Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

“Life is short, let’s do something dumb” (and incredibly hard, too): Pair attempt cycling around roundabout for 24 hours; Garda nabs bike thief with sting op in first week on the job; David Cameron holds maglia rosa at G7 meeting + more on the live blog

It’s a Thursday and Adwitiya is on the live blog hot seat, bringing you all the news, views and more importantly, all the chit-chat from the cycling world
18 April 2024, 15:15
Ladds 500, Portland (Instagram: @ladds500)
“Life is short, let’s do something dumb” (and incredibly hard, too): Pair attempt cycling around roundabout for 24 hours

To get the context clear to you, Ladd Circle is a fairly big roundabout with a park in the middle in Portland, Oregon in the USA. And since 2016, local cycling campaign group Bike Portland has been organising an event called the Ladds 500. Participants have been coming in the hundreds on all sorts of rides, including penny farthings, to camp in the park and have a day of fun.

The aim is to complete 500 laps around the park, switching hands with your teammates after every few laps — it’s not a race, it’s a relay. In the words of the organisers, “prizes are awarded not to the fastest finishers, but to “whoever looks like they’re having the most fun.”

Now that out of the way, two cyclists, who were taking part in the event held during the weekend, they decided to make things just a little bit harder for themselves. How? Spend the entire 24 hours before the relay cycling around the roundabout. Or, at least try to…

Posting under the username bicyclecrumbs, the cyclist shared a video documenting their day on Instagram. “Sometimes you set out to do something hard. Sometimes you set out to do something dumb. Sometimes it’s both, you end up on lap 1066 of round-a-bout questioning your choices and ultimately failing,” they wrote.

“Yesterday we set off to do 24 hours of Ladds, a round-a-bout here in #Portland that is about .15 miles. With the goal to lead into the 500. With the first 100 miles crushed out in 5:51 I fell apart at 9:00 pm (ok I’ll admit it my year of no zone 2 might not be sustainable)and couldn’t crawl my way out of it. Failing happens, it happens to the best of them. You have to learn to accept it and keep rolling.”

“The story isn’t just that. It’s the community that came out and did laps, dropped off Taco Bell or cookies or bagels. Talked to us, took photos or videos. Simply recognized we wanted to try something strange and without question supported it. It turned into something so much more fun and better than expected. If I could do this everyday and replicate this energy everyday I would. I thought I just wanted to smash out laps, the opposite was so much fun. This support is 100% what made the entire day. Support your friends so hard always!

“Ladds was a terrible day on the bike for me, I’ve never cracked worse. It’s mind numbingly hard to remember to eat or drink. You can sit at 17mph the entire time and it doesn’t feel like much work, but it will get you. Brent crushed out 200miles no issues at all.

“I get asked a lot what’s with the bike challenges or made up events? Why not just race that’s already a “game”? Well for me speed isn’t the goal.  I honestly don’t even love going over 30mph. There’s this sweet at about 17 mph where it just feels like you are at the perfect speed to take in the world. I’m just trying to find ways to do that all day.”

18 April 2024, 15:59
Fears for future of Kona Bikes as brand pulls out of major cycle show amid talk of "company meeting" today
Kona Ouroboros

The manufacturer founded in 1988 and famous for its mountain and cyclocross bikes removed its stall from the Sea Otter Classic show in California. Employees are believed to be expecting a company "town hall" meeting on Thursday...

> Fears for future of Kona Bikes as brand pulls out of major cycle show amid talk of "company meeting" today

18 April 2024, 14:52
The only sort of cobbled climbing I wouldn't say no to...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Adam Latcham (@latchy3)

18 April 2024, 08:40
“Ka-ching, he must have thought”: Garda set up fake account on bike resale website to nab a thief in a sting op — in her first week on the job

No, this isn’t a fake story…

In a rare happy-ending for a bike theft story, a woman’s stolen cycle was returned to her in just a couple of days, thanks to a Garda who took the lead on the case in her first week on the job.

On Sunday, the cyclist reported that her bike, an expensive Cube, had been stolen from her workplace the previous day. She had a quick look online in the off-chance that the thief had maybe advertised it for sale, and lo and behold, there it was.

“The thief was hoping to flog it for less than half price,” the Garda said in an Instagram post. “We set up a profile on the resale site and engaged with the advertiser unbeknownst to him. After some back and forth on the deal, we agreed to meet him at a location in Dublin 9 yesterday afternoon to buy the bike. Happy days. Ka-ching he must have thought.”

“Oh we were there as we had agreed, alright. Just in plain clothes and an unmarked car,” the post continued. “He was arrested under suspicion of possessing stolen goods and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.”

“The bicycle was returned to its rightful owner. A decent result for the Garda that took the lead on this - her first week on the job.”

This isn’t the first time the police have used clever ways to nab bike thieves. In February, CyclingUK praised the “clever” policing from City of London Police, who brought down a prolific gang by tracking a bait bicycle, left in the area with the intention of getting it stolen so officers could track the thieves back to their base.

On arrest, the force found a huge collection of stolen bicycles totalling £130,000 in value, the haul believed to be the biggest of its kind in the force’s history.

> Warning that bike theft has been "decriminalised" as stats show 89% of reported cases unsolved

Just last month, another serial bike thief was jailed for 12 months after stealing a bicycle that turned out to belong to a police officer attending a conference in Leeds.

But doing it on your first week as a Garda? Now, that’s some serious promise and commitment. Chapeau!

18 April 2024, 14:24
Chris Harper and Ben O'Connor suffer dangerous crashes at the high-speed descents at Tour of the Alps

In what seems to quickly and infamously take on the moniker of the spring of crashes, the Tour of the Alps today was witness to two more high-speed crashes, with Chris Harper of Jayco-AlUla and Ben O'Connor of Decathlon-AG2R both crashing out on the high-speed descent at the same spot with just 24km to go.

> Horror crash at the Tour of the Basque Country, Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel, Primož Roglič, and others involved, race neutralised

While the O'Connor was still able to get up and continue, even managing to bag a third-placed finish, his compatriot Harper, chasing Simon Carr, who would eventually go on to take a fine solo victory in stage four of the race, had to bow out.

As Harper chased down Carr of EF-Education Easy-Post, just under 20 seconds between them, the lack of motorbikes around the Australian meant that he had no references for the descent off the second and the last mountain in today's stage. Coming off the bend of one corner, he hit a nasty bump in the road, his bike vibrating under him as he lost his balance and was launched into the air.

He slid on the ground and went head-first into a roadside pole, his helmet most likely saving him from what could've been a very, very bad crash.

O'Connor, following closely behind Harper suffered a similar fate, however, he was able to get back up on the bike straight after. Cameras showed that Harper was able to sit up on the ground and was conscious.

> Disaster as nasty crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen takes out Wout van Aert, Mads Pedersen, Biniam Girmay, and Jasper Stuyven

Carr, meanwhile, won today's mountainous stage with a 45km solo attack, while Michael Storer from Tudor Pro Cycling Team came in second.

18 April 2024, 12:34
Bicycle storage at new flats could push car salesman to legal action over dispute it would "block access", as development to offer no car parking but residents to receive bike shop discount instead
AB Autos and proposed development site (Google Maps)

The owner of a car dealership has threatened legal action over bicycle storage that he believes will "block access" to his showroom if a development of five new flats is built next to his business, with new residents to not have any car parking spaces and instead to receive bike shop discounts and cycling leaflets.

> Bicycle storage at new flats could push car salesman to legal action over dispute it would "block access", as development to offer no car parking but residents to receive bike shop discount instead

18 April 2024, 11:56
"Only one man can stop Pogacar from winning the Giro": The jokes keep on rolling...

I am trying not to laugh too hard but I for one definitely didn't have David Cameron holding maglia rosa in my live blog bingo when I woke up this morning! Ah, might as well get a few laughs out of this awkward photo op...

18 April 2024, 10:40
Meanwhile, the state of bike thefts in London...
18 April 2024, 09:56
David Cameron holding a maglia rosa at the top of the 'Things I didn't expect to see today' league table

I'm just going to let the picture speak this time.

I assume the only logical question to ask would be who is Mr Cameron backing for the Giro this year? It's gotta be Geraint Thomas, surely? Or is Cameron a cheeky Pogačar fan himself, or maybe he's a backer of the underdogs, maybe someone like Antonio Tiberi, or maybe even a good ol' Bardet fan. Discuss in the comments...

Turns out, it was a campaign arranged by the organisers of the Giro d'Italia, taking the general classification leader's pink jersey to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

> Statue of David Cameron riding a bike sells for £25,000

 Antonio Tajani, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “The Giro d’Italia is an exceptional showcase for Italy in the world: it contributes to economic growth, attracts tourism and investment, and enhances the territories it passes through. That is why it is the Ambassador of Italian sport in the world. Sports diplomacy is an important tool for promoting Italy, which adds to the tools and actions of the Farnesina for growth diplomacy. This is why, since the beginning of the year, the Farnesina has wanted to create a new office dedicated precisely to sports diplomacy.”

Meanwhile, of course the current Foreign Minister and the former Prime Minister was not immune to jokers on the social media.

18 April 2024, 10:17
20mph sign (CC licensed by EdinburghGreens via Flickr)
Mark Harper says "20mph limits should only be used in the right places", so we ask: "What are the right places for 20mph speed limits?"

The incumbent Transport Secretary of the current Tory Government is perhaps not too big on Wales' 20mph speed limits.

And it would make sense with the party line too. In fact, one of the campaign ads from the Conservatives was widely condemned by cyclists recently, which showed (in a quite appalling display of Photoshop skills, if I may add) cyclists awkwardly holding (not really) a speed gun, claiming that “Labour and their lycra clad lobbyists are slowing Wales down with their blanket 20mph speed limit”.

> Cyclists shame Conservatives for claiming “Labour and their lycra clad lobbyists are slowing Wales” with 20mph speed limits

While that social media post from the Conservatives somehow managed to do a seemingly impossible task, that is, unifying everyone in the replies to lampoon the Party for its ill-thought remarks, it looks as if Mr Harper has shed some of the boyish rowdiness and traded it for slightly more subtle diplomatic talk.

"20mph limits should only be used in the right places, like outside schools," he wrote on Twitter today. "While the Welsh Labour Govt is finally starting to agree with the
Conservatives, it must be frustrating for those Welsh drivers ignored by Labour & for Welsh taxpayers who have to pick up the bill."

So we ask, to Mr Harper (and to you, our readers), what should be the right places for 20mph speed limits?

The comment from Harper came after Wales' new transport secretary Ken Skates raised the issue earlier today. He also  gave three suggestions where the 20mph speed limits could be applied: schools, hospitals and nurseries — areas where children and the elderly were "at risk".

He added that there would be changes to the existing default 20mph speed limit in built-up areas with the "voice of citizens at the heart of all we do", while the Welsh Conservatives claimed that Skates was simply esponding to its "pressure" on a "hugely unpopular" policy.

Meanwhile, a few comments from Twitter:

18 April 2024, 09:23
Almost 1,000 cyclists fined for jumping red lights in last nine months since City of London Police introduced "Cycle Response Unit"
Cyclists in London at night stopped at red light - copyright Simon MacMichael

"The majority of cyclists are safe and obey the Highway Code, however, we are educating, engaging and where necessary enforcing those road users who go through red lights, putting themselves and pedestrians at risk"...

Read more: > Almost 1,000 cyclists fined for jumping red lights in last nine months since City of London Police introduced "Cycle Response Unit"

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

Add new comment

31 comments

Avatar
Boopop | 1 month ago
5 likes

On the subject of jumping red lights.

Why am I allowed to decide for myself whether it's safe enough to cycle on a country lane with blind corners, a single or dual carriageway with speeds up to 70mph, or indeed navigate a cross road junction in the middle of the countryside, yet suddenly in a city or town I'm deemed incapable of stopping, looking around, and making a judgement for myself?

In Paris many junctions have a sign point out that cyclists are able to decide for themselves whether it's safe to proceed to the right or straight on, regardless of what colour the traffic light is displaying.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
1 like

Taking it literally - perhaps because on a country lane you should be cycling in the same direction as other traffic.  (Albeit they might be hooning it round the bend behind you at a speed where they're unable to stop safely when they do...)  And in general while you've a much greater chance of death (and probably more serious injury) if you are in a collision there* the density of people / frequency of interaction is normally much lower.

Of course what this should point at is some specific enhanced safety requirements in the countryside - but more generally an acknowledgement that cyclists are humans also.  So fixing junctions so a) they don't have to wait so long they get impatient - when actually they could often bypass them completely and b) designing juctions which don't require signs but are still safe - indeed return to cyclists the responsibility for their own safety.

* EDIT And of course due to higher driving speeds!  Likely due in part to extra time needed to get to you and get you to high-level medical care.  Or even for someone else to notice the collision happened.   (Not saying "...after the driver has left the scene" - but there are a lot of deer and sacks of potatoes falling out of the sky in the countryside, I read...)

Avatar
Boopop replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
4 likes

For me it's just the fact that some of the junctions with traffic lights in London specifically appear to me pointless. Take this one in Blackfriars on Victoria Embankment.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/DaLcKqQSWBrpbVEv7

If you're turning left, as a cyclist, all you have to do is look to your right, check there aren't any cyclists coming from the right. That's it. I don't understand why the person that designed this cycle infrastructure thought that cyclists couldn't look for themselves.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
0 likes

Ah yes - something like that has been added in Edinburgh at Haymarket on the CCWEL (but for going straight - not even with a left turn) - and is threatening to make a red-light-jumper out of me.

Of course, that's for 2 good reasons:

#1 a cycle is a vehicle, therefore (to a traffic engineer) it's ... a car (but with its own dinky set of lights, isn't than nice) and ...

#2 Terrorradfahrer!  People want to be protected from those menaces!

More reasonably, it's a pedestrian crossing.  Our convention is that everyone has to stop before pedestrians cross.  (We can't have nice things because people being hit - almost entirely by motor vehicles - after being lured off their "safe" footway).  Plus it's a 2-way cycle path which will still be seen as a serious hazard no doubt.

Alas, I think #2 probably is a reasonable consideration for now in the UK.  Because that still isn't quite a "separate cycle path" - though good enough for the cyclists (and I see they've extended the dropped kerb a bit).  It could do with a bit more separation from the motor vehicles.  That would also give pedestrians a nice spot to wait before dealing with the heavy traffic.  Plus these really need to be blindingly obvious and be understood by everyone - which means marked in a clear and standard way everywhere (see link at end).

More than that it'll probably take a generation or more for everyone - including some of the cyclists of today - to learn how to cope.  After that we will hopefully realise that traffic lights are there because motor vehicles and aren't needed where there are just pedestrians and cyclists.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
2 likes

Boopop wrote:

If you're turning left, as a cyclist, all you have to do is look to your right, check there aren't any cyclists coming from the right. That's it. I don't understand why the person that designed this cycle infrastructure thought that cyclists couldn't look for themselves.

In that instance (I ride through there a lot) the traffic light is also a pedestrian crossing, heavily used in peak hours, so not sure allowing cyclists to ignore it would be desirable. Also, numerous times when coming over Blackfriars Bridge going north with a green light in my favour I've had to brake or swerve to avoid people (particularly tourists on hire bikes) blithely riding out of that junction on red to go left without checking at all, often looking at their phones for navigation or to film their selfie videos as they ride. The reason the person who designed the infrastructure thought that cyclists can't look for themselves is that unfortunately apparently many can't. What we have to remember is that junctions can't just be designed on the assumption that every cyclist is going to behave as carefully as you; unfortunately they have to be designed with the twats in mind too.

Avatar
mattw | 1 month ago
3 likes

The statements are a meaningless word salad.

Mr Mark Harper soon to be.
Placed in the dustbin of historee.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 month ago
1 like

Can this be the same lot as (mostly) agreed that putting some disincentives in the way of the children of the future getting started smoking cigarettes (so not even fully restricting nicotine I believe...) was a good idea?  Yet ...

...just "asking motorist to slow down a bit"* is apparently a dangerous imposition on liberty and a crazy waste of cash?

* Most people acknowledge that 20mph is not going to mean 20 any time soon, just less than 30...

If only I could also celebrate that him being turfed out would usher in change in transport (to save everyone money and lives lost or damaged, never mind the planet...).

Or - to be positive - give us nicer cities and liveable places.

Unfortunately I'm not remotely confident that national policy will shift much next year.  Even in Scotland - where we did at least manage to get a promise for a remotely sensible transport budget (delivery lagging behind...) - I wouldn't guarantee that things won't go backwards after the elections (2026 for us) - because "unpopular".

Avatar
Patrick9-32 | 1 month ago
16 likes

I agree, 20 only where appropriate. Like everywhere people live, where they work or where they would like to walk. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 month ago
1 like

Patrick9-32 wrote:

I agree, 20 only where appropriate. Like everywhere people live, where they work or where they would like to walk. 

To paraphrase the Dalai Lama ("One should be kind whenever possible. And it is always possible"), there should only be 20mph limits in towns when there is a good reason. And there is always a good reason.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
11 likes

How about just putting the 20mph limits in wherever there's been a traffic collision? That could change the nature of motorways though.

Avatar
newbankgyratory replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
7 likes

Points to a solution:

Killed: Emergency chicane (concrete blocks) in place with traffic control (lights).

Seriously injured: Automatic 20mph zone with traffic control (lights)

Injured: Automatic 20mph zone.

All accompanied by signage/social media with brief details of "incident" possibly including motor vehicle registration plate details - and company name and number when company owned motor vehicle.

Removed only after "incident" has been investigated by highways agency, local authority, or whomsoever - with reports from Coroner's Court when death involved, from Traffic Commissioners when operators license involved, from HSE when company vehicle involved,

Obviously costs paid out by motor insurer. Subsequent motor insurance premium rises to those involved.

 

Avatar
jaymack replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
2 likes

But not the M25...

Avatar
Mr Hoopdriver replied to jaymack | 1 month ago
1 like

That's slow enough already apparently

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 month ago
2 likes

jaymack wrote:

But not the M25...

Does the M25 allow speeds greater than 20mph?

Avatar
mark1a replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

jaymack wrote:

But not the M25...

Does the M25 allow speeds greater than 20mph?

It's technically allowed but it's not known as "London's Orbital Car Park" for nothing. 

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

How about just putting the 20mph limits in wherever there's been a traffic collision? That could change the nature of motorways though.

20mph on all urban roads with no parking restrictions, as these are obviously residential and not intended as a through route. It's parked cars on bioth sides that restrict drivers views of pedestrians, and pedestrians views of cyclists. These lead to the requirement for lower speed limits.

Generally through routes will at least have yellow lines, or parking bays.

Avatar
Benthic | 1 month ago
14 likes

The thing is, motorists' killing grounds are not limited to schools, hospitals and nurseries and their environs.

Avatar
Hirsute | 1 month ago
5 likes

Bike storage in Kingston

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GLbp8CXXgAAzSOz?format=jpg&name=small)

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
4 likes

What an eyesore!  Not in keeping!  It's ableist / ageist / discriminating against the poorest as you could put down hardstanding and fit two cars there, easy...

Avatar
KDee replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
1 like

Have you seen the news about the new EU rule requiring each new home to have storage for 2 bikes? Think GCN reported it yesterday.

Edit: link added below

https://ecf.com/news-and-events/news/default-two-bicycle-parking-spaces-...

 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to KDee | 1 month ago
0 likes

Am I right in thinking that this has been the case in NL for over half a century (or 30 years nationally)?  With a brief interruption from 2003 - 2012 because - what do you know - the "market" sometimes just wants to make stuff more cheaply?

BicycleDutch wrote:

Homes, including apartments, built after circa 1950 in the Netherlands must have private bicycle storage rooms that are accessible from the public road.

[...]

The regulations have existed since about 1950, first in municipal regulations and from 1992 as national regulations. Not only do they state the specific dimensions of a bicycle storage room but, even more important, they state the storage room must have direct access to the public road.

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/parking-your-bike-at-home/

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to KDee | 1 month ago
1 like

KDee wrote:

Have you seen the news about the new EU rule requiring each new home to have storage for 2 bikes? Think GCN reported it yesterday.

Edit: link added below

https://ecf.com/news-and-events/news/default-two-bicycle-parking-spaces-...

 

%&#@  now there will never be a succesful vote to go back to the EU.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to wycombewheeler | 1 month ago
1 like

We can't afford to rejoin the EU, because of the cost (economic, political, emotional...) of rejoining the EU.

Not exactly the same but I see analogies with "we can't afford the cost of things for active travel, because we have to pay all the costs of climate change / providing for new ICE vehicles".  Or "we can't afford the cost of improving public transport, because we have to keep building new roads / filling in potholes because everybody drives".

Avatar
john_smith replied to wycombewheeler | 1 month ago
0 likes

If you'd read it a bit more carefully you'll see that it also requires each new home to have at least three parking spaces. So it shouldn't be a problem after all.

Avatar
brooksby | 1 month ago
13 likes

I presume that garda will be sacked shortly for showing up all of their colleagues?

Avatar
Paul J replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
1 like

Dawn raid by GSOC on her home already being setup, no doubt.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
2 likes

brooksby wrote:

I presume that garda will be sacked shortly for showing up all of their colleagues?

They will be put on administrative leave for two years while the investigation into her conduct is completed, then re-instated but warned about future conduct.

Avatar
marmotte27 | 1 month ago
5 likes

"The majority of cyclists are safe and obey the Highway Code,"

I'm pretty sure that all the anti-cycling ranters post this all over social media today (most of them adding that this means, the real problem are red-light -jumpers in 1,5t -150000J-vehicles).

Avatar
ride2smile replied to marmotte27 | 1 month ago
1 like

Stopping them advising / fining them absolutley the right thing to do. Danger to themselves and to pedestrians trying to cross safely.

Would love the same focus to be applied to people driving and jumping red lights.

Avatar
LeadenSkies replied to ride2smile | 1 month ago
2 likes

It's endemic now. Watched a skip lorry jump two reds within 100m on my commute this morning. No intention of stopping.

Pages

Latest Comments