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Ealing to scrap almost all LTNs - 'consultation' with handful of responses used as 'referendum'; Council under fire for 'Britain's biggest bike lane'; New Masters hour record; Bike on roof shocker; Search for thief; Bike fairy + more on the live blog

Dan Alexander is here (again) ready to get stuck in to Thursday's live blog...
19 August 2021, 14:50
Ealing to scrap almost all LTNs - 'consultation' with handful of responses used as 'referendum'

 Ealing Council's website bares the statement 'Ealing Council fully committed to active travel schemes including LTNs where supported by residents'. The council sent out a consultation on the future of the area's LTNs and received a whopping 22,000 responses out of 340,000 (6.47 per cent).

Areas which expressed support for LTNs will keep their schemes. Areas that didn't will, after a short deferral period, have their LTNs removed. 70 per cent of Adrienne Avenue residents backed the schemes, 27 per cent opposed, so the referendum-style consultation means that one stays along with Deans Road and Montague Avenue. However, the further seven schemes are not going to be continued.

Adam Tranter, Bicycle Mayor for Coventry, explained in a Twitter thread (which is well worth five minutes of your time) why "whether you support them or not, I think we can all agree this process is the blueprint for how NOT to make decisions on transport policy."

He concluded: "In almost all cases, boundary road residents responded with a resounding 'no' to Ealing LTNs. This is because of the successful narrative that LTNs cause congestion to boundary roads and worsen air quality of main road residents. The trouble is: the data doesn't back that up.

"This thread isn't even really about whether you support LTNs or not. It's about the importance of political leaders making decisions in keeping with the huge crises that are looming - climate change being the main one. You don't make those decisions through referenda.

"We should absolutely get feedback from local residents in LTNs across the country - their design means they can be tweaked and improved. But we can't ignore data and back conjecture instead."

Ealing Council tried to sweeten the news with the announcement of five new School Streets, as well as emphasising that it is now a 20mph borough. Leader of the council, Peter Mason explained they promised to listen to local people's views and act on the results.

"We will continue to explore future LTN schemes, but we will only be implementing where we are satisfied that the data and public support them. Some of the fears around increasing traffic times and poorer air quality that some people have expressed concerns about have not come true, but we cannot definitively say they have got better because of our LTNs either," he said.

19 August 2021, 14:24
Rider dies at Leadville Train 100 mountain bike race
Leadville Colorado (Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic/David Herrera)

A rider died in a crash at the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race on Saturday. Details of the incident have not been released but several competitors confirmed rumours the rider crashed on a descent. 

"The entire Leadville family is deeply saddened by the passing of an athlete,” Jordan Titus, a spokesman for race owner Life Time said. "This athlete embodied the spirit of Leadville and our thoughts and sympathies are with their loved ones at this difficult time."

The Lake County Sheriff's Office declined to comment to the Durango Herald and a spokesperson said she was unable to comment "out of respect for the participant." A moment of silence for the man was held during Sunday's awards ceremony.

19 August 2021, 13:51
Bike on the roof vs height limit: There's only ever one winner
19 August 2021, 13:04
New Masters hour record
Piotr Klin Coventry Road Club sets new Masters hour record

Piotr Klin of Coventry Road Club reclaimed the UCI World Masters Hour record this week, setting a distance of 50.094km to take the 30-34 age group title. The multiple-time Polish Masters National Time Trial champion improved on his previous best of 49.649km at velodrome Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes. Klin postponed his effort last year due to the pandemic, but used the time to fine tune his performance and kit.

Riding a BMC Track Machine TR01 with Walker Brothers wheels and a new refined front end set-up supported by his employer, Warwick Manufacturing Group from the University of Warwick, Klin beat his previous best at the famous Mexican velodrome which sits at 1,887m above sea level.

Klin undertook his effort at the same velodrome in the same week as American Ashton Lambie who yesterday stunned the world by becoming the first man to ride a 4km team pursuit in under four minutes.

19 August 2021, 12:46
Police search for suspected bike thief who collided with and seriously injured pensioner
Suspected bike thief seriously injures pensioner (Essex Police)

Essex Police have renewed their appeal for information after an elderly woman in her 80s was hit by a suspected bike thief as he made his getaway on a bike stolen from outside Lidl. The incident happened at around 2.50pm on July 22 at the Greyhound Retail Park in Southend and the woman was rushed to hospital in a life-threatening condition. She is still recovering from her injuries.

The suspected thief fled the scene in the direction of Sutton Road. Essex Police have asked that anyone with information should call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit via 101 quoting incident 840 of 22 July. Information can also be submitted online at Essex Police's website.

19 August 2021, 12:38
LightSKIN unveils “world's smallest StVZO bicycle front light"
LightSKIN Ultra-Mini-Light (U2)

Korean company LightSKIN has revealed the Ultra-Mini-Light (U2) which it says is the smallest light to meet Germany’s StVZO regulations, measuring 28mm wide and weighing 25g. The light is powered by a dynamo hub.

StVZO – Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung – are road traffic licensing regulations developed by the German government. In order to comply, lights must provide a minimum of 10 lux (10 lumens / m2) in the area 10m in front of the bike, and the beam pattern must be levelled off to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. In other words, the shape of the beam on the road will be rectangular with a horizontal cutoff point. Of course, there’s no requirement for lights sold outside of Germany to conform to these standards.

“Unlike many competitors, the LightSKIN U2 is extremely functional thanks to the wide range of different mounting options,” says LightSKIN. “Due to its flexibility of being mounted both above and below the bracket, the U2 can be installed anywhere, such as fork crown, stem, handlebar and mudguards. This is also made possible by the small dimensions and featherlight weight.”

LightSKIN gives the U2’s dimensions as 28mm wide, 19mm high, and 34.7mm long. The company says that the aluminium housing also offers excellent cooling characteristics because of the small distance between the LEDs and the bracket, allowing heat to be optimally transported outwards. 

The LightSKIN U2 offers 150 lumens of light and is priced €99.

LightSKIN Ultra-Mini-Light (U2)


19 August 2021, 10:56
"It’s almost like they should slow down and drive more carefully": Get the tiny violins out for all the Dorset drivers moaning to the Mail Online

Not much sympathy for drivers complaining about the width of Wimborne's cycle's the best of the reaction... 

19 August 2021, 10:39
Liam talks to Andy Smallwood - CEO of Ribble - about the brand's new aero bike built with the brief of being “the fastest aero road bike in the real world”

Ribble's new aero machine is the big story of the morning. Liam sat down with Andy Smallwood, the brand's CEO, to talk through the new bike. For all the juicy details about the bike built with “the fastest aero road bike in the real world” brief, check out the full story here...

19 August 2021, 10:25
Bike fairy leaving charms on bicycles in Vancouver in tribute to a friend

A post shared by bikefairy (@bikefairy)

An anonymous bike fairy has been leaving charms on bicycles in Vancouver. Vancouver is Awesome shared the story after spotting the Bike Fairy Instagram page where the mysterious resident leaves miniature models on lucky rider's bikes. 

"Ultimately, the goal is to kind of share the love for cycling and bring joy to people who own a bike," the Bike Fairy told Vancouver is Awesome. The idea was inspired by a friend who passed away in 2017.

"He was the original Bike Fairy," the current Bike Fairy continued. "He sadly passed away on his bike in 2017. The model is kind of based on him in a lot of ways. The spirit of the idea is originally from him."

The Bike Fairy hits the streets, bike paths and coffee shop bike racks of the Canadian city to look for bikes worthy of the charms. However, it doesn't always go to plan...

"I have got caught once when I was visiting in Portland. We were going shopping there and checking out the cool doughnut shops and the breweries. It was a rainy day and I spotted a nice bike I wanted to tag and a guy came running out asking what the hell I was doing to his bike. People don't like you touching their bike. In a city like Vancouver, where having your bike stolen is almost a right of passage, people definitely keep one eye on what they're doing and one on their bike."

In the genre of cyclists having 'mysterious' items left on their bikes...remember the live blog story that blew up online last November? 'Too much protection: Cyclist makes a grim discovery'. Definitely not the work of a Bike Fairy...

19 August 2021, 09:41
How much does a 22-year-old double Tour de France winner make? €6 million, according to Italian media reports
Tadej Pogacar, Stage 19 of 2021 (picture credit Tour de France A.S.O./Pauline Ballet)

Tadej Pogačar is reportedly earning €6 million (£5.1m) per year at UAE Team Emirates, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Slovenian doesn't even turn 23 until next month but has already won two Tour de France titles, a Monument and an Olympic medal. Last month he signed a new improved six-year contract to keep him with his current employers until the end of 2027.

At the rate of €6 million a year, he will have raked in at least €36 million (£30.7m) by the earliest possible date he could leave the team. An article in L'Equipe last year suggested that Chris Froome €4.5 million (£3.8m) and Peter Sagan €5 million (£4.3m) were the peloton's highest earners, a title Pogačar has now eclipsed.

Oh to be a generational talent with the potential to dominate a sport for the next decade...

19 August 2021, 09:37
Fully segregated cycle route: Paddington to Wapping
19 August 2021, 08:35
What (some) locals told the press (Mail Online)

The Mail Online took the news of the 11ft-wide Dorset bike lane's what some locals told the news outlet...

A 38-year-old woman, who works at garage on the B3073, said: "There's more room now for cyclists than there is for drivers. We have a Jewsons building merchants on the road that lorries use all the time. Just the other day we had two articulated lorries smashed their mirrors trying to pass each other on opposite sides of the road. Other lorries are having to pull into the cycle lane to pass safely. It's an absolute shambles. There is the same amount of traffic going in and out of the town, but now half the amount of space. Cyclists who are still using the road are getting abuse from drivers - even those on the opposite side of the road."

A 62-year-old man said his garden was seized by the council 60 years ago to make the road safer. Now he says he is perplexed as to why they've narrowed it again. He said: "People here are not very happy with the over exaggeration of the cycle path. We were never informed and no letters came through our letter box about it. I noticed one morning in January that they were building it. A neighbourhood consultation asked how the area could be improved and whether cycle routes could be better, which many people agreed to without understanding the details of what would be built.

"The whole thing is just a big gamble. It is the main road into Wimborne and the width could cause real issues for emergency vehicles because the layby has been removed. Around 50 per cent of the vehicles on the road are trade and heavy goods vehicles. It's chaos. In the past you could overtake a bike whereas now you can't safely do this." 

Mail Online did not include any positive thoughts from locals about the lane, just an AA spokesperson who said the lane "actively encourages" drivers to look out for cyclists and keep a safe distance. 

19 August 2021, 07:50
Council under fire for 'Britain's biggest bike lane': 11 ft-wide Dorset cycle lane is too much for some
Wimborne cycle lane (Dorset Council/ BCP Council)

We're getting in touch with Dorset Council and BCP Council (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) to find out some more details about this one for you...the headline in The Telegraph this morning is 'Britain’s biggest bike lane leaves drivers with less room than cyclists', Mail Online went for 'Britain's BIGGEST bike lane: 'Shambolic' 11ft 2in-wide cycle path is larger than 9ft 5in road lane it runs next to - and forces drivers to pull over to avoid a CRASH'.

The cycle lane on Wimborne Road West has been built using a portion of the £79 million Dorset Council and BCP Council were awarded by the Transforming Cities Fund in March 2020. As part of the county's active travel upgrades, this 2.3km new cycle and walking route on Leigh Road and Wimbourne Road West has been built. The speed limit has also been dropped from 40mph to 30 mph. It isn't clear exactly where on the 2.3km stretch the artist's impression above is, but it gives you an idea of what the lane might look like when complete... 

However, since certain publications got hold of the pictures of the new cycle lane looks currently, the council has found itself under fire. One local told the Mail Online the project is a "shambles". In the same story it is said the lane is 11ft 2in wide, compared to the 9ft 5in lanes running parallel. Any mathematicians amongst you can work out that means the road is 18ft 10in wide, so is still significantly wider than the segregated cycle route...some residents claim the narrowness of the road has caused lorries clipping wing mirrors and road rage between motorists...

How it looked before...

B3073 Wimborne before cycle lane (Google Maps Street View)

How it looks now (plus Mail Online's headline)...

We'll bring you more from Dorset Council and BCP Council when we have it. 

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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