxford active travel campaigners pen open letter to newly elected county councillors
Science Vale Cycling Network (Oxfordshire County Council)

Chairwoman of Cyclox, Dr Alison Hill and co-chairs of the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel, Brenda Boardman and Simon Pratt, have written an open letter to the city's newly elected county councillors...

Dear County Councillor,

Congratulations on your election to Oxfordshire County Council.  

The Coalition of Healthy Streets and Active Travel (CoHSAT) is a group of voluntary and campaigning organisations working across Oxfordshire to create attractive, accessible and people-friendly streets. We want to see a future where everyone is able to walk and cycle for everyday trips on quiet streets and in liveable neighbourhoods, and where no-one has to own a car because there is always an alternative form of transport. 

In the run up to the election we invited you to support our manifesto and commit to putting walking and cycling at the heart of your plans for a fairer, healthier future. We are so grateful to the many of you who contributed. You may well have influenced voters who want to see active travel and public transport prioritised and nurtured. 

Our manifesto asks are:

Ring-fence at least 10% of the total transport budget for active travel
Create 15-minute neighbourhoods
Prioritise disadvantaged communities in transport policy and investment
Take immediate action to make local transport zero-carbon and improve air quality to WHO standards
Apply the sustainable transport hierarchy to all transport and planning policy 
Ensure that car-dependency is reduced in existing developments and new developments 
Expand the Strategic Active Travel Network 
Provide a comprehensive system of zero-emission public transport services, particularly in rural areas.
Reduce private car trips across the county 
Ensure all road improvement projects make streets safe, not just safer 
Progressively reduce public and private car parking spaces in town and city centres 
Oppose any major road expansion

The county council has 63 councillors and already the majority of you have supported the first ten of these measures. This majority should increase when those of you who haven’t yet completed our survey, decide to do so.  So this gives us hope that the new council will be transformative and brave. If we have to have more houses, this has to be achieved while decreasing the amount of traffic on the roads. 

As we recover from the pandemic, we can’t return to the old patterns of travel. Change is imperative and your election, and a new administration, are a pivotal moment for Oxfordshire. We are looking to you to support a transport system that works for everyone, is fair, healthy and minimises carbon emissions. Given the urgency of the climate emergency, we want to see a commitment to zero carbon in Oxfordshire by 2040 and a coherent set of policies to deliver this. Transport is a major contributor to carbon emissions, as well as creating air pollution and congestion, so the future has to be investment in cycling, walking and public transport.  

Given the weight of support, we are looking to you and the new administration to sign up to this manifesto for active travel and liveable streets. Now you are in a position to influence policy in your council, we urge you to press for the necessary changes that will enable the delivery of these commitments – commitments that you gave. We will work alongside you in ensuring that delivery.

Yours sincerely,

Brenda Boardman and Simon Pratt Co-chairs of the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel

17 May 2021, 09:07
Bad pop music and Phil Collins: Chris Froome's training playlist

You would have to pay me to listen to this...sorry, Chris. Perhaps this was the real cause of the Froome/Wiggo tension back in 2012. Get in the comments with your favourite banger for a big training effort...

17 May 2021, 08:55
Matej Mohorič update: Bahrain Victorious rider suffers concussion in frightening Giro d'Italia crash but no broken bones

Matej Mohorič abandoned the Giro d'Italia after this frightening crash on stage nine. The Slovenian was taken to Avezzano Hospital and diagnosed with a concussion and polytrauma. He stayed with Bahrain Victorious at their hotel last night where he was monitored by the team doctor.

"I'm okay," Mohorič said last night. "My bike and helmet took the most of the impact and I was super lucky. No broken bones, minor concussion and no headache at the moment. I am monitored by our medical staff."

Mohorič is the second rider Bahrain Victorious lost during the opening week of the race. On Wednesday, Mikel Landa was forced to abandon with a broken collarbone and ribs after a crash involving a race marshal.

17 May 2021, 07:39
Van driver U-turns after group ride to shout abuse and make second punishment pass

I wonder what wound up the van driver more: not being held up by the group ride or getting a friendly wave when he sped past on their inside? This is one of those where it is hard to understand why cyclists inspire quite this much rage in some motorists...

The rest of the clip speaks for itself...the driver delays himself by pulling a U-turn just past the traffic lights before using his vehicle to try and intimidate the riders. The good news is the cyclist who posted the video has a phone appointment with the police this morning, so hopefully we will have news of some action shortly.

Describing the incident, Matt Booth tweeted Warwickshire Police: "White van passes us without being held up, but inconveniences himself by doing two U-turns so he can shout abuse before sending an incredibly dangerous punishment pass on six people. Warwickshire Police, if he doesn't lose his license, I don't know who would. He's a danger to the public."

Labour councillor and vocal active travel proponent Jo Rigby responded to the video: "Driver using his vehicle as a weapon. We need to get drivers like this off our roads. If any other marketed product had caused over half a million deaths in the UK, it would have a product recall. And billion pound compensation claims. There is something profoundly wrong with a car’s design if it kills someone."

 A quick dip into the archives found another recent shocking piece of driving from Warwickshire...Near Miss of the Day 544 featured a driver, whose vehicle was untaxed and had no MOT, barely deviating from their line as they passed. The cyclist told us they reported it to Warwickshire Police but had not heard the outcome...

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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