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Village transforms phone box into bicycle maintenance hub; Residents fear cycle path will ruin green space; Cyclist hitches a lift; Could NASA's Mars rover tech be your next tyre?; Former NBA star paralysed after crash with driver + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
18 March 2021, 16:32
Village transforms phone box into bicycle maintenance hub
Phone box maintenance station (via ITV report)

ITV shared the story of this phone box in an East Yorkshire village that has been transformed into a bicycle maintenance hub by Mike Cargill and his family. When the family bought their house in 2015 the disused phone box was on their land and since then they've used community donations to turn it into a cycle service station.

"If you're out in the countryside and get a flat tyre there's nothing more annoying than cycling 20 miles home on a partly pumped up tyre," Mike told ITV. "They're iconic aren't they. It's important to add things that cheer people up - there's sculptures on the pastures, on walks, you can see it as a sculpture, a little art installation of its own."

The report comes after BT launched an Adopt a Kiosk scheme allowing local community groups, landowners, charities and councils to buy old phone boxes for £1.

18 March 2021, 16:46
LTNs in soaps thread
18 March 2021, 16:02
Rebel Wilson on a Brompton
18 March 2021, 15:38
Chris Boardman reacts to Kensington and Chelsea Council's refusal to reinstate the Kensington High Street cycle lane

Read the full story on the decision here... 

18 March 2021, 15:16
Police appeal for cyclist in a top hat who knocked down pensioner in Portsmouth
Elm Grove Portsmouth

Police in Portsmouth are appealing for witnesses after a man in his 70s was knocked to the ground and verbally abused by a cyclist wearing a top hat. The elderly man was hit on Sunday on a stretch of pavement between Tesco Express and the traffic lights on Elm Grove in Southsea. Portsmouth News reports the cyclist was described as being of large build and was wearing a top hat. Witnesses say the man in the hat didn't stop and verbally abused the pensioner as he rode off.

The elderly man sustained a fractured hand, wrist and arm in the incident. A spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said: "Officers believe there may have been a number of witnesses in the area at the time and we would like to hear from anyone who heard or saw what happened. We would also like to hear from anyone with dash cam or Go Pro footage from the area at the time."

18 March 2021, 14:47
havebike offering £500 joining bonus for bike mechanics
Havebike bike mechanic - fix your bike.PNG

havebike are after high-level bicycle technicians and mechanics and will pay a £500 joining bonus...The company is looking for mechanics able to work on high-end road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes as well as being involved in servicing London's emergency services' fleet.

"We are in a very fortunate position that habike has grown steadily since its inception," CEO Nick Brown told bikebiz. "We want to continue to offer a convenient and swift service that allows people to get back on their bikes for active transport, leisure, or training as quickly as possible. 

"Any bicycle technicians or mechanics that have been left feeling unnerved by recent news in our industry should get in touch with havebike, and we feel the ‘Golden Hello’ offers another reason for the industry’s best to consider working with us. We pride ourselves in looking after our staff as well we do our customers’ bikes."

18 March 2021, 13:51
Residents fear cycle path will spoil unspoilt green space

Residents near Heaton Mersey Common have rejected plans for a paved cycle route, saying it would spoil the area's "last unspoilt green space" and raised concerns about lighting, safety and anti-social behaviour. The new cycling and walking path would connect several roads with a hard surface, heritage lighting and seating. However, some residents complained they haven't been properly consulted on the plans ahead of them being drawn up. Stockport Council has now launched a public consultation on the wider proposals to upgrade the Heatons Cycle Link.

Diane Connel told the Manchester Evening News she doesn't think the plans are "appropriate", despite being a cyclist herself. She said that locals were "appalled" by the plans and that the path would be a "disaster for all concerned".

"We believe it would totally destroy the whole feel of the nature reserve and the Priestnall Hey site. They are both destination sites, not corridors for people passing through," she said. "This last year has proven the value of open spaces to people’s wellbeing. The common has been a destination for people to visit and enjoy a small oasis of nature. It should not be allowed to disappear and be urbanised."

18 March 2021, 12:31
Could NASA's Mars rover tech be your next tyres?
SMART & NASA announce first airless alloy tire

SMART's tyre technology was first designed to be used on lunar and Mars rover missions, now it's been applied to NASA's eco-friendly, airless shape memory alloy bicycle tyres. The SMA is made from lightweight NiTinol+, creating a tyre, they say, is elastic like rubber but holds the strength of titanium meaning it holds perfect shape memory without ever going flat...That's a promise that you'll only need one tyre (well, two if we're being pedantic) for the life of your bike.

It's all down to their ability to undergo phase transitions at the molecular level under strain, meaning they have thirty times the recoverable strain of steel. Impressed? Felt Bicycles were. They've taken SMART Tire Company's METL tyres as partners and say they're an "exciting new frontier". I can already hear the weight and cost murmurs. Unfortunately that info hasn't yet been released so we'll keep an eye out and let you know when we hear more...

18 March 2021, 11:49
Primož Roglič gives Paris-Nice injury update and hopes to see more safe routes for people to ride their bikes in the future
Primoz Roglic Paris-Nice 2021 (via YouTube Cycling Pro Net)

Primož Roglič says it may take longer to heal from his Paris-Nice injuries than expected. The Jumbo-Visma rider won three stages but lost a seemingly unassailable lead on the final stage after crashing twice. Speaking to journalists at a press conference hosted by the Slovenian Tourist Board, Roglič said: "I'm still recovering. It will maybe take more days than I thought. I crashed twice, now I really need to heal up so I can do a good block of training before the next races. I do the Tour of the Basque Country in three weeks and some of the one-day Ardennes races before the Tour.

"In life you learn all the time. I still have the dream of what I want to be and the fight. You can't stop once you have some obstacles in your way. At Paris-Nice the finish was not what we were hoping or working for but it is how it is. A really bad day, a shit day but nothing changes. We'll try to be even better at the next races."

Roglič was occasionally interrupted by his young son and expressed his hope for cycling culture to continue to grow in everyday life, not just for elite athletes.

"To cycle is enough," he said. "Everybody who rides a bike and enjoys it — they've already achieved its purpose. It's beautiful to see that nowadays more and more people are getting out on the bike and being healthier. This is the nicest thing.

"I want to have safe places and routes for riding your bike and to see as many people and kids on the bike. Instead of being in front of computers they should go out for a ride in the fresh air."

18 March 2021, 11:32
Former NBA star Shawn Bradley paralysed after being hit by driver while cycling

Dallas Mavericks have confirmed that one of their former players, Shawn Bradley, has been paralysed after being hit by a driver while cycling in Utah. The 48-year-old played 12 seasons in the NBA and took up cycling post-retirement, often completing 100-mile training rides. Bradley played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets and spend eight years with the Mavericks who released the news in a statement.

"Doctors have advised him that his road to recovery will be both long and arduous," it read. Bradley suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in the crash in January and has been hospitalised undergoing rehabilitation for the past eight weeks. His wife Carrie says that he remains "in good spirits" and plans to use his platform to promote cycling safety awareness.

18 March 2021, 10:58
More on the cyclist hitching a ride

Dairy farmer Steve Evans got in touch with Farmers Weekly to give some more details about the incident. He said him and a friend were driving back from market when they saw the cyclist and his passenger started filming. "It was unreal," he told Farmers Weekly. "On downhill parts of the road he was freewheeling literally inches from the back of the trailer. The lad in the tractor was completely oblivious to him, he had absolutely no clue."

Minutes after Evans shared the video on Twitter, Dyfed-Powys Police had contacted him to meet in a lay-by near Haverfordwest Golf Club. "The copper got out the van, saw the video and was like: ‘That’s unreal’. The police then went to look for the cyclist. They wanted to see the video," he explained.

Officers say they were unable to track the cyclist.

18 March 2021, 10:25
Councillor hits back at "shameful" BBC LTN report

More from yesterday's main story on the blog. A Liberal Democrat councillor in Kendal has joined in the criticism of the BBC for their LTN report. Jon Owen said it was "shameful" that the broadcaster's chief environment correspondent had perpetuated the myth that fines are to raise revenue...

18 March 2021, 08:47
"Death wish" cyclist filmed hitching a lift with passing trailer

 This cyclist was filmed hitching a lift with a passing trailer on the A40 near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire. In the clip the cyclist can be seen holding on to the trailer, possibly being towed by a tractor, to get a free ride, much to the disgust of the person in the car behind who calls them "a silly bastard".

Dyfed-Powys Police responded to Steve Evans' video asking for more details on the incident. Evans added: "There’s so many road works on this stretch at the moment it’s all start stop traffic. This trailer may well have had to jam on and it would have been pretty serious for the cyclist. I’ve seen some things in my time but this is up there with the best of the stupid ones!"

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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