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“The car rules”: Parent branded an “apologist for car violence” after blaming dad and kids on cargo bike for collision; Zebra crossing fiasco; Dodging drivers in the cycle lane; Big metal box beauty contest; UCI’s climate charter + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! Fresh austerity measures are on the way, Twitter is about to collapse, but at least Ryan Mallon’s here with the final live blog of the week. That’s something, right?
18 November 2022, 09:28
School road markings (public domain)
“Blame the victim! The car rules”: Parent branded an “apologist for car violence” after blaming dad and kids on cargo bike for collision with motorist outside school

“Just to point out…”

When you see those four small words crop up in a conversation about cycling or road safety, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter (RIP), or even the local parents’ WhatsApp group, you know it’s never going to be pretty.

Well, we’ve got some Victim Blaming 101 to kick off the last live blog of the Twitter era (before we all revert to fax machines and Teletext, I presume) and this one is a classic of this most unfortunate of genres.

Yesterday, Pauline von Hellermann, a lecturer in environmental anthropology, tweeted that a father riding a cargo bike to school with his two children in Eastbourne was struck by a motorist pulling out of the school’s car park.

According to Pauline, the dad and children were knocked off their bikes in the collision and taken to hospital by ambulance. They are reportedly fine but, understandably, left “very shaken” by the incident.

However, after alerting other parents at the school in their shared WhatsApp group, Pauline was met with the following – rather startling – response: “Just to point out the bikes race down that hill and if a car pulling out onto the road with cars parked up either side dropping off as they can’t possibly park safely to drop off makes it very difficult to see a bike coming down the hill especially at speed.”

The message continues: “Unfortunately or fortunately the lady in the car had just pulled out. I agree something needs to be done but equally bike riders need not all but some[!] to slow down and equally be traffic aware.”

> “You couldn’t make it up”: Driver mounts pavement on wrong side of the road… then chastises six-year-old for cycling on same footpath

Wow, a lot to unpack there. But it gets worse.

Pauline replied to our victim-blamer-in-chief: “To be honest I would be surprised if a father with two children on a cargo bike would have been racing down the hill.”

Victim-blamer-in-chief’s reply?

“You would be surprised.”

> Sajid Javid blames father of five-year-old cyclist for letting child ride on road in viral video

Needless to say, the last of the Twitter users weren’t impressed with this response, described as “revolting” and “soul destroying”, with one branding the victim-blaming parent “an apologist for car violence”:

18 November 2022, 17:23
“Nope. Has to be the bike at fault”: School run victim blaming reaction

Today’s latest example of anti-cycling victim blaming – which saw a parent at a school point the finger at a cargo bike-riding dad and his kids after they were, wait for it, struck by a motorist pulling out of a car park – has got plenty of you talking in the comments section.

“Ah, the good old ‘the speeding cyclist is at fault because they were travelling at less than two-thirds of the speed a car would be’ chestnut,” wrote BalladOfStruth.

“How can people not understand that when you perform a manoeuvre, that you are responsible for ensuring it is safe to do so,” asked hawkinspeter. “If you can't see that it’s clear to pull out, then either wait until you can see or get someone to guide you out – it’s not difficult.”

On the subject of the school’s apparently abysmal parking situation, Patrick9-32 wrote: “‘It’s impossible to park safely’, so car drivers park there anyway, putting their own children’s lives at risk rather than walking any distance from a safe place to park or even, heaven forbid, from home.”

“‘It’s impossible to park safely’ usually translates to ‘it’s perfectly possible to park safely, but I can’t be bothered to walk 100 metres, so I’ll park dangerously’,” replied BalladOfStruth.

Finally, nosferatu1001 summed the whole thing up: “I love the fact how the cars are parked badly, that this is a known issue to everyone including the driver pulling out, still doesn’t make the poster think it’s the cars at fault. 

“Nope. Has to be the bike.”

Every. Time…

18 November 2022, 16:37
West Yorkshire’s most infamous zebra crossing strikes again

Part one: 

And part two: 

Top tip: Don’t read the replies (Ah Twitter, we’ll miss you when you’re gone…).

Meanwhile, the Labour MP for Bradford East, Imran Hussain, told the Guardian that he is “absolutely horrified” by the above videos of motorists hitting both cyclists and pedestrians at the crossing on the city’s Horton Grange Road.

“I’m absolutely horrified to see this catalogue of incidents where cars have hit pedestrians on what is a well-marked and visible zebra crossing on Horton Grange Road, and it is evidently clear that we need to see much tougher action against those who seemingly have no problem with violating the rules of the road,” Hussain said.

“For too long, a minority of dangerous drivers in Bradford have been blighting Bradford’s roads and making the lives of the majority of responsible road users an absolute misery, and I’ve been pressing both Bradford council and West Yorkshire police to implement a number of road safety measures at accident blackspots in my constituency, while also pressing ministers to impose tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.”

A spokesperson for Bradford Council also told the newspaper that it is currently awaiting funding to convert the zebra into a signalled crossing with traffic lights, with work set to commence “as soon as we can”.

18 November 2022, 16:59
But don’t worry, justice will be served

NB. Before you get the pencil sharpener out to complain, Sandford Constabulary is the fictional police force from Hot Fuzz.

Though, sometimes it is hard to tell…

18 November 2022, 15:59
Oh great, another ‘avid cyclist’…

On that note...

> Rishi Sunak “an avid supporter of cycling” claim his supporters 

18 November 2022, 15:30
Seven-day cycling world record broken – through a hurricane

Round-the-world cyclist Leigh Timmis completed his latest record-breaking adventure last weekend – by cycling a mind-boggling 2,230 miles in seven days… three of which were slap bang in the middle of a hurricane.

“In the early hours of Sunday 13th November, the team and I broke the seven-day cycling world record,” Timmis wrote on Facebook earlier this week.

“With a total of 2,230 miles, we added 19 miles to the existing record set by Arvis Sprude in July this year.

“What makes this record so impressive is that for three days of the record attempt every mile was affected by Hurricane Nicole. A storm of this magnitude has not made Florida landfall in November for many years, but this one dumped some of the worst wind and rain on Highway 41 since 1932.

“Despite this, we dug deep, dynamically changing strategies to bring home the world record.

“It was a gargantuan effort by all involved and I owe a huge thank you to the road team – Christian Aucote, Sally Carter, Dan Smith and Jack Hague. Four amazing, professional, passionate, and enthusiastic people.”

I feel shattered just reading that…

18 November 2022, 14:47
Tour de France protest (GCN)
80 signatories, including leading race organisers, commit to UCI’s new climate action charter

The UCI has today confirmed that 80 stakeholders – including race organisers, federations, and teams – have signed the world governing body’s new Climate Action Charter.

ASO and RCS Sport, the organisers of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia respectively, are among the charter’s most notable signatories, along with Belgian race chiefs, Flanders Classics.

> “Reinforcing the point that bike racing isn’t exactly green”: Giro d’Italia organisers criticised for rumoured Rome finale – and 700km transfer

By signing the charter, the organisations have committed to reducing professional cycling’s harmful environmental impact, by promoting active travel to combat climate change, reporting and measuring their climate footprint according to international standards, reducing waste and energy demand, and increasing sustainability.

WorldTour teams Bora-Hansgrohe, BikeExhange-Jayco, Trek-Segafredo, Bahrain-Victorious, Israel-Premier Tech, and UAE Team Emirates have all committed to the new charter.

The Ineos Grenadiers are not among the 80 founding signatories.

> “They’re protesting about a good thing”: Tour de France riders, organisers and journalists react to climate protest

“I am delighted that so many stakeholders have already committed to our UCI Climate Action Charter,” UCI President David Lappartient said in a statement today.

“Our aim when adopting this Charter was to unite cycling’s stakeholders to reduce our sport’s emissions and help slow climate change. We need to work together, learn from each other and collaborate on solutions for the shared challenges we face to achieve climate neutrality for our sport.

“It is clear from the early response that our stakeholders share our concerns and desire to contribute to a better world, and I look forward to seeing the list of signatories lengthen.”

The UCI’s Climate Action Charter, and its eight key commitments, can be viewed here.

18 November 2022, 14:02
Celebs on bikes

We love spotting a famous face enjoying a bike ride over here on the live blog and, by the looks of things, so does London’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Will Norman:

Shhh… keep it quiet, but there’s a rumour going around that the Destiny’s Child singer (because it’s still 2002 in my head) is currently working on a new single, ‘Cycle the World’.

I’ll get my coat…

18 November 2022, 12:57
The Twittocalypse: Intermarché joins the fun
18 November 2022, 12:40
face mask - deliveroo x cambridge face mask 2.PNG
Deliveroo suddenly collapses in Australia – leaving thousands of delivery riders jobless

Thousands of delivery cyclists in Australia are scrambling to find work after Deliveroo suddenly shut up shop in the country earlier this week.

The Guardian reports that the food delivery company announced that it would go into administration and stop operating in Australia immediately on Wednesday. Deliveroo’s Australia website was wiped overnight, while its app no longer functions, shocking partners, customers and even its employees.

Delivery riders told the Guardian that they had been given no notice of the plans to close the company. The decision, which comes after the business ceased operations in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Taiwan, has affected up to 15,000 delivery workers.

“I was working in the morning, stopping at midday and then suddenly when I wanted to start working again, this notification pops up on the screen of the app,” Deliveroo rider Rodrigo told the Guardian.

“And I went to the emails [to] check [and they said] that they cease immediately, effective immediately. So, I couldn’t even finish the day yesterday.”

A member of the Transport Workers’ Union, Rodrigo said that the Australian government should do more to improve the rights of delivery cyclists and other gig workers.

“We’ve been fighting so hard against these kinds of companies,” he said. “They are exploiting us and they are not treating us like workers. So we don’t have rights. We don’t have any benefits, nothing at all. We are not even considered workers for them.”

> Deliveroo cyclist attacked by knife-wielding teenager after collision

Dr Rob Nicholls, an associate professor at the University of New South Wales, noted that delivery workers will likely suffer the most from the company’s abrupt closure.

“No restaurant is going to say ‘well, if Deliveroo is out of the game, we’ll stop using a delivery service’,” he said. “They’ll shift to one of the other big three services almost certainly.”

The Transport Workers’ Union was also scathing of Deliveroo’s approach to its two-wheeled employees.

“Deliveroo’s sudden and cowardly act, treating workers as callously in exit as it did in operation, highlights the urgent need for the federal government to enact gig reform,” the union’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, said this week.

“Transport workers were hit first and hardest by the gig tsunami and are now being left high and dry by Deliveroo at the first indication that it can’t rely on exploitation to make profits.”

18 November 2022, 11:56
Thomas De Gendt’s final tweet?

It’s perhaps fitting that everyone’s favourite Stelvio king-turned-breakaway merchant-turned-breakaway killer-turned prolific avant garde tweeter would bow out of the bird app with a post like this:

18 November 2022, 11:23
Dude, where’s my bike? Ehhh… parked at Oxford station
18 November 2022, 10:57
Some big metal boxes are more equal than others

For anyone not keeping up to speed with the latest cycle hangar-related shenanigans in Brighton and Hove (though I’m sure you are; it’s not like there’s anything particularly newsworthy happening at the moment), a resident has persuaded the local council to not put one of the new bike storage units outside her home… because she says they’re “unattractive”.

> Hove woman persuades council not to locate “unattractive” cycle hangar outside her home

But the five Range Rovers parked diagonally on the pavement are pure beauts, of course.

However, climate change activist Leo Murray may just have the perfect solution:  

18 November 2022, 10:34
Dan Lloyd’s new wheels

Hopefully the GCN presenter’s new set-up is safer than his cyclocross bike…

> Dan Lloyd tries cyclocross… and breaks ankle 

18 November 2022, 09:57
‘Get in the bike lane!’ ‘But you’re in it!’: Just another day of dodging drivers in the cycle lane

And on the subject of terrible cycling takes, TikTok appears to be a goldmine.

“Now they know how we feel when they drive on a road when there is a cycle path,” wrote one apparent veteran of anti-cycling bingo.

Two users pointed out that yesterday’s spot of bike lane driving may have just been an “honest mistake” – and that the cyclist in question was “being a bit of a bully” – while another rather intellectual TikToker said that the motorist “should have stuck his foot down on the break [sic]” and sent the cyclist flying “over the Bonet”.

Not too sure what Movistar veteran Lluís Mas Bonet has to do with any of this, but there you go.

Finally, the aptly named mrsausage67 concluded that the driver was in the right all along, as “in fairness he does pay road tax”.

He obviously spends too much time reading the BBC and the Guardian

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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